Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Padre Mickey needs a new camera

Padre Mickey and the Lovely Mona are on vacation, well deserved in the midst of their hard work as missionaries, musicians, and general purveyors of goodwill and generosity (not to mention humo[u]r and icons and stories of the saints).

They are having a good time except for a little misadventure involving a stolen camera, and they could use some material assistance. Details from Padre Mickey, the rockin' guitar-playin' priest, are here, with a link to a secure contribution thingie, and I encourage friends and fans to donate. I'm getting paid tomorrow, May 1, and in honor of International Workers' Day and the Month of Mary (hey who says you can't celebrate both? Mickey will agree) I am going to shell out a tiny bit myself. Go 'long now. And Mickey didn't pay me to say this. Not that he could, because have you looked at Episcopal missionary salaries recently?

Bayard Rustin and Reading Days

We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers. -Bayard Rustin.

We are entering Reading Days, which come before Finals, except that I don't believe in giving final exams for religious studies courses. I require a final research paper (on which the students have been working for weeks, in stages) and after that's all done, a final reflection paper so people can think about their learning experience of the past few months.

These are Reading Days for me too, and for others on the faculty, since I have to read all those student papers, plus the three last senior theses which the little darlings are "defending" tomorrow afternoon.

But tonight and tomorrow night I have final meetings of my evening classes* and in addition to handing out evaluations (required here in U.S. colleges and universities so students can --anonymously-- evaluate the course and the instructor, and yes, it counts toward tenure) and having a short discussion of one piece of reading, I am showing a movie.

* really class, this semester I had two sections of the same course, first time that has ever happened, so I teach the same course twice -- and the dynamics couldn't be more different, but more on that some other time.

I had scheduled the movie for a few weeks ago when it fit into the syllabus sequence, but someone (a faculty member whose name I am not allowed to know) did not return the DVD to the library. I had reserved it three months ago, too, AND my teaching assistant had contacted the library to remind them ten days before the class. Long story short, the library rush-0rdered a new copy of the DVD and it arrived before the end of term, hallelujah thank you Jesus, so I am showing "Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin" and if you have not seen it, you must must must.

Don't know who Bayard Rustin was? Have a look here.

Remember the March on Washington? The 1963 one with MLK, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech? Rustin organized it. The whole thing.

He has many other claims to fame, too. A remarkable man in the 20th century.

He was, by the way, an out gay man in a fiercely homophobic era. Which is part of why we don't read about him in the history books.

Bayard Rustin, ¡Presente!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The cat lady of Baghdad

A must-read, up there with the story of the Marine and the dog which MadPriest posted a while back (and which this article mentions).

Have a look.

Simba al-Tikriti, the cat: AP photo. Click to enlarge.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Woo hoo! Book cover for new edition of WIDS

The Production Department at Ave Maria Press says it's fine to show anyone the cover. (I guess the more shameless publicity, the better.) Thanks to Jill, who checks this blog periodically, saw my announcement of the other day, and wrote to tell me.

So, here is the shameless publicity in the form of an aesthetic experience.

Want to know more about the book? Have a look here.

Someone asked whether it would be available at the online places. Yes, of course, but also in your local independent bookstore. Not till fall, though. Stay tuned. Alleluia.


It is raining buckets in Greensboro. Maya Pablova sits at her perch at the window, fascinated. There are no squirrel or birds on the grass outdoors, but you can see the rain, and it is making big plunking puddles already. This is the biggest rain we have had in a long time. It rained yesterday and the day before but this is not just a thunderstorm as we had this weekend; it's a DOWNPOUR, and a long one.

The return of the rain this spring has been a happy occurrence because we have been in drought since last summer. Usually we have a thunderstorm in the late afternoon almost every day in the summer, but last summer we had perhaps three in the entire month of August, if that, and the water levels went down dangerously, though not as badly as in Atlanta and some other parts of the Southeast. We also didn't get much precipitation in the winter. So when it rains these days, nobody gripes and everyone rejoices.

In case you were wondering why I speak of Maya Pavlova during the working day, I work at home in the mornings this semester, 'cause I teach in the evenings a fair amount. It's nice to be within chatting distance of the local feline therapist. Mrrrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Christos Anesti! Or if you prefer, Christos Voskres!

It is Orthodox Easter (Pascha), and this comes with prayers for our Orthodox Christian sisters and brothers and thanksgiving for their witness.

Ormonde Plater has a lovely post on this occasion, with music, so I'll just send you there. Thank you, Ormonde.

Episcopal deacon (deaconissimus!) Ormonde Plater blogs at Through the Dust.

Opus the Penguin weighs in

Thank you, Salon. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Chag Sameach Pesach: More from Velveteen Rabbi

For your Passover or post-Passover meditation, whether or not you are immersed in Yiddishkeit. Come on in and visit. The wonderful Velveteen Rabbi offers several reflections at her place, including:

This week's portion: leaving Mitzrayim
Calendar Christians: The "Torah portion" is the liturgical and spiritual equivalent of our weekly Gospel passage in the lectionary. "Leaving Mitzrayim," as you saw in the previous post, means "leaving Egypt" (as in the Exodus) but also "leaving the narrow place."

Make sure you read the comments there and at the other posts, too.

A reflection on Pesach as a festival of new creation. Remember many Jewish festivals are both agricultural and historical, so the life of the land and the history of the people are both present.

A tale of two seders
Foodies: there is a recipe for Persian haroset in here. Liturgical types: there are blessings and prayers and reflections on the wording and the texts. Everyone: we all enjoy tales of festive gatherings.

The first day of the Omer

Yes, there is a link explaining what "counting the Omer" means. And there are links to music. Hear chants both haunting and lively.

This week's portion: Gevurah (Kedoshim)

With a poem, which you can read and also listen to via an audio link. I think the Velveteen Rabbi wrote it and that it is her voice we hear.


Some thoughts, and prayers, on yoga, on life with G*d "who releases the bound."

Kol b'seder ("everything's okay") in the J-blogosphere
Lots of music here! Enjoy. Go find the link to Roman --yes, Roman Jewish-- songs! Jewish liturgical tradition, especially at Passover, is sober and serious, but also joyous and playful.

Now be nice and stop stereotyping Pharisees. Rabbinic Judaism in all its richness descends directly from them.

Chag Sameach Pesach (again): Leaving Mitzrayim

Pesach (Passover) is a week-long feast, so again, a Passover post. Tip of the kippah to Velveteen Rabbi, eloquent and sweet voice in the Jewish blogosphere.

Many of you know that the Hebrew name for Egypt, mitzrayim, means "the narrow place," and that contemporary Jews meditate each year on the meaning of "leaving mitzrayim," the liberation from mitzrayim, back then in Egypt and now in our own narrow places.

So Velveteen Rabbi asks three questions, with three traditional answers, which are a Sephardic custom at the beginning of the Passover Seder.

Who are you?
*****I am Yisrael.
Where are you coming from?
I am coming from Mitzrayim.
Where are you going?
I am going to Yerushalayim.

She then develops her own introspective* meditations on the questions and answers.

*Passover is a time for introspection as well as reflection on justice in the world and the place of G*d both outside us in history and in our own story -- not that they are ever separate.

Read it all (it's not long, and it is both provocative and inspiring) here.

Oh, and some good news!

This week (in the middle of work schedule insanity) I got an e-mail from my publisher with a jpg of my book cover, and it's beautiful. I'm not sure whether it's legit for me to post it here yet, so I'm not. (When in doubt, keep up the boundaries.) But trust me, it is lovely, and I am thrilled.

Once the catalogue is out and Sorin Books / Ave Maria Press has launched the publicity, I'm sure I can post the picture, so watch for it on this blog.

Publication date still in the fall sometime. Stay tuned for updates.


What spice are you?
Your Score: Habanero Pepper
You scored 75% intoxication, 75% hotness, 50% complexity, and 75% craziness!

You are Habanero! You're hot and very flavourful. Unlike most hot peppers, your fruity goodness really comes through. You're great in unexpected situations, and quite vibrant, to boot. You're fun, spontaneous, and have been known to cause intense giggle fits. Woot!

The "Which Spice Are You?" silly test.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rev. Jeremiah Wright on Bill Moyers

Pastor Wright was on Bill Moyers Journal and the show is a must-view. It was on tonight, but as always, Moyers's shows are available online, and you can also get the podcast. Cut out an hour of something else this weekend and see this, and listen. Here.

I'm also happy to say that this interview confirmed a lot of the information and analysis I shared on the panel about Rev. Wright a few weeks ago. I never did find time to summarize that panel for you. But if you watch this show, you'll get a lot of what we said and evoked on the panel, and directly from the person at the heart of the controversy.

Make no mistake: This is about what it means to live as Christians and to do so in the real world in which we live, in a world with poverty, in a world where empires rule, in an America where racism endures and where God calls us to break down, or melt down, the barriers we have set up against one another, and to do justice.

The realities on this show are why, for the most part, I don't get terribly involved in the minutiae of "As the Anglican World Turns." Not, mind you, that biblical interpretation and the nature of the church and the way we live our relational and sexual lives aren't important.

But let's get a sense of proportion here.

Here endeth the sermon. Go listen to Pastor Wright, and to Bill Moyers's calm, measured, careful interview (which of course is getting criticized already, on his show's blog and elsewhere, by people who did not take time to listen and understand), and if you are not African American and do not know the history and sociology and culture of the Black Church, learn something about it.

It's Edward R. Murrow's birthday! (with some Greensboro factoids)

Well, who knew? Edward R. Murrow was born on the feast of Mark the Evangelist AND he's a Taurus.

(I had to get that in, I'm a Taurus too. As, by the way, is my friend Paul, a.k.a. the Byzigenous Buddhapalian. Our birthdays are just a day apart. And my new godson and I, as it turns out, have the same birthday! Grandmère Mimi, alert: the BB's birthday will take place while he is in NOLA. Write me off-blog at I'll tell you when so you can feed him a Sazerac. Also, as we know, he likes flowers.)

Murrow is one of our local celebrities here in Greensboro. We have four. (Hey, we're a small city. At least by my snooty standards.) Dolley Madison, O. Henry, Edward R. Murrow, and Joey Cheek.

So, from our fair city and its municipal website, I bring you...

Today's Bicentennial Minute:

April 25, 1908

Edward R. Murrow was born in Guilford County near Greensboro on this day in history. Although his family moved to Washington state a few years later, Greensboro has always been proud of its native son, who became a famous radio and TV journalist known for his broadcasts from London during World War II.

Bicentennial Minutes are provided by the
Greensboro Public Library and the Greensboro Historical Museum. Visit the official Greensboro Bicentennial website.

Yes, this is our bicentennial year in Greensboro.

The 1781 Battle of Guilford Courthouse (a couple of miles up the road from where I live - see also here) preceded the founding of the city, which is named for General Nathanael Greene. Greene also served at Valley Forge, and you can read more about him here.

Many moons later, the General (a Quaker, by the way) gave his name to a local downtown pub, Natty Greene's, and to the brewery that runs the pub.

Cheers, all y'all.

Images of Mark, Evangelist...

...from last year.

I note that in last year's post I mentioned senior thesis defenses. Yup, that time of year again right now. And this year we have not two but seven little darlings writing theses. My colleague and I have agreed that is too many.

Nevertheless, we have to read seven theses. They are undergraduate theses, but still. And everyone gets a one-hour defense, really more of a celebratory conversation in our context. But that's two hours tomorrow (yes, Saturday) afternoon, two hours Sunday afternoon, and three hours next Thursday.

And they wonder why we don't get any academic writing done.

St. Mark, pray for us.

In lieu of Friday cat blogging: more "Prayers from the Ark"

More from the book Prayers from the Ark, published in the same volume as the other collection of animal prayers by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold, The Creatures’ Choir. The prayer-poems were translated from the original French by Rumer Godden.

We’ve already had The Prayer of the Little Ducks and Noah’s Prayer.

And now...

The Prayer of the Dog

I keep watch!
If I am not here
who will guard their house?
Watch over their sheep?
Be faithful?
No one but You and I
what faithfulness is.
They call me, "Good dog! Nice dog!"
I take their pats
and the old bones they throw me
and I seem pleased.
They really believe they make be happy.
I take kicks too
when they come my way.
None of that matters.
I keep watch!
do not let me die
until, for them,
all danger is driven away.

The Prayer of the Cat

I am the cat.
It is not, exactly, that I have something to ask of You!
No –
I ask nothing of anyone–
if You have by some chance, in some celestial barn,
a little white mouse,
or a saucer of milk,
I know someone who would relish them.
Wouldn’t You like someday
to put a curse on the whole race of dogs?
If so I should say,

The Prayer of the Mouse

I am so little and grey,
dear God,
how can You keep me in mind?
Always spied upon,
always chased.
Nobody ever gives me anything,
and I nibble meagrely at life.
Why do they reproach me with being a mouse?
Who made me but You?
I only ask to stay hidden.
Give me my hunger’s pittance
safe from the claws
of that devil with green eyes.

You heard it here first: Hobbit news

Guillermo del Toro, of "Pan's Labyrinth" fame, will make the film version of The Hobbit.

And of course the French had the cultural scoop. Hasn't hit the English-language headlines yet.

There will be two movies, presumably Hobbit Part One and Hobbit Part Two.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy St. George's Day!

Why should everything be new all the time?! Revisiting the old is part of a good and holy life. And, by decree of Acts of Hope, part of blogging as well. So here is a link to last year's St. George's Day post, and I am posting here the beautiful icon from last year.

You will also find that icon, and two other icons, at Padre Mickey's Dance Party, along with a fine and fascinating post on St. George. So the new in blogland is good too. Go have a look, and ponder the "ever ancient, ever new" aspects of Christian tradition.

Adventures in Music

So, we've had a lot of end-of-life posts here, and it's time for some children. The blog Civic Center (as in the San Francisco Civic Center) has a delightful photo essay with running commentary about a program the San Francisco Symphony (sigh, I miss them even though I barely ever got there when I was an impoverished middle-aged doctoral student in the Bay Area during MTT's first decade as Music Director) runs called Adventures in Music. Thanks to sfmike for his report about it.

Kids! Tuba players! Kazoos! The physics of music! Have a look. Great fun, great photos.

Adventures in Music, part I (Fewer kids in this one, but start there or you won't get the drift, and the final photo of brass players is priceless.)

Adventure in Music, part II

Thank you, San Francisco Symphony.


P.S. In addition to the regular SFS website linked above, there is a San Francisco Symphony Kids' Site (SFSKS). Kultchah for the kids!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day: Earth resources

A first resource here --the Earth Day Network-- but more coming soon in this space (on and off all this week), and not the ones you think! Check back in soon.

Article from the U.K. on "biodegradable" plastics.

Episcopal Cafe tribute to Krister Stendahl by D. Good and J. Redmont

The Episcopal Cafe has published a tribute to Krister Stendahl by Deirdre Good and yours truly.

You can read it here.

By happy coincidence, the beautiful Nativity on this week's Daily Episcopalian at the Episcopal Cafe is by our friend Luiz Coelho, Brazilian artist and seminarian. We are honored to be in the company of his work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Appalachian Echoes"

This evening, a little music: I'm off to the premiere (well, second-night premiere, but it still counts) of my friend Eddie Bass's "Appalachian Echoes: Variants on Traditional Songs" performed by the Bel Canto Company, a local ensemble of professional singers.

Eddie and Joan Bass are long-time and faithful members of St. Mary's House (my congregation), where Joan is our pianist. Eddie is a composer and retired professor of composition and he also has served on the Diocesan Council, the diocesan higher education ministries committee (or whatever we are calling it these days), and numerous other commissions of the Diocese of North Carolina, some of which he has chaired. "Devoted church person" doesn't even begin to describe him. And he's a wonderful composer. He wrote a Mass for St. Mary's House's 100th anniversary a few years ago and we still sing those Mass parts at Sunday liturgy. I'm excited about hearing the Appalachian-inspired pieces.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chag Sameach Pesach

A joyous Passover (Pesach) to those who celebrate it. We have a full week to reflect on its significance.

For now, some posts from last year, when I was with out of town friends-as-family for the beginning of Passover and had a little more time. (Whew, I posted a lot about Passover last year. What has become of me this year?)


Exodus, Cargo of Hidden Stories.

This one is funny if you're Jewish... (The two-minute Haggadah)

The two-minute Haggadah was a joke, but this one's for real!

Also in today's WaPo: the ambassadors' Seder.

I promised you Miriam's Cup...

... and the orange on the Seder plate.

Pesach check-in with Velveteen Rabbi.

And always, an important reflection for Christians during Passover and the Easter season:
Jews and the death of Jesus.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Krister Stendahl: the Commendation, and a note on gifts

An old and dear friend scanned the program from Krister's funeral, which was this morning, and sent it to me. The memorial service will be in a month and this was the more intimate (though packed) Lutheran service with family.

Here is the Commendation from today's liturgy:

My sisters and brothers, we have been gathered here around
*****this dead body,
what is left to us of this man, to pay our last respects to him
and to seek to do some justice to his life and death.
Keeping our eyes fixed on the cross of Jesus Christ
we say in groping faith that this is not the end,
that our God is a God of the living.

Rather than his body
we will finally be left with the name of this man, Krister,
which we speak with reverence and affection.
Lord God, remember this name which he was given by
***** other people
and by which he is known even though he is dead,
the name that you have written on the palm of your hand. Amen.

As a sign of our hope and to bear witness to our faith in
*****the resurrection,
I bless this body
in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

Let us now go in peace.
We let him go out of our keeping
and return him to the elements of air and earth, in the care of
*****the living God.
May our prayers accompany him,
and may we remember that, as the apostle wrote,
no one lives for herself, no one dies for herself.
We live and we die for God our Lord, and we are the Lord's.

I have kept updating the post from Tuesday with various obituaries and tributes. The latest comes from the World Council of Churches. There are also links at the bottom of that post for the two organizations to which friends may make memorial gifts, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and the International Rescue Committee. The family has requested this in lieu of flowers and in honor of Krister's memory.

We love meetups

Every so often the Acts of Hope crew (human and feline, or just the human, when travel is involved*) has a meetup with blogger buddies, and we had one today. Chris of Even the Devils Believe and his spouse Sue were in town from Durham and we had a lively lunch at a local eatery, preceded by tea and a proper visit with the resident feline. We send our very best to Chris and Sue's felines, Tomato and Mahler. Mahler has just had a birthday: go and wish him a happy one! (And drool over that kitten photo.)

* as it was with Luiz last month in Atlanta and LJ in October and Ed (Where are you, Ed? We miss you sorely.) in Los Angeles in June.

Noah's Prayer

what a menagerie!
Between Your downpour and these animal cries

one cannot hear oneself think!
The days are long,

All this water makes my heart sink.
When will the ground cease to rock under my feet?
The days are long.

Master Raven has not come back.
Here is Your dove.
Will she find us a twig of hope?
The days are long,

Guide Your Ark to safety,
some zenith of rest,
where we can escape at last
from this brute slavery.
The days are long,
Lead me until I reach the shore of Your covenant.

Carmen Bernos de Gasztold
Prayers from the Ark
translated from the French by Rumer Godden

Friday cat blogging: Maya Pavlova does postcolonial feminist biblical interpretation

Regular readers may remember that many weeks ago I (and we at Guilford College) had the honor of hosting the Botswanan biblical scholar Musa Dube, who came to speak here on her way from and to other, larger speaking engagements in the U.S. South. She spoke about African women's biblical perspectives and feminist postcolonial biblical interpretation in the age of HIV/AIDS in a session of my Liberation Theologies seminar which I opened to anyone who wanted to come. She also gave a lecture in a more formal venue on campus later the same day.

Because the number of students in the seminar is small, I teach it at home and Miss Maya Pavlova is a regular participant. Being a heterosexual girlcat, she favors the one young man in the class and always ends up settling on his lap, but this time she went to a woman, and she loooooved our esteemed scholarly visitor. So much so that I had to fetch a towel to put on the visitor's lap, because said visitor was of course wearing a beautiful black pantsuit, and you know what cats with white bellies do to black pantsuits.

Maya Pavlova sat on that scholarly lap for over an hour and listened to the whole talk and the questions and answers.

So here, in memory of beloved Krister Stendahl, whose funeral was today (I was not able to go to Cambridge for it, sadly, but hope to make it to the humongous memorial service up there on May 16) and in honor of the new generation of biblical scholars, of whom Musa Dube is a worthy and wonderful representative, we bring you Maya Pavlova, intercultural ambassador and intellectual cat. And, as always, world-class flirt.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Memorial service for Krister Stendahl (1921-2008) and some obituaries and tributes -- and recent words by Bishop Stendahl

A celebration of Krister Stendahl's life and legacy will take place Friday, May 16, 3:00 p.m. (note time change from original listing) in Memorial Church, Harvard Yard.

David Hartman writes, toward the end of his tribute (link below): We live now in a profound void. My prayer is that Krister's memory and life's work should serve as an inspiration for new Krister Stendahls to emerge in the modern world.

The New York Times obituary (4/16/08) is here.

A tribute from the Shalom Hartman Institute, written by Alan Abbey with a moving tribute by Institute co-director David Hartman, is here.

The fine, detailed obituary from Harvard Divinity School (HDS) is here. A short message from the current HDS dean William Graham is here.

Short 2007 interview with KS on the topic of leadership. Read it if you are interested in any of the following: church, power, Jesus, lgbt issues, humility, discernment, pastoring, priesthood, intellectual life, accountability.

Krister Stendahl's delicious 2007 essay "Why I Love the Bible."

Nice obit with many quotes from colleagues in the 4/17/08 Boston Globe.

Video: Krister Stendahl and Tikva Frymer-Kensky at the National Catholic speaking on Jewish-Christian relations, 2002. (Thanks to Deirdre Good for the referral to the link.)

Short tribute by a blogging member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a.k.a. Mormons).

World Council of Churches obituary and tribute.

From the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.

I will keep updating with links to obituaries and tributes in this space.

Memorial gifts:

Bishop Stendahl's family and church have suggested that those who wish to make a memorial gift do so to one of the following two organizations:

The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter

The International Rescue Committee

Krister Stendahl, R.I.P.

Bishop Krister Stendahl died this morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Funeral this Friday at University Lutheran Church, Harvard Square.

Memorial Service in Memorial Church, Harvard Yard, sometime in May, date to be announced.

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord;
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;
and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God;
whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold,
and not as a stranger.

For none of us liveth to himself,
and no man dieth to himself.
For if we live, we live unto the Lord.
and if we die, we die unto the Lord.
Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord;
even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors.

Ten Commandments about Iraq

I hate to displace the little ducks at the head of the day, so I will keep this short.

From Iraq: The ten commandments. In honor of Charlton Heston, here are 10 lessons we should engrave on our foreign policy tablets as we prepare to leave Iraq. By Gary Kamiya. Read it here. At least someone is talking common sense.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Prayer of the Little Ducks

Dear God,
give us a flood of water.
Let it rain tomorrow and always.
Give us plenty of little slugs
and other luscious things to eat.
Protect all folk who quack
and everyone who knows how to swim.

* * * * * *********************Amen

Carmen Bernos De Gasztold
translated from the original French by (I kid you not) Rumer Godden
from the collection Prayers from the Ark
(more of these coming soon)

Photo nicked from Life on the Slea

Papal press: thoughts from Mary Hunt

Like my friend FranIAm, I am going to refrain from opining on the papal visit, though for different reasons.

I will, however, post interesting analysis and commentary when I find it and as time allows.

Mary E. Hunt, Catholic feminist theologian whom I have mentioned and quoted here before (full disclosure: she's an old friend), has a new piece out on a website I didn't know of and will now bookmark, Religion Dispatches (subtitled "Critical Analysis for the Common Good.") Read Dr. Hunt's piece here. (Make sure you click to the next page once you've gotten to the bottom -- it's a three-page piece. Three short pages.)

I'm noticing how much media criticism is becoming a part of our lives. I certainly spend more and more time doing and teaching it in my religious studies courses.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Krister is still alive -- I got a note from one of his children this morning -- but near death still, in that in-between passage, and I am grieving mightily. I cried on my walk in the woods yesterday, I cried today in church, I cried at the coffee hour (and left in a hurry), I cried in the car, I cried on the phone when I called my best friend from divinity school to tell her the news and ask her prayers. It's a good thing I wasn't doing much more than being a chalice bearer today. The readings were perfectly timed, too: shepherding, breaking bread and praying in community, the Twenty-Third Psalm. Everything reminded me of what a holy and pastoral person Krister Stendahl has been for so many of us, and how much his work has built up the Body of Christ and so many of us individually, in our various ministries. May Godde have mercy on us who will survive him, and help us do for others a fraction of what he has done for us and for the kin-dom.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Foodie update (long but delicious)

Two weeks' worth, or rather, two weekends. During the week I barely cook. There's no time for it. But hey, if it tastes good and the nutrition is balanced, a cold meal is fine -- or a combo heated leftovers and something new. Sundays are church days, but Saturdays I am at home a lot, being quiet, and sometimes I go to the market.


Last Saturday:

No Farmers' Market. I hadn't been since the day before Easter. I often wake up too late to go. The downtown Farmers' Market is at the uncivilized hour of Saturday 6 a.m. to 12 noon, and woe to those who get there after 9 a.m., a lot of the good stuff is gone by then. But sleep is more important especially since all the other days of the week require at least two alarm clocks. Last Saturday there was an additional reason for not going, which was that I was driving to Burlington, NC to chair a diocesan anti-racism committee meeting and thus had to leave home at 9 a.m. Nine a.m. on a Saturday! That's the middle of the night as far as I am concerned. But Jesus calls and we follow. So off I went, and a good meeting it was, thanks be to Godde.

So then I get back from Burlington, do house things, have a nap, and on and off I'm thinking, gee, it has been more than two years since I heard about this place called Jerusalem Market and I still haven't been to it. Greensboro, you see, is not my kind of transportation town and though I have a good sense of direction (genetic, from Daddy, and also acquired, from seven years of girl scouts) I find the whole Southern sprawl-and-mall thing utterly disorienting and somewhat depressing. So I have my little patterns and periodically I add another route to someplace interesting. Jerusalem Market is interesting. There are two Palestinian foodie families in town. One is the family that owns Zaytoon restaurant, which has long been on the blogroll to the right. They are Palestinian Muslims, very involved in the local Slow Food movement, using as many organic products as possible, and their kids go to the Quaker school next to our campus. They also have a booth at the downtown farmers' market so I met them early on; we also have had them cater a lot of department and private functions. Then there are the Palestinian Christian family, and they own Jerusalem Market (no website), which is a combination shop and deli, and not heavily involved in the local-and-organic movement as far as I know, but for imported food, they are the greatest. And both families, as it turns out, make fresh Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. So there is also local food at Jerusalem market.

I found out on the Web how to get to Jerusalem Market and off I went. It isn't as far as I thought. It is naturally, in a mall, but a little one, on the edge of town, and I overshot it and had to make a U-turn because despite the mall sign with store names, it is easy not to see the name while you are also trying to figure out where you are going and watching for street numbers. If you can call this a street. It's a flippin' highway. Once you get in the store, though, you are back in a real city store. There is a deli counter at the back, there are bins in the front, and there are shelves and shelves stacked with goodies from Greece, Bosnia, Lebanon, Croatia (yes, I checked labels and bottoms of boxes), Italy, Sweden, and many other countries, goodies savory and sweet. Jars of grape leaves, capers, vegetable spreads, and roasted peppers, boxes of crackers and pasta, roasted and unroasted nuts in bulk, boxes of lokoum (Turkish Delight) and chocolate and marzipan, bags of chick peas, fava beans, lentils, spices, cornmeal, oh my.

The deli counter in the back is apparently known for its sandwiches, but sandwich-making stops at 6 p.m on Saturdays. Who cares, the place was open till 8 p.m., it was 7 p.m., payday was just a few days before, and I was in heaven. At the deli counter I asked about the feta cheese. (I'd had some at the home of my foodie friends who first told me about the place.) The young man of the house (probably the son of the owner) told me about two kinds, both properly made from sheep's milk, one Bulgarian and stronger, the other French and milder. Reader, I bought some of both. The feta comes in bulk and it is fresh, or as fresh as it gets when it has traveled in a big tub with its milky briny liquid across the ocean. Then there were the other cheeses. Peccorino Romano! Misto Classico Stagionato! (I got some of both.) Asiago! Cheese from Spain and Italy and France!

(Note: I later discovered there are massive feta cheese disputes in Europe. But I digress.)

There was also baklava at the deli counter, homemade, some with walnuts, some with pistachios. I resisted. The Ph.D. Pounds are still clinging to my body and it is time they left and jumped off the cliff with a herd of pigs.

Then I met the owner. He found out where I teach, at the local Quaker-founded college. There is a Quaker-Palestinian connection in town. The Friends School in Ramallah, West Bank, always sends us a few of its alumns; our Quaker head of campus ministry also did his alternative service as a C.O. there during the Vietnam war. (How did he manage that one, I once asked. Friendly draft board in Indiana, said he. Place was full of Quakers and Mennonites so the draft board was used to them.) The Jerusalem Market owner, as it turns out, attended this same Ramallah Friends School. The headmistress at the time was my campus minister colleague's aunt, the shop owner told me, and a fearsome Quaker lady she was.

We chatted at the front of the store, where I had stacked my purchases on the counter: the feta, a jar of capers from Greece, a red pepper spread (Ajvar) from Macedonia, a jar of marinated kosher herring made for Denmark in Germany (?!) and marked "Product of the European Community," a huge round package (at least one foot in diameter) of knäckebröd (Swedish flatbread or hardtack -- this one had a bilingual label in Swedish and Finnish and the names of both countries on it; after doing some research I have discovered the Finns have this as their national cracker-bread too and it's pure rye -- but this was much much lighter and crispier than the rectangular flatbread you buy in little packages), a packet of dark German whole grain rye bread, and a small jar of taramosalata. Back to the deli counter we went. It was after sandwich time, but I read the board on the wall and realized there were still all kinds of homemade things. The deli was out of ful medames (a.k.a. fool), but they did have baba ghanoush, so I got a container of that (the owner sprinkled fresh parsley, pine nuts, and a bit of paprika on the top and drizzled a bit of olive oil on it after asking me whether I wanted some) and also a container of yogurt-cucumber-garlic dip. That dip goes very well on the side of various Middle Eastern dishes, especially to spice up a simple lentil and rice dish, but it will go with just about anything Mediterranean. It has a little bite to it and the yogurt has been strained and is quite thick. And olives, they have olives, in big bins with brine. You want calamata olives? The owner asked. Yes, I wanted some of those. And then I asked whether he had Moroccan oil-cured olives. He looked at me with new appreciation. Those are the real olives. They are intense, salty, and dark. I got some of those also. The owner walked me to the car with the bags and gave me a hug.

I went home and ate half the baba ghanoush with some of the Swedish cracker bread (in the interests of North-South understanding, eh Paul?) and the cucumber-yogurt dip. It was delicious. It also involved no cooking at all. And I ate olives, of course, on the side. Voilà. Supper.

Last Sunday: (I am adding this note about last Sunday a day after writing the rest of the post. How could I forget? I am going to have to start keeping a "blog: to do" list.)

Lynne Rossetto Kasper of radio deliciousness fame has two special editions of The Splendid Table. Instead of the usual features, last Sunday's show and today's (I am writing this paragraph on Sunday) are about the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, the foodiest of foodie regions. They are reruns of shows I had missed in 2006. Missed the show? Go listen on the Web. And it's not only about food. (Food is never only about food.) Technology, economics, health, agriculture, travel, culture, and history. With the sounds of the beautiful Italian language. And food, glorious food. Enjoy.

A week later, today:

Made it to the Farmers' Market. Late: it was 10 a.m. by the time I got there (not quite the middle of the night). But the mostly-organic farmers had baby lettuce left and some Italian arugula, and also shiitake mushrooms. Mmm. Later this week we are going to do something with garlic and ginger and a touch of tamari and those mushrooms. Besides being delicious, they are good for the immune system. The egg people were also at the market, or rather one of the sets of egg people (there are two), so I got a dozen eggs from allegedly happy chickens (the egg people advertise the chickens as free-range and happy; since this is the South, the chickens are doubtless spinning loquacious tales of their family's lives in love and war, chicken-style). Stopped by the other organic people, who had fresh cilantro, and I got a bunch. Wasn't sure what I would make with it, but it was cheap and fresh and pretty, so into the bag it went.

Off to the Shrimp Man I went. He wasn't there last week. He wasn't there this week either, technically speaking. His Shrimp Man sign with the newspaper story was there, but the person there was Shrimp Woman who may or may not be related to him. I splurged. I am mostly a vegetarian at home but sometimes the circumstances demand brain food, and believe me, I have circumstances these days. Also, serious protein is in order. (See above under "not gonna eat that baklava.") I got salmon (yes, wild caught), tilapia (cheaper), and big fat shrimp. I think the last time I bought shrimp was two New Year's Days ago. I hardly ever eat out, not even those lattes that make me an NPR liberal (I make 'em at home these days, or rarely, get 'em at the student co-op coffeehouse), so I figure the expense evens out.

Then there is my current favorite florist. The other one was either not there or gone already. This one is a lady of many years, white, with fine wrinkles and a serious North Carolina accent. Her flowers look like they are straight out of the garden. This is not commercial production and I am happy to pay the price --which is not that different from the imported whatevers in the supermarket. I bought two kinds of bright yellow flowers: one bunch of daffodils and one bunch of something else, some kind of jonquils, which the flower lady said would last longer than the daffodils. And the first lilacs are out! In Boston, Lilac Sunday isn't until well into May and in Vermont the lilacs are out even later. So I bought a small, fragrant bunch of lilac-colored lilacs.

We have goat cheese in this part of North Carolina. The farm has been on my blogroll since the beginning. It is called Goat Lady Dairy (there really is a goat lady) and it is located an hour or two from here in, are you ready, Climax, North Carolina. There is a Baptist church in Climax and one passes it on the way to the farm. I don't think it is called Climax Baptist. The farm has an "open farm" twice a year including one at the very end of April, which is at the end of term here (classes end the last of April or the first of May and then we have Reading Days and Finals) and a couple of years ago a bunch of faculty piled into my colleague Shelini's car to get away from our tall stacks of papers and exams and went off to goat-land. You haven't lived till you've hugged baby goats. Shelini took photos but has yet to get them to me. If she does before leaving (she is our department member who is leaving and for whose replacement we had the search this year) I will post one. There is also a sheep farm nearby by the name of Rising Meadow Farm. It sells fleece, wool, and meat. Yes, meat from the darling lambies. Mostly vegetarian though I may be, I have broken down and had some of this meat once in a long while, because it is sustainably raised. At any rate, back to the goat farm. I bought fresh soft spreadable goat cheese (just plain -- they also sell it doctored up with all manner of flavors: pimientos, horseradish, figs and honey, fresh herbs, et al., but I like the plain stuff) and a little round ash-covered slightly aged goat cheese; that one needs to age a bit more and I am keeping it out of the fridge.

I also bought Ohio Amish raw milk cheddar cheese (one mild, one sharp) from one of the Amish families who have a booth at the market.

Then I went to the beekeeping man, who knows me and greeted me (the cheese people know me too, this is part of the fun of frequenting farmers' markets, you get to enjoy the people and the interdependence of city and country) and from whom I hadn't gotten anything in a while. I bought a jar of honey and a tall pair of beeswax candles for my fabulous teaching assistant whose birthday was two days ago (Ima, I hope you're not reading this, it's supposed to be a surprise) -- the candles are for her and her boyfriend's next romantic evening. (Yes, I know the boyfriend, and he's a romantic.) I also bought some shea butter from Ghana, 99% pure shea butter and 1% lavender fragrance, that's it. Great for skin.

When I got home, there was the matter of all the fresh fish. Best to cook some of it soon since cooked it will live in the fridge a day or two longer. I have now given all or most of the tilapia to my adopted nephew (not officially adopted and not my blood nephew, I just have become Auntie Jane over the past couple of years), who is a student from Rwanda and likes cooking with it, and to his beloved, who is one of our alumnae. I made a salad with the baby lettuces and with a decidedly non-organic but heavenly avocado from the supermarket, because I have been craving avocado. (Are there perimenopausal cravings the way there are pregnancy cravings?) While I was eating the salad, the salmon was baking. I made a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, capers (from the jar I bought a week ago), and crushed fresh garlic, put it on the salmon, wrapped it all up in parchment paper and put it in the oven for a little over 20 minutes (it was a thick piece of salmon) at about 400 degrees. (Can be lower -- recipes vary, I took a quick look at oven temps for salmon in parchment and they go all the way from 325 to 475 degrees, go figure.) Since I am mostly a vegetarian at home and not all that expert at non-veggie dishes and since I am also an absent-minded professor and daydreamy mystical type, burning and overcooking food has become a problem unless I stay in the kitchen the whole time, and with this crazy job I can't always stay in the kitchen. So parchment-wrapped fish is a great solution, because the fish stays moist and if you go a couple of minutes over it's not a disaster. Yes, I have a kitchen timer, but even with a timer I've been known to mess up.

The salmon was delicious. I added a little bit of salt and pepper when I took it out of the parchment, but for those of you who are watching your salt intake, this recipe works fine without since the citrus and garlic and capers add quite a bit of zip. I rinsed the capers before putting them into the marinade so they wouldn't be too salty or vinegar-y.

And then I was full and didn't crave anything sweet. Which was part of the idea.

For supper I had yet more bounty from the sea. It is a rarity for such fishyness to happen twice a day, but I had to cook the shrimp while it was fresh. I skimmed a few recipes for "shrimp scampi" (a misnomer if there ever was one, scampi means "shrimp"!) which I had around to check on cooking times and then scanned my brain and my refrigerator for ingredients that would match the food. In a pan I put Umbrian olive oil (from the supermarket, no less -- they have started a new line of regional Italian olive oils), lime juice (I keep bottles of organic lemon juice and lime juice in the fridge), fresh crushed garlic (yes, again; you can't have too much garlic in your diet), and a dash of vodka for fun and because I had no wine in the house and there was vodka in the freezer left over from the Christmas/New Year's season (shows you how much I drink). Then the shrimp. A bit of coarse sea salt and then a handful of the fresh cilantro, chopped. Sauté a few minutes and voilà. Not much sauce, light, and very good. Serve over rice if you need a carb. I just had the shrimp "as is" and it was very satisfying. First course was Very Veggie juice. (Which, if you decide to go on the South Beach Diet, is very nice as your vegetable course if you don't have time to cook or if you are figuring out how in the world you are going to have vegetables with breakfast or brunch. It's like V8, only better.)

Sorry, no photos of the cooked dishes, I don't own a digital camera. Use your imagination. :-)

Poet Aimé Césaire very ill

Fort-de-France, Martinique -- Poet Aime Césaire, one of the founders of the négritude movement, is very ill. I didn't even realize he was still alive... He is 94.

Better news story, the original one I saw, here, but it's in French so if you're not a francophone, you'll have to pick your way through it. The picture accompanying it is the one I have posted here.

More on Césaire and négritude here (in English) and here (also in English).

The other founders of the négritude movement are Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal and Léon Gontian Damas. Négritude, a cultural movement of Africa and the African diaspora, was and is the original black-is-beautiful movement in the former colonies of France in the African world. Interestingly and not surprisingly, some of its leaders were in touch with and sometimes influenced by literary figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Both Césaire and Senghor were statesmen as well as poets during their long and fruitful lives and are major poets in the French language. I know less about Damas and must go read up on him.

May Aimé Césaire's last days be gentle on the earth and may he hear the poetry of angels in his ears. In Caribbean French.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jeff soon out of hospital, thanks for your prayers

My colleague from Guilford's English department, Jeff Jeske, is being released from hospital. An update is here . Thank you so much for your prayers of many weeks ago. He almost died, but he is alive!

Noël, spook

From tomorrow's New York Times, this delicious piece.

You may need a "login," but it's free.

Oremus: Krister Stendahl is dying

As I was posting the icon of the Mother of God below, I received word that my beloved mentor, Krister Stendahl, is near death.

Just a year ago (a year ago tomorrow, to be exact) I posted about him following an excellent post by Deirdre Good.

I have been grieving him for several weeks already, sensing that I would not see him alive again. This is a death I have been dreading for years. Bishop Stendahl is dying in the fullness of years, but this is someone who has been a true spiritual father to me and there will never be anyone like him again.

I pray for him, ask for your prayers for him, for his wife and partner Brita, and for their children and family.

I can't find a photo of him on the web, except for a not very good one. The link to a photo on the link above is broken (the link to my post does work fine, though) and all the photos seem to have disappeared.

When the obits are out (they will be everywhere, he is world famous) there will be photographs, I am sure. Meanwhile we wait and pray and give thanks

P.S. I found one of the photos I was looking for. This one is of Brita and Krister Stendahl in the audience at a lecture at Harvard Divinity School (HDS). Both are in their eighties.

(To Brita and Krister's left --to their right in the photo-- is noted scholar of religion and ecology Mary Evelyn Tucker. To her left is HDS professor Kimberly Patton, my Guilford colleague Eric Mortensen's mentor and friend. In the row above them you can see emeritus professor Gordon Kaufman and next to him, Mary Evelyn Tucker's husband John Grim, also a noted scholar of religion and ecology.)

Icon blogging: Ethiopian triptych with Mary and Jesus

Got the icon from here.

Anonymous painter. Triptych with Virgin and Child Flanked by archangels, scenes from the life of Christ, apostles and Saint George and Saint Mercurius. Ethiopia (Gojjam?), late 17th century. Tempera on panel.

Friday cat blogging: (temporary) favorite places

Maya Pavlova has favorite places, but they vary. For a week she will adopt a place to sleep --the laundry basket, the top of a box, anywhere either soft or small and somewhat enclosed-- and there she will return, every day and evening, but then she is on to a new one. The week before last and into the weekend it was a particular small cushion at the end of the living-room couch. She had never slept there before. She is not sleeping there any more. But for a week it was her Favorite Place.

This of course does not include the perch I cleared for her some months ago at the top of a low bookcase in my study by the window. That is where she watches Kitty TV every morning and sometimes every afternoon. But in between, there must be naps.

This week she is fond of the very top of the high narrow bookcase in the living room. She jumps up there in a flying leap and naps there in the evenings. I assume she likes it not only because it is just the size of a small curled-up cat but also because it is close to the standing lamp, which is on in the evenings, so she gets the warmth from it. If it's a warm spot, it will attract a cat. She can, of course, survey the premises from the top of the bookcase when she opens an eye or two.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April 9: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor, scholar, community-builder, martyr

Shame on me. Were it not for Padre Mickey, I would have forgotten that it was the feast of one of my favorite theologians, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

And although it is now the 10th in the evening, I am posting this with a date of April 9, because I did visit Padre Mickey's Dance Party on day of the feast.

So thanks to Mickey for this.

And here is a link to my Bonhoeffer post from last year. It's long, so maybe it's good for two feasts.

We give thanks, O giver of life,
for Dietrich our brother,
disciple of Jesus,
proclaimer and doer of the Word,
witness to Cross and Resurrection.
In Christ's name,

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Alternative TV"

It's not a cable channel. It's the name of a poem. Even though calling God "he" makes me cringe, I still find the poem incredibly moving -- and theologically true.

Alternative TV

The old man on the screen sang
in a loud and shaky voice
and had probably never been very clean
in addition he had hardly any teeth left
a miner with black lung
of course he spoke dialect and his grammar was bad
why after all should he
show his best side to the camera

When god turns on his tv
he sees old people like that
they sing
in a loud and shaky voice
and the camera of the holy spirit
shows the dignity of these people
and makes god say
that is very beautiful

when we have abolished tv as it exists
and are allowed to look at the skin of aging women
and are unafraid of eyes
that have lost their lashes in weeping
when we respect work
and the workers have become visible
and sing
in a loud and shaky voice

Then we shall see
real people
and be happy about it
like god

****–Dorothee Soelle

Part of the texts at the end of chapter 6, "Gazing: Icons, Images, and the Depths of God" in When in Doubt, Sing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

And today we remember Dr. King...

...about whom I was going to blog along with an overdue tribute to César Chávez -- how appropriate to honor them together -- but my bodymind is ready to go to bed and all it can handle is the cat. (See below.)

Tomorrow I will chair a diocesan anti-racism committee meeting in the morning and later in the day or weekend* we will remember Brothers Martin and César here.

May we listen to their lives, walk with them, and not keep them on pedestals far, far away.

Thus will we honor their memories.

* or more like Tuesday. (Added Monday evening.)

Friday cat blogging, first Friday in April (2)

These are from last week, or some time around then. (I only own an old-fashioned camera, so I take the film to the shop and get a CD made.)

Kitty TV: hours of entertainment on the Bird and Squirrel Channel.

Caption contest, anyone?

Maya watches the sunset.


Photos by Jane Redmont. A Maya Pavlova Production.

Wisdom from Thomas Merton

Don’t set limits to the mercy of God.
Don’t believe that because you are not pleasing to yourself
you are not pleasing to God.
God does not ask for results.
God asks for love.

–Thomas Merton

Another quote I use in When in Doubt, Sing... Rediscovered it today. I don't know about you, but I need to remember this one.

Friday cat blogging, first Friday in April (1)

There's an explicit copyright on this one, so I am refraining from posting it, but you must click here and see the African wild cat sleeping in a tree.

It looks like a direct relative of my Maya Pavlova and several other cats I know, and according to the photographer, it is.

The photographer is James Warwick from the UK. Says Warwick, a wildlife photographer, "I had seen this individual a number of times resting up in the same tree during the day. On this occasion I could not have wished for a more perfect pose. After a few minutes he resumed his afternoon nap. African wild cats are the main relative of all domestic cats."

C'mon, click. You need that daily "aaaawwww."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And now, some beauty

Because we cannot let the sun set on our anger, I close the day* with a photo from November in Paris.

*which is already past midnight, but I am cheating and changing the post time so that it is still Wednesday in blogtopia.

This is a bit of the courtyard and entrance to the Cluny museum. This is Paris's museum of medieval art and, as you can see, it is in a fine late 15th century building. The English-language website for the museum is here. Click on "The Hôtel de Cluny" in the left-hand column to read about the building. The other links are fun, too.

I just realized I already posted this photo two months ago, but I didn't say what it was and you can't look at Paris courtyards too often.

A writing rant, because I just couldn't stand it any more

I can't even read the flipping NEWS without seeing mistakes in grammar, spelling, and syntax.

As Mother of Acts of Hope would say, it's The Decline of Western Civilization.

To: The Associated Press (AP) (I sent this to the general e-mail on the news website, so my letter will probably end up in the cyber-trash, but I couldn't stand it any more. If anything drives me away from teaching, it will be the pain of correcting bad writing. Especially since I am not a professor of writing.)

Dear AP,

Aargh! As a college professor, writer, and daughter and sister of journalists (including two AP staff or former staff) I am appalled. Your writer Devlin Barrett managed to make not one but TWO mistakes in the final sentence of his story on Senator Obama and former Vice President Gore.

See below for the mistakes and corrections.

It's bad enough that I have to correct these very same mistakes in my students' papers. What am I to do when they read the news and find the very same problems there?

This is not the AP with which I grew up. Please watch your copyediting and proofreading.


Jane Redmont

Obama would consider Gore for major post

By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 43 minutes ago

WALLINGFORD, Pa. - Democrat Barack Obama says as president he would consider putting Al Gore in a Cabinet-level position — or higher.

A woman at a town hall asked the Illinois senator if elected president would he consider tapping the former vice president for his Cabinet, or an even higher level office, to address global warming.

"I would," Obama said. "Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem. He's somebody I talk to on a regular basis. I'm already consulting with him in terms of these issues but climate change is real."

Gore, who's work on climate change earned him a Nobel Prize, he is popular among Democrats.
* * * * * * * * *
Attention, AP:

That should be whose work on climate change. There is no need for the word he.

Gore, whose work on climate change earned him a Nobel Prize, is popular among Democrats.

(Either that or change the sentence to: Gore's work on climate change earned him a Nobel Prize. He is popular among Democrats.)

Please stop using people who write like junior high school students to write your stories!

Okay, now I'm all peaceful and nonviolent and centered again. OOOMMMMMMMM...

Previous pet peeve rant about language here.