August Update – Stuff I’m Reading/Listening To

IMG_5898Recently I was reflecting on how much information I’ve been taking in with no real way to share it or process it fully. A friend suggested that I share what I’ve been reading or listening to as way to process it.

As I listed what it is I’ve been listening to, my main sources of information seemed to have a theme… it was very white. Which surprised me a little, as I’ve been intentionally following non-white voices on twitter, and eye-opening enough to realize that was not enough. Plus, this problem stems from outside of myself as well as inside, being as we are in a society that elevates white, cis male voices more often than others.

Either way, here’s my recent list. I linked to the post/book/etc, then describe it a little beneath. Broken up by medium. (I could come up with a better title for this blog, but I’ll wait to see if I end up doing this often enough.)

Podcasts:

Liz Gilbert’s Magic Lessons

I AM SO EXCITED for magic lessons to be back. The format is a little different from last year, which makes it slightly more difficult for me on my now-short commute, but I’m almost done with episode one for this season. Her season one podcasts really made a profound impact on me, as evident by my launching of ssstories.com, a blog around stuttering and the stories we tell (which I haven’t updated in awhile… but we’ll see.)

Rob Bell’s RobCast – Episode #110 Beth Fukumoto is a Republican

Beth Fukumoto: Japanese-American. Hawaiian House of Representatives. Republican. I kind of accidentally listened to this episode of the RobCast, but I’m glad I did. Rob Bell isn’t much of a traditional interviewer, but he has a unique engagement of his guests that sometimes works pretty dang well too. This is one of them. Beth’s story of her reaction when Trump openly admitted that he didn’t think America’s Japanese interment camps were necessarily wrong from a moral standpoint. (Time) For some reason, I was surprised he openly admitted this and even more surprised I didn’t know until now. I assumed he thought this, and have argued that his views support him leaning towards this type of response towards our Muslim-Americans friends and family, but I didn’t realize he actually said it. Jesus. Anyway, she’s an interesting listen.

Blog Posts:

So You’re Thinking of Voting For a Pro-Choice Candidate… – Rachel Held Evans

Rachel wrote a blog post about why she would vote for a pro-choice candidate (Clinton) as a pro-life individual. It’s fascinating and well-researched. I don’t see how it can be controversial, but I suppose some have made it so. Read it if that’s the main reason you aren’t visiting the polls this year.

I need to tell you something – Momastery (ie Glennon Doyle Melton)

I’m not sure why, but this blog entry by Glennon really touched me. In it, she breaks news of how she’s separating from her husband. I don’t know the stories of her marriage, and I certainly have no insight into the pieces of the narrative here. But I do know that I am shocked and amazed and awe-inspired of her sharing this information. So often Christians feel pressure to wait to share until lessons are done and learned, and the mess is cleared up. “We want a good testimony without being in the mess,” some will say. I don’t care if someone “disagrees” with divorce or not. Her heart is beautiful… that much I know. I am amazed by this piece for that reason, and wow.

Books:

UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality – Colby Martin

This book is pending a full review, but it’s by my pastor. I’d say this book is perfect for those who are unsure of how to reconcile affirming-LGBTQ with a high and strict view of Scripture. My only worry is that in chapter one, Colby really asserts his allyship. While I think I understand WHY he does this, both to non-affirming Christians and for hurting LGBTQ Christians, it came off a little wordy. But the question is, did he prove his allyship at least? Yes, very much so. He dives into each of the Clobber passages in depth, and unwinds them from the particular mainstream interpretation.

God and the Gay Christian:The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships – Matthew Vines

Audiobooks are interesting because they can be pretttty hit or miss as far as how they’re read. I’m about 25% into this book, and Matthew Vines has a great reading voice. As a gay Christian, he brings his own interesting narrative to the table. So far, Matthew seems to have a pretty strict view on what sexual purity means, and that gay and lesbian couples should be given the same allowances as straight couples (no sex until marriage, but allowing marriage and sex). He reinforces that this is not just theology, these are people, and he really helps humanize this “topic” into what it really is… people. I’ll keep listening. It may be my favorite audiobook as far as listening is concerned.

Twitter Life:

I originally didn’t think about this, but twitter is a huge source of information for me. Just because it isn’t a traditional place doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly informative. Social media offers a unique platform to those whose voices have been silenced in the past to connect and raise their voices together.

#KissShameBye was a fascinating conversation that I got to be a part of a couple weeks ago. It’s a play on the title “Kiss Dating Goodbye” which is a purity-focused book written by Joshua Harris when he was a very young man. Harris has recently begun to acknowledge that his book was harmful to many people, which is leading to conversations among women (and some men) all over about the harmful effects purity culture has had on their lives. The account @noshamemove has been sharing stories of some of these women, if you’d rather read it that way. #IKDGstories is another outlet.

#FaithfullyLGBT is a hashtag and twitter account (@faithfullyLGBT) and is declared a space for queer people of all faith traditions. It was created by Eliel Cruz (@elielcruz), who is SO interesting and one of my favorite people I follow on twitter. He’s bisexual and an advocate, and he’s the executive director of Faith In America. This week he tweeted that he was planning some faithfullyLGBT twitter chats, and I look forward to that. If you’re willing to listen, Eliel is very articulate in describing why non-affirming faith is damaging, and why hiding your affirming beliefs is just as damaging for those in the LGBT community.

Below are some thoughtful tweets in my feed lately:

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