Posts Tagged ‘ politics ’

Election Results, Evangelicals, and the Missing Link

Let me just say from the outset that I’m nobody to be trusted when it comes to politics. I watch almost no television news, I read very little political analysis on news websites, and my voting record is out of step with just about everybody I know. However, I, like most people, watched closely as the presidential election results came in on Tuesday, and I have my own set of opinions and emotions about the results. Having been bombarded with other peoples’ opinions and emotions on Facebook like many of you, I’ll leave mine out of this. (You’re welcome). As I watched the tallies pop up on the state-by-state boards, I was very interested that in nearly all of the closely contested “battleground/swing states,” the county maps were predominantly tipping to Mitt Romney, but President Obama ended up winning almost all of the states anyway . . . because he […]



Greenbelt 2010

I’ve just finished my first journey to the Greenbelt festival in the UK. It takes place at a horse racing track, in a lovely town called Cheltenham, in the green rolling hills of the English countryside. Tourists come from all over to the area to take in the beauty of the area. The festival has been running for nearly forty years, and has developed a tremendously loyal following among the attendees. I lost count of the number of people I talked to, who said that they’ve been coming for fifteen years or more, only missing once or twice in that whole time. It has really become an important annual pilgrimage for many Christians in the UK. About 20,000 people come each year, the vast majority of whom will pitch a tent and camp on the festival grounds. Greenbelt is similar to the Christian festivals in the United States, in that […]



2 Days to Exegeting A City

I write this from a café in London. I arrived in this amazing city less than 24 hours ago, and am going to be getting on a train out of town in just a couple hours. Not a lot of time for all things touristy, which is fine by me, because I’m a terrible tourist (and proud of that). Good tourists, though, use an array of guidebooks that can take you on a tour of any given city according to their favorite criteria – “London on $5 a Day!” or “Top Ten Restaurant Experiences in New York” or “The Two Day Guide to Copenhagen.” I haven’t ever read those guides, but I’m sure they’re fun ways of learning a city if you on a limited time frame and/or budget. As a blue collar missiologist/theologian, I’m much more interested in the process of “reading” a city than I am in seeing […]



Christians and Mosque Protests

Perhaps against my better judgment, I’m going to wade into some political waters briefly. That’s dangerous business, but to add stupidity to danger, I’m going to offer a perspective on a political debate I haven’t spent very much time researching or trying to get a grip on. It goes a little something like this: there’s a major debate roaring on and on about the building of a mosque near the site where the 9/11 tragedy took place. Lots of politicians and sensationalist talk show hosts have been talking on all sides of the debate, stirring up a frenzy. And the USAmerican viewing audience appears to be convinced of the critical importance of either definitely not building it, or definitely building it. From the number of Facebook links I’ve seen in my News Feed, many Christians are pretty fired up about this issue, too. I’ve talked to several friends who lament […]



How to Watch TV (and other media), part 3

In what has become a series of posts, I’ve been trying to introduce some thought processes when it comes to consuming interacting with media in our lives. If you haven’t seen how I’m approaching this, and the questions I’m using, you can check out my first post here, and my second post here. I’m basically suggesting some ways of approaching media that don’t give our attention away in a passive, cavalier manner. In my second post, I discussed narratives that are advanced through media – some on the surface, but many below the surface. Today’s question builds on that concept. Question 3: What systems of power are at work? It may sound a little conspiracy theory-ish for me to presuppose that systems of power are present when I sit down to watch Wipeout or House or Deadliest Catch, but in most cases they are. I’m pleased with how the internet […]



Responding to a Survey of Women’s Attitudes

One of my friends here in Seattle is a guy called Jim Henderson. I’m not just name dropping here – we really are friends . . . he even said so in his new book/DVD, which released this past week. Anyway, in what’s been a busy week for Jim, he released some data that he collected about Christian women’s attitudes toward church. As it turns out, women seem to be pretty happy with their church experiences. You can see some of the questions and results here. Jim’s asking for some broader feedback on the data, so I thought I’d put the word out to my little band of readers. Check things out, and give him your thoughts. As a white male, I’m actually not that interested in my own opinions on most of the items, but here’s my .02. First, my general response to all the happy attitudes of women […]



The Complexity of Reconciliation

A while back, I blogged about our need for more sophisticated thinking.  Well, during my recent visit to South Africa, I had some experiences that uncovered some of my simplistic notions about things like justice, forgiveness, reconciliation, and progress.  In the 80s and 90s, it was all too easy for the world to look at the evils of apartheid, and judge white South Africans guilty, and isolate the nation as much as possible until it made the necessary changes to usher in democracy.  And once Nelson Mandela was released from prison and elected to take the new government forward, it was all too easy to celebrate and look on and think, “Well, it’s good to see that problem is behind us.  Now we can be enlightened friends with each other.” Not so fast.  The black majority may have the votes, and the control of the political systems, but who has […]



On Sophisticated Thinking

In my time in Costa Rica, I was able to spend time with a good guy named Anthony Chamberlain.  He’s the director of the Latin American Studies Program for a U.S. collective of Christian colleges.  Students go to Costa Rica for a semester abroad program.  Anthony is USAmerican, but has lived in Costa Rica for 20 years, and has raised children there, so that’s home for him by now. I talked with him about a number of different topics, from his observations about changes in students he’s noticed over the past twenty years, to topics of globalization, to Latin American politics, to theology.  I really enjoyed that time with him, and actually discovered that we’ve got a couple of common friends. As our conversation progressed, one of the themes that Anthony touched on in multiple topics was the lack of sophistication that people tend to have when thinking about life […]



Politics Anyone? Si!

Throughout the past couple of weeks here in the Caribbean/Latin America, I’ve had several random conversations with people.  After traveling to India last summer, during the U.S. presidential election campaigns, and being constantly asked about whether I thought Obama could win the White House (which everyone there wanted to happen), I was interested to hear what people here are thinking.  I offer the following completely non-scientifically validated observations about USAmerican political topics (in no particular order).  Sorry if they don’t match up with your politics – the reason for this post is just to give a brief glimpse into people that may or may not have votes to cast, but certainly have to deal with the consequences of U.S. politics. – The people of this region are happy (very) that Barrack Obama is the president.  They are hopeful for positive changes in the relationships between the U.S. government and the […]



Simple political question

Quick post here.  I haven’t paid a tremendous amount of attention to politics lately.  But I’ve heard enough to know there’s been some back and forth between President Obama, and former VP Dick Cheney.  I retain my usual ambivalence about nationalism and politics here, so I’m not going to take sides, but my question goes a little something like this: If Cheney were so interested in continuing to speak out on issues, as he’s been doing, why didn’t he simply run for President? That would have given him lots and lots of airtime.  For him to be publicly contentious right now makes me think, “You had your turn.  You had the opportunity to try for another turn and didn’t take it.  So please, really, just go away.”