Sunday, October 26, 2008

Praise You in this Storm

Twice last Sunday Casting Crowns’ ‘Praise You In This Storm’ played on the radio while I was in the car (once on the way to church, once on the way home). Coincidentally (or not?), the sermon that day was about praising God no matter what our life circumstances. After having had a weekend where I was completely worn out, drained physically and emotionally. I think God might have been trying to tell me something.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


When is a job “just a job?” When does working for an organization mean that you may be, intentionally or not, supporting ideals with which you don’t personally agree?

One of my friends called me out on this yesterday:

"Hey Jeremy, ... I came across the site for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, which credits you for the website design.  I was just kind of surprised to see your name there, because I have heard of this group and they are...well...kind of anti-gay.  Just wondering what was up there."

A few years ago, after completing a new site design for Minnehaha, I was approached by a coworker asking if I’d help create a new website for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). As a college student in need of money and resumé-building website experience, this seemed like a great opportunity.

As I posted news articles for LCMC, though, I was bothered, as my friend noted, at just how anti-homosexual some of the writings were. At the time, I decided this would simply need to fall into the category of being “just another job.” After all, I’d never attended a church service there, and had no connection other than maintaining their website. Regardless of my disagreement with the published material, LCMC was still 100% within their First Amendment rights to say what they said.

This concern came to my mind again this summer after posting another such article, and I strongly considered whether I should drop support for the site. Life got busy, and rather than taking time to ponder, I chose not to choose, maintained my status quo, and ignored the problem.

Several weeks ago, LCMC approached me asking if I would be willing to create a website for an individual congregation. I’m incredibly busy right now, and the very last thing I need in my life is “one more thing to do.” That said, as an immediate post-college graduate whose student loans are about to come due, the potential supplemental income was enough to make me consider, and eventually offer a hesitant “yes.” However, I felt uneasy, partly because, well, it’s “one more thing to do,” but also because of my concerns about supporting an organization that, while not their main objective, spreads something I consider to be much less than the love that Christianity is supposed to be about.

After my friend’s message yesterday, I realized that, unfortunately, I can’t distance myself and say “it’s just a job” - the choices I make have very real ramifications, and the groups I associate myself with can bear heavily on how others see my character. LCMC is not an organization that I can continue to support.

I’ve never been to an LCMC church, I only know my one or two contacts from doing the web work. They aren’t bad people, they’re no “better” nor “worse” sinners than the rest of us. But I do not believe following Christ ought to include an attitude of hostility and discrimination against our brothers and sisters in Christ who just happen to be homosexual, particularly since two of my closest friends are.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Executing Javascripts within Content Loaded via Ajax.Updater

I spent an on-and-off 5 hours today searching for what ended up being a very simple solution. Hopefully this might save someone else the trouble if you stumble upon it.

The Goal: I needed certain pieces of text from a dynamically loaded section of a webpage to turn into editable form elements when clicked.

The Problem: After a little searching, I eventually found this could be done with a call to Scriptaculous’s Ajax.InPlaceEditor. However, when dynamically loading part of the page via a call to Prototype’s Ajax.Updater, the javascript for the InPlaceEditor didn’t execute. It wasn’t just a syntax error, a simple alert() didn’t work either.

The Solution: Literally hours later, after many searches and many experiments (through which I learned the InPlaceEditor worked fine when placed on the original page, just not when put into the dynamically loaded portion), I discovered the answer was unbelievably simple. If I had simply RTFM’d, I would have seen in Prototype’s documentation ( that Ajax.Updater has an option called evalScripts, which defaults to false. Passing that parameter as true made everything work perfectly.

<div class="row" id="someID" onclick="new Ajax.Updater('someID', 'callbackpage.php', {
method: 'post',
evalScripts: true