Archive for August, 2013

Please, Brave Patriarchs — Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Names!

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

You can scroll down through the comments that came in after my posts on the Trayvon Martin case and the astonishing acquittal of George Zimmerman, and if you do that, you’ll notice that most of my critics choose not to give their names, even when referring to me as “the girl” or taking me to task for my criticism of Doug Wilson, whom they tend to see as a beleaguered servant of God constantly attacked by a frenzied harridan who just dislikes him for no particular reason. 

So let’s be clear.  First, you make yourself into a coward if you criticize someone on a public forum without using your name.  That seems like Brave Patriarchy 101.  Second, if you follow Doug Wilson, and if you’re not completely blinded by his charisma nor beholden to his corporations, you know perfectly well that he is a terrible representative of the Gospel — and you should know that I will not submit to “assent by silence” by failing to call him out on his errors.  Why not engage with me on those, instead of expressing wonder and outrage that I criticize him at all?

My hope would be that if your parents paid lots of money for your classical Christian education, or if you’re shelling out the big bucks for your child’s, you might have learned something about rhetoric and debate, if not common civility.  Be brave.  Use your name, and stop instinctively defending your Boss Man by slamming his critics.  I’m a big girl.  How nice it would be to engage with Real Men.

Why Pick On Complementarian Brothers And Sisters?

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

I’m occasionally asked why I go after my Christian brothers and sisters who believe that while women are ontologically equal to men — made in God’s image, made of the same stuff — they are, by the teaching of Scripture, only to serve in specific roles in home, church, and society.  After all, aren’t there bigger issues in the Church, in the world, than who gets to be an elder or preach from the pulpit?  Besides, critics remind me, most of their women friends don’t want to be in positions of church leadership — and am I sure I’m not a Biblical egalitarian just because I do?

Because this issue, the debate between these complementarians and the egalitarians who believe that the Gospel message obliterates hierarchy and the top-down power we benignly call “male leadership,” is a focal point of my writing, it’s time to answer it anew.  This is a huge issue, both in scope and in importance, and it takes more than one blogpost to defend the message of the Gospel.  But I’ll start off again by saying that the difference between keeping women out of the pulpit, which good people defend, and, for example, female genital mutilation, which no “good” person defends, is one of degree and not kind.

The same vicious worldview that believes girls can only grow up “tamed” when their clitorises are removed by filthy, rusty knives wielded by men and women encrusted with the filth of patriarchy is an extreme manifestation of the bland theological vapidity that assures you and me that we are at our best when we’re kept in our places, even if those places are in spotless church kitchens and nurseries.  Both have their root in the same thing — patriarchy, which is defined by male dominance of anyone the patriarch deems below or less-than him — even as the expression of that patriarchy flourishes into the forest of vicious oppression that allows men to beat, own, rape, control, and abuse the women around them or the delicate flower of “soft complementarianism” that assures women that their men will do the hard thinking and the hard work of following Jesus.  Both require an acceptance of male rule and female submission, simply as a definition of what it means to be male and female.

There is no Christian theology that honors hierarchy within church, home, or society when the expression of that hierarchy, no matter how seemingly harmless, depends on the elevation of men over women to define and defend it.  There is no Gospel message that keeps all of God’s people in sex-prescribed — and sex-proscribed — roles in serving the Lord Jesus.  And there is no rationale in condemning sex slavery, rape culture, and the oppression of women if you define “lesser” forms of male hierarchy and dominance — masculinism — as acceptable because you take comfort in a faulty hermeneutic that cherry-picks Scripture to defend what Scripture itself calls indefensible. 

If Christian brothers and sisters worked even half as hard to establish the righteousness of the Kingdom as they do in defending theologies and practices that mock it, the Church would rise as one against all forms of oppression and abuse — and the oppressed and the abused would finally have reason to trust that we stand with them, with Jesus, and not with their victimizers.  

Words To Remember, From A Source Not Frequently Quoted

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it.  I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” 

Malcolm X

On Evangelism

Monday, August 5th, 2013
Evangelism dare not call itself “Christian” if it doesn’t actively, incessantly, work for justice and, in humility, for the security and advancement of the marginalized. “Getting ‘em saved” has too often been a means of “making ‘em more Americanized,” and this form of colonization is no better than any other. Evangelism must involve at least as much listening and serving as it does preaching and teaching — that’s why “SERA,” which in Spanish means “(He) will be,” was the acronym for my ministry to Mexican immigrants. Service, Empowerment, Relationship, and Advocacy involves bringing the saving Gospel to people, but it dares not stop at “getting ‘em saved.” Indeed, many of the “lost” are far more acquainted with the Holy Spirit than those who presume to “save” them!

Yeah, You’ve Heard It Before.

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

But this time, it’s true.  After a terrifically busy spring and summer (I was home only 11 days in all of July) and numerous computer problems, I am back in my own zipcode with a new netbook, and the Winds are blowing your way again — regularly, strongly, passionately, and gusting through the rotten structures of bigotry, bullying, buffoonery, and bloated masculinism.  But then, you knew that.  That’s why you’re here, whether you’re a friend or a foe of patriarchy.

Nonetheless, I’d like to kick off on a lighter-than-usual note.  After all, most of you don’t know me, and if we did meet, “prayerfully hoping to rebuke bigots and patriarchs unto repentance” doesn’t fit well on any business card I might hand you when you ask what I do.  One local man made the mistake of asking me if I actually had any interests other than responding to Doug Wilson — a question he is, I think, unlikely to ask again.  But your faithful correspondent is, in fact, a fully-orbed, multi-faceted person with diverse skills and experiences, some of which don’t actually involve picketing.

So, in the interest of reacquainting my readers with the force behind Prevailing Winds, here are Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Keely:

1.  I learned to drive a backhoe, a Case 580-C, before I figured out how to drive a stickshift car.

2.  I have never, not once, eaten a s’more.  Borrowing a line from “Everybody Loves Raymond,” I just haven’t seen the need.

3.  I am a expert canine taxonomist, which means that I can tell you quite a bit about what kind of breeds make up your dog, and far more than you’d ever want to know about the Russian Borzoi or the Affenpinscher.

4.  While working as a newspaper reporter in Odessa, Texas, I once interviewed the Rev. Jerry Falwell — and, as a young Christian newspaper reporter in Odessa, Texas, where I was convinced the unredeemed spent eternity back in the days when I believed in eternal conscious torment, I found it to be an entirely unpleasant experience. 

5.  I make the best lasagne and the worst from-scratch baked goods you’ve ever eaten.

6.  I met my husband of 28 years through the mail.

7.  Trout fishing on the banks of any river in the West is my idea of heaven — and yes, I bait my own hook.  I learned to fish in Arkansas, where I could pull in catfish as big as skateboards.  Trust me.  Charlie’s Blood Bait is far more gross than worm guts.

8.   I hav seen the movie “Jesus Christ, Superstar” no fewer than thirty times.  I just saw all of “The Wizard of Oz” last year.  Hated it.

9.  I want to decorate my house to reflect my love of vintage travel trailers — especially the Airstream — but I can’t seem to convince Jeff that removing a wall to install a 40s-era vinyl-covered banquette in the kitchen is a good idea.

10.  I was baptized in a swimming pool in August 1981 and had wondrous things prophesied over me, except that the pastor kept calling me “Roseanna.”  So, for 30-plus years I’ve been unsure about my spiritual destiny and have just now given myself permission to let go of his prophecy that I’ll be an influential TV news reporter in the Northeast.  I’m pretty sure he meant to say erstwhile blogger in the Northwest . . .

So there you have it.  Now I’ll begin to tackle other things — including, and including not as belatedly as you might think, my response to Doug Wilson’s bewilderment that I could somehow blame the white male power structure in the U.S. for the Trayvon Martin case.

Because you didn’t REALLY think I’d let that go, did you?