Tag Archives: jesus

Easter, church, and angry men

Today, as I was getting food ready for my church’s breakfast, a man came storming into the kitchen. He was very hostile and angry, but for reasons I will never know. I think he was a part of the Traditional section of church, while I, on the other hand, am a part of the Intersections side, the side of the church that is more accepting and focuses on Jesus’ message in relation to modern culture.

A very angry Easter. Graphic from Dreamstime
A very angry Easter. Graphic from Dreamstime

Once I saw his suit and tie, his holier-than-thou attitude, and his raging anger, I was sure he belonged to Traditional. As he walked into the kitchen, he began to yell at my mother, screaming about how she wasn’t suppose to use the right side of the oven, how the oven was on but now it’s off and it’s all her fault. He was almost on the verge of complete insanity, screaming and yelling about who’s allowed to use the oven, which my mom is, by the way. Even on Easter, in a church (which is kind of funny if you think about it) he acted so disrespectful and rude to my mom, a woman who was simply trying to make her signature casserole for the members of Intersections. He had lost his mind.

On top of that, there were children in the kitchen, seventh graders, who help my mom cook every Sunday. How could a self-respecting, sane man scream like that in front of children? It was appalling, to say the least. I was proud of my mom, however, because she was calm, attempted to talk to him about the issues, tried to correct him on what was appropriate and what was not. Although, it took a man to tell him he was out of line, I was impressed by my mom’s relaxed demeanor.

It was obvious that this rude, angry man had some serious issues of his own. My vote is for suppressed homosexuality, years of being married to a woman when all he wants to do his have sex with men. That would make me seriously angry too. He also has zero respect for women, to the point where you’re kind of scared of what he would do if there was no one around. I’m also worried simply thinking about that fact that he probably has kids, and could potentially be talking to his family the way he talks to complete and innocent strangers. That man needs some serious help and I hope Jesus or, more importantly, someone in the medical profession can help him out with that. God bless.

Why traditional Christian roles have no place in modern marriages

I grew up attending church on a semi-regular basis. Although my mom wanted us all to believe in Jesus and be active members in the church, there was never a whole lot of pressure on us to live a “Godly” life. My parents were, and are, a pretty progressive couple when you look at the households they grew up in: both my parents had stay-at-home mothers who adored their husbands and took a traditional motherly role.

Although for a large part of my childhood my mom was a stay-at-home mom, she had several jobs that I can recall. My parents were never the same as their parents were. Although my dad was in the Air Force and my mom spent her time with me and my two siblings, my parents were always a team. When one of us kids got in trouble while my dad was at work, my mom would of course fill my dad in when he arrived home, but they always made decisions on how to punish us together.

Even in 2016, however, there are families who choose to raise their kids in traditional, Christian households. Recently, I saw a diagram showing three umbrellas over top of one another, each one getting progressively smaller than the one above it. The first and biggest umbrella said, “Jesus” on it. The middle umbrella says, “husband” and the things he covers include “spiritually leading the household,” “provide for the family,” and “love wife like Christ loves the church.”

Meanwhile, under the smallest umbrella entitled, “wife” her duties are listed as being “a helper to her husband,” “raise Godly children,” and “submit to husband’s authority.” The bottom of the photo entitles the entire diagram as, “natural order of the family.”

jesusbull

To begin with what I find so troubling with this diagram, I’ll start with the title of the diagram, “natural order of the family.” For one, I view religion in itself as unnatural. Sure, we as humans may have had a natural need to explain things around us with stories of a supernatural being, but that was before science.

Science, as a natural law, tells us that the earth wasn’t molded from clay by an all-powerful being. We weren’t put on this earth 6,000 years ago as many evangelicals like to think. It’s also not natural to view one being as more or less than another simple because of sex and societal expectations of what a woman and a man’s roles are.

The next and probably most personally troubling issue I find with this diagram is the fact the woman is to be “submissive” to her husband. This may have made sense in biblical times, but in 2016 there is no reason to adhere to this traditional societal expectation. Women are now taking on the role of being the head of the household and being the breadwinners, while more husbands are taking on the role of stay-at-home dads. The wife, according to this diagram, is supposed to “raise godly children.” This is putting pressure on the wife to bear her husband’s children, which therefore puts pressure on the husband to create little god-soldiers.

Again, in 2016 there is no need to reproduce. Expectations and pressures towards couples to have children are unnecessary and the idea of not having children is becoming less taboo. As a matter of fact, in my experiences, pressuring one to have children is more taboo than not having children at all.

The expectation of the father to be a provider and leader of the family is simply primitive. As I said before, women are taking on the role of the “head of the household” more often than ever. To expect the husband to take on the role of leader of the household is just as anti-feminist as telling the wife she must be submissive.

What if all a man ever wanted to do was be a stay-at-home dad? According to this diagram, he would be considered a failure if he wasn’t the main “breadwinner.”

wedding
“Once she’s married, she becomes the “property” of her husband.”

Overall, as someone who identifies as agnostic, I feel that running a household based on scripture can be a very toxic thing. While some may find comfort in it and feel that they’re doing the right thing, I believe that the idea that one person in the marriage holds more power than the other can attribute to domestic violence and emotional abuse.

The bible pushes this family structure because overall, women aren’t very valued in Christianity. One can trace back to Genesis where it’s believed that man was made by God, and women were simply made of mans rib. In other areas of the bible, women are often outcast and disrespected to the point of violence.

Deuteronomy 22:28 states that if an unmarried virgin woman is raped and the rapist is caught, it’s not the rape victim’s loss, it’s the father’s. The bible, specifically the Old Testament, view women as property: before the woman is married, she’s the property of her father. Once she’s married, she becomes the property of her husband. In the case of rape, the rapist is, in a sense, defiling the property of another man and therefore “pays” by remaining married to the woman, giving her a “purpose.”

This information from the bible is the basic roots for the toxic ideology that a woman is somehow beneath her husband, and that by being “above him” it would be the same as the man being “owned” by his own property.

Being a Christian is by no means “wrong,” however, I believe it’s important we look at the consequences, side-effects, and root causes of the basic beliefs of Christianity in regards to the “order” of marriage. Many times what seems to be an innocent practice of belief has a sinister heritage when examined closely and from a progressive standpoint.

God bless the child that had to deal with crazy churches

I didn’t grow up in the church, and for that I’m thankful. My girlfriend grew up going to the Pentecostal church– the fire and brimstone church. She woke up every sunday, put on her best church clothes and sat through Sunday school. She was forced to listen to a man who told her she was going to Hell for being herself or for making the same mistakes that everyone did.

After Sunday school, she absorbed all of the Christian extremist crap from the zealots who made her believe their interpretation of the Bible was the correct one, and anyone who believes differently is anti-Christian and will go to Hell.

She started getting panic attacks around age 12, whether or not it was just from the Church we don’t really know, but I know that the Church definitely had a part in it. When you grow up in an environment that tells you you’re going to Hell for being true to yourself, what do you do? You hide who you really are. You live with secrets and you let them eat you alive until there’s nothing left. You live in fear everyday and hope that sometime in the future you can fall in love with yourself again. You’re lucky if that time ever comes.

Now, when my girlfriend and I go to church (one that accepts everyone, no matter any differences we might have, no matter what the Bible can be interpreted as) she can’t sit through a sermon without having a panic attack and having to leave.

All those memories of her old church come back to her. She thinks of all the times she’s felt claustrophobic and suffocated even in a big church building. She remembers the preacher telling her she’s a pervert and a sinner and that all the feelings she has are wrong in the eyes of God. What do you do when someone tells you that God hates you, the man who is suppose to love you unconditionally and who decided your fate, for loving someone else?

These words are all she ever knew, all she was ever taught; they were ingrained in her brain for years and she’s worked so hard to forget them, to not believe them anymore. Even though the church we go to now doesn’t believe that love is a sin, she still can’t help be feel scared and unprotected in a church and that is the saddest part of all.

The snow was really deep so.  Photo from twentytwowords
The snow was really deep so.
Photo from twentytwowords

From what I understand, God is about love. That is the main message He strives to send out to all of his children. So why would a preacher speak hate and uncompromising rules that one must follow in order to be granted into Heaven? I will never understand that point of view on God’s words. Christianity and religion should be about respect, love, compassion, and generosity, as far as I’m concerned, and not about hate, exclusion, or isolation.

Independent python didn’t need no man

Sorry Jesus, your time in the spotlight is up. Science has confirmed the virgin birth of six adorable baby snakes.

It isn’t uncommon for snakes who are separated from males mates in captivity to give birth to infertile eggs. So, in 2012 when Thelma the python gave birth to 61 eggs, the staff at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky stated their surprise at finding that the eggs looked normal, even healthy, as compared to normal infertile eggs. Bill McMahan, Curator at the Louisville Zoo told The National Geographic that, “It is a very exciting thing to be able to witness something like that first hand, especially something that has never been documented before in this species.”

Thelma the python has a virgin birth. Graphic from Daily Mail
Thelma the python has a virgin birth. Graphic from Daily Mail

How is it possible for Thelma to even have babies? She hasn’t been with a male in years! Well, let me introduce you to a little something called parthenogenesis. You see, parthenogenesis basically means “virgin genesis” in the original Greek. This process normally  happens with insects and flowers, but in some cases, can happen with lady snakes and other reptiles.

What happened to Thelma was that bits of genetic material left over from the creation of her eggs, called either polar bodies or parthenogens, took the place of sperm and fertilized her own eggs. This process is called terminal fusion automixis, and it’s very, very rare in the wild. Although nobody is sure why exactly it happens, scientists believe that it occurs specifically when a female has no access to a male for an extended amount of time. Parthenogenesis can also occur in sharks, birds, and other varieties of snakes.

Another interesting tidbit is that babies born by parthenogenesis are often not perfect clones of the parents. The mixing of the parthenogens and the eggs result in a sort of “half-clone” that isn’t genetically identical with the parent. In the wild, this would result in at least a little more genetic diversity for the population.

As weird as this occurrence was, I believe that we’ve all learned one very important message. Sometimes, in special situations, you don’t need no man to have babies.

Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro

Many ignorant and uneducated Americans believe that all Muslims are terrorists, and that every single Muslim participates in and/or supports terrorist groups. After 9/11, many Americans created and subscribed to this very negative stereotype. I’m not blaming anyone other than the attackers and plane-jackers for this. Yet we, as Americans, have to move on and educate ourselves. Continue reading Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro

Lent and the gift of willpower

Could you give up something you love for 40 days? The Christian tradition of Lent requires you to do just that once a year between the holidays of Ash Wednesday and Easter or Holy Thursday, depending on the denomination, to represent the suffering Jesus went through before he was put on the cross.

During this time, it is said that he fasted for the 40 days and received numerous temptations from the devil.  The season of Lent is typically observed by Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Anglicans. Raised in a Catholic home, I was always forced to participate and there was always a disdain for the season buried in my brain. The message that was always given to me was that temptation was a sin and this is how I should teach myself to resist temptation. I personally thought my parents just hated when I played video games. Continue reading Lent and the gift of willpower