Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I just threw up in my mouth and feel terribly bad about it

just my weekly email from the folks at Sojourners. They wish me a subversive Christmas and sent along a subversive Christmas carol to sing during this time to focus on the things that really matter. When I read these songs and emails, I realize that my personality type is not built for earnestness or activism. I wish it was. 

I wish that, when seeing this kind of thing, I did not think of old hippies in dying PC churches with no sense of humor (which I know is not the case). I wish I could sing along without wanting to throw up, because I agree with the sentiment and organize my life around such principles. I really do. I just cannot stomach the earnestness and think it is terribly hokey. Am I the only jerk out there?

Here is the song (sung to Have Yourself a Merry little Christmas*)

Have Yourself a Peace and Justice Christmas

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas, 
Set your heart a-right.
Flee the malls and focus on Christ’s guiding light.

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas, 
Give your time a way. 
Share God’s love, And serve “the least of these” today.

Here we are, as we pray for peace,
We’ll live simply and give more.
We care for those far and near to us,
Which brings cheer to us, once more.

God brings down
The haughty from high places,
And lifts up the low.
God cares for the hungry and the humble, so –
Forget the stress and let the peace and justice flow!

or maybe I just hate changing the lyrics of songs, unless it is a funny parody, ala Weird Al.

*my favorite Pagan Christmas song, especially the Chrissie Hynde version)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ug. Maybe the whole problem with churches/relational skills is this crap. Seriously, perpetuating the goofy-guy-in-the-oversized-Hawaiian-shirt-trying-to-be-culturally-relevant-and-hip-by-rewriting-songs-for-Jesus malarkey generates social retards. Yuck. I think I'm going to throw-up too.

Hannah

Pixie said...

It makes me laugh. I couldn't sing it in earnestness. I could, however, completely highjack a church power point during worship & enjoy the ensuing confusion. It has prank written all over it. OK, wouldn't actually do it...but I would encourage Jeff to do it.

Michael said...

Ha Ha Ha...

I read the sojo email and had similar thoughts... without the vomiting

Mike Murrow said...

it is the pretentiousness/smugness that makes me want to puke. they are worse than prius owners.

Steve K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve K. said...

Just because you read smugness and pretention into this effort from Sojourners does not necessarily make it so.

Rick, I just wonder how this level of cynicism helps/hinders your efforts with everythingmustchange.org. I mean, aren't you trying to mobilize people for just this kind of justice-making, world-changing "activism"? Just because a song or idea is cheesy doesn't make it "too earnest" or "humorless." I think you are being a little too jerk-y with this one, man.

Bill Kinnon said...

Steve,
Thanks, now I have the Cher version of It Ain't Necessarily So playing in my head.

One of the things I find particularly amusing about my more liberal brethren and sistren is their complete lack of a sense of humour when it comes to their own shibboleths. Now, if you were makin' fun of some conservative evangelical...

Rick said...

I got a couple of other comments (on facebook) and a link from Jordon to this. All, but 1 is feeling the same way.

Thank you to all who join me as jerks.

Steve- I would have to agree with Bill on this in many ways. I think Sojo (whom I first gave money to in 1988) is a sacred cow on our side of the aisle. I love Sojo, but hate Sacred Cows.

First of all, I would thank you for your very strongly worded reprimand. I probably needed it. I am also grateful you removed whatever you had said before. Judging from the strongly worded reprimand I recieved, I am sure it was much stronger and to the point.

I will just have to respectfully disagree with you on this issue. I am glad the world is big enough for those that applaud Sojo for this effort and those of us that think it is hokey and reminds us of the worst of Evangelicalism's cornpoke ideas.

it does not have to be cynicism. It can be, but sometimes it is merely a desire to see those I agree with on many efforts not shoot themselves in the foot by releasing something this bad. I even stated on the blog that I felt bad for feeling this way. But, I cannot just let it go because it is Sojo. If EV does something this corny, I will say something.

I hate corny. I wish I did not. I really do. But, I like the show Dexter (so I am sure that tells you everything you need to know).

I would say that what I want to do is get people to real world change, not bumper sticker change, which is what this effort from Sojo reminds me of. While they do some great stuff, every once in a while they spew a party line or revel in some Hippy Drippy 60s style Joan Baez activism- which did not accomplish a lot. I tend to like the MLK, Malcom X, Weather Undergrounders, even if I disagree with some of the approaches (real world, hard edged, engaging approaches).

But, heck. I don't know anything and (as you pointed out), I am a bit jerky.

That is why I call this blog Cheaper than Therapy. By saying it and getting it off my chest, I am done and can move on.

Thanks for giving it to me straight. I can always use some of that cooking.


pax