Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes! I had a great time yesterday — Jeff let me take a luxurious nap in the late afternoon and then we went out to The Melting Pot for a late dinner. After that we came home and … played.
This morning I have a full day — a meeting to plan a Brighid ritual with the local Reclaiming community that I have some anxiety over and then this evening Gabrielle has a belly dance recital at Domba Studio in Tempe. In and around all that, willow_rahne and I have business issues to discuss and notarize and I have to start getting the house ready for company.
I’ve had a few interesting incidents of road rage lately that I’m pretty sure is related to my bumper stickers, as I’m not really a bad driver. I think the most incendiary one is the one that says “Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right.” As usual, they don’t get the joke, which is on them when they honk and flip me off right before cutting me off in traffic. I just smile and think, “Yep, and I’m doing my part well.” I realize I’m inviting feedback by putting bumperstickers like that on my van, and I’m pretty much okay with it. Of course, the person who drove by and told me I was number one had nothing on their bumper, so I guess I’ll never know just what did it. Maybe they didn’t like that I was a “Proud Liberal,” or maybe, just maybe, they could read French: Nous sommes desole que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n’avons pas vote pour lui! But somehow I doubt that. Anyway, I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t take them off. I mean, for whatever reason, the religious right seems to be getting increasingly agitated and bold, and I don’t want me or my children to get “smited” (smote? smeet?) by some random kooky “hammer of God.”
Deeda was with me when I was “raged” at on Thursday — we had a short discussion after that about why fundies are still raging and acting victimized. They like to be the victim, I think. It helps them rationalize their offensive on others. Witness poor dinoboy a few days back. As we were talking, I remembered a professor I had in college for a World Lit class. I really liked her — she was this funky little woman with really long hair and a very girly way about her — small, perky voice and a sense of mischief. Problem was, everything we read was a Christ allegory according to her.
One day I decided to talk to her about it after class. I mentioned that there were other faiths in the world and maybe not everything was about Christ. Heck, maybe not everything was about religion! Maybe sometimes stories were just stories, or at least, metaphors for something in the human condition. Her eyes got really big and she started to earnestly tell me about how Christianity is a persecuted religion, one that is in the minority world-wide, on and on and on. But it’s not the minority religion in our country, I argued, and besides, my point isn’t about the persecution of Christianity, but that maybe not everything is about Christ. She smiled and told me that Our Heavenly Father guided all good literature. I was so disappointed and sad. The class wasn’t much fun after that.
Deeda noted that maybe part of the reason why fundies feel so persecuted and small is that they are all so dead set on only recognizing Christians who think exactly like they do. They don’t acknowledge other sects as “real” Christians. Sadly, this isn’t just a fundie thing, either. The Christian traditions are quite divided in this way because everyone is so certain there is some absolute truth and only their church (or interpretation of the Bible) has it.
Of course, this isn’t exclusive to Christianity. I see it in my own tradition and others as well. I believe there is such a thing as a Pagan Fundamentalist — if by Fundamentalist, you mean someone who is convinced that they somehow have the One True Way and Everyone Else is Doing it Wrong. I think all faiths have these people. What makes them tick? Why do they need such a black and white world view?
I have a feeling if I knew the answer, the world would be a more peaceful place all around. Ah well.
Have a nice weekend!