Final Ferry Dust Post

We know the seasons: fall, winter, spring, summer. But what do we call the in-between seasons? Right now, for example. Today is the first day of fall. But it still feels a bit like summer in NYC. It's warm and sunny, we have fans running in our apartments and air conditioning in the subway and offices. Technically it's fall, but really it's still summer. For a bit longer. We're in an in-between season. Fummer. Or Sall. Or whatever.

Life moves in seasons, too. You're in one job, but you're in discussions about a move, so you feel transitional. You're active at your church, but visiting new churches, so you feel transitional. You're living in one city, but contemplaing a move, so you feel transitional. You're single, but you're getting serious with someone, so you feel transitional. Your heart is not fully anywhere. It's divided, it's moving, but not yet.

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Tags | Art

Post-Christian, Post-Gay: But Could There Be a Third Way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read this article on Change.org this morning - "Will There Ever Be a Post-Gay Identity?" - and it struck me that if I removed the LGBTQ references and replaced them with Christian references, the article would have been just as relevant. For example, 

"So what's next? Will we reach a time when there will no longer be a need for separate bars or centers, bookstores or retirement communities? Will there ever be such a thing as a post-gay identity?"

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Preparing The Way

I was reading Luke this morning, and when I got to chapter 3, something occurred to me that I had not thought of before. John the Baptist's main purpose in life, it seems to me, was to set the stage for people to meet God. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Fill in the valleys, flatten the mountains, straighten crooked paths, and level the rough places so that people can see God.

It seems like such a great way to live, going about life doing whatever you can do to make it easier for people to see God. But as I thought about it, I was challenged. Is that what I try to do? Make it easy for people to see God? 

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My Mercies Are Not New Every Morning

I have often comforted myself by reflecting on a passage from Lamentations 3 that talks about how God's mercies are new every morning. Of course, when I think about that reassurance, it is always in the context of failure. More specifically, my failure. I have, once again, failed to live up to my calling as a follower of Jesus, but he won't hold it against me; his mercies are new every morning.

Furthermore, the context is usually one of my perpetual failure. For example, have I known for years that I need to watch my words more carefully? Yes, I have. Yet nearly every day, I fail to do so, and on the days when I am a bit more reflective and self-aware, I regret my failure.

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Sometimes The Righteous are Barren

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Luke 1:5-7

When I read this passage this morning, I stopped and wrote in the margin of my Bible, "Sometimes the righteous are barren." 

Why did I feel the need to point this out? Why did it strike me as notable?

Because prosperity theology is ubiquitous in Christendom, and it's destroying people's lives.

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Culture: Thick and Thin

I just read this article by Roberta Green Ahmanson, who is on my short list of personal heroes (these images show me interviewing her in March at IAM's Encounter 10). In it, she describes two types of culture:
The sociologist James Davison Hunter has argued that—from entertainment, sports, and literature to family customs, fashion, and architecture—we live in an increasingly thin culture. I think of a film of ice on a lake so fragile that it breaks at the slightest touch. What can sustain us through suffering, loss, aging, and death? There is nothing to catch us when we fall. Thick culture is, instead, like the ice you see in a Dutch Master’s painting of canals in winter. Skaters fly across ice formed by freezing temperatures, adding first one layer, then another and another. Sliced, it would be feet deep. It won’t break when we fall.

A thick culture, in other words, provides a foundation for the challenges of our lives: for building friendships, marriages, and commitments, for facing loss, suffering, and even death.
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Patriotism and the House of Worship

I grew up in a church that celebrated the Fourth of July every year with a big patriotic musical. That was the one Sunday of the year when everyone was encouraged to "dress casual," the service included a lot of patriotic songs, and the preaching focused on how America needs to get back to her Christian roots. Songs were sung about how we are one nation under God. Military veterens dressed in their uniforms. There was a color guard that marched in with the American flag and led us through the Pledge of Allegiance. Come to think of it, the entire sanctuary was decked out in American flags, and everyone dressed in red, white and blue. Following the worship service, there was always a church picnic on the grounds.

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The Primal Scene Revisited (En Total)

Last post, I shared the background and abstract of this paper, sent to me by the author in response to an article I wrote for The Curator. Here is the paper in full. I hope it will help people to wrestle with this issue not just on the basis of morality, but on the undeniable psychological findings of this professor and psychiatrist, treating a woman with a past in the porn industry and the effect her past has had on her teenage daughter.

 

Toward the bottom of the paper, there is an area for discussion. I enourage you to respond.

 

# # #

 

SASHA GREY, SIGMUND FREUD AND JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOERTE
THE PRIMAL SCENE REVISITED:

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The Primal Scene Revisited (An Abstract)

In May 2009, I wrote an article for The Curator, “The Dehumanization of Sasah Grey,” in response to an article I read in Rolling Stone about the reigning princess of porn (April, 2009). Some of you may recall that I reposted that article here on Ferry Dust recently. Part of what prompted me to repost it here was that, because of Google alerts, the article was getting some attention from people who came across it while researching the porn industry and, more specifically, Sasha Grey.

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Jeremiah Lanphier and the Mother of God

If you happened to be on the Upper West Side in New York City last night – specifically near the intersection of Broadway and 61st – you might have seen me walking along the street holding a lit cigarette in my hand. Some of you know that I used to smoke, but it has been over a decade since my last puff. So why was I walking along Broadway like any other smoker, smoldering butt hanging between my fingers?

Well, first a little background. I happened to be at the corner of Broadway and 61st Street because that is where the Museum of Biblical Art is located, and I am a fan of that museum and had decided to attend the opening of their latest exhibition, Ukrainian Icons, which took place last night.

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About
A New Yorker for nearly ten years, Christy Tennant rides the Staten Island Ferry several times a week. She never tires of the boats in the harbor, watching seagulls in flight, the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline.