I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this article about the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina, as the festival is gearing up for its second year. The festival was so popular last year that the organizers are adding a west coast version, in Oregon. While the article is obviously hyperbolic, and the author is in danger of having her critiques dismissed because of the strong language she uses, I do think it’s important to take what she says seriously.
Wild Goose markets itself as a conference that concerns itself with ‘justice, spirituality and art,’ and the intersection of all three. When a group of Christians and other affiliated or sympathetic people attempt to create a weekend event that aspires to be at the cutting edge of Christendom, it’s important that they respond well to criticism, such as that leveled by Kristin Rawls in the Killing the Buddha article I’ve been thinking about. Wild Goose is not just meant to be a music festival. They’re clearly aspiring to say something important about social justice, as well, and as such it’s fair game to critique them.
This is a good post.
I was kind of taken aback by Rawls’ language too, tbh. I think she made incredibly important points and I relate to her predicament to an uncomfortable degree. I can understand where her anger is coming from, as I think on times I have interacted with that “emergent” hipster Christian crowd in Portland. We don’t own a car and we have a herd of kids and are ACTUALLY poor, (but educated, so we sneak up on you) and they acted like we were carrying a disease. Seriously it was humiliating. I can’t imagine even going to a festival like the one described, for that very reason.
Oh yeah, I don’t want to dismiss people who think her language is too strong. I just encountered some pushback from people who wanted to dismiss what she had to say because of her language, and it’s important that Christians (particularly the emergent types) at least listen to it.