Stuff White Christians like

It seems like all the cool blogging kids are talking about “Stuff White People Like” and its parody, “Stuff Christians Like.”  As uncharaceteristic as it is for me to do this, I have to agree with the going opinion: both these blogs are very funny, very clever pieces of work.

As I was considering these blogs, two things occured to me.  These are profound realizations that came to me in the way of dream-like epiphanies.

Realization #1: I’m a white person!

Realization #2: I’m a Christian!

Because I’m a geeky teacher, one of those Venn Diagram things popped in my head.  If you’ve gone to school in the last 20 years, you probably remember Venn Diagrams.  The theory is that you create two slightly overlapping circles.  Each circle represents a specific idea.  Things that are true of both ideas you put in the middle, overlapping portions of the circle.  Things that are only true of one or the other you put in the outer portion of the circle.  (The reality, just for the record, is that they end up all sloppy and messed up)

At any rate, realization #1 and realization #2 above lead me to the conclusion that I could in fact put myself in that central place in the Venn Diagram formed by those two blogs.  There are people in the world who are kind-of lucky.  These are white people who aren’t Christians, or Christians who aren’t white people.  The reason that these people are only kind-of lucky is that they only have one blog telling them what they are supposed to like.

I’m extra lucky.  I get two. 

My initial reaction was to find this prospect daunting.  Each of those blogs lists literally hundreds of things.  I have a tendency to be rather cynical.  I’m actually not sure if there are hundreds of things that I do like.

But then it occured to me: maybe if something appears on only one website it’s optional.  But if something were too appear on both, why then, it’s unaimous, I have to like it!!!  My fellow inhabitants of the center, fish-shaped portion of the Venn Diagram, these are the things I’m supposed to like!

This realization brings about relief on 2 seperate fronts.  First, I’m relieved that I’d don’t have to like 8,000 things.  Secondly, I’m saved from actually having to do the work of figuring out what I like as a white guy and a Christian.  Somebody else has done the work for me!

With these realizations in mind, I set a supercomputer to the task of exhaustive data analysis.  Actually, that’s a total lie.  All I really did was scroll through both blogs and try to keep as many as I could in my brain. 

The results I turned up:

uhm, none, actually. 

Maybe some of you can help me.  Is there anything I’m supposed to like, as somebody who is both white and Christian?  In the end, I guess those blogs weren’t that helpful as objects for me to arrange my life around. 

But they are quite funny.  And I suppose all this explains why there’s not so many things I like.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

4 thoughts on “Stuff White Christians like”

  1. I like the fact that you couldn’t come up with any! Does this prove the point that Christ is for all regardless of race, gender…any other catagories people care to carve out. Great blog. Amie

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  2. I actually think that a lot of the things on Stuff Christians Like could be simplified to Stuff White Christians Like. Although it’s true that the Caribbean-origin guy I co-led youth group with in London did have a sort of goatee. And, um . . . I didn’t. 😉

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  3. I’m thinking of starting one with the title, “Stuffwhitechristiansmallgroupdirectorswhoarehusbandsandfathersofthreethataregoingtovoteforobamalike” Know anyone who could help with this site?

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