A Mass Of Contradictions — To Others, That Is

I hear this all the time — “You’re a feminist AND a Christian?” “You’re an evangelical AND you believe in evolution?” “You’re a woman AND you pastored?”  “You trust the Bible AND you believe that lesbian and gay couples have the rather obvious right to civil marriage?”  “You’re a Christian AND you like punk music/want marijuana legalized/hate today’s Republican Party/are opposed to capital punishment, period, in every case?” “You’re an American AND you have refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance for 40 years? And you think it’s odd that other Jesus-followers do?” “You hate masculinity AND you cherish your husband of 29 years?”

“You’re a woman in her fifties AND you believe that high heels and dresses are tools of patriarchy that limit women’s mobility and compromise women’s safety, and you despise the gobbling up of these fetters and straightjackets by young women?”

The staff at the UPS store where I collect my mail probably has noticed a bit of an apparent contradiction:  On any given day, I get literature from the Democrats, because I subscribe to The Progressive and Mother Jones, as well as from the Republicans, because I order Bibles from Christian Book Distributors.  I get personal mail addressed to Keely Emerine-Mix, which is my name, and to Mrs. Jeff Mix, which is not. And that package I pick up is as likely to contain a nice blouse that caught my eye in the L.L. Bean catalog as it is a copy of some feminist book you’ve never heard of, and that they’ll never make a movie of.

Really, if you know me, you probably don’t know what to do with me.  And if you don’t, you’re likely just as confused, at best, or, at worse, you dismiss me as a confused nutcase.  Or, more likely, you don’t care enough to form an opinion.  Fair enough, and probably healthier.

But as I get back into the blogging groove, these things will become more obvious, and if you’re a Christian, you’ll perhaps be horrified.  Believe me, I hear from you, and I do listen.  But the things I believe, I believe because of my discipleship and allegiance to Jesus Christ.  I won’t go into all of them here — that’s what five-plus years of blog archives are for — but I am confident that the things I believe, the things that motivate me to write, the things I would demonstrate for, be arrested for, and even die for, are things that I believe to be consistent with my Christian faith.  The dissonance, I think, comes from people’s assumption that the Christian faith has anything at all to do with American evangelicalism in the 21st century.

That would be a really faulty assumption.

My faith has more to do with the Gospel than the gaudy, oppressive, masculinist parading on TV that passes for “Christianity” in the media, and in the minds of far too many Christians.  My faith seeks the Way of the Cross, the Third Way that isn’t left or right, but horizontal and vertical.  I practice it poorly — do I really even have to say that? — but it’s what I live for, or, more correctly, it’s why I live at all.  I seek wisdom from Therese of Lisieux and Julian of Norwich and Teresa d’Avila and St. Benedict; I couldn’t care less what John and Stacy Eldredge, Emerson Eggerichs, Focus on the Family, or Ron Luce have to say about anything.  In fact, I only pay attention to them when they say something that not just contradicts, but offends, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I won’t settle for anything less than the full equality and dignity of all that Jesus died for.  I don’t believe you should, either.

I believe that patriarchy, which is most often expressed through violence, money, and power, is the root of all social evils, and I believe that the Church has fallen for Satan’s great lie in denying women full participation and exercise of their tremendous, God-given gifts.  God is not sexed — God is both male and female, and so God is not gendered — the Divine is free from gender, neither masculine nor feminine, but Spirit.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit isn’t masculine or feminine.  It’s the only full demonstration of Godly love, allegiance, and character.  Period.  So I despise Christian masculinism, Christian patriarchy, and Christian virility.  I think they’re oxymoronic, as well as most often simply moronic, and very, very often utterly despicable and violent.  I am a woman who was raped in 1980, and three-plus decades later, I refuse to “examine myself” to see if I “held any responsibility” for a man’s decision to pound himself into me.  I think you would be well-advised to not suggest that I do.  I have a bit of a temper, and more than a bit of a holy anger.

So I invite you to join me where the Prevailing Winds blow, and I always welcome your comments — remember, send them to me at siyocreo@live.com, not at the blogsite (I’ve been spammed).  I will always try to engage with as much love toward my critics as I do toward my friends, and I’ll also tell you the truth:  A prostituted political party that wrongly says that President Obama wants, for example, to “ban all guns,” deserves to be referred to as “dipwads.”  “Whitewashed sepulchres” doesn’t pack a punch anymore, so I’ll go with the more commonly understood term for liars, charlatans, and hard-hearted hedonists who claim Christ.  I try to link some of my Facebook comments to this blog, and vice-versa.  “Dipwads” came, unrepentantly, from a FB post yesterday.  I look forward to hearing from you all, and I truly appreciate your reading.

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