Posts Tagged ‘History’


Sometimes, in some settings, and for some folks, there is a far remembrance of the simplicity of times past. Whether they lived through them or not. Especially being in a historic moment of flux, that has been exacerbated by enforced living of slow, due to c-tine. Now the silence where the loving quiet voice of the Holy Mystery can speak directly, powerfully, through the gremlins and powervangelical cults that have attempted to control our world.

Simpler times, when things were black and white. Whether old Western movie motif of white hats and black hats, or old War Movies where it was clear who was on the side of Angels, (and that lesson we still need to re-learn) Nazis are evil. It was this bedrock that created a power cult movement throughout Christendom, in the mid-20th to early 1/5th 21st Century CE in America (with some echoes in Canada, though more limited due to the mid-20th Century Quiet Revolution in Quebec, and I would honestly say, an action taken in honest Truth and Reconciliation in regards to the atrocious treatment of First Peoples through heretical doctrines, but I digress). This reflection comes out of reading a book that had kernels of genesis with the above song, Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s (2020) Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation that takes the reader through the history of the rise of the Moral Majority (and religious right); the toxic patriarchal masculinity (and ensuing abuse cover ups) that led into conversion from Christ to Trump as the messiah (which we say the outcome with the Capitol Hill insurrection).

It truly is a movement based in a trite irony of WWJWD- What Would John Wayne Do. Not rooted in the Biblical Leadership of applying the Sermon on the Mount, but rather couched in language of war and sports to show what alpha masculinity is about. A faith corrupted by the seeking of absolute power in the land with touchstones in Campus Crusade, Fundamentalism, Conservative Christendom, Focus on the Family (with Franklin Graham’s rampant Trumpism I would have to add Samaritan’s Purse); and many mega-churches and Christian Universities, not to mention the concept of “school choice” which was and is leveraged to perpetuate home schools, private and charter schools designed to teach only the fundamentalist perspective as the new era Pharisees-Sadducees evangelicalism and neo-reformed theology (ala Mars Hill and Willow Creek if you will).

Du Mez takes the reader through the historic roots of the use of religion for pollical power, whether it was Nixon, or Reagan (who many say as a lesser and more problematize Christian candidate compared to Carter, yet in spite of Reagan’s contrariness to doctrine fit a more masculine image). Using the connecting point of John Wayne as chief evangelist to a robust “masculine” form that was responding against the more, I would say, gospel coming world of belonging with equality of genders, and races…this became a lightning rod. A throwback to a mythic time when roles were defined, when men were in charge, when children were silent. This style of command and control was in the political realm as well, as the evangelical vote moved from the Democrats and more liberalized in their approach, to succumbing to not traditional denominatiolism, but rather corporate Christendom movements (ala Focus on the Family, Promise Keepers in the 1990’s). These uber movements became overarching through spiritual communities, dropped the thresh hold of spiritual formation responsibility from the local church, to meeting a litmus test of centralized power. It used heresies such as purity movements, complementarianism, to make everything about the alpha male, and keep women in the second class. Not all bought in, but when it came to the idea of having a winning candidate in an already divided nation, it became easy to coalesce around one.

Why do I personally call out the purity/betrothal movements for heresy? Essentially they removed the equality we are created in the Imageo Dei, but also it again created a narrative of property. In practice it also created a dangerous dating/sexual life world for many within those movements taught that vaginal sex was for marriage, but also that you had to fall into line with the male (imagine what else can happen that is not vaginal, but for not spreading disease still needs health sex positive education?). It also created the same conditions seen in schools with teachers/students; other religious traditions and clerics, sports teams coaches and players that attracted monsters. Complementarianism at its worse is the idea that women are to complement men, the weaker sex who need to be protected, and to take anything the patriarchy puts out, but everything is to be done to keep men happy for we are of the fragile ego and have no control over our emotions or impulses.

It created a code of silence where domestic violence was forgiven, victims were blamed, and sexual abuse of minors and others was covered up for the reputation of the man. It was a world where the love of power and money allowed for monsters to hide, and be elected to highest office. A shell game. A game of distraction. Yet one that began to crumble after 2016 thankfully. As a piece of Christendom that always spoke snidely of those Christianities that took care to protect after seeing the devils in our own pews and pulpits, was now revealed for the Satans they were hiding behind the light shows and sound stages.

Du mez’s book walks through the specifics that happen when agency is lost, but also from my reading what happens when fear is injected into life at such a deep level a false narrative becomes held as truth. The false narrative being the “persecution of the church”. Never true in North America. Yet perpetuated with every change, that it is an attack on religious freedom. As you continue to remove outlets for other learning and messaging (the importance of moving away from public schools), and the locking in of one political party where you are to exist, one body your are to be apart of and one person who speaks…

Dash in the challenges of life on top of that, as well as chasing the false capitalist narrative of want…

And you have a meta-narrative of a cult like structure founded not on Jesus’ teachings, love, and victory over death, but rather on the love of money, power and rape (to be less blunt, one’s own sexual gratification regardless of consent or pleasure or legality of one’s partners).

Now it is a moment of disruption. Could this be one so many churches (and other organizations) are against distance to protect neighbour? Because it disrupts the abuse, allows space for truth to emerge, for light to shine into the darkness and confuse it? It also allows for a pause to evaluate the course of life in light of one’s actual faith. See one may approach a work like Jesus and John Wayne as a tomb about separation of church and state.

But see, for me this is an impossibility. What is needed is a separation of control of state by church or corporation.

For healthy politics, and communal life, what is needed is one to honestly live their belief system. Not veil it behind false masks or iconography. Rather, be who you truly are, let the world see one’s true self. There are many things that I can tell you I have come to through discernment based on my core values, which have been shaped by how I was raised, my life experience and my beliefs. From fully funded Public School to Universal/Public Health Care to Harm Reduction to recovery continuum of care to Homes as a human right to Universal Basic Incomes to Pharmacare to action needed on climate change to healthy sexual education to full coverage of contraceptive to being pro-choice to….the list can go on and on…but there is nuance, understanding and discussions that have happened. It is not a quick tweet understanding of the topic, it has been a journey or learning and understanding. It is in learning, discussion and growth that we disrupt and interrupt the consumerist mindset of life that is settling in, but also the dualistic thinking (for my side to be right, the other has to be completely evil) that still perpetuates the worst Christendom has to offer in the political arena.

I encourage everyone interested to pick up and read this book, but then reflect on your own political situation where you live and honestly ask, who is your nation’s John Wayne archetype/narrative that Jesus has been tied to?

How do we complete the Quiet Revolution, and get back to or achieve Sermon on the Mount style leadership?


I do chuckle at those that desperately want to harken back to what was. Whether it is politically, socially or religiously. Usually they cloak themselves in the veneer of a religious or political tradition (or both) and in the case of those that try to recapture Christendom or the flailing Christianities, I do ponder if they have read the actual stories they claim to grow their beliefs from. It is a challenge regardless, and may appear as a rude take, but let’s unpack it a bit more.

We are going into the Acts of the Apostles. This is the second book of “orderly history” the Physician Luke was attempting to write down of the history of the early Jesus movement is what tradition tells us. Shortly after it is recorded of Jesus’ Ascension, and Mary (his Mum) playing a key role in choosing a replacement for Judas Iscariot, we move into the day of Pentecost. Before we deep dive however, let’s unpack a few key points so one knows what the heck I am rambling about.

The Christian Holy Bible is two books (possibly 3, but let’s keep it simple). The larger portion is the “Old Testament”, what I refer to as the Hebrew Bible, the scriptures of Judaism. The shorter part, is the New Testament, or the Christian Testament as I refer to it. It is a collection of stories and writings of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, but also letters and history of the early movement of his followers which was an anti-thesis to the Roman Empire movement of power, segregation, oppression and control. The early movement shared everything, and men & women were equals, hence the importance of Mary of Nazareth blessing the replacement, and for those who have read the Gospel accounts, it was the women who were witness to the first sighting of Jesus post-death.

Which brings us into the Book of Acts, or known as Acts of the Apostles. It is a collection of stories of the early church, the highs and lows and struggles. Pentecost is the church day of celebration taken for when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles (Formerly Disciples) so they could speak in tongues. Pause– this is basically a reversal of the ancient myth in the Hebrew Bible Book of Genesis, the Tower of Babel, that was used to explain where languages came from, this piece we are to see in what is to come is more of a universal translator where all could hear and understand (Acts 2:1-23).

The story comes from Acts 2:14-36 (English Standard Version), please note scripture is in italics, reflections are in bold:

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.[a] 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

Third hour of the day is about 9 a.m., I know the argument of drunkenness is plausible but it misses the point, that there was those in the crowd reacting to hearing their own language from those that they did now know. It was an attempt to discredit, Peter, a fisherman, who did alright for himself, he owned his own boat, but had spent the last 3 years travelling with the Rabbi that had so scared the status quo their only way to deal with him was to execute him.

What also was laid out was due to the translation clear communication in an understood language. Common ground was being created. Then Peter, takes the steps to honour the past, no matter how messed up and chaotic it was. He starts with a Prophet.

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Peter had learned from the best. Calling out the opiate religious rulers. Those tolerated by the Empire because they kept the masses pacified to be used as nothing more than cattle within the Empire. Here Peter, reminds them of what a Prophet during an ancient occupation and exile had exalted. See prophets were not future seers as we like to use them in this day and age to build coffers in churches. The prophetic voice is one that speaks into the current reality, and calls out the rulers who are causing harm. It is directed at the religious leaders, the declining, neigh, dying Christendom that has existed since Constantine converted to conquer in 325 CE, and is words to be heard today to remind us what our purpose is– Care, Love of Neighbour as we love ourselves (this is how we show love to the Holy Mystery above all else. As Pope Francis reminded us, first you pray-then you act).

The message is about the power that exists within each of us. The pouring out, is the moment of enlightenment, when we resonate with the divinity breathed into us at Creation. Pause, and reflect. How do your actions show love of self and neighbour? It is a resonance with the connection of life- business, politics, family and church.

 

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus,[b]delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Peter then built upon the teachings of the past, and pointed to the now. The Empire could not kill the love gospel. What does that mean for us now? To often we hold to the past and yearn for it to return that we are unwilling to learn and grow from the lessons there. We are unwilling due to fear, anxiety, and quest to maintain the power and control we have to step into the unknown of the new light.

But what happens if we step into the new light?

25 For David says concerning him,

“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
    for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
    my flesh also will dwell in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
    or let your Holy One see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
    you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

David is a highly beloved historic figure. After exile, the nation had re-set his story from 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings, in the highly sanitized 1-2 Chronicles. By sanitized, remember when Wal-Mart took R rated movies, and edited them to be family fair? Or the editing Turner Classic Movies does. All the excess violence, rape, murder plots, were removed, and David was presented as this holy warrior. What is lost when one takes away the evil? That which is meant to be overcome? Simple, we get a picture of life where you must always be good. No I am not condoning rape and murder, though in the time David was functioning as a monarch was allowed to. What I am saying, is we need to honour the whole person, but also understand restoration. Whether it is in our communities or justice systems. It is not simply about constant vilification, and revenge. 

If the soul is willing to change and heal for the betterment of themselves and others, then it is our calling within the Holy Spirit to create space for that as well. For would we not wish the same quarter given us?

The firm flipside of that however, is that we must also hold space, and carry through with restoration, healing and reconciliation with the victim so they too can be truly whole once more. It is the debate and growth that is lost when we sanitize our past and cannot use it is a foundation for healthy growth forward.

 

29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 

That is firm to remember. If we hold in the past without the healing that is possible. No, I am not pointing only to the spiritual. That is a piece of it, but within the blessings we are also given medicine, scientists, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. True healing with the power of the Holy Spirit from the traumas of the past and present…is trusting the Holy Spirit in the other. It is the path of healing laid out, and by entering into it, like one in faith would enter into a prayer meeting with that level of faith and trust… well… new life is just around the corner.

34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
35     until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The cross is messy and nasty. We have attempted to individualize it, and bring it down t a simple prayer of contrition at an altar call post after filling coffers. Crap on a stick people we have missed the point. It is about the person, the neighbour, the whole of creation. The past being pointed out as buried points to the cycle of life. Dust to dust. Or as one state recently passed, corpses as compost. We are interconnected. We choose love, we choose life it means we choose a path of reconciliation, healing and belonging.

Honour the foundation that you have built your life on. Know good or bad, the past is in the past. Deal with the pain, trauma and loss. It does not do our body or communities well to suppress and hide it. It is a hard path, but well worth the release of what is next. Thank your system for the internal gremlins that though may have held you back- kept you safe and going forward. Then do the work to release and eliminate.

A new day is here. One day at a time.

Will you build upon the past and let your new life fully bloom?

What does growing reconciled with your past mean for your present and future?

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Check out the YouTube Channel- Ty Ragan

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coverSeeking to understand…building on the past, preparing for healing and reconciliation to move forward:

A stone skipping across a pond leaves ripples with each impact.

The joys and life of traumas are the like the skipping stone through the generations.

Soul Ripples

What happens when the helper needs help?

For over 20 years Ty Ragan served his neighbour from the rough camps to the shelters to home and every where’s in-between. The simple life lesson of Jesus of Nazareth to love your neighbour as yourself was the centre question to be answered in his life. In May 2016 his life would begin to change drastically through unknown seizures and strokes.

Enter into the ripples that brought him to 2016, the transformational power of love of family and friends as he seeks new ripples in hope for his soul.


For some this weekend is Epiphany, in Orthodox churches (Ukranian, Greek, Russian) it is a Christmas celebration of food and family. We have just come back from a potluck in our own church where many shared their memories of celebrating Christmases when they were young, for one it was farm life in Saskatchewan, another in the Netherlands, and another in Venezuala. Sharing stories, food and song.
It felt like a very Prairie night of learning about one another. This is what we are hoping to have in Countess, and on this Facebook page (Countess Country Museum). What we are already seeing happen. Neighbours and those who have grown up around the area sharing their stories, snippets of pictures or journals or news clippings. It is what we have found on the web, in archives, and from memoirs. Memoirs are a great resource, it is not just for the powerful or rich and famous, but to share one’s story, their family history, so it is set down.
As we enter into 2019, I encourage everyone to take time to share about the life they have lived, how things were, how things are and the dreams for the future. For is that not the true gift of history and Our stories within history, the foundational building blocks for the next generation?
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Captain Sisko: You want to know… you *really* want to know what my problem is? I’ll tell you: Las Vegas 1962, that’s my problem. In 1962, black people weren’t very welcome there. Oh sure, they could be performers or janitors, but customers? Never.
Kasidy Yates: Maybe that’s the way it was in the real Vegas, but that is not the way it is at Vic’s. I have never felt uncomfortable there, and neither has Jake.
Captain Sisko: But don’t you see? That’s the lie. In 1962, the civil rights movement was still in its infancy. It wasn’t an easy time for our people, and I’m not going to pretend that it was.
Kasidy Yates: Baby – I know that Vic’s isn’t a totally accurate representation of the way things were, but… it isn’t meant to be. It shows us the way things could’ve been – the way they should’ve been.
Captain Sisko: We cannot ignore the truth about the past.
Kasidy Yates: Going to Vic’s isn’t going to make us forget who we are or where we came from. What it does is reminds us that we are no longer bound by any limitations – except the ones we impose on ourselves.

-Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, season 7 episode 15 “Badda-bing, Badda-bang” (1999)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is another overlooked gem. It lasted seven seasons and tackled many relevant issues during the 1990’s. If you remember the 90’s there was the challenges of marriage equality (yes it began then); the repercussions of the end of the Cold War; Gulf War I, and the rise of the Serbian-Bosnian war that almost created a draft in Canada, and yes sadly, the Rwandan Genocide, to Albertans being confronted by our Eugenics history of forced sterilizations of persons with disabilities and mental illness, to name but a few historic events. It also began the repercussion of revelation of the church sexual abuse of children within Canada. There was hope, but also healing needed, and evil rooted out.
This is the world that Deep Space Nine premiered into. The first Star Trek not on a space ship exploring, but a Cardassian space station taken over by Bajor and the United Federation of Planets, by a wormhole to another quadrant. Bajor is a former planet that was occupied by the Cardassian, who finally surrendered. Sisko’s journey to lead is about losing his wife in a battle with the Borg. A Borg led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Locutus, ST:TNG Best of Both Worlds), whose ship brings him and his son to the station. A journey where he begins to wrestle with forgiveness and reconciliation with the man who under control of the Borg executed many of his friends, and his beloved.
The meta-narratives of the series looked at movement from resistance to governance; role of spirituality-religion in sustaining through occupation and healing/reconciling after. The Wormhole to the Federation, was the Celestial Temple to the Bajorans, one saw wormhole aliens, the other Prophets of their religion. It was a show that used time travel, and alternate reality shows to challenge perceptions. Commander (then Captain) Benjamin Sisko’s role as leader of the station, but also Emissary of the Celestial Temple (he also punched Q). It explored commerce and the black market, inter-species relationships; eugenics, horrific treatment of persons who are different (those that were augmented that could pass and function in society, and those that cannot). As the series continued, the Dominion War storytelling caused many Trekkies’ to balk because war as part of Star Trek. A bi-sexual Cardassian former assassin, Garak, and his hiding of open affections for Dr. Bashir, and a Ferengi engineer, Rom, that if you watch him, is neuro-a-typical and the life he lives while belonging (Best episode is in Season 7, take me out to the Holo-Suite!).
Yet the war story line allowed for other explorations. Exploitation of any belief system for violent gains. The world of PTSD, what young soldiers go through who go off to war to “prove themselves”, but do not live completely or die, but return injured and the healing process. It also showed what life meant. Through the character of Vic Fontaine, a holosuite program singer, from Las Vegas, Earth 1962. A program that became conscious. A program that helped Ensign Nog (first Ferengi in Starfleet) heal from his PTSD of losing his leg on the front lines.
This is the program Sisko and his new partner are discussing in the opening quote.

Nog: The news just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?
Captain Sisko: What news?
Colonel Kira: Oh… nothing, sir, we’re, uh, talking about a holosuite program.
Doctor Bashir: Vic Fontaine’s hotel’s just been bought by… gangsters.
Captain Sisko: I see. When do you plan on going back to work?

-Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, season 7 episode 15 “Badda-bing, Badda-bang” (1999)

It is a take on an old Star Trek story, Piece of the Action (Original Series), but pays homage to the Rat Pack’s Ocean’s 11 (sorry Clooney Gang, nothing beats the original). As the leadership crew understands this constantly running lounge’s importance to the crew’s mental health, Sisko wrestles with what happens if we forget the past?

Chief O’Brien: Robbing casinos isn’t part of any Starfleet job description I’ve ever read.

-Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, season 7 episode 15 ”Badda-bing, Badda-bang” (1999)

A Jack In The Box program has allowed gangsters to take over, and change the program, the only way that technically can be found is to reboot. Reboot erases Vic back to factory settings. What makes a person? Is it flesh and blood? Or the sum of our experiences?
The other way? Beat the intruders.
They fail to beat the intruders, gangsters shoot Vic. He dies in the program, he vanishes completely.
What an option. Now the question asked is, is Vic a person? Does he deserve a chance to continue to live and thrive even if the outside world sees him as only a hologram?
Are we cursed to not be able to move from our past history?
Can we move beyond, reconcile, and if we do, and present it as anything less than it was, are we forgetting?
What about critical thought?
Same as the balance of spirituality-science throughout the series. The balance of subtlety of belonging for each of the characters and their stories. It is a series I encourage one to watch, and reflect on. It makes a great discussion night for different episodes over meals for all ages. I have used episodes with youth to tackle tough topics such as dying with dignity, belief systems, war, and belonging.
And ask yourself in your journey what this statement means:

“Going to Vic’s isn’t going to make us forget who we are or where we came from. What it does is reminds us that we are no longer bound by any limitations – except the ones we impose on ourselves.”

-Kasidy Yates


With each new passing or announcement of retirement from the progressive theological movements I share with my wife, we ask, who will take up the torch?  And no, Rob Bell is not the answer or the Emergent Church movement. Yes, they are doing good things in pushing boundaries in their traditions, but compared to where Labour Church, Social Gospel, Creation Spirituality, Progressive Christianity, Liberation Theology, Feminist Theology, Queer Theology, Truth and Reconciliation resonances, Human Rights, Social Justice, New Thought, Metaphysics, Jesus Seminar, Philosophy, history, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, science and ecumenical dialogues (to name but a few) have brought us, they are reinventing the foundation stones, instead of adding new floors to the towers already standing tall and strong.

I have been trying lately due to some health challenges of the holistic being to reclaim the towers, and not have to reinvent the foundation stones (I am stubborn that way). After the first night of decent rest in months it hit me, that part of continuing to build the towers is to go to your own spiritual roots.  Within myself, and my family those roots are the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Testament. I will be the first to admit, the Hebrew Bible can at first blush appear to contain stories of hate, genocide, blood lust and horror. They are foundation myths and legends of their time speaking to the people then and what they had gone through. The challenge for us is not to take a 21st century lens back to the historical story, but rather bring the story into a 21st century lens.

Huh?

A 21st century lens pushes these stories to obscurity, or that which should not be spoken about.

Yet bringing the story into a 21st century lens allows us to see what we have missed and continued to repeat due to our literal, fundamentalist or non-reading of the text.

This is one of the things that struck me as I sipped on my fourth cup of morning coffee. It pertains to the horrid collection of laws found in the Third book of the Torah (or Pentateuch for those Greek types), Leviticus.

Really these are laws about how to keep yourself alive, don’t spark wars with your neighbours and by bringing the story into the 21st century lens that abuse shall not happen without consequence (as seen with the hard passages around abuse of women in Leviticus 19:29:

c“Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity.

(English Standard Version)

            For me speaks directly to the abolishment of the Sex Trade. All of us are either children of someone’s daughter, or have a daughter, and forcing anyone to do what they choose not to do, or to make profit from the dehumanization of another is reprehensible evil.

This method also brings a different reading into those infamous few of Leviticus 18:22-23:

22 hYou shall notlie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 23 i And you shall not lie with anyanimal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to ananimal to lie with it: it is jperversion.

(English Standard Version)

 

These texts have nothing today with the LGBTTQ2+ community. They are a direct redaction into what is legendarily believed to be the writings of Moses post exile from Babylon. In Babylon, the free and slave were forced into sexual predatory worship within the temple. It was led by the Clerics and to show worship after providing the usual animals and money forced participation for absolution was found in sexual penetration through varied orifices of animals, and/or human beings by the worshipper or with the Cleric (yes historical anthropological context can be disturbing).

But wait…removing the literal sentiment, what type of warning does this sound like for the people?

That your worth as you are created matters.

Do not let one in authority force you to that which you do not want to do.

When one in power forces you under the auspices of atonement, absolution, because God said, because you will make first line, I will ensure you get an A, you will get the role only if you….

Hidden in a text we have argued over a literal understanding of, we have missed a millenniums long warning of metaphor and allegory going:

Children,

You were abused in captivity, and were not allowed to flourish healthily into the true you. Do not repeat this pattern of abuse. Be the ones that shatter the cycle, know that you are loved, equal, and belong together in loving communities, loving relationships with whomever you choose.

BUT (and this one is important) you must choose the path of new and love, not the path of known hurt and abuse.

I implore you as you lick the wounds of leaving slavery and abuse, PLEASE, speak the truth, then CHOOSE to move forward as a healthy community by throwing off the monsters and casting them out.

Choose L-I-F-E.

Choose L-O-V-E.

Amazing what happens when you contemplate deeply into the Holy Mystery and attempt to answer the WTF as to why this passage exists.

So as community in the Christianities, are we going to answer the Levitical warning and:

           Choose L-I-F-E?

           Choose L-O-V-E?

Zealot: A Reflection

Posted: January 23, 2015 by Ty in Musings
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On the advice of an acquaintance that had read Reza Aslan’s (2013, Random House) Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth I ordered a copy from my local public library and dove in. I freely admit that when I began reading I did not know of the controversy and scandal that surrounded this title, and too be quite honest I do not think it is deserved.

This is a historical journey looking at the context and the reality that surrounded the life of Jesus Bar Joseph. Or as Aslan points out that Jesus was never mentioned to be Joseph’s son in the Gospel texts, but referred to as Mary’s son. Which ties into ancient wonderings if Jesus was actually the offspring of a rape of Mary by a roman soldier? The overlay of the mystic/mystery aspects of Jesus’ life finds itself in the mystery religions of the time, and Aslan deftly points out that the Gospels’ written decades after Jesus’ execution, and after the razing of Jerusalem, are finding away to appease the Empire. That is cast Pontius Pilate in a good light, and the Jews in a negative light so as not to have the destructive fervour turned towards them. This is how the stories in the Gospel that did not seem congruent with Jewish practice of trials came to be grafted in to the narrative as well.

It is also interesting to point out the struggles historically to distance themselves from Judaism that Jesus did not find in needing, but Paul did (I have personally always maintained that current Christendom is more Paulist than Jesus). Also pointing out though that Jesus was not from upper classes, If he was a skilled tradesman then he would have been travelling quite a bit, but more than possibly he was a general day labourer, much like many experiencing poverty and homelessness in North America going through a cash corner or temp agency. His message was about overthrowing the Temple, which had become a corrupt and oppressive system that lost out on its true purpose of community.

Stop and think of that, outside of the Roman powers that Jesus was calling out for oppression, what led to his execution was calling out the religious institution of his heritage and world. This led to the all leaders executing a rabble rouser, messiah claimant for sedition. He was executed along with many other want to be messiahs of the time. What was different was his teachings and such did change the world. For the 21st Century it does raise the question for the religious institution that bears his title, what would Jesus say/challenge? What needs to change? What tables in our Temples need to be overturned and stripped? What messages need to emerge? Which ones silenced?

Zealot may be a work that turned up turmoil and scandal in the religious world, but what I discovered in the pages was an academic confirmation of a lifetime of beliefs. Beliefs I had been beaten down in traditional church circles about, and attempts to silence with a call out for churches to get back to being the safest places on earth, a place where community happens, and a light shines out to transform communities for the healthier and better ways. A place where all are welcome and the guiding question of What Would Jesus Do, resonates with the true meaning, What Would Love Do?

But these are questions, comments and ways that scare Christendom and in many ways those that raise them have been silenced, marginalized or for their own spiritual health have, much like Elvis, metaphorically left the “building”.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012
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I used to love the short lived Alien Nation t.v. show, but had never seen the movie, thanks to the bargain bins at Rogers (buy 1 get 2 free) I purchased it for the grand sum of $0. Shawna and I watched it last night, for the unitiated the series is set in 1991, an essentially an alien slave ship has crash landed in the U.S. of A under the Reagan Administration, the movie is placed one year after the 300,000 have come to earth and started to be assimilated into American Culture.

It is a traditional police procedural drama, much like Lethal Weapon or Beverly Hills Cop or Stake Out Vein.  The story is finding the murdered of Matthew Sykes’ partner, to do this he is partnered with the first Newcomer police detective Samuel Francisco or Sam Francisco, so Sykes dubs his partner George saying that the port authorities must have gotten quite punchy while handing out the 300, 000 monikkers. George, stipulates yes, unlike Sykes which in his language means cranium excrement, Sykes looked dumb founded to which George stated “Shit head in my language”.

So really what we may view as strange, is all a matter of perspective and context.