Monday, November 23, 2009

Mustoe's Representing

My Aunt and Uncles house was featured on the front page of the Moberly paper last week in a story about images of Thanksgiving around Moberly. I'll be there this Wed-Saturday. Very, very excited to see the fam.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


A little wedding day mcdonalds, why not.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Death of Twitter

I realize the irony in talking about twitter on your blog. Full disclosure: I use twitter, I like it. If you want to see my defense of it, I'll make some parenthetical comments at the end.

But no matter what you think about twitter, the following link could be a sign of its impending doom:

Christian Chirp

Hey kids! Tired of tweeting with all those dirty "secular people"!? Now there's "the Christian alternative to twitter!!!"

If parents are ruining social media like facebook, what happens when the Christians get a hold of it?

Oh man, where to start.

First the practical, then the theological. Even if a "christian twitter alternative" was a defensible concept (which its not) there is no way that this thing will be technologically nor aesthetically comparable to If you're not going to offer a viable alternative, don't at all. Imitations are never good. Take for example, the "soft fleece blanket with sleeves" or this knock-off iPhone or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or Scientology. Clearly, originality and authenticity are often linked to quality.

From a theological perspective, this is a microcosm of a massive problem within Christianity. Lets stop and ask, why do we need "christian alternatives" to anything? What is wrong with people who are Christians, just using what everyone is already using? What is this need to form a lamer and anemic version of popular things? There's a phrase Christians love to use, adopted from the Book of John chapter 17 that goes "in the world but not of the world" meaning Christians are to be present in the world and responding to it's needs without adopting the values and practices of that same world. If you've been around long enough, you sort of roll your eyes when someone says that just because you've heard the trite phrase so many times. However, my cynicism is another blog post altogether. What "Christian chirp" is symptomatic of is the withdrawal of Christians from mainstream America; a tepid faith that only seeks to culturally shield instead of courageously redeem.

Look, I listen to Z107.7. I understand why folks don't want their kids to hear some of that stuff. Lets take for example Britney Spears' latest single "3" which is ironically number 8 on the charts. That is a raunchy song, I would be somewhat embarrassed to listen to it in the same car as my Dad, and I'm a grown man. There are some things in there I'm not even sure I've heard of.

But merely sticking our head in the sand and getting our kids to listen to Barlow Girl instead of Britney isn't going to keep them from confronting cultural issues.

So the concept of "Christan alternatives" is a retreat and imitate approach which I believe does a disservice not only to the Christians trying to salvage their crumbling cultural strongholds, but more importantly it robs the world by continuing to reinforce the cultural concept that Christians are haughty prudes who don't want to have anything to do with anyone except their own kind.

My Dad would tell me "not to major in the minors" and "to develop several subjects on which I have no opinion." Which is good advice, some might wonder why a little website would incite such a rant. The problem is not the basically insignificant URL which will inevitably fail and fold. No, the problem is what this website represents within the faith I love and devote my life to, and the problem I have attempted to describe above is very, very significant.

(On twitter: I have found several practical uses for twitter. While on trips with kids we can keep parents and those who weren't able to come a glimpse into whats going on in real time. I have become aware of events and opportunities that without twitter I wouldn't have heard about. Its an easy way to pass along photos to family, and several of my family members are on it, which is a neat way to stay connected. However, the idea that twitter could be some cultural boon through which "the gospel is advanced" I seriously doubt.)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Rise Up

Today the Westboro Baptist Church folks came to protest outside of Marquette High School. Marquette is not far from where I live, and plenty of students from church attend there.

At first, WBC didn't register with me. Then someone let me know some of their infamous activities: "God Hates Fags" signs and protesting at soldiers funerals.

Oh ya, that rings a bell.

I'm not really going to get into how insane these folks are. Do a google search and see for yourself, I don't even want to link their site here. Actually, I didn't even see the WBC folks, there were on the other side of a very, very busy intersection.

What I did see at Marquette this morning were over 200 students who had gathered for a "silent protest" around the flagpole. The police did an excellent job of designating spots for different groups of protestors, and the school administrators should be commended for their support of the students' well organized and well attended counter-demonstration.

I was talking with my buddy Adam about this whole thing, and these people are so sensational ( producing or designed to produce a startling effect, strong reaction, intense interest, etc.) their whole bit is demanding attention. The funny thing is if news crews weren't there (like they were today) and counter-protesters weren't also present, and people didn't blog about it (oops) then these seriously warped people would go away. They continue to exist because we give them the response they are trying to illicit.

Truthfully, in my heart, I'm trying to figure out how much of my attending was motivated by the possibility of a show. Hopefully not. I had images of 1960's riots in my mind. However today was not a frenzied melee: no riot gear, no tear gas, no fire hoses.

Westboro Baptist hate was not being reciprocated with hate. Yes, there was still a reaction, these people were still getting attention. But I saw a group of students organize/mobilize quickly (largely through facebook) and behave with sophistication, restraint, and sincerity.

It was good to see that so many students cared enough to show up and demonstrate their opposition of Westboro's values in our community. Now the trick will be to carry the same attitude of unity inside the school.