Thursday, March 23, 2006

Qualified Participation?

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

I couldn't resist... How well would you do?

If you couldn't pass the U.S. citizenship test, but you're a citizen by default, why do you think your opinions on politics should matter?

I've often wondered about informed participation among the American people. We encourage high-school students to register to vote, and the media always bemoans the lack of turnout by "qualified" American voters. If Americans choose not to vote because they don't know what's going on, is that really a bad thing?

The truth is, I'm not sure high turnout would be good for American elections. I'm not suggesting we go back to the property test -- only allowing property owners to vote, as we did in the early days of the American Republic -- but maybe we do need some kind of test.

Literacy wouldn't do it -- and not simply because illiterate Americans are sometimes well-informed. No, the real issue is civic and historical illiteracy. If we expect immigrants to pass an exam to become citizens, perhaps it would be appropriate to ask citizens to pass an exam to earn the right to participate in determining the shape of our collective future.

Question of the day -- should there be a basline of knowledge required before we allow people to participate in the American political process?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Addendum part 1

There'll probably be more late entries to add... but hey, we'll keep at it.

None of the 3 blogs in the Numeric through C's that I've already reviewed are new -- just new to the MBR -- but that'll do...

I found 32 Flavors by Tammy Jo some time ago -- I think through the Blogging Methodist Webring, but it could have been through a search for blogs about Romania. Either way, Tammy Jo's been blogging for some time, and is approaching graduation from Seminary! Tammy Jo's blog is eclectic and generally quite personal. Her insight can be quite interesting.

A Thing with Feathers, by Ciona, is another recent addition to the MBR. Ciona's a freelance writer, and the quality of writing on her blog suggests she should be able to make a living doing that. I particularly liked her posts Beautiful History! and "Can't exactly tell the church choir".

I think I may have passed over Bruce Alderman's blog, It Seems to Me... thinking it was a longer-term part of the MBR, but I'm not sure. If you've been around, Bruce, my apologies... Especially if you're a Marcus Borg fan (I'm not, but that's OK), check out Bruce's blog...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

And Now Methodist Blogroll New C's!

Basically, this is a continuation of my post The Exploding Methoblogosphere... I've resolved to review new blogs on the Methodist Blogroll, and to offer a bit of commentary. I don't know how long this will take, nor if I'll have to go back frequently to get to earlier posts, but I hope this will further conversation in the Methoblogosphere.

Today we're on to the C's... and there are quite a few!

Craig, of canaan is calling may be fairly new to blogging, but so far, he's both reflective and interesting to read. Sandwiched between posts with original poetry, Craig has offered some Biblical reflection, including an interesting post on being an evangelical pacifist.

I've never noticed Chris Iddon's blog The best of all until recently -- but he's been writing for awhile and it may have been on the MBR longer than I've noticed. Chris is a British Methodist who blogs about Church stuff, music, movies, and other stuff... He posts regularly, and the variety of content keeps the site interesting...

Churchonomics represents truth-in-advertizing, offering "revolutionary ideas and solutions for the local church." Most of the content seems to focus on mega-church stuff, but it made me think about how we might do ministry in any church (even if I just can't see building a 45' rock climbing gym, cage basketball, arcade gaming or a BMX park in any church I've ever experienced).

Corey Mann offers another mega-church perspective. Most of his posts are short but pithy and offer insight into a variety of material. Corey does High School ministry and shouldn't lose attention if his work is like his blog.

WCharles of Cosmic Wheel is a Red Sox fan from Texas. Sorry, as a New Englander and lifelong Sox fan, I missed the rest of his sports-related profile... Check it out for yourself... Recently, WCharles has been writing Katrina related posts, but with almost two full years of content, there's alot to see! Check him out, and if I've just missed him for all this time, I'm sorry, because he strikes me as a smart guy (and he's a Sox fan, after all, so he must be OK)...

Well, that's the C's! That's all I've got time to do for now... Next time, on to the D's!

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Exploding Methoblogosphere...

Yes, that's acoined neologism if I've ever heard one, but at least it makes the subject line pithy.

I've been exceptionally busy in the last couple months, blogging far less than I might like, and reading other blogs less than I might like as well. As long as I'm trying to squeeze in a bit too much of everything, that can't be helped, but that's not my point today. Over the last several weeks I have noticed a trend in Methodist blogging that Shane and others have also mentioned -- the list of Methodist bloggers has exploded. It seems every time I visit the bloggers I've known for some time now, I find new Methobloggers on the Methodist Blogroll.

I applaud Shane's decision to begin publishing Welsey Daily, and hope that that will be one place we can find some of the best Methodist blogging, but with an almost endless supply, I'm sure we'll all begin to feel overwhelmed with the options of new, fresh Methodist reading we can do! I hope John can manage the MBWR despite the added work -- because your distillation will become even more valuable to all of us with the growing number of possible reads... but who knows what the explosion might mean for that institution of Methodist Blogging (other than the all-knowing John the Methodist, of course)!

I've been trying to dig through all the various new blogs as I go, but I've decided I need to get Methodic about reading new bloggers -- otherwise I'll fall back on my old favorites and ignore any new folk without even giving them a chance. So, for the next however-long-it-takes, I'll be reading new blogs on the Methodist Blogroll alphabetically and making a few personal comments on a post or two from each, or the general tenor of the blog. While this is for my own personal benefit, I hope any of you interested in Methodist Blogging will find these reviews worthwhile. Just as a note, all opinions expressed by me are my own, and if you've been on the Blogroll for more than a couple of weeks and I mention you, please don't take offense, I've tried to read everyone as they've been added, but it's not always easy, and I may have missed some of you with no intention of doing so.

For today, Numeric through B!

With one of the most creative new names, Stephen D's blog, 2Theo 2, is still very young. With only two posts so far, we'll await much more from Stephen D. If you have any interest in Young Adult ministries, as I do, check out his first post... it should be a reminder of how most churches need to do more to reach young adults.

Allan R. Bevere's eponymous blog made me laugh with this post about French Canadians consuming (I assume) unconsecrated Hosts as snacks. Good stuff...

Andy Stoddard's blog, ’Mid Toil and Tribulation, has what seems to be the unique role among Methodist Blogs of commenting on the Daily Lectionary. Perhaps he'll inspire others to do the same -- we can hope, as this Biblical Journaling could enrich both individuals and our communities!

Bad Methodist takes her name from her disagreement with the official United Methodist position on homosexuality. While much of the content on Bad Methodist focuses on LGBT issues, she has commented on reading The Message by Eugene Peterson.

As a side note, I'm also glad to see the return of Valtteri Mujunen's aMethodistBlog to the Methodist Blogroll, and hope he continues to publish posts regularly!

Tune in next time for C through... well, we'll see how far I can get.