Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jefferson Bethke's poem

Jefferson Bethke
Since I have spent A LOT of time in Homeless World Sacramento where most of the homeless guys have a family background that is Christian, and where most of the guys, themselves, too, say they are Christian, I thought I would embed this poem that has, I understand, gone viral on the Internet.

I found it via elephant journal, a mostly Buddhist online publication, that does its thing in Boulder, Colorado, a famously Buddhist (and liberal) city -- home of Naropa University. [I consider myself to be a Skyhooks Buddhist -- someone who is a secular Western Buddhist who believes we aren't 'just' pushed up from the muck, but somehow "pulled up," a product of spirit or consciousness, or some damn as-of-now-mysterious-and-unexplained thing, too.]

I am, myself, ambivalent about Bethke's poem.  I think it nice that he wrote it and filmed it, but I don't think he is precise about his message.  He is "trapped" in a meter-and-rhyme scheme that requires quick lines of text -- which has him saying some things that are clever at the price of logic or completeness.  Nonetheless, WAY TO GO, Jefferson.  Quite an accomplishment, particularly for someone as young as yourself [22 years old; didn't know you were THAT new to the planet].

Anyway, Readers, listen to "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" and let me know what you think in the comment section.  In a few days, I'll put up a follow-up post.  <-- UPDATE:  The follow-up post, Part II, is now online.


Blogger Steve said...

I look forward to your follow-up post. As for me, rather than go through his rap line by line, I'll just say that I think it was pretty clever and well done overall and that it conveys the vital message that a Christianity worthy of the name plumbs much deeper than attending church on Sunday and the rote spouting of Bible verses.

Of course, my biggest problem with what he says is that I don't believe in the freaky Jesus who is the foundation of his appeal and of Christianity as I know it. So, his message, while eloquent, ultimately rings hollow to me, and a Christianity "worthy of the name" ultimately seems unworthy of devotion.

January 26, 2012 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Thomas Armstrong said...

Thanks for your recommendations, Steve.

I've been lax in keeping up with responsibilities I've put on my to-do list, but I do want to understand Bethke's message -- even as I am far from expert on Christ and Christianity issues.

But, like Bethke seems to be, my interest is more New Testament, understanding Jesus, than Old Testament or dogma.

But the rap/poem is a curious blend of dazzling statements in a stew of some confusion. His central message is awesome, interesting and appealing -- but he pushes things too far, perhaps.

Anyway, I will listen a few more times to the viddie and post a follow-up soon.

Perhaps you will blog something??

January 26, 2012 at 8:07 PM  

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