Myths Hold & Mold Truths: Do Yours Hold Water?
How I Post. It goes like this:
Ponder, Input, Publish (alas, sometimes), Printout (hardcopy), Proofread, and Push forward. The idea is like scattering seed, and if some take root, good. Polishing? Won’t happen.
ALSO (in my defense), I do not have my own computers, and struggle with sometimes the paste function. Recently, don’t even have time to Tag. For example, the other day, I double-pasted Susan George’s full bio. Oh well, you can read it twice! Today, other ideas to post. The effect is cumulative, I hope.
Today’s post is a conglomerate. But the theme I’ve been working is about the DOMINATOR (Masculine) vs. DOMINATED (Feminine) view of the world, and how some of the most famous people in history took another point of view.
I am fascinated by language, particularly when certain words are drilled into our consciences by repetition and others disappear from discussion, even when the realities remain. For example, the invisible mother.
Life, in effect, is a process of eating & drinking, digesting & breathing (after which, it stops…), (mating, sometimes), and making choices within available choices to continue doing this, and if possible make some sense of it, and extract some meaning from the process.
SYMBOLS affect CONSCIOUSNESS, which impacts ACTION.
Of the individuals whose lives have SIGNIFICANTLY changed the world, most were re-framing existing myths or systems of belief. I believe the human mind works through symbols (which are more vivid and call up more imagery than words alone).
I’m going to consider JESUS (who may have been, for what we know, raised primarily by his mother) as his life has been a model for other nonviolent reformers, among them Gandhi. Gandhi AND Jesus’ life was also among the models for Martin Luther King, Jr. Leaving fixing violence exclusively to men seems to me an oxymoron. I have also brought up in some posts this book: “Let Justice Roll Down” by John Perkins.
He was born in 1930, Mississippi, and (like the three above figures) was not an ivory tower elite. He dealt with the gap between theory and practice in black/white Christianity, and the spiritual/social gap as well. The story is worth reading in his words, not mine. SOme day, I will publish quotes.
Jesus was a master of the distilling truth into short pithy sayings:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: No man cometh to the Father but by me.”
Hence, he wasn’t “the man” but, technically speaking, “the man in the middle” — a mediator.
“I am the bread of life.”
“I am the good shepherd.”
“I am the door to the sheep.”
Another thing he did was CONDENSE “all the law and the prophets” into only two commandments:
(Matthew 22:40ff, ERV)
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hangeth [depends] the whole law, and the prophets.
and it goes on, narrating:
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, What think ye of the Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I put thine enemies underneath thy feet?
Besides answering a question with a question, which the prepared answers didn’t handle, this shows that Jesus at least had been thinking about the topic from more than one angle. The word “Christ” in essence means “anointed” and refers to holy spirit, FYI.
Bear with me one more little excerpt: Just preceding this, there were more questions about marriage, although hypothetical ones. This shows you about where in the mix the wellbeing of women, and consideration of them was, in the general conversations (Granted, Matthew itself is a narration..):
On that day there came to him Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection: and they asked him, 24 saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first married and deceased, and having no seed left his wife unto his brother; 26 in like manner the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And after them all the woman died. 28 In the resurrection therefore whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
First of all, this group (according to the text) didn’t even believe in the resurrection, so what did they care? Second, the example of one woman being passed from man to man isn’t really that far from reality today, and shows you how ludicrous the discussion had become. Another example in John 8, includes a woman caught in adultery; again, the point wasn’t the woman, but to nail Jesus. Something about him just rubbed them the wrong way, upset the status quo.
Now lest you think I take myself too seriously, here are two more references to a comic (also, alas, deceased) who ALSO boiled down the 10 commandments to only two, in a memorable way:
And here he is talking about too much STUFF in our lives, and the dilemma it poses, in cluding boxes to STUFF our STUFF INTO, and decisions about how to move, and how much STUFF to bring along, depending, of course, on what neighbors would think of us…
Now let’s talk about STUFFING MYTHS where they belong, which acknowledged as such. One of these is that the U.S. Government’s job is to fix us, rather than protect our unalienable rights, and that legislators’ jobs are to discover the best myths to inflict on the rest of us without informed consent.
Among these are the one I keep harping on: Fatherhood and Marriage. I mean, listen to the language!
Even on the basis of language, it should be curtailed, let alone on the basis of cost, goals, and ridiculous assumptions…. This isn’t even good literature, like the Constitution is…It is not the product of sound thinking….
Here, an article says maybe marriage is NOT a “panacea” for poverty. Of course, this will continue to be studied while tinkering with the formula, just as the tinkering (or ‘academic makerover’) continues, expensively, with the school systems.
Marriage Loses Ground as Anti-Poverty Panacea
By Julia Marsh
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Bush administration pushed marriage as a panacea for fighting poverty but a recent government study confirms the view of skeptics who say money problems must be solved first, since they destroy and destabilize relationships.
Marriage Idea Gained Momentum
The idea that marriage could alleviate poverty among single mothers gained momentum following a major redesign of welfare in 1996 that imposed new work requirements and time limits on the duration of a woman’s government child support.
The major outcome of that was a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, a block grant to states that mainly aided single, female heads of households. The new law stipulated that some TANF funds could be used to “encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.”
In 2002 President Bush elevated the importance of marriage as a tool to reduce poverty when he launched the Healthy Marriage Initiative, which Congress supported with $150 million in annual grants for marriage and fatherhood programs from 2006 to 2010.
The project failed “to yield better outcomes for participants,” the Administration for Children and Families said in a press statement accompanying the report. In the wake of the findings, it said it endorses the “more comprehensive approach” of a $500 million Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund from President Obama’s 2011 budget.
The Fatherhood Innovation Fund will have marriage and relationship components, but will also provide resources for mental health and domestic violence.
Government sources could not immediately confirm that total funding for marriage promotion would actually decrease under Obama’s expanded approach.
This is half the story, or less.
Julia Marsh is a Washington-based correspondent covering domestic and foreign affairs for a Japanese newspaper.
For more information:
The U.S. Administration for Children and Families report:
The Fatherhood, Marriage, and Families Innovation Fund:
What is Marriage Promotion? Legal Momentum: