Friday, March 14, 2008

13 essays on Christian mythology and taboos

As another Easter approaches, I'm breaking from tradition and addressing taboos. Isn't that unsurprising! I've never been one for orthodox thought. Politically, I advocate the separation of church and state, for government that's impartial, neutral, that doesn't favor one belief over another, and fully respects those who don't believe in a Creator at all.

Spiritually, I find inspiration in nature, in people, in art, in music, in the expanding universe, and in a diversity of sacred texts. But I won't deny the influence of Christianity in the world--good and bad--or its patriarchal roots. So I tend to delve into its mythology. At the risk of getting flamed, I'll venture to crash some taboos with this post.

From The RealSpiel archives, 13 essays on Christian mythology and its impact on politics and culture.

The Passion of Christ for today
Why glorify the death and suffering of Jesus? If we explore the reasons for Christ's crucifixion and chose to change the "systems of oppression that brought about his demise, violence against marginalized people would cease to exist."

Did Jesus live the down low?
It's entirely possible that Jesus was a married, closeted gay man. But the bigger issue is homophobia in today's Church, the false socialization of who we are as male and female, and ultimately the challenge is to peel away a false spiritualization.

Biblical sexism and vagina resentment
The role of women was liberated by Christ's egalitarian teachings but the Bible has been edited and used as a patriarchal tool to oppress the feminine.

Armageddon: Bible literalists got it wrong
A majority of Americans believe in The Rapture based on a Bible that's fraught with errors. A footnote to copyists in the Book of Revelations has been interpreted to heed the texts as if they were the literal word of God.

The Bible is not the source
A woman's responsibility is to listen to her Inner Source--not to the Bible, not to the alleged "headship" of men, not to a patriarchal church with an ax to grind. Women have equal access to the Creator, the Source of All Life, for divine guidance. Looking to men for women's roles in life, church, and family, is asking the wrong source.

Angelic lesbian, one of RealSpiel's most popular
Why don't angels have genitals? Who stripped them of sexuality? I suppose Christian orthodoxy, which divides sexuality from spirituality and promotes the idea of a celibate Christ, offers the main reason for the absence of angelic sexuality. In my belief system, there's a guardian angel for everybody--gays, lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, transsexuals, transgendered people, hermaphrodites--everyone and every creature.

The Bible as fountainhead of sexism: money, lesbian power and visions
Guest columnist Genet offers a lesbian feminist viewpoint into gaining success, money, and power. "It is something every lesbian spiritually alive needs to address -- dollars are a spiritual issue!"

In support of Kittredge Cherry
When Kitt Cherry, author of Jesus In Love, Art That Dares, and At The Cross, was attacked by the conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy for her beliefs in a queer Christ, the right to freedom of religion needed to be defended. Included are factors destroying marriage in America. And it's not the perceived threat of gay marriage.

The crucifixion of Madonna
The Material Girl's mock crucifixion received the scorn of Christian critics. Those who defended free speech of the Danish cartoons that set the Muslim world on fire suddenly went mute. Are western liberal values to be shared or hoarded by the religious right? Of course not.

Mel Gibson, hate speech, and media
"Lately this Republican political era of 'compassionate conservatism' has brought forward an unabashed no-holds-barred attitude when it comes to passionate invective hurled at queers, African-Americans, and Jews." Features The Stoning of the Drag Queen.

The Vatican v. Creationism
Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno denounced creationism but Biblical literalist Ken Ham chooses the Genesis story over science.

Richest nation on earth and the most Christian but...
Could have supporting the Iraq War offered a method of penance for American Christians who felt guilty and feared retribution for being so well off when so many people in the world languish in poverty? It's an odd concept but fear and guilt have spawned the most atrocious events in history.

Fateful faithful: "American Theocracy"
On Easter Sunday 2006, a lament for the demise of the separation of church and state and the dangerous influence of Christian evangelical extremists on American politics.

Coming soon to celebrate the spring solstice: The Second Coming: The Return of the Goddess. [Update: Essay is here.] The link to the oil painting available at my artist website is here.

UPDATE: I meant spring equinox. I'm already looking forward to summer, but better to be here now.