Prevailing Winds "For the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom . . ." 2 Cor. 3:17, TNIV

January 8, 2015

I Am My Foremothers’ and Forefather’s Daughter

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 8:13 pm

From the “How Did She Get That Way?” files:

I’ll likely not read anything nearly as inspiring and nearly as exciting in 2015 as I did this morning while looking through copies of my paternal great-great-grandfather’s letters to his daughter, in which the abolitionist Rev. William Henry Boles recounts the time he was speaking against the Ku Klux Klan just after the Civil War and was shot by a Southern sympathizer.

His wife, Dr. Louisa Spiller, was also a preacher, and Louisa and their daughter, my grandmother’s mother, Dr. Harriet Boles-Stephenson, were osteopathic physicians, temperance activists, and suffragettes. And while I inherited none of their scientific or medical abilities, I know I’m a preacher at heart.

I pray that Henry and Louisa are proud of me.

“Fifty Shades Of Grey” — Or “Fifty Shades Of Black and Blue”

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 8:09 pm

Capricious, arrogant, manipulative men who want to cause you physical pain are not sexy, and being with them is not romantic, and I will still protest this movie when it comes to Moscow because it will be ragingly popular and a university town needs at least one voice to speak against it.

November 29, 2014

Studies Say Pretty Obvious Things

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 4:20 pm

Hold on to your hat, but recent studies have determined that if you view Black people to be inherently more dangerous, you’ll find it much easier if, say, you’re a cop, to act as though they actually ARE.

This would seem apparent. I mean, if you find Black people to be ontologically different — different at their core, different in every aspect –then that “difference” will be, to the one who feels it, always negative.

Therefore, any Black person you see will be “not like you,” the Other, and can’t possibly become “like you” (thankfully). So, with this picture in mind, fed by a constant torrent of racist imagery:

When a Black man wears baggy jeans, he’s in a gang. Dangerous.

When a Black man puts his hand in his pocket, he has a gun. Dangerous.

When a Black man hitches up his pants in the front, he wants to rape your daughter. Dangerous.

When a Black man waves to a friend or poses in a picture, he’s flashing gang signs. Dangerous.

When a Black woman has children, we presume she can’t support them on her own. Irresponsible.

When a Black woman doesn’t have children, we presume she’s too “aggressive” to join the Mommy track. Angry.

When a Black woman speaks, her words come from a reservoir of white hatred. Angry.

When a Black child __________________________, the rotten white supremacist mind sees all of the above in juvenile form, and acts accordingly.

Dangerous, Irresponsible, Angry — and, to the racist, not only justifiably the Other, but justifiably, for the “good citizens” of the area, targeted for violence, if not extermination.  I think we can safely infer that there are too damned many cops who fit a profile they’ll never have to answer to in the same way, to the same degree, as the African-American people they’re shooting.

Where’s the Church?

(crickets …)

November 27, 2014

Friendly Fire

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 6:33 am

Bill O’Reilly, Kirk Cameron, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the ecclesiastical world continues mewling about how the war against Christians is ramping up once again as Christmas nears.

But they’re buffoons. Why would I care, much less comment?

Because I am a committed, 33-year Christian, Bible student, and former minister and pastor. Every single thing I write, do, and say is informed by my faith. I have also been involved in politics since I was able to stuff envelopes in kindergarten. I’ve spent years in the evangelical subculture, was raised Catholic, and am theologically home with the Wesleys and the Anabaptists.

I understand faith, and I understand politics and culture.

Trust me, then, when I say the Church in the U.S. is nowhere near faithful enough to Jesus to be persecuted, and a huge swath of the Church is involved in movements that have declared war on women, the poor, public school kids, and other marginalized people Jesus favored. If there’s a “war” against Christians, it’s primarily “friendly fire,” merrily self-inflicted with little thought as the evangelical world cements its adulterous relationship with the political Right — and, in doing so, does more damage to the Christian witness than any retail culture of “Happy Holidays” possibly could.

November 26, 2014

The Vaginal Hymen As A “Blood Covenant”

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 10:47 pm

In language that ought to cause even a brand-new Christian, as well as anyone with a modicum of common sense, tremendous distress, the article below posits a lurid, perverted theology that centers on the thin membrane within a woman’s vagina called the hymen.

And yes, you needed to know that.  The hymen evidently is the new frontier in covenant-keeping and blood atonement …

“Hymens are for Forming Blood Covenants” and Other Things I’ve Learned from Christian Dating Books

I’m not feeling well enough today to respond at length, but to those who think this is merely the kooky, lunatic fringe of the “purity movement,” I’d like to offer a different persective:

That’s just stupid.

The authors and those who believe as they do are evil-besotted, power-hungry, lascivious, and dangerous. They don’t belong anywhere near other believers, much less young people needing counsel on dating and romance.

This is just more elegant, descriptive prose from a vibrant, vital part of evangelicalism. It has its effects, and those aren’t good. I know young women not allowed to use tampons because they “corrupt the hymen.” (They don’t, generally, and the hymen can be torn in any number of non-sinful ways). My husband’s side of the family has a few members who believe things like this, who believe that in every encounter with an outsider, a woman needs a male “covering,” who adorn their daughters and sons with “purity rings” that put virginity above all else in regards to a young person’s character, who teach them that masturbation is sinful, a threat to sexual “purity.” It’s time to stop thinking that these people are just kooks.

They’re influential, far more than some believe, and they are setting the agenda for the Right, for the complementarians, and for a heartbreaking number of girls and women whose understanding of their sexuality is perverted by these teachings. The males behind these teachings have a puerile and base fascination with their little daddy’s girls’ virginity, and it’s long past time for the Church to rebuke them as sharply as it rebukes those who sin sexually.

I’ll forego a long discussion about the New Testament’s teaching of the only blood-bound covenant that exists for the Christian, because, frankly, if I have to tell you, you’re far more concerned about what lies between a girl’s legs than you are about what lies between the covers of your Bible.

November 24, 2014

On “Queer Theory” — My Son, Jonah Mix

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 11:25 pm

His mother is a radical feminist, so it’s no real surprise that my son Jonah would be an ally.  He, like his mother, is a writer — although better, I think, than I am.  What I am really proud of, though, is his take on trans politics and “queer” theory.  Here’s a link to his blog, Gender Detective, which is devoted to the proposition that as a manmade, sinful social contstruct, gender (not “sex,” which is biological and immutable) is the enemy of all sexual minorities — Lesbians, gay men, and males who identify as women as well as women who identify as men.

This is the crux of the radical feminist argument against “queer” theory: Radfems, like me, wish to abolish this structure, which uses manmade labels like “masculine” and “feminine” to establish strict sex roles that, and there’s no shock here, privilege men and subordinate women. Without gender, males who appear “effeminate” would be encouraged to simply BE and not, through surgery, hormones, and stereotypical “feminine” accoutrements, attempt to colonize female lives, experiences, and spaces by “transitioning to womanhood.”  Likewise, without gender, butch women wouldn’t feel the need to transition (surgery, hormones) to “manhood” — although the transman (a female-born person who identifies as male) is at least unlikely to prey upon women in what should be female-only spaces.

This doesn’t make me, or my son, transphobic.  Rather, we seek to relieve all people, the Sexual Standard as well as the Sexual Other, of the burdens of gender conformity so they can adopt whatever behaviors and appearances they care to — without muddying the immutable waters of biological sex. A five-year-old boy who eschews trucks and hammers and sports is not a “trans” anything, and certainly not fodder for the lucrative “gender reassignment” industry.  No, this five-year-old boy is simply … watch out! … a five-year-old boy playing with stuff he likes.  Sadly, these days he’s likely to be psychotherapized and medicated and manufactured into an adolescent “transwoman” in an attempt to modify his body to reflect the silly, arbitrary, fallen agenda of the “masculine.”

It’s important to note that there is a phenomenal culture of violence that’s killed hundreds, if not thousands, of transwomen (female-born, “male-transitioned”).  Nobody can or should attempt to deny or excuse it.  However, it’s significant that in virtually EVERY case of violence experienced by transwomen, the perpetrator is a biological male. Male violence against transwomen is male-on-male violence, and it is deplorable in all of its various ugly forms.

So … read my son’s work.  He’s pretty amazing, and I’m very proud of him:

What Single Women Can Do: A Tribute To Lupita

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 10:00 pm

Insofar as I live in a patriarchal world, one of whose most significant religious sectors is right here in Moscow, Idaho, I want to say a word about my beloved friend, sister, and collaborator Lupita Rocha Q, whose birthday was a few days ago.

She is the former director of a Mexican Bible College, currently pastors a church in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, and brings food, toiletries, Bibles, and the Gospel into what Mexico quaintly calls “rehabilitation centers,” jails and prisons that often hold 14-year-old boys with vicious cartel mules and horrific murderers and rapists. She is a single woman, exactly my age, and she’s given her life in service to the Lord Jesus and to people around her. She was born into poverty and could’ve, with her fierce intelligence and unquenchable drive, been able, perhaps, to have climbed out of it — but she’s chosen to work among, and to be part of, the poorest and most victimized people in Mexico. I’ve eaten in her childhood home, I’ve preached in churches with her, and I’ve seen her exhaust herself in the effort to demonstrate to people the justice and righteousness of Jesus’ Gospel. We’ve been dear friends for 15 years; because Juarez is so dangerous for women, I know that every time I see her may well be the last time I see her. I can never make peace with that.

She means the world to me. And if you ever ask me how I know God is good, I’ll tell you that it’s because God brought this woman into my life. And I’m extraordinarily grateful that, contrary to Nancy Wilson’s advice, she’s not only NOT waiting for God to bring the man she’s to marry into her life, but also that she’s spending her life by doing something other than what Nancy and the Femina Blog girls would do — collecting table linens.

No, this — evangelizing, teaching, doing works of ministry and mercy, studying the Word — is what God calls unmarried women to do.  Only bloated, self-protecting, self-important bullies and their wives would have her lay aside her ministry so that she can be primped and polished for the man certain to stumble into her life. That would appear to me to be heeding the call of men, not of the Son of Man.

Te quiero, hermana, y que sepas que estas siempre en mi corazon.

The Enironmental Disaster Brought Us Via “Left Behind” Theology

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 9:52 pm

I’m speaking as a Christian, a former minister, and a Bible student of 33 years, and I can say that “Left Behind” theology, besides being, at best, a dubious take on the Scriptures, has been the most dangerous way of thinking our country has ever known.

Since its inception in the mid-1800s — no, Christians didn’t believe this way for most of the Church’s history — it has led to phenomenal and sickening destruction of the natural world, fomented violence, and shackled the movement of the Holy Spirit in this world more than any other theology claiming to be “Christian.” And while I have friends who believe in a pre-tribulation, pre-millennial, dispensationalist eschatology (the religious study of the Last Days), and I wouldn’t separate from them over this, none of them would countenance the rape and suffocation of the Earth because of their theology.

Those in power in an economy of unfettered capitalism, however, see it as an open door to the extraction of unlimited riches from a finite world.

Jesus wept.

On Undocumented Immigration

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 9:49 pm

Most of you know I spent 12 years, when we lived in Snohomish County, Washington, from the 1984 til our move to Moscow in 2002 in a one-woman ministry, supported by my husband, to undocumented Mexican immigrants in our area.  After reading this, you’ll perhaps understand my passion for justice for those here without papers …
I grew up in a UFW/Cesar Chavez-supporting, activist, household in Tucson, Arizona, amongst Mexican and Mexican-American people. I spent 12 years, 1989-2001, working among undocumented Mexican immigrants — 20 or more hours a week teaching English, distributing bilingual Bibles, advocating, providing transportation and translation, and doing pastoral/social work things. I’d say that qualifies me to talk not about the immigrants’ experience, but about the subject of undocumented immigration itself.

First, a more humanitarian term would be “undocumented,” not “illegal.” No human being is “illegal.” They are workers, not “aliens.” Those who immigrate w/o papers to CA, AZ, NV, NM, TX, are “immigrating” to areas that, prior to the 1840s, were part of Mexico — taken, unjustly “annexed,” by the U.S. Beyond that, undocumented workers — who, by the way, more often overstay visas instead of coming illegally across the border, making “border security” a little less than fully the point — contribute enormously to the economy and, through payroll taxes and sales taxes, contribute far, far more than they’ll ever receive in any services. While still w/o papers, they’re not eligible for government services, although some do accept services like WIC and food stamps that allow them to feed their children.

I know and love scores of “dreamers,” adults who came here as children with their parents, and who still live in fear that they’ll be deported. I worked with probably 300 people, many of whom are still, 13 yrs after I left Monroe, WA, where my ministry was, dear friends. Two families in particular have adopted me into theirs; I have no blood relatives who mean to me what they do. I could go on and on, but that’s it in a nutshell. Undocumented immigrants on the whole BENEFIT this country; if they were magically, wrongly, all deported, entire economies, such as Monroe, would collapse overnight.

Monroe’s downtown was a blight of shuttered storefronts. Now, it’s a hub of activity — Mexican restaurants, stores, salons, and has opened up the area to Asian-owned businesses as well. Yes, some bad people immigrate without papers. But of the literally hundreds I’ve known and worked with, I can count three — three — who were criminals. The rest are hardworking, honest, industrious, warm, and stable people you would be privileged to live alongside. And, in case my passion doesn’t come through, let me say that I would give up everything I have in defense of my friends and their families. Finally, as a Christian, I see no way around working for their benefit. They are “the least of these” who represent Jesus in this world, and woe be it to any Christian who mocks, disdains, ignores, persecutes, or oppresses them.

The “Reason For The Season”

Filed under: Uncategorized — keelyem @ 9:44 pm

Christians, if you’re exhausted by Christmas preparations, determined to “save” the day marking the birth of Jesus from the pagan grip of the dominate culture, and find yourself juggling boxes and bags full of expensive gifts for your family and friends — and for your kids, whom you’ve taught to make a list for “Santa” so they’ll feel entitled to expect everything they want and then grumble when they don’t get it — as you go into debt from which you don’t recover until the month before Christmas next year, let’s be clear.

Don’t expect me to take you seriously, much less respond kindly, when I see your “Jesus Is The Reason For The Season” sweater, pin, or bumpersticker.


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