entries friends calendar profile ARX Previous Previous Next Next
Nothing New Under The Sun - "God says I don't have to listen to you, nyah nyah!"
(the ARX acta diurna)
bellatrys
bellatrys
Share
"God says I don't have to listen to you, nyah nyah!"
Comments
julifolo From: julifolo Date: August 3rd, 2006 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)

I find religion problematical

I do have intermittent what might be spiritual feelings (what counts for "strong" emotion in my weird sense of self), but I get caught up when deciding if I'm atheist or vaguely theist because from what evidence I can see from comparative religion readings / culture / biology / history, god, if there is a god/gods -- s/he's either not very powerful, or He's functionally sexist.

I'm saying this as a woman in menopause, had several annoying hot flashes plus spotting. I'm very grumpy at my body right now! Then there's all the Jane Crow laws, anti-choice, and Motherhood propaganda ...

I've got a good internet connection at work so I was able to listen to a couple speeches from a Sojourner conference while I was doing not-difficult copy cataloging today. The speakers were Jim Wallis (sp?) and Obama (my jr. senator). This would have been the pro-religion-in-public speech kneejerk were ranting about because of selected quoting.

I'm feeling strange at the moment. I've got the webcites saved on my work computer and I'll probably listen again. Both speeches were very moving, sincere, serious, social justice religious speaking. And they wanted to put poverty front and center -- we must obey the overwhelming biblical priority[?] -- and, yet, I get agrivated at the notion that believing in god is a necessary motivator for effective social justice.

OOH, I *could* do more (I want to do more), OTOH, it would mean much more support for the wage slaves of the world if I could help force even one BigBusiness Evildee & Evildum to pay the same tithe toward social justice as I do. I'm tired income gap getting wider and wider as the superrich buy legislation to funnel more funds/labor/resouces into the top 0.1% while the middle class, through forced taxes or voluntary giving, helps the people the superrich don't care about, and gets pushed down toward poverty ...

Most of the social justice famous heroes point to God as a motivator ... or, at least, that's what the religious say. It's hard to argue with Martin Luther King.

God & female biology. Mother Nature has given human females a handicap -- we're liable to pregnancy, etc. etc. We *can't* be equal without reproductive choice. Even then, all the centuries of servatude ...

My sister-in-law speaks about what God means for his children ... and she accepts gender roles. Mother Nature is into gender roles in a big way. Sometimes I think god, if there is a god ... s/he's not a personal god. It's about the most good for the most people, and gender roles make that more "efficient"? The forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge ... I think self-awareness throws a wrench into the works. The best I understand the religious writings I've read, the sincere religious, those doing the hard work rather than not-wanting-to-think-mega-church-followers -- their losing their "self", the mystics. If god's working on an aggregate level -- the glory of life and nature and all that -- that's not on a personal level. How could s/he relate to an individual unless that individual is thinking on a higher plane, not personal?

But, well, no, I didn't every want to be pregnant. I don't want god or a community to interfer with a woman or girl's reproductive choices. If that's not what god wants, then I'm in rebellion. But I'll go along with the temporal goals of social justice.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: August 5th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

short answer

An awful lot of people can only worship a mirror.
julifolo From: julifolo Date: August 7th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Still confused, as usual

I'm not sure of your meaning. Biology shouldn't be a topic for religious debate, the way "the problem of evil" is? It sure seems to me that human female biology has made me, made woment in general, generally handicapped. Or is it that the patriarchy has taken such advantage over the centuries that it's poisoned my sight so I can only see Mother Nature (and God) as being sexist? Or does it not matter in the great scheme of things?

(A few posts back we were debating support laws: is it because, historically, whenever loopholes exist the patriarchy takes such blatant advantage that the only way to (sort of) protect the woman & child is to not have loopholes?)

It was inspiring to listen to those two talks. But it is also frustrating and hurtful to me that the Religious Left seems to be avoiding the issue. That when I find someone religious working for social justice and all, they aren't talking about gender. Or if they are, it's within gender roles. Not why God (or Nature) made it that way.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: August 7th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

what i meant was, some people can only worship

something identical to, and therefore as small as, themselves. They may *say* they believe in an Infinite, Unknowable, Deity - but what they *really* worship has to be as human, petty, feeble - and gendered - as themselves. Others don't even reach that level of schizophrenia: "God is a white male" someone distantly related to me once said, unironically, this person being Joe Ordinary Sixpack American, and outraged at the idea that Jesus H. Christ was - gasp - a Jew, let alone that The Divine could be conceived of as Feminine, or that any sort of attributes were more along the lines of analogy (as in Negative Theo) than anything literal, back in the heady days of the 1960s. They have to make a deity they can be comfortable with, reflecting back all their own prejudices and desires and validating them with a halo. The *real* idolatry, as it were.

This isn't an original observation: Xenophanes the early Gk philosopher said of his contemporaries, that everyone depicts the gods to look like themselves, blond or brunette or black - but if horses and oxen had hands and could make paintings and statues, they'd sculpt them to look like horses and cows! arguing against the idea of anthropomorphic deities, generations before Socrates.

As far as why the Religious Left is not seeming so very far left, that isn't something I can give a simple answer to. Some of them, it's not so bad, I think - jst that they take gender equality and the Divine Feminine so much fr granted they don't need to talk about it (they think.) Others - well, I'm feeling like kicking the lot of them of late (at least the blogging part, that I know of) for being over eager to comfort the comfortable and assure them that oh no, we won't mention anything embarrasing like needles or camels, oh no Mr Dives! The US left isn't very far left, generally, is part of the problem. Secular *or* religious. In any way.

As to why



julifolo From: julifolo Date: August 8th, 2006 09:13 am (UTC) (Link)

As to why

... well, that's the question. :(

A bunch of people don't want to think, want a comfortable god that shares their bigotries.

I'm interested in what religious people who *think*, and are doing the hard work -- I'd like to find a link to an essay or talk, on the order of the two speeches above that left me feeling strange -- on what whoever's religion has to say about female biology. Even if the summation amounts to "It's a mystery". It would make me feel less alienated if some stranger was feeling the same disconnect I am.

I know my logic "skills" are fuzzy. Am I wrong to conclude there's a problem here? Or am I so angry that I'm seeing dismissials where such wasn't intended? IE, in the middle of a social justice riff (which I agree with) is the implication of "that's the way god made women, get with the program".
44 comments or Leave a comment
profile
bellatrys
User: bellatrys
Name: bellatrys
Website: ARX
links
calendar
Back December 2009
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031
page summary
tags