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Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Note: Read this post on Tuesday Morning. I’ve written too much for one day. This should be my Tuesday Post.

UPDATE : See update at end.  Apparantly I should have waited to WRITE this until Tuesday.

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Do they still make that green cellophane grass to line Easter Baskets? I’ve seen crinkled paper, but none of that sticky, messy Easter Grass of my childhood. Then again, I’ve spent the last eight or so weeks just zooming in on the Cadbury Eggs and ignoring the rest of the holiday bits.

I had other, deeper thoughts on Easter. Thoughts that didn’t revolve around eggs and candy and shredded plastic. But I can’t get there in my mind right now. The thoughts are there, careening up against the dust mites and cobwebs. If I try to coax one out, others follow and they all end up fighting right here on the keyboard. So I guess it’s best left alone for now.

Oh, here’s a non-deep Easter Thought. What the heck is up with Ben-Hur? I used to love that movie, and I tried to watch it every Easter. I haven’t seen it in a couple of years, but we watched it today. It was like 30 minutes of good stuff diluted by some of the most melodramatic cinema I’ve ever seen. They could keep the stuff on the boat, the chariot race, the business with all of the drinking and the healing rain. The rest could be seriously condensed. My husband now has decided that there is “time” (sixty seconds equal a minute; sixty minutes equal an hour) and “Ben-Hur Time” (each minute feels like sixty). I sincerely regret telling him that it’s one of my favourite movies of all time. Or it used to be. I think I’ve seen too much fast-paced Braveheart type stuff. I do think that I like the name “Judah” for a little boy, though. Not necessarily MY little boy, but who can say for sure?

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Since I can’t be at church today, I figured I’d write about The Church. Anyone is welcome to read and chime in, but since I’m talking about family business, expect a bit of God-bothering that I wouldn’t include in a secular post. Sam Davidson’s post on the Church’s lack of appreciation for worldly accomplishments is serving as the catalyst for my thinking. In that post, Sam asserts that

when the church decries something simply because to embrace it would require a change of heart, it is not assuming its God-given role to be a positive force of change in the world. And that’s called heresy.

Of course, in the list of items for which Sam would like to see the Church relent on her position are things like ‘abstinence-only education’. And this is why I’m a Christian Libertarian, gang. This is it. Right here.

Because I firmly believe that we in the Church cannot use the law to force our ecclesiastical views on the rest of you. But I also believe that I don’t want secular views diluting the power of Christ’s message to the church. In the church we teach abstinence because we believe that is how the Bible instructs us to live. We know abstinence is difficult. We’re human. We have libidos too. But we teach abstinence to our children because we are to ‘bring them up in the way [they] should go’, and we believe circumspect sexuality is part of that. I don’t think we need to teach ab/o in the school systems because those kids are not all our kids and their religious education is not the role of the school. Abstinence-only is a religious position held for religious reasons.

In the Bible we are told that the Church is the role-model for marriage. Christ is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. Just as the church has only one God and Christ has only one Church, Christians are to have only one sexual partner. Yes, I know it doesn’t always work that way. But that is the goal to which we aspire when we take up our crosses daily.

I know we aren’t the cool kids here. I know that the hip granola thing to do is to be all “Condoms For Everybody! Whee!” and cluck tongues at those backward Jesus-freaks at the soda fountain. I know that so many in the church would rather be embraced by a secular world full of fellow-feeling than to walk the hard road on this.

But we are called to be holy. In case you weren’t aware, “Holy” means set apart. I’ll help you teach birth control methods in secular society. But don’t expect my Church to slough off our definitive core of beliefs just to fit in with the withering grass and fading flowers of this world.

The rest of my comments on Sam’s treatise can be found here.

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Last night Aunt B. had a post which rang a few bells with me. She was discussing the misbegotten adventures of a woman in a store looking for advice on herbs from the clerk. Of course this is ridiculous. Store clerks are not qualified to diagnose and treat illness.

But I think it says something about how much our society secretly yearns for the lost art of the Wise Woman. I think that a part of every ailing person longs for the comfort of a mother, and modern medical care completely denies that. The purely clinical nature of 21st century treatment offers some level of physical healing but lacks the succor found in the craft of the Wise Woman. Medicine has pulled away from a healing art and morphed into a kind of dry, white, sterile science. In turn, the arts of herbal healing and insightful analysis are now annexed under the labels of Occult and Witchcraft. I believe that witchcraft exists, but I don’t believe that all Wise Women throughout history were witches. In fact, the history of medicine refers back to many texts about herbs and herbal lore.

I am a Christian and a woman. When I watch the Da Vinci Code fever sweep the world, when I hear about women asking other women for medical advice, whenever people talk reverently about Mary of Magdala it makes me realise again just how much we crave the sacred feminine. I believe, because the Bible said so, that we are made in God’s image. Male AND Female. Which means that I believe that God has as much an essence of femininity as masculinity. I believe, as David said, that the Earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof. Which leads me to believe that the healing arts of the Wise Woman are as much God-directed as any medical care in a hospital.

There is always talk about how to “reshape” Christianity to refocus on the feminine aspects of God, as we continue to anthropomorphise God to meet our purposes. For me I’m content to let God be God and worship as such. But I would really like to see modern medicine reshaped. As clinical treatment strays further and further from the realm of the healing arts traditionally practiced by Wise Women it becomes less and less effective on a whole-person level. Two soon-to-be-released books–Better and How Doctors Think will once again talk about the flaws in modern medicine.

Flaws I believe could be healed by looking in the direction of holistic medicine. As with faith, I believe things are best when you consider the balance between the feminine and the masculine. Surely it could help medicine, too.

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Life is funny sometimes. There is a saying from somewhere [Siddhartha, I believe] that if you wait by the river long enough the body of your enemy will float by. I generally love this saying, as I’ve found it to be too true over the years.

There was once a man in my life who was authoritarian, legalistic and dogmatic. His exacting nature contrasted with his slight frame and bug-eyed myopia. He was a martinet with a tinny voice and an attitude of superiority which seemed strange in someone who was so inferior-seeming on so many levels.

But at this particular point in my life he had oversight of me and my actions. There was no escaping it. In life I’m generally a go-along-to-get-along person up to a point. Then the strident INTJ in me takes over, feeling the need to point out the cracks in the system. Several of the bricks in my libertarian wall were crafted in response to this man and his misapplied whims of authority.

This weekend I made a discovery. Apparently this man’s wife left him after nearly 40 years of marriage and his suspicious two-week sojourn in the far East.

I laughed out loud. Not because of his broken marriage, but because I know of only one reason that a married man in late middle-age would travel to that part of the world alone.

I’m not surprised that a man with such an outlook on life would be one of the dudes with an Asian-girl fetish. With all the stereotypes about the docile and servile nature of the Asian female, I’m sure this fellow thought he found his ideal women. Since I’m neither docile nor servile, it’s no surprise that he and I didn’t get along.

But I will savour over and over in my mind the moment where he lectured a number of me and my friends on sexual morality. The irony cracks me up.

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