Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things December 17, 2012

Carol Howard Merritt: “Preaching lessons at a fundamentalist Bible school”

I had the sense that de Rosset got a job at the Bible school teaching English many years ago, her theology changed, and she remained, for whatever reason. Maybe Moody was paying for her doctoral work. Maybe she was too conservative for an Episcopalian college. Maybe she just needed to pay the bills — like a coalminer who’s not completely comfortable with black lung, but knows that he needs to get food on the table.

Or maybe, she suffered that humiliation because she knew when she closed that door, she was saving women like me.

Jeanine Thweatt-Bates: “The Benefit of the Penis”

It’s a conundrum that women constantly face in any dialogue, f2f or online: do we duke it out with the boys on their own terms? Or do we go with the non-threatening, sweet “feminine” persona? How can we best be heard? And when does playing this “feminine” game work in yielding strategic gains, and when does it stop working, as it clearly acquiesces to problematic assumptions regarding gender? And how do we make that determination? And is there any way to free ourselves from these two highly unsatisfactory options, and just, you know, speak our minds without so much angst?

Theresa Cho: “The Subjunctive & Indicative of Church Ministry”

My experience with churches is that we swim between the indicative and the subjunctive – mostly not in helpful ways. We use the subjunctive when viewing our reality when really we need to embrace the indicative. We get stuck in the indicative of membership, finances, and energy when dreaming of possibilities of the future when we should be swimming in the subjunctive.

… As a church we should have the courage to embrace the indicative of who we are, celebrating and honoring who we are and whose we are as a church community, ever mindful of the seductive subjunctive ways to wish we were something different, newer, and hipper.  We should have the courage to embrace the subjunctive, allowing our imagination and creativity to soar because only then do we open ourselves up to the Spirit of the living God, being ever mindful to not be mired in regret of what could have been, should have been, or would have been.

Adele Stan: “Medicare Eligibility Age on the Table?”

Raise the eligibility age and PEOPLE WILL DIE.

No, that’s not an exaggeration, and the failure of certain wonks to take that into consideration speaks to their isolation from everyday people, even the everyday people who provide services to them, such as grocery-store clerks, waitresses, and construction workers in right-to-work states. These are people who cannot wait until they’re 67 for the full complement of Medicare benefits. Many of them are people who will wind up paying the individual mandate penalty in Obamacare, because even if purchased through an exchange, the monthly premium will be more than they can afford.

Paul Bibeau: “The Truth About Santa Claus”

No one has to give the signal. No one holds a rehearsal. No one has to make sure it all happens again in 12 months. Moms and dads have learned it from their parents. Aunts, uncles and friends tell stories to keep it alive. A large portion of the human race makes this happen each Christmas Eve, and all of it is like, well, magic.

You don’t have to believe in elves or rooftop landings. You don’t have to accept anything that isn’t right in front of you. And the heart of it is this: That we are here to love one another. That our most important job is to help the people around us build a life in this world. That the best we can ever hope to accomplish in our short time here is to someday be someone’s happy memory. Parents know this. And so do couples and friends and anyone holding anyone else’s hand under our shared and difficult circumstances.

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  • Paul Bibeau

    Merry Christmas, Fred Clark!

  • Indeed! Please enjoy a lovely snow-filled winter solstice. :)

  • Joshua

    Off topic:

    I’m finding my impending redundancy and search for new employment to be taking up quite a lot of time, and I have had no time to comment here.

    So I just wanted to say Merry Christmas, and/or Happy Holiday for whatever other holiday you may observe, and goodbye for at least the current period. I’ll be back when I have the opportunity.

    Also, there’s another Joshua posting here sometimes now, who is not me. Hello, new Joshua. I’m the Kiwi guy from New Zealand who has been posting here for years without a login. The guy with the login is different.

    Bye everyone and best wishes.

  • Really enjoyed the post about women in preaching classes. :)

  • Mary Kaye

    I enjoyed Merritt’s post too, but I sure didn’t enjoy the comment from the man trying to silence her.  So  much of that going down lately.  It makes me sad.

    I want to take this chance to say thank you:  to my teachers, my graduate school and postdoctoral mentors, my spouse, my family, and my friends:  all of whom believe absolutely that I have a right to speak my mind, and things of value to say, and who have my back when I need help saying them.  I never needed a teacher who would lock the door before teaching me.  I’m really grateful for that.