Posts Tagged ‘Rants’
In light of the recent Duck Dynasty uproar, I have been confronted in my wanderings around the internet with the numerous reasons why Phil Robertson supporters are outraged by what they see as a great injustice done to him. Focusing for the moment on his sharp and judgmental opinions on homosexuality summed up in the quote below from his interview with GQ magazine.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine,” he later added. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Those who feel the need to defend Phil Robertson, use his Christian faith and freedom of speech as the point which they feel he is being attacked on. But when one begins to dissect the problem it lies with neither freedom of speech nor his Christian faith, after all Phil had no problem expressing his distaste for the gay lifestyle, or his belief in the anti-homosexual passages in the Bible … ending his tirade with the statement that “It’s not right”.
The common sentiment expressed by many Christians and Phil himself is that he was just sharing his belief in the Bible as god’s word and he’s being attacked for his faith. Well, it’s not quite that simple, especially when he inserted the judgment call of “It’s not right” in his interview. The bottom line is that it’s none of Phil business what lifestyles others choose to live, and he should have kept his opinions to himself if he didn’t want to be called out on it. Just because the book of doctrines and the god he chooses to believe in condemns homosexuality does not mean it is right. We all live in a country whose constitution guarantees our individual right to the pursuit of happiness, regardless of ones sexual preference. Christians seem to be so focused on Phil’s right to disparage a person’s lifestyle that they seem to forget they live in a country where they are allowed to practice a religion that condemns and labels the sexual preference of others as “sin”. Read the rest of this entry »
The concept of sin originates in the biblical story of Adam and Eve and sets the stage from which the rest of the Bible draws its need for salvation, or redemption. This sin idea that has adversely affected the lives of billions of people throughout history lies at the heart of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; all tracing their roots back to a mythical story of a talking snake in the Garden. When one takes a serious look at the story from which this concept of sin arose, it is quite unbelievable to say the least.
The story begins in chapter two of Genesis with the formation of the man called Adam from a lump of clay. Now, this in and of itself is the least offensive to a thinking person’s senses, because conceivably a creator god could form life from inorganic material, but what follows is beyond belief. After God created this man called Adam, he made a beautiful garden as a place for him to live, replete with animals and trees for food (except for one bad tree), but forgot to create a mate for him…oops. To solve this oversight of the missing mate, God instructed Adam to search through all the animals that were in the garden for a suitable helper and while he was at it to give the animals names. Well, as we expected nary a helper was to be found…poor Adam, he must have been quite discouraged by the time he finished naming the last critter, but never fear…God to the rescue. God in all his omnipotence caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam (he was probably tired from naming all those animals), and as he was slumbering took one of his ribs to form a helpmate for him (no lump of clay this time) that was part of his flesh. Sort of like the way a child comes from the mothers flesh, but this time instead of life coming from the female it was taken from the male (I guess God likes variety). Now, finally Adam had a mate, but apparently he didn’t inform her properly about the one tree in the entire garden that they weren’t supposed to eat from. Mind you this tree was a magical tree, not only for looks and food, but also for wisdom…and as you might expect the woman wanted wisdom. So, who do you suppose appears on the scene…a talking snake of course! This wasn’t just any old talking snake, he was the most subtle of every creature that God had made, and he knew all about the tree of wisdom in the garden. It’s not to hard to guess what happens next…the talking snake temps the girl to eat from that bad tree that will make her wise. As any parent knows one doesn’t tell their children not to eat something that is delicious and then put it right in front of them along with a tempter to entice them, but then God isn’t like a normal parent. Anyway, Eve eats of the delicious fruit offered to her by the talking snake, sharing some with Adam, and thus for all eternity introduces the concept of sin into the human picture…and gets their asses kicked out of the garden for good!
Now, we could blame Eve, or Adam, but I think the blame must be placed solely on the shoulders of Yahweh…that is if you believe in him, but if you don’t then sin has no place in your belief system either, and that means you are one of the lucky ones who didn’t get indoctrinated with the idea of sin that started with a mythological talking snake in a garden.
Most Christians have been taught that the Bible is the word of God and is a guide book for believers on issues of morality, and ways to train up our children in righteousness. God is portrayed as our heavenly father, whom earthly men should pattern themselves after. So, let me ask this simple question using the Bible as my guide book: Is this an example of a loving father….?
Deut. 22:28-29 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold (seize) of her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
I should hope that no sane person would say yes. Just imagine, a young girl is seized and raped by a man, all the man is required to do under God’s law is to pay the girls father 50 pieces of silver, then the man is obliged marry the girl he just raped and never divorce her! All I can say is fortunately our “loving” heavenly father doesn’t make the laws in our modern society. It’s time to wake up, take off the blinders and see what the Bible is really saying.
Here are a couple more biblical examples showing how a father would rather give his daughters to be raped in order to protect the honor of his male guests. The truly sad thing is that there is not one scintilla of rebuke for the actions of the father….they are in fact condoned!
Gen. 19:5-8 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
Judges 19:23-25 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.
If these verses aren’t enough to make your blood boil, I think you better read them again. This is the Bible that children in Sunday school and their parents in Church are being taught is the word of their loving heavenly father.
A common theme that runs through most of the worlds’ major religions devised by men is the MISTREATMENT, and INEQUALITY of women. What one finds is endless squabbling between man and god about things like how many wives a man can have, if he can divorce his wife, who’s property a woman is, and what rights does she have concerning inheritance, is a woman impure longer after she has a female baby than after she has a male baby, if a man claims a woman is not a virgin what punishments are inflicted upon her, or if he accuses her of adultery because he is jealous what must she suffer? Sometimes a man can have a pagan wife (Ruth was a Moabite), other times he cannot, sometimes it’s okay to keep the pagan virgin women for themselves, other times they must kill them all. Should women cover only their heads, or their entire faces, can a woman speak in church, or must she be silent, will a woman be saved by childbirth, or not, must a woman submit to a man as her head, or not? Bottom line: does a woman have any rights aside from those given her by a man? The list could go on and on, but I think my point has been made….it looks man made.
The one thing above all else that tells me the Bible is entirely of human construction is its viewpoint on women. No creator of the magnitude and intelligence it would take to form the heaven and earth with all of its fine tuning would stoop to such pettiness, and perversion, as to create a species called the human animal, that must obey a set of such blatantly skewed laws and rules (that no one can, or should keep), as those portrayed in the Bible.
We have written history as an example of how men have felt about women down through the ages….the Bible just exemplifies those feelings, and attributes it to a god. Men have always used their physical strength and power to promote their superiority and suppress those who are weaker, but those who adhere to the Bible justify it by declaring god made the laws! The same holds true for many of the other major religions of the world.
In many places in the Old Testament women are considered the property of the man, and are little more than sex slaves at the beck and call of their male masters, all of this is condoned by the god of man’s making. This is by no means exclusive to the Bible, ancient and modern cultures alike are riddled with such examples, but the sad thing being is that in the majority of the cases the reason for the inequality is attributed to a teaching of that particular religion’s god or gods.
The huge gaping wound created by the Old Testament’s promotion of the abuse of women, has only become a festering, pus infected sore, with the advent of the New Testament, and continues to ooze its infection into modern times. It has become crystal clear to me that what caused the Bible to become a dead book, has now come full circle and caused its stinking corpse to be buried.
As my vision becomes clearer, and clearer, I see there is absolutely no way a book such as the Bible that shares a common theme of abuse, and inequality of women with most of the worlds major religions, can ever again hold any credence as being the word of god….for me it’s dead, and buried – RIP – that is not to say that the Bible in and of itself is not a wonderful treasure of ancient literature that reflects the human experience of God.
Universalism is the natural place most Christians with a conscience arrive at….it is impossible for me to comprehend that anyone with even a miniscule amount of compassion could hold to the concept of a loving, merciful God sending people to eternal torment in Hell….it is beyond the pale of my comprehension. Even the most fundamentalist Christian will usually at some point realize the whole concept of Hell is ludicrous to say the least….this idea of people being tormented by demons in a place burning with fire and brimstone because of some “original sin” is just plain crazy, but it has been a part of human myths for millennia, with one of the earliest accounts called the Epic of Gilgamesh dated around 2000 BC.
No rational human being with an ounce of reasoning would ever consider the perverted idea of any type of eternal punishment for sins committed while in this finite existence as sane, especially the so called sin that is a consequence of being born. Is there anything rational about punishing a finite being for things done in this finite body, by making him eternal so he can be inflicted with everlasting pain and suffering, all because he didn’t confess Jesus as Lord? Talk about overkill, or hasn’t God heard of the punishment fitting the crime? Why would a merciful God punish people by using pain and suffering anyway? Doesn’t that go against the whole idea of grace, mercy and compassion? Even our human justice system tries to rehabilitate people who commit crimes, not torture them. It would be like sentencing a person to life in prison, of solitary confinement, with daily floggings, deprivation of food and water, excessive stifling heat….for the crime of: his neighbor chipping a tooth on a cookie he baked for him! Only a flawed mind could conceive of and believe in the horrors of Hell presented as a just punishment from God, by those who claim to be followers of Christ….kinda makes you wonder?
The only way to truly experience freedom is by bursting out of the cocoon of the Bible that so many Christians are encased in. My quest that led me beyond Universalism, started with many small steps; the first of which was being honest about what the Bible really says. The first big, wake up call I got was when it dawned on me that the concept of Hell used in Scripture comes directly from mythology, so I asked myself: why was Jesus promoting a belief in Greek mythology? The terms Hades and Tartarus used in the Bible as the place of judgment, were common pagan ideas that began centuries before Jesus time in the 1st century. So, I thought to myself: if the concept of Hell presented by Jesus in the Bible was no more than a Greek myth, what other pagan ideas found their way into Scripture? To my shock and utter amazement, practically every idea I had assumed was original to the revelation of God through Jesus Christ, was no more than philosophical and mythological belief systems of various individuals, and cultures throughout history. Now, believe me, this took awhile to sink in….not to mention the big looming question of how could the Bible possibly be redeemed as the Word of God when it appeared to be no more than a compilation of philosophies and myths?
The one thing the Bible does retain though is its historical value as a written record of the progression of man’s thought throughout the centuries, drawing from all the common ideas over a span of 1500 years and presenting them in a somewhat coherent form, and at best developing those ideas in a positive way. Many of the problems arise when people claim that the Bible is the literal word of God and try and force their interpretation of it on others, instead of seeing its humanity. For the time period in which Jesus taught, his ideas on the equality of all peoples were way ahead of their time, and stands as a principle that is true for all times….that one concept of all men being created equal, I believe is the foundation of the teachings of Jesus and secondly the stress given to forgiving others, this is what gives the Bible it real value.
As fellow citizens on this planet that God has given us to call home for the years of our lives…let us continue to raise up the standard of freedom and strive to make it be an equal home for all.
The Focus of this rant is on a specific teaching, promoted by certain religious doctrines, which by their very nature strips from many their freedom to live up to their “God given” human potential. This Teaching from Hell as I like to call it promotes rulership of men, placing them in positions of authority, and leadership (using the Bible as their weapon) simply because their gender is male. These men (being born and nurtured of women) who use their freedom to rise up in power, thus fulfilling their own God given potentials and desires, all the while using their power to strip others of that very same freedom, need to be made aware of the hypocritical lives they are leading….for it is only because of the men and women who have come before them that they are able to walk in their positions of authority.
A good case in point is the teachings of a certain religious leader by the name of Dr. Paige Patterson, current President of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. This man using the freedom given him by God to fulfill his dreams and desires (and helped by many women along the way in his life) of becoming a teacher of his faith, used and abused that position to strip from another fellow citizen of God’s Kingdom her freedom to teach simply because of her gender.
I can’t emphasize enough the harm that this Teaching from Hell has done. It uses the Bible as a weapon with which to rob women of their individual freedom to reach their potential and fulfill their desires given to them by God, simply because they are female. How can a man justify taking that which God has given to him to fulfill his dreams, and using it to deny another of that very same thing?
It is time for women of faith to rise up and reject these religious teachings passed off as doctrinal truths and assert their place as equal citizens in all ways in the Kingdom of God. Women were not created equal in the eyes of God only to be denied that equality by men who think they are superior to God. In every way women possess the same capabilities for knowledge and spiritual understanding as men possess, and have been used by God in many powerful ways throughout history.
If the words of men like Paige Patterson (President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), and many others like him are true, then I see a dilemma of the greatest proportion in my being able to cling to the words of Scripture and view them as having veracity: let me elaborate. Paige Patterson is one among many fundamentalist preachers who assert that a women’s place is first and foremost a Mother and Grandmother, if one holds that to be true then is can be equally asserted that a mans place if first and foremost a Father and Grandfather. God created men and women with an equal capacity to pursue knowledge and an equal desire to fulfill their God given potential whatever that may be. Who do these men think they are to stand in judgment over what a women’s role should be and what her potential is?
If God can appoint a woman to be Judge over Israel (Judges 4 & 5), but men such as Paige Patterson cannot suffer a woman to “teach a man”! What is wrong with this picture?
Deborah: Judge of Israel
Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
The potential to fulfill the desires of our hearts is something God has place within each one of us….be it man or woman, and what right has a man to stand up in the position of God and deem how a woman should fulfill that desire.
I would like to take this opportunity to get something off my chest that I’ve thought about for a long time, and that is the struggle of women through the ages to free themselves from the oppression of self-serving men. First I want to give abundant praises to the many men (my husband included) who throughout history have made it a priority to make women’s lives easier and to fight for their freedom. And to equally on the other hand pile shame upon more shame for those men who have chosen to heap burdens of oppression, ridicule and derision upon women whose lives already have burden enough. If those men had to walk one day in the woman’s shoes who they have burdened they would probably have collapsed under the load.
Women are born into this world with a big disadvantage from the start, in just the natural functioning of their bodies alone. From the time of puberty till menopause women suffer (with their monthly cycles) what is equivalent to that of a 3 – 7 day illness of varying severity every month (headaches, cramping, bloating, and mood swings just to name a few), with hormone levels rising and plummeting. Even the gift of pregnancy is usually a very uncomfortable and painful experience, and a potentially risky undertaking besides. Though death in childbirth is a rarity in this country today (not in others), that has not always been the case.
After our monthly cycles end in middle age there is the joy of menopause with hot flashes, night sweats, and decreased sexual desire, along with a myriad of other discomforts. If all these handicaps of natural inconveniences women suffer isn’t enough….there is added to the pile, the horrible hardships wicked men (in positions of authority) have imposed upon the very women who are their Mothers, their Sisters, their Wives and the Mothers of their children. Sad to say the worst offenders are those in Religious Institutions (headed by men who are suppose to be examples of Godliness) and their interpretations of “God’s Word”, which they twist, pervert and use to impose their self-serving will upon those who are at their mercy.
Women have had to fight tooth and nail, struggling for every freedom they’ve gained over the ages….fortunately there have been many men who have made tremendous strides with woman in their journey to live their lives with the same freedom that men of equal standing experience. While these self-serving men, who have lived their lives in pursuit of their dreams and desires, somehow think women should be denied the fulfillment of those same dreams and desires because of their gender. God has bestowed upon women the same capacity to learn and the same desire for knowledge as men, but men begin with the advantage of starting off experiencing none of the inconveniences in their naturally stronger bodies, only having fleshly desires they seek to fulfill, abuse the position of strength God has given them using it to overpower woman, and imposing their twisted perversions on those who are smaller and weaker because of their gender.
These are strong words, but nothing compared to the havoc wreaked in the lives of those women who have and are living under the oppression of power hungry, self-serving men who chose to inflict suffering on their fellow human beings instead of support. I speak from having had first hand experience with these self-serving men (starting with my father), who used their positions of authority to take advantage of women merely because they could. I have chosen this opportunity to purge my soul from this weight….allowing my butterfly the freedom to soar higher, and see farther then ever before, speaking out against those who stand in the way of the potential of each human life.