lifeblood: listlogs: 2006v09n030-news

ig-news-digest         wednesday, june 7 2006         volume 09 : number 030

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] american spectator article  [sherlyn koo <]
  [ig-news] fwd: indigo girls: new notes from amy!  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pi]


date: wed, 7 jun 2006 08:04:40 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] american spectator article

hi folks,

here's an article about emily & religion from the american spectator.  you can
read it online at:


- ---begin forwarded article---
the indigo girl and god
by mark tooley  
published 6/6/2006 12:07:31 am

lesbian folk singer emily saliers, one half of the "indigo girls" duo, joined
with her methodist theologian father, don saliers, to write a book published
last year called a song to sing: a life to live: reflections on music as
spiritual practice. the book strives to meld her "secular" lounge music with the
ethos of her father's sacred hymnody.

"is there just a plain and simple message of love and caring for each other and
the world?" saliers asked, in a recent interview with jim wallis' sojourners
magazine about her book. "there are some so-called secular texts that speak to
that with more passion and power than some of the most well-known sacred texts."

saliers and her dad created a minor dust-up when they were featured speakers and
performers at a united methodist women's convention in anaheim, california last
month. (you can watch their performance here.) seven thousand church ladies
listened to emily perform anti-war folk songs and then join her father to sing
some psalms. don saliers teaches music at the methodist seminary at emory
university in atlanta. emily is ambivalent towards religion but credits her
childhood in the church for inspiring the music she now makes with fellow
lesbian indigo girl (but not romantic partner) amy ray.

traditionalist church ladies (, citing methodism's official
disapproval of homosexual practice, protested emily saliers' featured role at
the assembly, which was attended by 7,000 methodist women. but a news release
from the united methodist women's organization, while admitting that saliers'
"self-avowed sexual orientation" had "generated controversy," nonetheless
affirmed that the father-daughter team was invited because of their "spiritual
and theological understandings and their commitment to justice for women and

the leadership of the 700,000 member united methodist women's organization still
holds fast to old-fashioned social gospel liberalism. although it has lost
several hundred thousand members over recent decades, tens of millions in
endowed funds help the new york-based group ignore conservative trends in
american religion. the indigo girls' brand of social activism is seen as a good
fit for the methodist women, or at least their elites, among whom hillary
clinton is a prominent and much extolled member.

"i want to hang with the methodists!" saliers told the crowd in the anaheim
convention center. her theologian father responded to his daughter, "i love my
bach. but your stuff has taught me so much." she shared an anti-war song about
"blood drying in the desert" that she recalled having provocatively performed
before a new york audience immediately after 9-11. he then joined her in singing
psalm 139.

it was an unusual duo, with the straight-laced daddy saliers looking somewhat
like john ashcroft, and the red-haired, slightly grungy daughter living up to
her counter-culture reputation. the saliers' book is unusual too, as they
attempt to combine their contrasting stories. she explained to southern voice
last year that "there is a spiritual path to both secular and sacred music and
how the deep human yearnings in them are one and the same sometimes." describing
herself as a "religious mutt," she attempts to find commonality with her
methodist father.

don saliers teaches theology and worship at emory's candler school of theology
for methodist clergy. in contrast, she espouses social and gay liberation
through her songs. "i can never separate my thoughts and feelings from my
identity and the rest of my queer community," she told southern voice. "when you
hear a song that expresses what you've struggled with for so long, it can be so

emily saliers' indigo girls website has an "activism!" section, which urges
various causes from "making shelters for transgendered people" to "say no to war
with iraq!!!" to "the moratorium campaign" against capital punishment and "honor
the earth" vigils. among her travel memories, she recounts a 1996 visit to cuba
and a warm meeting there with fidel castro.

"i was visibly shaking and my eyes teared up as i introduced myself," saliers
recalls. "i know that this man has participated in his share of violence in the
name of the revolution, but his ideals (a 'man of the people') seemed to
overshadow the reality of war." similarly, she admires che guevera for "fighting
the brutalities of imperialism" but who was ultimately lost in "machismo and
violence." the zapatistas of mexico seem to be the "purest movement" she has
witnessed, having visited chiapas some years ago.

although nervous, she was impressed by castro. "i told fidel that i appreciated
what he stands for and that i would go home with a bigger heart, then i kissed
his hand...hmmm...i don't know what got into me, and i don't even remember his
response," she remembers. "he had a peaceful demeanor and struck me as an old
spirit who had been through a lot and sometimes may have lost his way. he was
very otherworldly yet human."

no less cordial than castro, the united methodist women's assembly received the
saliers' with generous applause. "tell them that you belong to an organization
that refuses to offer religious excuses or legitimization for violence,
vengeance, deprivation and discrimination," united methodist women's president
jan love told the crowd, which also heard from kenyan nobel laureate wahu kaara
of the kenya debt relief network and leftist bolivian minister of justice
casimira rodriguez romero, herself a methodist. there was also a fashion show
called "fashion resistance to militarism," which spotlighted the supposed
"subtle examples of militarism in popular culture."

some juicy stuff, no doubt, but emily saliers remained the star of the event,
despite her ambivalence about religion in general and her father's church in
particular. "without your witness...we'd be immeasurably impoverished," daddy
saliers chirpily told the well-dressed and well-coiffed methodist women. emily
saliers thanked the church ladies for "being welcoming." father and daughter
sang "let us break bread together on our knees" from the united methodist hymnal
before departing.

mark tooley directs the united methodist committee at the institute on religion
and democracy in washington, d.c.

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date: wed, 07 jun 2006 12:00:27 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] fwd: indigo girls: new notes from amy!

hey kids,

here's the official mailer...


- ----- forwarded message from -----
      date: tue, 06 jun 2006 21:50:10 -0400
      from: indigo girls <>
   subject: indigo girls: new notes from amy!

"okay folks, this is the last of em... the record is mixed and
mastering goes underway on june 14th.  right now, we're figuring out
the sequence and still trying to find the ever elusive title.
everything is on time so far for a september 19th release date."

read more and view the new video:


- ---

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end of ig-news-digest v9 #30

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