Forgive Me My Ancestor(s) by Elizabeth Cunningham

Elizabeth Cunningham

When I was a child in the 1950s we often played cowboys and Indians. There is a photograph of my brother and me in no doubt inauthentic costume complete with feathered headdress. In kindergarten I named myself Morning Star. (I just googled and see that I must have gotten the name from the 50s television series Brave Eagle, the first with an indigenous main character. Morning Star is the female lead.)

When I was a teenager, my aunt came across a privately printed book The Gentleman on the Plains about second sons of English aristocracy hunting buffalo in western Iowa. My great grandfather accompanied them as their clergyman. I wish I could find that book now to see how this enterprise was presented. In my adolescent mind these “gentlemen” looked like the local foxhunters in full regalia. On opening morning of foxhunt season an Episcopal clergyman (like my father) was on hand in ecclesiastical dress to bless the hunt and then invited to a boozy breakfast. Continue reading “Forgive Me My Ancestor(s) by Elizabeth Cunningham”

Eco-Theology and the Dave Matthews Band by Gina Messina-Dysert

Gina Messina-Dysert profileFeminist theologian Sallie McFague argues that we must give the earth the attention it is due and recognize its subjectivity rather than having an arrogant viewpoint that assumes we have the right to control the planet.  She states that by refusing to accept our place on earth we are sinning.  I think it is fair to say that the Dave Matthews Band has a perspective that is similar to McFague’s.  Song after song offers lyrics that acknowledge the earth as our holy Mother and demands that we recognize our place in the ecosystem and our personal responsibility for its continuation.  For instance, “One Sweet World” calls us to be cognizant of the fact that without the wonders of nature we would be unable to sustain ourselves.  We have taken the earth for granted and yet our very survival is dependent on the wellbeing of our planet.  In this song, DMB ponders the question “if the green should slip to gray, would our hearts still bloody beat?”

Continue reading “Eco-Theology and the Dave Matthews Band by Gina Messina-Dysert”

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