‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me’

‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me’ June 7, 2012

“I think we’ve gotten used to the idea that wages don’t go up.”

“All women want is to have contraception coverage in health insurance plans that they are already paying into. Why is that so hard to understand?”

People haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance.”

“Capitol Police removed a man from the U.S. Senate on Tuesday after he began shouting that abortion was a sin.”

Angel Dillard believed she was inspired by God.”

“Show people that this is you, this is me, these are real people.”

Churches ruled by the politics of fear and shame are loveless places, desperate for Christ-like leadership.”

Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”

“Here’s a sampling of the wealth of feminine images of God in Scripture.”

I thought I knew what was in the Bible.”

“Someone who says or writes ‘We do not lose heart’ more than likely has come close to losing heart.”

I don’t want to live in a country where he is left by the side of the road.”

Meghan Vogel doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.”

“The Conservative Jewish movement established guidelines last week for the marriage of gay and lesbian couples.”

“Pretty much everyone who’s paying attention has taken sides.”

Most independents are closet partisans. This has been well-known in political science since at least 1992.”

Donny, these men are cowards.”

(Today is Paul Gauguin’s birthday and the painting above is his Jacob Wrestling With the Angel (1888), based on the biblical story in Genesis 32, which is where the title of this post comes from.)

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  • Canadian income inequality isn’t as bad, thank goodness, but it’s pretty much clear that real* wages have basically flatlined since 1981.

    * in economics, “inflation-adjusted”.

  • Ken

    The Conservative Jewish movement established guidelines last week for the marriage of gay and lesbian couples.

    Have the US Council of Catholic Bishops and the Republican Party – but I repeat myself – been consulted on whether this will be allowed?

  • aunursa

    “All women want is to have contraception coverage in health insurance plans that they are already paying into. Why is that so hard to understand?”

    Actually, women are divided on the question of whether health insurance plans that they are paying into should be required to cover contraception, according to the New York Times survey released in March…

    Should health insurance plans for all employees have to cover the full cost of birth control for female employees or should employers be able to opt out for moral or religious reasons?
    Women: 44% cover, 46% allow opt-out

    What about for religously affliliated employers, such as a hospital or university?
    Women: 38% cover, 53% allow opt-out

  • Tonio

    I belong in the “independent leaning Democrat” category, only because my  political philosophy opposes privilege and entitlement based on ethnicity or gender or income. The Democrats could do far, far more to reduce these, but the Republicans usually treat these as good things. So it’s a matter of agreeing with one party probably half the time versus agreeing with the other party probably 5 percent of the time.

  • LL

    RE  “Most independents are closet partisans. This has been well-known in political science since at least 1992.”

    Probably. I’m registered independent (I did this long ago, just have never seen a reason to change it), but vote almost exclusively Democratic. 

  • TheFaithfulStone

    I have a tendency to get accused of “bi-partisan above it all-ness” sometimes – even though I will probably never vote for a Republican as long as I live (especially now that they’ve been taken over by the anti-reality wing.)

    I really do find the discourse disturbing – and in fact there was another post I read today about how China is raising the retirement age to combat it’s aging population (bad idea for us, but aside) but we couldn’t have a similar debate in the US, because one party wouldn’t discuss it because the were afraid it would lead to a dismantling of the entire social insurance system which the believed because that’s what the other party said would happen.

    What’s disturbing to me is that the division obscures the commonality.  We have a sorting scheme for political views, and you must be sorted. For instance, a few weeks ago, my son saw a truck proudly flying a Confederate flag.  He asked what that flag meant, and I told him it was the “bad guy” flag from the Civil War.  He said he didn’t like that flag, pointed the US flag at the nearby elementary school and said he like the “good guy” flag better.  I can’t tell any of my liberal friends how proud I was of him at that moment because I’ll lose all my liberal street cred for being jingoistic.

    Yes, I find the fact that I have to take the exact polar opposite position from any “conservative” lest they just push harder to the right annoying.  I can’t hold the position that most gun control is useless but open carry makes you a rude dipshit because all debates are wound up in tribalist orthodoxy and woe betide you if you step out of line.

    But it’s all the fault of the Republicans.  This kind of thing – the destruction of all heterodoxy – started with them, and it’s spreading.  Jane Hamsher is a pretty good example of somebody who very nearly drummed out of progressive circles for her criticism of the ACA.  The Republican examples?  Too numerous to list.  This may be “both sides do it” – but one side started it and made the other side do it.

    Even this wholesale hatred of “fake centrism” is a symptom of this disease.  There are of course, people who just aren’t paying attention, who just like to seem above it all, and they are of course just the nattering villagers everybody dislikes so much.  But it’s also popular to believe that the system and the conversation are broken, that that brokenness has a lot to do with the structure of political parties, and that we should do something about it without being one of those people.

  • LL

    Here are other survey results (scroll down for questions about birth control):

    http://www.people-press.org/2012/03/29/the-gender-gap-three-decades-old-as-wide-as-ever/

    Answers to these questions are highly variable according to age, i.e., younger women (who actually use birth control) support health insurance coverage for birth control far more often than older women (who don’t use it). 

  • Tonio

    I can’t tell any of my liberal friends how proud I was of him at that
    moment because I’ll lose all my liberal street cred for being
    jingoistic.

    I would have the same dilemma because I dislike jingoism in general. It may be a challenge to explain to a child that in 2012, the flag is at best a tribalist symbol of misplaced white pride. He might be able to understand that Southern leaders started the war to preserve slavery.

    I can’t hold the position that most gun control is useless but open
    carry makes you a rude dipshit because all debates are wound up in
    tribalist orthodoxy and woe betide you if you step out of line.

    I actually don’t have strong opinions about what types of gun control would be effective. The exception is that I doubt gun control would work to prevent handgun deaths from domestic disputes, which are the chief cause of those deaths. My opinions about gun control deal almost exclusively with the NRA and its allies stoking racist and xenophobic fears.

  • “Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”
     
    I’m sure they honestly believe that stating this position in such severe, “Very Serious” language makes it magically not ridiculous. 

  • Anyone who can read that and not burst out laughing is very good at hiding their laughter, I think. :D

    (EDIT: The original statement, not your response :) )

  • TheFaithfulStone

    Yeah, in terms of explaining it to a toddler I went with “The people who started a war to preserve a genocidal regime based on hurting people like your friend [redacted] were the bad guys.”  He can get a greyer view when he’s older.

  • OT – 

    I actually don’t have strong opinions about what types of gun control would be effective.
    I can only think of one restriction that has proven effective: limiting the clip size of guns. If you look at any of the recent horrible mass shootings (Giffords in AZ, Georgia Tech, even going back to Kinkel in Springfield) the shooters who were stopped by people tackling them and wrestling the gun away did so when the shooter had to reload.  Limiting the size of clips to 8-10 rounds versus 16-20 has a meaningful, measurable benefit in those cases. 

    The hyper-politicized “assault weapons ban” had a provision that limited the size of handgun clips; that provision has expired and not been renewed, sadly. 

    “Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”

    Stealing from another blog’s comments, let me just say, if you’re doing it right, there’s a definite order to the actions. 


  • “Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”

    But rape is fine! So is telling other people what they are and are not allowed to do with their own bodies!

    Talk about “intrinsically and gravely  disordered.”

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I can’t hold the position that most gun control is useless but open carry makes you a rude dipshit because all debates are wound up in tribalist orthodoxy and woe betide you if you step out of line.

    I have the same issue. It’s the one big sticking point I have voting straight Democratic tickets in California, is they keep making gun control laws goofier and goofier. I’ll take that over Republican insanity any day of the week, but as a casual recreational shooter I bump into the goofiness every so often and it’s just disappointing.

    The linked article about wage stagnation makes me sad. I made a good chunk of money last year, but my wages this year have dropped by over 30%. Despite doing the same amount of work I was doing last year, for the same studio. And since I’m paid as a freelancer instead of a staffer, I don’t get vacation days, paid holidays, invited to company events, or any of the other, more minor perks that come with being a staffer. This is the future, I guess.

  • friendly reader

    Since it wasn’t mentioned in the article on feminine images of God directly, I should point out that early Christians connected Wisdom to the second person of the Trinity, meaning these passages are about a feminine version of Christ. This was so true that the earliest canon of the New Testament included the Wisdom of Solomon, where many of her quotes come from; they believed the book was talking about Jesus.

    The first chapter of John ties into this as well. Jewish philosophers of the time who wanted to work with Greek philosophy equated the Logos with Wisdom. When you read Proverbs talking about how God created the world through Wisdom, it’s not difficult at all to see the parallels between that and John 1:1-18.

    And I’ve come increasingly to feel that the tendency of liberal/progressive/whatever-label-you-choose Christians to avoid gendered language and say “God” instead of “he” is a cop-out to be willing to say “she.”* We’re too afraid of shocking people by daring to go all the way and accept that a female pronoun is as legitimate way of referring to God in the third person.**

    (*For all three aspects of the trinity, not just the Holy Spirit; I’m sick of it getting all the feminine language only being attached to it just because it’s immanent. After all, the Holy Spirit is called the bridegroom of the church in Revelation, and pneuma in Greek is neuter. You could just as easily call the Holy Spirit “it”, which if you notice I did in the first sentence.)

    (**Fun fact: spoken Chinese has only a single, gender-neutral pronoun (ta1), but in the 1920s some scholar invented new characters for “she,” “it” and gods. The original, that just meant any person, of course became the character for “he.” So if we were speaking Chinese this wouldn’t be an issue, and if we were writing it, we’d have an option for talking about God that didn’t involve he/she.)

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s really a callback to the thinking of our great-great-great grandparents and the era that the Republicans would vastly prefer we return to. My Psychology of Sex and Gender instructor once gave us an excerpt of Plain Facts for Young and Old, specifically their section on masturbation. It’s almost exactly like this — and was published in 1881.

    Here, have a laugh. It’s chapter 9, Solitary Vice.

    A forward thinker, this author. Judging by his views on sexuality, I suspect he would have applauded female circumcision as the most logical, moral and genius solution to such a severe problem as enjoying our bodies.

  •  ” Another lad experienced a high degree of sexual excitement when spanked by his teacher”

    The hell you say?!

    I suppose it also goes back to still older notions of the male orgasm being the literal giving away of part of his life.  So that of course it was foolish to hasten the reaper unless it was to the end of producing an heir to carry on.  Or the corresponding view that the ‘damming up’ of a mans’ life/sex force through abstinence would endow him with a sort of supernatural strength.  You see some pretty loud echoes of this in the King Arthur stories and I suspect it has more than a little to do with the ‘sacred tradition’ of abstinent priests in the RCC.

    And then there was this little incident at a Catholic Church in Oklahoma that you may have heard about.   http://www.towleroad.com/2010/04/a-ten-foot-tall-crucifix-is-causing-controversy-at-a-catholic-church-in-oklahoma—-the-controversial-
    crucifix-has-caus.html. 

    The crucifix in dispute is actually perfectly traditional, copying motifs that go back quite a long way in Catholic art.  What part of all God and all Man (baby) did you people fail to understand?  

  • Is it bad that at first glance, I thought the person removed from the Senate by the police for shouting about abortion was an actual Senator? (I mean, I know that can’t happen, but the way the link was worded…)