Sojourner Truth vs. Absalom Jones

The Elate Eight continues today as Sojourner Truth takes on Absalom Jones. Unfair? Of course! It’s Lent Madness after all.

To make it to this point, Sojourner sojourned her way past Soren Kierkegaard and Frances Joseph-Gaudet while Absalom sailed past Matthias before sneaking by Joseph.

Yesterday, Constance became the first Lent Madness 2016 participant to reach the Faithful Four, defeating Vida Dutton Scudder 61% to 39%. It’s safe to say that, in Constance, we truly do have a Cinderella of this year’s bracket! She’ll face the winner of Albert Schweitzer and Julian of Norwich in the Faithful Four.

And speaking of brackets and Cinderellas, don’t miss our saintly analysis of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Lent Madness meets March Madness. The march to the Faithful Four continues!

Sojourner Truth

ST4Sojourner Truth is so awesome that her kitsch itself is precedent-setting. For example, Sojourner is the first Black American woman to have a bust in the US Capitol, which is pretty neat. (Despite the fact it took until 2006 to get this done. I’m going to ignore the fact you were really late to the party, US Capitol folks, and just celebrate you decided to show up at all.)

During her lifetime, Sojourner made her own kitsch. That’s right–that’s how awesome she was. In the late 1800s, it was customary for photographers to retain the rights to the photos they made. However, Sojourner had none of this. Like an early media maven, she demanded the rights to her own name and image, and sold photo cards of herself at all her speaking appearances, as an extra way to make money. For a former slave, this was an incredible way to assert autonomy over herself, and set a powerful precedent about her right to be reckoned with on her own terms. These photo cards are available on eBay, and the quote she includes on them “I sell the shadow in order to support the substance” is dead-on. The lady did not mess around.  ST8

Of course, after her death, lots of other people messed around all over the place. Hence, the rise of some really curious memorabilia. Sojourner dictated her own autobiography (entitled The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, naturally) and her life was really sad and violent, but this did not stop a surprising number of children’s biographies about her from hitting the streets. Including this one with a truly frightening cover.

ST6In keeping with the “teach the children” theme, there is also a finger puppet, for the non-literate set. (Head is normal size.)

And if you prefer to educate people indirectly, there are Sojourner Truth ST2cufflinksST9 and a Sojourner Truth pocket mirror. (Because nothing screams “Prophet of God’s Radical Love!” like cufflinks.)



But maybe music is what you prefer? Lots of musical artists have found Sojourner’s life inspiring, including (not making this up) The Deedle Deedle Dees, who have a song about her on their album, which also features such feel-good dittys as “Phineas Gage Has Something To Tell These People” (yup) and the classic “Mayor LaGuardia’s Stomach” (of course.)

Less upsettingly, there is also Langston Hughes (yes! that Langston Hughes!) who has a recording in which he recounts events in Black history, including Sojourner’s life. His stories are interspersed with freedom songs and chants, by people like Leadbelly and others.

But I have saved the most spectacular for last. I ask you to cast your mind back, back to a ST7simpler time in the late 1990s, and the first time we sent a robot to Mars. That’s right! Sojourner Truth has a space robot named after her!!!!

The Sojourner JPL Rover, as named by a 12-year old girl in an essay contest, landed on Mars, and then was promptly never heard from again. (Whoops). But, this did not prevent its extensive merchandising, including HotWheels!

ST3And, in the movie The Martian, when Matt Damon needs some high-tech rescuing; when he is stranded alone, afraid, and in need of a friendly voice, who saves the day?


Even in the imaginary world of near-future science fiction, Sojourner Truth manages to bring hope and love to the furthest reaches of the human experience.


Megan Castellan

Absalom Jones

UBEMD-2015-MEMORIAL-JONES-0839On January 1, 1808, the Rev. Absalom Jones stood on the lectern of Philadelphia’s African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas (then located at the corner of Fifth and Adelphi streets) and gave a rousing sermon. He wasn’t there to talk about slavery and bondage. He was there to speak about deliverance!

Born a slave, Absalom worked during the night for many years in order to buy his wife’s freedom, andAJ2 later his own. He was industrious. With his master’s permission, he went to school to learn how to read and write. Perhaps this is why you can now see his wax likeness at the Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore. The statue’s unveiling took place at a meeting of the Union of Black Episcopalians at the Diocese of Maryland’s Cathedral of the Incarnation

Absalom Jones loved the church. He became a lay minister at the interracial congregation of St. George’s Methodist Church. He was one of the first African Americans licensed to preach in a Methodist church. Perhaps this is why William Faulkner wrote a book titled Absalom, Absalom!

AJ3Absalom Jones knew that being a Christian entails having a higher standard! When he and other African-Americans were asked to move to the balcony of the church, he and all the others decided to walk out—an action that resulted in the formation of the Free African Society and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. Perhaps this is why he apparently loved football.

Absalom Jones was charitable. When Philadelphia was struck with yellow fever (“Absalom Would Go?”), Absalom Absalom_Jones_Photo_1_webJones assisted Dr. Benjamin Rush in helping people afflicted by the plague. Jones’ corps of black Philadelphians helped nurse the sick, as well as bury the dead. Jones sometimes worked through the night taking care of the sick. During those days, almost twenty times more black people helped the plague-struck than did whites. Perhaps this is why he was once portrayed in a “Testimony Dance Drama” at a church in North Carolina.

aecst_cremainsAlthough Absalom Jones died in 1818, the issue of his time, slavery, points directly toward our day. How much would he have enjoyed seeing the Thirteen Amendment being ratified, hearing Martin Luther King speak at the Lincoln Memorial, watching Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration! Perhaps this is why his ashes are are kept on display in a bronze, Bible-shaped box in a chapel dedicated to him at the church he founded in Philadelphia.

Jones finished his 1808 sermon with this heartfelt prayer: “Give peace in our day, we beseech thee, O thou God of peace! And grant, that this highly favored country may continue to afford a safe and peaceful retreat from the calamities of war and slavery, for ages yet to come.”

Hugo Olaiz

Sojourner Truth vs. Absalom Jones

  • Sojourner Truth (63%, 3,729 Votes)
  • Absalom Jones (37%, 2,152 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,881

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158 Comments to "Sojourner Truth vs. Absalom Jones"

  1. Monica Irwin's Gravatar Monica Irwin
    March 16, 2016 - 8:03 am | Permalink

    I want to vote for BOTH!

    • Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
      March 16, 2016 - 8:18 am | Permalink

      I am so with you, Monica!

    • March 16, 2016 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Amen to that!

      • Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
        March 16, 2016 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Amen! And again I say amen! But, sadly, the rules do not permit it. So, unless we want our vote invalidated, we must choose.

    • Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
      March 16, 2016 - 8:54 am | Permalink

      Can’t both advance?

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      March 16, 2016 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      We want BOTH!
      Great write ups!

    • J's Gravatar J
      March 16, 2016 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      Oh my, I’m with you. Two human beings of such great substance and passion. In the end I voted for Sojourner Truth because she had to deal with the double whammy of being both a slave and a woman.

    • Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
      March 16, 2016 - 11:14 am | Permalink

      Hard choices I went with healing the sick as I did yesterday.

    • Linda Nichols's Gravatar Linda Nichols
      March 16, 2016 - 11:14 am | Permalink

      Me, too!

    • Colleen Teeuwe's Gravatar Colleen Teeuwe
      March 16, 2016 - 11:41 am | Permalink

      Me, too! Very hard to pick just one!

    • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
      March 16, 2016 - 11:47 am | Permalink

      I agree! We want BOTH. So I split the baby in half.

      I voted for Truth❤️

      And I pray with Absalom-
      “Give peace in our day, we beseech thee, O thou God of peace! And grant, that this highly favored country may continue to afford a safe and peaceful retreat from the calamities of war and slavery, for ages yet to come.”

    • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
      March 16, 2016 - 11:50 am | Permalink

      BTW Kudos to Ms. Castellan and Mr. Oliaz on their awesome Kitsch reporting.
      Kwite a Klassy Kraft.

    • Tim's Gravatar Tim
      March 16, 2016 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I’m with everyone who wanted to vote for both. In the end a coin flip decided the issue.

    • Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
      March 16, 2016 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Me too!!

    • March 16, 2016 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      March 16, 2016 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. As so many of the match ups have been, both are deserving. Sojourner taking ownership of her name and photographs swayed my vote. What a strong woman she was.

    • Ivan Corbin's Gravatar Ivan Corbin
      March 16, 2016 - 3:10 pm | Permalink

      SO do I – definitely Lenten Madness to pit these two against each other! 🙂

  2. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 16, 2016 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Love the connection to Faulkner. Absalom it is.

    • Patty's Gravatar Patty
      March 16, 2016 - 9:08 am | Permalink

      This seemed like a bit of a stretch to me. Funny, though.

  3. oliver eight years old's Gravatar oliver eight years old
    March 16, 2016 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    I voted for Sojourner Truth because she landed on Mars?

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 16, 2016 - 8:25 am | Permalink

      I know–right, Oliver?! Hilarious! I say Sojourner for the Golden Halo. And, by the way, fabulous job of kitsch kommentary, dear bloggers!

      • RondaB's Gravatar RondaB
        March 16, 2016 - 10:24 am | Permalink

        I agree with SusanLee. Great writing! I love the round of kitsch. It was Truth for me today.

    • March 16, 2016 - 8:59 am | Permalink

      Oliver, the word sojourner to me means “journey.” The Sojourner that landed on Mars took a journey and I really admire Sojourner Truth for the journey she took 🙂

      • Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
        March 16, 2016 - 11:00 am | Permalink

        Are you kidding? Maybe Megan wanted Sojourner to lose? What about all the real substantial things she actually did? A sojourn is a journey so it was really not named after her. I voted for her for all the things she did.

        • Erica's Gravatar Erica
          March 16, 2016 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

          The rover is indeed named after her:
          NASA wanted to name the rover after “a heroine”, and invited children and teens to submit essays suggesting a name. Sojourner really was a great choice on more than one level.

          But as for all the real, substantial things Sojourner Truth did, they were covered in the previous rounds. I voted for her as well.

          • Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
            March 16, 2016 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the link! I had not known about that!

        • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
          March 16, 2016 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

          Uh-oh, someone sounds kranky!

    • Laura B's Gravatar Laura B
      March 16, 2016 - 9:03 am | Permalink

      They are both very deserving of the top honor. But Sojourner it was for me.

    • March 16, 2016 - 9:16 am | Permalink

      Oliver, you always focus on what’s most important! Thanks so much for your input!

    • Doris Westfall's Gravatar Doris Westfall
      March 16, 2016 - 10:45 am | Permalink

      Sojourner may not have actually landed on Mars, but her truth of equality and freedom certainly reached to the stars. Good choice, Oliver.

  4. Sue D's Gravatar Sue D
    March 16, 2016 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Sojourner – you go girl!

  5. meggan's Gravatar meggan
    March 16, 2016 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Truth!! By the way- The Deedle Deedle Dees are fantastic. Great music for kids that adults will also like. Their music teaches anout American History.

  6. Jill's Gravatar Jill
    March 16, 2016 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’m with Oliver!

  7. Tready3's Gravatar Tready3
    March 16, 2016 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    I am seeing a golden halo ahead, and that’s the Truth!

  8. Mary E. Winston's Gravatar Mary E. Winston
    March 16, 2016 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    This is a difficult choice – I love Sojourner because she lived in Dutchess County very near where I was born but I voted for Absalom because he bought his wife’s freedom first and helped Benjamin Rush during a fever epidemic.

    • Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
      March 16, 2016 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Great reasons for voting for Absalom Jones, but there are great reasons, in addition to her being a native daughter of Duchess County, to support Sojourner Truth as well.

      This was the hardest one for me yet! I actually flipped a coin.

  9. Sherryl Parks's Gravatar Sherryl Parks
    March 16, 2016 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    It is getting more difficult each day to vote. This year’s writers,
    perhaps the same as last year I don’t know, are making this so
    interesting. Thanks

  10. Cricket in the Berkshires's Gravatar Cricket in the Berkshires
    March 16, 2016 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    No way to “choose” between the the two…
    So I had to go with the Sojourner Mars Rover~ Hah!

    Good find, Megan C.!

  11. Kirk Bonamici's Gravatar Kirk Bonamici
    March 16, 2016 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    If we measure two awesome people by the amount of kitsch they generate, gotta go for Sojourner.

  12. Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
    March 16, 2016 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Absalom’s prayer is a timely one for me today. But I voted for Sojourner because I have the Hot Wheels Sojourner Mars Rover. Since I own that piece of today’s Saintly kitsch, how could I not vote for that saint? 🙂

  13. BeachcomberT's Gravatar BeachcomberT
    March 16, 2016 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    I appreciate that Lent Madness is primarily humorous, and not meant to be taken seriously. Still, I would like the commentary on the candidates to have more substance and less trivia. To me, it’s a little disrespectful to have these great people reduced to toys and trading cards.

    • Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
      March 16, 2016 - 8:45 am | Permalink

      I think it is all in the interests of generating curiosity to learn about the saints and to have fun while we’re doing it. In the first round we get a full biography and more serious information, you can always look back to that.

    • March 16, 2016 - 11:10 am | Permalink

      Pleas go back and read the first two rounds.
      And then watch the Monday madness video about kitsch kranks.
      I think it is amazing to see what people have inspired over the years…

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      March 16, 2016 - 11:53 am | Permalink

      Sojourner Truth sold her own kitsch, for a worthy purpose. I think Lent Madness also serves a worthy purpose; I learn so much from the comments as well as the blogs. And I must admit, I look forward to the kitsch round!

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 16, 2016 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

        God has a slightly kitschy sense of humor — leviathan, platypus, giraffe, kangaroo, the way we reproduce —

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          March 16, 2016 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

          How DO we reproduce, Donna?

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 16, 2016 - 10:14 pm | Permalink

            Let’s think about birds. We find birds in a garden. AN in a garden we find cabbage. When the cabbage gets big enough, if you look under the bottom leaves, you’ll maybe find a baby. Unless a big stork has just visited the cabbage plant and taken the baby that was under it. If that is the case, we need to talk about the bees.

        • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
          March 17, 2016 - 12:20 am | Permalink

          I love it. I would have replied, but the SEC doesn’t allow infinite loops inside a post.

    • Stephanie McDougal's Gravatar Stephanie McDougal
      March 16, 2016 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

      I think both Sojourner & Absalom would get a kick out of Kitsch. Including the Sojourner robot for Mars was a great find!!!

    • Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
      March 16, 2016 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Beachcomber, the serious stuff was provided in the first round. You can go back and re-read it if you need to. I did for several of the earlier candidates in this round. Anyway, it is fun to read about the Sojourner Mars robot. The fact that Sojourner managed to maintain the rights to her own image while she was alive says a great deal about the force of her character, as well as her business savvy.

    • Sara's Gravatar Sara
      March 18, 2016 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I look at kitsch as part of the spectrum of devotional items. Dashboard Jesus is kitsch, but how is it really that different from a statue of Jesus in a sanctuary?

  14. Olivia's Gravatar Olivia
    March 16, 2016 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    One must always side with The Truth.

    • Joyce Rush's Gravatar Joyce Rush
      March 16, 2016 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Such a hard choice today but I like your reasoning, Olivia!

  15. Dutton Morehouse's Gravatar Dutton Morehouse
    March 16, 2016 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Most difficult choice yet; I want to vote enthusiastically for both. Flipped the coin and it came out for Absalom. However, I will hope and vote for Sojourner for the halo.

  16. Beth Bartniczak's Gravatar Beth Bartniczak
    March 16, 2016 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    I agree with Monica. I want to vote for both. This is getting increasingly harder. Absalom warms my heart because of many things but especially because he chose to buy his wife’s freedom first. True love if I ever saw it. Sojourner was such a smart and innovative woman at a time when it truly was not expected of women. I am truly torn. Will have to contemplate today’s decision a bit longer.

  17. Judye N's Gravatar Judye N
    March 16, 2016 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    This was so difficult. I ended up with Sojourner because she was a knitter like myself. I will be happy regardless of who wins!

  18. kristy's Gravatar kristy
    March 16, 2016 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    Sojourner Truth House is a ministry for homeless and at-risk women and their children located in Gary IN. I have a brochure, which has a copy of her picture. My first piece of Saintly Kitsch.

  19. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 16, 2016 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    I’m for Sojourner and was so happy to discover through her fine blogger that Sojourner did not give the speech “Ain’t I a Woman” so long attributed to her.

  20. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    March 16, 2016 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    This was so unfair!!

  21. Dorothy Johnson's Gravatar Dorothy Johnson
    March 16, 2016 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Both magnificent choices but I had to go with “Ain’t I a woman?”

  22. Jessica's Gravatar Jessica
    March 16, 2016 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Because the SEC seems to revel in the unfair, I’m hoping for a Constance v. Sojourner match for the Golden Halo. I’m pretty sure the whole Lent Madness website would blow up.

    • March 16, 2016 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think I can handle that!!!!!!

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 16, 2016 - 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Hahaha! Funniest thing I’ve seen all day! Thanks Jessica!!

  23. AnchorageABC's Gravatar AnchorageABC
    March 16, 2016 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for the local guy, Absalom Jones.

  24. Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
    March 16, 2016 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Love this one. So hard to choose. i love the Picture of the Bishops together, especially since our Retired bishop Arthur is in it beside Presiding Bishop Michael. guess I will vote of Jones.

  25. Gwyneth's Gravatar Gwyneth
    March 16, 2016 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Who wouldn’t vote for a Saint with a galactic impact? Sojourner, absolutely, Absalom. Sorry, dude – it’s March Madness.

  26. Beth Bartniczak's Gravatar Beth Bartniczak
    March 16, 2016 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    After considerable thought, Sojourner it is!

  27. Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
    March 16, 2016 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    You had me at Hot Wheels.

  28. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 16, 2016 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Absalom is the underdog right now, so I voted for him just to keep the pot stirred. Agree with all those who wish they could vote for both – great kitsch today!

  29. Mariclaire's Gravatar Mariclaire
    March 16, 2016 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I just love that there is a “great blacks in wax” museum

    • March 16, 2016 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      Yes, this kitsch fact is making my decision very difficult.

    • Paul Ambos's Gravatar Paul Ambos
      March 16, 2016 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I strongly commend it to anyone visiting Baltimore.

  30. Yoga Heidi's Gravatar Yoga Heidi
    March 16, 2016 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Was this set up to remind us that Lent is about suffering? Agonizing choice–wish it was an “and” rather than an “or”. I closed my eyes and went with Absalom as I continue to be moved by him buying his wife’s freedom first so that his children would be born free. But the Mars connection to Sojourner made it very, very tough.

  31. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    March 16, 2016 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Well, needless to say I’m definitely not a Kitsch Krank. I love the Absalom Jones wax figure. But Sojourner’s kitsch indeed takes it to a whole new level. I’m fascinated by the photo cards that she sold- what an amazing historical detail. Megan Castellan again did a great job on her write-up, but I would have voted for Sojourner regardless. The more I read about her, the more I come to appreciate this woman of God.

  32. Yvonne's Gravatar Yvonne
    March 16, 2016 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    Wow! Even their kitsch is inspirational. I used to live down the street from a lovely statue of Sojourner in Florence MA., a very noble bit of kitsch that I visited frequently. She gets my vote, but no disrespect to Absalom. Next time I am in Philadelphia, I will make a pilgrimage to see those ashes! Great job, both bloggers!

  33. Jane Christmas's Gravatar Jane Christmas
    March 16, 2016 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    Both candidates are admirable, but I cannot resist Megan’s write-up. Sojourner for me.

  34. March 16, 2016 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    This was the day I dreaded. As soon as I saw the bracket, I knew it would come down to this. I love the Sojourner Truth rover, but I knew I had to back Absalom all the way when I first saw his name, in honor of our annual Absalom Jones celebration at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Sojourner, it is apparent I will be backing you in the Faithful Four, as I see how the voting is going, but for now, it’s Absalom, Absalom!

  35. LI Beth's Gravatar LI Beth
    March 16, 2016 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    The cufflinks are the epitome of kitsch! She reinvented herself, captured the attention of so many during her own lifetime, and capitalized on her fame. A true American success story, and she did it all while serving God. Absolom Jones will just have to go through at least one more round of Lent Madness, but given that he put his wife before himself, I think he’d gladly allow Sojourner Truth to spring ahead of him to the Golden Halo.

    • March 16, 2016 - 10:34 am | Permalink

      Oh, you are helping me make my decision. Will Absalom truly understand?

  36. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 16, 2016 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Sojourner for the win! Absolom Jones isn’t on Mars

  37. Emily's Gravatar Emily
    March 16, 2016 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    The library at SUNY-New Paltz is named for Sojourner Truth

  38. Ken Albrecht's Gravatar Ken Albrecht
    March 16, 2016 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    I, too, was conflicted about which saint to vote for. I decided on Absolom Jones because I worked in Philadelphia for many years and a few years ago had the privilege of hearing the choir from his church, St. Thomas, in concert.

  39. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    March 16, 2016 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    I voted for Absolom Jones because he, like Constance and her companions, did not fear to help the ill – even breaking conventions of his time to do so.

    • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
      March 16, 2016 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you on the likeness to Constance and caring for the sick, the contagious sick. But I’m also voting for him because he wasn’t afraid to stand up against the church but did not leave it!

  40. Lowell Lakes's Gravatar Lowell Lakes
    March 16, 2016 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    what a tough decision! Both deserve the halo.

  41. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    March 16, 2016 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Love them both! Such faith as theirs we cannot even imagine today. But I must go with the poor little slave woman whose strength and courage sent her name to Mars so many years later

  42. Doris's Gravatar Doris
    March 16, 2016 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    Wanted to vote for both! Decided on Sojourner because she had the additional challenge of being a woman.

  43. Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
    March 16, 2016 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Impossible choice but then I was captured by Absalom’s prayer for peace – decision made!

  44. March 16, 2016 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Faulkner’s novel is a nice addition to the kitsch, and it is one of my favorites. Of course the title refers to David’s lament in the Bible when he learned of the death of his son Absalom: “Would that I had died instead of you! Oh Absalom! Absalom! My son, my son!” What a tough choice today! I finally voted for Sojourner Truth.

  45. Pat Floerke's Gravatar Pat Floerke
    March 16, 2016 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Amazon has Sojourner Truth’s autobiography available FREE for kindle – you just download it and read.

    • Pat Sather's Gravatar Pat Sather
      March 16, 2016 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much for alerting us to the Amazon offer!

  46. Lisa Rose's Gravatar Lisa Rose
    March 16, 2016 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    I had a feeling … reading the comments in the first round … that this popularity contest would end up being between Constance and Sojourner, with Sojourner taking the halo. So I thought about going with Jones today. But since I am more annoyed that he beat Joseph than I am that Truth beat Gaudet … I guess I’ll go with the popular vote today.

  47. Corban's Gravatar Corban
    March 16, 2016 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    This is perhaps the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but….I’m voting for Absalom Jones. Mostly because I’m biased. I’ve heard my boyfriend enthusiastically recall the story of Absalom, how he stood up for his rights and made Episcopal history by doing so. My boyfriend, being an African American aspirant to the Episcopal priesthood, holds Absalom in high regards.

    My boyfriend was also elected to represent his chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians at the convention in Baltimore mentioned in this post. I remember him talking about the uncanny wax statue.

    So for those reasons, I’m voting for Absalom Jones.

    • March 16, 2016 - 10:37 am | Permalink

      Oh, dear, this has me swinging back to Absalom. I am so proud of what he did for the Episcopal Church. Yikes. Which way do I go?

  48. Lucy A's Gravatar Lucy A
    March 16, 2016 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    I’ve been voting in Lent Madness since 2012, and I think it is getting tougher to choose all the time! This year’s saints are wonderful, and the celebrity bloggers are doing a marvelous job! I agree with Lisa Rose that it is a shame Joseph was eliminated – after all, without his obedience to God and protection of Mary and Jesus, would we even have Christianity today? And I was disappointed when Kateri Tekawitha was eliminated in the close contest with Columba. However the Elate 8 are all clearly worthy of the Golden Halo…….congratulations to the Lent Madness team!

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      March 16, 2016 - 10:54 am | Permalink

      I, too, was very disappointed when Joseph lost. He has always been dear to my heart, and a good Patron to me.

  49. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 16, 2016 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    What great kitsch today. Sojourner has the best of the bunch so far and she got my vote. I didn’t even have to read the comments before voting today. I see difficult days ahead as the bracket gets smaller.

  50. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    March 16, 2016 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Although I voted for Sojourner Truth, I wanted to vote for both. Here’s another accomplishment of Absalom Jones: he was a Black Mason, and initiated the founding of African Lodge #459 in Philadelphia on March 22, 1797, according to a Web posting. I Googled him to find more info.

    Great posts about both! Thanks.

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 16, 2016 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

      And thanks to you, Christine, for adding this info on a Masonic connection. You probably know this already, but shortly before Absalom Jones’s time Mozart was an active Mason in Vienna, and one of the lodges he belonged to, the “True Harmony” Lodge, had an African slave as one of its members. Angelo Soliman (Angelus Solimanus) played a major role in the development of Masonic ritual, and there is reason to believe that he was the model for a character in one of Mozart’s operas. The whole of his story is well worth reading (there’s a pretty good summary on Wikipedia).

      • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
        March 16, 2016 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Ah, a new bit Mozartiana! Thanks, John.

  51. March 16, 2016 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    I am such an Absalom fan, but I am so impressed by Sojourner’s ingenuity and ability to use her photograph to support herself — that could not have been an easy task in her era.
    I also love the cufflinks and that we sojourned to Mars. Oh, Absalom, do forgive me.

  52. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    March 16, 2016 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    I voted for Sojourner, but it was painful not to vote for Absalom.

  53. aleathia (dolores) nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores) nicholson
    March 16, 2016 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    If you think today is hard for choosing, just wait until the Bonhoeffer-Columba match-up. Still, it;s called LENT MADNESS to make you think…and cry and yank out your hair, Neverthelesss, as an Episcopal deacon, I go with Absalom Jones. In spite of being denied entry into Episcopal churches when I was growing up, I was confirmed and then ordained and remain an Episcopalian in spite of other ways of denying members of their rights. Nobody ever said it would be easy. The kitsch is fun and is not meant to be derogatory. Lighten up, folks ! Blog on, me hearties ! Forgive me Sojourner !

  54. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 16, 2016 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    You Celebrity bloggers did not make it easy today. I need to get the right shirt sleeves for my SJ cuff links.

  55. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 16, 2016 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Sojourner so captivated me in the previous round that even a gobsmacking array of Absalom kitsch wouldn’t have changed my vote, much as I revere him. In fact Sojourner and her biographer have iced the kitschly cake with an offering worthy of Padre Pio. Truth must prevail!

  56. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 16, 2016 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    It was supposed to be ST cufflinks. I just woke up and can’t do a thing with my fingers.

    • Emmy's Gravatar Emmy
      March 16, 2016 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

      So you’re not wearing Jesuit cufflinks after all? 😉

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 16, 2016 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

        this is true

  57. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 16, 2016 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    I vote for Sojourner Truth because I am a woman, a trailblazer in a very small way, and I am so grateful for her leadership. But thank God for the ministry of all these saints!

  58. Jon's Gravatar Jon
    March 16, 2016 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    Kistch Krank Alert: The Sojourner rover WAS heard from after it landed on Mars. Sojourner operated successfully on Mars and transmitted data back to Earth for 3 months. It was designed to last only 7 days. The rover showed the same persistence and communication skills that Sojourner Truth showed in her fight against slavery. And yes, I voted for Sojourner.

  59. Becky's Gravatar Becky
    March 16, 2016 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    Kudos to Megan and Hugo for the best Kitsch round I can remember! I laughed (The Deedle Deedle Dees song-naming practices), I was inspired and informed (didn’t know that the Sojourner Rover was named for Sojourner Truth) and I teared up (at the photo of Absalom Jones and our new presiding Bishop). A lovely way to start the day!

  60. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 16, 2016 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    Sojourner Truth, seeker of truth and justice, wins my vote.

    I love reviewing the bios and quotes and quirks, before perusing the kitsch and then voting. This round is always the most fun.

  61. deacon georgia's Gravatar deacon georgia
    March 16, 2016 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    Too close a competition but would have to vote one or the other if they met at the Golden Halo. Today, however, Sojourner gets my vote because of the best kitsch.

  62. Art's Gravatar Art
    March 16, 2016 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    The bio on Sojourner Truth was written so bizarrerly, I voted for Absalom Jones. The Sojourner on Mars has nothing to do with Sojourner Truth.

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      March 16, 2016 - 11:49 am | Permalink

      Faulkner’s book actually had nothing to do with Absalom Jones either … but I think pretty much anything goes in this round.

    • Stephanie McDougal's Gravatar Stephanie McDougal
      March 16, 2016 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Lighten up. Absalom, Absalom is not about Absalom either.

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 16, 2016 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

        yeh, what she said

    • Megan Castellan's Gravatar Megan Castellan
      March 16, 2016 - 7:36 pm | Permalink

      The Mars rover in question was named after an essay contest, which was won by a 12 year old girl. Her essay suggested that the rover be named after Sojourner Truth.

      Sometimes, kitsch is stranger than fiction.

  63. Claudia Horner's Gravatar Claudia Horner
    March 16, 2016 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    I need Constance to minister to me in my hour of need–it is too hard to vote and pains me deeply to select only one.

  64. Linda Baker's Gravatar Linda Baker
    March 16, 2016 - 11:45 am | Permalink

    This is by far the most difficult voting experience in all my years in Lent Madness. I get the madness part now.

  65. tonip1's Gravatar tonip1
    March 16, 2016 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Toughest decision yet. Choice hinges on the smallest almost inconsequential thing. [There’s probably a theological reflection in there ;)] I thought I was gonna vote for Sojourner but the photo of our own Bishop Arthur standing with the wax replica of Absalom Jones clinched my vote for him. I’m pretty sure I’ll be voting for Sojourner for the Halo.

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      March 16, 2016 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

      “Theological reflection”? Have you, by any chance, taken the Education For Ministry course? “Theological reflection” is a frequently used term in EFM.

  66. Linda McGee's Gravatar Linda McGee
    March 16, 2016 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Sojourner after reading that she demanded the rights to her photo & sold the cards to make money for her speaking engagements. I saw her statue in the Capitol Building when I went to D.C. in February 2013.

  67. March 16, 2016 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Very tough decision. I finally went with Truth again. I have to give her credit for being so business minded. Good for her.
    I was thinking about Absalom and Constance being paired. We would have to decide which one did more for the yellow fever victims.

  68. March 16, 2016 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s “Absalom, Absalom” for me, although I deeply admire Ms. Truth’s bonnet, her first name, her intelligence, her bravery, just everything about her. However, Absalom occupies a special place in the heart of our church, St Philip’s Episcopal in Laurel, MD. We have no less than TWO windows to commemorate Absalom Jones. One is in Wyatt Hall and the other is in the attic, awaiting a church home. It was the first window that was ordered, but the installers found out too late that it didn’t fit.

  69. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 16, 2016 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Unfair but deeply thought-provoking. Luckily for whichever principals or agents of the SEC have to monitor this post, I will be brief: Mars, woman, striking off chains vs. Earth, men, ministry. Sojourner for me!

  70. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 16, 2016 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    This one was the toughest of all. If there’s another one like it, I’m going to view the comments before voting and go with Oliver, 8 years old.

  71. Onionsauce's Gravatar Onionsauce
    March 16, 2016 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Sojourner Truth because when a politician said that women were too weak and delicate to work, and therefore dependent on men, she gave a powerful rebuttal. She had worked in the fields from dawn till dusk, lifting and carrying, stooping and bending, but asked, “And ain’t I a woman?”

  72. Phil Kober's Gravatar Phil Kober
    March 16, 2016 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    This is a very, very tough choice. In the end I went with Absalom Jones, because he again worked with Dr. Benjamin Rush, the namesake of my medical school alma mater, and he risked his own life to care for those sick with yellow fever, in the finest traditions of medical care!

  73. Maribeth's Gravatar Maribeth
    March 16, 2016 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Best Saintly Kitsch ever! Which puts me in the camp of wanting to vote for both. But as a librarian I’m swayed by Sojourner Truth’s insistence on her rights to her media presence.

  74. Deacon Carol's Gravatar Deacon Carol
    March 16, 2016 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Hard choice! I went with Sojourner Truth partly because, being a Canadian, Absalom’s prayer did not touch me, patriotically. Sojourner had to deal with being a woman as well as being black and she did it really, really well!

  75. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 16, 2016 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Had to go with Sojourner just because of the trading cards.

  76. Cheryle Cerezo-Gardiner's Gravatar Cheryle Cerezo-Gardiner
    March 16, 2016 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    UNFAIR! Looks as if Sojourner will win, but Absalom Jones’ prayer won my vote – especially in light of today’s political environment.

  77. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 16, 2016 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Very agonizing choice. I had to vote for Absalom because of visiting the sick. We all should be doing more of that.

  78. Richard Asmussen's Gravatar Richard Asmussen
    March 16, 2016 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Two saints that follows our God will always be in my book of saints. God bless and have mercy on us All.

  79. Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
    March 16, 2016 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    This gets harder and harder – but Absolom was my pick. Yes, Sojourner truth had better marketing both in life and in death – but nonetheless, Absolom tended yellow fever patients – Constance and Absolom will go and did. Maybe it was the gross head on that children’s book that steered me away from Sojourner.

  80. Megan's Gravatar Megan
    March 16, 2016 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Aaaargh! I love both of them. But since this is the kitsch round and Sojourner Truth made her own kitsch, I voted for her.
    I wish it was going to be this hard to decide in our Presidential election.

  81. MLM in NJ's Gravatar MLM in NJ
    March 16, 2016 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    For my own Diocese of New Jersey, who celebrates his life, and for the City of Philadelphia, which he loved and where he worked for a better life for all, I choose Absalom Jones. His legacy still inspires here in the Mid-Atlantic. (And speaking of saintly kitsch gone wrong, check out the Richard Allen Housing Project in Philly, named for Absalom Jones’s friend, the first AME bishop.)

  82. Venitra DeGraffenreid's Gravatar Venitra DeGraffenreid
    March 16, 2016 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Why does it have to be so hard? I just love learning about these amazing people, but cringe when I have to vote. Why, SEC, why?

  83. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 16, 2016 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

    On Super Bowl Sunday, National Cathedral was filled (really!) for a jazz service honoring Absalom. I am still singing and dancing to the music! Not too kitschy, but awesome all the same!

  84. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    March 16, 2016 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Absolom Jones because we’re voting on saints, not that Sojourner wasnt a great person; but it’s Absolom whose first commitment was to God. Sojourner was an activist, Absolom is clearly a saint.

  85. Shannon's Gravatar Shannon
    March 16, 2016 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Girl power! Vote for Truth! Plus – Not a Faulkner fan.

  86. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    March 16, 2016 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad i read all the way through all of the comments, because now I know how fast my head really can spin! What to do? what to do? I have great fondness and admiration for both of these saints, so I shall pray for a bit longer!

  87. Isabella's Gravatar Isabella
    March 16, 2016 - 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Wow, so hard to choose. Absolom Jones is our hometown (Philly) saint, but I picked Sojourner Truth for the Golden Halo!

  88. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 16, 2016 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Absalom, mainly because he’s not as well-known as Sojourner. At least to folks who’ve worked in school libraries 🙂
    But I’ll be happy with either of them.

  89. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 16, 2016 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Agony, what a terrible choice. Voting on my mobile so may have failed to cast a vote anyway which is strangely reassuring – how can two such remarkable figures be separated.

  90. Sara's Gravatar Sara
    March 16, 2016 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    On pure volume of kitsch, I vote Sojourner Truth.

  91. March 16, 2016 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Go Megan! Celebrity Blogger to the stars…. planets.

  92. March 16, 2016 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Megan, that rover did not either just stop working! She probably kept working for some time after the main lander died of unknown causes, following her directions to circle the lander, calling, until her batteries ran down. Her twin, Marie Curie, is on display in the Smithsonian now, and can be visited. Still doesn’t help me decide how to vote; I’m a Philly native so feel I ought to support Absalom. May I vote for both?

  93. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    March 16, 2016 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Sojourner Truth because of her support of women’s rights and work for abolishing slavery.

  94. Susannah 8 years old's Gravatar Susannah 8 years old
    March 16, 2016 - 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Sojourner truth because she was an awsome person at doing things .

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 16, 2016 - 10:24 pm | Permalink

      She is AWESOME indeed!

  95. Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
    March 16, 2016 - 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Love Absalom Jones – but couldn’t not vote for Sojourner Truth today. I’ve learned a lot about her this LM, and think she is – as somebody said the other day – monumental.

    An amazing person I’ve grown attached to. Will be quite happy if she gets the Halo…..

  96. Fr. Bill Loring's Gravatar Fr. Bill Loring
    March 16, 2016 - 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Both ar great, but I voted for the Anglican! But how and why would anyone stand ON a lectern?

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 16, 2016 - 10:25 pm | Permalink

      To change a light bulb?

  97. Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
    March 16, 2016 - 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I especially loved the Kitch Kommentary. Thanks bloggers. Sojourner for me, because she was wonderfully strong, and managed so well to do so many brave deeds….and all while being a woman in a day and age that made being female especially difficult. Lovin’ me some Lent Madness this year.

    • Sara's Gravatar Sara
      March 16, 2016 - 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Kitch Kommentary is kommendable. Kitsch komplaining is kontemptible!

  98. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 17, 2016 - 1:34 am | Permalink

    Sojourner. Mars Rover, Library at SUNY-New Paltz. (Thanks Emily!), a song and Hot Wheels! I also liked that she demanded rights to her own name and image and sold photo cards of herself.

Comments are closed.