Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blue Like Jazz: A Movie Worth Saving

This is a phenomenal example of a crowd-sourced / community-funding movie production. Check it out:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Taboo Watercooler Talk

Sex! Politics! Religion! Oh, my!

Sending smiles to Pastor Stan over at the Bluevine Collective. He emailed me this photo of an advertisement recently that really captures the humor of religion in public life.

This advertisement in Christian Century intrigues me. Sex, politics and religion are topics society tells us to stay away. Ironically, this idea only makes me want to examine them more closely. (Imagine that!)

What about religion, or spirituality, has intrigued you, but silenced you? What is stopping you from talking about it? Some of the best cultural shifts have come from asking questions, from going "there." I'm reminded of "Degrassi" a Canadian TV show aimed at teens, during which literally no topics are off-limits. In fact, the United States media banned some episodes that covered controversial teen issues. But claiming a topic controversial does not deny its existence.

No epic character goes without experiencing some risk. Otherwise, why read the book? Why watch the movie? Risk makes life worth living. Risk creates change.

Controversy? I want it. Bring it on.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Sunday Question

Today Pastor Stan from the Bluevine Collective posed a great question: How do you experience connection with God?

I started to make a list, and when I did, I realized how contrapositive it is! It reminded me of how God can be all things, can seem very contradictory. ("I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.")

But my ways of connecting with God also seem much like the verse in Revelation.

In community or in solitude.

With a soundtrack or without.

In a moment's realization or a daylong musing.

Verbal. Written. In motion.

I feel like I could write a blog post on each pair of concepts. But one aspect to highlight: Pastor Stan writes a lot about music's influence on his spiritual growth, specifically with U2's music. And blogger/commenter Aaron Reddin commented that he connects with Pearl Jam.

I can't name a particular artist, but I have been draw to music that deeply resonates with sorrows or deep spiritual questioning. That's when I feel connected to God.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"It's SO Christ-Chic"

Tonight's Glee episode went beyond spirit fingers, and reached a whole new level of divinity. It took on a religion/spirituality theme. Among some of the song choices:

  • A moving rendition of "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
  • The surprising inclusion of "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" from the lesser-known Streisand movie "Yentl"
  • Obvious choices: REM's "Losing My Religion" and "What If God Was One Of Us?"

What I enjoyed most was watching all the #glee tweets. Tones across the spectrum of spirituality emerged. Some fans were outraged at the religious theme, while others thought it a refreshing turn from the brash Britney Spears-inspired episode. Still others remarked at the timing of the gay rights v. church debate, especially in light of last week's Tyler Clementi tragedy.

Here are a few tweets I pulled in from

Just watched "Glee." What a mature set of statements about religion. - @BrianStelter

Tonight's #Glee has confused me... What religion am I, what do I believe, do I like grilled cheeses? - @stevenfrombb10

Tina: "Last week we were too sexy, this week we're too religious. We can't win." Brittany: "Now I know how Miley feels." #Glee - @xmileyamazingx

Truly amazing episode of #Glee tonight. Very well written ep on a very touchy subject. Never expected that kind of show from#Glee. Thanks. - @longflyball

I do not have words for how atrocious the messaging was on#Glee tonight. #overit - @sionnan

Glee really isn't strictly a comedy and it certainly isn't a drama either... I believe #Glee is a new genre, It's unique and a special show. - @LeaGleeFans

So Kurt is a gaytheist too! Very cool.#glee #atheism #atheist” :: Yayyy us! :] - @seculagaytheist

When #Glee preformed "What If God Was One Of Us" I broke down and cried. And on that note, I'm going to bed noww. Goodnitee and God bless. - @taylorhalise

Glee is exploring the #god complex. is it due to #fox or something else? - @irobyn

I wish there were a separation between church and my TV. #glee #worstepisodeever - @icelandicody

"I don't believe in God, Dad, but I believe in you. " :/#Glee #makemecry - @nicoleelkington