Thursday, March 15, 2007

Putting the Mental in Fundamentalist

Before tuning in to March Madness tonight (go State!), I happened upon an online discussion about marriage. A Christian fundamentalist -- a female fundamentalist, no less -- was giving her moral approval to arranged marriages, and even to the Old Testament principle that a rapist is obligated to marry his victim. Because, of course, "the Bible tells me so."

Now, I understand that it is a character deficit on my part, not being able to deal with others with equanimity and a certain detachment -- but I just don't know how to be around people this f*****g stupid. Especially when their stupidity is directly related to practices that demean and sometimes kill women.

Meanwhile...I just read on Yahoo! News today that more and more Afghan women and girls are reacting to the "traditional family values" inflicted upon them by fathers, brothers and husbands by setting themselves on fire.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

"but I just don't know how to be around people this f*****g stupid..."

Yet another loving comment from the seminary student.

I think the deal is that "love your neighbor as yourself" means mainly those neighbors with whom you disagree, and not just the like-minded neighbors you affirm and who affirm you here.

No one is going to be hated or dissed into changing their position on anything.

Fact is, I actually agree with you about this, but I find the contempt with which you treat (some) others fairly repugnant.

DOH

Songbird said...

LC, I had a similar set of feelings in response to an blog comment discussion of the need to forgive, in the context of applauding women who stay with and forgive physically abusive husbands. As I read comment after comment of reasoned intellectual arguments on both sides of the question (how are there two sides to that question?!?!!), I felt my blood pressure rising. As a Feeling type, my first response is not reasoned.
Even Jesus got angry. Sometimes a display of righteous anger is okay. Not always, but sometimes. And at other times, all we can do is walk away, from the person or the keyboard.

LutheranChik said...

DOH: I'm not sure why you seem to think that you're my personal spiritual director/confessor; you're not. I don't know you. We have no relationship. All you are to me is an anonymous serial drive-by antagonist with apparent stalking tendencies, and if you think that your comments have any weight on my conscience...they don't. So why don't you run along.

P.S. an after-thought said...

There is no sin in thinking things through and then putting oneselves in the place of people we think about. Fundamentalists are apparently taught to accept, not to think. That isn't faith. Unfortunately, a person like that can have a small trip over a mis-understood item and really fall flat.

Regarding anon: obviously that person doesn't read your blog very carefully, only "proof texting."

LutheranChik said...

I would rather be completely honest with my feelings and say what I'm thinking, even if it's not particularly noble or pretty, than put on a pansy-pants happy-Christian "Let's all hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya'" facade that simply isn't authentic. And I'd hazard a guess that the readership here would agree. Fundamentalists who are so enslaved to a literal reading of Scripture that they insist on affirming silly or downright appalling ideas because "the Bible sez" infuriate me. I'm not going to pretend otherwise. If someone is offended by that -- well, dear sir or madam, no one is making you visit here, and no one is stopping you from creating your own blog where you can hold forth at your own bully pulpit.

P.S. an after-thought said...

And what is "literal?" For over 25 years, I've attended Bible studies where people bring all sorts of different translations and paraphrases and read from them. They ARE different. And none are a copy of the original because that doesn't even exist.

When a person moves outside their normal culture and space, he will find that he had a literal interpretation of something about his new space that was way, way wrong. That's why travel is both enlightning and humbling.

The pharasees had a literal interpretation of the OT, right? And they were wrong about Jesus.

Cory said...

My problem has been that I don't know how to stay away from people that effing stupid! That's what kept me on BNet arguing with the assorted trolls nad fundies for so long. It's been part exhausted disinterest and partly concerted effort that has kept me from trying to argue with certain repeat offenders again and again and again.

I also remember hearing about the plight of Afghan women back in 1996, and did some of the letter writing and money donation and stuff that you talk about in your slavery post. It's deeply saddening to see that it's come to this - suicide as protest - even after we've "liberated" them for reasons entirely unconnected to the Talbian's policy on social liberty.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure why you seem to think that you're my personal spiritual director/confessor; you're not."

Nor would I care to be, thank you. I'm not so sure I'd even care to have you in a leadership position in my church, either. Not because of your views (many of which I actually share), but more because of the way you treat those who don't agree with you. You seem to feel that you have some right to treat others badly, but you have this righteous indignation when you are treated similarly. You have the same righteousness indignation if people even hold an opinion other than the one you hold.

"All you are to me is an anonymous serial drive-by antagonist with apparent stalking tendencies, and if you think that your comments have any weight on my conscience...they don't. So why don't you run along."

blah, blah, blah... a very childish remark. I expected no less, though. Your blog, which used to be pretty good, has become nothing more than a forum for public self-affirmation. If someone doesn't agree with you or stroke you just right, then they get blasted or worse, you play the old "your not as good a Christian as I am ("kristian") card. You have created your own sort of Christianity in which you are the pope.

News flash! You're never going to find a parish in which to serve where all will spend all their time trying to find ways to affirm you and make you feel good about yourself. The church isn't about you.
You're going to have to find a loving way to disagree...to find a way to love ALL whom God has given to you to care for, whether you agree with them or not. And you're going to have to learn to show Christ's love to others by modeling Christlike behavior.

This is the job of all Christians - not just the called or those employed by the Church.

DOH

LutheranChik said...

DOH: Do you troll on other blogs or just mine? If the latter -- you have a problem. Leave.

Anonymous said...

"you have a problem."

Wake up, girl! We ALL have problems - you, too. What sets us as Church apart from the rest of the world is how we deal with them.

"Leave."

Or what?

Is this what you will tell those in the parish whom you will someday serve who don't agree with you?

Lord, have mercy.

DOH

Cory said...

One of the things about parishes is that, despite all the issues and confrontations they do have, they're in the real world and based in real relationships. They're communities and the dynamic of them is quite different from an anonymous medium like the internet.

Chik has a right to post a personal blog in which she hashes out issues and feelings that are important to her, regardless of whether or not they get the stamp of approval and make her look "good" or "proper". They are sincere and vulnerable, which is above all the most important thing. And if I know Chik at least half as much as I think I do, I'm sure she's well aware of her faults and any emotional uncharitiableness she may have.

As for anonymous contributions, they lose their impact by being anonymous. How can anyone expect to have their scoldings taken seriously by someone with whom they have no relationship whatsoever? It just looks like petty, self-agrandizing trolling, and I think Chik has a right to say that if she pains her readers so much, they have the option not to read her blog. Otherwise, they're just using her to feel high and mighty about themselves.

Anonymous said...

Sure she has a right to say what she wants. But being a Christian is not about entitlement. If anything, being a Christian is knowing that in this life we are entitled to nothing -and that we have nothing which is not given to us by God's gracious hand, despite our selves.

Perhaps these comments which are "sincere and vulnerable" seems like a noble thing to you - but in reality, to place these comments in a public forum is little more than fostering the hate and division in the church which she claims to abhor.

Love and charity begins at home.

Reverend Dona Quixote said...

Anonymous.

Most pastors I know, and probably your own pastor, do not generally honor or pay much attention to anonymous criticism.

Anonymous criticism is often a mark of antagonistic behavior. Antagonists often build themselves up by tearing others down.

You sign off as DOH, but you don't indicate whether or not you yourself have a blog, nor do you share any information about yourself that gives anyone any clue about who you are. You express your feelings and opinions without taking any real responsibility for them.

In other words, you can heap criticism upon criticism upon LutheranChik, but you are totally insulated from receiving that same treatment yourself. You expect LC to live up to a certain standard, and criticize her for not doing so, but you offer no information about yourself that allows others who participate in this public forum to judge how well you do in behaving according to those same standards.

You have no credibility --and you lack courage.

And, in looking over your more recent comments, I see actually that you do fail to live up to own standards. "Love and charity begins at home" you say --I see nothing loving or charitable in your comments addressed to LC.

I think this is very clearly a case of removing the log out of your own eye before you remove the splinter out of someone else's.

Anonymous said...

And LC will revel in your comments - because they are affirming of her...like most of the comments posted here.

What difference does it make who I am? If I included my name, you still would not know me.

First, who I am is a child of God. Second, who I am is a person who does ministry in an ELCA congregation. Third, who I am is a Christian who is offended that someone who clearly has some great gifts for ministry and teaching - or at least used to - chooses to publicly treat with contempt other of God's children who do not share her opinions.

How, then, dare she complain about those who are less than kind in their treatment of her?

Logs and splinters, indeed!

DOH

LutheranChik said...

DOH: I have neither the professional psychological expertise nor the patience to deal with whatever personal issues you have, for whatever, reason attached to me, nor do I think the other readers here care to have this blog hijacked by your anonymous drive-by ad hominems. Your presence here is ending now.

Reverend Dona Quixote said...

DOH, your name makes a difference --regardless of whether I know you or not --because by acknowledging your name you take responsibility for your comments.

LC at least signs a name --a blogname but a name nevertheless-- when she expresses herself. You can go to her blog at any time, look over what she writes with a fine-toothed comb if you choose, and say whatever you want about it, from the safe place of anonymity. How well would you bear up under that same scrutiny? Do you have a blog? Do you ever express yourself publically in a way for which you take responsibility? Guess we'll never know.

I also fail to see how the offense you take at LC's comments are any different from the offense she takes at the comments of others. You're allowed to be offended --but she isn't?

The Simpleton said...

LC,

My free gift to you this day: a bottle of troll wash, minty fresh.

Right after I came by the first time today, my pastor shared with me a similarly mean-spirited and hurtful email he had received on a specific topic. His comment was that it was sometimes possible to see with great clarity what the gospel "side" of an issue was simply by registering whether there was a shred of kindness, generosity, or compassion there.

D'OH may be having a bad day, but I don't see much evidence of gospel there.

David said...

Well, for what it is worth, I agree with you LC on your original post.

Several of my friends interpret scripture literally, and are as fundamentalist as they come, but when they are confronted with the option of cutting off thier hand that caused them to sin, or to simply beg for mercy, they opt for mercy every time.

The Pink Highlighter said...

As someone who has experienced sexual assault, I can say I don't think "obligation" is really the issue. Do the victims not have ANY say in the matter? Ew - marrying him? Not good. I mean, I forgive the person and all, but that doesn't mean I want to spend the rest of my life waking up to him. I think that fundamentalist point of view really mistakes the whole issue about assault in the first place - it's about exerting power, nothing else.

I really love reading your blog, by the way, and I hope your little troll moves along elsewhere. You can always disable anonymous comments.

LutheranChik said...

I think my little troll is a hitchhiker from Beliefnet...sort of like the prickly things you pick up on your shorts when you're hiking.

Re the OT text about rape victims being compelled to marry their rapists...it's less bizarre, if no less distasteful, to remember that in the patriarchal culture in which this law was developed, women were chattel, like cattle or sheep; a premium was placed on "unspoiled" young girls; and a raped woman was "used goods," unable to be married off. The law was intended to help the patriarch involved by getting the daughter married off and, in its own stupid way, attempt to protect the daughter, in the context of the culture, by getting her married off and thus maintaining her honor as well as that of her family. But there are people who seem completely incapable of casting a contextual or critical eye on this text; they are so wedded to the idea that every word in Scripture tumbled out of the mind of God onto the written page that the idea of questioning either the context or the validity of what's there seems too much for them to handle. And I've found that I just don't have the stomach to contend with these people anymore. If they can't see how inherently wrong this practice was, and how wrong it is to ascribe it to God -- then I can't explain it to them. D'oh.