vixenmage: Vimes, lighting a cigar with a dragon; from Wikipedia (Vimes)
There are days when I am fair proud of my status as No One In Particular. I don't know anyone who's anyone. I don't wear nice clothes (though I did finally use the gift card my dad gave me, and now have un-ripped shoes), I don't go to meetings or meet with clients or take conference calls, I don't know what's important (arguably) and who's up and who's down, I don't network or meet people for coffee and shop talk. I drive a car with the trunk full of rope, tools, water bottles, and paperbacks. I am, in the worldly sphere, absolutely nobody.

Most days, I like that.

Some days, though, I wish I wasn't. I wish I had contacts, or knew somebody who knew somebody, or something, because the Job Seekers Open Threads come around, and I scroll through wishing... I don't know what I'm wishing for. Maybe someone will say "Specializing in education, experience with autistic children, in the CT area," and I can plug it to my dad and stepmom*. And I know it's irrational to feel guilty that I can't do anything about most people's situations, but it just... grates. I feel like I should be able to.

Anyway. Even if you dislike Slacktivist, if you're not a fan of liberal blogs or Fred Clark or a commentariat full of diversity, if you know of a job opening, or someone who's looking for good help, you should check out the above link. It really is a worthy cause.

*If you do know someone who's looking for a job and fits this description...
vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Francis)
And this is one of those things where I realize that my sister and I are very different people, even if we are getting along these days.

You Might Be an Evangelical if...

The comment thread, of course, proceeded to be vastly amused and began coming up with their own-- it's quite fun. There's also a handful of You Might Be a Catholic If, You Might Be a Unitarian Universalist If, You Might Be a Methodist If, wossnames. Even if y'all are not a fan of the Slacktivist site all the time, this is still very worth checking out. (The atheists with no family experience in Evangelical churches are sort of watching the thread with a bemused expression. It's funny.)

A Handful: If you’ve ever forgotten to set your clock back at the end of Daylight Savings Time and your first thought at seeing the empty church parking lot was, “Oh no, I’ve missed the Rapture,” then you might be an Evangelical.

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” If you just shouted, “Where?” then...

If you’ve ever played the tambourine while wearing a tie, then …

If the last rock concert you went to included an altar call, then …

And this is the one that had me laughing so hard I couldn't talk.

If a sentence beginning “Lord, we just, Lord, want to thank you Lord, for just, Lord, just …” doesn’t strike you as either atrocious grammar or a speech impediment, then …

My own contribution was "If you've ever had an intense debate over whether it's pronounced 'ah-men' or 'ay-men,' you might be a Baptist."

"If you've ever followed that debate with a car ride in which case it was hotly proclaimed "AH-men? Ah-Men? Next thing you know, we'll be praying in Latin!" you might be a Southern Baptist.

There was this: "If you don't really know what transubstantiation really means, but you totally believe it, you might be a Catholic."

And my response: "If you don't really know what transubstantiation really means, but you know it's heresy, you might be an Evangelical."

See, I remember all the things Ruth doesn't. I remember those car rides, I remember the barbecues in John's backyard after he finished the sermon, I remember all the little tiny quirks of our church that I never realized were, yes, very weird, until after entering the rest of the world. And you know what? Despite my oft-expressed cynicism with much of the Church, these days I don't think I'd mind finding a Baptist church to fellowship with on Sunday mornings.

(If you know the difference between 'fellowship with' and 'worship with,' then I don't know what you are, but we're likely on the same level of theological tongue-in-cheekery, and yes, these Slacktivite comment threads totally count as fellowship.)
vixenmage: (coexist)
Firstly, CS Lewis and Pacifism: A Failure of the Imagination? And I'll add that question mark, because if it is not in the title, it is certainly in my own head and reading of that article. But I do admit to laughing at the opening paragraph:

Whenever one disagrees with C.S. Lewis, there is sure to be much fear and trembling. I am a Christian today in large part due to Lewis’ writing, and, if he had the opportunity to respond to me on the subject of pacifism, I suspect I would meet the long shadow of the Great Knock! A fearsome idea if there ever was one.

Anyone who's hung around Slacktivist/Slacktiverse for any amount of time probably remembers from recent or distant history some time when someone argued against Kit with "But according to C. S. Lewis--!" and was met with a steely glare, followed by a lengthy, well thought-out, considerate, and devastating explanation of why, Precisely, that does not matter to the argument at hand. They may even, like myself, remember it with a smile! What they probably don't remember with a smile is the ensuing slugfests during which people would tell Kit that she was being overly emotional, that she Just Didn't Get It, that she was wrong because THEY understood Lewis, that she was simply misconstruing his position on this/everything, and in which Kit and those agreeing with her got increasingly frustrated and tempers frayed on all sides.

The other night, I was going through a bookshelf, trying to put off sleep a little longer, and found The Great Divorce. When I was younger, maybe... oh, I don't know. Was it two years back I found that, or only one? Either way, it seems like longer. Time is slipping through my fingers, these days-- and yet, the days drag, and the tally lingers. Anyway. I remember taking great comfort from that book. Thinking on the idea that one had to choose Hell. That forgiveness was, truly, always available to those who could forsake that part of their spirit which had led them wrong, or at least be humble to their own flaws. I loved the metaphors, and always took the lizard which was slain to be an analogy to mental illness - the voice whispering in your ear, telling you any number of horrible things. Unique in a way, and certainly interesting, but overall rather harmful, in this present world we lived in - but transformed, in Heaven, to something beautiful and glorious. That passage filled me with hope, and I seem to remember tearing up, reading it.

Then there's things like his passing slight of 'liberal theology.' And any number of other things that I now cannot recall, and my wondering, foolishly, on the morn, how Lewis might describe me. And then instinctively flinching from that answer, because I am a bisexual monogamous female who wears terribly androgynous clothing/hair, doesn't wear makeup or jewelry, is argumentative and headstrong towards authority figures more often than I care to admit and a vegetarian (I seem to remember him taking a rather derisive tone of vegetarians) and a pacifist (of sorts) and overall, the sort of person who I cannot help but think his initial reaction to would be pretty much "...gah. No." I'd like to think that on further conversation, I might at least persuade him of my humanity, but then my flight of fancy comes crashing to the ground and I realize hey it doesn't matter. He's someone who has no bearing on my life right now, and even if he was still alive this would be the case, and really? I stop trying to please my dad, grow to the point where I am not trying to please my friends... so the psyche shifts to an admired author. Brain you need to stop this.

Anyway. I have come to the conclusion that Paul's advice is the best, still. Echoed by Fred Clark and many others, it boils down to this:

Test everything; hold onto the good."

When this body breathes its last, it is not Clive Staples Lewis I will need to answer to. I doubt that Christ will ask me "Ah, but did you consider before joining the rally that Lewis would not have approved?" He may very well ask "When you joined the rally, how conscious of an effort did you make to ignore your conscience?" or "When you turned away from the rally for idle entertainment elsewhere, how were you showing Love, to your neighbor or to God?" I pray, on that day, that I will have the answers to more of my life than I do now. But in the meantime, priorities are priorities, and I will continue to seek answers wherever they lie, the writings of Lewis included. Test everything; hold onto the good.

I have other insecurities and issues and flailings to do, but none of them really belong here, so I shall leave it and attempt to get some sleep.

Heh.

Mar. 1st, 2011 11:54 am
vixenmage: St. Francis wiv a bird on 'is haid! (Default)
I think I'm officially a Fred Clark fangirl.

Team Hell Gets Loud.

I keep trying to find a selection from the post that will do to explain it, but I'd rather just paste the whole thing here. >_> Ah, this will do.

The evangelical blog world seems all atwitter over a forthcoming book by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. The book's title, "Love Wins," is apparently regarded by many American evangelicals as an astonishingly heretical and controversial claim. Love wins? How dare anyone suggest such a thing?

Even more controversial is the book's subtitle: "Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived." Bear in mind that the book hasn't hit shelves yet, so nobody's actually read it yet, but that subtitle and this promotional video from Bell were more than enough to prompt Team Hell to spring into action.

I'll say this for Team Hell, they're not afraid of repeating themselves.


Also, I meant to tell Sixwing how awesome her shut-down of Honestwoman was, but forgot. So: Sixwing, you rock!
vixenmage: (icarus)
Or: knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend.

Fred Clarke's blog, Slacktivist. Read it. Please.

I want to rationalize American evangelicals' understanding of what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. By that I mean I want to spare them from irrational readings of the map that cannot be reconciled with the terrain of reality. If your reading of the Bible leads you to assert that homosexuality is a choice when it is not, then you're reading it wrong. If your reading of the Bible leads you to claim that "ex-gay ministries" are effective, rather than delusional and abusive, then you're reading it wrong. If your reading of the Bible leads you to claim that the happiness of a loving, committed same-sex relationship is an intrinsically, irredeemably abhorrent thing, then you're reading it wrong. And if your reading of the Bible leads you to tell someone else that their desire for that kind of relationship means that they are dirty and wicked and evil, then ... well, then you're just being a jerk, really.

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