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Nothing New Under The Sun - "God says I don't have to listen to you, nyah nyah!"
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bellatrys
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"God says I don't have to listen to you, nyah nyah!"
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bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: August 3rd, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

besides, that just *proves*

But this worrying over/emphasis on St Paul as the Ultimate Authority and this whole 'headship' thing... not the way it's done on this side of the water.

...that you're a bunch of decadent, death-worshiping, self-indulgent heretics and no wonder you're all being overrun by the Horde there!

Seriously, you may be on to something there. Not all, but *most* of the core Conservative Intellectual Catholic types here are *not* "cradle" but converts, and either converts from American fundamentalism, or converts from genteel Anglo-American agnosticism of various sorts ranging from "C&E C of E" types to 2nd or 3rd generation Jewish atheists rebelling against their parents a la Edith Stein, and anything in between, often including phases of "wandering" or "seeking" meaning careening from Buddhism to Rasta to Orthodox (Christian or Jewish) and all of it in an effort to find something that was a) structured and validating but b) not *too* structured, not requiring of them anything they weren't willing to give.

If you're an innately-chauvinistic guy - which is *almost* impossible not to start out as, in the US - then there's a kind of inevitable spiral towards the Church of Rome as interpreted here by the *extremely* doctrinaire Neo-Trads, which is *all about* the justification of authoritarianism by appealing to Tradition & the mystical authority of the Magisterium, and using that justified authoritarianism to recursively justify all the their own inclinations of disliking the Other (women, gays, cats, Pakistanis, jazz musicians, vegetarians, people who eat ice cream while walking down the street) and since they really can't get away from the whole Want Sex!/Hate Women! problem without making themselves eunuchs *literally*, the discriminatory bits of Christianity, and the one Church which is not only hanging on to them but also doesn't have any kind of democratic mechanism to get rid of them down the line unlike the Protestant ones, are going to exert a much stronger gravitational pull than oh, some other religion which offers the same thing but requires you to wear funny hats, too, or stop eating/drinking things you like *almost* as much as you're squicked out by the thought of women having sex with guys other than you, or guys having sex with other guys, it makes the choice a lot easier.

I think - to get Thomist here - that it's a case of two things coming from one, that is that Machismo is *so* core to Americanism that it can't not come out in religion, too, whether Protestant or Catholic, and that people will even change their religion in order to be able to hold onto their sexism unchallenged.

And if you want to be a Christian, and validate your machismo, you're pretty much stuck with invoking St. Paul, outside the Torah. And if your husband is a drunk or a gambler or whatever, so long as he isn't commanding you to commit mortal sins (ie whoring you or the kids out) then It's Your Cross To Bear Nobly - and there are all those old books of saints that are reprinted by conservative Catholic presses like TAN and Ignatius here to back that up, that you should suffer like St. Rita of Cascia or St. Mary of the Five Wounds' mother, nobly and patiently as Griselda until he dies and you become a nun and go on living a life of heroic self-denial.

After all, it's not *your* fault if he's a schmuck to you and the kids - but it *would* be your fault if you failed in Patience and Humility and told him off and otherwise Rebelled against his headship, seeing as he *is* God's vicar in the home.

--But of course, if he's really a Good Christian Husband, then he will love you as tenderly as he loves his own body, and thus never abuse you, so why worry about things that can't happen unless you're a selfish, rebellious unbeliever matched with another unbelieving liberal?
From: deiseach Date: August 5th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's part of it

"And if your husband is a drunk or a gambler or whatever, so long as he isn't commanding you to commit mortal sins (ie whoring you or the kids out) then It's Your Cross To Bear Nobly - and there are all those old books of saints that are reprinted by conservative Catholic presses like TAN and Ignatius here to back that up, that you should suffer like St. Rita of Cascia or St. Mary of the Five Wounds' mother, nobly and patiently as Griselda until he dies and you become a nun and go on living a life of heroic self-denial."

Certainly, I was brought up with the heroic virtue model (and this is maybe part of why I was always very unshakeably sure I would never marry - my reaction to that kind of carryon would be to kick him out on his ear and/or run the breadknife through him, *not* to put up with it as a sacrifice) but all the arguments about the inviolable sanctity of marriage and why you shouldn't walk out on the louse were based on the idea that marriage was a Sacrament, not just a contract, and the Gospel Mark 10:

"2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
3 "What did Moses command you?" he replied.
4 They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away."
5 "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied.
6 "But at the beginning of creation God `made them male and female.'
7 `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
8 and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this.
11 He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.
12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

Never, ever did I hear the headship argument from St Paul used.

Coming at it from another angle, whatever about Katherine Jeffers Schori as Presiding Bishop Elect of The Episcopalian Church, my take on that is (a) if they permitted the ordination of women as priests, they cannot in logic deny the consecration of women as bishops and following on from that (b) it's not so much that she's a woman, I think, that is annoying a certain element but rather that she doesn't give much indication of being a Christian.

from "Time" interview
"What will be your focus as head of the U.S. church?
Our focus needs to be on feeding people who go to bed hungry, on providing primary education to girls and boys, on healing people with AIDS, on addressing tuberculosis and malaria, on sustainable development. That ought to be the primary focus."

Certainly, her view of what The Episcopalian Church (TEC, as they are now referring to themselves rather than ECUSA) should be and do is a very good one - who can disagree with social justice? - but nothing there to differentiate her from the new C.E.O. of an NGO. Nothing to say she is a religious, i.e., *spiritual* leader. Okay, so it was for "Time" magazine and she was probably cutting her cloth according to her measure, but this kind of thing always makes me go "If you want to be a social worker/activist/politician, why don't you go for that line of work?"
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: August 5th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Er, maybe

because of this?
From: deiseach Date: August 6th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes

That is absolutely essential.

James 2:14-26

14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

However - and this is where the big "But..." comes into it for me - if what you are proposing is a plan of action that is equally applicable to any charitable body, NGO, or even state service... yeah, why exactly are you a bishop, again? Why not be a lawyer, social worker, doctor, politician, or other, without all the need for this religious baggage?

"Bishop KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI (Presiding Bishop-Elect, U.S. Episcopal Church): Well, the church is a community that is really called to transform the world around it. That takes different forms in different places. Each one of us has got a piece to play in that kind of work. And the fact that this General Convention has adopted justice and peace as its first priority for mission in the coming triennium, particularly focused on the UN Millennium Development Goals, gives us an enormous opportunity to be part of building something that looks very much like the reign of God that's achievable in our own day."

These are the Millennium Development Goals

1. Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Excellent, worthy aims all of them - but where is the preaching the Good News?

Understand me: I'm not saying religion should stick to the private sphere of warm feelings, but equally I'm against religion being tied in with politics - and that applies equally to the 'left' as to the 'right'. The Church of Tashlan is the crying shame and weeping sore of how the right can warp religion; however, on the one hand saying 'those old categories of sin and shame went out with the ark and we no longer motivate people by guilt' and then coming out with 'it's a sin to drive a big car' - be consistent. If 'sin' is an exploded notion and the primacy of conscience is all, you can't then beat people over the head with 'sin' to act in accordance with a Green agenda.

Ack. Basically I'm saying both body *and* soul need saving; if the emphasis was 'pie in the sky when you die' before, it's not a corrective to swing with the pendulum to the other extreme of 'eat, drink, and rejoice, for tomorrow you die'.
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