Raw, adjective: 8. brutally harsh or unfair: a raw deal.

Sign of the times?

Next week is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent (one of my favorite seasons of the church year).  Not only is Lent  generally a quiet winter time for reflection and renewal, but it's always a good chance to step back and practice a little renunciation - an exercise consistent across traditions as a vehicle for revelation and deepened understanding.

There's a lot of interesting shit out there about the notion of renunciation, whether it's consumption-related (Jesus and the 40 day fast, etc.) or just more attuned to the practice of simplifying your life.  Some of my favorite subversive theologians use the Christic model as proof of the inherently Marxist inclinations of the Gospel: they see in Mark a call to renounce possessions and the family and heteronormative authoritarian structures and live like a commie vagabond hippie, man.

I've always liked to practice renunciation now and then, that simplifying exercise that really strips your life down to the bare bones and makes you aware of what it really is that you're living and doing.  But the WSJ ran an article this morning that just made me laugh, and cringe, all at once.  Seems that a hot Lenten trend is to be like Christ and suffer by ... giving up Facebook.  For 40 days.  Hilarious.

Felt like I was reading The Onion as I tripped through the interviews with various middle-aged Christians who were anticipating the great floggings they'd receive on breaking their Facebook fasts.  Check it for a good laugh, or a good cry, or some combination thereof.


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