I’m still not exactly sure how to score those last two hours of Tuesday afternoon. Does a win for the feminists count as a win in general, or is it a loss because I didn’t get much writing done? So complicated. So hard.
I really don’t recommend getting involved in online theological arguments. They are rarely helpful, generally time consuming, and people tend to leave with the same opinions they held before. Then again, silence is a kind of complicity. It sucks either way, yes?
This began as a brilliantly self-righteous tirade on the birthboard by a Christian woman who “respects and obeys” her husband. She is apparently sick and tired of seeing posts by women who disrespect and devalue their husbands. No wonder we have so many broken families and such high divorce rates in this country. Her husband is fantastic, and it’s her delight to serve him. He is the head of their home. If more marriages were like that, the world would be a better place.
Did I mention my birthboard is a public, non-religious forum?
Cue the ravaging horde.
Who writes something like that? My first comment was fairly neutral, something along the lines of “Glad you’re happy, but I’ve seen these headship marriages, and I’m very happy to have missed that train.”
And then it got biblical.
At which point I went hunting for a wall to bash my head against.
Seriously. I have zero desire to debate religion with nonChristians. Zero. A hundred years ago when modernism was hip, I understand debate might have been a great tool for getting people to admit religion that is a viable perspective. But modernism isn’t hip and much as I like C. S. Lewis, I’m pretty sure even Mere Christianity wouldn’t fly off the shelves if it was first published today. So if you’re a Muslim or a Wiccan or a Hindu, you are more than welcome to plop down and tell me about your religion, and if you want I will tell you about mine. Honestly, if you file toe nails for a living you are still welcome to sit down and tell me about your life. I’m just a curious person. But I’m not interested in having an argument about whose religion is better. I’m just not. They’re called beliefs for a reason.
There is only one caveat to my pact of nonaggression: Christians who go on public forums to explain why they are better than other people and why their particular round up of beliefs are the only clear and obvious interpretation of the Bible.
I don’t like having my religion hijacked by people who just want to use it to bash other people.
This makes me crazy.
Commence theological beat down:
Previous Poster: This is clearly what the Bible says!
Me: That’s not what the Church taught for the first 1,960 years. Your thoughts?
PP: You have to remember that church authorities were only MEN and could easily make mistakes!
Me: [avoiding the obvious irony] But you still feel confident that your 2011 vintage complementarianism is without a doubt what God intended?
PP: YES! It’s obvious when you read the Bible.
Me: Ok, but you do know this is a philosophy 101 fail, yes? Because what is obvious to you is obvious because it’s your interpretation. And everyone has one of those. My interpretation is that the Bible talks about camels more than it does about marriage, and what it DOES say about marriage has been overlaid with so many centuries of sexism it’s almost impossible to get back to the root of its meaning. Similarly, if we followed this headship idea down the rabbit hole we end up with some really sketchy theology.
PP: You are mean. My marriage is beautiful… the WORLD cannot understand the harmony of a godly marriage!
Me: I am happy you have a good marriage. But as far as I know I’m not the world, the flesh, or the Devil. I’m down with God. I grew up with these concepts. And I still reject them.
PP: You’re a Christian? Then we’re on the same page!
Me: Yes, I am. And no, we’re not.
PP: I think you just misunderstood what I was trying to say.
Me: Pretty sure I didn’t.
PP: I’m going to ignore the gist of what you said earlier.
Me: Ok. You should read some books sometime.
Where’s that wall I was beating my head against? Oh, thanks.
To be honest, sometimes you actually have to thank the people who chuck those cream pies of nonsense at you. At least you should thank them if it sends you back to your center. Later that evening, Carl and I went to B&N for a little pumpkin spice deliciousness and some foraging for books, and I found myself back in the women’s studies section, pulling out new books and old books and ones I’ve been meaning to read for a while.
These are the encounters that remind me: where I’ve been and where I’m going are important matters.
I used to carry acorns in my coat pockets through college—and I probably still would if I came across them more often. There’s something comforting about putting your hand in your pocket and finding an acorn there, something real and definite about the smooth sides and the rough cap and the pointy tip. Something hopeful about the symbolism. And it’s nice when a cold breeze sends your hands to your pockets and you find an acorn you forgot about just sitting there waiting to be remembered.
That’s exactly how I feel about morons.
Which isn’t a romantic notion, exactly, but kind of fills that void in my mental processes.