Monthly Archives: August 2013

Angry Black God

Here’s a great quote about figuring out if we’re among society’s oppressors or its oppressed, and reminding us of God’s relationship to each of those groups. I’d like to pare it down to fewer paragraphs but they all build on each other so nicely that I just couldn’t.

Note to my more theologically conservative friends: the author below refers to God as “she”. While I’ve always used the pronoun “he” for God I’ve never mean that to literally mean God-with-a-penis; it’s just the pronoun that the Bible uses after translation into English. In light of what I do-and-don’t mean when I say “he” I’m going to give Sarah Moon the benefit of the doubt that she doesn’t literally mean God-with-a-vulva when Sarah says “she”. Can we agree to stay calm and just focus on her main point? Thanks.

But I have privilege, as a white, cisgender, able-bodied woman who is marrying a man. In many contexts, I am in the same category as the oppressors, not the oppressed.

Which means, unless I acknowledge my privilege and choose to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, God is not on my side. She might even be angry with me.

It’s weird, as a white, American Christian, to think that if there is a God, she might not be on my side. That’s not something they tell us in Sunday School. White America seems to think of itself as especially blessed by God and to think of God as being angry at those people.

The thought that God might be angry…with me?

That’s a thought that should knock me off my arrogance seat of privilege. It should encourage me to check my privilege, listen to the voices of those who are oppressed in different ways, and reevaluate the choices I am making in life.

It should be a call to repentance.

Maybe God’s a “bitch.” An “angry black woman.” A “bitter” abuse survivor. Maybe God’s “too sensitive” and needs to “learn to take a joke.” Maybe God is all of the dismissive words that we throw out to try to silence those who are fighting for change and for justice.

Maybe God is angry, and we should listen to her.

via Maybe God is a “bitch”.

A love that will never dilute

I like this image of a love that does not dissipate when the waters rise and times get hard.

A love that will never dilute – even when the waters get deep, and dark.

via like so much water | Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly…..

Definition of Libertarianism

In a previous post here, I quoted Harold Pollack, who said, “Local governments, corporations, intolerant majorities can pose equally worrisome threats, too. There’s just more to fear in this world than are dreamt of in libertarian philosophy.”

Here’s another great quote along the same lines:

My favorite definition of libertarianism was by LOLGOP: The belief that oppression is best left to the private sector.

via commodifiedsouls said: My favorite definition of… – Seriously, USA?.

Religion vs. Humanism

Isaac Asimov on Humanism:

Humanists believe that human beings produced the progressive advance of human society and also the ills that plague it. They believe that if the ills are to be alleviated, it is humanity that will have to do the job.

via Religion vs. Humanism: Isaac Asimov on the Spirituality of Science | Brain Pickings.

The innocent women of Salem

In America, Christians used to burn people to death for not being Christians. The fact that this is true ought to give pause to all American Christians about doing anything, ever.

American Christianity and American politics today are based on a fearful hatred of imaginary Satanic baby-killers and the impulse to combat them by punishing non-imaginary women.

None of this is new. It was already an ancient pattern long before it was embraced by the “divines” who executed innocent women in Salem.

via 2. ‘The Conjuring’ reminds us that the only way to stop Satanic baby-killers is to punish women.

Go out there, Christian, and love your neighbor. And stop lighting fires.

Do You Have an Inferiority Complex?

So, being honest: I’ve felt just stupid and useless for years now. Everybody has a job; everybody’s mastered the raising of children; everybody but me is so good at things! Everybody! Except me.

So then my complex inferiority ran across an article like this:

Get specific. As I said, we can know we’re inferior in some ways. If you find yourself feeling inferior, ask yourself: “Okay, exactly who do I feel inferior to?” Narrow it down.

Emotional thinking is always sloppy, so tighten it up to make it less emotional. There are close to seven billion people on this planet (last time I counted). What kind of person do you feel inferior to? Rich people? Good looking people? Very academic people? People you view as accomplished? Most people aren’t these things.

Now get even more specific; name names to yourself. “Actually, I feel inferior to Bob down the street.” Why? How, specifically, is Bob better than you?

I do feel inferior and this quote makes me think that the friends I’ve been comparing myself to for years now are the smart, articulate, academic, successful bloggers that I read everyday and the smart, well spoken, well read contributors on the Diane Rehm Weekly News Roundup and the Slate Political Gabfest every week. No wonder I feel stupid and inarticulate compared to this batch of professional academics, reporters, intellectuals, and social media gurus.

I mean, I am stupid and inarticulate compared to those folks, but probably not compare to whoever’s reading my blog. That is, you. I mean you. Do you think I’m stupid?

(Honestly, I feel just completely stupid!) (But I’m starting so see that maybe I shouldn’t feel bad about that because of how stupid most people, you included, really actually are.)

via Do You Have an Inferiority Complex?.

Hamlet lost but is he a loser?

This talk provided me with a full page of notes about judging success, failure, justice, envy, and tragedy. Lots to think about.

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success | Video on


I am someone who is easily distracted, and in my experience that means the more I try to do the less I actually accomplish. As such I could get behind this philosophy:

Doing too much is wrong. By definition, too much is always more than enough.

via Compassion for multitasking women | International Institute of Not Doing Much.

God’s Love Abides

There exists a website dedicated to the existential wisdom of Jeff Bridges’ character in the movie The Big Lebowski. Here are two zen koans derived from his dialog in the movie. These really resonate with where I am right now in my Christian journey and my understanding of what the Bible tells us.

How do we reconcile not knowing with the need to know?

Not-Knowing is most intimate.

via The Koans, Brother : The Dudespaper.

The Person Jesus Admires Most

James McGrath on the question, “What would Jesus do?” I’m quoting the majority of his post here because the paragraphs build on each other and just wouldn’t make the same point unless presented together. But if you follow the link to his site you can see the web comic that inspired his post.

And so we really are asking not “What would Jesus do?” but “As the person I am, with the values I have, considering myself a follower of Jesus, what should I do in this situation?”

There are no cookie-cutter answers to such questions in the Gospels. Curse a fig tree? Ditch one’s parents when on a family trip? Overturn money changers? Touch people with skin diseases? Speak in parables?

Jesus is looked to in the New Testament as an example of humility. And so to envisage him asking what he would do, as though he himself is the person that he admires most, is probably – hopefully – on the wrong track.

And so is any belief that one is superior because one asks “What would Jesus do?” when others do not.

Christians are just as capable of being unlike Jesus as others are capable of resembling him more than we do. Although it may take Christlike humility to admit it.

via Decision-Making Dilemma.