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The Isolation of the Black Non-Believer… Saturday, Nov 13 2010
For myself, this video response regarding Black non-believers is quite telling. This woman demonstrates the what the larger consensus and mindset is within the Black community. It is quite the challenge to be yourself and voice your opinions from this standpoint. News flash: skin color can’t be erased. Luckily, that’s why we can use the internet to voice our opinions. Unfortunately, within many people of African-decent’s lives, it’s much easier to stay silent.
Duggar Rabbits Are Busy Poppin’ Out Some More! Friday, Nov 12 2010
So I am a fan on the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting‘s Facebook page. You see, at one point I was really appreciated what seemed to be a harmless “good, wholesome” family. Then, I made the mistake of reaching up for a piece of fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Ok, so I just went to the library but, apparently, there’s real danger for a “godly woman” who attempts to learn who or what is behind a facade.
I have learned that the Duggar clan is part of what is called the Quiverfull movement. Besides being surprised that Andrea Yates (you know, the woman who drowned her five children and then proceeded to blame it on a black man) was part of this movement, I was particularly intrigued by the racist undertones of this whole ordeal. At first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and then– WHALLA– hidden beneath a thick cloak of patriotism is a dangerous hybrid of religious doctrine and bigotry. I think that, in that mix, there is also a strong sense of fear when members of this group say that they are going to “take the country back for christ”.
Within this Quiverfull movement there is a strong desire to return to “traditional” values. I was wondering what time period those values came from. I assumed it was the 1950’s in America since that is what the current consensus among the popular TEA party movement wishes to do (I always giggle when they refer to everyone who is liberal in their eyes as a “commie”). But, looking at pages like Doug Phillips of Vision Forum they really are looking to wind the clock back to the “virtuous” age of 19th century, Victorian England.
You know, I know that the 1950’s were bad for many ethnic and, yes, even religious groups outside of the Protestantism here in the US but 19th century Victorian England was atrocious. This is the age of innovation and where there were more squarely defined social roles. I think that, perhaps, this is something that they believe to be safe, but let’s remember that there’s another side to this coin. Yes, it was an age of innovation for things like the camera, but with that innovation came an influx of things like pornography (the first picture of which was interestingly a black woman). Also, the whole notion of women being “angels of the household” wasn’t such a great time for women’s rights. People were just beginning to alight themselves to their rights and personal freedoms. For the life of me, I really can’t understand exactly why people would want to return to those times.
So, when I hear people like Josh and Anna Duggar say that they will have as many children as god will allow them, it absolutely baffles me. It just seems like their whole lifestyle is extremely myopic. Like, how will having as many children as you can really contribute to, or better society? And, please, don’t say Biblical “values”. Cause you might as well admit that we pick and choose these so-called principles anyway. Many people throughout the centuries have died due to religious differences so why indoctrinate children into a dangerous cycle that perpetuates and champions ignorance as a virtue (they normally homeschool their children and only encourage them to attend approved evangelical collegiate institutions)? Also, what I don’t understand is why have so many children when there’s so many children in the world that already need love and are looking for a home? Isn’t adoption the more noble thing to do? I just don’t understand.
The Color and Evolution of Hue-manism Tuesday, Nov 9 2010
First off, sorry that I’ve been on a hiatus. This is (obviously) a very busy season for the church and church life.
Lately, I’ve been reading heavily and searching for connection to other perspectives. One site that I’ve come across is http://www.humaniststudies.org/blog/entry/1188451/the-color-of-humanism. I was very excited to find this “diamond in the ruff” regarding people of color and the connection between the various degrees of non-belief. This, for me, was a definite life saver. I never could believe how challenging it would be to have a different belief coupled with the difficulty to find like-minded folks.
As of late, I’ve been feeling quite guilty about the fact that I’ve married into the very thing that-deep down- I really had a problem with. I’ve forever been the “outsider”. I’ve always been the girl that “talked white” or “proper” and was made fun of because I actually liked learning and school. I was just so excited to find a man that appreciated me and loved me as much as he did (and does). I’ve always felt like the variation in our views were minuscule and that love– love for one another, love for family, love for community– would always over come those seemingly petty notions.
So, yes, lately I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching. It’s been very painful to return to those childhood scenarios of getting teased and bullied. One particularly painful incident was a girl in the fifth grade approaching me at lunch and spitting Oreos in my face because she said that I “talked like one”. Yes, I know that children can be pretty cruel, but that was ruff. Now that I’m grown, I can also see how these things affect even the members of the church. And, how from there, the very same attitudes are created within the larger society. So, out of all of this–and mind you I’m no psychologist (even though, as a pastor’s wife, many think I’m supposed to be)– can anyone blame another human for searching for love and wanting to be loved and accepted? And, then, reaching for it once it’s presented in their life?
Well, in the coming weeks perhaps I’ll be able to find some answers through my readings. Also, my reading is one thing that I hope to talk about more of in hopes to absorb it more thoroughly. I really don’t have any book discussions that I attend so future comments and thoughts will be welcome. Also, if you have any other book suggestions presenting the creationism argument, please let me know. Currently, I’m reading Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.
Christine O’Donnell is the gift that keeps on giving!!! Thursday, Oct 21 2010
When I heard this I was shocked but not surprised. Please, could someone please honestly tell me that they could see this woman on an international negotiation on our country’s behalf? I’m so amazed that people support someone of this low intelligence and caliber and that happily wishes to spread the gospel of ignorance. This is a very, very dangerous and haphazard combination and an advocate of ignorance is no friend of mine.
The oldest galaxy? What will the crazy creationists think? Thursday, Oct 21 2010
Current Events and Politikin' astronomers, astronomy, Bible, Christianity, church, creationism, death, evolution, funerals, galaxy, god, Hubble telescope, intelligent design, oldest galaxy, religion 3:54 am
I’m always amazed and mystified when I hear about the things that we are finding in outer space. Recently, scientists have discovered the oldest galaxy thus far. There’s just so much to discover and find out that it’s endless. It’s mind boggling and there are concepts that are just too big for some to grasp. Like, for instance, I have trouble grasping the concept in the article that talked about how this galaxy is actually a 20th of it’s current age. So, it would be like looking at a 4 year old but, in reality, they’re really an adult. I’m assuming, from my reading and self-study, that this has to do with how long it takes the light to get here (or at least to the telescope’s lens). That concept alone is absolutely huge. When I read scientific journals about the universe being endless and about the different materials that it’s made up of, it’s really hard to match these concepts with a God that has the fickle behavior of a mere human being.
Around the church, I occasionally hear folks mention that something is in “God’s favor”. Really? How would you know? I’m at the point now where I really wonder, if I know that I have a limited capacity to grasp the vastness of the universe how could a lady in church have the wherewithal to know what God wants? I guess the answer, for many, would be “in the Bible” but, as I’ve stated in an earlier post, I’m coming to the conclusion that the Bible is a book that was written by human beings to control (and entertain:) human beings.
In a dark way, it’s really comical when you think about it. When attending funerals it is often mentioned that it was God’s “will” that the person died and that he or she is “in a better place”. I always like to study the interaction with people in the scenario. The wife is so stricken and paralyzed with grief over the passing of her husband that, usually, anything said never registers. The grief of the family is so thick it’s like getting choked by heavy, Southern heat and humidity in the middle of July. And then, slowly stepping forth from the crowd is one of the church mothers that approaches the wife of the deceased. She takes the hand of the grief stricken mother and then, in a putrid mixture of a tone that’s both condescending and a veneer of congeniality she’ll say, “I’m so sorry for your loss. He’s in a better place with our heavenly Father”. How is saying something like this in such an obviously insensitive manner a consolation? Why can’t you just sit with the person and…well, just…be? I’d hate to imagine loosing a loved one but, in my position, I really couldn’t imagine that and dealing with church politics. And, yes, within the church there are politics…even at funerals.
So, even the concept of death, which many religions’ main focus is, is a concept that is to “big” or to much for many people to handle. So why and how can we put a concept of this entity or the energy of what we call God in a box that fits our needs? It’s a very big question, indeed.
Germany’s Angela Merkel: Multiculturalism has ‘utterly failed’ Monday, Oct 18 2010
This is very interesting. After reading many of the posts in the comment sections from various sites, I find it interesting that many people are comparing Germany’s immigration problems and issues to the US. Well, many of the things that I’ve read thus far have by no means been a “deep analysis” of the issue but I do think that it highlights a general consensus of fear-based mind sets that are common between both countries.
Interestingly, I believe that the difference between Germany and the US is that Germany is a country with a particular and distinct culture. Let me explain this by saying that their ideas of nationalism and nationalistic freedom and pride are wrapped up in things like language, food, and distinct position on the map. The US, however, is the only country in modern history solely founded upon principles. We have a unique balance of nationalistic, political, and individual freedoms that are paralleled to no other country. Once you become an American citizen, it is expected that you respect other citizen’s freedom to be themselves under our unique, living document of the constitution. In Germany, you are a German outright through an anomaly of where you as a human were born and, ultimately, adopting the standard culture with your surroundings.
Now, as far as what Ms. Merkel says regarding the citizens of Germany must learn the national language, I totally agree. That is part of their culture and their national heritage. To me, the same importance must be emphasized here in America for our children (adults, too!) to learn and master the language of English. This is, I believe, essential to one’s advancement in civilized society in the coming ages.
Now, the thing that I am strongly against and that was not shown in this clip is the portion of Ms. Merkel’s speech regarding the immigrant’s adoption of Christian “values”. I have a real problem with this notion. It’s a very limiting notion that any nation has a set of certain religious values. I still have yet to have someone present uniquely Christian values to me. And, when I say uniquely, I really mean that. Most, if not all, of the values that people say are uniquely Christian are found in many other religious traditions, at least by the research that I’ve done thus far. And to say that a nation holds specific, religious values opens up a whole can of worms. That’s why, in the US, there is a separation of church and state. Well, at least there’s supposed to be.