Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Jesus for the sex industry

JC's Girls Girls Girls. Honest to God. Especially check out the fuzzy blurry glamour poses.
Why do you use glamour poses on your site?
We designed our site to reflect the girls we are trying to reach. Our desire is for the girls to instantly know this site was made just for them. Based on Heather's experience, we know for many girls in the industry physical beauty is so important and the thought of having to change their appearance is terrifying. We just didn't want this thought to keep them from learning that God cares little about outward appearance and desires to develop the spiritual beauty inside of them. from their Q&A page.

Additionally, Heather can be seen here. The comments are hysterical!

"nice tats."
" i like the bible too god bless you"
"Hey how are you doin Heather? just seein what my new friend was up to and whatnot, well hit me back sometime and then maybe we could talk if you would like to :) -Anthony"

Monday, November 28, 2005

On behalf of Church Administrators, custodians, and sextons everywhere

Congregational administrative support, administrators, sextons, and other behind the scenes people who do the day in and day out labor that allows us to have our time thinking about deep things and inventing new curricula and saving the world through love, peace, and justice get the short end of the stick way too often.

Instructions for Working with your Support Staff. A Guide for DRE's, Ministers, and lay people in congregations.

1. Assume Good Will. Your support staff intend to support the work of the congregation. They did not intentionally screw with your phone system, email accounts, pile of stuff you left in the corner for next week, or reimbursement checks. If an error happened, it was an ERROR.

2. Recognize their knowledge. The only people in your congregation who have a complete grasp of the multiplicity of policy issues involved in anything that someone wants to do is the staff. The committee chair that wrote the policy on publicizing announcements before worship is now on the activities committee, and no one else on the publicity committee even knows there was ever a written policy. (See also #6)

3. Do not even think of scheduling an event before checking it out with the staff. There is nothing more that should need to be said about this. But of course, there is.
Just because your calendar you got in your newsletter doesn't have anything listed for Saturday afternoon, does NOT mean the building is available on Saturday afternoon. It could be carpet cleaning day, it could be an outside wedding rental, it could be that the Coming of Age class is having a sleep over that wasn't open to the public and so was not on the calendar. The use of the kitchen is not auotomatically ok.

Related: Your cousin's friend Johnny doesn't get to have his wedding here for free just because you said you'd be the official responsible person and use your key instead of having him do a contract through the ofice. Also true for our not-UU non-profit but really important events, for our book signings, our carpentry classes, our free one time legal advice clinics, or our group education classes that are really an opportunity for people to see what a great therapist/coach/teacher you are so they can hire you privately.

Related Related: If you give up a reserved room because you're going to have an event in your living room instead, don't change your mind back and expect to have the room back after it's been given away.

4. The office staff's desks don't become public property on Sundays when they aren't in.
The computer has a password because there is private financial information in it, as well as emails of a personal nature from parishoners to the office. Don't hack the password just because you want to print the lyrics to this is my favorite song and I want to read it during Joys and Concerns and forgot them at home. The markers belong in the marker drawer, the lables are for mailings not name tags, the expensive paper that was hidden below the desk is for Canvass, not your Sunday School fold-up activity, and File Folders are not a substitute for oak tag posters.
And used tissues go in the TRASH.

5. It is no one's job to clean up your half-distributed flyers and keep them for you till next week. If you don't clean them up yourself, they will be thrown away. Then don't get mad that your flyers aren't around, and don't yell at the office staff for how much paper they use when you look at the budget at the end of the year.
Related: The xerox machine is not there for your christmas letters, poems, or kid's cute picture.
Related Related: If you're going to sneak a copy, and the copier jams, don't be asking the office staff to spend 30 minutes to fix it for you.

6. There is no staff person who can read your mind just because you did something a certain way last year. You have to ask for what you need, completely, and well ahead of when you need it. This is especially for committee chairs who have not changed committees.

7. It is not the Sexton's job to wash your dishes. and yes, just these two cups does matter.
Related: It won't kill you to put the extra toilet paper roll ON the roll instead of balancing it on the edge.
Related Related: Running a vacuum after you give the kids sprinkles for art would be a nice kindness.

8. It is not the administrator's job to explain to you personally every little decision s/he makes. That falls to his/her supervisor. What you can do is ask questions...

Always refer to #1 - Assume Good Will, and to #2 - Recognize their knowledge

Why didn't you [fill in here with My Way]....
Didn't you know that [fill in here with My Idea or special knowledge that you obviously don't have] ...
You can't [fill in here with What I Didn't Like] ...

I was surprised by that...
I thought we usually...

Thanks for letting me know. I didn't realize that before. I'm sure there was an error, or that there is something I don't know about our policies that meant that [thus and so happened,] if I have questions about that, to whom should I address them?

Add more?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Buy Nothing Day

True story.
This morning at 7:30 am I was in my living room talking on the phone to my recovering alcoholic friend S, while she was entering the mall preparing to DVD and CD shop.
She said,
"I was bummed this morning when I heard on the radio it was buy nothing day and I turned the car around ' cause it sounded like a great idea and I had to do it. But then I heard them say that you shouldln't even buy a cup of coffee, and I already did, so since I blew it anyway, I turned back around and I'm here now at Circuit City."

Anecdotal evidence of the addictive nature of consumerism?

See also Michele's post about Buy Nothing Christmas.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Monday, November 14, 2005

Confidential to the Transcendentalist Super Hero

Dear Sir,
I have seen your website/blog and materials you have posted in links to groups over the years. I think we all have.

You have done an incredible job of submitting your new blog and citing yourself and linking in groups and lists, heck, even to your own blog repeatedly so that it shows up all over the internet, in Google searches, and in other search engines. You have recently begun to take clips of various UU bloggers words and managed to work them into the subject of your blog.

There is no missing your presence Sir, and it is no longer necessary to entice me, (or, I suspect, anyone else in the UU blogosphere) to go to your website. It is no longer necessary to post off-topic, or faux-on-topic comments on my blogs in order to get me to read your commentary or supporting newspaper articles that have been copied into various groups on the Net. I already did.

My Statcounter makes it evident that you read my criteria for posting, from a a library computer at McGill University, prior to your submitting your last comment, therefore violating that criteria almost immediately. Your obvious intelligence and articulateness makes it clear that you did not misunderstand, and suspect that you were attempting to find some sort of loophole in the criteria I posted, perhaps testing to see if I would post your almost-on-topic-but-not-quite-and-still-managing-to-direct-the-reader-back-to-you comment.

I wish you well in your life, but I am not interested in discussing your concerns with you, I am not going to permit my blog to be part of your carefully crafted internet publicity campaign, and I will not allow any links from my blogs that support your concerns.

Normally, I would send a private post to someone who wasn't commenting on subject, asking them to refrain from off-topic comments, but given that I have read your blog, and supporting materials, I am not comfortable enough that my words wouldn't come back poorly, or perhaps mis-articulated, and so I am posting my request plainly and relatively politely here in public.

Please stop commenting on my blogs.

Please don't take this personally, it's not particularly personal -- I am also not interested in why white chocolate is yucky, if lava has the properties of a liquid, or if Matt Drudge is Gay.
So please stop attempting to post on my blogs, it is unnecessary to your purposes.

I don't want anyone to comment here on this particular subject, so I'm turning comments off for this post.

Religion Clause - new found website

My mom pointed me to this blog/site, and it's great!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... --US Const., Amend. 1

Religion Clause
a blog devoted to legal and political developments in free exercise of religion and separation of church and state.

People care about this?

Debunking the Drudge Rumors, Part 1 of 2: Why He’s Not Gay, Why I Care, What It All Means

But based on my accrued knowledge of Matt Drudge, and my own gaydar, I have to say: the “outers” are toilet-papering the wrong tree. Matt ain’t on the team.

It's not the subject matter that surprises me, people gossip. Whatever.
What surprises me is the tens of pages of discussion and documentation on this subject at the above link.

I'm confident it qualifies as stupid.

This is My Blog. Censorship, community, and public dialogue.


the changing or the suppression or prohibition of speech or writing that is condemned as subversive of the common good. It occurs in all manifestations of authority to some degree, but in modern times it has been of special importance in its relation to government and the rule of law. (From the Encyclopaedia Britannica.)

My criteria for posting on my blogs. A rant-like essay:

It’s very simple. My blogs are mine. Like my house, I am in charge of determining who and how people post.
I am not a government. I can not determine who posts on any other blogs, internet groups, discussion boards, or letters to the editor. I cannot change, supress, or prohibit speech beyond my personal space.

This is about ME, not you.

I have many identities. I am a DRE, grandmother, godmother, working farmer class, Unitarian Universalist, ex-fundamentalist, independent scholar of the religious right, life-partner/now wife, white, lesbian, privileged overly educated underly paid 40-something. Unlike many bloggers, i have chosen to be public, to be exactly who I am-- name, job, beliefs, family, the whole nine yards.

Lots of time my friends and colleagues have things in common with me. But commonality with these identities alone doesn’t determine who I converse with. What makes that determination is if someone can engage me in a mutually respectful relationship, giving and taking in turns as appropriate. Sometimes this includes people who disagree with me on some core issues, but who choose to be in relationship with me anyway.

It often surprises people who know my Really Big Opinionated Self that I count among my friendly acquaintances people who call themselves ex-gay. There is a celibate woman in another state, who calls herself a not-a-lesbian, because of her faith beliefs, who I would call upon for help or conversation before many lesbians I’ve met, because we are able to be in a mutually respectful, boundaried, helpful relationship.

Conversely, I count among my not so friendly acquaintances people who call themselves gay, or UU, or scholarly, or white, or graduates of Union Theological Seminary. (And if any of you call it Columbia, I’ll hurl.)

The point here is that I get to decide, in my own world and personal space, that is, in my community, who I engage with, and about what.

Rather than provide recent blog/internet examples, and invite specific retorts or suggest that I am in any way identifying this criteria as a call to democratic decision making about my own Blogs, I’ll provide examples from my real-life.
In my life/house/phone, I have dis-invited:
  • a woman who drank all the cooking wine before I even arrived home from work to greet her,
  • man from a sober party when he lit up a joint,
  • a woman who insisted on sharing with me the personal details of her unhappy marriage without ever asking me about my life,
  • a man who felt it necessary to keep harping on a particular topic as if I could be worn down to eventually turn on my belief system and agree with him
  • a minister (not UU) who chose to continue talking to her personal ghost/angel rather than to a professional counselor (she thought the dead chick's advice was better)
  • I’ve dis-invited a temporarily homeless someone who came to my house and stayed for 6 weeks, while working in a barn, and never cleaned the bath tub. Even after I left the mop, bucket, and ajax in it.
    (and yes, I was less direct and still working on that mutually respectful bit as a young adult)

There are individuals who exhibit bad behavior, who have interpersonal challenges like an inability to utilize listening skills, who could probably learn sharing skills from my pre-schoolers. There are others who believe that their perceptions, being forged out of the crucible of their own enlightened and transcendental lives, (or conversely, from their individual bodily suffering in this world) are elevated to Authority in a way we UUs generally don’t elevate anything. There are individuals who confuse freedom of thought with freedom to be mentally ill and to act out. It’s not ok to stand up in the middle of the sermon and decide, for instance, to sit at the piano and play a song for your elderly friend Frida from Seattle. It’s not ok to stop by my house in the middle of the night and throw up on my couch. (Just for instance, it was a long time ago, but you know who you are.)

Ok, one online example. 15 years ago I engaged with a troll on an unmoderated gay christian usenet-type group, and 5 years later the same troll joined a moderated public dialogue group I was part of moderating at that time. (a cyberspace initiative providing models and resources for building respectful relationships among those who disagree about moral issues surrounding homosexuality, bisexuality and gender variance.)

On the first list he and I had it out about what he said, over and over. On the second, we had it out about what he said, how he said it, and whether he could moderate his own behavior and speech and listen and respond to what was said by others rather than according to his own repetitive agenda. In both cases, I spent hundreds of hours on it. That's not what this blog is for, and I won't engage trolls.

It's not ok to continually publish your own issues and agenda as fake commentary on someone else’s blog.

I have turned on comment moderation. I will publish all comments, positive and negative, that relate to the content of the post it is attached to. I will engage in mutually respectful dialogue and discussion on my blog about any subject I have brought up, as long as that conversation remains generally within the confines of the subject itself. And i will make that determination.

I will not publish anything that I consider Spam or Trolling (which, as far as I’m concerned, is just Spam from someone you know or are familiar with).

Although I cannot be responsible for error, I will not knowingly publish links to websites that I believe contain fraudulent, slanderous, or libelous material. Obviously, on the internet, that’s not a standard defined by perfection, but by imperfection… likely I’ll publish something at some point in error, and have to correct it after the fact. But correct it I will.

Having Comment Moderation on also means that no one will be able to post a comment and have it live unnoticed by me for weeks on an old blog post. I will be forced to keep up with commentary on my entire blog, and not just the most recent posts.

Finally, a comment about Censorship.

Censorship is the complete silencing of a voice, usually by a government. In this case, my choosing which comments to post and which to delete does not constitute the silencing of a voice (far from it).

Anyone who has the technological capability to post comments to my Blog can start their own Blog and have their say.

There are places for unmoderated public dialogue, open forums all over the internet where an individual might then advertise her/his Blog. If you don’t know where, start with groups.google.com, or groups.yahoo.com.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I have turned on Comment Moderation

I will discuss it here, later, but first, I have to get through my big work day.

In the meantime, let me entertain you with this incredible image from jesuspolitics

who, in turn, got it from http://www.correntewire.com/science_religion_spooky_shit