New magazine to offer alternative faith messageBy John Longhurst Mennonite Weekly Review
WINNIPEG, Man. — When Aiden Enns, a member of Home Street Mennonite Church, saw that some Christians believed the war in Iraq was part of God’s plan for the end of the world, he said: “Geez, I can’t believe it!”
And when he heard that a new version of the Bible was being packaged to look like a fashion magazine for teenage girls, he said: “Geez, I can’t believe it!”
He said that so many times that he finally decided to start a magazine to critique, satirize and counter the direction that religion in North America is taking. Naturally, he called it Geez.
“The prominence and rise of the religious right is creating a massive void and hunger for alternative Christian messages,” said Enns, the magazine’s publisher. “There are very few left-leaning publications that are spiritual. But many social activists are spiritually motivated. I see it in Jesuits who resist the invasion of Wal-Mart, in evangelicals squatting with homeless people or in activists staging a die-in against the latest war.”
Working with editor Will Braun, also of Winnipeg, and designer Darryl Brown, who lives in Oregon, Enns wants to provide a “cheeky” magazine that will “set up camp on the fringes of faith” and “integrate spiritual adventure and social change.”
At the same time, he said, it will defy the “unholy alliance between church, state, market and military” while celebrating the “spiritual dimensions of biking, energy efficiency and canning pickles.”
Enns is especially interested in getting Americans to subscribe.
“I’m upset at the direction our culture is taking toward consumerism, greed and fear,” he said. “The chief exporter of those things is the U.S. I want to engage that audience with a counter-cultural message.”
But, he added, he doesn’t want Geez to be just a place for people to air their complaints.
“I’m looking for people who are putting their rhetoric into action — not just condemning the things they see as wrong, but doing something about it,” he said.
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