Sunday Superlatives 7/27/14


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere…

Most Thoughtful: 
Brenda Salter McNeil’s thoughts at the Marriage & Family Summit
 

“In the story of the woman at the well, the very first thing the woman says to Jesus is, ‘you’re a Jew.’  She says, ‘You are a Jewish man.  And I am a Samaritan woman.’ Those parts of their identities are important.  They have significant meaning and context for this exchange… As counselors, you cannot attempt to be color-blind or gender-blind or anything-blind.  When a person comes into your office, you should never ignore those aspects of their personhood.  It should, in fact, be one of the first things you notice.” 

Most Relatable: 
David Schell with “Unacceptable: What It’s Like to be a Liberal Christian in a Sea of Conservativism”

“When my conservative Christian friends and family ask me questions, it’s not to find out why I believe what I believe. It’s to fix me or help me realize that I’ve gone off the rails and am wrong.”

Most Practical:
Amy Joyce at The Washington Post with “5 Tips on Raising Kind Kids”

“Parents tend to prioritize their children’s happiness and achievements over their children’s concern for others. But children need to learn to balance their needs with the needs of others, whether it’s passing the ball to a teammate or deciding to stand up for friend who is being bullied.”

Most Sobering: 
Infographic: Palestinian Children Killed in Gaza Conflict, Through July 21

Most Inspiring:
Lisa Napoli at NPR with “A Growing Movement To Spread Faith, Love — And Clean Laundry”

“Shannon Kassoff, one of the organizers of Laundry Love in Huntington Beach, says it's about more than just free laundry. This group was formed by people who became disillusioned with traditional church, and started taking over this laundromat once a month. ‘This is our church," Kassoff says. "It is probably the best way to be involved in other people's lives, not just handing out food in a soup kitchen, or whatever. We get to know them very well, and that's probably the best part of this whole deal.’”

Most Enlightening: 
Karima Bennoune with “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism”

 

Best Interview:
BioLogos with “Not So Dry Bones: An interview with Mary Schweitzer”

“One time I was visiting a church and the pastor got up and started preaching a sermon about people not being related to apes, and he started talking about this scientist in Montana who discovered red blood cells in dinosaur bones—he didn’t know I was in the audience—and it was my research he was talking about! Unfortunately, he got everything wrong. I just got up and left. I don’t feel that I’m discrediting God with the work I’m doing, I think I am honoring him with the abilities he’s given me.”

Best Storytelling:
Beth Woolsey with “On Messing Up and Finding Grace”

“We’re on Day 2 of 5 Days of Day Camp which obviously means we barely made it to the buses this morning. And, by barely, I mean the buses were rolling, friends – engines sputtering and PULLING AWAY from the curb – while four of my kids ran at the front of them, following the directions I’d barked in the car on the way there…”

Best Idea:
“Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables”

Best Perspective: 
Rod Snyder with “The Shifting Landscape on LGBT Issues in the Evangelical Church”

“I'm a gay Christian from a conservative family fighting for a progressive cause. Compassion and understanding don't weaken my argument for equal rights; in fact, they strengthen it. Openness and respect for differences don't weaken my faith; in fact, they strengthen it.” 

Best Cartoons:
The Naked Pastor with “A Day in the Life of a Christian Blogger” and John Atkinson with “Anatomy of Songs” 

Best Point: 
Benjamin Corey with “So Listen– It’s Not Religious Discrimination Just Because You Can’t Discriminate”

“It’s not discrimination when we are prevented from doing the discriminating. It’s not persecution when we are prevented from doing the persecuting. It’s not bullying when we’re told that we can’t bully others.”
 

Highlights from #FaithFeminisms…

Austin Channing Brown with “Loving Eve and Ham” 

“My feminism will always live at the intersection of race. It recognizes the Divine within all black women, all women of color, all women, all people. It doesn’t erase me from the Bible or make me the scourge of it. It proclaims the innate goodness of womanhood.”
 

Abi Jordan Bechtel [at Thirty Seconds or Less] with “As Myself” 

“Feminism gives me permission to fully engage in the “as myself” part of  “loving my neighbor as myself.” Because of feminism I can stop trying to make myself smaller and more attractive and more modest and more conformative and instead celebrate my body as an image of God. I don’t need to shrink myself down to fit into a socially acceptable mold. This unruly, unsubmissive body is the one God made for me, and when I am secure in that knowledge I can turn to my neighbors and love the misfits and the outliers in all their unruly, unsubmissive glory too.”
 


Mihee Kim-Kort with “On God Talk” 

“I had been asleep, maybe dead for awhile, until I began to speak about God – to speak about faith and church, my family, and about racism and sexism. I spoke about my life, and I didn’t need to qualify it or explain it, defend it or have someone else affirm it. And speaking brought logos-life to my bones, and the resurrection somehow meant more when I saw that God was not man or a white man but someone who shared in my humanity right down to the core of my struggles. God became possibility, the ground of all being, חסד (the Hebrew word hesed – “steadfast love,”  “kindness,” “loving-kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty”), continuous and constant presence, Wisdom and grace, giver of life, flesh-and-blood passion and love, and beyond-words.”
 

Adriene Thorne [at Thirty Seconds or Less] with “Their Legacy of Faith and Feminism”

“As the great granddaughter of a slave woman who loved God and believed in abundant life for all people, faith and feminism are intertwined for me. With a mama and play mamas spoon feeding me faith like the grits and gravy I grew up on, I have to preach abundant life for women and girls in particular. God’s nurture is in women’s bodies around kitchen tables. God’s power is in women’s bodies around communion tables. I thank God for Sarah, Hagar and Rebecca, for Eva, Hilda and Marilyn and their legacy of faith and feminism for my daughter.” 
 

Bethany Stolle [at Thirty Seconds of Less] with “Yellow”

“Nude pumps: traditional. Red flats: cute and practical. Yellow heels: flashy. Black Toms: comfy and philanthropic. I’ll be speaking to ministry types. And I wonder… do my male colleagues spend this much time getting dressed? Debating how their shoes will impact their credibility? How their appearance will affect others’ attention? Why is there no way to be an “unmarked” woman? Especially in ministry, where being a woman alone sets me apart. Silencing my questions, I stride away, my feet a blur of neon yellow.”

Suzannah Paul with “I Believe in Inequality” 

“I believe in inequality. I’m seeking confirmation that you believe in it, too – that you believe me – that together we may work to subvert hierarchies and birth another Way. Can you acknowledge people as experts on their own lives and experience? If people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ voices speak up about discrimination, will you write us off as bitter, toxic, or humorless? Do you assume we’re overreacting, uneducated, or being emotional? Are we ‘playing the victim’?”
 

Check out the 100+ submission to the Faith Feminisms synchroblog here. 

On the Blog…

Most Popular Post:
“We Need Feminism…”
 

Most Popular Comment: 
In response to “We Need Feminism…” S. Kyle Johnson wrote: 

“I need Feminism because I'm tired of men being hurt by a culture that tells them their self worth is bolstered by their conquests of women, their power, their domination, and whose sense of self is so small because they are taught that sharing authority with a woman is a humiliation.”

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So, what caught your eye online this week? What's happening on your blog? 

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