January 14, 2010

Pat Robertson Strikes Again

Posted in Anti-Christian Message, Christianity, God, Jesus, religion, Suffering, Theodicy, Victim Blaming tagged , , , at 11:11 pm by Gina Messina

Like the rest of the world, I have been stunned and deeply saddened by this incredible tragedy that has struck Haiti.  In the wake of such devastation, I have wondered why such awful tragedies occur, why so many had to lose their lives in such a tragic manner.  That being said, I refuse to think that God had any role in creating such suffering.  Why is it that when such terrible things occur some feel it necessary to justify the devastation by blaming the victim?  This is exactly what Pat Robertson has done.  In wake of such tragedy, he felt it necessary to go on national television and claim that the people of Haiti are “cursed,” made a “pact to the devil,” and that they must “make a great turning towards God.”   What he succeeded in doing with such hateful statements is further perpetuate intolerance and the myth of superiority while slandering the Christian message.

Pat Robertson calls himself a Christian.  He preaches to millions and many hang on his every word with the belief that Robertson will lead them directly to a life of eternity with their Lord.  However, Robertson’s message of hate clearly demonstrates that what he preaches is not a Christian message.  In fact, Pat Robertson has completely missed the boat and is teaching a message that utterly conflicts with that of Jesus. 

Robertson is not calling for his parishioners to love their neighbors.  Instead he focuses on labeling those he finds fault with and claims them responsible for tragedy in the world.  He warned his 700 Club viewers that “Many of those people involved with Adolf Hitler were Satanists. Many of them were homosexuals. The two seem to go together.”[1]  Robertson also called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, stated that 9/11 occurred as a punishment from God because of legalized abortion in America, and that Hurricane Katrina was a direct result of New Orleans being a sinful city.  Now with his message about the earthquake in Haiti, Robertson has linked every Haitian to devil worship and deserving of their suffering.  How is this a Christian message?

Although Robertson represents himself as a Christian he apparently is unfamiliar with Jesus’ message of love your neighbor.  Evidently he has not read Jesus’ call to not judge others.  It seems that the Beatitudes are unknown to him, yet Pat Robertson has made himself the face of Christianity in America.  What I wonder is why is anyone standing for this? Why do so many listen to his non-Christian message?  Why do we continue to allow him to preach, air his television show, and act as commentator? At what point will Pat Robertson be held accountable for spreading such hate?

See video of Robertson on Haiti as well as the Haitian ambassador’s response at the following link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/13/pat-robertson-haiti-curse_n_422099.html


[1] Bob Moser. Anti-gay religious crusaders claim homosexuals helped mastermind the Holocaust.”

Advertisements

October 15, 2009

Jesus was not white, and other reflections

Posted in God, Goddess, Jesus, religion, Soul, Spirituality at 4:29 am by Eostre

Growing up in the Evangelical Church, we knew who Jesus was, we had pictures of him! Jesus was white, quasi-attractive, and full of good ol’ Amerijesus playing keep awaycan pride (our Church had an American flag right next to cross, behind the pulpit).  And since, as we all know (and out Sunday School teachers showed us on felt boards every week) Jesus was more than just a man, he was GOD, the implications were clear. Jesus was just like us! And more than that, he might have lived in Ancient Israel, but apart from that small point, he was American!

Unfortunately, this Jesus was created out of whole cloth by the American Church and fed to little minds every week by well meaning (but maliciously misinformed) adults. I don’t know which would be worse, a concerted effort to do away with the Jesus of the Bible and replace him with this permissive, smiling, white man, or blinding ignorance. Either way, irreparable damage has been done to generations of Christian children, who grew up to be Christian adults who then went on to perpetuate the lie.

As I became aware of the glaring inconsistencies in what the Bible actually said and what was presented in Christian media, I was appalled. The lie is so widespread and so ingrained in Christian (and Western) culture, that there seems to be no way to counter it.  Suddenly, White Jesus was everywhere I looked. I couldn’t escape his bland, permissive gaze. Christian bookstore’s send me spiraling into depression.

So what do I do with this? How do I deal with this tangled, snarled knot of misconceptions and angst? I tried declaiming to anyone who would listen that Jesus probably looked more like Osama Bin Laden than Brad Pitt, but I soon discovered that it was a fruitless exercise. The lie was too prevalent, too ingrained in our collective consciousness.

So I gave up. Not completely, of course, I’ll still pull out the soap-box given the opportunity, but I can’t let it consume me anymore. I can’t fight the White Jesus, but he has ruined God personifications for me. I can’t try to imagine a human God without spiraling back down into the angst, so I have had to find a different way of imagining God. It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t well defined, but now, when I care to, I imagine God as a sort of amorphous cloud that can envelope me in warmth, like laying on the grass in the sunshine when it’s not too hot, but just right, and you can see the patterns of the shadows of the leaves on your eyelids when you close your eyes. And all I want to do is curl up and rest. God, for me, now, is a feeling. God is safety and comfort and warmth, all encompassing and incorporeal, no gender, no race, God is both the sunlight that warms my face, the grass that cushions me, and the clean scent of rain that lulls me to rest. Simple? Yes. Uncomplicated? No.

October 7, 2009

Jesus is a Sexy Beast

Posted in Jesus, religion, sexuality, Spirituality tagged , , , at 5:42 am by Lakshmi (LaChelle)

sexy jesusI spent a whole heap of years accepting that God/Jesus was my Daddy, BetterThanABoyfriend, Romantic Prince Charming, Protector, Bryan Adams Doing Everything for Me (My Jesus was HOTT!), and I wasn’t the only one. As much as Jesus and the male God have been pronounced as celibate, asexual beings, the sexiness of Jesus is well promoted for mainstream Christians. I remember my youth pastor saying that, “As much as that cute boy at school makes you smile, Jesus should make you smile more. Jesus always thinks you are beautiful.” When the Da Vinci Code movie came out in 2006, it caused a bit of  stir among Christian churches, the main complaint being that Jesus could have never have children. Not only would that (having sex?) compromise his divinity (although no one really ever explains why), it’s practically impossible (do NOT think of Jesus’ penis. Do NOT. It is not there. He does not use it. End. Of. Story.) Yet his sexuality was just that which was coveted by some people, including my friend. When I asked her what she thought of the movie, she said that she was fine with it, except that she would be sad to think of Jesus as having a wife. . . because she doesn’t want to share his love like that.

So as girls, we (being myself and this friend and others) were sort of allowed to see Jesus as romantic. We were the brides of Christ. A major motivation to stay virgins until we married was because if we didn’t, it would be like we were cheating on Jesus (yes, this was another youth service sermon). Yet, to think of the historical Jesus as feeling lust, but more to the point, engaging in sex, would be wrong. Right? Because sex is . . . not divine? What happens if he has sex???? Is sex sin? What IS it? But hey, if he DID think about sex, it was certainly heterosexual sex. That is just a given. Come on.

God is sort of given the same rap, although He isn’t as sexy since he’s sort of amorphous and spirit-y. Yet He’s definitely male (Zeus, anyone?) and yet definitely asexual (although. . . he kind of did it with Mary to make Jesus. . . omgz I’m so confused).

But what consequences do such messages have on our theologies, on our lives? Jesus/God is a sexy beast we can’t really have. Is there a place for the erotic, for sexuality, in our theology? Can it be seen as divine and good and therefore not to be avoided in our deities and in our own religious/spiritual lives? Do we have to separate it? Here is me being holy and sacred (not having sex). Here is me being human (not divine, having sex). I’m not sure really what I want in theology, but it might be nice to discover the sensual and the sexual and not have it be a disconnect with the sacred. At the same time, the sexualizing of God/Jesus as husband/boyfriend/great body as it happens now seems problematic. But I’m not sure how to articulate why.

As we think on these things, may this music video from the film Hamlet 2 be of aid: