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Blog Watch: Looking back at Wendell Berry and Gay Marriage

Berry, who turns 80 this year, still lives on his Hardin [sic] County, Kentucky, homeplace, and still knows how to stir things up. The clip at the top today, in lieu of a Sunday sermon, is the unabashedly heterosexual Berry's coming out as a supporter of same-sex marriage during early 2103.
In typical Berry fashion, it was done in a roomful of Baptist preachers on the campus of Georgetown College, affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention  --- Daniel in the lions' den.
Berry minced few words about his views concerning gay marriage and a variety of other topics, nor did he spare the Christian church, skewering it with a variety of quotable paragraphs, including this:
“If I were one of a homosexual couple — the same as I am one of a heterosexual couple — I would place my faith and hope in the mercy of Christ, not in the judgment of Christians. When I consider the hostility of political churches to homosexuality and homosexual marriage, I do so remembering the history of Christian war, torture, terror, slavery and annihilation against Jews, Muslims, black Africans, American Indians and others. And more of the same by Catholics against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics, Catholics against Catholics, Protestants against Protestants, as if by law requiring the love of God to be balanced by hatred of some neighbor for the sin of being unlike some divinely preferred us. If we are a Christian nation — as some say we are, using the adjective with conventional looseness — then this Christian blood thirst continues wherever we find an officially identifiable evil, and to the immense enrichment of our Christian industries of war.”
It was quite a performance, characterized as an "epic slanderfest" by one appalled conservative (previously an admirer of Berry).

Blog Watch: An old Wendell Berry broadside

Wendell Berry has issued a number of his poems first in broadside form from a number of different private presses over the decades. One of his earliest broadsides is from North Carolina’s legendary Palaemon Press. Palaemon specialized in Southern authors, and its author list is a veritable who’s who. (Duke has a handy checklist of Palaemon’s publications on its website.)

Palaemon printed a folio of poems dedicated to Kentuckian and Southern legend Robert Penn Warren. Apparently outside of this collected folio was another poem dedicated to Warren, Wendell Berry’s “The Wheel.”

Read (and see) more at Pinstripe Pulpit 


Wendell Berry in Louisville, May 18

On Sunday afternoon, May 18, at 3:00pm Wendell Berry will visit Crescent Hill Baptist Church [Louisville].  Berry will engage in conversation with and respond to questions posed by Dr. Eric Mount, Professor Emeritus of Religion at Centre College. The primary topic that Berry and Mount will explore is the role that faith and people of faith can play to care for God’s creation.

via Crescent Hill Baptist Church

Wendell Berry on Edible Portland Podcast

“Advice? I don’t like to advise people I’ll never see again. I have become really adept at dodging the request for advice,” said a jocular Wendell Berry, as he sat on stage with his dear friend – Amish farmer and writer – David Kline before several hundred farmers in La Crosse, Wisconsin at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the farmer-owned cooperative CROPP, best known by its brand name, Organic Valley.

In early April, I had the distinct honor of joining Organic Valley Mission Executive – and my mom – Theresa Marquez for an interview with Berry for Underground Airwaves, a bi-monthly storytelling podcast that Edible Portland produces. (Listen to the full episode above or free from theiTunes store – search “Underground Airwaves.”) Berry had been asked by her what words of wisdom he had for the farmer-owned co-op. And despite his playfully gruff answer, he has not been adept at dodging requests for advice. In fact, the opposite is true: Since he first publishedThe Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture in 1977, Berry has used writing as a tool of influence to champion the value of family farming and caring for the earth.

Read more and listn to the podcast HERE.

Blog Watch: On Wendell Berry and Others in Nashville

Berry told a story about being a shepherd to his small flock of sheep, and how much dependence exists between himself and his sheep. He told us about waiting one night with a ewe while she gave birth. With each groan, he found himself bellowing in sympathy. He said, “We are members of one another. We are members of each and every thing. The difference is not between who is and is not connected to all else, but who knows it.”

After noting that “the liberals are just as bad as Rush Limbaugh,” Berry continued: “to try and change other people is just awful. My authority on this is Will Campbell. . . . Don’t think you’re a Christian because you are politically correct. The gospel is a lot more radical than politics.”

Read much more by Eileen Campbell-Reed ... and discover how Mr. Berry practices resurrection.

Blog Watch: Thinking about Wendell Berry and Community

Last night, Jason and I went to hear Wendell Berry speak at an event for a local charity.  He was amazing, inspiring and challenging. One of the things I came away wondering is what my actions say about me. It’s a question worth asking.  And honestly, I have had so little time to write over the last eight months, my actions are surely speaking louder than the few words I’ve offered on this blog. So what are my actions saying?

If you’ve read any Wendell Berry, you know a key theme is one of neighbor. And while Mr. Berry means this word quite literally – are you helping and working alongside the people who live next door to you, across the street, behind you – he also offered a definition last night that resonated with me: “A neighbor is someone who needs your help.” Am I helping those around me? Do I know them well enough to help them? 

Read more at Planting Word Seeds