Jonathan Daniels vs. Frances Perkins

And then there were eight. Through your voting and politicking and advocating and agonizing, we have collectively whittled down the field of 32 saints to a mere eight as we continue our march to the 2013 Golden Halo. Welcome to the Round of the Elate Eight, aka the Round of Saintly Kitsch.

Here are the match-ups for the rest of the week: today it’s modern Civil Rights martyr Jonathan Daniels vs. the 2013 Lent Madness Cinderella, Frances Perkins. Wednesday: Florence Li Tim-Oi vs. Oscar Romero. Thursday: Harriet Tubman vs. Hilda of Whitby. Friday: Luke the Evangelist vs. Dorothy Day (who defeated Benedict yesterday). Good luck with that. With all of these match-ups, if you need a refresher on these saints beyond the kitsch, simply click on the Bracket 2013 link and scroll down — you’ll find hyperlinks to all of the previous battles listed by round.

Jonathan made it to this point by defeating Macrina the Younger and Janani Luwum while Frances earned her spot in the Elate Eight by overcoming Damien of Molokai and Martin Luther King, Jr. One intriguing thing about this particular match-up is that both have New England roots and Massachusetts connections. Daniels hails from Keene, New Hampshire, while Perkins is from Newcastle, Maine. Daniels attended Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge while Perkins is an alum of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley. However, as far as Tim knows, neither one ever stepped foot in Hingham.

Last year the Supreme Executive Committee responded to those who didn’t appreciate our kitsch in a post titled Kitsch Cranks. Sure, it’s a bit snarky but it’s a pretty good statement about where we stand on the issue. If there’s anything we’d do differently, it would be to title it “Kitsch Kranks” because the “K’s” form a better visual. Alas.

And finally, if you missed yesterday’s Monday Madness video, Tim and Scott talk kitsch and even suffer through a certain holy “interruption.” Oh, and like us on Facebook — the Surgeon General insists it’s good for your mental health.

Jonathan Daniels


From a series of exhaustive searches through the seedy underbelly of the internet that is Etsy and Pinterest, one might conclude that the Lent Madness kitsch cause for Jonathan Daniels is lost. In fact, Zazzle, that monumental edifice to internet kitsch, the site which is dedicated to the proposition that your cat, Mr. Biggles, is not only worthy of her own iPhone case – but that other people want to buy it – returns no results!

One might begin to think hope is lost. But lo, out of darkness, a light breaks from Jonathan Daniels Elementarydaniels wall art School in Keene, NH. On the walls of the school hangs a very brightly colored mosaic of the school’s namesake, no doubt lovingly crafted by its students. (According to a story from the Keene Sentinel – unfortunately located behind an internet paywall – one student at the school has proposed the building of a museum dedicated to Daniels – a worthy cause indeed, and worth the Lent Madness public rallying around, if it is indeed still in the works.)

il_fullxfull.195528300While there isn’t much kitsch for Daniels personally, various aspects of his life are very well represented in the kitsch-o-verse. In what is either a deep act of homage or a statement of extreme passive-aggressive feelings towards the Granite State, one may buy this lovely cutting board of Daniels’ home state.

MoosePosterIf framed NH-themed art is more of your thing, I suggest this stunning image, entitled “Moose in the Moonlight.” For the record, we have no idea whether Daniels had a pet moose as a child. (You can also find various Moose-Themed Coffee Mugs, but we wouldn’t dare undercut mug sales over at the Lent Madness “Lentorium.”)

College kitsch is, of course, relatively easy to procure. Daniels’ alma mater, the Virginia Military Institute, offers this one-VMIKeychainof-a-kind “We’re Number One” flashlight keychain. When looking at a “left-handed” version of the keychain, we note it looks much like Daniels’ home state of New Hampshire – no doubt in homage to one of VMI’s most distinguished graduates.

Perhaps one of the most common threads in New Hampshire kitsch – from the state’s license plates, to trucker hats with bears, and everything in between – is a devotion to the state’s motto: “Live Free or Die.” That seems to be the right note on which to end: Jonathan Daniels ultimately gave his life in the service of God, and of that ideal – that all of God’s children should enjoy equal rights and freedoms given to them for the service and glory of Jesus Christ.

David Sibley


Frances Perkins

For a Celebrity Blogger,  the Elate Eight round is fraught with fear. What if there IS NO SAINTLY KITSCH? After all, Frances Perkins was a serious woman who took her faith and her public service seriously.

Q: How many kitschy items could there possibly be for Secretary Perkins?

A: A fair few.colorme-perkins-page-001

First, to help children learn about heroes of history, there is the “Color Me Perkins” coloring sheet. You can download it here.

frances_perkins_mugTo help you start your day, there’s the Frances Perkins mug. Available for $12.95, it’s “the perfect gift for the coffee and tea drinkin’ feminists in your life.”

frances-perkins--3-greeting-cardLet’s say you’ve put the finishing touches on the most influential legislation of the 21st century and would like to send it off with a friendly handwritten note to the Congressional leadership, you could not go wrong with a Frances Perkins notecard.

There is also a Frances Perkins cartoon by Michael 87-frances-perkinsMcLean at Mini Dove Comics and, for the more serious among us, a lovely poster.



But the mother-perkins-lode may be found on the Mount Holyoke College website where some good soul has gathered no fewer than 57 (57!) examples of First Day Covers (FDC) of the Frances Perkins postage stamp issued to commemorate her 100th birthday on April 10, 1980.

Having studied all 57, I can assure you that not all FDC art is created equal. Here are two of my favorites. The first makesPerkins10 her look like she’s playing Mel Gibson’s mother in “The Patriot,” and the second, besides being a little goofy, gets her birth year wrong.

To see them all, click here.

“But these commemorations are all secular!” some may say. “What do they have to do with serving God?”

Perkins57fWhen Frances Perkins said, “I came to Washington to serve God, FDR, and millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen,” she demonstrated by her life and work that there is no secular world. It all belongs to God.

Heidi Shott


Jonathan Daniels vs. Frances Perkins

  • Frances Perkins (57%, 2,523 Votes)
  • Jonathan Daniels (43%, 1,938 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,460

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118 Comments to "Jonathan Daniels vs. Frances Perkins"

  1. March 19, 2013 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget to watch today’s video!

    • Betty Morris's Gravatar Betty Morris
      March 19, 2013 - 6:25 pm | Permalink

      This was the most difficult one for me. I signed the petition at General Convention for Jonathan Daniels and his day is my birthday. He is a modern day martyr for his beliefs and his faith. As I stated before, I am a social worker and using the Social Security program for which Frances Perkins fought, but I had to go with Jonathan – he gave his life.

  2. Carol LaPlante's Gravatar Carol LaPlante
    March 19, 2013 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Mount Holyoke College is not in Springfield, Massachusetts … but in South Hadley, Massachusetts. If you are going to give folks geography lessons, please be accurate.

    • Merrilee's Gravatar Merrilee
      March 19, 2013 - 10:41 am | Permalink

      Thanks. (An Amherst native and a Smith grad.) There is more to Mass. than Springfield and Boston.

      • Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
        March 19, 2013 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Like Wellesley.

  3. Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
    March 19, 2013 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    This is going to be a loooong day.

  4. Jocelyn Bell's Gravatar Jocelyn Bell
    March 19, 2013 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Tim – Mt. Holyoke is is South Hadley

  5. March 19, 2013 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Oh God, this is where the rubber really hits the road for both are worthy of the Golden Halo, which is probably they have gotten this far. Martyrs both, since the word means “witness”. So I’m with Laurie Atwater – a long day, at the end of which I shall probably have to gather up all my chopsticks and throw them on the ground to see whose name they spell out. For the record, I live by Heidi’s statement at the end of this article: “…there is no secular world. It all belongs to God.”

    • March 19, 2013 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

      I’m right there with ya, Lois. That’s why despite my love of Jonathan Daniels’ witness — I have a poster of his icon from EDS hanging above my home altar — I had to go with another Christian laywoman, Frances Perkins. She shows us all that indeed God is in charge of all the world.

  6. Amelia +'s Gravatar Amelia +
    March 19, 2013 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Do I vote for my current home town gal or my home state guy? Do I vole now or risk a power failure later in the day? I do like the Perkins kitch better, but wonder if i could lay down my life like Daniels. I think I’ll wait a bit to vote.

  7. linda of new orleans's Gravatar linda of new orleans
    March 19, 2013 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    daniels deserves it-martyred at 26ish while saving a woman. francces perkins is sort of well known. let;s give daniels a break-besides, my grandson is named daniel. so vote for him-not for my grandson but for daniels.

    • Julie's Gravatar Julie
      March 19, 2013 - 8:46 am | Permalink

      Although this is the stage for comparing kitsch, when it comes down to some serious reflection, though Frances got my vote in previous rounds, there is no choice for me but Jonathan Daniels.

  8. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    March 19, 2013 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Lord, this is getting sooo hard. Daniels was a VMI classmate of a dear friend of mine – I’ve voted for him consistently. Perkins was a giant – a GIANT, I say – who gets so little credit. Both believed that all belonged to God. One laid down his life, the other dedicated her life. So … forgive me, dear friend, but today I vote for Frances Perkins. Her kitsch rocks!

  9. Russ's Gravatar Russ
    March 19, 2013 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Vote for the guy who died for his cause!

    • Linda of Malvern's Gravatar Linda of Malvern
      March 19, 2013 - 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Vote for the woman who lived for hers! 🙂
      I love Lent Madness.

  10. Bill's Gravatar Bill
    March 19, 2013 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    Jon Daniels went to ETS. EDS did not exist until 1975, when it was formed out of the merger of ETS and PDS.

  11. Dana's Gravatar Dana
    March 19, 2013 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Being the Class of ’95, I know you’ll be properly chastised by ’93 – she’ll take care of you! That being said – Go Frances! LOVE the kitsch and hope we MHCers end the day victorious – We all DO belong to God…

  12. Nancy Baillie Strong's Gravatar Nancy Baillie Strong
    March 19, 2013 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    What a challenge! Again, really torn…but my vote went to Jonathan Daniels, though I am very drawn to Frances…

  13. Carol Luther's Gravatar Carol Luther
    March 19, 2013 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Hard choice, but in these times of economic oppression, Frances Perkins is the saint of the hour.

  14. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 19, 2013 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Can’t we declare a tie and let them both move forward or, better yet, give out two Golden Halo’s this year? We need both their examples right now with basic securities being threatened and structural discrimination on the rise!

  15. Marj's Gravatar Marj
    March 19, 2013 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Today is a hard decision for those of us who think that the social Gospel deserves more than a passing mention in sermons and EfM. Having said that, both Frances and Jonathan are true modern witnesses to God’s love. As a martyr, Jonathan gets my vote in this round.

  16. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 19, 2013 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    However the (extremely difficult) voting goes today, I’m so glad to have learned about both of these remarkable people.

  17. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 19, 2013 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Not to dis Jonathon Daniels, but I don’t necessarily believe being a martyr automatically gives you extra credit. Although it is sad that his life was cut short, and certainly for a very worthy cause, there were many other civil rights martyrs, and the bulk of his influence is nowhere near that of Frances Perkins. Where’s Big Lobster?

    • March 19, 2013 - 9:18 am | Permalink

      Here’s a nod to martyrdom: “There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
      Most of us try to work for a worthy cause . . . not so many have died or will die for our friends.

    • JAMG's Gravatar JAMG
      March 19, 2013 - 10:58 am | Permalink

      This one is indeed a tough call. But I had to vote for her who laid down her life everyday of a long life. To me doing God’s will consistently everyday of a long life is definitely a heavier slog than being a martyr in your 20s.

      • March 19, 2013 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I guess going to work everyday is definitely worse than being dead.

        March 19, 2013 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Jon Daniels was a good personal friend. And I grieved his death at a personal level for years. But I am(always) in awe of folks who put one foot in front of the other year after year. Just doing the right thing. So I voted for Francis. Without her, the New Deal would have probably been much less effective as program for mercy and justice.

  18. LJ Mogren's Gravatar LJ Mogren
    March 19, 2013 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Live free or die! Frances undoubtedly has more and better kitsch, but I vote for Jonathan in the hopes that more will be produced in his honor. Those of you on etsy and zazzle, get busy.

  19. March 19, 2013 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    I vote for Frances. In the world of martyrdom, it is interesting to think on the difference between “giving” one’s life (a conscious choice) and having it taken by an uncontrollable event or person. Frances deliberately gave her life to God and a cause to which she felt called. So did Daniels, but in a different way. I doubt the wisdom of judging one as being harder or better than the other.

  20. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 19, 2013 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Oh! With strong ties to both Keene, NH, and Maine, too, how to vote, how to vote! As already noted in comments: vote now, or later, and risk a power outage from today’s snow storm?

    I like how making the Elate Eight gives people time to read and remember both Daniels and Perkins, and both would be wonderful as the Golden Halo winner. It’s just that, that both fully deserve to win that makes me cast a vote based on the idea of kitsch. Instead of agonizing between the choices, toss a pretend coin, and Frances has the better loot.

  21. Laura Ray's Gravatar Laura Ray
    March 19, 2013 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the Frances Perkins coloring page. It is fun to scan coloring pages, then have students fill in the patterns with a software programs such as Adobe Photoshop or another software program. This also can be done with the famous artworks. It would be great to have a Saint coloring book such as this one.

    • JaneC's Gravatar JaneC
      March 19, 2013 - 11:00 am | Permalink

      Yes, and if you lost your crayons just look a this suggestion by amazon.

      Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
      Tell us that you’d like this title to be produced as an audiobook,

      What a great idea; color over and over again and it would be as good as new.

    • Edna's Gravatar Edna
      March 19, 2013 - 11:44 am | Permalink

      Laura, Check out Amazon – search for “saints coloring book” and you will find several. I used one, no longer in print, for several years with my Sunday School classes. But, I think one to go along with Lent Madness each year would be a great addition to the Lentorium. How about it Forward Movement?

  22. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 19, 2013 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    There’s no question that Frances Perkins has the better kitsch, by a long shot. (Love that poster!)

    My vote goes to Jon, though – and David Sibley’s fantastic write-up…..

  23. Laura J. Schomberg's Gravatar Laura J. Schomberg
    March 19, 2013 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Both are worthy, and I love New Hampshire. I also love Maine. I lived for two summers in New Castle, New Hampshire and Frances Perkins was from Newcastle, Maine. For that reason , I voted for Frances.

  24. Sherri Dietrich's Gravatar Sherri Dietrich
    March 19, 2013 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    I don’t think martyrdom is necessarily harder or more devout than slogging through a long lifetime of service to God—and I attend Francis Perkins’ home church in Maine—so my vote goes to Francis. Also, her kitsch is better by far…

    • Mary W's Gravatar Mary W
      March 19, 2013 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I was trying to say, but you said it better. Thank you. I love to see the kitsch, but will not judget by it.

      Also, having a mother named Frances, I’m feeling a bit nit picky. FrancIs is a boy’s name, whereas FrancEs is a girl’s name.

  25. Alan's Gravatar Alan
    March 19, 2013 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    I live in Lexington, VA, the home of VMI. My EFM class mentor is the VMI Episcopal chaplain and one of my fellow students is a VMI professor. I’ve forwarded the Lent Madness url to them. Do you think the VMI faculty and students could turn the tide for Jonathan Daniels?

    • March 19, 2013 - 11:16 am | Permalink

      As a VMI grad, I’m hoping so, but I haven’t seen much movement there yet. Win or lose here, at least a loving person is getting to be better known. That’s my take anyway.

    • Blair Bickford's Gravatar Blair Bickford
      March 19, 2013 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Sure hope so!!

  26. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    March 19, 2013 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    Since both saints are so saintly, I had to go with the one whose biographer made me laugh more. Hats off to Jonathan Daniels.

  27. Marie's Gravatar Marie
    March 19, 2013 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    VMI vs. MHC? Not sure that’s a fight y’all want to have … Warrior Women, vote for Frances!

  28. Mariclaire's Gravatar Mariclaire
    March 19, 2013 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure they both visited Hingham and, at different times, declared Main Street the prettiest street in America

  29. March 19, 2013 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    J.D. all the way. I picked him from the very start…and when I “did” my brackets…he made it all the way to the Halo. SO…all that is left for that to happen is for J. Daniels to win and I will be the brilliant small town priest who picked a winner. Come on…have a heart. His kitsch will get better when he wins the halo! VOTE J.DANIELS!

  30. Anne Wrider's Gravatar Anne Wrider
    March 19, 2013 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    The closest I ever get to suffering for the sake of the Gospel is getting up at 6 AM every Sunday morning, and while I am sure God loves me anyway, I know real martyrs are in a different league altogether. Daniels gets my vote.

  31. CJ Freels's Gravatar CJ Freels
    March 19, 2013 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    This is a very hard day. I will have to wait until later in the day as I continue to ponder, can I vote for both?? Please!!!

    • Katrina Soto's Gravatar Katrina Soto
      March 19, 2013 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

      If you vote for neither, it’s the same as voting for both, in a way.

  32. March 19, 2013 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    Live free or die.

    Frances did great work, but did she ever face the business end of a firearm–whether or not it was fired?

  33. The Holy Fool's Gravatar The Holy Fool
    March 19, 2013 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Jonathan DANIELS……I think there might be some big money on Frances….Lets hope that the point spread is not enough to carry Frances..The Holy Fool goes with Jonathan Daniels.

  34. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 19, 2013 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    “There is no secular world…it all belongs to God.” Wow. Words for any civil servant to live by. Heidi, I will vote for you for anything good. As for today’s match, it has to be Francis: she was smart and able and willing to let others take the credit for her work just so good could be accomplished. That’s something we could use more of in both church and state these days.

    • March 19, 2013 - 11:34 am | Permalink

      Barbara – where were you in 1979 when I lost the run-off election for student council at Holland Patent High School?

      Srsly, though, remember this isn’t about the SEC, the CBs, or the spectacularity of the kitsch, it’s about choosing a saint who moves you most and spurs you on “to run the race with endurance set before us.” That choice may be different for each of us, and even at different in various points in life a certain saint may whisper more intently in our ear. As the Canon for Social Justice in the Diocese of Maine, I hear the whisper of Frances, who also walked the main street of my little town every summer of her life, most clearly today.

      It doesn’t mean I didn’t tear up when I read JD’s first bio a few weeks ago while sitting in my car drinking coffee outside the Wiscasset Irving station.

    • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
      March 19, 2013 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

      “There is no secular world…it all belongs to God.” Our traditional prayer endings all translate (and in different ways) the Latin (and equivalent Greek) assertion that God lives and reigns ‘per omnia saecula saeculorum’ and any good English dictionary will show that this is still the primary meaning of secular — NOT ”ungodly’, ‘but ‘in the world’, which, of course belongs to God, even if we sometimes choose to ignore that.
      OK, I grant that it has become common, probably under the influence of so-called secular humanism, to use the word that way and it is probably a lost cause, but misusing perfectly good words is a pet peeve of mine, so forgive me if I am venting too much. Yes, I know perfectly well that words do change meanings, and often this enriches the language, but here I think we are creating precisely that barrier between God and the world that FP sought to overcome.

  35. Cindy Selby's Gravatar Cindy Selby
    March 19, 2013 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    I love Frances Perkins, but c’mon people — Daniels literally put himself in the line of fire and DIED in order to save the life of one of God’s children! Vote for martyred Jonathan Daniels!!

  36. Jody Gebhardt's Gravatar Jody Gebhardt
    March 19, 2013 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    At 14, the Civil Rights movement and New England’s contributions to it made a huge impact on me. I wanted to be a Freedom Rider, wanted to register voters, anything, but my parents prevailed, perhaps wisely. And we have family friends – the Myricks of New Hampshire – who must be related in some way. So my vote is going to Jonathan. But oh, it was a tough choice, for in my college years and ever since, I have been inspired by those who work for the betterment of all people. Frances Perkins is also a hero to me, even when I was not Episcopalian. Something tells me, it’s going to get tougher as the days go by.

  37. Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
    March 19, 2013 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Although I grew up in Fairfield, VA, just 12 miles north of Lexington, where VMI is located, and enjoyed dating several different cadets during my college years (at Madison College, which is now James Madison University), I have read and reread the bios of Jonathan and Frances and am now prepared to vote–for Frances. I admire Jonathan, but revere Frances for her service to God and humanity.

  38. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    March 19, 2013 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Must decide between giants of faith and action, character and amazing witness. With heavy heart that I cannot vote for both, I stand with Jonathan today, and pray that his staring down the barrel of a gun gives strength and hope to all who are unprotected by the violence and hatred still rampant in the world.

  39. margaret's Gravatar margaret
    March 19, 2013 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    I’m relieved to find that our beloved and revered NH martyr isn’t entirely kitsch-less!

    In addition to the school there’s another building, very non-kitschy, named for Jonathan: The Daniels Building, the annex of his home parish St. James’s, Keene, which houses community nonprofits and more. Also there’s an official State of NH historical marker commemorating Jonathan on the church grounds.

    The state’s Historical Society frequently issues bobblehead dolls (Gen. John Stark, who uttered “Live Free or Die,” Sarah Josepha Hale, Pres. Franklin Pierce, the Chinook–state dog breed, astronaut Alan Shephard, “Peyton Place” author Grace Metalious).

    A pity there is as yet no Jonathan Daniels bobblehead available. Perhaps his inclusion in the Elate Eight will spur action on this front.

    I’m forever grateful to him for promoting the “freedom” part of our state’s motto.

  40. March 19, 2013 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    One set of my grandparents knew and worked with Frances Perkins. There’s a huge courage needed to get through the toils of everyday life, especially when so many people around you denigrate you or what you believe in, try to stop you and tear you down, even if you don’t get shot for it. I admire J. Daniels and this was a tough call, but I’m going with Frances.

  41. Mark D.'s Gravatar Mark D.
    March 19, 2013 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    FP for the major kitcsch win!

  42. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 19, 2013 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    This is going to be such a tight race. At least, I hope it will. Either outcome is fine with me.

    Personally, I think the kitsch is fun, but I don’t think it should influence anybody’s vote. Like…who has the best bobble head just shouldn’t matter, except in the world of bobble heads, right?

  43. Katherine's Gravatar Katherine
    March 19, 2013 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    Bless my ex-Catholic heart! A kitsch competition is the best way to choose a Saint ever!

  44. March 19, 2013 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    I have been inspired by Daniels since my becoming a Rat at VMI. I had to vote for him whether other cadets and alumni do or not. I am so happy more people are getting to know about him. I hope his legacy grows.

  45. John's Gravatar John
    March 19, 2013 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    Really tough call, and yet I did not hesitate when voting. A life cut short is a powerful witness to faith, but few of us are offered the crown of martyrdom. My vote goes to Frances, who served in ordinary times as described by Milton in “Paradise Lost”: “So shall the world go on: to good malignant, to bad men benign.”

  46. John's Gravatar John
    March 19, 2013 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    PS: In a post-modern world such as ours, kitsch is a wonderful meeting-ground for people of all faiths and none, so it opens up opportunities for random acts of evangelism. Think of it as the weed-strewn back 40 of your mission field!

  47. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 19, 2013 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Last year I crocheted 2 Mary Magdalene figures (finger puppet sized) and mailed one to each of the SEC to start a Golden Halo Hall of Fame. (I did 2 because I did not want to give the SEC any more fodder for their ongoing battles – lesson learned by raising 2 boys.) So at this point in the bracket I depend on the kitsch to plan my designs for this year’s Golden Halo winner. Modern saints are more challenging to crochet than the flowing robes of saints in the past. So it is Frances for me – I want to crochet a little hat. Besides, I love the quote: “There is no secular world…it all belongs to God.”

  48. Mike in Maine's Gravatar Mike in Maine
    March 19, 2013 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Seriously? How is this even close? Jonathan Daniels!

  49. Sarah Lawton's Gravatar Sarah Lawton
    March 19, 2013 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

    This is the hardest day for me. My parents’ seminary friend and co-traveller to Selma (my mom’s last work was to get General Convention to consider Jon for the calendar, in 1991), or my personal hero Frances, who actually tackled structural roots of poverty on a mass scale. Lent Madness, I shake my fist at you!

    By the way, great job, bloggers, for finding saintly kitsch for two New England Yankees. That’s a feat! Would have been so much easier if we still had half-mythical Diocletian martyrs in the running, but you guys stepped up nonetheless.

  50. Nancy Evans's Gravatar Nancy Evans
    March 19, 2013 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I cannot do anything but vote for Jonathan Daniels. I agree whole heatedly with Sister Winifred! Plus he paved the way for the success of Francis. IMHO!

    • March 19, 2013 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

      FrancEs belonged to a generation or two before Jonathan. How did he pave her way?

      • Mary Wueste's Gravatar Mary Wueste
        March 20, 2013 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I noticed that too. Thanks for bringing it up.

  51. JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
    March 19, 2013 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I am wildly conflicted on the whole kitsch thing (last year, reactions from “Gotta have!” to “Abomination!”) so I appreciate the refresher links to the more serious material. I thought both these write-ups were excellent – the perfect LM blend of madness and meaning. And of course both contenders are spectacular examples of lived faith.

    I’m giving my vote to David and Jonathan (!) today, for Jonathan’s witness and for David’s reminder of the important theological principles of “via negativa” (if kitschians are speechless before Jonathan Daniels…I’m good with that) and “creatio ex nihilo” (well done, good Sir – talk about making something out of nothing!).

    Also I loved the kids’ mural. Beautiful! : )

  52. Mary Ellen's Gravatar Mary Ellen
    March 19, 2013 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Mosaics rock! well, this one does, at least. My guy is Jonathan Daniels, kitsch or no kitsch!

  53. Martha's Gravatar Martha
    March 19, 2013 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I was going to vote for Daniels; his physical martyrdom moves my heart. But Francis is, I think, largely forgotten and did so much to secure some tiny measure of dignity for people. So, I’ve decided to vote for her to make it a more even contest.

  54. Anne of Memphis's Gravatar Anne of Memphis
    March 19, 2013 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Today’s gonna be a close one. I’ve been with Frances Perkins all throughout Lent Madness, and I’m with her now. “There is no secular world…it all belongs to God.” Don’t we need more of that thinking? “I came to Washington to serve God, FDR and millions of forgotten, plain, common workingmen.” And I feel these forgotten, plain, common workingmen were/are the backbone of our country and built it from the wilderness that it was. Now, I come from a family that were NOT supporters of FDR, but I’ve been a forgotten, plain, common, stepped-upon, kicked-to-the-curb workingwoman, and Frances had the strength to stand up for little ole me. Besides, I always did love Lobster!

  55. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    March 19, 2013 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Daniels was also a friend of a VMI grad friend of mine. I know that Perkins had a career that helped so many, but in his short life and tragic martyrdom, Daniels demonstrated a capacity that may have led to similar results. Gotta go with D!

  56. Susan Chacon's Gravatar Susan Chacon
    March 19, 2013 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Props to David Sibley for making the best of a bad kitsch situation!

  57. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 19, 2013 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I see that Prof. Michael Magazine [I am not making that up] of The U of Cincinnati is teaching a business course this semester called Bracketology, where students spend the semester “trying to make sense of …the art of filling out a NCAA tournament bracket.” I hope Prof. Magazine [IANMTU] has included the Lent Madness Bracket, which would add clarity to an otherwise difficult and perplexing task. One wonders if any kitsch is involved in that class.

  58. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    March 19, 2013 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I have read most of these posts and agree that this is the most difficult decision to make. Like many of you I wish we could vote for both, but my vote will be for Frances. As a Mainer, I learned a great deal about this lady who until Lent Madness I had not heard of. I went on the website and found out more about her and plan on taking a day trip to The Frances Perkins Center. Thank you to Heidi for sharing so much about a lady that worked silently and hard to help many people.

  59. Ephrem Hugh Bensusan's Gravatar Ephrem Hugh Bensusan
    March 19, 2013 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Once again, martyrdom is being trumped by New Deal politics. Unutterably sad.

  60. March 19, 2013 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Lent Madness is the best centennial gift ever to the US Department of Labor. It’s been a great way for people to learn about a much beloved Secretary, who has played a big role in our 100 year history. But Secretary Perkins also plays a big role in our present: she is our muse, model and namesake of our employee e-magazine. Kitsch or art? You decide. Click on my profile picture. You go, Madame Secretary!

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      March 19, 2013 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

      : )

  61. March 19, 2013 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Carl, that’s way beyond awesome.

  62. Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
    March 19, 2013 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Another fist shaken at the SEC/LM community for engineering this matchup! I’m beyond glad finally to know about Frances, love that it all belongs to God . . . and voting for Jonathan. He’s had my heart for a long time, as I ponder how someone so young could be so strong, in ways I never could have been…or, I fear, could be even now. It was a thrill, twenty years ago, to see his name in the book of saints at Canterbury Cathedral….

  63. Samantha's Gravatar Samantha
    March 19, 2013 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

    You want kitsch? Don’t forget that Frances Perkins appears in “Annie”, belting out the reprise of “Tomorrow” with the rest of the Cabinet! That’s not why I voted for her, though — it was for her life of service and work to see that all Americans had the basic necessities.

  64. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    March 19, 2013 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Frances was a great service worker for the people and I admire her for everything she did, but I lived in the deep south during the great civil rights struggle. I remember the horror of those days only too well. Thank God for souls like Jonathan Daniels who knew the danger of standing up for the rights of their fellow Americans and died as a result. Jonathan was human and would not have chosen death, but he heard God’s call to take a stand and could not turn away. Jonathan died, one of several deaths, including his inspiration, Martin Luther King. Jonathan died for the cause of assuring the basic civil rights of all Americans. For Mom, and for Rebecca, a teacher who worked as a maid in the summers and shaped my civil conscience as she did so. Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan!

  65. March 19, 2013 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I greatly admire Francis’ work, yet her life was not at risk in doing so. I can’t believe she beat MLK I can’t believe she’s beating Daniels. You folks have me scratching my head…

  66. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 19, 2013 - 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I sing a song of the saints of God….(who) followed the right, for Jesus’ sake, the whole of their good lives long. Two modern-times’ saints…gosh, that makes it really hard to choose because I want everyone to know that saints are folk like all of us. But Jonathan gets my vote today even though Frances is a still a hero of mine. It’s usually easier when we compare two of different eras, you know!

  67. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    March 19, 2013 - 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Daniels for this deacon. The kitsch quality can stand some sprucing up, O Ye Mighty SECers. Last year’s stuff was really interesting and I know y’all can do better. I am really sorry so many commenters are so disgruntled and unhappy as to how long one should’ve been dead to even qualify and other nit-picky stuff…Geez, Lueeze! Lighten up…it’s Lent MADNESS and it’s fun, fun, fun!!!…if you let it be. Chill out, fill your 2012 GOLDEN HALO winner-Mary Mags cup to the brim with some good quality coffee…no decaf allowed. They are all winners by virtue of the fact they are even included with input from those who replied to the SEC’s offer to make suggestions.

  68. Tracy Sukraw's Gravatar Tracy Sukraw
    March 19, 2013 - 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for Secretary Perkins’s hats.

  69. Blair Bickford's Gravatar Blair Bickford
    March 19, 2013 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The kitsch thing is’re trying too hard to be funny..voted for Daniels..he was in my husband’s VMI ’61 class..but the first bio of Francis was over the top writing and research!! Thanks LM!

    • Susan Hedges's Gravatar Susan Hedges
      March 19, 2013 - 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes, voting for more kitsch is a little shallow, don’t you think? Daniels gets my vote.

    • March 19, 2013 - 6:29 pm | Permalink

      I tried to rally the VMI family. No big response as of yet. Do you have a Bickford relation in the class of 86? Just wondering. That’s my class. See you at the Mother I sometime!

      • Blair Bickford's Gravatar Blair Bickford
        March 21, 2013 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Husband’s family, Bickford, is from Hampton, Va. and ALL VMI folk. We live in Norfolk. Could it be our cousin Paul Bickford, Jr. in your class? He is married, 3 children and moving from Hampton to Atlanta as I type!!

  70. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    March 19, 2013 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m going with Daniels even though his kitsch really does need to be kicked up a (k)notch or two. I was born the year he graduated from VMI, but not in Lexington, though I later lived in Lexington, where I attended K-3rd grade and attended Robert E. Lee (yes, that is the parish’s name) Episcopal Church. But I am really voting for Daniels because, as Heidi suggested, I must vote for the one who moves my heart today. I am forever grateful for Frances’ work, but awed that a 26-year-old child of the establishment possessed the immediate instinct to prevent harm to “the other.” And that he was there with her in the first place — in an era when forging friendships that countered cultural prejudice required a rare form of courage. Onward to the Halo, Jonathan!

  71. Chips Lanier's Gravatar Chips Lanier
    March 19, 2013 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I have to stick by a fellow alum, but do offer a bit more kitsch. This is a picture of the new Daniels Arch (I know- it’s square) into the Barracks at VMI. It’s a Second Class (junior) privilege to enter and exit through there. Nice quote, however.

  72. Christine CO's Gravatar Christine CO
    March 19, 2013 - 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I live in Hyde Park, NY, so must go to the store at the FDR museum and library to see if there is anything there that would qualify as Frances Perkins kitsch. My husband asked me who was leading. I told him I didn’t want to tell him, to avoid influencing his vote. He said he would see the percentages when he went to vote. I said, You don’t see them until after you vote. He said, Oh, you mean after you vote the first time? I think he was joking.

    • March 19, 2013 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

      It is possible to see them before you vote. Just click the “View Results” link that’s under the vote button. 🙂

  73. Aileen Ryder's Gravatar Aileen Ryder
    March 19, 2013 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Tough vote today. I’ve been loyal to Jonathon…but today Frances gets my vote.

  74. Jim Oppenheimer's Gravatar Jim Oppenheimer
    March 19, 2013 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

    While Jonathon was a real heroic character, it strikes me what a terrible, terrible loss it was for him to be taken at that age. It seems obvious, with his background and obvious character, that he would have been a truly remarkable man. I mourn humankind’s loss, to say nothing of the loss of TEC.

  75. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    March 19, 2013 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

    After years as a Quaker i walked into the Church of the Advent and wondered who could hear the voice of God in all the glitter- then I read that just a few years earlier -Jonathan had heard just that voice in just that place and my eyes were opened! the message to leave what you know and where you are comfortable and follow wherever has continued to influence the path of my life. go Jonathan!

  76. Mary Wueste's Gravatar Mary Wueste
    March 19, 2013 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Relatives in Maine, NH, and VA. Memories of the Civil Rights struggles of the 60’s. Mom went to Mt. Holyoke, also EDS (before women were accepted). What to do?
    Voted for Daniels last time, Perkins this time. Both are worthy. The “loser” should totally get another shot next year! (also MLK)

    • March 19, 2013 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

      . . . but the same people aren’t included the following year — that’s just part of Lent Madness!

      • Mary Wueste's Gravatar Mary Wueste
        March 19, 2013 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

        I know–I’m suggesting the SEC make an exception.

    • Mary Wueste's Gravatar Mary Wueste
      March 19, 2013 - 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Oops, I meant ETS, of course!

  77. March 19, 2013 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Wish I had checked this post earlier today… There is a lot of Jonathan Daniels stuff out there… Jonathan M. Daniels icon at EDS … And, a few years ago, a composer wrote a musical piece in Jonathan’s honor – had a world premiere in Virginia and several of Jonathan’s ETS classmates attended, representing the school. When I was at EDS, I met and assisted Mike Bell of Cheyenne, WY, chair of St. Mark’s Jonathan Daniels Society, who made it his mission to teach people about Jonathan. He has an arch at VMI as well as plaque. “Here I am, send me” is a video of his story (Larry Benaquist and William Sullivan) and William Schneider’s “The Jon Daniels Story.”

  78. Karen Howe's Gravatar Karen Howe
    March 19, 2013 - 8:16 pm | Permalink

    An impossible choice, so I had to go with the scriptures: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

  79. Timothy's Gravatar Timothy
    March 19, 2013 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I find the invitation to vote, to choose one and only one, is an interesting spiritual discernment. I feel the need to flow through — or to be called through — the urge to want to vote for both. Mindfully and prayerfully listening, feeling, paying attention to a tug in favor of one of two worthy saints prompts questions like, “I wonder what this might mean about how God is revealed for me?” Or, “I wonder what this might mean about how God is revealed particularly in this saint’s life and legacy?” Or, “I wonder what the kitschy items might tell us about how God may be known to have a great and deep sense of humor?” My bracket’s a mess, but I appreciate Lent Madness so much. Today I am tugged toward Jonathan, which is no slight to Frances in my mind.

  80. Kay's Gravatar Kay
    March 19, 2013 - 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Seriously love what ya’ll are doing here. I’ve learned so much! This is one of the best Lenten experiences I’ve ever had.

  81. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 20, 2013 - 3:01 am | Permalink

    Both Jonathan and Frances lived Christ-like lives in caring for the needs of others.
    Neither appears unapproachable. Neither sounds strident. Both persevered in faithful work. So, of course, choice is impossible—Lent Madness impossible!
    I vote for Jonathan Daniels because he did not expect to die that day, but thought only to protect the girl. Impossiblely sad. But true.

    • Jim Oppenheimer's Gravatar Jim Oppenheimer
      March 20, 2013 - 3:18 am | Permalink

      And this wonderful young man, a product of VMI and then seminary, was destined to do great things. I mourn that life — never lived, cut short, all too soon.
      I believe the girl he shielded went on to do some things. I pray that the man who fired the shot has had some kind of epiphany…

      • March 20, 2013 - 8:00 am | Permalink

        Ruby Sales began and is still involved in – The shooter – Tom L. Coleman – was found not guilty of manslaughter charges by an all white, all male AL jury. He claimed self-defense. He never faced other prosecution and continued playing dominoes at the county courthouse. He died in old age in 1997.

  82. The Rev. Michael Cadaret's Gravatar The Rev. Michael Cadaret
    March 20, 2013 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    I am really disillusioned by Jonathan Daniel being voted down. Political appointees who follow their conscience and Lord are truly rare and are to be commended. Further, that the same faithful and conscientious political appointee is able to be so effective on behalf of so many is remarkable. However, none of this rises to the level of taking a shotgun blast to chest for a child who was murderously hated simply for the color skin.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      March 20, 2013 - 11:22 am | Permalink

      If it helps, please consider that it was then, is now, and always will be a combination of people working together who accomplish positive change — those working on the front lines AND those working within organizations or government agencies to make systemic changes so that martyrdom for such causes is no longer necessary. Lives (pl.) are saved by safer working conditions, too.

      I voted for Daniels, btw, but I can’t imagine him for one second begrudging Perkins her advancement – please remember that everyone here is ultimately on the same team! (I’d use a team cycling/Tour de France metaphor here if that didn’t presently have such a taint of corruption about it.) An Associated Press article on that other Madness this morning says they sometimes have ferocious Blue Devils in their Final Four. That is NOT what we’re about here. Our bracket is about saints in light — all of ’em! : )

      And then there’s the rest of us schmos, whose job is to listen, learn, and respond when God calls us to action through these remarkable people. THANK YOU, Sheldon, for the information and link above to Daniels/Sales ongoing nonviolent justice work.

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