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Use your voice
Make your choice
Take down the psychopathic power structure
Replace it with another
less diseased?
We’ll see

In a system built on violence every vote’s an affirmation
an attestation
a confirmation
that you believe in the system
That violence (when used by the right people) can make things better

In a system that is sick every vote’s an infection
A blind eye to every inspection
forced at the end of a gun

At the heart of every law is a threat
That it doesn’t matter where your heart’s set
All will comply, one by one

That they will push and pull and take you where they will
And if you stand still
They will break you down with their billy clubs and tear gas

Because the people have spoken
Your bones may be broken
For the majority have placed you in the criminal class

You see…

There is an arrogance to creating a law
Saying you know better than me what’s best for me

But I’m not looking for confrontation
I don’t want to tear you down when you try to build a better world
I just want you to see like I see
That your better world is built on bones

When you choose between the left and the right
When you fight the good fight
When you try to make a sick system kill a little slower than before

I know your heart is true
But in a system built to subdue
Your heart can be used up to feed the lust for gore

And I’m sorry
I don’t have the answers
I can’t say what can replace this Empire

See, I fear the Empire sickness
Will always be with us
Much like Christ said of the poor

So I try to speak from a place of love
Standing at the bottom, always looking above
And explain why I will not pick up your ballot shaped sword

Gabe Harrell – Vote.mp3

Hypocrisy and incoherency as marks of faith

In Lamenting an Anti-Pacifist Church Alan Hartung writes:

Backtracking to my brief mention of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I feel that neither side will find absolute justification in the Scriptures. I cannot imagine that it would not have been sin to allow Hitler to live knowing what he was doing if one had the opportunity to take his life. Remember, however, Bonhoeffer considered both actions sinful – the terrible result of being caught in a sin-stained world which sometimes left one with no truly righteous options. That being said, I leave myself open to accusations of hypocrisy and incoherency. All I can say to that charge is that I believe any incoherency my beliefs contain still lie closer to the way of Christ than the coherency of the Doctrine of Just War.”

That acknowledgment and acceptance of “hypocrisy and incoherency” speaks to me on a deep level. It sounds something like the “orthoparadoxy” that others in the emergent conversation have mentioned. We fall somewhere between striving and failing, and in that place lies our wretched and beautiful humanity.

Worship services disrupted to rid them of the gay

Anti-gay activists crash worship services

A conservative Christian values group has been interrupting services at two central Ohio churches to protest their support for homosexuality.Minutemen United vowed to attend services every Sunday.

On one of the first Sundays, six people came to the church’s 11 a.m. service and addressed the congregation during a time designated for prayer requests and comments.

Hurt said a man, who introduced himself as a minister from the New Beginnings Church in Warsaw, Ohio, started to give a sermon about how the church was acting against God’s word by accepting homosexuals.

I’m reminded of my own outrage recently when a local “Pastor Kicks Transvestite Out of Uncle’s Funeral”. My first reaction was to put on a skirt and a blouse, a little tasteful makeup and head out to that church on a Sunday morning or twelve. What stopped me (once I had a considerable amount of time to cool down) was that I realized that my own agenda, no matter how much I believe in it, was less important than the act of worship. No matter how wrong the local pastor was for what he did, I’d have been more wrong for disrupting the worship experience of his congregants.

And that’s my biggest complaint against these Minutemen. Yes, we disagree about homosexuality and we disagree about what it means to love one’s neighbor, but once they disrespect their brothers and sisters in the act of worshiping God in order to advance their agenda then they’ve gone too far.

Seminary to help reinstitutionalize gender roles

Seminary offers homemaking courses

Southwestern Baptist, one of the nation’s largest Southern Baptist seminaries, is introducing a new academic program in homemaking as part of an effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and gender roles.It will offer a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a 23-hour concentration in homemaking. The program is only open to women.

Coursework will include seven hours of nutrition and meal preparation, seven hours of textile design and “clothing construction,” three hours of general homemaking, three hours on “the value of a child,” and three hours on the “biblical model for the home and family.”

Seminary officials say the main focus of the courses is on hospitality in the home – teaching women interior design as well as how to sew and cook. Women also study children’s spiritual, physical and emotional development.

It’s quite difficult to not make snippy comments about this one, much less come off as smug and seemingly superior. I just wonder what kind of fear would drive people back to this kind of Leave it to Beaver in the Bible mentality.

Quiver-Full and God's presence in sex (from

Metaphorge linked to an article on the “Quiver-Full” movement in which couples feel it is a divine mandate to have lots of children and thus don’t use any artificial contraception and “most refuse even to use natural family planning.” I’ll ignore the unfair references to Andrea Yates and just get right into the idea and ideals of being Quiver Full.

The article cites Psalm 127:3-4 as the source of the name:

“Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Okay, cool. Children are a blessing. I can dig that. I can also look at the reasons why the culture that produced the Psalms would have placed high value on reproduction. It’s the ideas of God that come from this ultra-personal view of the Divine’s role in reproduction that bother me.

The article quotes one “Dawn Prince” as saying

“It comes down to the question of where do you believe babies come from? I have a hard time believing conception is just a biological act. I believe that God is at work in each and every conception that takes place.”

First off, by using the phrase “just a biological act” she’s already removed the sacred from the physical. If anything can be “just biological” then the belief in the omnipresence of divinity has been eschewed. This quote doesn’t actually say that anything is just biological (meaning divorced from the sacred), but it does state that the particular act of conception has a divine aspect and implies that other acts do not, leading me to believe that she doesn’t hold to omnipresence of God.

Now, if “God is at work in each and every conception,” then is God at work in EVERY act? I’d say yes, but not in the sense that God has each thing planned out and it all follows a Divine Plan, but that the sacred is the source of all life and thus runs through it all. In Mrs. Prince’s eyes, God specifically steps in and creates each child in the place and time He (I’m assuming a masculine view of God on Mrs. Stone’s part, and that may be mistaken) wants the child. If God is doing that, then by using birth control people are standing in the way of God’s Divine Plan!

Where the hell is faith in this scenario? Is your God so small that He can be thwarted by a layer of latex or a hormone pill? This strikes me as such a small view of the sacred, making it something that can be pushed around. God is at work in any act of love. No contraceptive can stop that.