Tag Archives: Facebook

On The Image Problem of Christ

Back when this blog started up, Evan and I had a discussion about a lecture given by Socialist novelist China Miéville. During that lecture, Miéville commented that “if one person hears what you’re saying and does something horrible, the issue’s probably with them. If hundreds of people consistently start doing horrible things, it’s probably time to re-examine your message.”

Those words returned to me a few months ago as I watched Family Guy’s “The 2000-Year-Old Virgin”, which depicted Jesus as a cowardly shyster, lying about being a virgin in order to bed Lois Griffin (and more than a few other women).

Family Guy: Season 13, Episode 6

Grotesque? Repulsive? Offensive beyond all description?

For me, it wasn’t.

It was certainly far from being funny, but readers, yours truly simply was not offended.

As sacrilegious and bitingly edgy as I’m sure the writers thought the story was going to be, I was merely disappointed by it. While I’m not going to excuse the laziness or insensitivity of Seth MacFarlane or any of Family Guy’s writer’s, I actually don’t think the majority of blame should be placed on them.

I think it should be placed on Christians.

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The Internet, The Military, And Feminism – A Brief Interaction Between Two Facebook Pages

First things first, this is going to be another one of my shorter posts. The days ahead are packed so I’ve sat down to rattle something off on Wednesday night just to keep the content coming. Secondly, when it comes to the military and feminism I am very confident in my feelings towards one and very uncomfortable and unsure about the other.

I’m not one to bandy around words like “liberal” and “conservative”, proper nouns or otherwise, but in general the profession of killing others isn’t one that sits easily with me. To say that I think we can solve all of the world’s problems by just sitting down, talking, and hugging it out is a step too far, however. There is clearly a need for such men and women, with World War II being the obvious go-to example of when war is right [literal decades of video games have communicated how evil the Nazis were]. Not everyone can be negotiated with or see reason, no matter how badly we would like that to be true.

nazombies

Nazis are so evil that Nazi zombies are actually better, not worse, because zombies can’t be antisemites.

So no, at bare minimum I do not hate the military or its existence. That of course does not mean I don’t get uneasy about the whole semper-fi-oorah-[yes-I-know-those-are-both-specifically-USMC-related] mentality that appears to be a requirement of serving in the armed forces. It makes sense, of course, to want to foster an unbreakable kinship between people who depend on each other for their survival, but it’s also obvious that this kind of impregnable bond can lead to a lot of terrible things being covered up [see literally any recent news article about police brutality].

It should also go without saying that this club, if we can call it that, is primarily male. According to CNN as of four years ago only “about 203,000 [. . .] or 14.5% of the active duty force of nearly 1.4 million” is made up of women. Even without this statistic it isn’t surprising that the vast majority is men, and that such a male-dominated environment results in particular attitudes and opinions being fostered.

feministgrunts

Feminist-Grunts11bravo, U.S. Infantry Soldiers is a mouthful [and referred to from this point on as Feminist-Grunts], but also the name of a Facebook page I came across with a very unique mission. It claims to be “for Infantry dedicated to respecting women and kicking ass of chauvinistic a**holes,” which doesn’t sound like something I have any problem with whatsoever. It’s also run by a single “feminist female veteran” who describes the page as being a “parody account”. To dig deeper into what she means by that, she says:

“This page is really a parody satire project where I pretend that feminist grunts exist, that they run this page, and that they believe in fairness, equality, and that everyone regardless of sex, gender, race, class, religion, has an undeniable right to pursue whatever careers they want to the best of their ability.”

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(Gay) Mawige Is Wat Bwings Us Togever Today

As you already know, June 26th saw the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges- an agonizingly boring name for what was one of the most momentous decisions in American legal history.

Effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the ruling was met by many Americans with resounding applause and celebration that often seemed to border on being downright aggressive.

But we’re not here to talk about that. Nor are we here to talk about the outcries and horror and disgust from the ever-dwindling minority of marriage equality opponents. At least- not the nutjobs.

The pastor who promised to set himself on fire if the ruling was made (though he swiftly retracted that oath), the folks claiming that gays cause hurricanes, the ones who hold up picket signs reading “God hates Fags!”-

-these are not the people I want to talk about.

I’m referring to the non-crazy (but by no means less angry) rank and file of the opposition here. Your conservative uncle. Your Wesleyan Aunt. Folks who’d never shriek obscenities, or claim the impending wrath of God, but who’d still shake their heads sadly and call this ruling a “tragedy” or “evidence of our culture’s moral free-fall”.

These folks:

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Safe Spaces and Echo Chambers – Finding The Middle Ground

Today the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. Right now my Facebook feed is blowing up, with the vast majority of my online acquaintances rejoicing that a ruling that’s been a long time coming has finally passed. To sum it up in only eight short words:

abouttime

On the other side of things, though very few and far between, there is a sentiment in direct opposition. There weren’t many for me, but I think most people will find at least one status that falls roughly along these same lines:

turneditsback

The internet is never silent on the most innocuous of issues, and when it comes to an event as groundbreaking as this one there isn’t a person who can keep from putting in their two cents. As Kat observed last year the words we post online are made subject to scrutiny, with one of the tamest consequences being that someone will voice their disagreement. As another Facebook very wisely tacked on to the end of their status: “*If you do not support gay marriage, please do not respond to this post. This is a genuinely wonderful occasion for many that I love.”

This all connects back to a topic I’ve been meaning to cover for a while, which is the idea of “safe spaces”. It goes beyond simply wanting others to leave a Facebook status as a forum for positivity instead of debate to having a place where we can rest assured we won’t be outright attacked.  Continue reading

2014’s Cultural Battleground – Kat’s Account

EDITOR’S NOTE: We end this year by each taking a look back and picking our five best posts, explaining both their importance to us and to the world we currently live in.  Clicking the banner images will link you to each post, so as 2014 comes to a close join us in remembering how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.

jianghomeshibannerThe Jian Ghomeshi scandal was a big deal for most Canadians. Ghomeshi felt like someone we all knew, someone who had been a regular presence in our homes (and cars) as long as he had hosting Q on the CBC.

In October, the CBC put pressure on Jian Ghomeshi to go on a leave of absence. Shortly afterwards, he wrote a post on Facebook accusing the CBC of firing him over his preference for rough (but consensual sex). Many fans believed Ghomeshi when he claimed the women who had accused him were liars who just wanted attention.

Given his popularity, I understood why people jumped to defend him when the first few allegations of sexual violence came out, but there was something about his Facebook post that just felt wrong. It seemed unlikely that anyone, much less more than one person, would make a sexual assault accusation just for attention. As I started to do my own research on the topic, I quickly realized that false rape reports are so rare that they are almost non-existent, and that the tendency to believe Ghomeshi over his (at the time) anonymous victims spoke to a much bigger systemic issue.

injusticesystembannerIt’s really hard to care about how terrible our justice system is unless someone close to you has gone through it. In this post, I discuss some of the things I noticed when I visited someone close to me during his stay in jail. Despite firmly believing that this person deserved to go to jail, that experience opened my eyes to the way prison (and the bureaucracies surrounding it) take damaged people and make them ever worse. As someone who works in special education, it made me even more angry to realize just how many of the adults in prison are individuals with special needs.

problemwithpuritybannerThe conversation around the purity movement tends to be very divisive; feminist websites like Jezebel have called it creepy, while many Christian communities staunchly defend the practice. Since I consider myself both a Christian and a feminist, I wrote this post to point out the really great intentions that are (usually) behind the purity movement, while still drawing attention to the damage it can cause.

duckdynastybannerAfter the Duck Dynasty star spoke out against homosexuality and was kicked off his show, my Facebook wall started to fill up with “I support Phil” memes. This made me really, really angry.

Having grown up Evangelical, I understand how many Christians feel they cannot accept homosexuality as something that honours God. Personally, I no longer accept that dogma, but I can understand it. I didn’t even write this post to argue with that branch of theology. I wrote this post because I was furious that Christians are happy to defend a millionaire because he broke his contract and got kicked off his TV show, but are unwilling to acknowledge that homosexuals are being killed and actually persecuted all around the world.

voluntouristbannerI’ve written many posts that address the Christian community. I do this because I still consider myself a member of that community, and I want to call out the issues that I believe are distracting from the message of love we claim to be sharing. Despite my many critiques of the church, some of the most amazing people I’ve known are Christians. I wrote this post about my experience living in a missionary community in Niger, where I was surrounded by people who I truly respect.

This post also addresses “voluntourism”, since my own selfish motivation to move overseas was something I felt personally convicted about during my stay in Africa. Recently, however, the discussion of the voluntourism trend has made westerners afraid to express interest in foreign aide at all. I believe both extremes can be damaging to international relationships.


Looking back, it’s sometimes scary to think about how much I have shared with you guys. It’s always a vulnerable step to publicize our personal opinions, it’s even more so with details about our personal lives. Intimidating as it can be, I’ve loved how many amazing discussions the blog has opened up in my life. Your comments (in person and online) have helped me reevaluate my own biases, and challenged me to think more deeply about the social, religious, and political issues we love to debate here at Culture War Reporters.

So here’s to a fantastic year. I can’t wait to see what the next one brings.

– Kat

Jian Ghomeshi vs. The Women: 4 Reasons Why Liking Q Isn’t a Good Enough Reason to Defend Him

There’s been a lot of big news Canada over the last week. On Wednesday, a mentally ill man shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a soldier who was guarding the National War Memorial, before storming the Parliament building. The shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was then shot by 58-year-old Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, preventing any more casualties.

According to CBC’s sources, Vickers “dove to the floor around the pillar [where Bibeau was shooting from], turning on his back as he landed and simultaneously firing his weapon upwards at Bibeau”. Pretty impressive for an almost-60-year-old.

Yet the story of Cirillo’s death and Vicker’s heroism was quickly pushed aside when the news about Jian Ghomeshi hit.

When John and I first heard that Ghomeshi was going on leave we didn’t think much of it, and both said, “Well, we know he isn’t going to get fired. People love Q.”

Famous last words eh?

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ISIS, Gaza, Ebola, and Robin Williams: Dealing with Grief on the Large and Small Scale

This week I emerged from my happy little language cult in a tiny remote Quebecois town.

I emerged to discover a lot of sadness.

I had already been hearing bits and pieces about the deaths in Gaza and the lives lost to Ebola before I even left Trois-Pistoles, but the last few days I’ve also been hearing a variety of horrific rumours about ISIS. Last night when I started researching for tonight’s blog, I thought I would look into the veracity of those articles.

That was a bad idea.

At the time, I had a hard time finding coverage of the things I had heard about from any reputable sources. And the things I did come across were highly disturbing and meant to be provoking. I’m not actually going to link to anything I came across in my search, because I don’t want to see those images ever again. I don’t know when or where those photos were taken. I don’t know if they are fake or real. All I know is that they made me very very angry. And they made me feel very, very powerless.

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