What I'm Reading 04/08/2008

A God Who Remembers : NPR  Annotated

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  • Powerful words from Elie Wiesel. - post by umjeremy

What is a witness if not someone who has a tale to tell and lives only with one haunting desire: to tell it. Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.

After all, God is God because he remembers.

    Religion Is A Queer Thing: Culture Wars and the UM Hymnal  Annotated

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    • Wow, how unbelievable are these responses and what does it say about the UMC when the least favorite hymns are ones from other cultures and ones about women? I'm incredulous that apparently only whitebread male America rules the day. - post by umjeremy

    The results are in for the recent hymnal survey conducted by the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) and they bear a striking resemblance to the ballot of answers suggested by the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) and Good News in their 2007 call to action.

    Both Good News and the IRD UMAction sent out notices to members instructing them how to complete the survey. The following comes from a Good News letter to their constituents:

    We would encourage you to participate in a hymnal survey being done currently by the church. You can share your ten most favorite hymns as well as the ten least favorite that you would like to see removed from the hymnal. Mark Tooley reminded us recently that the supplement to the hymnal which came out in 2000, entitled The Faith We Sing, had some problematic hymns included. They were approved because the supplement did not have to be approved by General Conference. Hymns such as "I Am Your Mother," "Mother God," and "Womb of Life" to just name several, have problems theologically. They would be good for your removal list. To participate in the hymnal survey, go here.

    The Good News/IRD target list of hymns to remove indeed bore out in the survey results. The top three least favorite hymns reported by the 4,119 survey respondents included Mothering God, I Am Your Mother, and Womb of Life, followed closely by She Comes Sailing on the Wind, Bring Many Names and A Mother Lined a Basket.

      Measuring his words -- Arts and Culture, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Martin Luther King Jr. -- chicagotribune.com  Annotated

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      • The prophetic voice of churches will always be counter to society's norms of behavior. - post by umjeremy
      Preachers can say the darndest things, as perhaps you've heard. "God damn America," to take one recent controversial example, is pretty mild compared with other recorded pulpit snippets. Consider this denunciation of U.S. military behavior abroad: "[W]e are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world." Or, similarly, calling the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and condemning it for creating "concentration camps."

      It sounds like the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. decrying the Iraqi civilian death toll and the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, right? Sorry, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. made those remarks in February 1968 and April 1967, attacking U.S. conduct in Vietnam.


        Ann April 8, 2008 at 9:26 AM  

        I forwarded your thoughts on the new hymnal to my dad...most likely he'll be working on it...I'll keep you updated! Good thoughts!

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