Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The fallen are the virtuous among us . . . Walk among us.

" So I'm sorry if I ever resisted
I never had a doubt that you ever existed
I only have a problem when people insist on
Taking their hate and placing it on your name"
Franz Ferdinand, 'The Fallen'

I was talking to my mother earlier this evening about how I wanted to get out of the South. I'm sick of dealing with the South's bullshit. Time for a change of BS. I think what drives me up the wall the most is the amount of religious self-righteousness in the South's BS.

Yeah, I know there are freaky fundies everywhere. Hell, the cult branch of the CofC is referred to as the Boston movement. There just seems to be quite the concentration of people who are convinced that they somehow have an exclusive backstage pass to the mind of God.

I'm constantly thinking of the one Gandhi quote, "I like their Christ, I don't their Christians." But then, I don't like their Christ. Moving to William Blake, "The vision of Christ that thou dost see, is mine vision's greatest enemy." I'm really tired of folk claiming exclusive rights to Christ, and then using Christ to oppress other people. The Jesus of the Gospels, who still must be distinguished from the eternal Christ, is -- as best I can tell -- a liberator of humankind. I like the guy.

I was raised as a Christian. I study Christian theology. I get excited at the prospect of buying Christian iconography. But I don't really think of myself as a Christian. Why? I think it's because I was surrounded for so long by people who used Christ as an excuse to push their prejudices and intolerance. I don't want to be associated with the people who loudly claim the name "Christian."

My senior year of high school a couple of the men at the CofC my family attends started promoting the One Million Dads campaign during the announcements for a class. They also left a bunch of print outs listing companies that should be boycotted for employing, insuring, or treating gay people like humans. I picked up all the flyers and threw them away. I'm not repentant, as I did nothing wrong. The church of Christ (note the use of the small "c" in church) is not a place to push an agenda that advocates discrimination. (Note: I said discrimination. A church can preach that homosexual practices are a sin until they are blue in the face, but that's different from using the pulpit to promote treating someone as less than human based on sin.)

I've a new pet peeve -- Biblical literalists who don't know their Bible. I'm not going to claim that I, when I argue using the Bible as a base, don't operate with a canon within a canon. I will happily privilege Galatians 3:28 and Jesus's treatment of women over the Pauline or pseudo-Pauline injunctions of silence. And I'm unrepentant. But I know that I'm doing it, and I don't claim to be a Biblical literalist.

It annoys me when people insist that something is there when it isn't. Or insist that a translation is somehow more correct than original language, because a part of their theology is based in a translation. Or when they project Milton's Paradise Lost onto Revelation. Or insist that the Bible speaks with one voice. Dammit, folks, read closely if you're going to read at all!

But basically, I'm sick of dealing with them. I'm sick of dealing with people who feel they have a divine right to rule over me. I'm sick of people who place their faith in cardboard cutouts rather than in dynamic divinity. I'm sick of listening to people try to claim that there is no problem of suffering. I'm sick of seeing oversized crosses and perverted statues of liberty go up while children are abused by ministers and people starve in the city.

And then I have a sick fascination with them.

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