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'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

My Beef with God . . . .

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I thought I’d leave this personal, to defuse the situation a bit.

This is half in jest.  The God question is not too “moot” for me at this point, and like my tastes in other things in life, I like to keep my options open.

I was just walking down the street, my usual Christian feminist/libertarian/ increasingly alienated (from my kids and the systems I used to NOT question) self, and in the course of thinking about “God,” took some moments to think about the Genesis thing. 

I mean, the world is created, then Adam, after naming all the animals, comes up lonely.  In other words, sheep are not good enough company.   (Good planning, God …  )   God, in his great wisdom, anesthetizes Adam (after originally breathing into his nostrils the breath of life and forming him from the earth), and takes out a rib surgically.

That’s beginning to sound like the male obstetrician’s pipe dream — no conscious protests from the human being carrying the fetus, just put to sleep and cut out.

Eve comes out like an adult, presumably, and her job (so far) is to wait til politely til Adam names her, which he does, naturally referencing her relationship to himself (and not, for example, physical characteristics, which we can presume at that time still differed from his significantly).

Still sounding pretty male, right?  She has no role in life without him.

He gets the original marching orders about Don’t Eat of THAT tree, although all the other stuff is good.  She was supposedly to receive them from him.

Again, that sounds pretty male to me also, totally current with church as I have known it at the turn of the century…

Eve actually takes in sensory input and engages in conversation with someone besides Adam (and, presumably, the Lord), who is characterized as the serpent, who, naturally (being “bad”) tempts her. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

http://erv.scripturetext.com/genesis/1.htm

Here’s the initial version:

 Animals first, then people….. 

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

http://erv.scripturetext.com/genesis/2.htm

And then the “bad-girl” version…

15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

(Seeking knowledge apart from God is bad, disobeying God is bad…)

Echoed also in later book-burnings and even in Ecclesiastes Ch. 12, which says the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments.

18 And the LORD God said, (“oops, I forgot something!”) It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  

{{Sounds like this account may not be strictly chronological}}

20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found an help meet for him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

HEY!  What about the woman?  She doesn’t exist without a man? 

You got it … (See my last posts)….  Back to the future for us ….

========

   

Now Genesis 3


1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.

A serpent in real life is cold-blooded, and some are poisonous, some are not.  They don’t operate in packs, like dogs, and are not most typically known as prey, like other things that hang out in groups. …  They are sneaky..  and seductive, in fact Proverbs even compares a man seducing a woman to a serpent on a rock….

Proverbs 30:19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake

The way of an eagle in the sky, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship
in the middle of the sea, And the way of a man with a maid.
//bible.cc/proverbs/30-19.htm – 16k

 

The book “The Chalice and the Blade” discusses the need to eradicate and discredit the serpent image (and females in general) as bad, because prior mythology was matrilinear, and it was thought that life proceeded from the female.

For the uninitiated, fatherhood is a relatively new concept in human history — the relationship of intercourse to childbirth wasn’t always known.  It was thought women had some special life-giving power in their blood, within them (i.e., menstrual blood).  Hence the many blood-rites and sacrificial rites, that carry over into the Bible also (“the life is in the blood”) and with it a helluva a lot of mutilation, worse than circumcision, in attempt to replenish that blood.

It’s commonly accepted (one would think) that Catholicism, is hated by Protestantism in principle because of its compromise with paganism / mythology, particularly with the Mother of God imagery.  Well, I must say that a celibate priesthood (and consequences of this on children) and encouraging fertility for the rest of the lay people sure speaks to the practicality of that. 

The book “CRONE, Women of Age, Wisdom and Power” talks about these collective unconscious myths in a more honest way than I’ve heard in a long time…    It really forces one to look at the consequences of a “dominator” system (with appropriate bloodshed, wars, and more and more advanced ways of destroying the “Other” in the world) and the role of caricaturing & disenfranchising older, independent women as “witches.”  And the historical impact of this, called “war.”

And (the author) accurately, from what I have deduced about the stupidity of trying to “negotiate” with abusers of any sort, says:

“The real solution to this problem is not to assume the protective coloring of sweet-little-old-ladyism in the hope of escaping notice.  Not being sadistic as a rule, women often fail to understand the basic fact about sadistic behavior:  It is not allayed but stimulated by the appearance of vulernability in the prospective victim.  It would be better for old women to assert their right to judge, to be bolder in questioning male authority, to demand the respect due them as mothers and as decent caring citizens.  Younger women should also uphold the ideals of feminine authority, so their own later cronehood will not be blighted by fear or contempt. . . .   men are the real killers in human society …  “

This is not possible to condense into a single post, but as a degreed and I thought liberal woman balancing these things with my own experience, and no discredit meant to “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” I have to think about this — perhaps there was more than one reason that Lord got crucified. . . . .

He didn’t reproduce. 

He criticized the power structure without breaking civil or religious law.

He treated women throughout his short life as the people they were, and (according to the gospels) in the resurrection also.  He intervened not in just a domestic violence situation, but an attempted sharia-type stoning for supposed adultery (John, chapter 8).  In many of these incidents, he was an ananachronism, and his own disciples’ surprise was noted also. 

He was taken in violation of civil and religious standards, if I remember that right.

The apostle Paul, as bad a “rap” as he has (for those who don’t read all he wrote) is credited with this amazing statement — never mentioned by the father in MY religious, Bible-toting, marriage:

for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slaveg nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.  (Galatians 3)


The word “Christ” refers to the anointing, it’s a spiritual (not “genital or hormonal!”) quality…

Some of this is discussed in “The Chalice and the Blade” (The Other Half of History:  Part II). 

I think when the lights starting going on in my thinking (again, I am always collating learning, experience, thought, reflection on these earth-shaking matters), when in chapter 6, the Orestes myth was explained (same book, chapter 6) as an intentional BURYING of the powerful image of how Queen Clytemnestra, in revenge for her king Agamemnon’s trick of sacrificing their daughter Iphigenia (to help fate in re: Troy), as revenge for shedding of blood.

Then Orestes, her son, ends up killing her new consort, and his mother the queen.  Then, in the trial, he is exonerated, as 12 Athenians, presided over by the goddess Athena (remember?  Sprang fully-clothed from a male god’s head.  Sound familiar, as in Genesis, a rib from Adam?) (well, except for the clothing…)  ((If you are going to really defeat female gods, you need to win over a female god to do it.  This plays out in family law situations more than one might first imagine. . . . . ))

The “Furies” were symbolically driven underground, which is where to this day, female outrage at male violence — even against one’s offspring — is being put.

This often-performed play illustrated publically that men’s crimes against women, even to killing of a daughter, were to be forgotten, on the basis that a mother and child are not REALLY related.  Women are now incubators for sperm, a concept carried forth in Mary, the mother of Jesus. …

============

There’s a lot more in these short books, including the agrarian vs. nomadic myths (in the beginning of Genesis, Cain’s offerings from the fields are rejected, but Abel’s blood sacrifice is not.  Cain, jealous, kills Abel.  In the latter New Testament, they are still pissed off at him, and he is an archetype of evil.

When societies, through their mythology/theology, profile and personify the face of evil, attaching it to a gender, race, or religion, there’s going to be war.  And if I as a Christian American woman can face, after years of DV and figuring out (the hard way) that this legal system wasn’t intended for WOMEN any more than it was originally intended for BLACKS (or any other oppressed populations), nor were any of the monotheistic religions:  In other words, if I can face my own personal blind spots, I believe some of the rest of us can also, and should.

Unless you LIKE the Doomsday version of the world (linear, ending with a BIG BOOM!) (and blood up to a horse’s bridle, AND, it all being blamed on the whore of Babylon.  Other whores in the Bible, figuratively, include disobedient tribes –even when those tribes were clearly patriarchal!) I’d recommend taking a closer look. 

War, after all, is what men do while women give birth, raise kids, and learn things like nursing, and administrative support to male-run businesses, in general.  I’m talking, in the wide sweep of history, OK?

About this paganism stuff — Jews, Muslims and Christians are ideologically opposed to each other when they aren’t busy making world peace.  But one thing they can ALL agree on is the subordinate place of women.

How much, really, of the principle book of these 3 monotheistic religion, deals with hate, and distinguishing the Us’es from the Thems? ???

======

I can’t think of a single adult woman who appreciates having been used to produce children, then cast out.  The last time I met such a person, and she was upset about it too (she wasn’t able to reproduce, and so had been replaced within 8 months of a long marriage), was last week.

Men’s archetypal fears relate to things from childhood — abandonment, rejection,  and criticism, and being told “no” to their self-centric worldviews.

We have to face the archetypal fears in a more coherent way, and suppressing them, or blaming them on others just ain’t working.

I am not recommending going back to tribalism (although this seems like it’s already in place), nor do these books.  But I do say that it’s hard to self-correct a system which is a “dominator” system, endlessly splitting off and chewing off its extremities.

==============

Here’s ONE symbol:

which represents a flexible edge, and ongoing balance, and fluidity, more representative of life, than death.  We are, after all, mostly water inside.

Here’s ANOTHER:

See full size image

This is a symbol of death, and splits the world up into 4 quarters.  For example, Male/Female, Haves/Havenots, Christian/Pagan (i.e., everyone not Christian), pick one.  Either way, it’s bloodshed and death, and supposedly, through that, life.

LIFE in this world (biologically) comes out of a woman who generally has menses, blood flow, and birth is accompanied with blood.  Men just can’t DO that, but the one thing they COULD do in imitation  of it was bleed, and make others bleed as well.  This does not bring forth life, but death.

Combination symbols presided in some places, for instance, Celtic ones:

Which combined some of the circular themes, a holdover from earlier traditions.

Besides, Jesus didn’t die on the image above, it was a STAKE, something the Assyrians were pretty good at doing in warfare, as were the Romans, for an object lesson in what happens to those who don’t fall in line.

Assyrian Empire (1400-1200 BC)

467 × 354 – 55k – jpg
fournel.org

People were impaled . . . . It was a power structure.

THIS symbol:

Crescent Moon & Star Symbol

Is acknowledged HERE to be a pagan symbol later adopted through the Ottoman empire (note:  “empire”), but often rejected by Muslims.

The crescent moon and star symbol actually pre-dates Islam by several thousand years. Information on the origins of the symbol are difficult to ascertain, but most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of sun, moon, and sky gods. There are also reports that the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana.

The city of Byzantium (later known as Constantinople and Istanbul) adopted the crescent moon as its symbol. According to some reports, they chose it in honor of the goddess Diana. Others indicate that it dates back to a battle in which the Romans defeated the Goths on the first day of a lunar month. In any event, the crescent moon was featured on the city’s flag even before the birth of Christ.

The early Muslim community did not really have a symbol. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islamic armies and caravans flew simple solid-colored flags (generally black, green, or white) for identification purposes. In later generations, the Muslim leaders continued to use a simple black, white, or green flag with no markings, writing, or symbolism on it.

It wasn’t until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol. Legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty. There is speculation that the five points on the star represent the five pillars of Islam, but this is pure conjecture. The five points were not standard on the Ottoman flags, and as you will see on the following page, it is still not standard on flags used in the Muslim world today.

For hundreds of years, the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Muslim world. After centuries of battle with Christian Europe, it is understandable how the symbols of this empire became linked in people’s minds with the faith of Islam as a whole.

Based on this history, many Muslims reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. The faith of Islam has historically had no symbol, and many refuse to accept what is essentially an ancient pagan icon. It is certainly not in uniform use among Muslims.

More put-down of paganism is to be found in the Bible in Acts 7, when the first martyr Stephen, was giving his pre-stoning castigation of Israel’s idolatry ….

Acts 7

This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 38This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 41And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. 42Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? 43Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon

 

(Stephen is preparing them to understand that Jesus was the prophet that Moses spoke of).

WHILE WE’RE ON “MOSES,” obviously quite a leader, right?  … 

He would’ve been killed, as the practice was infanticide at the time, except his parents did some civil disobedience, and Pharaoh’s DAUGHTER (remember, women are vicious, too, right?) had mercy on that abandoned baby, and had him fetched out of the river.  But being a well to do, well, royalty, she hired someone else to nurse him.  As the story goes, he was breastfed by his own mother. …  

Fat chance that would’ve happened in our day if those two had split up.  It was Moses’ MOTHER’s smarts that kept him alive, and got her back to be nourished by her.  Hmm….

Well, obviously this is not one of my more cogent posts, BUT, I think we have to look at some of these images, and the concept of WHOSE god is the RIGHT God?

Throughout history, while men have been warring over this, women have continued to produce cannon fodder, help with the cannons (“Rosie the Riveter, in the U.S., right?”) and in general patch things up before, during and afterwards.

How about a little civil disobedience on some of these activities?  I think the men might figure it out sooner or later. 

Coming soon:  When God, Jesus & Paul wanted to speak about their nurturing, caring, sacrificial, and stedfast devotion sides, the images they chose are of nursing mothers, a mother hen, and a women in childbirth.

What we also need to let back into our collective mythology is the image of the FIERCE mother, like “a bear robbed of her whelps” of proverbs.

These are sayings describing ways of interacting with the world.

Or you could go for the warehoused, alienated incubator babies and the “pit of despair” mothers model, if you prefer!

Written by Let's Get Honest

June 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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