Defining the world-1: Monotheism vs. Powerful, Wise Women
When beliefs collide – –
Language is not precise, LANGUAGE is itself a tapestry of symbols which hopefully point to some common experiences, making communication possible. Collections of symbols are possible either through telling stories, and these are more vivid when our places in it, and PARTICULARLY the place of women versus men, are expressed in images, symbols, and myths that access the collective consciousness as expressed in art, architecture, dance, stories, and sculpture, music, (etc.) passed down through the centuries.
There’s practically none as pervasive as the image of the Snake or Serpent as the “bad guy.”
And in associating that serpent with the woman, Eve. Bad serpent, bad Eve, bad Adam, a good God-Father is going to establish consequences and throw them out of the Garden for consulting another source of wisdom, for disobedience, and for failing to trust and submit.
That hierarchical pattern is bred into almost every oppressive government or faith. It’s used in wars between Islam and Judaism, and Christianity. Varieties of Christianity (and varieties within Catholicism, another breed entirely, almost) also war with each other. Disgusted, some regimes attempt to eliminate “religion” but the entire concept of dogma, indoctrination, and enforced submission is what I call religion to start with.
I’ve had a lifetime full, and am ready to take a look at some other options to built-in destruction through being right all the time.
You should be too, unless you are truly independently wealthy and maybe have some assets not tied up in a paycheck, or for that matter in $$, or any currency tied to the $$. Because we are talking about What Led to the Fatherhood Indoctrination (idiocy). Til cloning and despite artificial insemination, it takes something from a man and something from a woman to make another human being. And I don’t think a great replacement for breastmilk has been invented yet (in fact, substitutes have definitely contributed to problems, you can’t invent a better start to life than mother’s milk, unless it’s laced with other lethal chemicals, or too many stress hormones from, say, being in a war zone….).
Today, I have lost approximately 3,000 words of writing, and this is the scaled-back version, absent scripture references, commentary, and several initial images from art and mythology.
BUT (for what it’s worth) below is my narrative of CHANGE, and progressive shedding of old ideas that simply didn’t work in this life or for me, or my family, or my associates.
I am a Christian, and except for their treatment of women in general, I would be a feminist libertarian. I’m a feminist because common sense says there has to be antidote to the ongoing slaughter of women and a children for the “crime” of attempting to stay alive by separating from an abusive relationship. THAT’s a Lose/Lose scenario for most of society, but there are most definitely some sectors of society that don’t care, because they profit from it.
It’s nearly impossible to get a coherent and proofread, thorough post out in a c ontext where til recently I didn’t have internet access except laboriously so. This current laptop, great as it is, has its drawbacks (such as losing work…), yet I continue reading in these fields and networking with others going “through it.” My conclusion seem to differ from mainstream, and my viewpoint as a mother, AND I have a B.Th., and extensive exposure to religious viewpoints, plus being raised, I’ll call it agnostic church attender, there’s a lot in there. Unlike many Protestants, I actually respect Catholicism, for a number of reasons, but regardless of which viewpoint you take, the primary destruction seems to revolve around the role of women.
This narration, it’s to show the symbolic shedding of old myths as they prove fallible, and doing this is part of growing up. I also see the inherent resistance to this in the systems I slithered through on the way to losing almost everything I consider valuable, except physical life and a bit of hope.
There is a “Defining the world-2” upcoming. If I have to be subjected to even an awareness that the House (or Representatives) Ways & Means Committee is going to lend its ear to a whole panorama of reasons why things should continue ad nauseam as is to indoctrinate young men into how to grow up, after a public school system (in most cases) failed to incorporate the concept, and young mothers cannot choose, and in short, the experimentation is to continue until someone “gets it right” (and the kids who aged out of the system are now having their own kids), then I can put MY theories and anecdotal evidence, weaving in culture, religion, and some history & politics, up on the web.
I never expected a simple marriage to a Bible kinda guy would lead me (years later) to re-examine the entire concept of monotheism versus paganism. I’ve been “in the book” since I was an adult, and in a nontraditional enough way that looked at the history of the texts (i.e.., what got in, what was excluded), appreciated the art, language and music in it (particularly Psalms, which were probably sung originally, and often as the Catholics do still). My work put me around the eclectic varieties of faith and atheism, always seeking the common ground and how we could (whatever the task) work to elevate the excellence of whatever task was at hand, or to bridge the differences of semantics to some common project or understanding.
There s a whole lot of beauty and knowledge out there, and you CANNOT have a flat-screen, cartoon God or life with success, not in this century.
Or so I thought.
At least people of faith have their thoughts organized around a text (or so I thought). Atheists can call people of faith “stupid” (and do — see last post) and people of faith can, with their Bible, believe, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God!” We can all handle this IF the social contract includes that law as a boundary. Among the Ten Commandments are several that the U.S. (and state) Penal Codes reflect directly — Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not bear false witness (perjury).
Or so I thought.
But, hey — after being yelled at, assaulted, put down, humiliated, degraded (in front of children), forced to beg sometimes for necessities (transportation, clothes at times) during the marriage, having bank account and credit shut down, having access to even WORK (getting there, getting back) be restricted, or whether the money I earned there could be even spent for personal necessities, having zero joint bank accounts (entire marriage), having the most valuable aspects of ME shut down because I as a PERSOn was not welcome in this marriage; having to repeatedly start something, and then either forced to stop it, or suffer retaliation for having succeeded, however minor the success, and all this gathering momentum year after year — and all of this being in the name of “head of the household” and having all of perhaps 2 total Bible verses (to justify this) quoted at me the entire time (and neither one, in context, does), I got out, turning to the “secular world,” concluding this was just a jerk with an inferiority complex bolstered by the worst (not the best) of religion, and a good dose of SECULAR (legal) help would make the difference.
“He was undereducated, he had a troubled past, he had mental health issues”. . I knew that these were not valid excuses, and (in order to survive) it didn’t matter why, it only mattered that this must stop (in our particular marriage, weapons were increasingly prominent towards the end, there were talks of suicide and fantasies of one or both of us dying. This was before I knew anything about “lethality assessments.” It wasn’t at all that technical, it was simply, I MUST get OUT! !!!
NOT for LONG. The next arena to take on was immediate family. I’d felt that lack of education was a factor, plus the particular religious group (see that “grasping” for reason? In life, we need some “WHY” to organize our WHAT WE DO’s and plan a future.”) They were educated, and they were not religious. Some of them had witnessed some of the worst of it. I had a restraining order, I had gotten outside of the faith communities (already realized while IN the situation that they were worse than useless — they were literally dangerous in the coverup, minimizing and trivializing situations that almost ended in blood. My relatives should’ve been on my side.
WRONG AGAIN. One or more of them was immediately opposed to the restraining order, educated and secular as they were (NB the one most adamantly opposed was male, and not a parent). Being busy rebuilding (work, especially) and repairing home and my own health, restoring relationships in the profession that had been targeted for shutdown the entire marriage, I put it on back burner, but made the internal changes: My family, not just the faith community, was more comfortable with me in abuse than out of it, change was NOT welcome, but a threat to the family dynamics. This was like a family heavily invested in keeping an alcoholic or drug addict on drugs.
Like a snake writhing out of its skin (see where this is heading?), I let that one go. In such such situations, time and money are short, and one cannot build a new business and life on shaky foundations. I let them go emotionally and mentally. In fact, I literally told them to get lost, get out, get a life, respect my boundaries.
I found literature (a certain year), I believe by Lenore Walker, explaining how using the same abusive Power-Over dynamics on a woman leaving abuse was the exact opposite of what was needed. [[Note: the professional world STILL doesn’t get this one..]], mailed it to them, and went about my business.
Meanwhile, they went behind my back and about trying to stuff my wriggling, fresh, growing new self back into that old shell, that old dead format. I set boundaries, which were ignored. I was just about to play the legal card again, getting an anti-harassment order on a certain relative (the emotional blackmail was escalating, and the arguments behind it credulous. I knew the individual had no basis for believing the factually frivolous claims, which made them more frightening — how could such a person simply LIE at me against my will, especially having done nothing to stop or even verbally protest the original violence, which was severe, ongoing, and escalating. Serious injury did happen, although at one level, trashing the work history was worse, the economic issues.
Still, I had hope that with BOUNDARIES that some judge would give me, I could move on. I had internally filed, labeled, and changed where I put “faith community” and “family dynamic” and was with my rational mind going for the legal system’s help — after all, it’d helped me out the first time, right?
I went to renew the restraining order — and he filed for divorce and custody. [I know now that he was counseled to do this by his attorney. Some men may be savvy enough to figure this out, but mine wasn’t. Family court trawls for cases, and gets them in part by very poorly written restraining order / visitation orders, which come back because of teh built-in problems of the order itself. ..Current literature focuses almost exclusively on “the manipulative batterer” who supposedly outsmarts the courts, and the judges just don’t “see” the manipulation. That’s hogwash — the courts welcome it, the system breeds this, it keeps the game going.]
The case bounced into the family law system, and he asked for everything. I knew he didn’t even want the everything he asked for, couldn’t care for the kids himself, didn’t have steady enough work to support them. He had yet to even acknowledge hitting me, so I knew there was not going to be any “going back.” I still thought that there was some “reason” and I could get my life as a person, incorporating “mother,” obviously. I had already gotten my work life back, and the kids (despite all this) were doing very well with their schooling, in fact amazingly so (“amazing” what can happen when violence and the chaos that comes with it is thrown out of a home..People can function in their strengths, not in defense mode. Relationships within the home AND with outsiders are more honest. Nothing to cover up…)
He did not get everything — not custody, not me pay him child support. But what he DID get was threefold:
- He got the restraining order renewal derailed, and
- He got us in front of a mediator (separate this time), which was critical.
- He got to derail — completely (lots of job loss around this hearing, at a time I was prospering, freelance, self-employed) – my life and change the balance back towards giving orders through the courts. this time, no family member sat in on the hearing, and no one from the family violence center that had helped me initially file a CIVIL restraining order (when a criminal one would’ve been more appropriate).
I changed again. I saw this mediator sit back and look at me like we were in a seance and looking at me could substitute for fact-finding. This was close to the truth, it eventually surfaced. rules of court were violated. Evidence submitted by him but not served in advance to me was on his desk and being considered. Photographic evidence (that many of the claims on the pleading were fraudulent) was with me, and turned down. I didn’t yet know the rules of court, I learned them later. But I knew the man I was sitting in front of was neither impartial nor did he give a crap about our kids, or respect me, although I probably was as educated (if not more) than him and a mother.
On the way back from mediation, literally shaking from the encounter (our kids had been brought in also, 10 minutes each. They read him like a book. He didn’t read them at all…) I stopped in a library and there, on display, was Lundy Bancroft’s book “Why does he DO that? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.”
Being at this time a mother, with custody and a life I valued, I was in need of explanation of HOW could this BE? (cf. Mary, the mother of Jesus, getting an announcement by the angel Gabriel, she was going to have a baby, although without intercourse. Go figure. The things Id just read, signed by my ex, had no more factual fathers in reality, but something Fabulous (pun intended — i.e., fables) was indeed conceived at this moment in the belly of the family court system, and in part in a mediator’s office.)
That was the summer I started really reading in the field of domestic violence. Mr. Bancroft’s book represented THE single male person I’d yet encountered who actually stated in public and in print that it was indeed wrong, to abuse a woman, and having worked with one of the first men’s batterer’s programs long ago, he was telling it like it is, including minimization, rationalization, and how sometimes the man is able to turn HER family against her (which I’d just experienced).
I have since wriggled out of THAT delimited view (and blogged on it). Though Mr. Bancroft is right, he is writing to professionals and for professionals, mostly. His book “The Batterer as Parent,” co-authored with (Peter Jaffe? Jay Silverman) is even cited on the county court system website, and is excellent. It clearly states that the relationship with the NONbattering parent should be supported, and watch out for undermining that parent’s authority, and watch out for kidnapping.
So What? No one’s really acting on it, that I can see….And by listening to this, the cognitive dissonance increases. Women accept the experts instead of their abusers…we just switched masters of information and spin. I believe Mr. Bancroft’s motives are a lot more pure, but it’s still the same process – RECEIVING information about US rather than EXPRESSING the TRUTHS about us
Now that this kidnapping in our case (a few short years later) has actually happened, I have to conclude that this book didn’t make a difference in custody decisions in family courts, that I can tell. Mr. Bancroft is still conferencing, selling books and writing, as far as I know. He has started an organization helping women heal emotionally from ongoing legal abuse and devastation of losing contact with their children through the courts, which understandably will not run out of business any time soon. Women in my situation are unemployed, or their wages are garnished to below sustainable housing, and CERTAINLY below the ability to fight back in court.
I don’t CARE “Why He Does That” and I most certainly don’t want to crawl back inside the mind of an angry or controlling man (and there’s more than one in my life presently, despite attempts to ignore, cut off, change phone #s, and getting outsiders to tell them to stop. I doubt a court order would, it didn’t the first several times…). I already know what a Batterer is like As A Parent. Not much different than he was as a spouse — control freak, alternately neglectful, and unable to conceive of the children except as his satellite, or me as something other than “his wife,” although I never went back or let him stay or sleep in any residence since separation, ever.
We must ALWAYS continue to revise and re-frame our paradigms and understand the limitations of our own professional helpers, and our own culture. I will do this the rest of my life while the mind is functioning. Such considerations develop me as a person.
The IMAGERY for women doing this, renewing their lives periodically through shed skin (kind of reminds one almost of the menses) is the image of the snake. Kind of like nature, it renews itself seasonally, and without making a bid deal about it.
By contrast, institutions designed by men interfere with both nature and life, and attempt to encase it in concrete. They attempt to freeze-frame truth, write it down, dogmatize it, and inject it directly or (through the general ambience) onto large populations to get this thing “organized” and down to a science. Domestic violence is now a “field.” Fatherhood has “practitioners.” Psychology categorizes the aberrant, and with time and LOTS of money, someday, it will all be filed and No Child Will be Left Behind. For every function, there is an organization to address it, so the general populace need not worry, leave it to the experts.
DESTRUCTION INHERENT IN OVERDEFINITION.
NOW — I’m simply relating where it’s at now — I’m ready to re-evaluate the concept of Monotheism, the accuracy and reliability of this scripture that’s been my sourcebook of symbols, proverbs, directives, source of art, literature and understanding for centuries in the Western and Eastern worlds, and at the hearat of supposedly U.S. and Europe’s governments.
I don’t expect to abandon my faith, but deepen it. I no longer read the Bible as “mainlining thoughts from God,” although it resonates with me. I often look at it as from an unseen author who wrote or narrated this explanation of how life is. There is a sense in which truth will always resonate.
For example, the family law courts are “full of it” and will continue to be so. They are doing what they were designed to do — keep women in their place, but do it with a pretense of rationality and veneer of law. When we go in there seeking justice and look some of these court professionals in the face, read what they wrote, and see what happens, WE KNOW BETTER.
They are what they are. And they are where batterers run for solace and cover, and get it. They are where child molesters can continue to get access to children they have molested (not that all couples going through there have this, but we know many do) and they are where professions can be made on discussing the issues without solving them. Where calls to reform will produce books to be sold, and make the names of the writers. Like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, KISS, and any other superstar businesses, there is always collateral business. We have entirely forgotten that “ANY PR [public relations] is GOOD PR.”
They are where a man can steal kids through the court in an illegal manner (and have it justified) but a woman who does so will be more apt to go to jail for it.
They are where problems created BY government practices can generate more funding to supposedly correct those practices, with less and less accountability, thereby continuing to subjugate and enslave not just the litigants (talk about a waste of lives, talents, energies and time!), but anyone who helps fund it. AND, if you pay federal income taxes, you help fund it.
I’m sorry to say it this blunt, but if you send tithes or charity to a church, particularly I’ll say a Protestant church — you are endorsing this. It doesn’t “count,” it doesn’t balance out that perhaps your church even has programs for the homeless. How’d some of those people GET homeless? Even when it doesn’t always involve domestic violence (although it’s been already identified as a primary cause of homelessness for women & children), still, it’s a waste of taxpayer money. The taxpayers delegate the problems to the government that aren’t being handled by it, anyhow.
We have let too many people with other agenda label and structure our world, and have failed to properly audit the cultural air we are breathing. It will fall hardest on the poorest, but it’s going to take down the middle as well, FINANCIALLY.
If (since) Judaism, Christianity, and Islam ALL degrade women because they are women, and they are primary in our culture, it’s time to take another look at how this happened and restructure our myths, PRIMARILY that people are logical and detached.
I already posted on the Pit of Despair (experimenting on monkeys by torturing them, as thbe scientist worked out his own depression on the animals), the Rosenhan experiment (where even trained psychiatrists couldn’t tell a real patient from a fake one, and once the test was exposed, they then saw a “pseudopatient” when looking at a real one. I have lived through more historical revisionism than I can stomach. Apparently most of my life didn’t happen, and my children have been trained and coached in this (while being totally separated from them).
Psychology is closer to a religion than a science, for the simple reason it’s not legal to experiment on people. This is done, but it’s still not legal. The legalization of this has been codified, practically, into the family law venue, but at its heart is the attempt to demonize women for protesting abuse. It’s origins are in Freud, and a lot of things we say are unacceptable, but we accept, if you think about it.
Well,, I’m willing to think about this issue between Eve and the Snake, and how although the “nonbelievers” say they don’t endorse it, they, like me, live in a world which has been essentially structured on certain myths, and in these myths, these stories, ALWAYS individuals, men and women, NEVER GROW UP. while primarily it’s women who supposedly know, this habit of thinking, this cultural air, always has SOME sector of people who are not as fully “developed” as us, or as perceptive, and need to be trained and drilled in the right way to grow up and think like those running the place.
This IS “The Road to Serfdom” and has been travelled before.
The Road to Serfdom is a book written by the Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek between 1940–1943, in which he “warned of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning,“ and in which he argues that the abandonment of individualism, liberalism, and freedom inevitably leads to socialist or fascist oppression and tyranny and the serfdom of the individual. Significantly, Hayek challenged the general view among British academics that fascism was a capitalist reaction against socialism, instead arguing that fascism and socialism had common roots in central economic planning and the power of the state over the individual.
The Road to Serfdom is among the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism and libertarianism and remains a popular and influential work in contemporary discourse, selling over two million copies, and remaining a best-seller.
In addition to looking at these economics, which libertarians are so prone to do (in fact, I see that Glen Beck has been promoting this book), I am also realizing it’s time – for me at least — to challenge the demeaning and collectively devastating imagery of women that procedes from the theology of the Bible. I’ve looked at “the Great Scramble” (dividing up of Africa by European powers). We seem to vaguely acknowledge, now even in a popular movie, “Hotel Rwanda” that the genocide in Rwanda had plenty of outside help, from European powers creating an artificially incited distinction between Hutu and Tutsi, then acknowledging it too late to stop the genocide.
Is it possible that the gender wars in the courts are similar in basis? And the gender wars in life have not helped men, or women. I would LIKE to address this, being of middle age myself, and having been stunned and astonished at what passes for “education” and “law” in this country.
WIKIPEDIA ON THIS BOOK (note, I just got it and am reading it. ):
John Maynard Keynes said of it: “In my opinion it is a grand book…Morally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it: and not only in agreement with it, but in deeply moved agreement.”
. . .Your greatest danger is the probable practical failure of the application of your philosophy in the United States.”  George Orwell responded with both praise and criticism, stating, “in the negative part of Professor Hayek’s thesis there is a great deal of truth. It cannot be said too often — at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough — that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of.” Yet he also warned, “[A] return to ‘free’ competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the state.” Hayek’s work was influential enough to warrant mention during the 1945 UK general election, when according to Harold Macmillan, Winston Churchill was “fortified in his apprehensions [of a Labour government] by reading Professor Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom“ when he warned in an election broadcast in 1945 that a socialist system would “have to fall back on some form of Gestapo.”
FEW, if ANY of the analyses one can read all over the web, and institutes, organizations, etc., talking about “the problems” have even a historical or an economic analyses of the problem. They can talk legal, they can talk psychological, they can talk gender, they can talk domestic violence, or child abuse, or father’s rights, but very seldom will they talk MONEY. Yet money is primarily what it’s about.
And few also talk about how this system is virtually a pathway to slavery for people in the country. Both parents, and children, are in “need” of education. Custody evaluators are in need of “education” Judges “just don’t understand. EVERYONE needs to be indoctrinated at everyone’s expense. They supposedly need this more than they need to have those unalienable rights, or due process, or any of the things described in the Bill of Rights.
HOW is that not a church? And who better than to confront the dogma in these issues than some of the people who have been treated like dogs in the process? While the rest of the pack is kept in basic ignorance, or a tightly won set of spin that’s so accepted, it’s enculturated.
U.S., U.S. CHRISTIANS v. Third World (Latin America, here) Christians, AND WAR AGAINST THE POOR, AND WOMEN:
Collections of symbolism indicate the religion, and we’d best learn to deal with some varieties of it. Or deal with upcoming Armageddon, whether we believe in it or not, enough people DO who could help make it happen.
There’s also the long-term, high-pressured, ongoing expensive trauma I describe in these pages on the family court system, but I am coming to understand it through a number of analogies. Only watching this happen, personally, and then witnessing others also go through similar process, could’ve alerted me to the larger, pervasive issues that cannot be continually quarantined. They aren’t even limited to the United States — neither bad policy through family court organizations (AFCC comes to mind), nor the financial impact of the increasing debt hitting the perpetually in distress sectors.
The term “LOW INTENSITY CONFLICT,” I know about this personally. The phrase “Financial Low Intensity Conflict” (“FLIC”) , I read in a book by Susan George about the Debt Crisis. Continual low-intensity conflict is still conflict, and is one of the worst aspects of the “cycle” of domestic violence. Because peace without a settlement that is mutually respected, is not peace. There is practically no peace available until someone is annihilated in this world view, and I’m talking about the world view that insists that men, any men, must dominate women, or they aren’t fully men.
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Progressivism, “expertism” kind of blends together when you or your kids or associates are the target, and taking the repeated “hits.” All of the above “isms” can play both sides of the fence, some being more overtly destructive than others.
I looked up “Low Intensity Conflict” and got this, re: El Salvador, murder of Jesuit priests:
War Against the Poor: Low-Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York and has lived in Central America off and on since 1982. He is author of Hunger for Justice and The Politics of Compassion, both available from Orbis Books. Published in 1990 by Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York 10545. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.
The murder of Jesuit priests in El Salvador, the electoral defeat of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the invasion of Panama, the “war on drugs,” and changing East/West relations add urgent weight to our need to confront the U.S. strategy of “low-intensity conflict” (LIC).
Please bear with the change of “scope” of subject and read on. War is war, and it’s everywhere, and will be reflected in cultures of war also. The general concept is, making the target population (or person, religion, or gender, or political ideal) the ‘OTHER,’ which justifies the takeover, and suspending whatever internal social standards (among the “Uses”) might apply.
The collapse of undemocratic regimes in Eastern Europe and improved East/ West relations, themselves hopeful signs, have potentially disastrous implications for Third World peoples.
• U.S. leaders began redefining the enemy as the organized poor in the Third World long before the recent changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Improving East/West relations will accelerate the trend of redirecting resources from the “defense of Europe” into new LIC strategies of Third World intervention. A recent document approved in December, 1989 by the Army’s chief of staff, General Carl Vuono, entitled “Military Operations in Low-Intensity Conflict,” describes the army’s new aggressive plans. A Newhouse News Service article states: “The U.S. Army, refocusing its attention away from Europe, is preparing for an aggressive new role in the Third World that ranges from non-military ‘nation-building’ in friendly countries to fostering sabotage and insurrection in ‘oppressive’ regimes. . . . The Army expects to become involved in the Third World ‘to a greater degree’ than ever before. . . .”
• Improving East/West relations increases the likelihood of an East/ West alliance against the South. Third World Christians, calling for the conversion of Christians in North America, have noted the danger: “Ironically, just when there is talk of more peaceful coexistence between East and West, our countries in the South experience increased hostile attacks from the West.”10
• The U.S. is desperately searching for enemies. The “threat of international communism,” which served as a cover for the defense of the U.S. empire, is being replaced with a new ideological garment. Enemies are now being defined as “terrorists” or in terms of “communist threats” that are regional (Cuba) or local (El Salvador, the Philippines). However, the most important ideological tool in the post-Cold War period is the “war on drugs.”
The “war on drugs” is serving as a cover for U.S. militarization in defense of empire. A letter from Catholic religious workers in Bolivia dated October 6, 1989 states:
We recognize the tremendous problem of the international drug trade and drug abuse. . . . But we join our voices with those Bolivians who say that the solution to this widespread, international problem is not sending military troops to production centers. . . . So why is the United States sending U.S. troops to Bolivia to “combat” drugs? Our analysis and that of many Bolivians is that the drug problem, a truly critical problem here and in the United States, is serving as a pretext for wider U.S. military presence and control on the continent of South America.
The parallel being, within the U.S. the violence against women / fatherhood wars is producing an unbelievably repressive system, administratively obscure and impoverishing. The “spin” is unbelievable, and the consequence — this system, I sometimes jokingly call the “Family Court Archipelago.” There are some indications that it has involvement in trafficking of children. CPS gets there too late, police get there too late, but the general theme will be everyone must be supervised, monitored, counseled (“therapy” i.e., reprogramming), and at times drugs recommended. We ARE the world’s largest per capita jailor, already, and these jails are disproprotionately full of young, black men. WHY?
Recently, a prominent organization (Family Violence Prevention Fund) was coming out on the side FOR the gun ban in Chicago, and guns represent personal self-defense, when understood and used legally, rather than feared and treated like poison. I have faced down more than one situation involving a gun, and it wasn’t with a stranger. But the other attrition is long-term trauma, and as they say here, “low intensity conflict. . . ” More from this particular site:
Repressing Democracy in the name of Democracy
George Will, celebrating the death of Marxism and chastising the “anti-Americanism” of progressive churches, declared that “Reagan’s way is affirmed again.” Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post noted with great pride that the United States is “in fact, more hegemonic in the world in 1990 than in 1950.” This of course is only a sampling. The tragedy is that Central America has become an equivalent of Tiannamen Square for the United States, in which the U.S. government and media collaborate to repress democracy in the name of democracy.
Finally, recent events underscore our spiritual crisis. The Latin American Council of Churches sent the following letter to Christians in the United States after the murder of the Jesuits:
How long? How long will the Christians and people of the United States have to contemplate the incongruity of its government . . . as it supports with over a million dollars a day another government that represses, kills bishops, religious workers, children, men and women, violates human rights, closes itself to dialogue and obstructs the pastoral task of the churches? . . . How long? In the name of the God of Justice, in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, in the name of the Spirit of all truth: stop now!
The U.S. invasion of Panama prompted another letter challenging our racism and our nationalistic idols:
Now with Panama invaded, we Latin American Christians feel indignant when we hear the count on North American victims of an operation that was planned with evil intentions and hypocrisy, and yet nothing is said about the hundreds or thousands of Afro-Indo-Latin American lives . . . destroyed physically or psychologically by such an abominable adventure, which is a repetition of past crimes in Santo Domingo, Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador . . . etc., in an endless list. We ask ourselves, then: How long will the Christian churches in the U.S. continue to tolerate, and in some cases even justify, these actions that not only violate the most basic human rights, but also the right that the weakest or smallest countries have to make their own decisions and to write their own history.16
Jon Sobrino, a Jesuit whose life was saved because he was visiting Thailand when his brother Jesuits were murdered in El Salvador, recently told Sojourners magazine: “You cannot be a believer in God today in this world if you do not take oppression seriously. . . . What is at stake here is faith and humanity. . . . I don’t know how you can be a human being on this planet today if this growing oppression and poverty is not your central Issue.”17 As Christians living in the United States, what is at stake in our confrontation with “low-intensity conflict” is the very essence and integrity of our faith and our claim to be human beings.
— — Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer
March 15, 1990
We have got to be willing to re-evaluate and balance our theology and practice, rather than sitting complacently by while “expertise” is injected into us, our kids, ourselves, our institutions, and that includes religious ones. I have been astounded to watch (last decade, decade before) the atrocities and entrapment in my own home (and I’ve heard of worse) being “respected” because a male (perpetrating them) was there. He couldn’t have gotten away with this if someone else had protested. But they “respected” that “castle.”
Then, once I got “out,” the spin began, and revisionist history. Boy THAT gets you thinking. All I felt I needed was financial independence, and that was where the long-term and intense war took place, while the mouths were preaching something else. Unlike many women, I actually had the skill set and some of the contacts (amazingly), so other ways were devised to prevent me from controlling my own infrastructure. I watched this unfold with amazement.
I have been thinking about the Bible’s figurative language in forming the world, stating truths through systems of stories and symbols. People are symbolic and religious in nature, I don’t think this is going away soon. And however “rational” we are thought to be, rationalism being desirable in certain societies, i.e., a “rationally planned society,” there is the emotional edge.
Clearly, there’s SOMETHING about SERPENTS. WHY is a spiritual evil called “the serpent”? WHY, from the beginning (“Genesis”) was it so necessary to establish Adam as first, wise, talking directly to God, and not deceived, like Eve, by that nasty Serpent?
What was so evil and nasty about a certain animal species? It must have been the symbolism attached to it.
Explained in the above site:
It was an important image in ancient pagan religions. The goddess Astarte, who represented the fertility of nature, was often portrayed with snakes. People saw the dead skins shed by snakes, and assumed that the snake had in some way died but then come alive again. They saw the seasons of the year following the same pattern: in winter all things died, but in spring Nature mysteriously sprang back to life. So the image of a snake was used in fertility rituals, especially those relating to the seasonal cycles.
To the Hebrew people, the snake was shorthand for polytheism and paganism, the natural enemy of Jahweh and monotheism.
You can’t stray far in Old or New Testaments without running into the paganism debate. Paul mocks the Athenians “whom you ignorantly worship, him I declare: God that made the world “winked” at your ignorance, but now commands everyone acknowledge Jesus Christ, because he’s appointed a day in which the world is going to be judged by him, and the assurance is the resurrection from the dead.
Giving life has always been a pre-occupation of religion. Most religions deal out the opposite, but women have been giving birth, forever. As far as I know….
One author (not Biblical) wrote, War was what men did while women were giving birth, raising children, developing agriculture and in general making life more civilized. Men, given technology, are going to figure out how to blow something up (case in point, look at history!).
Even the Prince of Peace is going to establish peace ONLY after everything is blown up and a new heavens and new earth made. Guess who is going to rule THEN? They crucified him (whoever did), and what goes around comes around. EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND CONFESS JESUS LORD.
ALL religions require submission and confession, and have a variety of ways of obtaining this. First, voluntary is best. Thereafter, force will do . . . .
VOLUNTARY submission is a social contract, or an individual contract. It has its place. I’m just getting a little tired of the theme, after all these years. So, I’m also willing to look (again) at the paganism debate, if it will make a significant difference in the world, especially the world I hope my children will outlive me in (and I plan to live a long time).
And along those lines, I have to address the innate hostility (overall, despite some significant departures) the whole Book, and the People of the Book, has towards women, symbolically.
I mean, in some places offspring, whether male or female, are referred to as “seed.” we’ve all had some anatomy by now, and (hopefully) know that even an ovum is larger than a sperm, and genetic inheritance comes from two parents, not just one (pre-cloning, that is). Sorry, but that’s insulting.
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WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
BECAUSE WE NEED BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, FUNCTIONAL AND RESPECTED, IN THIS WORLD. AND A STRICT DEFINITION OF THEIR ROLES, TAKEN TO EXTREMES, LEADS TO DEATH. LIFE TAKES BOTH MEN AND WOMEN TO START, BUT IT COMES THROUGH US, SO TO SPEAK. SO WHY ARE WE SO “BAD” AND/OR (ALTERNATELY) “INVISIBLE.”??
THERE IS NO QUESTION THIS CONTINUES TO THE PRESENT — at least in my mind.
NOT ONLY ARE THERE THROWAWAY KIDS, BUT NOW THERE ARE THROWAWAY ADULT WOMEN. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it, and I’m very concerned for my daughters that they don’t see this, that their experience of this world has been war in the home, war after separation, and themselves as commodities. They watched their mother get thrown away on pretexts, are not fully informed of HOW this was done (i.e., the extent of the corruption in the courts, and the particular lies in our court case).
The “deification” of fatherhood and the elimination of “motherhood” is no laughing matter.
The wars over land and tribal issues between at least three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity (sic) and Islam are literally worldwide in scope and impact. There have been centuries of wars and bloodshed over which books get in that Bible, who represents God. Men have been burned at the stake and lived their lives as fugitives for simply translating it into the common language. I THINK it’s relevant. All women should understand this affects them, when a President doesn’t even mention women in his inaugural speech, and when he is pushing a “religion” defining health, defining education, defining “welfare” and defining healthy marriages, childhood, and fatherhood — off on the rest of us.