August 3, 2013


Hello, anyone who still reads this!

I've moved over to Wordpress. Find me here:


January 1, 2013

Not Really Resolutions

Making actual resolutions is too hard, and I don't really have anything that I feel passionately enough about to resolve to do it other than the things I'm already doing with my life anyway. But here are some things I'd like to do in 2013...

  • Learn more coding. Preferably via cute free online games.
  • Learn more guitar. See above.
  • Return books to the library in a timely manner. This also requires reading them more quickly and not taking a whole semester to get through one fun novel.
  • Oefen nederlands. (That's practice Dutch!)
  • Don't worry about figuring out "What I'm Doing With My Life." I'm graduating, but I don't have to sort the whole rest of my career out by the end of the semester, so I shouldn't let it freak me out!
Wishing everyone lots of adventures and love and excitement in 2013!

December 15, 2012

Gay Marriage is cool and the Pope is a Jerk

Every year the Pope gives a message on January 1st for "World Peace Day," which Wikipedia tells me is actually in September, so maybe the pope is just late? I don't know. I didn't actually know about this tradition until we read some of the Pope's statements on global climate change for my eco-theology class. But now this year's statement has come across my radar, too, because it's awful: Pope Benedict is giving his World Peace Day message on the threat that gay marriage poses to peace and justice.

So that's pretty screwed up. Especially given a new study that shows that marriage significantly improves the mental health of same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, Focus on the Family says that gay identities are just a social construct. Technically, he's right, but heterosexual identities are a social construct too, and we let people with them get married, so I don't entirely see his point.

I actually don't have any witty commentary, these articles just made me angry, so I thought I would share before I go back to my typically scheduled being a socially constructed threat to peace and justice.

November 26, 2012

Queer Theology Musings

It's that time again: I have random thoughts on my theology homework and you, dear reader, get to enjoy them. Aren't you glad?

We're reading Grace M. Jantzen's "Contours of a Queer Theology," which you can read online if you wish because the internet is beautiful. (Better yet, it's very short!) In it, she talks about how something - Christianity, modernity, I am unclear what - has pushed God out of the world, and that this is a problem for queer and feminist understandings of God. She says that the divine used to be seen in nature and I guess the world more generally - sacred groves, sacred streams, sacred mountains, whatever - but now God is just in heaven and sends down proclamations, and that this is a very boring and linear process that does not work well for a lot of people, who are pushed out or marginalized by this kind of one-way, normative idea of God.

But the idea of God leaving the world and going up into heaven seems to fit pretty well with the narrative of the Bible overall to me. In the beginning God was chilling in the garden with Adam and Eve, and then in the Old Testament he's in bushes and mountaintops and other earthly things, and by the time  you get around to Jesus he's only present in the occasional miracle, until Jesus dies and literally goes up to heaven, leaving us with instructions to wait here, he'll be right back.

Feminist theologians are big on the incarnation, which sort of gets around that last part. Jesus may be physically gone, but is spiritually present in the Church, so that people in the Church are the continuing incarnation of God. I guess Jantzen is hinting at something like that. But she really is big on the God-in-nature thing in a way that I think traditional Christianity would be deeply skeptical of, and which might not be the easiest to back up with anything from the New Testament, at least to the extent I understand it.

November 19, 2012

Climate Change, Government, and Pretty Things

I remember reading somewhere, during the election season, that Republicans were fretting about Obama making access to unemployment benefits and food stamps easier, when in fact all he had done was advertise the programs more effectively.

This is what I was thinking of when I read about Obama's not super eloquent press conference on climate change. The president "emphasized creating "a conversation across the country" to educate Americans and determine what they're really ready to commit to, policy-wise, on the issue." The article I linked there doesn't really talk about how that might be accomplished, other than President Obama making frequent speeches on the topic.

Which had me wondering.

I know the White House couldn't put up posters saying "Global Warming is Real!" without the right wing throwing a conniption and comparing it to Nazi propaganda. And it might just be a consequence of being in college that I think putting up posters is the solution to anything.

But I do feel like the government has much greater capacities for public education than it actually uses. Think about the health care reform law. For months and months after it passed, and still now, tons of people didn't even know what was in it, much less that they could sign up for special insurance pools to cover them while it went into effect. (You can, by the way. Sign up here.) The places that government provides information are frankly so scattered and poorly designed (think of the massive web of endless .gov websites which no one has ever heard of) that it's not very effective. I guess they have a lot of information to get out while trying to avoid charges of propaganda, but come on guys, do better.

So if the White House wants to start a national conversation to educate Americans on climate change, I really do think they should make some posters. Pretty ones. Which link to well-designed websites full of practical information. Seriously.

(This has been a bit of a rant. Sorry!)

November 13, 2012

Human Sexuality as Explained by Nerdfighters

So my little sister is REALLY into these YouTube bloggers called the Nerd Fighters. I've only seen a couple of their videos, but this one came to my attention today and I thought I'd share it!

We talked about this model a lot in my Gender and Society class; there are actually theorists who prefer not to look at sex as a binary biological category at all, because there is a lot of potential diversity, and the way that we understand sex is mediated by society, so it's socially constructed. So the whole "sex = biology, gender = society" model isn't perfect. But I do think it's a really useful way to start people thinking about sex and gender in more complicated ways, and this video covers all the possible variety involved therein pretty well I think!

November 10, 2012

Life Update. And by Life I mean School.

Hello from Hyperion, the homework-ridden college student's favorite coffee shop! My housemate Tekla and I are deep in thesis mode; I've just written 2 pages on Southern Baptist history and polity, and I needed a break, so here's some things that are happening in my life which you, people of the internet, might be interested in.

First and most excitingly, I got into graduate school! That picture to your left is the main building of University of Groningen, which has offered me a place in its programme in Religion and the Public Domain. So if I want, I can get myself a visa and move to the Netherlands in 8 months' time. This fact keeps popping into my head at inconvenient moments and making me too excited to function.

I am applying to some other schools, plus I have to look into financial aid, so it's not a done deal yet. But it definitely is VERY exciting news.

Meanwhile, life as an undergraduate rolls on. I'm about a third of the way done with my thesis on political theology and voter turn-out; I think I'll spend the afternoon re-learning statistics to crunch the data I collected at campus ministries last week. I've also submitted my proposal for a Women's and Gender Studies thesis on conservative women's blog networks and online entrepreneurship, so that's what I'll be working on next semester with any luck.

I really do like research. If I could just study things and write reports on them for my job I would be completely okay with that. If I could do it without deadlines that would be even better. Maybe? No? Oh well, a girl can dream. Back to work!