Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday Morning Hangover

By Tuesday morning we are already deep in responsibility and demanding needs. Anything we may have learned or experienced over the weekend is vaporized. I just need some caffeine. Doctor Pepper is more appealing to me than Latte, yet when it gets cool java can invigorate.

What would it take for you to keep spiritual conversations going past the weekend? I wonder if some "spiritual" caffeine might do the trick. Maybe an email reminder would get the soul moving. Maybe a quick read through a blog would re-open our tired eyes to share hope. It seems that by Monday or Tuesday, I realize that my life with God needs daily nourishment and exercise and rest. One time a month or week is not going to fight spiritual flabbiness.

What type of spiritual caffeine could I offer you to keep your soul going and growing?


Reed Christian Benedict said...


There's a site which may help you in the dialogue you seek. I am unable to dialogue with you for a variety of reasons, included below, for your understanding. I hope the link that follows will help you explore more of the issues. I don't agree with the blog owner. He (assuming it's a he) writes from a closeted place, afraid of being kicked out of his church, not sure about who he is or his identity, and I think dialogues out of an attempt to determine his identity and see acceptance from a community he continues to value. Dr. MLK Jr. among others did not dialogue with the KKK (I am not saying you're the KKK), or the Jim Crowe politicians, or for that matter the racist establishement in Birminham. Instead he started with his identity as a child of God, his ethnicity as an immutable characteristc, and basically said in sermons, comments, etc..."this is who I am, who we are, and we will be accepted and treated as equals" He spoke and motivated, but didn't debate or dialogue the vaule of his ethnicity or Jim Crowe laws. I feel the same way. I am gay, I am part of the gay community, I am a Christian, and I will be accepted and treated as an equal." My rights are not up for dialogue and neither is my identity. This is why I cannot dialogue with you. However, this chap seems to be open to such discussion. Perhaps it will be of assistance. Link is included below:



Brady Bryce said...

Reed -
I am pleased to hear from you. Spiritual conversations cover a wide spectrum of topics. Sexuality is one huge topic and an important part of identity. People of faith ignore it, trivialize it, codify it, or use it inappropriately. In some ways, I hope that people will not allow sexuality to become the sum total of their identity. We are more than sexual beings. A blog or an essay or a conversation about sexuality is good. There is more to life than sex. There is more to identity than sexual preference.

One of the aims of this space is discussion of life and faith, spirituality and God. One of my presuppositions is that people are not satisfied with what we have, what we know, what we do or even who we are. People of all kinds have a desire to become something more to connect with something more. Sex is one place where we center our energies and emotions and passions. It should not be the only place. We could also insert religion, chocolate, race, football or drugs as identity formers. However, my belief is that what we really seek is God. I believe in the God who loves us and receives as we are. Seriously, God loves us and receives us as we are. I believe in a God who calls us to be like him. There is a “becoming” involved in relationship with God. This becoming does not make us more saved or more lovable – just more like God.

God who gives us a life that looks less like a world centered on the self. A life more like a God who gives of himself. I hope you will know that God loves you. I hope you will know that I love you in Christ. I trust God in this process of our becoming like Him.

Reed Christian Benedict said...


I am pleased that you responded. I fear you still don’t understand. Saying the above is like saying that all MLK Jr. cared about was being black as an “identity former”, or that Ghandi only cared about kicking the British out of India, or that Feminists only care about being female, or that the handicapped only care about disability. These are not primary identifiers but intrinsic ones you seem to dismiss blithely. The accusation that these could become or are the sum total of their identity is an accusation from a place of highest privilege that betrays serious misunderstanding you seem not to be aware of. To say this about MLK Jr. or Ghandi for instance would be both racist and ethnocentric. No one would ever say those places are to the exclusion of other things. Your simplistic reductionism like this comes from a place of privilege and opportunity, not afforded to those of whom you speak. Just by the fact that you can be so reductionistic shows simply your position privilege and misunderstanding. If you had read the blog link I sent you along with other subsequent literature both academic and contemporary on a variety of subject such as Christian feminism, MLK Jr. Asian theology, Latin American Liberation theology, Gay theology, etc. you would see that “Drugs, football or chocolate” are not identity formers at all, or even on par philosophically or theologically with other considerations. In fact, it’s outrageous. If you had read my blog you would know about my perspective on God’s love. If you had read the blog link I sent you would understand this as well. I encourage you to read Christian feminist literature, Christian black power literature, gay theological literature, and so on. I encourage you to listen to minority life and experience. All theology as you know is done from a social, historical, cultural location. Add gender, age, sexual orientation, race and the process does not center upon these things but enlightens one’s reading. Theology begins with experience; strict exegesis does not exist in a vacuum with simply the “original intent of the author” divorced from these other considerations, as does hermeneutics. You do theology from the space of a White, heterosexual, male, conservative, married, parent, Christian among other things. I do theology from the perspective of a white, homosexual, male, interracial marriage, Christian among other things. It’s my hope you will begin the process of listening, just listening to those much different than yourself and learn from their experience. I trust that God in Her infinite wisdom will help you with this process. –Reed.