Awesome Limericks = Free Books

Last week, I ran a contest whereby readers could submit limericks about Christian social justice and win a copy of the new book by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo, Red Letter Revolution: What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?. Below are the winners, as chosen by me based on hilarity and the rules of limericks (which some entrants struggled to obey).

Next week, a similar contest to win copies of Rachel Held Evans’s new book.

And now, without further ado, the winners:

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Free Book by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo

A young author who liked letters red,
So skinny he looked underfed,
When his co-author called,
and said he was bald,
Well the young one did offer him dreds. 

Thanks to the people at Thomas Nelson, I’ve got ten copies to give away of the new book by Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne, Red Letter Revolution: What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?. Among the endorsements:

“This book, by a young and an elderly Christian, will help you decide how we Christians could change the world if we took the ‘red letter’ words of Jesus literally and seriously.” —President Jimmy Carter

“In Red Letter Revolution the uncompromised truth of Jesus’ teachings are given voice by two modern-day Christian leaders who do more than preach this Good News. They walk the talk and lead the way.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This competition will run until 12pm CDT on Monday. The ten books will go to those who leave the best limericks about Christian social justice in the comment section.

Good luck!

The Evangelical’s Burden

Recently, I supped with a young, hipster evangelical leader. Someone you would know. Someone who runs large conferences. We had a nice time, but toward the end of our time together, I asked her a question that I figured I knew the answer to:

“You won’t have me or Doug or Brian speak at your events, will you?”

The answer, after some hemming and hawing, was “No.”

Here’s why I asked: Her conference, like many other evangelical conferences, has two categories of speakers: evangelical speakers and non-Christian speakers.

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If a Liberal Falls in the Forest, Does Anyone Hear?

Fred Clark brings our attention to a statement released by liberal Christian leaders:

So yesterday, more than 60 Christian leaders released a statement “expressing their strong opposition to any legislative proposal that fails to extend the 2009 improvements made to refundable tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.”

I’m quoting there from Nick Sementelli of the progressive Christian group Faith in Public Life. Pretty much have to quote from a group like that because statements like this are mostly otherwise ignored by cable news and the rest of the media — the same media who eagerly report and repeat every utterance from the religious right.

I’ve searched Google News for an article about this statement, or for a photo. Nothing. Nada. There is the video above, with a grand total of 38 views, posted by the group itself.

Fred expresses consternation that the mainstream media is ignoring this statement, noting that these leaders (including several of my friends, like Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren), represent 45 million Americans.

He ends by asking, “Why isn’t this ‘newsworthy’?”

Well, Fred, it’s not newsworthy because it’s not interesting. It’s boring. I mean, seriously, just watch the video.

That doesn’t mean it’s not important. But importance doesn’t translate to newsworthy. Just ask Neil Postman.

And not that there’s anything wrong with boring. Lots of things that we do every day are boring, and un-newsworthy. But this was meant to be newsworthy, and it wasn’t.

If a few dozen evangelicals meet on a Texas ranch to decide whether Mitt Romney is a real Christian, you can bet there’ll be news choppers circling overhead.

Liberals are boring because they’re predictable, and predictable isn’t newsworthy. Also, liberals tend to be more nice, civil, and genteel. Those qualities, also, don’t work well on the nightly news.

So, fellow progressives, I ask you to be interesting, then you’ll be newsworthy.