Category Archives: Seven Deadly Blog Topics

Seven Deadly Topics #3 — Sexual Orientation: Celibate

Feast of Ss. Soter and Caius, Bishops and Martyrs.

So, I’ve got a lot of things I should be doing, but instead I’m going to throw down here in the Blogosphere. Because I am very, very angry.

Why, in the name of all the saints in heaven and on earth, is it so wrong for a person in this society to NOT be having sex? Yes, I’m asking this in all seriousness.

We’ve got these giant battles going on in our Church today about the ‘sexual orientation’ of our leaders. Quite frankly, in my mind, what people who aren’t me are doing with their clothes off is none of my damn business, and honest to God, I really don’t want to make it any of my damn business. I’ve got more important things to worry about (like, oh, the Vestry minutes I’m two weeks late with typing up, and my laundry, and finding a teaching gig for next year…)

However, have you noticed something about all this ‘sexual orientation’ talk? It has an underlying assumption that I think this culture has buried so deep that it’s now our collective subconcious.

By claiming a sexual orientation, the assumption is that you’re having sex.

No, really. Think about it. The best example is the Roman Catholics, who, in theory, have that other option that people rarely talk about, celibacy. Their priests are all supposed to be celibate, no sex at all, at all. But now they’re dividing them into two camps: homo-sexual and hetero-sexual.

Waitaminute, if you’re never, no never, no never going to have sex ’cause you promised your bishop, your mother, and your God that you wouldn’t, what, in the Name of all that’s Good and Holy, does it matter if someone says you’re hetero-sexual or homo-sexual?

(And don’t you be thinking that if, by some wild and completely random chance I ever come into the presence of the Pope, I’m not going to open with that. If he’s really lucky, I might say “Hello, Your Holiness” first.)

So, we’ve outlined the playing field: hetero-sexual or homo-sexual. That’s the extent of the spectrum in our dualistic society; any freak who says they’re somewhere between the black and the white (bi-sexual) is just a slut.

These options suck.

And the fact that I don’t spend a good portion of my time 1) searching for someone to have sex with and/or 2) whining because I’m not having sex, that makes me the freak of nature! Because, dear God, we can’t imagine a human being out there who isn’t an unbridled lustmonkey acting out on their hormones. That’s umpossible! The teevee and the novels and the glossy magazines that do nothing but talk about the sex lives of famous people tell us so!

But please, please, please, for the love of God, can we try to imagine this person, who isn’t ruled by hormones and the media? And not imagine them as someone who’s so afraid of an Angry God what’s got a lightning bolt with their name on it that they can’t let themselves enjoy life, even a little? Can we imagine this person, this example, and use them to explain to the children growing up in a society where sex is used to sell chewing gum and lettuce that there is another option?

Can we, for once, admit that yeah, sex is nice, but it’s not the only thing in this wide, wonderful world of ours?

Please?
Pretty please?
With sugar on top?

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Seven Deadly Topics #2– Dandruff and Movies f/ Mandy Moore

Working as a temp, you get real reliant on that weekly check. So, when it doesn’t come for a week, say, due to quitting a Gig from Hell, your financial stability goes right in the toilet. I was never at risk of being kicked out of the Convent (remember, I just rent here, it’s not a ‘real convent’), but I was having to go without some luxuries. Such as paying my credit card bills or, you know, food.

This week I finally caught up, though, and celebrated with a drive to the grocery store for the aforementioned luxury, food. I also had to buy some shampoo, and spent a good ten minutes in the shampoo aisle looking at all the bottles, because ever since moving in a more Northerly and cold direction, my skin has been so confoundedly dry. I had very specific wants: I wanted a shampoo that would stop my scalp from having itchy, scaly patches (TMI? I can never tell), and I wanted one that didn’t smell like I’d dunked my head in hospital-grade antiseptics.

Someone had been helpful and turned around all the dandruff shampoos on the shelf, so I could read their ingredients and usage directions. Most all of them had directions along the lines of, “Work into hair and scalp. Rinse and repeat.” Then in big letters, so you knew they were serious, “FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Avoid contact with eyes. If contact with eyes occurs, rinse thouroughly with water.”

I kind of laughed at those instructions. I mean, seriously, don’t they all sound kind of, you know, simple? Is there anyone who doesn’t know how to wash their hair? And then, of course, there’s the ridiculous part, ‘Avoid contact with eyes’. I’m in a shower, there’s water flying everywhere, my hair is above my eyes, in the Convent we obey the Law of Gravity. It’s going to happen, no matter what.

I got home and threw one of the new DVDs that had come via Netflix into the machine. It was one of my favorite movies, Saved! If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and rent it. Unless you’re easily offended, in which case, why are you reading my blog?

The basic plot is a fundamentalist Christian teenager named Mary at American Eagles Christian School who tries to fix her gay, also fundamentalist Christian boyfriend by having sex with him. So, of course, he gets shipped off to a reparative home, where they fix “the gays”, she spends all school year hiding her pregnancy, and her best friend goes from being the most popular, most perfect Christian (Hillary Faye, played by Mandy Moore), to being the smoking, drinking, Jewish school outcast named Cassandra. One of my favorite parts is when the Jewish character, to get Mary off alone with the love interest, tells Hillary Faye that she wants to convert. This, of course, has always been Hillary Faye’s goal, so she totally focuses on the task at hand, even complaining she doesn’t have all her materials. But! She does have her iPod, filled with God-centric music (their words, not mine), and makes Cassandra listen to an entire Elms CD.

At one point, Pastor Skip, the head of the school, says, “This is not a grey area. This is black and white. It is in the Bible!” My heart just broke at that moment. I love this movie because I’ve been there. Mea culpa, but I’ve been Hillary Faye. I’ve known that being a Christian means everything is perfect, that prayer works for everything (including getting bands to play at Prom), and my only goal in life was to make sure everyone was converted to my way of thinking. Because my way of thinking came directly from the Bible. And when you’re in that mindset, and things don’t go well, you just go back to the Bible and find the One True Answers™, or you find someone who’s written a book, or made a t-shirt, or sings a song about the Bible, and you follow that.

F.R.O.G., Fully Rely On God.
P.U.S.H., Pray Until Something Happens.
OMGWTFBBQ– Oh, wait, that’s something else.

The problem with the Bible is it’s like the directions on my dandruff shampoo. Most of the directions in the Bible seem simple, mindless, something that everyone should know. Do not kill, ayup, that means we must not support abortion. But then we get into the fact that none of these guidelines in the Bible live independently of one another, just like we, as humans, cannot live independently of one another. Do not kill, ayup, that means we must not support abortion, but does it mean we should create such a hostile environment in front of women’s health clinics that we chase people from going inside and don’t provide other services, such as free pre- and post-natal care, respite daycare, babysittng, flexible work schedules for single parents, a living wage so the single parent can clothe and feed themselves and their child, and sleep in a warm place? But instead, we see Christians cheering South Dakota’s banning of all abortions with absolutely no provisions for these children that will be born in seven to nine months.

I don’t have answers.
All I have are questions.
Lord God, HELP!

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Seven Deadly Topics #1 — Creation of the Universe

So, in my last little post, I said how much pride we take in believing our side is the Right Side™.

What happens when we, as fallible, prideful humans with personal pet theories, are proved wrong? We get angry, that’s what. And that’s exactly what happened to me today.

You see, I was toodling along in my pride of holding such a lovely, ecumenical, broad view of the Scripture and Science and their interesection. I was reading Aish.com, which is a Conservative Jewish site. And I stumbled across this article called The Age of the Universe and found out that I wasn’t the first one to have the same idea! Trumped by some old, dead guys!

Now where do we make the zero point? On Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, upon blowing the shofar, the following sentence is said: “Hayom Harat Olam — today is the birthday of the world.”

This verse might imply that Rosh Hashana commemorates the creation of the universe. But it doesn’t. Rosh Hashana commemorate the creation of the Neshama, the soul of human life. We start counting our 5700-plus years from the creation of the soul of Adam.

We have a clock that begins with Adam, and the six days are separate from this clock. The Bible has two clocks.

That might seem like a modern rationalization, if it were not for the fact that Talmudic commentaries 1500 years ago, brings this information. In the Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 29:1), an expansion of the Talmud, all the Sages agree that Rosh Hashana commemorates the soul of Adam, and that the Six Days of Genesis are separate.

Why were the Six Days taken out of the calendar? Because time is described differently in those Six Days of Genesis. “There was evening and morning” is an exotic, bizarre, unusual way of describing time.

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The Seven Deadly Christian Blog Topics

Oh, sure, there are plenty of topics that get beaten like a Dead Horse in the Christian blogsphere, but these are the top seven that really annoy me (in no particular order):

Homosexuality
Priestly Genetalia
Creationisim vs. Darwinisim vs. Intelligent Design
Just War
Premarital Sex
Abortion
The Death Penalty

Why do they annoy me? Because Christians can’t seem to get beyond them to get anything done. No, we think it’s more fun to sit around and whine that So-and-so’s mean to me because they don’t respect my Annointing of the Holy Spirit/Right to Exist and therefore I can’t work with them. And we stay stuck in our own little boxes, and we can’t even admit there might be a middle way between the two of us.

Yes, I’ve been guilty of this, too. Mea culpa, and I repent, I turn away from the sin of pride that keeps me from embracing my sibling whose opinions are fundamentally different than mine.

Oh, sure, typing the words is the easy part. Now I’m going to have to stick to it, and actually see if I can’t at least see the middle way, if not adopt it.

Oy.

Lord, give me strength!

#1- Creation of the Universe
#2- Dandruff and Movies f/ Mandy Moore
#3- Sexual Orientation: Celibate

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