LifeWalk

______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Rest In Peace, Davy Jones February 29, 2012

Davy Jones: 12/30/1945 – 02/29/2012

“Even if they never meant to be more than entertainment and a hit-single generator, we shouldn’t sell The Monkees short. It was far better TV than it had to be; during an era of formulaic domestic sitcoms and wacky comedies, it was a stylistically ambitious show, with a distinctive visual style, absurdist sense of humor and unusual story structure. Whatever Jones and The Monkees were meant to be, they became creative artists in their own right, and Jones’ chipper Brit-pop presence was a big reason they were able to produce work that was commercial, wholesome and yet impressively weird.”
– Poniewozik, James (February 2012). “RIP Davy Jones, The Monkees’ Daydreamboat”. Time (magazine).


Below is a brief telling of our recent concert experience seeing Davy Jones at Bearcreek Farms.
I’m so very glad we went.

  

Another fun concert experience.   At 66 years old, Davy still sounds great.
The six-piece band was absolutely top-notch.  When the concert was over and most of the crowd gone,
my wife yelled “You Guys Are Awesome!” at the remaining band members onstage.
Dave Robicheau did some amazing guitar work on “Valerie.”
Aviva Maloney is a multi-talented wonder.
You can check out them and the other band members here:  http://davyjones.net/djband.html

Davy sang some of his solo songs, did a number from his Broadway days in “Oliver,” and lots of Monkees favorites.



His wife was onstage for a couple of really good dance numbers.
Jones, of course, shared many stories and jokes, and had frequent audience interaction.

We saw The Monkees June 13th, 2001 at the Fort Wayne Embassy (with some of the same band members).
That was a great concert, but this was a more “personal” overall experience.
Especially since we got to meet him and get our pictures taken with him!


———————


AND here are some general pix from Bearcreek Farms:


  

        


 

Don’t Ask. Don’t Sell. February 27, 2012

I had a “conversation” with a Greg McCaw, a former CCM insider (he was “no longer needed” after he came out). He estimates that as many as 35% of those in the Christian Music industry are closeted gay.
Based on his experience, Mr. McCaw suspects most who work alongside them within the industry know of their orientation. Just not the general public.
So in reality, people like Marsha Stevens-Pino (For Those Tears I Died), Clay Aiken, Jenifer Knapp, Tonéx, Ray Boltz, et al, were not outsted from the industry because they were gay, but because they admitted publicly they were gay.

According to Greg, “It is OK to be LGBT privately, as long as you don’t say that you’re LGBT.  This is especially true if you have a talent that is quite marketable.”
Privately pro-LGBT thinkers keep quiet because they know most of their buyers are fundies.  It’s easy to become victims of the hypocrisy of religion.

There are many who make their living from selling “Christian goods” who are sincere believers that do valid ministry.  But, as Greg also says, Christian events and “the Christian music industry and the Christian publishing industry… are not primarily about ministry, they are primarily about sales.”

That’s all good and fine, I suppose.  Most of us probably already know that anyway.  But when people become less than who they are, or must be somewhat decietful concerning their views just to ensure their paycheck…
well, that’s not very Christian at all.
Making your money “off the gospel” is usually a dangerous thing.  It’s easy to end up being an ear-tickler.  Especially, I believe, in fundamentalist circles.

You can justify your cowardice because, in the words of Frank Schaeffer, “there are bills to be paid, because you are booked up for a year, because this is what you do.”

Yes, the livelihood of many gay Christians, as well as their straight allies, is tied to the CCM industry’s “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell” policy.
Thank God, the tide of public opinion is turning, brought about in part, by the many Christians and denominations who are taking a stand for equality, consequences be damned.  This has happened time and time again throughout history, in relationship to various issues of human rights.
These people are those to whom, in my opinion, true ministry is more important than the Christian Money Machine.

-df

 

I’m More Biblical Than You February 25, 2012



It is stupid for conservatives to think that they are more moral or “biblical” (oh my gosh I hate that word) than liberals.
There is plenty of support for both worldviews in scripture.


There is plenty of support for MOST worldviews in scripture, actually, depending on your preferred exegetical approach. The bible is not as cohesive as either side would want to believe, and to derive one single systematic theology from it while maintaining any kind of intellectual integrity is nearly, if not entirely, impossible.


— [Small section of a comment by a wise facebook friend.]
 

 

Calling Evil Good February 21, 2012

I’m still amazed, amazingly, at how ones approach to scripture can flavor, alter, or completely reverse the meaning of a given passage.  I’ve heard countless sermons in institutional churches quoting scripture to defend the very religious system those verses were intended to condemn.  An instance that recently came to mind is Isaiah 5:20.

“Doom to you who call evil good and good evil, Who put darkness in place of light and light in place of darkness, Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

Usually, I’ve heard this applied in a general “church vs. the world” context.  Reading the entire passage from a Christ-centered perspective we can begin to see how once again, the love of God has been perverted by religion.  True, this section does address “carousing.”

But its stronger focus is on spiritual insensitivity and social injustice.  Many often scoff at issues of social injustice, implying them to be of worldly concern.  In fact, as I’ve previously stated, these concerns are the gospel.  At least they are a large part of Jesus’ focus.


Back to calling “evil” good.
Could it be that once again our Western-world fundamentalist mind-set has clouded our vision?  Could it be that the ones condemning the world for calling evil good are those in fact guilty of this crime?

Consider these options:
– When we know that we are God’s house, could referencing any brick-and-mortar building as “God’s house” (something not done in the New Testament) be calling evil good?
– Isn’t emphasizing the avoidance of things like smoking and cussing, instead of focusing on how we treat others a form of calling evil good, and good evil?
– Is it possible that the very concept of a “just war” is calling evil good?
– And when we kill our enemies in the name of God and country, might that be calling  evil good?  Hey, I’m just asking you to consider the possibility.
– Are all the intensely “grace-a-phobic” religious people calling evil good when they relish in the idea that those who don’t see things their way are “going to hell”? (Don’t tell me you don’t know these people.  They’re very fond of believing that “They’ll get theirs someday!”)

– If the hate-filled, sign-carrying protesters constantly ignore the fact that, according to Ezekiel 16:49, the true sin of Sodom was the social injustice of ignoring the poor and the needy, are not they the ones actually calling evil good, and good evil, as they oppress our gay brothers and sisters in the Lord?
– Could insisting that old covenant tithing be observed by those under grace be calling evil good?


What other cherished teachings of religious institutions may share this unholy distortion?

I remember when I thought the term “fallen from grace” meant someone was involved in some kind of “gross sin.”  It was quite the revelation when I finally understood that, according to Galatians 5:4,  “falling from grace” meant living by the law!
Truly, that perversion of the good-news is calling “good” evil.

Like I indicated at the beginning, our preconceived notions bear heavy weight on what “we say ‘God says.'”
Once we begin the journey out of that religiously induced fog of legalism, we are free to start re-thinking our beliefs from a “Christ-centric” approach.

I can guarantee, that as we do this God’s grace will give new birth to our spirits, and new understanding as to what it means to “call evil good.”

–df

 

Religion Gone Bad February 16, 2012


“Becoming an activist is simply a matter of putting love into action.”

Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers Of The Christian Right
– Mel White
———–

My WordPress stats tell me this is my 200th blog post.
I’m glad it’s dedicated to reviewing a book of this much importance.

While this book seems a bit dated in spots, it remains essential.

[This book has been re-released in paperback with new material. The new version is called “Holy Terror: Lies the Christian Right Tells Us to Deny Gay Equality.”
Check out the full review: Click HERE.

 

Lincoln’s Anguish February 11, 2012

You can feel Lincoln’s anguish as he describes the irony of soldiers from North and South killing one another.
“Both read the same Bible,” he said, “and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.”

Nothing has changed. The culture war being waged at this very moment is a war between Americans who pray to the same God and invoke God’s aid against the other. The fundamentalist Christians pray daily that they will succeed in superimposing their liter biblical view of homosexuality on the nation.
I pray daily that they will fail.

President Lincoln fought that terrible civil war to make things equal for those who suffered inequality; to end bigotry, intolerance, and discrimination.

Have we learned nothing? Will it take another civil war to guarantee the civil rights of all Americans? It will unless we decide that fundamentalist Christianity is a real threat to this democracy and that the only way we can confront that threat without bloodshed, resolve our differences, and reconcile with our fundamentalist neighbors is to rediscover the power of relentless nonviolent resistance demonstrated in the the twentieth century by Gandhi in south African and India and by Martin Luther King, Jr., in America.

[Taken from “Religion Gone Bad” by Mel White. Book review coming later.]

 

God As Idol February 5, 2012



Like the people of Israel who created a golden calf to represent God while Moses way away, fundamentalist Christians have built their own idols to represent God until Jesus returns.  The religion of fundamentalism is idolatry.

The god [they call] to bless [their] antigay campaign is an idol that [they] have created from a string of unrelated biblical verses read literally to sanction their prejudice and consolidate their power.

We’ve seen this demigod before.  The Roman Catholic Church called upon him to bless their bloody inquisitions and crusades.  Fiery frontier preachers called upon him to bless their war against Native Americans.  White Southern Christians called upon him to bless their efforts to preserve slavery and segregation.  White Northern Christians called upon him to bless their efforts to prevent women’s suffrage and obstruct child labor laws.

These same fundamentalists who persecute my brothers and sisters wear bracelets that read “What Would Jesus Do?”  If only they would take that question seriously.
A Christian understands who God is by looking closely at Jesus.  Any lesser god is an idol, and anyone who worships that lesser god is an idolater in God’s eyes.

[Taken from “Religion Gone Bad” by Mel White.]

 

 
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