As many as 70% of those who identify themselves as Christians entering college will walk away from their faith by the time they are seniors and only about a third of these young people will ever return to the Church
Old Bering Sea Culture, Alaska, 2nd–3rd century AD
Walrus ivory, width 5 ¾ in. (14.6 cm)
For many hundreds of years, the harpoon was essential to the lifeways of
the peoples living on either side of the Bering Sea between Siberia and
Alaska. As the basis for the hunting of sea mammals, the harpoon went
through a long period of development, and the advent of the toggling
harpoon in about 1500 B.C. was particularly significant. Elements of
these harpoons—head, foreshaft, socket piece, and counterweight—were
made of walrus ivory, and over time their surfaces were elaborated with
delicately incised images. Animal spirits—used to attract game to the
hunter—and spirit helpers that added strength to the weapon itself were
among the depictions. By the first half of the first millennium A.D.,
the incised patterns had become both elegant and complex and often
included “hidden” or difficult to read images. By the end of that
millennium, the harpoon counterweights, also known as winged objects
because of their shape, were no longer made in Alaska.
Colonization is an apparatus of violence. Decolonization is the fight to dismantle its apparatuses, its inner workings, its structures, its constitution and its effects. It is waging nonviolence rooted in our teachings and lifeways; it is radical action borne of love for all of our people and nations; it is, as Taiaiake Alfred has suggested, reclaiming ‘freedom from fear’.
This is Adrian Stimson’s (Siksika Nation, Blackfoot) 2010 installation Beyond Redemption. The title, physical surroundings, and composition speak volumes about the devastating near extirpation of the plains buffalo (whose importance to the Plains peoples cannot be fully expounded here) due to the infringements and excessive hunting practices of colonial peoples. Beyond Redemption speaks about a population of animals whose rehabilitation in its natural habitat has been precluded, and when the buffalo is gone, so too is the way of life of an entire people; now, the buffalo (and also, the people’s lifeways) are relegated to the museum context in the form of a diorama, a physical space that is linked to the past and has a tendency to dichotomize various studies of the past into the realms of natural and human history.
Alaska, United States. Old Bering Sea culture. 2nd to 3rd century AD
For many hundreds of years, the harpoon was essential to the lifeways of the peoples living on either side of the Bering Sea between Siberia and Alaska. As the basis for the hunting of sea mammals, the harpoon went through a long period of development, and the advent of the toggling harpoon in about 1500 B.C. was particularly significant. Elements of these harpoons—head, foreshaft, socket piece, and counterweight—were made of walrus ivory, and over time their surfaces were elaborated with delicately incised images. Animal spirits—used to attract game to the hunter—and spirit helpers that added strength to the weapon itself were among the depictions. By the first half of the first millennium A.D., the incised patterns had become both elegant and complex and often included “hidden” or difficult to read images. By the end of that millennium, the harpoon counterweights, also known as winged objects because of their shape, were no longer made in Alaska.
Experts report as many as 400 pastors, deacons, elders and church staff members will resign this Sunday after their names surfaced on the list of users revealed in the Ashley Madison hack.
Writing for Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer, the executive director of LifeWay Research, and a well-regarded expert on church leadership, reports:
“Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be.”
The fallout from the Ashley Madison hack has been troubling for many users, particularly religious conservatives.
Family values advocate and serial child molester Josh Duggar was but one high-profile conservative Christian exposed as a user of the infamous website for individuals interested in arranging extramarital affairs.
In addition to Duggar, another high profile conservative Christian caught in the Ashley Madison storm was Christian YouTube star Sam Rader.
However, the shame of hypocrisy is not reserved for Christian conservatives only. Friendly Atheist reports Hamza Tzortzis, a Muslim apologist and lecturer for the Islamic Education and Research Academy was also a user of the Ashley Madison site.
Former congressman Barney Frank, speaking with Bill Maher on Real Time about the the right to privacy in the context of outing of gay politicians, made the following comment:
“There’s a right to privacy. But the right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy. People who want to demonize other people shouldn’t then be able to go home and close the door, and do it themselves.”
Frank’s analysis seems fair and just. People who are paid to stand up every Sunday and preach to the flock that adultery is a sin, while at the same time using a web site to cheat on their spouse, are hypocrites and legitimate targets for outing, and probably should resign.
Bottom line: Practice what you preach. Or better yet, don’t preach at all.
Happy #WildlifeWednesday! Count Iconic Bald Eagles in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Coeur d’Alene, in northern Idaho, attracts visitors from all over the country each winter for the annual Eagle Watch. From November through February, a migrating population of up to 150 iconic bald eagles visits the area to feed on spawning kokanee salmon.
“…a Christian research group has released the findings of a national
survey containing a startling revelation: 70 percent of women who have
abortions in the U.S. are Christians, and 23 percent of those women
identify as Evangelical Christians.
The survey, which polled 1,038 women who’d had abortions from across
the U.S., found that almost 40% of those women were attending a
Christian church once a month or more at the time of their abortion, but
that a majority of the women who attended church regularly kept their
abortion a secret from their church community, mostly out of fear of
being judged or condemned. Almost half of the women agreed that
“pastors’ teachings on forgiveness don’t seem to apply to terminated
pregnancies,” and 54 percent agreed that churches “over-simplify
decisions about pregnancy options.”
Even sadder? Sixty-four percent of the women agreed that “Church
members are more likely to gossip about a woman considering an abortion
than help her understand her options.”
Disturbingly, there’s also anecdotal evidence to suggest that
Christians who have received abortions are among the most vocal
opponents of abortion rights
In her recent memoir
“My Life On The Road,” journalist and activist Gloria Steinem writes,
“When I visit clinics, I’ve learned to ask the staff if they have ever
seen an [anti-abortion] picketer come in, have an abortion, and go back
to picketing again. From Atlanta to Wichita, the answer is yes.
Steinem says that when she initially expressed disbelief over these
stories, a clinic staff member explained to her “that women in such
anti-abortion groups are more likely to be deprived of birth control and
so to need an abortion. Then they feel guilty — and picket even more.”
From every angle — from the horrific actions taken by Dear to the
large numbers of Christian women secretly seeking abortions — it’s clear
that the current strategy of Christian anti-choicers is doing far more
harm than good.”
A Few Good Reasons Why White People Should Not Wear “Mohawks” or Dreadlocks
The struggle against racism is more than just not saying racist comments or knowing that the United States was built by slave labor. It is also a struggle to recognize and understand the ways racism/white supremacy are woven into every aspect of life.
One of the ways racism plays out which is often ignored or not seen by white people is through appropriation, “the act of taking or making use of without authority or right.” Appropriation ignores the lives and struggles of oppressed communities, and instead takes what is seen as interesting, useful or beautiful, disregarding our cultures and lives. In the US and other countries, appropriation is part of long histories of racism and genocide. Colonial governments and peoples appropriated the homelands of First Nations/Native people. Europeans appropriated the bodies and labor of African peoples during slavery.
While our bodies, homelands and labor continue to be appropriated, so do our cultural symbols/lifeways. The New Age movement, for example, appropriates (and twists) the spiritual practices of First Nations, Asian, African and other cultures.
Among progressive/radical white people, the problem of appropriation continues to damage communities of color. Mohawks and dreadlocks worn by non-Native/non-African people is one form of appropriation that often goes unnoticed and unchallenged and is often misunderstood.
Healing the legacy and current reality of racism and colonization means looking closely at the ways we perpetuate these forms of violence. It means, in part, letting go of cultural symbols that are appropriated from people of color/non-white people and instead looking deeply at the complex issues that surround race and racism.
But, I’m not trying to appropriate anything. I just appreciate other cultures. Isn’t that okay?
Appreciating other cultures does not mean you need to appropriate any aspect of them. A true appreciation of other cultures means fighting against the forces trying to destroy them, not taking them on as your own.
It’s just a Mohawk. I don’t think of it as a Native thing.
And therein lies the problem.
But, I wear my hair this way as a statement against oppressive cultures and governments. How is that racist?
You can take a stand against oppression and dominant cultures without appropriating the cultures of the people being hurt by them. Appropriation actually enforces oppression, it does not stand against it. Appropriation is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
This is a free country. Can’t I do whatever I want?
This country has never been free for people of color/non-white people. Certainly, you can choose wear your hair however you want. Historically, however, people of color have not been able to make that choice. For instance, in the US and Canada Native children were forced to cut their hair and wear it like white people’s in “boarding” or “residential” schools created to destroy First Nations cultures. Slavery was an act of owning humans. Enslaved people had no legal right to do anything with their bodies. Their bodies were private property. When white people wear “Mohawks” or dreadlocks it twists those hairstyles into symbols of privilege rather than symbols or survival and resistance.
Among the most renowned of the myriad figurine traditions of Mesoamerica is that of Jaina Island, a residential and funerary settlement adjacent to the coast of west-central Campeche. Jaina Island’s extensive burial grounds have been known since the nineteenth century, but only in the 1940s were they first scientifically excavated. Archaeologists found figurines in the arms of the deceased who had been dressed in their finest clothes and wrapped in cotton burial shrouds and palm-fiber mats. The renowned Mexico archaeologist Román Piña Chan, the director of excavations at Jaina, has speculated that the figurines served to ensure the deceased’s lifeways and social position in the afterlife. This figurine is notable because it portrays an elderly warrior rather than the robust young combatant so typical of Classic Maya figurines. His identity is confirmed by the flexible, rectangular shield held in his right hand and the quilted armor tunic, both being requisite garb for Maya warriors. He likely represents a captured warrior, defiant yet stately in demeanor, his defeat indicated by the thick rope binding his neck and upper arms. The form of the head suggests that the figure originally was adorned with a removable headdress which has been lost.
“There’s no way that a 27-year-old girl can run this company" #lifewayfoods
In 2002, Julie Smolyansky’s father passed away. Smolyansky’s father was the founder of Lifeway Foods and up to that point, had led the company for its entire existence. On the day of her father’s death, one of her father’s friends uttered the words that would push Smolyansky to build her company into a $250 million conglomerate.
“There’s no way that a 27-year-old girl can run this company. That’s it. It’s done,” he told her.
The following day, the company’s stock was in free-for-all and a plan had to be created to keep the boat afloat. Smolyansky did that and more, increasing Lifeway Foods’ revenue six-fold.
“But she still thinks of her father’s friend and what he told her nearly 15 years ago. “That comment, I think about it every day of my life still,” she said.”
This marathon sweatshirt is very funny. It’s at the North Face booth at the Chicago Marathon expo.
I took a bus to where I was 5 miles away from the expo, and then ran the 5 miles there. It’s weird going to a race expo when you’re not running. On the other hand, you can eat everything! My favorite free eats were the Curate bars (Abbott display) and the Lifeway Kefir frozen yogurt bars. There is also a Goose Island bus giving out beer samples, but I didn’t have ID on me (and it’s a little early for beer). Hard not to get swept up in the excitement.
Good luck to all you runners! I have to buy stuff for my sign but I’ll put up a picture later. See you on the right at 9!