Monday morning coming down

Monday morning coming down December 10, 2012

“And now he is reunited with his brother, with whom he has struggled his entire life — ever since they grappled with one another in the womb. And he looks at his brother, and he sees the face of God.”

“I feel like I need a shower. It’s gross, wrong, sickening, infuriating, confusing and a host of other things unpleasant.”

“Leaving fundamentalism means learning to accept the Bible on its own terms, loving it for what it is, not what we want it to be.”

“No one with any background in biblical Hebrew or who is minimally conversant with the nature of biblical narrative — or just narrative in general — would tolerate this type of confused reasoning.”

The primary meaning is not the surface meaning.”

“I’m going to tell you about a church that made a drastic change to their church property — they added a tiny sticker to their church sign. And that tiny sticker made a difference.”

“In my world, you don’t get brownie points for wanting people on an even playing field. It’s a minimum standard of decency.”

“The so-called middle ground that’s supposed to prevent disunity always ends up excluding women in an attempt to keep those who want to restrict their ministry happy. And funnily enough, this doesn’t exactly instill in women a sense of unity and grace.”

“Calvinism is the perfect religion for males who are real bastards and want an excuse to stay that way.”

“This creating out of passion and love, the carrying, the seemingly-never-ending-waiting, the knitting-together-of-wonder-in-secret-places, the pain, the labor, the blurred line between joy and ‘someone please make it stop,’ the ‘I can’t do it’ even while you’re in the doing of it, the delivery of new life in blood and hope and humanity? This is the stuff of God.”

“Dec. 25: Probably not the birthday of Jesus. Definitely the birthday of Mithra.”

Well, for an Episcopalian — whatever — you are alright.”

“So. What are we to make of the morality tale of giving the homeless man a pair of shoes when the man is not homeless, has an undesirable past and has apparently discarded the shoes?”

“I will keep giving my daughter a coin to give the man, until that man no longer needs it.”

“St. Nicholas was a beast. Mother Teresa, Oskar Schindler, and Samuel L. Jackson all rolled into one. What an absolute crushing beast.”

“Although this is James Dobson’s first novel, it’s far from his first work of fantasy.”

He won’t follow anyone for now. He will be followed.”

“People with hemispatial neglect are not aware that something is missing, so why would they seek it out?”

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  • “St. Nicholas was a beast. Mother Teresa, Oskar Schindler, and Samuel L. Jackson all rolled into one. What an absolute crushing beast.”

    One of my favorite stories of old Constantinople comes from the Council of Nicaea.  One of the things they were trying to deal with was the Arian Heresy and St. Nicholas got so pissed at Arius that he walked up and punched him in the face.

    So…basically, Arius got punched by Santa Claus.  He must have been some guy…

  • Lori

      “In the dystopian tradition of 1984, Brave New World and The Hunger Games,  

    My first reaction to this sentence was basically, WTH? And then I thought about it and realized that as a lead-in to a discussion of a novel by James Dobson it’s sort of perfect in its wrong-headedness. 

  • Tricksterson

    Not having read it, I will stretch my benefit of the doubtness to concede that, just maybe, it deserves comparison to Hunger Games, although I wouldn’t bet money on it.  But the other two?  Can you say “chutzpah”?

  • Thanks, Fred!

  • Jenny Islander

    Am I the only person reading this post who even noticed the photo?!

    Um.  Fred.  You know that–right?

  • Veylon

    Aldous Huxley was a committed pacifist who was refused U.S. citizenship on the grounds that he would not take up arms to defend the country. He also had a strong interest in mysticism and mind-altering drugs.

    George Orwell was a supporter of Democratic Socialism (and thus to the right of Obama) and reject the concept of an afterlife.

    It’s very bizarre that Dobson would claim kinship with such non-American (and by his lights, un-American), non-Christian authors. It’s almost as though he knows nothing about them.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, I noticed.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Fred definitely knows–click the photo and read the article.

  • Lori

    I noticed and I assume Fred did too.

  • J_Enigma32

    “… into the year 2042, to be exact, which is where Fatherless, Dobson’s first novel, is set.”

    Hah! My novel, published last year, is a dystopia set in 204*1* which deals with the sort of world that Dobson and his friends want to make, and just how badly it falls on its face.

    And while I’d never compare my work to 1984 or Brave New World (I was sick and tired of dystopian settings that dealt with a single dystopic government and my novel’s a technically a deconstruction of the dystopia), it looks like it’s certainly better written…

  • Lori

    I don’t think Dobson claimed the connection. The quote is from the publisher’s summary and based on what I’ve heard from other authors I assume Dobson had no control over that.

    It’s like the publisher figures that the target audience for Fatherless knows nothing about Huxley or Orwell beyond knowing that their books were dystopias, and doesn’t much care.

  • I did too. I’d just assume not look at it again.
    I read the article, got the point, and yet, there’s still just something a tad squicky about it.

  • Daughter

     Oh, I noticed it right away. I’m sure Fred did too – that’s why he posted it. He often posts visual equivalents of the “church sign fails.”

  • flat

    I don’t believe in the saint maria because I am reformed christian.

    And when I am looking at that statue of Maria I don’t really know what to think.
    Personally I find it a bit tasteless not really my thing.

    Others may have a different opinion, but me I am kinda “meh” about it

  •  Nope, you aren’t.

  • JustoneK

    I’m just sorta fascinated as to what we consider tasteless and tasteful.  And why.

  • stardreamer42

    I think the picture is fabulous. It’s one of those figure/ground things; you can either look at it as a depiction of Mary (because you can clearly see her face, hands, body, and feet) or a depiction of a woman’s vulva (the vessel thru which Jesus Christ was delivered to the world). Something for everyone! 

  • Yeah, for a moment I thought I was on Regretsy. Won’t be reading Slacktivist at work for a while.

  • Yonic Mary is nothing new.  Nor is laser hands Mary.  Pew pew pew pew pow. 

  • The_L1985

    I’m sure he noticed both of the things that picture is of. Mary, and the body parts.

  • The_L1985

    I haven’t read the article, but I’m guessing it’s in the same vein as the “I’m proud of my femininity” vagina-shaped items one sees proudly sold on Etsy. Because, apparently, private parts should be public?

  • Possibly something more like “Whether a particular part is private or public should be left to the discretion of its owner”

  • flat

    good point, I am just staring at it and I don’t really know what to say else about it.

    I can understand that if you are a catholic christian you would be offended by it (I think I would if were catholic).

    Besides if I had to discuss art I would rather talk face to face with you about it than to type a response on the internet.

  • It reminds me a bit of some of H.R. Giger’s art.

    He does have a habit of including… “Freudian” imagery in his work.

  • It’s about like that. Still worth a read.

  • The more I look at this Virgin/Vagina image, the more I think of the Dog Bottom Christ:
    The Dog thing has got to be proof God has a sense of humor.Okay, folks, which is less offensive?

  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s not a good way to frame it. Better, but not good. Rape culture again. Specifically, the bit where it’s considered all right to judge someone based on her sexual history, such that if Anne has had consensual sex with Bob, then later sex Bob and/or Carl had with Anne is obviously consensual regardless of whether she said yes to either of them. Her sexy bits became public when she let Bob see them, you see, which means she has lost the right to keep Bob from seeing them again or Carl from seeing them at all.

    Which, no.

  • Carstonio

    I never noticed the yonic quality of many Mary statues, and now I’ll never look at them the same way again. As much as I want society to lift the double standard for female sexuality, I feel like a heel when I see this art. Part of me wants to look, and part of me wants to disown that desire, like it makes me no better than Pee Wee Herman in a theater.

  • Chris

    I’m not seeing that in his words at all. I’m pretty sure the part where you see it saying that the shift from private to public is to be judged by others and is irreversible is coming entirely from you.

    (For the record, what I see as the ‘obvious’ interpretation is “Whether a particular part is private or public in any particular situation should be left to the discretion of its owner”.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Which is a much more agreeable way to phrase it. Still not perfect, because it still suggests the binary of for everyone or for no one, but better.
    Trouble is, that isn’t what he said. What he says implies no allowance for changing mind or changing situation.

  • Tricksterson

    I noticed and was going to comment on it but clicked on it first.  The article attached says all I was going to and more.

  • phranckeaufile

    Yes, Arius certainly had it coming. He had the effrontery to claim that the Son is a created being and therefore not co-essential with the Father! Who wouldn’t want to punch him?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    George Orwell was a supporter of Democratic Socialism (and thus to the right of Obama)

    You mean to the left of Obama.

  • Chris

    I’m still not quite clear on how you’re getting from “left to the discretion of its owner” to “no allowance for changing mind or changing situation”.

    How’s this phrasing?
    The degree to which a particular part is private or public in any particular situation should be left to the discretion of its owner.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Another improvement in that it allows for a private-public spectrum rather than a binary, but…once a thing is public, it’s public. Its owner can explain to their heart’s content that the thing was meant to be private or for limited consumption, but they have no way to reclaim all the copies of the photos (especially if the photos are digital) or to get everyone who’s talking about it to stop.

  • Eve Ensler (not really)

    That, um, Virgin Mary you have there looks like a vulva.