Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"This is...borderlands"

Professor Carlos Cardoza-Orlandi made this statement during a lecture, in his classic intonation, very matter of fact yet "it's obvious can't you see?" way referencing changing social landscape in the state of Georgia. His main concern was that people who are part of the dominant culture recognize changes to cultural norms take place due to an influx of people who represent different cultures and values. Because of this subtle or dramatic exchange, such as a processional honoring La Virgen de Guadalupe on December 12 in a north Florida town, the landscape on which we sit changes.  Borderlands are both metaphorical and literal. Metaphorical in that they exist wherever there is an exchange of cultural ideas, literal in the since that there are real geo-political sites called borders between nations. In any "borderlands" area, there will be a variety of reactions to the changes: some will embrace these changes, others ignore them, still others reject them.

Arizona is both a metaphorical and literal borderlands. And it seems that the reaction has been strong. SB 1070 reflects a desperate attempt to prevent a borderland state from becoming borderlands. The outcome is unpredictable. Will the federal government's hand be forced?  Does this violate human rights?  How does a police officer responsibly suspect that someone does not reside legally in his/her jurisdiction? How will those who do not reside legally be able to confidently report crimes in their neighborhoods if they fear deportation? Will there be a mass exit of undocumented immigrants from Arizona? I saw a vehicle with what looked to be a latino family inside, passing through a mostly immigrant neighborhood with Arizona plates on it...I couldn't help but wonder: relocation?
What will happen to the economy in Arizona?

I think Stephen Colbert brilliantly analyzes the new Arizona law in this take:"No Problemo".

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - No Problemo
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

I was asked to engage this topic by a friend (US Citizen) who resides in Mexico. His Mexicans friends say the legislation is bien racista. Here was my response:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great Sermon, Carlos, Preach it Hermano

Carlos Cardoza-Orlandi's sermon preached at the Synod of the Southwest event April 15-17, 2010: Crossing Borders.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Today and Ruby

Ruby signed to me "bird" when she heard birds chirping...

She was also very intrigued by a man with a kite. Leo let me fly it. It was cool to fly.

She learned today that you need to pay attention to where you are going. She was playing with a coiled cord and walked right into the door frame. Ouch

For the first time in my life...I have broken a bone. 5 weeks ago, hand-weights left in the middle
of the floor (can I blame Ruby?) collided with a middle of the night trip to bathroom. CRACK! phalanges #4 broken. x-rays confirmed today. Doc says, wear hard soled shoes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How do you preach Easter?

Westminster Presbyterian, Santa Fe.  Luke 24:1-12
How do you preach Easter?

You may think this is a question for me, and you better believe this question went through my mind many times this week.

But how about you, disciples of Christ:
How do you preach Easter? Resurrection?

Do you try to prove it?  God does something mind bogglingly impossible.  
Raising Jesus from the dead is absurd, and we do not believe because we are argued into thinking it is less absurd that it is; you don’t prove it.   Do we try to make it into a metaphorical: changing seasons, and sprouting flowers?

How do you preach resurrection? I wonder if that’s what the women said to themselves as they scurried back from the tomb to meet up with the rest of the disciples.  What are we going to tell them?  Will they believe us? 

They barge in on the huddled, conflicted, fearful men: breathless (Matthew); forgetful (Luke); terrified (Mark), dazed (John). He's not there!  a man or was he an angel, dazzling clothes.” “Remember - he told us?” They were clumsy stutterin Easter preachers.[1] All that gets recorded of their sermon was that it was an idle tale.  Other translations say, nonsense. 

Actually, I have that verse of the bible memorized.  I spent my first three years of college at a Christian school. I'm a good boy, didn’t you know. I lived in Traber dorm on the third floor. All the floors had a tradition of making a floor t-shirt. And Traber 4, which wasn’t my floor.  They being good Christians put a bible verse on their shirt.  The verse: for they did not believe the women for their words seemed to them...nonsense.  I bought one of those shirts!  I think my sisters stole it from me...probably burned it...  

The irony, had it not been for the women and their nonsensical Easter preachin...those boys wouldn’t have been at that Christian school. You and I would not be here in this place this morning, either.

What was it about their Easter preaching, and the Easter preaching that has taken place from generation to generation, that results in all of us coming here, to see, was that tomb empty?

Seeing everyone here on Easter kind of reminds me of the Easter card our friend Gayle Lomax sent me a few years back.. With a picture of a dignified preacher on the front of the card...”Today's Easter sermon is titled:  (open the card) Where in the [heck] you been since Christmas?