e e cummings..birthday

he was born in 1894 so

if he were alive today he’d be dead anyway

along with dos passos he took the cubes being painted in europe and transposed them into the poetry that has been shaping music  and literature ever since

here

i shall imagine life by e e cummings

i shall imagine life
is not worth dying,if
(and when)roses complain
their beauties are in vain
but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed’s
a rose,roses(you feel
certain)will only smile

Televangelist Juanita Bynum prepares to mine the Church’s pockets some more..my take on 2002’s "Cute Christian Couple" of the Year..

Two weeks after her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks, wrestled her to the ground in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel, beat her, and then was pulled off of her by a hotel bellhop, Televangelist Juanita Bynum has filed for divorce. (Read about it here)

This chapter in the marriage of Christian Nobility comes just five years after the million dollar televised extravaganza of the couple’s wedding ceremony, which featured a wedding party of 80, 1,000 guests, a 12- piece orchestra, and a 7.76-carat diamond ring. The black-tie wedding featured flowers flown in from around the world. “My dress,” Bynum said, “took nine months to make. All of the crystals (Swarovski) on the gown were hand-sewn. The headpiece was sterling silver, hand-designed. (Source)

They are the personification of Bling Bling Christianity and Self-serving Sham Spirituality. The glitz of the world is just stuff to be accumulated by them, shown off by them, flaunted and fought over by them, at the expense of thousands of slavish admirers who they have cowed into believing that the Jesus they preach is the Jesus who wants nothing more than to line YOUR pockets with the kind of cash that Thomas and Juanita have in their pockets (and designer purses).

They are darlings of the Fraternity of Christian Television Truth-benders who have molded the message of Jesus into a message of Prosperity (for themselves), who have turned The Way of Jesus into a driveway filled with Mercedes, leading to the front doors of their palatial estate homes, and who justify themselves by bestowing titles (Prophetess, Bishop, Annointed) on each other.

Now, since her beating, Bynum has said her ministry will focus on Domestic Violence. Well, good, that is always a timely topic. But I suspect these prophetic pimps (and pimpettes); I suspect Bynum of capitalizing (with cash and credit cards) on her recent problems. Yesterday, she appeared in the backseat of the Pimpmobile- Trinity Broadcasting Network– to proclaim her ‘forgiveness’ of her husband and to announce her new ministry to women victims of DV everywhere.

How about some time off from the cash flow machine, Ms. Bynum? How about telling women to do what they need to do to get their abusive spouses behind bars, and THEN cry their crocodile tears of forgiveness? How about showing your sincerity by liquidating some of your massive assets (does anyone really need TWO homes?) and seeding some women’s shelters for women and children who, unlike you, have NO financial or human resources to fall into the arms of? Or maybe take that 7.6 carat wedding band off and sell it to another Pimping Pastor, while you give the blood money assets to the Africans who mined those stones for virtual slave wages?

“Follow me,” Jesus invited the Sons of Thunder, and you, and me. Not to a choice of manors in the country, not to a million dollar orgy of self-appreciation, not to yet another New Pitch for funds, and certainly not for the seeking of ego-swelling sympathy and misdirected compassion. He invited us to sacrifice, and to a cross. For the sake of others, not ourselves.

Can I get a witness???

Can I?

Mother Teresa..

A collection of letters from Mother Teresa to various confessors is due out next week. Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, is already fueling many blogs and other on-line commentaries, the writers of whom are attempting, from quotes already published in Time, to use Mother Teresa to support their deep, solid, and impenetrable beliefs.

Teresa

In her letters, Mother Teresa expresses doubt- in her faith, in her calling, and in God. “Where is my Faith,” she writes in a confessional letter to Jesus, “ — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness and darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith.”

To a friend and confidant she wrote, “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.”

Fundamentalist Christians are weighing in already, pointing out that the Roman Catholic Teresa was trying to worship a “false” Jesus, a non-biblical Jesus, according to their strict standards of biblical literalism. Hers was a Jesus, they say, which was false to begin with- a caricature perpetuated by a Church bent on survival.

Some atheists have already begun to claim Teresa as a secret supporter of their position of non-deistic rationality. Some have already called her a hypocrite, giving lip service to belief, while harboring doubt.

Both groups are making the kind of mistake that is easy to make when the world is viewed in the mechanistic manner both groups base their viewpoints on. Most fundamentalists see the universe as a machine, manufactured piece by piece, by God, for the benefit of humankind; and many atheists see the universe as random collection of stellar accidents, devoid of transcendent and sacred meaning beyond the moment.

Mother Teresa, on the other hand, lived down in the mire with the rest of us. She lived where the call to alleviate suffering in the lives of others felt so real that she could ascribe the voice of Jesus to it. But she worked in the arenas of life where it seemed impossible for a God of love to have ever been present.

I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?”

Hers was not an either/or position. Her doubts did not rise from the rigid and moribund philosophies constructed of doctrine and paper and words etched in rock, that both the accusing fundamentalists and the Teresa-claiming atheists live their lives within.* She was human, a human filled with doubts just like the rest of us, but one who had the courage and vulnerability to write of them. Unlike many of us, however, she poured herself into that “emptiness” anyway. She didn’t flee from it; she didn’t reject it. She alleviated suffering. She waged peace. She acted in human, healing love, as her Order still does.

Mother Teresa may well have felt ignored by God. But, because of her, many many have not.

*For the record, I am speaking here of those fundamentalists and those atheists who are making the Teresa-noise at present. The strident ones of both camps are making fools of themselves (I think) and do not reflect those fundamentalists who truly do try to follow Jesus, nor those atheists (and there are many, many) who couldn’t care less about adding new trophy heads to their walls, but just live- congenially and rationally.

Beauty Over the Years..a video

This is a fascinating compilation of Hollywood actresses from the 20s through today..It is the same format as the collection of women in art which was popular several months ago. But it is revealing in some interesting ways, too:

1. There is a “sameness.” These are beautiful women, but they are within a narrow definition of beauty. It is a standard that has more to do with genetics, but there are millions of teenage girls who struggle outside of that standard, and millions of teenage boys on fruitless quests to find it.

2. Sophia Loren still wins. Hands down. Don’t even try to argue with me.

R.E.M.- Everybody Hurts

It is one of the small tragedies in the American church, that there is something called “Christian music.” My personal bias is that the word “Christian” is just about worthless as an adjective in the first place. It has been usurped by marketers who use it to penetrate the religious market with all kinds of silly junk- but that’s another rant for another day.

Christian is a noun; first and always.

Because there exists this entity known as Christian music, however, many people are missing the spiritual treasures to be found in many other pieces of music. R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” is one of those treasures. It is even better the tenth time one watches it, than it was the first- I know, I just did, again. Here:

See what I mean?

In the end..

bike-color

And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”                                                                                                                                  Martin Luther King, Jr.

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.                                                                                                                                        Winston Churchill

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end,despair.                                                                                                                            C.S.Lewis

“And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make..”                                                                                                                                         The Beatles