Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Edition


Brilliantly doctored Bush v. Jesus photo credit: Atrios@blogspot.com


Demon Princess wants to start out here with some whining, certain that Spring is NEVER going to arrive here, in the-more-than-usually-dreary-drippy-rainy Northwest this season. The entire population, by all rights, should be on suicide watch, but they're not, interestingly. Leaving your intrepid girl reporter to conclude that anybody in the Puget Sound Region not already on the popular antidepressant-meds-washed-down-with Starbucks diet regime is sure to be signing up this year.

What a great franchise idea. I'm certain that people in other regions could benefit, too, even those not afflicted with the passive-agressive "have-a-nice-day-now-fuck-off" bug the way our friendly locals are. I prefer my hostility out in the open so I can address it, & have it addressed, but how fun would that be?

However, despite the personal travails I endure here, I wanted to leave my small circle of readers a positive message of hope in a nod to the fact that it IS Easter. Besides, having lived elsewhere for a long, long time, I know that this is not the normal state of things. Just one of Seattle's less-charming aspects. The scenery is magnificent, when you can actually see it.

Heretic chick that she is, Demon Princess liked this article a great deal, & so shares these excerpts with y'all.

From yesterday's Christian Science Monitor an article entitled, "Christian Mavericks Find Affirmation in Ancient Heresies."

"When the Rev. John Buehrens gives his Easter sermon this Sunday, he'll borrow a page from an unlikely source: the Gospel of Judas. The gnostic text, unveiled by scholars with fanfare last week, portrays Jesus Christ as an enigmatic guru who venerates Judas, teaching him secret accounts of creation and approving his imminent betrayal.

"Many Christians might find that offensive, or, like Mr. Buehrens of Unitarian First Parish in Needham, Mass., silly. But as an emblem of Christianity's long tradition of dissenting voices, the text is for him an inspiration nonetheless.

"'An awful lot of what passes for orthodoxy today is something Jesus would have despised," Buehrens says, noting Christian support for "imperialism and militarism." As a challenge to orthodoxy in its time, he says, the Judas story is "a reminder that no single interpretation of the Christ event can exhaust the spiritual implications.'

"Across the country, observers say, the Gospel of Judas is striking a chord with progressive Christians. Not so much for its heretical theology, but as an ancient symbol of their modern mission to update what defines faithfulness. It's an approach that's winning approval from scholars, who say Christianity has always attracted diverse beliefs. But others worry that this revisionism misrepresents time-tested truths.

"Modern theologians attracted to the Judas gospel are reminding today's dissenters that they follow a long, legitimate tradition. At last week's press conference, four academics used either "diverse" or "diversity" to describe what the text reveals about the beliefs and attitudes of the early church. If the church was so varied in its early days, they suggest, then contemporary Christians can perhaps accept the growing diversity of beliefs and lifestyles in their religious communities as well.

"The Christianity of the ancient world was even more diverse than it is today," says Bart Ehrman, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former fundamentalist Christian turned self-described "happy agnostic" - someone who claims it cannot be known if God exists. "My hope is that when people see how diverse Christianity was in its origins, [they] will be a little bit more tolerant of diversity in Christianity today."

"That may be easier said than done. One reason: many of early Christianity's most steadfast figures rejected gnostic teachings as heresy - that is, false representations of Jesus' life and of God's nature. (Gnostic doctrines assert rival divine beings and emphasize salvation through secret knowledge.) Although heresy is seldom a matter of public debate in the 21st century, the problem of embracing all beliefs that purport to be "Christian" persists.

"To think that noncanonical texts legitimizes diversity today 'is to ignore the fact that that diversity was not accepted [in the early church],' says Ronald Simkins, director of the Kripke Center for the Study of Religion & Society at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. 'It's a naive use of history.'"
...
"'Whoever is in power decides what's heresy," [Minister] Carson says. "We don't tell people what to believe. We only encourage them to have closer contact with God.'"

Who defines what's Christian?

"Yet the same standards hold from age to age, regardless of who's in charge, according to Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

"'You can have disagreements about doctrinal interpretations of particular issues - that's why we have Catholics, and we have Presbyterians, and we have Baptists, and we have Methodists.... But if you deny the resurrection [or other core teachings], well, according to historic Christianity, you are beyond the pale.'"

"For some the debate isn't about theology; it's about freedom of conscience.

"The Rev. Jayne Oasin, a social justice officer for the Episcopal Church, USA., says that 'to consider there to be only one truth is to me a form of oppression.'"

Yay, Rev. Jayne!

And for the rest of y'all I have a (non-doctored) photo of a really big bunny rabbit, coming up next. Happy Easter, all!
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And it's WEAL!

2 Comments:

Blogger grassrootsblogger said...

Well done, I was blog surfing and came across yours - well done on the surface, and really thoughtful and insightful and touching actually, the further one reads.

I keep hoping that the gang behind the horrors you touched upon will lose overwhelming control in Washington in November. It seems obvious that they should, but I thought that in '04.

In the long run, maybe we can remeove that kind of thinking from power for good by publicising some closer -to - home damage. Like this below, a few words from my new book;
_________
What would happen, for example, if millions of adult women in America stood up and said:

This is our issue. The contamination of our breast milk must be slowed and reversed. Yes, there are social, economic, and security concerns, but this poisoning takes a back seat to no issue. We will not continue to roll these dice. We will not have ever-increasing body burdens in our children. We will not have more and more of our daughters showing signs of puberty by preschool. We will not have more and more children with brain cancer and learning disabilities. We will not have more teens and adults suffering depression. We will not have more and more children living with asthma. All candidates and incumbents must address this publicly and knowledgeably. All businesses must be aware of this, and become protective of people. We insist. We are in earnest. We will not equivocate. We will not excuse. We will not retreat a single, single inch. We will be heard. And we will have this our way.

Imagining that happening may seem a stretch. But if it did take place, what would result? Profound change. Systemic change: New laws and regulations. Monitoring of companies. Enforcement. The mandate and strength of the EPA would change. In political huddles and boardrooms, there would be changes in attitudes and strategies. Farming would change. Energy production would change, and in time, levels of breast milk toxins would change.

This is the power that we possess together. Just imagine that.
_____
what do you think? http://www.grassrootsblogger.com

8:55 PM  
Blogger Demon Princess said...

Many thanks for the thoughtful reading & kind compliments. I'm rather new at the blogging thing, so it's very nice to know that the effort is appreciated. (Once one gets past the kvetching about Seattle's dreary climate. Good news is, the sun broke through briefly today, but it's still COLD.)

My children are beyond the breastfeeding stage, but I do believe that women, and men, for that matter, can accomplish great things if they will only stand up & insist on being counted. This blog is my small start. I think that I, along with lots of other Americans, have gotten so fed up with this Administration, which has "helped" the cause by being so unmistakably inept & corrupt that even the most politically complacent among us have been jolted out of their reveries. It bodes well for democracy, I hope. There are sytemic malfunctions in the system yet to be addressed, but I'm hopeful.

And in the meantime, you go girl!

9:01 PM  

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