20 June 2014

The Handmaid's Tale was not an instruction manual, dammit!

I sometimes forget how insulated I am in the world of Progressive Christianity from the world of fundamentalism. Never was this more clear to me than when I read what was happening at Bob Jones "University". Nutshell: Women were raped, got the courage to tell someone, and were told to repent their sins. The comments I have read about this have been heartbreaking. A woman told of how her ex-husband beat their 5 year old daughter so badly she had to sleep on her stomach for days because of the welts on her back. She went to her church and was reprimanded for not standing by her husband in a united front. That will stay with me. I can't imagine what it did to her. The stories in the article are shocking to me, and I guess they shouldn't be. Too many comments are "not surprised" for me to feel comfortable asking how I could have known.

I'm too disgusted for a proper rant. This is just me barking in several directions like a dog who can hear the mail carrier but can't figure out where she is. I don't even know where to begin a takedown of these turdfondling fuckwads. I guess we start with WHERE IN THE HELL DID YOU GET THE IDEA THAT RAPE IS GOD'S PUNISHMENT FOR ANYTHING? BECAUSE THAT SHIT AIN'T IN THE BIBLE!

I mean, what the hell is this garbage? And doesn't it strike you that these fuckers must think that God is working through men who rape? Which in turn means they're very likely rapists who think they're doing God's work, because God can't rape anyone himself, right? *puke*

THIS IS NOT WHAT IS MEANT BY "BEING GOD'S TOOL". (Sacrilegious rape joke!)

See, this shit right here, this is why "a Christian nation" is a bad idea. Because what if this was codified into law? Punishments for the victims, perpetrators considered God's hand, laws based on corruptions of scriptures. It's a horrifying thought. These people seem to think that the Handmaid's Tale was an instruction manual for utopia.

So, while I've got you here, this is my message:
I'm sorry. I'm really truly sorry for the harm that has been done in the name of God, the name of Jesus, a man who prevented a legal death of a woman for a crime that was also a sin. I'm sorry that people with whom I align myself in the name of Christ have fucked this up so horrifically, and worse, don't even know that.

I'm truly sorry that we are seeing the wolves in sheep's clothing we were warned about. And they're perfect wolves. They're wolves who think they're sheep. They truly believe they're righteous followers of Christ. Baffling how they can disconnect from his message of love to do such enormous damage.

And I am grateful that there are a bunch of us trying to change it. This is from the theological statement within the Sexual Abuse Prevention and Response manual that we follow:
We affirm: We are not alone, we live in God’s world.
God intends for all life freedom from abuse and injustice; God desires for all human beings, created in God’s image, mutual respect, care, protection, and empowerment.
We believe in God: who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit. We trust in God.
Sexual abuse, exploitation, and misconduct are destructive to God’s people, violating the love we know in Jesus and negating people’s ability to develop and use their gifts of creativity and wholeness. We believe God continues to call God’s people to love and to respect the Word made flesh, and where there is abuse to seek restorative justice and healing.
A little different from Bob Jones, I think.

My hope for today is that the victims of the church someday find healing.

19 June 2014

Cultural Appropriation

There is a young white woman I know who has an aboriginal boyfriend (he's in line for hereditary chief of his tribe, actually). She's a lovely lady, and she's utterly clueless about matter of privilege, racism, etc. She drew a Salish style hummingbird for her boyfriend, and he suggested she tattoo it on her foot. Um. Right. So that's serious cultural appropriation there, but her First Nations boyfriend suggested it. I suggested that it's not going to go over very well with a lot of other people, and she was horrified when I explained and was very very happy that I had told her. She said, "Oh my god. I might as well have gotten 'asshole' tattooed on me!" Which was very very awesome of her. She didn't do the "Don't care. It's pretty" thing.

So what the hell, Boyfriend? You trying to get her killed? She lives on a reserve!

edit: I just had a... you know! A headache. With pictures... A thought! Yes, a thought. So my clueless friend, she might explain it as "So, you know I'd be okay as long as you're around. But you know, I might not be able to walk through my neighbourhood without someone assuming I'm a racist asshole who doesn't give a shit about your culture". Remember the episode of Scrubs where Turk (a black guy) and J.D. (a white guy) go to a Halloween party together? Turk goes in whiteface. J.D. goes in blackface. It's okay because they're together and it's funny. But when Turk gets sidelined and J.D. is alone, he looks like an epic sonofapigfucker. This is the same.

09 June 2014

Why I Protest

Yesterday was Pentecost in the Christian church. The story goes (WAIT... bear with me, this stops being all Christian-y in a few minutes) that 50 days after Easter, the Holy Spirit blew a wind through a home where the disciples were holed up, and scared the pants off of them. Flames came to rest on them without burning them. They left the building they were in and started to speak, and in a seriously cool turn of events, everyone could understand them as if they were speaking their own languages. Well, not everyone. Some people thought they were drunk. And then Peter said, and I'm paraphrasing liberally, "No dudes! They're not drunk. It's only 9am for fuck's sake. That old dude Joel, from scriptures? Remember him? No? Well, he said all this would happen! All of it! Don't you get it? You killed the Messiah! So repent and be baptized in his name". And that's how the church began. So the story goes.

I love Pentecost. I like the imagery of the wind and fire. I like the idea of a bunch of disciples holed up in fear trying to figure out what in the hell to do next (it's just so human). And I like the idea of the Spirit moving them to do something. Even if it wasn't as literal as the story. Especially if it wasn't as literal as the story.

The idea of saying NO. This is NOT okay. That's kind of what Jesus was all about. And I like that. I can take that with me to a protest. To a Slut Walk*. To a March against Monsanto. That energy for changing the society into a place I where everyone is welcome. Where everyone is accommodated. Where compassion rules and money is irrelevant. Where power is only achieved with love and compassion. That's what I want. That's what a lot of us lefties want. The fact that it jibes with the vision of God's Kingdom outlined in the Bible is just a nice bonus. And completely irrelevant to most lefties I know. Which is fine, of course. I don't give the first rat's ass if you're working for this vision because it's the right thing to do, or if your God tells you to, or if you're just a happy hippie. It's all good.

So yeah. Even though a lot of protests seem futile and fruitless, and the cynic in me says why bother, I bother because it's the right thing to do. Because if 11 guys 2000 years ago could make the difference they made (and sweet merciful Jesus did we fuck it up), a bunch more people can make a difference. Even if they never see the results. Because that's hope. And you know how I feel about hope. There is no such thing as false hope. If I never see the results of my work, if there ARE no results of my work, I still had hope. Oh, and that reminds me, my least favourite concept ever: Don't get your hopes up. Really? Why not? Because I might not get what I want? So? So what? There are so many things wrong with that. First, it presupposes that I can't be happy if I don't get what I want. And that's bullshit. Second, if I don't get my hopes up, I won't bother to try, and if I don't try, it for certain won't happen. So it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Third, without hope, there's nothing.

So that's why I protest. That's why I toss pebbles into the ocean and hope for a tsunami. Because I have to. Because if I don't, I'm part of the problem. And I don't want to be part of the problem.

*Yesterday's Slut Walk in Victoria was sponsored by KoolFM radio station. They played loud music for the protesters. They played Blurred Lines. The date rape anthem. The crowd booed it until they turned it off.