wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (shark)
Primed, I admit, by The Avebury Cycle ), I have been looking at the various tornadoes on The Weather Channel. Similar pictures via Google:

One; Two; Three.

It's no wonder folks have thought in terms of a Sky God and an Earth Goddess.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
Every once in a while, it's necessary to revisit this discussion. As a former christian I have a unique view of the question, my own efforts to gain a pure and therefore muscular and supportive version of the religion having been met with a series of increasingly narrow definitions that, eventually, defined me right out.

Yeah, really: I was a teenaged conservative fundamentalist evangelical Christian, halleluiah! God-fearing and Bible-studying, Amen!

So these are the things I learned then and what I understood because of them. )

I avow that it is not the business of any living soul whether any other living soul may be or may not be an adherent of any specific faith group or philosophical community. (Basically, and unless it is clear that they are just fucking with folks, if they claim it they are it.)

And I avow that supposed, claimed, or denied membership in any specific faith group or philosophical community has no bearing whatsoever on that person's right to be treated well and with dignity by all others around.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (JustWait!)
There is nothing I would like better than to have my assertions concerning religious institutions in general, and the Catholic Church in particular, debunked and shown to be paranoid imagination.

Really.

Because then we could treat the mental illness of hundreds of thousands of people with good drugs instead of with reparative therapy. )
May their own deities show them, and soon, the retribution promised for these behaviors.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
[personal profile] mecurtin posted part of a discussion happening elsewhere, where she argues:
Given that there are *in fact* virtuous atheists and agnostics, religious belief *must not* be required for virtue. That's what "sine qua non" means. The existence of moral atheists disproves the thesis that religious belief is necessary for a moral compass. Rod has acknowledged the observable *fact* that moral atheists exist -- you cannot go on to argue that belief in God must be necessary for moral behavior.
I would personally argue, as I have before, that morality is trained into the individual before knowledge of a divinity is transferred to that individual.

The infant's very first interactions with Society comes through her primary caregiver - mother, wetnurse, adoptive primary caregiver, the Giver Of Milk. Infants primarily learn at that point ask, and it shall be given unto you, although some must learn ask and demand as you will, it will do you no good: your needs will not be met on time.

Infants also learn Cry injustice and dismay, and you shall be comforted - again, with the above caveat. I shall ask you to take that as read, from here on in.

These are the very roots of moral behavior. Please note the extreme lack of an invisible deity, and the lack of fear of the caregiver which is going on here.

The next roots also occur in the absence of deity: Things still exist even when you cannot see them, and don't hit/don't bite.

The final two roots occur in the presence of the understanding of language, although not necessarily in the presence of the use of language: share your belongings even when you would rather not, and when you have a fight, you can go back to being friends afterward.

Those are the roots on which all other moral behavior is based. They all are trained into the human (or fail to be so trained) before language, and therefor the concept of deity, is available to her.

The book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum argues this same issue, as I understand it, although it comes in at a later point in the child's development: behaving well is a cornerstone, a necessary foundation, to having a society in which children survive. These are things that our cousins the apes and the chimpanzees learn from their mothers and their kin-groups; and no one has yet argued that these are rooted in a religious system there.

In fact, I would argue that the thesis that a Deity is necessary to moral behavior is evidence that the one posing it does not have a sound moral compass of her or his own.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
Possibly triggering, certainly somewhat anti-Christian material below, depending on which verses you read how. )Now, with all that in mind, allow me to refer you to a pair of articles on Josep Fritzl's activities within the context of good, solid, Austrian culture.

The first one I found was Josef Fritzl's fictive forebears in The Times Online(UK). Ritchie Robertson undertakes a thorough overview of the kinds of literature that Elizabeth's fate recalls. I recommend a careful and thorough reading: Freaud does make an appearance, as one would expect, but there is far, far more to the story than he.

Today, I found Heather Mallick's re-consideration of her call for Austria not wholly to be tarred with one broad psycotic's brush when a reader very politely corrected her Canadian attitude thusly:
Thank you for the article, she wrote politely, but I am Austrian-German, and you are wrong. Her traditional upbringing by an authoritarian father and passive mother had scarred her as well as her own children, she said, causing one of her brothers to commit suicide and leaving the other emotionally unable to cope with life.
In both articles, look for the distinction between English/British attitudes born of class, and Austrian attitudes drawn directly from patriarchy.

We go back, as we always go back, to the above scriptures calling for submission - and the societal structures that empower, require, and coerce that submission. Regardless. We remember (as we of my generation and older should remember, and often fail) that there was, semantically, no such thing as rape in marriage legally, because - they were married. It was a husband's right to have sex with his wife. Up through the 1970s in America.

We remember, as so many of all of us fail to remember, that wifely acceptance of husbandly fits and starts was always demanded, not least by the women who had grown old and bitter in their acceptance, wondering - as Celie of The Color Purple wondered - how these young women dare expect better conditions than their elders.

I look back to my mother's best friend, an initially lively and intelligent woman, who underwent therapy to deal with her bitter unhappiness in her marriage.

Her husband, reluctantly but with care for his wife's mental state, agreed with her therapist for electroshock therapy for her.

Afterwards, she was neither lively, nor intelligent, nor unhappy in her marriage.

Austria may well be a simmering hotbed of familial abuse and violence; but it is not alone, not nearly alone.

We are nowhere near enough progressed to be post-feminist.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
Lesbian IVF users condemn church pederasty and authority-based rape, right back at'em. )

There are sexual crimes, oh yes. But I have no ability to hear the words of the authorities of the Catholic church on this matter: their actions are screaming too loudly.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
It's still going on, folks. Every time I think - nah, NO parent does that to their child anymore! Reality just *bites* me in the ass.

And for some bizarre reason, the Indianapolis Star has dragged its feet on reporting this.

I hereby announce my personal boycott of Atkins products (they apparently make a delicious cheesecake), and invite you to join me.

ETA to correct the URL for Atkins. Thanks, Badger!
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
Hundreds, maybe thousands of lesbian gangs raping girls across our nation! )

I admit: I have my biases. But sound information literacy requires us to check for validity and authority, even when - or especially when - we hotly disagree with, or hotly concur with, the claims in question.

yiiiiiiiiiiiii
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
After having observed Mr. Bush's unapologetic assertions of desired reality in the face of facts over the last six years, His Holiness has decided to get into the game as well. It is not surprising: he launched some less-egregious rewritings of history last year concerning Islam and Judaism which, as far as I can make out, he still has not undone. But this is priceless:
On May 13, while speaking to Latin American and Caribbean bishops, the pope demonstrated an amazing ignorance of the history of the violent cultural and religious oppression of indigenous peoples in the New World by European Christians. Benedict stated that the native people had been "silently longing" for Christ and were seeking God "without realizing it." He said that their conversion was not a conquest but an "adoption" that made "their cultures fruitful, purifying them…. "
The story is in the LA Times which requires a free registration. Slight variations of it are all over the News on the Web.

He's backtracked since then; but O My Gods, where is his head, that he thus reveals such thinking to the world?

According to the reporting of Gina Doggett, in her story through Yahoo! News,
The pontiff is sometimes "remarkably tone-deaf to how his pronouncements may sound to people who don't share his intellectual and cultural premises," said Vatican expert John Allen of the US-based National Catholic Reporter in an on-line editorial.
Tone-deaf, indeed, in the presence of so many of us with near-perfect pitch on these matters: all the more painful.

In a way, I am vastly grateful to the College of Cardinals for having elected him: John Paul II was far more insidious in his conservative, misogynistic and homovirulent views simply because he was so note-perfect on the vast majority of issues of ethics and humility. Benedict has no velvet to cover his steel hand, no honey to coat his bitter ideas, and no warm demeanor to mask his cold heart.

But at the same time, he says to his people in Rome:
“We note on a daily basis” revealed the Pope, “the weight of a culture that is imbued with moral relativism, lacking in certainties but rich in unjustified re-vindications”.
I blink, blink I tell you, at the profound ocular beam thus revealed.

It's nice to have it visible to all. My one sorrow in this is that he is exposing innocent Catholics the world over to possible violence at the hands of those whom he is slandering.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
Bush Administration Agrees To Approve Wiccan Pentacle For Veteran Memorials. In part:
The Bush administration has conceded that Wiccans are entitled to have the pentacle, the symbol of their faith, inscribed on government-issued memorial markers for deceased veterans, Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced today.
Wiccan symbol OK for soldiers' graves. In part:
The settlement calls for the pentacle, whose five points represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit, to be placed on grave markers within 14 days for those who have pending requests with the VA.
Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers from the Veterans Administration website; it is marked on the introductory page with the phrase A new emblem of belief has been added to the list.

This information sent to me by a friend, and I have verified it as above.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
I am a Christian. I believe in the family, a married man with a woman. )
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] soldiergrrrl made a post for new friends, reintroducing herself. Since [livejournal.com profile] newjerseybadger is one of the new friends, he stole her outline; since I'm one of his, I'm stealing it to use myself, for new friends and those who don't know much about me.

1) I'm Unitarian Universalist, and Wiccan.

2) I'm eighteen years "married" at the moment, happily working on forever. It'll take about that long for us to know each other well enough, though we have been finishing each others' sentences and bursting into song together for years now.

3) Sometimes I play computer games. Currently I'm doing baby Sudoku.

4) I am a hard-left old-school Liberal: I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, "Common Sense," unions in their proper design, the writings of Thomas Jefferson (although not his actions), the writings and the actions of Abraham Lincoln, and the Old Testament concepts that there should be one law for rich and for poor and for citizen and for alien; and that Pharaoh's dream was right on.

I have been given the blessing of three children to raise. Currently we are possessed of one cat, one dog, one rat, one fish, and two parrots.

I'm right-handed, brown-and-grey headed, and weakly brown-eyed. I hold a Black Belt in Tossing Kids Over My Shoulder, and in Biting With Intent. I have done no military service.

Requests for additional information might be honored. :-)
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Overwhelmed)
Boston Globe let me know the following:
"KnowThyNeighbor.org, a website that contains a searchable database of the names of Massachusetts residents who have signed a petition for a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage, has helped a church in Jacksonville, Fla., build a similar database of Floridians who have signed a ``marriage protection" ballot initiative in their state. The Florida names will be available on KnowThyNeighbor.org or through a link on the church's website, christchurchofpeace.org ."

So I went looking. The Massachussetts site is here and the Florida site is here. The Massachussetts site failed to load for me the second time I tried it, but the address is accurate. The main site is here.

Looks to me like a good idea. I found out not only that my mom had signed the petition - no surprise - but that her cousin had signed it as though she lived at my mom's house, which is a no-no. I've let my mom know.

I'd like these to go up across the country. I'll be investigating how it might be done here in Wisconsin.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
So, if I'm reading the previous correctly, it goes like this:

1. The highest expression of physical love is the creation of new life within a context where those responsible for creating that life will nurture and raise it.

2. Any physical pleasure which does not meet the above standards dehumanizes the participants, turning at least one of them into a "prostitute" or utility for the convenience of the other.

3. When the possibility of the creation of new life within a context where those responsible for creating that life will nurture and raise it is gone, then those people ought to cease engaging in physical pleasure, whether they are married to each other or not.

This leads to the following conclusions on my part of the logical outcomes of this set of statements:

A. A menopausal woman ought not to have sex with her husband. (Or anyone else.)
B. A man whose wife is menopausal ought not to have sex with her (or anyone else).
C. A woman who is currently pregnant ought not to have sex with her husband (or anyone else).
D. Any infertile person ought never to have sex, and probably ought not to be married.
E. Any unmarried person ought not to have sex at all.
F. No parent should die ever until the youngest offspring is at least 18.
G. Therefore, fertile or not, no one over the age of 50 should have sex, lest they inadvertantly die before their offspring are completely raised.

OTHERWISE

The female participants are being devalued and dehumanized and turned into sex utilities.

I think that's it.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Default)
So, if I'm reading the previous correctly, it goes like this:

1. The highest expression of physical love is the creation of new life within a context where those responsible for creating that life will nurture and raise it.

2. Any physical pleasure which does not meet the above standards dehumanizes the participants, turning at least one of them into a "prostitute" or utility for the convenience of the other.

3. When the possibility of the creation of new life within a context where those responsible for creating that life will nurture and raise it is gone, then those people ought to cease engaging in physical pleasure, whether they are married to each other or not.

This leads to the following conclusions on my part of the logical outcomes of this set of statements:

A. A menopausal woman ought not to have sex with her husband. (Or anyone else.)
B. A man whose wife is menopausal ought not to have sex with her (or anyone else).
C. A woman who is currently pregnant ought not to have sex with her husband (or anyone else).
D. Any infertile person ought never to have sex, and probably ought not to be married.
E. Any unmarried person ought not to have sex at all.
F. No parent should die ever until the youngest offspring is at least 18.
G. Therefore, fertile or not, no one over the age of 50 should have sex, lest they inadvertantly die before their offspring are completely raised.

OTHERWISE

The female participants are being devalued and dehumanized and turned into sex utilities.

I think that's it.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Think)
Finally I have read a detailed, comprehensible, in-their-own-words explanation of why the Christian Right is reacting to sexuality the way it is. The following is culled from a nine-page article, which you should definitely read in its entirety. It may still be freely available; otherwise, the registration with the New York Times is free and worthwhile.

Contra-Contraception
By RUSSELL SHORTO
Published: May 7, 2006
The New York Times Magazine
Read more... )

I will summarize this in a second post.
wordwitch: Woman in a shift, reading on a couch (Think)
For the second time, a United Church of Christ TV spot is getting bounced by all the major networks.

Because it's too controversial. Oh my. The tagline? "God doesn’t reject people. Neither do we."

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