Editor’s Note: The folks at Geez recently released an issue devoted to Christian Anarchism. As part of that release, they are extending a special offer to Jesus Radicals readers. Read on for more info…
Free Geez for our friends at Jesus Radicals:
We will give 50 free issues of Geez 28 Autonomous Together ($10 value) to the first 50 friends of Jesus Radicals, on the condition that people pay up front for shipping ($2.95 for Canada, $7.40 for U.S. deliveries). Please note: This deal will only work if you type in the coupon code: “radicals” (with no quotation marks) after you enter your shipping/billing address, see geezmagazine.org/G28
A note from the editor of Geez 28:
I consider the folks at Jesus Radicals some of my most kindred Christian spirits, even though I’ve only met a few and have yet to attend an annual conference. About 10 years ago, at a crossroads in my faith, I came upon the young JesusRadicals.com website. Each time I visited I felt subversive, almost criminal. It nurtured my identity as one who decried abundant abuses of power.
At that time I was working as the managing editor of Adbusters in Vancouver, B.C. One of my best friends there openly identified as an atheist pacifist anarchist activist (and vegetarian). It was the “anarchist” part of his label that excited me most and ignited my own sense of Christian activism.
I had come from eight years as a Mennonite journalist with the church press in Canada and two years of graduate school in journalism. I discovered that both my faith formation and professional training were statist, privileged and pro-hegemonic. That is, I learned that the government favours the rich over the poor, men over women, whites over people of colour, and compliant voices over dissenters.
As I read more activist theology and commentary (such as Ched Myers’ Binding the Strong Man:A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus and William Herzog’s, The Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed) my faith came alive.
I decided to move back to my home in Winnipeg and see if I could recruit a team to start an Adbusters-style magazine for people at the fringes of faith — Christian and others. We launched Geez magazine in December 2005, and it’s still going. We’re still 84 pages free of advertising, printed on 100 percent post-consumer waste paper. We’re a non-profit with a flat pay scale for all the workers.
In the current issue, number 28, we squarely address the need for an anarchist impulse within Christianity. Of course most middle-class Christians are startled at the thought of anarchist activists infiltrating their ranks. But as I hope we make plain in this issue, the anarchist’s desire is to celebrate the autonomy and freedom of the individual. This requires a dismantling of the structures of oppression.
To be clear, I remain committed to a non-violent path; I’m with Gandhi and Jesus who both held the conviction that the power of love, truth, compassion and weakness is greater than coercion, hate and subjugation. Yes this is naive. But as Gene Sharp has shown in his writings on non-violent revolutions in the 20th Century, it is a powerful “weapon” the masses can employ overthrow dictators in the pursuit of a more effective democracy.
Highlights in this issue for me include:
- Brad Langendoen’s journal entries as he goes from a conservative evangelical Christian warrior in the U.S. culture wars to a Christian anarchist pacifist documenting the conflict in the Middle East;
- Mark Van Steenwyk’s “Christo-anarchism is not a belief but a move toward non-domination,” which serves as a primer on the topic;
- Nekeisha Alexis-Baker, the co-founder of JesusRadicals.com, reflects on the 10 years since they started the project.
- Leanne Wild, writes in “Of radicals and root vegetables,” that after her early years as a radical activist, she feels somewhat like a sellout, but not completely.
For some spice we added a naysayer’s voice: Evangelical theologian and ethicist John G. Stackhouse, Jr., stirs the pot with his, “A dash of cold water for Christian anarchism.” There’s already a rebuttal from one of the contributors to the issue, Ric Hudgens, “Mocking the Anarchist Scarecrow”.
I welcome any feedback, positive and negative, from our friends at Jesus Radicals.
Geez magazine, co-editor, publisher
400 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2M2 Canada