Friday, April 22, 2011

Temporary Hiatus

Good news, we are finalizing all the paperwork and money stuff for our new place. Our move in date is the 30th, so basically the next couple of weeks are going to be hella crazy with packing all of our stuff into boxes and then getting it unpacked as quickly as possible.

The blog will be on a temporary hiatus for the next few weeks, depending on how long it takes to get settled in our new place. I really hope it does not take long, mostly for my sanity's sake. Thankfully I am also feeling much, much better after taking Thursday off to sleep all day at home, so that's another plus.

See everyone in a few weeks! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Life is not going my way right now. I was feeling better for a while last week and then I did another day of coughing and now I'm back to feeling crappy. Looking for places to live isn't going very well either and thus I've been very stressed lately. The stress has actually been worst the last few days so I have a sneaking suspicion that the stress may be making whatever was wrong with me worse. So basically I've been surviving work and then going home to lay unmoving in bed for the past few days, which makes blogging difficult.

But it feels weird letting the blog sit around like this, so I figured I might as well post an interesting lecture I was listening to earlier today. You may have heard of Gail Dines, she's a pretty big player in the anti-pornography movement. I love her lectures, and I stumbled onto her website where she has an hour long lecture posted. It's a great watch if you have the time. A brief warning, it is explicit about pornography practices and the slides do contain uncensored images of porn, which are shown briefly as they come up (the video is pretty blurry so it's not like a huge crystal clear image).

Here, also, is a Q&A that she did at a bookstore. If you watch it on Youtube be aware that the comments, as to be expected, are pretty vulgar and anger inducing.

Also, if anyone wants to do more reading on the topic, Robert Jensen's book "Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity" is a great read and also any works by Jackson Katz. If you can get your hands on Katz's documentaries on masculinity I highly recommend you watch them. Unfortunately they are the hardest documentaries to get a hold of unless you can find a copy at a library or a college or you feel like dropping $300 to buy a copy.

Here is also a playlist of a documentary called Dreamworlds 3 which looks at pornographic images and sexism in the music industry. Kind of goes along with the topic, where it shows a lot of the effects of pornography on women and how they are treated.

I know it's not horribly on topic, but I think it is important to look at how prolific pornography is in our modern culture and how it affects women and the sexism we face. I hope everyone at least finds it interesting, too. And hopefully things will settle soon (fingers crossed) and I can get back to regular postings. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jeremiah 7-9

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

7:5-7 - "For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hunt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever."
7:18 - "The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger."
7:31 - "And they go on building the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire - which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind."
7:34 - "And I will bring to an end the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of the bride and bridegroom in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for the land shall become a waste."

8:10 - "Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest everyone deals falsely."
8:19 - "Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: 'Is the Lord no in Zion? Is her King not in her?' ('Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?')"

9:17 - "Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skilled women to come; let them quickly raise a dirge over us, so that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids flow with water."
9:20 - "Hear, O women, the word of the Lord, and let your ears receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a dirge, and each to their neighbor lament."

My Comments

I just noticed that the only women God apparently gets all up in arms about is the widows. Anyone else noticed this? If you mess with widows God will surely punish you. Not current wives, or young virgins or prostitutes. Just widows, the women who have already played their role of marriage and child bearing and have had their husbands (unjustly) taken from them. Kind of a bit weird, I think.

8:10 - "Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest everyone deals falsely."

Yeah, glad to know God pretty much cares nothing about women getting raped. I mean, rape is the same as having one's fields taken away, right? Sure, totally the same.

Remember not too long ago when people were having fits about how Justin Bieber apparently thinks that abortion is wrong even in cases of rape because God has a plan and everything happens for a reason? People got upset about this for obvious reasons (even though the quote was later shown to have a bit more to it than what the magazine printed) but I recall someone (I cannot remember who at the moment) saying that any God they would be willing to believe in would not use rape as a tool or as a way to get someone on the right path. I agree, I would never worship a God who thought rape was okay to throw around as punishment or as a consequence of his end goal, whatever that may be. And so I would never worship the Biblical God because he is completely capable and willing to use rape on women as punishment for their sins, as punishment for the sins of others, or even as just a reward to his people for conquering a piece of land he had promised them.

Rape, to the male Biblical authors, is nothing more than the seizing of property. It's easy to think of it this way when you do not view women as anything other than chattel, no different than the cows and sheep that are used for meat or milk.

Monday: More Jeremiah

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jeremiah 4-6

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

4:16-17 - "Tell the nations, 'Here they are!' Proclaim against Jerusalem, 'Besiegers come from a distant land; they shout against the cities of Judah. They have closed in around her like watchers of a field, because she has rebelled against me, says the Lord.'"
4:31 - "For I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, anguish as of one bringing forth her first child, the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands, 'Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!'"

5:7-8 - "When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of prostitutes. They were well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor's wife."

6:2-8 - "I have liked daughter Zion to the loveliest pasture. Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her. They shall pitch their tents in her; they shall pasture, all in their places. 'Prepare war against her; up, and let us attack at noon!' 'Woe to us, for the day declines, the shadows of evening lengthen!' 'Up, and let us attack by night, and destroy her palaces!' For thus says the Lord of hosts: Cut down her trees; cast up a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her. As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her wickedness; violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me. Take warning, O Jerusalem, or I shall turn from you in disgust, and make you a desolation, an uninhabited land."
6:11-12 - "But I am full of wrath of the Lord; I am weary of holding it in. Pour it out on the children in the street, and on the gatherings of young men as well; both husband and wife shall be taken, the old folk and the very aged. Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord."
6:23-24 - "The grasp the bow and the javelin, they are cruel and have no mercy, their sound is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses equipped like a warrior for battle, against you, O daughter Zion! 'We have heard news of them, our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as a woman in labor.'"

My Comments

Is it just me or does it feel like we're basically reading about the rape of Jerusalem/Zion here? A very, very detailed account of the rape Jerusalem/Zion can expect if they do not comply with God's wishes. But we know that God isn't beyond advocating rape as punishment for unruly women. It just goes on and on, poetically even, about the punishment God's daughter city shall have to endure. It's disturbing and disgusting and sometimes it's almost like something you'd read in some serial rapists fantasy notebook. How long does the Bible really need to linger on this? How long before others become uncomfortable as well with the overly sexually abusive language?

Doesn't take long before I'm uncomfortable and quite angry with it. Perhaps they leave this part out during church services, so that others never have to deal with it.

Funny, though, that the daughter cities are the ones paying such a high price when it's their male inhabitants that have a great deal to do with God's displeasure.

"When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of prostitutes. They were well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor's wife."

Why must the female cities be ravaged and raped on account of male mistakes and sins? Is it because women are always the root of male sin? Women are the reason man fell from paradise, women are the reason that men stray from God and are led down a path of lust, women are the reason that men are born unclean, women are the reason men are tricked and deceived and left weak (like Samson). It seems men's shortcomings can always be blamed on a woman, and generally it's on a woman who is not "pure" and "virtuous".

Jerusalem and Zion were whores to other lands. They couldn't keep their people under control therefore it is their fault that the men in these cities were led astray. Jerusalem and Zion are the ones t fault, not the men who actually engaged in the sinful behavior, therefore it is Jerusalem and Zion who shall pay the price. Honestly, if it was Jerusalem and Zion it would be some other group of women. It would be the prostitutes and adulteresses in the streets or the beautiful daughters of Zion.

Nope, woman just cannot catch a break. So let's sit back and enjoy the word of God as he further delves into the horrid rapes and abuses that he shall allow Jerusalem and Zion to endure until they beg for his forgiveness.

Bonus videos!

There was an episode of 20/20 about IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist) churches and the sexism and sexual abuse that happens in those churches. It's kind of hard to watch, the stories can be so horrible. I don't know if anyone recalls a story that was going around about a girl at one of these churches, when she was 15, having to stand in front of her congregation and apologize for being pregnant after she was raped by a church member. Also a lot of child abuse going on in these churches as well. It's a very interesting episode and worth a watch if you get 40 minutes.

This video is a response that an IFB pastor gave regarding this episode of 20/20. I'm thinking of just permanently posting this at the top of the blog and taking a long vacation because he basically made the point of my entire blog in 3 minutes. Thanks for saving me all that time, asshole.

(h/t Stuff Fundies Like)

And to prove that isn't an isolated incident. This sermon is also referenced in the 20/20 episode.

(h/t Christian Nightmares)

Friday: More Jeremiah

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jeremiah 1-3

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1:5 - "'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'"

2:2-3 - "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of the harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; disaster came upon them, says the Lord."
2:23-24 - "How can you say, ' I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done - a restive young camel interlacing her tracks, a wild ass at home in the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her."
2:32-33 - "Can a girl forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways."

3:1-13 - "If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not such a land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me, says the Lord. Look up to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat wailing for lovers, like a nomad in the wilderness. Therefore, the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore, you refuse to be ashamed. Have you not just called to me, 'My Father, you are the friend of my youth - will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?' This is how you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.

"The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? And I thought, 'After she has done all this she will return to me'; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord. Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north and say: Return, faithless Israel, says the lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the Lord your God, and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord."
3:20 - "Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband, so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the Lord."
3:24 - "But from your our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters."

My Comments

Strange thing, Israel throughout all of these chapters (and all throughout Isaiah) is consistently female. She is a whore and a bride and a mother. She is always a she. Except, it seems she isn't always a she. For two verses in chapter two, Israel suddenly becomes a man before shifting right back into being a woman.

2:14-15 - "Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become plunder? The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitants."

Notice anything interesting about the language? Israel is constantly berated for being a whore, for playing the slut behind God's back. It's Israel's mercurial nature and wayward lusts that have forced God's hand in punishment. SHE is the whore in this marriage between God and his people, and it is HER actions that have caused HER downfall.

But wait. Suddenly, for two verses at least, it seems it is not completely Israel's doing. "Why has HE become plunder?" it asks. Isn't it because Israel is an unfaithful cheat? Isn't it because Israel strayed from God's wishes and plan? "The lions have roared against him... They have made his land a waste..." Wait, didn't Israel do this herself? Isn't it Israel's actions that have laid her lands to waste? Isn't it Israel who caused these lions to roar against her? Why is this suddenly something to question?

Why have the kiddy gloves suddenly been brought out? Even the verses after those two (which may still be addressing the masculine Israel, though I am not exactly sure) are tame compared to, say, 3:1-13. The vitriol in those thirteen verses is just DRIPPING with anger and hatred and straight up LOATHING of women. While reading it I was afraid it might coalesce, take shape and punch me in the face for daring to have a deceitful and filthy vagina. The word whore is used no less than 6 times in those 13 verses alone. They read like a recently divorced man sitting at the bar after one too many shots, flying off the handle and yelling to anyone who would hear about his whore wife that would put out for anyone else but him! Might as well have called her the town bicycle! Why, he gave everything to that whore and THIS is what she does after all these years?!

It's really something to read. I especially love the bit where he states that he will not look upon Israel in anger if she comes back and GROVELS at God's feet for forgiveness. He will not look upon her in anger BUT there will still be punishment. It'll be short punishment, but it will still be there. So I guess this means that he'll look away while he beats Israel into submission? Wow, I can't think of a single reason why Israel wouldn't want to come back to that loving picture of a "husband."

Also love the bits about the divorced woman who marries another man as being "polluted." Is there any conclusion to draw from this other than, on some level, sex with men is "polluting" of a female body? And why the hell would the husband go back to his wife after HE divorced HER? No, really, I'm curious about this. The husband, when this is first mentioned, is the one divorcing his wife. Why divorce her if he is liable to want her back? And if he didn't, in fact, want her then what is the big friggin' deal if she married again while he's off being an asshole? Apparently serial monogamy is now a horrible, POLLUTING activity, now. Good to know. Of course, this is the first telling of the divorced story. Later in the same chapter, suddenly it is the faithless wife who is leaving the husband. How did that happen? I can understand the upset if the wife leaving the husband story was at the front of this ridiculous diatribe, but no. It STARTS with the husband divorcing the wife and only after all the "whores" have been, one can only assume, spat out like a curse upon all women who dare stray from their (abusive) husbands, do we get the situation where it's the faithless wife who is leaving her (loyal?) husband.

I still can't believe this is such a thing. I mean, God is clearly such a huge dick in this situation. It's amazing when he whines about how he kept his people alive while he forced them to stay in a dessert wasteland. And how do his people repay him for keeping them pretty much trapped in a barren land? Why, they seek out fertile lands were they can actually live and enjoy life! How could they?! After God was nice enough to actually feed them while he kept them trapped in that huge, unbearable dessert land, they go and leave him for (literally) greener pastures? It's like a husband whining about his wife leaving after he spent all those years feeding her while he kept her chained in the basement. I mean, of all the nerve! He could have just let her starve while she was chained down there, you know? He even constantly promised her that one day she would finally get to go upstairs and sleep in a real bed and get to eat freely from the fridge. But no, apparently that future promise and the constant, tasteless gruel just weren't ENOUGH for her.

THIS, people, is the Christian God. The Christian God is something I would expect to see as the villain in an upcoming episode of Criminal Minds or Law and Order: SVU. The Christian God is not something I would expect people to go out of their way every Sunday morning to worship. Not one bit.

Wednesday: More Jeremiah

IRL Update: I am feeling much better now. My throat seems to be getting better, as long as I don't let myself go into coughing fits and I keep sucking on cough drops to keep it from getting that dry tickle right at the back of my throat. I don't know if it's allergies or what, since I don't normally have really bad allergies. Whatever it is, I'm feeling mostly better and that is the most important bit. :)

In other news that may affect future blog posting, the boyfriend and I have been looking at places to rent these past couple of weeks. We found a couple houses we really loved this weekend, so we're making offers/applying to rent them. Which is awesome, really. I'm so ready to be out of my parents house it's not even funny. But, being me and consisting of half of my Mom's DNA (which I call certified-crazy DNA because she and her entire family are all battling a myriad of mental craziness) I have a great amount of potential for anxiety attacks. Which, of course, kick up most when I'm really stressed and nothing stresses me out more than change (even GOOD change). So just putting that out there to let people know that there is a chance, during the next few weeks, that posts may be skipped without any notice due to anxiety and general panic. Dog willing, we'll be able to get one of those houses and we'll be moved and in a new place by the 1st of next month, so that all of this craziness can be over and done with as quick as possible. If this week proves to be pretty bad for me, I may just put the blog on a temporary hiatus. Well, I may end up doing that for a week anyway when we actually have to get the bulk of the moving done...

I guess that long winded mess was mostly just to say that things may be crazy (figuratively and literally) for the next few weeks, so the blog may be a bit inconsistent with posts. And there will definitely be a week sometime soon where I will be away from the blog so I can work on packing and moving stuff, but I will give some advanced warning before that week happens. And I know some people get concerned when I mentioned my stress induced anxiety, but there's no real need to worry about me and my stress. I can freak out pretty good, but it's never been something I couldn't survive. So if you must say anything just wish me good luck. :D

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Video Grab Bag

Yeah, I'm still a bit under the weather, so no new readings yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the tail end of whatever it is I've got. I didn't find anything especially interesting in the atheist or feminist front to talk about today, plus I think I'm just a little too exhausted to get properly ragey. So, instead of a rant I present to you some of my favorite videos that are mostly silly and not at all serious. Seems like a good Friday for a laugh, right? :)

Gonna be video heavy so I've put them after the jump to save those with slower connections.


Sorry, I think this makes me giggle so much just because this is basically what my brain sounds like while I'm super bored at work.

Math has never been so awesome! :D

And if you do any amount of time reading ridiculous comments on video or gaming sites, you will now suddenly wish every single comment could be read this way.

I want to hug this man. He makes me smile. :)

This game is super scary. I haven't played more than 45 minutes of it because this is pretty much exactly how I play it. It's stressful. :x

I get this song stuck in my head all the time. It's not really a bad thing, tho. :P

Best story about explaining sex to a kid ever. Ever.

One of my favorite Youtubers ever. Seriously.

Aaaaand that's just the tip of the iceberg, lol. I almost fear that I have put too many up here but it was so hard to choose between them all. Perhaps there will be a next time and I can share more. And yeah, I have kind of an odd sense of humor. Hope most of them were funny anyway. :x

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Modern Modesty That Is Biblically Based

I seemed to have come down with a sore throat yesterday. It pretty much had me scarfing down cough drops and laying in bed for the night. Unfortunately, this kept me from doing any reading and thus a blog post for today. So this is kind of a quick write up while I have some downtime at work. Hopefully this sore throat will calm down and I'll be able to resume our regularly scheduled blog on Friday. If not, I may just do another write up on a video or news story. :)

So, instead of Jeremiah, I present to you a video about women dressing modesty. I'll give 20 bucks to whomever can watch it without their jaw hitting the floor. Or without throwing your computer across the room. Or without barfing. Seriously, his tone of voice alone makes me want to reach through my screen and smack him in the face.

So, ladies, remember! You aren't allowed to dress the way you want because it totally affects those poor men and their uncontrollable boners! You should constantly think about those poor, poor men and how everything you do completely affects them and how they have no ability to keep themselves in check. Even that small sliver of belly, ladies!

If you can't find clothes that fit because, heaven forbid, you have a body type that most clothes designers do not create for (ie. naturally large breasts, long torsos/legs, etc) so that clothing just doesn't fit you very well it doesn't matter! Think about what you are doing to those poor, helpless men. And us women don't even realize we're doing it! I mean, the man has to sit everyone down and basically hand feed us this patronizing, condescending information like we're fucking children.

Of course the worst part is this is all completely supported by the Bible (if you require more links than that just look through the "tricksters" posts or any of the rest of Proverbs), this view that it is women who tempt men into lust and death, not the men who lead themselves into sin. Again, I reiterate the reasons that I started this blog. While the Bible may not be the end all be all reason for why sexism in our present day is so persistent, this kind of shit does not help. These pastors who are (for the most part) blindly followed by people who view him as inspired and led by God, their words have an impact. And since their words and teachings come from the Bible, the Bible has an impact. The people who listen to this sermon, the people who believe that this is in fact God's word, now have these ideas implanted in their minds as some sort of inherent truth of the world. Women are the downfall of men, women lead men to lust and sin, so it is women who need to change their behaviors in order to keep themselves and men safe and godly. No action is required on the part of the men, oh no, they apparently have their hands full just trying to keep themselves from staring at a woman's cleavage, they couldn't POSSIBLY spend any more energy to actually change the underlying sexism in their actions and thoughts.

The sexism in the Bible is still influencing our world today, even if it is just in the pews. With a majority of the US (and the world) being religious, an influence in the pews is a BIG influence on the world. These men are now more likely to go home and start throwing away their daughters' (or wives') "immodest" clothes, or to start yelling at and punishing (or perhaps beating) them if they do not continue to follow his new strict dress code. They are more likely to view the women around them who don't dress "modestly" as lesser-than, as whores who are walking around trying their best to lead them off the path of righteousness and into hell. Even if it's just a small change in their views, these ideas will effect every woman around them. All women will be shoved into a "whore" or "virgin" box. Those who are "whores" do not deserve the same treatment and respect as "virgins". "Whores" were implicit in their rapes. "Whores" had some fault in their beating or murder. "Whores" are sleeping their way to the top and do not deserve respect for any position of power they hold. "Whores" are not marriage material or a woman to bring home to the parents but instead they can be used and tossed aside without any guilt. After all, if they choose to be a "whore" then they have to live with the consequences, right?

Well I got a better idea, asshole, how about you put down your Bible and take a real good look around. How about, instead of addressing the ladies, you address the men who feel it is perfectly okay to sit there and treat women as pieces of meat. As nothing but boobs and butts and legs and lips and stomachs for them to dissect and ingest as they see fit. Maybe because you and other men seem completely incapable of viewing women as individual people with feelings and ideas and dreams and desires of their own is the reason why you and other men seem so incapable of treating them as human beings. Maybe you should speak with the men who sit around and create those sexy ads, those sexy video game characters, and those sexy tv characters. The men who create the dehumanizing porn that celebrates violence against women and hold up women as objects for men to use, abuse and discard. The men who stand in front of congregations that give sermons in a slow, quiet, warning tone about how women are turning men away from God and down a path of death.

How about instead of blaming women, dehumanizing women or only showing/viewing women as sex objects, these women who have little power in this patriarchy we live in, you look at yourself and all the other men in power and see exactly who is to blame for this male mental shortcoming. Because maybe once you and other men stop viewing women as objects for you to own and fuck and abuse, you'll see that sermons like this become needless. Once these women stop being YOUR sisters, wives, daughters, and instead become their own people, you will stop "instinctively" treating them as property and objects only meant to arouse you. Dog willing, maybe you'll be able to ignore those boobs and instead engage with the person inside the skin.

I'm sure you'll find a person who is far more complex than a pair of heels.

This video is pretty much presented without comment (embedding is disabled on it so you'll have to watch it on Youtube). I am unsure how I feel about this video. I mean, it's nice that a bunch of men are stepping up and owning to the sexism and oppression that woman have faced throughout the ages. And it's nice that they seem to be making a choice to try and change these forces in their life. But I still kind of get a sense of othering from this video, more like they are trying to place us up on a pedestal and less that they are trying to view us as humans and individuals. And othering, even if it's trying to be POSITIVE and reverent, is still never really a good thing. I don't know, I'm gonna have to digest this for a little while. Any thoughts on it are welcome here, I'm interested to hear what others think about it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Isaiah 61-66

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

61:10 - "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."

62:4-5 - "You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is In Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you."
62:11-12 - "The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the Earth: Say to the daughter Zion, 'See, your salvation comes, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.' They shall be called, 'The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord'; and you shall be called, 'Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.'"

Isaiah 63 - No mention of any women.

Isaiah 64 - No mention of any women.

Isaiah 65 - No mention of any women.

66:7-13 - "Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son. Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be delivered in one moment? Yet as soon as Zion was in labor she delivered her children. Shall I open the womb and not deliver? says the Lord; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb? says your God.

"Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her - that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom.

"For thus says the Lord: I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflown stream; and you shall nurse and be carried in her arm, and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."

My Comments

I'm sorry, I still find the marriage relationship between God and people really weird and a bit icky. In essence it's like a father marrying his young daughter, because God was our creator and is termed the Father (or in this case the builder). Plus he's constantly referring to these cities as daughters, so it's not just simply me inferring a father/daughter relationship. And then he's populating these cities with children...

It just freaks me out. Maybe this is because we have a different view of marriage now than they did back then, when it was more a business contract, and that's why it just seems creepy for God to continually be waxing poetic about his "children" in marriage terms. Either way, not gonna change the creepy factor with me. I mean, I can understand it and still think it's a little weird, especially since churches still use this terminology to this day.

Thank dog, we're finally done with Isaiah! :D

Wednesday: Jeremiah

Friday, April 1, 2011

Isaiah 56-60

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

56:5 - "I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off."

57:3-4 - "But as for you, come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of an adulterer and a whore. Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression and offspring of deceit?"

Isaiah 58 - No mention of any women.

Isaiah 59 - No mention of any women.

60:4 - "Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms."

My Comments

Why is it only the mothers are mentioned in 57:3? Why are no fathers mentioned here? Do the sins and transgression of the father not harm the child in the same way the mother's shortcomings do? I mean, men are already flawed because they have to be born from woman who is just so unclean and inferior, but to add to that the mother being a sorceress or an adulteress or a whore? I guess those born in such a manner really have no room to talk, huh? Though I guess it's worse to be born of a immoral mother than it is to be born of an immoral father, right? Because we don't get any mention of people born unclean because of fathers who were thieves or murderers or adulterers (only women can really be adulterers, it seems, because we hardly ever get mention of male adulterers, only the adulteress' victims). Nope, the sperm doesn't matter, only the body the baby actually comes out of.

It seems it is worse, in the end, to be an immoral woman than to be an immoral man. Any real reason for this, other than women suck and we just need more excuses to punish them?

And again, we get God telling us that he is better than any family you will ever produce. See those children God has commanded you to create? Yeah, they pretty much suck. God is better than any child or any wife you could have because only he can keep you living on forever. So really, it's totally okay to give up the people who depend on you and put God first. Again, this isn't something God tried to keep secret. God seems to have an incredible disdain for family, and it usually always seems to stems from the fact that a family can distract a man from worshiping God to the fullest. And again, I state that this is an incredible dick move because children and wives depended completely on the adult men in their lives. So God is telling these men it's okay to abandon the people who count on them the most. Go ahead and leave them as widows and orphans, because in the end the women and children will not give the man the immortality he needs. Only God can do that.

It always comes down to eternal life, doesn't it? One is not good for goodness sake and one does not really worship God because they really love God. They worship God and follow God's laws because otherwise they will not live on forever. It's a completely selfish system, which honestly never made any sense to me. I'd rather spend my life being good because it's just how I should spend my life, not because being good will eventually get me a pass into eternal paradise.

And such a system makes it easy to abandon the people who really need you in order to pursue that eternal paradise since that paradise is all that matters. This planet is just a doormat to heaven, right? So these kinds of teachings make it easy for parents (or others that are relied on) to throw out their children when they don't follow God's teachings (or the way those specific parents view God's teachings). Parents can kick their teenage daughter out of the house because she's a lesbian. Or their son because he's gay. Or their daughter because she was raped or had premarital sex. Brothers and sisters can ostracize you if they find out you're an atheist. Parents may deny you a college fund they have been saving for you just because you decide to move away for college and live with your boyfriend without getting married first.

I'm sorry, but a religion that can make it so easy for those you trust and rely on to turn on you and leave them not only guilt-free but their actions something to be praised and mimicked is a bad religion. I've seen family members made outcast and denied help because their choices were not in line with others' "moral" religion. I've seen friends lost because of simple disagreements when it comes to God or other religiously charged political ideas. Hell, I keep a lot of myself and my views quiet because I know many of the people I know would probably turn on me, even though I manage to tolerate their different views just fine.

It's just the way the religion works. God wants you all to himself, so he's more than happy to reward you for turning on others that may not follow his teachings and are likely to turn you astray. So just keep surrounding yourself with others who echo your religious views and cutting out those who may see and experience the world differently. Make sure you never have to look around and actually think about whether that invisible man in the sky is actually real or not or whether his teachings are even worth following. Never question, never learn, and don't forget to leave your 10% tithe before you exit the church.

Monday: Isaiah 61-66