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Connections

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The chapters we read in Wilkins truly bother me.  I take issue with their claiming that to get through the “pain and torment” of teenage years every high school kid has to take on the mantle of some affiliation, club or sport.  While I agree that becoming involved in a school is incredibly important, it is also important to note that a lot of growing (emotionally and mentally) comes from within.  The connection I made with this text was one to my current English class Coming of Age in American Literature.  I have had lengthy conversations about the American Bildungsroman and what it is to grow up in the USA over the last century.  I claim no mastery of the subject, but I do have an idea of what it is to go from child to adult.

A personal idea.  The coming of age moment is one that an individual must almost create for him or herself.  Wilkins comes up woefully short claiming that Unity Christianity was almost necessary for these poor children to have survived teenage life.

I disagree wholeheartedly.  Yes, growing uo is tough.  Yes, fitting in to your peer group is difficult.  I think that Wilkins gives far too much credit to the Unity Christianity organization.  The reason these kids’ lives turned around was sheer force of will on an individual level.  Without personal choices, perseverance and confidence these children may never have joined the Unity at all.  Wilkins does a great disservice to the coming of age story for teenagers.

The ‘new’ right

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

What is so new about the ‘new’ right?  They hide behind new terms, social media, and forms of propaganda not directly noticeable by the general public.  They are the anti-newwave feminism that sprung up during the 70’s.  Founded in religious beliefs those women participating in the spread of the Christian message that women at home is where they belong are of course hurting the working woman, but also ignoring a vast majority of the individuals in the working force.   Particularly those women who are impoverished and have already been working for a large portion of their adult lives.  They are not included in either form of feminism or anti-feminism.  Those miniorities have been working moms their entire lives attempting to raise a family and bringing home food for it at the same time.

Those women who are potientally divorsed or were never married and have to provide for a family and themselve, do not fit into the contemporary notion of breaking the glass ceiling. Those women, in the work force making minimum wage are the ones being specifically left out of the feminism. 

To continue onto the reading regarding the subcultures of christians in school, I really hope to highlight how awful and short sighted that was.  Those subcultures, are NO DIFFERENT than any subculture.  I am aware that we already talked about this in class, but I was hoping to futher highlight that here.   EVERY subculture is going to have norms, rules, codes, language and an unwritten moral standing that you do not cross.  They may incorporate religion into their subculture as seen in certain sports teams, but their primary focus is not religion but acceptance and a shared goal.  I wish the author had done a better job of understanding that for myself crew could be a religion. 

We have a shared moral code, rules, norms, and I do it so frequently it is almost a religion.  Hell, sometimes I lean on almost a prayer that I wont get splashed with cold water in the morning.

A more recent look at women religious and the Catholic Church

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

This blog entry by Mary Hunt at Religion Dispatches gives a 2013 voice to what Mary Daly wrote about in your readings for this week. I encourage you to take a look at it.

“Pope Francis and the American Sisters”

Mary Daly and “Un-biting the Apple”

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Most of my reactions to this week’s readings are directed at Mary Daly’s article.  I definitely agree with Camille in that I would totally back up Daly’s words.  This has pretty much been one of my first opportunity to consider women in ancient history when reading biblical passages.  The only passage that really sticks in my mind referring to the relationship between men and women is found in Ephesians:

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.

This is a passage that I hear a lot when I go to church, and I often think of these lines before I think about Adam and Eve, despite the Genesis story being much more famous.  Mary Daly presents numerous arguments about Genesis, in reference to the position of women in relation to men.  There are those who believe that women are equal to men in the eyes of God because of the language of certain translations of Genesis, referring to “man” as “them” rather than separating the duties of the first men and women.  The responsibilities of reproduction and labor were not separated.  Others argue that women are inferior because they came from man (or more specifically, his rib).  Men come from God, and therefore serve God; women come from men and therefore serve men.

One of the passages in Mary Daly’s article was particularly incendiary.  On page 85, it is argued that women become more like men when they are pious and faithful.  If they are not, they are bound by the “name of her sex,” inferring that women are different in every way from men, and only men can perfectly achieve Christ-like qualities.  Women who don’t believe in Christ are just women, while women who love Christ “progress to perfect manhood.”  The article goes on to suggest that womanhood embodies “fickleness” or seductiveness or “garrulousness,” all qualities that distract women from serving God.  Men, on the other hand, are logical, smart, and not “slow to understanding” as women were  (and often still are) considered.

While reading the article, I wondered what history would have been like if Eve hadn’t been the one to bite the apple, but if Adam had instead succumbed first.  I read a book a couple years ago called Egalia’s Daughters, which describes what the world would be like if women were on top.  In this book, men wear skirts, are introduced to society like debutantes, and, when married, become “housebounds” (a play on the word “husband”).  There is even a gang rape scene in which a manwom (aka a boy in our world and the equivalent of our stereotypical female in the book) is attacked by women.

A quick guide to the book’s language:

All masculine objects become feminine and vice versa (a ship in our world is “she” but in the book a ship is a “he”)

Wom: our equivalent to a biological woman; the plural is “wim”

Manwom: our equivalent to a biological man; the plural is “menwim”

The book goes on the further satirize the duties of men and women by making “menwim” the begetter of children.  A “wom” gives birth into the arms of her housebound, who is tasked with raising the children.  Here, the male takes on the duty of reproduction, even though it is the female who carries the child.  Until you get used to the language, the book can be a little difficult to get through, but I like that it makes you think about the stereotypes of both sexes.  It makes you question what the world would be like if historically, women hadn’t been considered inferior to men.

**The title “Un-biting the Apple” is a reference to an essay in Theorizing Twilight**

A Timely Story from NPR…

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

http://www.npr.org/2013/04/01/175910981/with-new-pope-catholic-women-hope-to-regain-church-leadership-roles

Women, Women, Women! …And a few young Evangelicals.

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

This week’s readings were very enjoyable because all of the authors provided insights into different sides of the feminist movement. Ulrich’s article, “A Pail of Cream,” was centered around seemingly contradictory parts of life being able to work in unison. For her, and Mormon women like her, the struggle lies between mixing motherhood and religious beliefs, with intellectual pursuits and the feminist movement. It was very reminiscent of the article from a few weeks back on genocide, and how black women were faced with conflicting identities.

Hardisty’s article clarified how women can be anti-feminists, which seems contradictory as well. She mentioned some things such as how the anti-feminist movement sucks women in, particularly religious women, by lumping in feminists with a wide variety of agendas, and also how women were afraid that their husbands wouldn’t be held to their standards if women weren’t held to their own standards.

For example, you can watch this video on a lady from Concerned Women for America arguing with Scott Blakeman about Planned Parenthood supporting abortion. This organization lumps issues like abortion and homosexuality and divorce, etc. all in with feminism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDKydHZIV-I.

However, the article was mainly focused on the anti-feminists’ religious beliefs. I’m having a difficult time grappling with these womens’ stance on feminism as truly a gender issue. It seems more of a religious battle from their point of view. The issue is the violation of God’s laws, and not that they just simply wouldn’t be happy with gender equality. It all goes back to the fact that they believe that God wouldn’t be happy with the changes in gender roles.

Wilkins figures into all this because she is talking about yet another group of people who are struggling to juggle the things with which they identify themselves. These young people are turning to Christianity as a means of being accepted, yet they are only accepted within people of the same faith. They then have to struggle to be religious and secular at the same time so as not to appear boring, but also not break any of God’s commandments, which they believe wholeheartedly in.

Mary Daly fits right in with Hardisty, though Daly is much more fierce, in that she focuses on religion’s, specifically Christianity’s, problems with gender equality. While I can completely back up Daly and cheer her on while reading her article, I can’t say that I believe that she would be very convincing to a Christian. To some Christians, her arguments would appear void since they believe that every man who wrote the Bible was completely inspired by God, and that he has the power to assure that the Bible is applicable at any given time, and is in the order, etc. that he wants it. The fact that translations and generations have gone by is beside the point, because when talking to someone who truly believes in it…you’re not going to be able to use any of the arguments that she did. Unfortunately.

Clinton, don’t ask don’t tell

Friday, April 12th, 2013

When I first read that after Clinton lost his campaign for re-election as governor of Arkansas he became involved in the Southern Baptists church, I thought to myself “wow that is a genius move!” I mean think about it, being a democrat its would hard for Clinton to get the religious vote, as conservative christians are much more likely to vote for a republican. But by being a devote church going, choir singing baptist, Clinton had a much better chance of picking up some extra votes! So what would go wrong? Nothing, right? Well he did get the votes he wanted, but it went down hill from there. Clinton started his presidency tackling some of the conservative Christians favorite topics, gay rights and abortion. Unfortunately for the SBC, Clinton didn’t exactly run with their interpretation of scripture. In fact, he basically did the opposite of what the SBC excepted him to. He campaigned to let gays serve openly in the military. As I was reading this I began to wonder if this was a smart move for Clinton, not only for his own career but for the gay rights movement at large. I am very conflicted, part of me wants to say that he should have waited a little bit and kind of went under the radar to make those kind of changes to avoid the backlash of groups like the SBC. When he made that the start of his campaign, he immediately put the SBC, and other conservatives, on the defense and rialed them up. But the other part of me thinks that it was good for him to come out and publicly support the gay right movement, especially for men and women who sacrifice so much for our country by serving in the military. I wonder if Clinton hadn’t shown such public support for gays in the military, how long would it have been before that issue came to light, and began to be discussed. The article described the “compromise” of Don’t Ask Don’t tell as a “political failure” and I would agree, in a way it was. It didn’t give gays the rights that they deserve, and really did very little to chance the way the military operated. However, I do think that Clinton should be commended for getting the conversation started, and the ball rolling. I wonder if Clinton hadn’t started his presidency tackling this controversial issue, where our military would be today on this issue.

Divide and conquer…well not really.

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Why did the conservative right fail to win in Roe v. Wade and in the general populace for popular support of stricter control of abortions.  To begin, we must look at the very logic of the conservative party and the rationale behind restricting abortion rights.  The conservative party stresses individualistic rights and freedom of the individual.  Therefore when in front of the Supreme Court attempting to argue against abortion rights, the judges railed against the notion that women loosing rights aligns with the republican party.  Further, those communities that were pro-life were so divided they were unable to connect with each other and coordinate efforts to fight the growing waves of pro-choice support.  Thus, when the Roe v. Wade ruling was handed down those fundamentalists fighting against abortion rights were astounded.  They thought for sure they had won….oops

For Clinton however I believe that there was a general disconnect between the populace and what was believed within the white house.  Thus the ruling of ‘dont ask dont tell’ came as a shock to not only to the general populace but also the SBC who had aligned themselves with the Clinton administration.  To their demise however he pointed out that kicking out gay men and women from the armed services would do no good for the status of the military.  Gay men and women already were serving for their country and by cart blanche kicking them out would do no good for the service.

The SBC however were shocked because at the time they had supported Clinton for the presidency and thus following this decision they were shocked.  Their golden boy of the presidency had let them down on this crucial decision and now they were keen to go after him.

The Anti-Falwell Flip Side – Week 13 Class Facilitation

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

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http://www.au.org/

 

Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion separation church and state California proposition 8 protest mormon hypocrisy

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You can’t argue with Dirty Harry….just sayin’

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJfBZxUlzhY

 

photohttp://www.prb.org/Articles/2003/TraditionalFamiliesAccountforOnly7PercentofUSHouseholds.aspx

 

 

 

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 (please beware if profanity offends you because Chris Rock has quite the vocabulary when it comes to profanity)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMzfZptpSuc

 

 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/facebook-profile-pictures-red-gay-marriage_n_2957968.html

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The End of America

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

043-The-devil-created-separation-of-church-and-stateEve being created from the rib of Adam set the stage for racial, cultural, and gender based hierarchies that have stood the test of time. Men, specifically white men,  are the standard and then everyone else is in categories under them. Jerry Falwell‘s beliefs are the prime example of how religion set up this hierarchy and how it affects every aspect in our society. The man is supposed to provide and protect his wife and children while the wife is supposed to support the husband and nurture their children so that they have strong morals. Furthermore, the notion that children can grow up with strong values in anything but a “traditional” family is not a possibility. Even though children (according to Falwell) don’t have rights separate from their families, they still have the right to life.

When the Supreme Court struck down state abortion laws with it’s Roe v Wade decision, it caught many pro-life supporters off guard. Religiously, they had been taught that from conception that babies had a right to life. Protecting that right to life was imperative -children are innocent, fragile, and unable to act on its own behalf until the age of reason could be reached. These same principles are what was used as justification in the “kill the Indian, save the child” campaign of the United States in the 1860’s and 1870’s. With the Roe v Wade decision, the Supreme Court not only placed a greater value of life on the mother rather than the child, it opened the door for what many perceived as legal population control. Unlike the population control performed in the 1930’s discussed in the Instrument of Genocide reading, abortion was done with the consent of the woman because she was the one seeking the abortion. Insurance companies such as Blue Cross  as well as Medi-Cal (health insurance provided to people on welfare in California) covered abortions because that was cheaper than playing for the delivery of a baby and the medical costs the come along with raising a child. It appears that in the eyes of the State, abortion would help to alleviate not only costs, but would help to keep the cycle of poverty from expanding. The argument that abortion is a form of population control helps to justify why abortion should be illegal, especially when the “separation of church and state” shoots down the religious reasons that abortion should be illegal. If Brigham Young would have had an argument for polygamy based on something other than religious reasons, having multiple wives might still be legal in Utah. Makes one wonder what choice words Jerry Falwell would say about the fact that the “traditional family” only accounts for 7% of households in the United States.     2037