Monday, July 9, 2007

American Christianity's Carnival Trick Mirror

American Christianity’s Carnival Trick Mirror

I spend quite a bit of time online these days. In fact, I have spent many hours online for the last five or six years. I check my email daily and read the local, state, national and world news. I also visit my standard forums and peruse blogs utilizing a search engine on Google ®.

I have noticed a few disturbing trends in North America, specifically among those of us in the United States that are the Church. There are prevailing mindsets and attitudes that cause alarm. Strangely, American Christians seems to think that our Christian experience is the ultimate and most holy in God’s eyes. Think about it.

First I’ll start with the move towards ultra conservatism. As an aside, I will admit that I am a moderate conservative. (A term that is synonymous with “liberal” in many closed minded camps) There seems to be an idea that one can never be too conservative. And the more conservative one can be is directly proportionate to personal holiness.

Secondly, I am alarmed at the herd mentality and group think when it comes to dating, marriage and gender roles. I believe that marriage and family is the unit that God created to be the building blocks of society. However, I also believe that the Lord made man and woman differently. That said, different does not mean second-rate.

Young Christian women in America are being brained washed to “dummy down”. They are being encouraged to not seek higher education. I understand that it is a choice whether or not to work outside of the home. I have no problem with either choice. I do, however have problems with a woman being left with no marketable skill sets should a spouse pass away or if a marriage fails. Many young women are being taught that they should not contaminate their hearts and minds with worldly knowledge.

I concur that we are not to be of the world. However we are called to be in it. And we need to know how to survive regardless of our gender as a Christian in a godless world. We must have tools in our arsenal. We must be prepared to meet them on an equal academic footing whether we are keepers of the home, or work outside the home as well as maintain the home. God is faithful and will protect and provide. However, I do not think the brains that women are given are for optional usage. They do not need to be switched off to please our fathers, boyfriends, fianc├ęs or husbands. As long as our minds are transformed with the help of the Holy Spirit… everything is well.

There is much more to discuss, but I am out of time. I’ll address improperly defined submission, authority and respect in the next entry. Misogyny and the inferiority/superiority conundrum in American Christian males need exploration. Also, the hidden racism riding the coattails of American Conservative Christianity is in my cross hairs.

Until next time…

Friday, July 6, 2007

Rainy Summer Night

The boisterous thunder and sheets of driving rain
during the heat of the day have gone.

In their place there is cool darkness and quiet, almost
melodic, gentle rain.

Mischievously, cool breezes flirt with my skin…then run away.
They caress and retreat, sly with their touch.

In the temporal peace I hear individual rain drops gently
land on tree leaves.

Tap- tap- tap as water drips and dribbles from the down spout then
the cheerful splat causing my sidewalk to glisten in the soft porch light.

Occasionally interrupted by a slowly passing car, the frogs
croon to each other songs that only they and their Maker understand.

When I try… I imagine that I can hear the thirsty grass roots hum
greedily as they drink in the water, like a hungry baby latching on to the breast.

Fresh and pristine from the afternoon scrubbing and the gentle rinse of the night,
the air is sweet and almost intoxicating.

I stand on the porch and reflect on how rarely I remain still, quiet
and listen.