asian american christianity

I want every single one of you to know that I love you and that I care about you. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, asexual, questioning or anything in between. It doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, agender, transgender, genderfluid or anything in between. It doesn’t matter if you’re optimistic or pessimistic, thick or thin, black or white, tall or small, blonde or brunette, happy or depressed, african, american, asian or european, christian, muslim, jewish or anything else. I love every single one of you and I am here for you no matter what you’re going through. Thank you for all the love and support you give me everyday.

How to research your racially/ethnically diverse characters

chiminey-cricket asked:

Do any of you have any tips for doing independent research for PoC characters?

This question is super broad, but I’m going to see if I can give it a crack!

First of all, consume media by the group in question. If you want to write a story with a Chinese-American protagonist, read some blogs by Chinese-Americans, read books by Chinese-Americans – both fiction and nonfiction – lurk on places like thisisnotchina so you can get a feel for what pisses Chinese and Chinese diaspora people off about their portrayal in the media, google for stereotypes about Chinese people and try to make sure you’re not doing those (even positive ones), go more general (East-Asian all-of-the-above in general since in many cases the harmful tropes overlap), go more specific (if your protagonist is female, look specifically for blog posts featuring the opiniosn of Chinese-American and other Asian/Asian diapora women; same if your protagonist is attracted to the same sex, is transgender, or deals with any other form of oppression besides anti-Chinese racism.) All of the above applies to Latinxs, Native Americans/Canadian First Nations, African/African diaspora people, Jews, Muslims, etc. Find out what we’re saying about ourselves.

Lots of things are available just from Google. “I have a Black character and I want to know what kind of hairstyles are available for her!” We have a Black hair tag, but apart from that, googling “Black hairstyles” will probably bring up some articles that can at least give you a good starting point to learn some vocabulary to add to your next Google search, like “natural” and “twists” and “dreadlocks.”

Next, you can talk to people in the group, but before you do this, be sure to have some specific questions in mind. “How do I write a Jewish character?” is not a specific question. “Do I have to make my Jewish character follow kosher laws if I’ve made her religious in other ways, or can she go to shul but not keep kosher?” or “What’s a term of endearment a parent might use for a child in Yiddish?” is much more specific. Remember, if you’re talking to someone they’re answering you back with their free time, so expecting them to do most of the work of figuring out what’s most important for you to know is a little entitled.

Besides, a more specific question will give you a more helpful answer. If someone asks me “how do I write a Jewish character” one of the first things out of my mouth will be a list of personality stereotypes to avoid, which isn’t going to be very helpful if what you really need for your fic was whether or not you have to write your character as following strict kosher laws.

If you’re sending a question in to a writing blog or one of those race blogs like thisisnot[whoever], please read through their tags and FAQ to see if they’ve already answered it. Longtime followers of a blog would get very bored if all the blog’s content was nothing but “We answered that here last week at this helpful link!” Those who participate in answering these blogs are usually unpaid volunteers who provide a resource that’s already there to help people; help repay them for what they do by looking through the material on your own first.

How to tell if a source from outside the group is biased and bigoted: obviously, you’re not going to want to listen to Stormfront about Jews, or the KKK about, well, anything. If you’re not on a source created by the group in question, look for dry and academic language as opposed to emotional, informal, or inflammatory words – although dispassionate and technical language is no guarantee it won’t be racist, colonialist, or inaccurate. If you read enough books and blogs from the inside, though, you’ll probably see some of the myths from those other sources debunked before you even encounter them.

Lastly, don’t assume that all people who are Asian, African-American Christians, religious Jews, or Muslims are from cultures more oppressive, more conservative, more patriarchal, more homophobic, more sexist, or more controlling than the one in which you were raised. If your plot calls for homophobic parents or a repressive culture, that shouldn’t be the reason you make your character one of the groups listed. There is plenty of oppressive, anti-woman, and anti-queer thought in white American Christian/Christian-cultured society and personally, I believe such criticisms of the marginalized diaspora peoples I listed above belong in the voices of the cultures themselves.

–mod Shira

I’d not leave looking for dry and clinical information as the ONLY means to distinguish that a work is biased.

While yes it is pragmatic to say “look for academically toned wording,” … in addition to that, these folks really need to look into who the author is. Definitely look into the author. And the year the thing was published (because man if it’s from like the 60s or earlier, 9 times out of 10, throw that shit out).

Because people can disguise hatred and racism in careful diction so that it looks reasonable and polite. A shining example is physiognomy studies from Nazis and anti-Semite eugenecists. And the sad thing is, you really can’t trust people to read it and make the judgement call that this hate-in-disguise they’re reading is hate.  

Somehow, when someone says, “The people of the Levant express features such as […] which, at the risk of sounding untoward, suggest a very rodent-like persuasion,” people are like, “Oh, well, that was worded fancily and there was no angry or profane language, I suppose they’re right,” not stopping to think even for a moment that they just accepted that this book just said to them that Jews look like rats. I saw it happen in my Nazi Germany class when we were given reading material. It was fucking nuts.

So definitely, definitely look every outsider author in the mouth and cross-check any and everything that person says. 

–mod Elaney

Shira again: Elaney is right that you will want to be critical of outside sources, especially older ones. Also, be suspicious of blanket statements about a group such as “X group are” instead of discussing forces in X culture. For example. Because there’s going to be diversity within any group and it’s likely what’s being said isn’t inherently biologically linked to being in X group.

–mod Shira

White lives matter.

Black lives matter. 

Hispanic lives matter.

Latino lives matter. 

Asian lives matter.

Native American lives matter. 

Cis lives matter. 

Trans lives matter. 

Gay lives matter.

Straight lives matter.

Bi lives matter.

Christian lives matter.

Muslim lives matter. 

Jewish lives matter. 

Atheist lives matter.

No matter who you are, your life matters.

After Confederate aficionado Dylann Roof killed nine black men and women in Charleston, S.C., the liberal mainstream media began a campaign against the Confederate flag on the premise that it represented racism and that anybody who supported it was therefore a racist bigot.

What the media never did, however, was listen to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an association of descendants of former Confederate soldiers.

“Historical fact shows there were Black Confederate soldiers,” members of the group wrote in a statement to the public. “These brave men fought in the trenches beside their White brothers, all under the Confederate Battle Flag.”

The group’s membership roll also includes Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Christians and Jews, all of whom “fought on behalf of the Confederacy because “they believed (it) was right.”

“The love and defense of the South’s symbols, culture, and heritage is not hate,” the group added. “It is knowing and understanding of the truth.”

Alas, the liberal mainstream media hates truth, which is why it diligently tried to “distort Confederate symbols in an attempt to make them stand for hatred and disillusion.”

Yet nothing about the Sons of Confederate Veterans radiates hatred. For instance, the group hosts a strict policy that prohibits anyone with racist views or ties to racist organizations from being granted membership.

Roof was never associated with the group, for example, nor would he have even been allowed entry into the prestigious organization.

The fact is that the Confederate flag has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with history and heritage. If liberals cared about the truth, they would admit this. But they only care about politics and political agendas (H/T Breitbart).

It’s sad, because, as the Sons of Confederate Veterans wrote, “Not knowing your heritage is ignorance.”

And, since liberals apparently don’t know their heritage … well, you can do the math.

pingnova  asked:

Hi! I often see articles about the limitations of "white feminism" and how to transfer to a different kind of feminism, lately I've been wondering if there is anything similar in Christianity. I learned from teachers and books written by white cishet upper-middle class men and I'm wondering if there is material and figures I can check out that are not that. Any little thing pointing me in the right direction would be helpful! I'm not even sure how to start Googling it.

Hey there! Awesome question. Yes, Christian theology has been largely dominated by white, straight/cis men for much too long – luckily, there are places you can go to find theology beyond that. It’s so important to read theology from diverse perspectives in order to gain a rich reflection of God and Christianity, so it’s great you’re looking into this!

Some of the books I read for my first semester of seminary that I definitely recommend are:

  • Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman, a Black theologian
  • On Job by Gustavo Gutierrez (Latino liberation theologist)
  • Just Love by Margaret Farley (white woman)
  • We Have Been Believers by James Evans, a book on Black Theology

Some other authors and articles I read:

  • “Reading Her Way through the Struggle: African American Women and the Bible” by Renita J. Weems
  • “Language about God,” chapter 3 of Feminism and Christianity: an Essential Guide by Lynn Japinga
  • “A Sacred Hope and Social Goal: Womanist Eschatology” by Joan M. Martin
  • “Adjusting Jonah” by Jione Havea, a theologian from Tonga, Oceania – writes often on theology from a colonized perspective 

Finally, some works I’ve not read (or have only read parts of):

  • Take Back the Word: a Queer Reading of the Bible compiled by Robert E. Goss and Mona West
  • Sharon Bezner is another queer theologist 
  • The Next Evangelicalism: Rescuing the Church from Western Cultural Activity by Soong-Chan Rah
  • Most works by Nadia Bolz-Weber and Rachel Held Evans 
  • Works by Dr. Randy Woodley, a Cherokee theologian – see some of his responses to an “ask a theologian” question series
  • Works by Richard Twiss, a Lakota Sioux Evangelical educator and author – hear him speak in this YouTube video “Drumming, Chanting, and other Christian Things”

To look for more works written by theologians that aren’t all white, cis/straight men, here are some areas you can look into:

  • liberation theology
  • Black theology and womanist theology
  • queer theology
  • immigrant church theology
  • Asian (or Asian American) Christian theology 
  • I just googled “disabled theology” out of curiosity to see what would come up and some good looking books did! 
  • honestly, pick a marginalized group and type “_____ theology” into google and you’re likely to find at least some works

If anyone else has other suggestions, please share. The Body of Christ is not solely white, straight, cis, ablebodied, middle/upper class, male, and otherwise privileged – other voices have so much to contribute to our faith and need to be heard! 

The Top Ten Best & Worst Movies of 2014

Written By: Zachary FR Anderson

2014 has produced some of the most memorable films of the decade while at the same time releasing images on the screen that shouldn’t even be considered entertainment. This is a list of the top ten best and worst films of the year.

The Best

1)      Boyhood (Richard Linklater): One of the greatest achievements in the history of American movies, anyone who has ever lived between the ages of six and eighteen will identify in some way with this masterpiece of the 21st century.

2)      Interstellar (Christopher Nolan): Emotional, breathtaking, and thrilling, Nolan’s science-fiction epic will certainly be in our time remembered as one of the most entertaining films of the year.

3)      Love Is Strange (Ira Sachs): Director Ira Sachs takes a look into the lives of Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as two gay men in this unique, charming, and surprisingly beautiful film about marriage.

4)      Gone Girl (David Fincher): A high demonstration of craft in directing, writing, and acting. Surely this film will garner an appropriate amount of awards this upcoming season.

5)      Selma (Ava DuVernay): Not many films have been able to capture the Civil Rights Movement with the same level of sensitivity and realism as Ava DuVernay’s “Selma.”

6)      The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson): Wes Anderson has created a film that logically should be a traditional blockbuster while at the same time retaining the charm and quirk of his very unique style.

7)      Birdman (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu): I couldn’t help but think this was a dramatization of Michael Keaton’s life after Batman. An excellent film made with love for both the craft of directing and acting.

8)      Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller): Finally Channing Tatum, and Steve Carrell have broken the mold and the result was a masterpiece. Director Miller has truly created his own unique aesthetic in this film.

9)      The Case Against 8 (Ben Cotner, Ryan White): The dramatic story of two couples who became the face of the LGBT marriage movement was astonishing, emotional, and triumphant.

10)  Life Itself (Steve James): Movies will never be the same without Roger Ebert, the man that lived sharing his love of the movies with the world. “Life Itself” is a celebration of Ebert’s life and the people who were a part of it.

 Honorable Mentions:

1)      Dear White People

2)      Still Alice

3)      The Theory of Everything

4)      Wild

5)      Calvary

6)      The Babadook

7)      The Imitation Game

8)      The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

9)      The Tale of Princess Kaguya

10)  Pride

The Worst

1)      Not Cool (Shane Dawson): Crude, rude, disgusting, and unfunny are the only words that should be legally used to describe this embarrassment of the craft. Anyone who was a part of this production should be ashamed of themselves.

2)      Maleficent (Robert Stromberg): Generic story coupled with one dimensional characters make this film a headache inducing hour and a half of nonsense featuring Angelina Jolie in a role that should have been the role of a lifetime.

3)      God’s Not Dead (Harold Cronk): An offensive creation of caricatures clearly made by heterosexual white men. It is offensive to Asian-Americans, Academics, Philosophers, Christians, Muslims, and the human race as an entire.

4)      Divergent (Neil Burger): I’ve heard this story too many times for it to be approached with a fresh point of view. Too long, too generic, and not a single character I wish to identify with.

5)      Into the Storm (Steven Quale): Found footage films should be outlawed by the laws of sanity. Dizzying and nonsensical, this is certainly a film that needs to just be forgotten.

6)      Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller): Director Rodriguez has really exercised his vomit inducing aesthetic with this unnecessary addition to the “Sin City” franchise.

7)      Men, Women, & Children (Jason Reitman): The negative argument of social media that is this film tried too hard to be deep, which consequentially created a lack of care in writing and acting.

8)      Ouija (Stiles White): Did these people even understand what a Ouija board actually is?

9)      300 Rise of an Empire (Noam Murro): When did we decide that history wasn’t cool enough to be entertaining? The historical accuracies cannot surpass the overall putridness of this waste of media, time, and popcorn.

10)  Magic In The Moonlight (Woody Allen): Allen is a master, but if he continues to throw out one film a year, he is bound to make a few flops. This film is unfortunately one of those flop.

Honorable Mentions:

1)      If I Stay

2)      Dracula Untold

3)      Exodus: Gods and Kings

4)      Sex Tape

5)      Annie

6)      Fury

7)      The Judge

8)      Wish I Was Here

9)      The Best of Me

10)  The Homesman

I saw Adam and Eve. And I saw the pictures, and I remember as a five or six year old I said, ‘Why is Adam and Eve white and I look like this? They don’t look like me.’ And they [the teachers] literally just picked me up and took me outside the room, like, ‘Get this kid out of the room. (…) they made me eat soap.
—  Eddie Huang on his Christian school experience as an Asian-American kid.