Category Archives: Theology, revisited

America is not digging religion

prayerA new Gallup poll says that confidence in organized religion — though not Roman Catholicism — has hit a new low of 42 percent.

(Confidence among Catholics has steadied after some rough hits around the church sexual abuse scandal of the ’80s-’90s.)

And if there was no historic Yeshua ben Yosef?

0c40f5b5954f1d72906912392626cde2This Salon piece (linked there from Alternet) lists five reasons that point to the notion that Jesus never existed.

I find this conversation fascinating. If Jesus (as I know Jesus, the Jesus of my Sunday school lessons) wasn’t the son of God, was strictly a charismatic rabbi around whom a religion was built, would that change my notion about Christianity? Probably not. Do I feel like I need to defend his divine-ness against the nay-sayers? I do not.

I don’t know if that’s me just walking away from a fight, or me seeing the fruitlessness of trying to explain something I hardly understand myself. Anyway: Enjoy the read.

In which I disagree with The Hill website:

BlackJesusThe headline is “Mixing Christianity and Politics Is Killing the Church,” and I get the point the author is making. I do. The piece is exploring Texas’ so-called Pastor Protection bill, which would “protect” clergy in that state from performing rites and rituals for people they don’t want to, but mostly the gays.

Mixing Christianity as it’s explained at the original source wouldn’t kill the church.It would revive it. It would awaken people to the egalitarian message of Jesus, and give all a radical welcome.  It would move people to stop wading into other people’s lives, and seek to live the life of Jesus — welcoming, as I said, and anxious to serve.

I know that’s just my take on it, but it’s what keeps me swinging the bat.

 

 

A Duggar spin-off show? Are you fucking kidding me?

Crying_Angel_by_lovliksmrosesSeveral news websites reported late yesterday that the Duggars — the face of the Quiverfull movement, with a sexual predator in their midst — are mulling over a spin-off television show that will focus on the next generation — though the new show won’t include the sexual predator, one would suppose.

(Did everyone see this? Where Josh Duggar sued the state of Arkansas when officials there began investigating his sexual assaults?)

(How about this, a change.org petition calling for an investigation of parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar for not reporting the child molestation in their midst?)

Or should one suppose anything with this group? Probably not.

Here’s what I plan to do: Cheerfully continue my boycott of the show and of TLC, and vow never to let an opportunity go by to remind people just what this family stood for even before the sexual molestation of some of their daughters and other young girls who came into their clutches. So while you pop your popcorn and anticipate the fun you’ll have with the next generation, remember that the Quiverfull movement embraced by the Duggars includes:

    • No birth control
    • Heavy dependence on military rhetoric, with the notion that children are enlisted in the Lord’s army to go win more converts to this very fundamentalist sect of Christianity (which, it must be said, most Christians would not recognize)
    • Uniform ideology, from parents to children
    • “Literal” interpretation of the Scriptures, and I put literal in quotes because no one is uniform in their “literal” interpretation of the Bible. No one.
    • And a deep love of (let’s call it a worship of) patriarchy

Perhaps you can see how sexual molestation of girls would rather easily follow these teachings. If a woman is there strictly as a vessel for a man — or for any children the man believes he’s due — then it’s not a big leap to assume the woman is there for the man’s pleasure, period. Or for the boy’s. She is, after all, to be submissive in all things.

That Josh Duggar would assume his sisters or their friends or any young girl, really, would be available for his sexual grooming just makes sense when viewed through the prism of this completely twisted view of the Scriptures.

That this happens is criminal and disgusting, and hiding behind the robe of Jesus won’t save their souls. And yes, I believe I shall use the same crying angel picture [above] for the duration, thanks. It suits me.

 

 

I cannot let the Duggars go

Crying_Angel_by_lovliksmrosesThat benighted family owes me nothing: No. Thing. But the story of Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse of children  strikes every chord for me. That the show may have been cancelled doesn’t mean squat to me. I am listening, as I type this, to old-time gospel music on Pandora, which I never do because it makes me cry.

I cry for all the little girls and boys who are being raised in any religion that treats them as something they’re not — either as vessels or as spears, when really all they are is children who need loved and protected.

I cry for those of us who lived through childhood sexual abuse, and I cry for those who didn’t make it.

I cry for writers who seek to turn the conversation to forgiveness, when that is not the writers’ place, to ask for forgiveness. That’s for the victims of Josh Duggar, and I do not believe any of us have the right to ask them to forgive any one. That’s on them and if they choose not to actually forgive their perpetrator, they won’t hear squat from me.

I cry for family members who, thinking they are defending Josh Duggar, say:

Many times it is simply lack of opportunity or fear of consequences that keep us from falling into grievous sin even though our fallen hearts would love to indulge the flesh. We should not be shocked that this occurred in the Duggar’s home, we should rather be thankful to God if we have been spared such, and pray that he would keep us and our children from falling.

Actually? I don’t cry about those last two.  I throw things because it pisses me off so very much, the arrogance of the writer.  I also don’t cry at hypocrisy, as when Mr. Jim Bob Duggar suggested during an unsuccessful 2002 candidacy for U.S. Senate that rapists should be killed. Hmmm…

I cry for the severe perversion of the Gospel — not because I’m the gatekeeper or anything like that, but the actual words make us all equal if we’d just read the damn Book.

I cry for the Duggar girls, who are in the middle of a shitstorm not of their making.

I cry for parents who are too up their own flagpoles to pay attention to this kind of behavior and then seek to cover it up because they have a TV show that’s making them scads of cash and what’s more important? Truth? Or riches?

I cry for television networks that seek to make entertainment out of perversion and will continue my here-to-the-grave boycott of TLC.

And now please excuse me. An a cappella version of “Farther Along” just came on and I must sing along. Here. You sing, too:

And the No. 1 Christian book of the year is?

indexRick Warren’s weight lost book, “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life.”

It comes with a special Daniel t-shirt. No lie. Here’s a bit more about the Biblical character, Daniel.

And thanks, Leftover, for the link.

Can the swatiska be reclaimed?

imrs.phpA Jewish student at George Washington University posted a swatiska on a fraternity bulletin board, and faces expulsion. The student said he brought the shape back from a spring break trip to India.

But the swastika’s shape — for Buddhists and Hindus — has a whole different meaning. From the cutline to the photo above, printed in the Washington Post:

This traditional Rangoli is shaped like a swastika which Hinuds believe is a symbol of progress.

Adolph Hitler and the Nazis co-opted the symbol and turned it into something hateful. “Swastika” comes from a Sanskrit word that means “good fortune” or “well-being.” Think the symbol has a shoot at redemption?

And thanks, Leftover, for showing me this website.