Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More than two

Today in Pride Alliance, when we were talking about the differences between sex and gender, I remembered this quotation that a family friend passed on to me. The piece comes from the philosophical text "The Interpretation of Utterances" by Giles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.
"There are not two sexes, there are *n* sexes; there are as many sexes as there are assemblages. And since each of us enters into several assemblages, each of us has *n* sexes. When children discover they are reduced to one sex, male or female, they discover their powerlessness: they lose the machinic sense and are left only with the signification of a tool. And then a child really does fall into depression. They have been damaged; their countless sexes have been stolen!"
Isn't the multiplicity that this passage evokes amazing? Also, I love the sense of play it implies-- the adventure of coming into our various sexes, the multitude of ways that we related to our bodies. The psalmist is totally spot on: we are fearfully and wonderfully made.


So, speaking of being fearfully and wonderfully made, I wrote another devotion for that crazy guy from Lutheran Campus Ministry... what's his name? Oh yeah: Ben Buss, who rocks my world and blogged for the first time the other day for the first time since Christmas. Yeah, that guy. ;-) The devotion is about Pride Week, and if you're curious about how the psalmist helps me celebrate this week then you should check it out here. The whole series, of course, is at http://lentendevotions.blogspot.com.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Folks who follow me on Twitter will have already heard this, but I want to say it again: I am so proud, this morning, of the collective witness that George Masons students and staff and local community members gave against the message of hate proclaimed by the protesters from Westboro Baptist Chuch.

Yep, Fred Phelps' gang came to protest Mason for being the denizen of "fag enablers"
as we began our week long celebration of Pride Week. Maybe they decided to stop by because of our homecoming (drag) queen, or maybe they were feeling the love and joy radiating from our campus as we prepared the honor the experiences and voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer and ally people. We got wind of the protest a few weeks ago, and a counter protest emerged from the student body instantaneously.

So, here's what I am proud of, at the beginning of this holy week before Holy Week. I am proud that so many people from the Mason community got up at seven in the morning and came to support their LGBTQ friends and fellow students. I am proud of the Mason police for keeping the peace. I am proud of the people who made signs and t-shirts and dressed in drag. I am proud of my friends, who stood at the front lines of WBC's abuse. And I am proud of and truly touched by all of the Christians who were there witnessing to the love of God that embraces all people, that calls us to care for and be responsible to all people. I wish I could remember all of the loving words on signs and shirts that my Christian friends displayed in solidarity with a community that many of the Christian groups on campus, frankly, do not support (the glowing exceptions, as far as I can see, at Lutheran Campus Ministry and United College Ministries, who will be having a Pride Week worship service on Wednesday). I was proud of all of the area churches who came to support GMU, especially proud of the wonderful folks from the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia, who preach good news and with whom I made signs yesterday after worship.

Happy Pride Week, everybody! May it be a week of blessings and peace for all people, at Mason and in all places, for those who can see the grace of God around them and for those who have different names for the gratuitous love of the One who is in covenant with all creation. AMEN.

And for a full listing of Pride Week events, check out http://pride.gmu.edu and http://lgbtq.gmu.edu.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I wrote another devotion for Ben Buss' Lenten Devotions series yesterday. Good times. You can check it out here, and subscribe the series via RSS or email at http://lentendevotions.blogspot.com.

Just in case you were hoping for a "real" post, here are a couple of previews to tantalize your imagination...

  • I've registered this blog with Presbyterian Bloggers United and on April 1st will post about campus ministry. Seeing as how I'm immersed in ecumenical ministry up to my ears, and there are some really awesome folks on campus immersed with me (see above), I'm looking forward to participating in that. Who knows, maybe my experiences will be different enough to give some hard-core Presbys something to think about. Or maybe I won't be so different, and I'll get some insight about what other folks are doing.
  • I have a follow up post to "Dissonance" in the works. This week offered some continuing conversation about my relationship with different denominations, which included a good conversation with my MCC minister and a somewhat random role in co-leading worship for the National Capital Presbytery with other college students. Plus, some awesome folks left comments on "Dissonance" that hit my brain like the hammer of Thor... except in a good way.

So there's lots to think about... stay tuned.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Ben Buss, my awesome friend and Lutheran campus minister at George Mason, asked me to write something for his series of Lenten devotions. I did, and you can check it out here. If you're interested in subscribing to the series via RSS or email, check it out: http://lentendevotions.blogspot.com.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I’m listening to “the Divine Liturgy of the Wretched Exiles” by Psalters right now , which is good for contemplating cognitive dissonance. I’m so glad I plugged in this CD instead of listening to Marty Haugen, who is way too serene to be really useful right now. If you haven’t heard Psalters before, check out their website. I really don’t know how to describe it, except maybe as Christian dada, except not really absurdist.

[Image: The Psalters, photo by meltingearth]

I spent two hours tonight walking around vacant parking lots on campus, wrestling with how to explain why I want to be a minister to my capstone class on Wednesday. We have to give an elevator speech (although everyone knows that you never explain your career goals while on a 30 second elevator ride), and I’m struggling to quilt together disparate pieces of insight about conflict resolution and ministry. I get close, but then my doubts burst the seams. How do I stand up in front of an intelligent, fairly liberal group of my peers and tell them that I want to administer the sacraments, dwell in ancient texts, and help people celebrate the presence of the One who binds Herself to humanity—and that this is how I plan to lead people in being more accountable to our neighbors, meeting people’s needs and doing justice? It’s absurd, really.

Which makes me question my desires to be ordained in the first place. If I want to lead Christian communities in social justice ministries (which seems to be what I want to do), then why not get my MSW and get to work as a lay member of a congregation? Why bother with the rest? And the more I think about it, the more I wonder how much of my desire comes from God (whose ways, if He exists at all, are not mine) and how much of it has been colonized by the forces of empire that provide a space for “progressive Christians” like me to do social “justice”—as long as I don’t interrupt the exploitative economic and social processes that allow privileged folks like me to live as I do. I don’t know… I just don’t know.

I wish I was less anxious about these things, like some people. Or maybe everyone’s a little anxious about these things.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A short note about commenting

[Image from greekadam, "Greeks always argue about facts"]

To whom it may concern, namely people who might wish to write mean-spirited comments--

I hope this blog post finds you well.

You might be wondering why I deleted your comment. Your feelings might be hurt or your worst suspicions might seem confirmed. If that is the case, then take a deep breath and let it out slowly. You might need to do this several times.

I'm glad that you decided to comment on one or more of my posts. Part of this blogging experiment is to take part in conversation. If you have something constructive to add to the emerging discussions here, then I am all the better for it.

However, if what you have to say is not constructive, then I reserve the right to delete it.

So, if you find yourself angrily typing a devastating critique of my thoughts, emotions, and experiences, here is what I suggest. Write what you need to write (it's quite cathartic), and then look it over. Is it something that you would say to me in public? Is it something that I would see as respectful? Is it something to which you would credit your name? If not, then I would suggest that you edit it so that it is or simply write something else.

Whether or not you choose to identify yourself is your choice. I would love for you to be as transparent with me as I am with you, but I am aware that for people in certain social locations that it is very difficult. However, simply because I cannot hold you accountable does not give you license to write comments that are mean-spirited.

I hope that you will continue to post, and that you will do so in a respectful way.

Grace and peace to you,