Ahem. My Re-Introduction After A Blogging Break Too Long

The fixing of my problems signing into this platform, Blogger, and thus my intent to plunge right in to a torrent of blogging, unfortunately coincided with my wedding anniversary.  And you don’t make it through 28 years of marriage by spending such weekends hunched over your laptop, no matter how silly the Sunday morning news shows reveal the arguments of the GOP to be.

I am a woman of strong preferences; this weekend, I preferred no more than five minutes of Newt Gingrich, and and every other moment with the love of my life.

But, speaking of preferences, it occurs to me that it’s been awhile since I offered some information about myself — who I am, what I do, what I believe, and what informs and energizes my beliefs, as well as why I feel called to express them in a manner that some find less than they expect from a sweet Christian woman (gender roles are terribly important up here in Moscow, Idaho, and the odious influence of the Tea Party and Religious Right reigns supreme).  If you’ve been a Prevailing Winds reader for awhile, you know what I mean; if you’re new, you’ll see that while I place tremendous value on kindness, I’m far less concerned with being “nice.”

Bigotry, oppression, and injustice flourish when people hold “being nice” more important than being truthful, being courageous, and being committed to righteousness.  Indeed, “niceness” is the scourge of contemporary Christiandom when its concern with not making waves allows cruelty and avarice to gallop unchecked through the pulpit, among the congregants, and onto the streets.  Kindness, on the other hand, means that I hope never to gratuitously attack a fellow believer, and only in extreme cases will I ever level a rebuke against a non-Christian.  It’s the beliefs and actions of the Church that concern me, and given that those who don’t identify as followers of Jesus Christ generally behave better than those who do, they generally escape my judgement.

And of course I exercise, and level, judgement against bigotry and stupidity.  You can’t speak out against what you refuse to name.  I am a political progressive, and it’s expected, then, that I would embrace tolerance.  I do.  But nothing in my moral code compels me to tolerate hateful and bullying pronouncements and behavior from people who behave badly in the name of Christ.  On the contrary, my own Christian faith requires that I “expose the deeds of darkness” around me, and especially those committed by other Christians.  I judge words by their meaning and actions by the fruit they produce; I cannot rightly judge anything else.  So, based on the fruit evidenced, I’m not hesitant to call a bigot a bigot, a bully a bully, and a belligerent a belligerent.  As I’ve maintained for the four years I’ve been blogging, when evil is pervasive, silence in its face is assent.

But I’m not always on the rhetorical warpath.  I’m not always on a soapbox, and I’m not always sweeping the horizon in front of me for wrongdoing.  First, I think it’s vital that I clean up my own spiritual house first.  God requires that, and I don’t get to opt out of the Divine command. Second, I’m a certifiably zany woman of diverse interests, many of which might surprise, or dismay, you.

I was born in Tucson, Arizona, and have been on a horse exactly twice.  But I compromise to make up for it: I love dogs and I love Westerns, although Perry has never been forced to wiggle into cowboy PJs.

I’m hooked on “Criminal Minds” and I enjoy Pawn Stars — and I think Charlie Sheen and “Two And A Half Men” and “Toddlers And Tiaras” are indicative of cultural rot, not the marriage of two women or two men.  But gays and lesbians are such easy targets for the frightened and bigoted among us, and their relationships don’t make anyone rich. 

I’m a Second Amendment supporter.  Because of that, I refuse to pollute it by arguing that semi-automatic weapons and such were what the Founders had in mind in drafting it.

I love punk music as much as I love vintage country and bluegrass, but my skin crawls when I hear freeform, modern jazz.  While I don’t believe in eternal conscious torment, if I did, I’d guess that Pandora would feature only Miles Davis’ tunes.

My favorite author is Stephen Lawhead, and then Toni Morrison.  I suspect not very many people consider “Byzantium” and “Song of Solomon” their favorite novels.

I used to be a serious distance cyclist; when I was 21, I thought nothing of a quick 50-mile ride in the morning, and I once rode 135 miles from Tucson to Phoenix.  But that’s not me you saw riding the trail yesterday.

I’m fascinated by caves and would be absolutely thrilled to live in one, as long as it had basic household amenities and floors that wouldn’t get my Birkenstocks all squishy.

Of course I have a teddy bear.  I’m not sure why you don’t.

Since the statute of limitations has undoubtedly expired, I can tell you that in 1981, shortly before I became a Christian, I participated in the vandalizing of several adult bookstores and nude dance halls in Tucson.  Actually, I just vandalized them, pasting “This Establishment Abuses Women” posters on the windows, jamming the locks with wheat paste, and, in a spectacularly misguided, sinful finale, heaving five gallons of paint on the front of a downtown strip joint.  The sentiment was good, but I recognize that it was wrong. My crime wasn’t indicative of feminism; it was indicative of youthful stupidity.

You’ve likely picked up that I’m still a feminist.  My understanding of the Gospel leaves me no other option.  I don’t believe it leaves you any other as well.

I’m a fervent supporter of the legalization of marijuana for anyone over 21.  I believe weed is a good gift from a good God, and it’s obscene that men can deny what God has granted us for our good by fiat — by laws that are ineffective, unjust, cruel, and, not incidentally, utterly racist in their origin.  I don’t use it, although it would help me greatly, but I’d feel entirely OK about it if I did.

A better person would not consider a plate of Southern fried catfish and an icy beer her favorite meal, but I am not, in fact, that better person.  But I also enjoy Thai and Indian food, and the Mexican food my friends cook.  I am not, alas, an organ-meats type of woman.

The women I most admire are Gabrielle Giffords, Billie Jean King, Kathryn Joyce, Hillary Clinton, Mimi Haddad, my pastor friend Lupita in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Marian Wright Edelman, Dolores Huerta, and, in history, Mary McLeod Bethune, Catherine Clark Kroger, Katharine Bushnell, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Angela and Sarah Grimke’, Susan B. Anthony, the women of Romans 16 (including the apostle, Junia), and the thousands of women who kept the world together when the world acted to rip them apart.  Truly, they were not worthy of this world and have now received the better reward promised in Scripture.

Finally, with the snows coming in another month or two, I dream of a car that handles it better than my Prius.  If I had $50,000 I absolutely HAD to spend on a car, I’d get an early ’80s Bronco II, rehab it inside, outside, under, and throughout, and paint it a sensuous deep emerald color.  And because I live in Idaho, I’d have to have a Scene Of Three Wolves Howling At The Moon screened on the rear window.  Bliss.  Sheer, high-clearing, stick-shifting bliss . . . with nary a bumpersticker anywhere near it.  And, by the way, if you see my car around town, the guy on the yellow diamond-shaped sticker is NOT carrying a bong, but a banjo.  It was supposed to mean “Bluegrass Is Pedestrian Music,” but I’ve gotten lots of interest from the young, hemp-wearing, and dreadlocked among us.

And if you know anything else about me, you know that that makes me very happy, indeed.  I’d much, much prefer to be in a stadium full of these folks, in my heart, than in a church sanctuary full of Christians.  I think Jesus would be much more likely to be there, too, and I’ve gotten emotionally sucker-punched by the latter way more often than by the former.

OK.  Enough said.  Up next:  Let’s talk about abortion and children born with disabilities, or, more precisely, the viciousness of Republican men who contend that there’s a God-ordained connection.  Reference “nice” above, because I won’t be.


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