Monday, November 15, 2010

why do i do this to myself

so i posted this on FB this week, and have felt pretty naked and uncomfortable ever since. so here it is (slightly edited for mass cosumption), for the world to see. it was in response to some questions by a friend.

so i have this button that says Trust God but Question Religion. if i had a mantra right now in my life it would be that. that's where i am at, completely.

the bible was written by people at the top of the cultural hierarchy, for people in top of the hierarchy, mostly to support their ideologies. so it makes me mad. but there is some truth mustard-seeded within, here and there, so everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt i think and we can't discount the truths that may lie within just because some oppressive dude said it.

i beleve in the person and work of Jesus - i hold onto that. and i find meaning in that, though it is excrutiating and time taking and takes a lot of faith to sift through the cultural patriarchy and other things to really get to the real person of Jesus and what she stood for. but i still hold onto that person with my life - maybe an emotional need. but my life has been saved more than once within this belief and in this trust with this person-God who i don't actually understand or comprehend but hold onto dearly for meaning. and i find meaning within communities which struggle with these things too - SCM type communities - who wrestle with the inherent oppression found within Jesus, the bible, christianity and who struggle and cry together in this pursuit of some meaning in this upside-down life. they are hard to find, but they are out there. and give me hope and reasons to continue on with it.

this faith gives me hope. there is something inside of me which does not accept that what we see is everything that is going on. i want to pursue the erotic joy which audre lorde writes about in all that i do and all that i am (please read the article so that you understand my non-creepy use of the word erotic here). i have experienced and believe something very very very good and loving exists which we can't see, but we can FEEL. that is what i pursue. it is both my strength and my weakness, my tool and my crutch. it sustains me and kills me at the same moment. and what is more erotic than that? carpe diem. especially when the future is so uncertain.


Kelster said...

you think jesus was a woman?

bre said...

hi Kelster, thanks for the question

I think that God transcends boundaries of gender, and other things, so I try to use feminine terms for God, Jesus, Spirit, as much as possible, to sort of counterbalance the excessive use of overmasculine terms for God.


Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings. Lloyd

David S Pankratz said...

You say in yr blog that the bible was written by people on top of the heirarchy for people at the top of the heirarchy.

That surprises me - I've gleaned much from it by reading it as the experience of people at the bottom of the heirarchy seeking to find dignity within that, and to find a way to address the dominant heirarchy without using the violent means of the heirarchy.

Perhaps you are referring to some of the writing of Paul (a person converted out of the dominant heirarchy into this new faith that wouldn't climb the heirarchical ladder for another 400 years); or perhaps the decisions made at the Council of Nicea that shaped what we know as the Bible today - definitely by that time Christianity had climbed the heirarchical ladder (which wasn't particularly good for it).

I'd be interested in hearing why you read that text in that way. As I said at the start, for me the value of the text is the lessons it gives in how to live at the bottom of the heirarchy in a way that is strong and authentic and promotes positive change.

Said by someone who is arguably near the top of the heirarchy in some ways.

bre said...

thanks, David. that makes a lot of sense! let me clarify

the bible is so INTERESTING

there is a lot of truth in what you say - much of the text is written from the view of the underdog - of an oppressed people trying to find their security in the world and through God

what fascinates me about the bible and about countless other societal examples is how those fighting against oppression seem to blindly continue it within their own communities.

so contextually that's what i was referring to; i could have made that more clear. thoughts are fuzzy sometimes

so within the oppressed Israelite community, there was a very specific social heirarchy, in so many ways - gender, the 12 tribes, etc

i don't understand why a community which is fighting for liberation would simultaneously bond women by telling them to be silent, physically outcast those who are ill, and so forth

well, i understand why, but i don' t understand WHY. y'know? so that's what i was referring to - speaking words of societal liberation - waiting so patiently for a savior, while they are actively resisting the liberation of those within their own communities who are dragged down by their own social exclusionary hierarchical teachings

thanks David! I hope to see you again soon!

David S Pankratz said...

'wheels within wheels' some parts are going in the right direction, others not.

I have a better understanding of your post.


Zac said...


I appreciated and agreed with much of what you said in this post. I guess the lingering question I have and that I would like your input on (as I think you could speak to this better than most people I know) is to what extent do you feel this is a problem inherent to religion specifically OR the human condition universally?

What I am trying to get at is, from what I understand you have found that in many ways you have had to distance yourself from certain forms of community because of how they perpetuate certain social injustices. To what extent do you feel that EVEN in moving away from those specific communities, you may move into a similarly unjust situation?

You said:

"what fascinates me about the bible and about countless other societal examples is how those fighting against oppression seem to blindly continue it within their own communities."

do you think this same "blindness" occurs within non-religious or religious communities whose specific goal it is to work for justice? If so, why should one distance oneself from one form of community and not another (and I DO think that sometimes we should! I just want to hear why you think one should). Once again, thanks for your thoughtful post.

bre said...


which is why i am considering building a hermitage

i have been a bit overwhelmingly emotional about this lately. i think i've desperately trying to separate God from religion, from people, because its all so tiring and discouraging.

really, i don't think there is any perfect community. so how do you deal with that? do you walk away? how do you deal with the pain that you feel in this?

and how can i extend grace to my own imperfections without extending grace to others?

as estranged as i pretend to be, i obviously still care or i wouldn't be writing so much about it.

hello existential angst!

cure for candida said...

All things are inconstant except the faith in the soul, which changes all things and fills their inconstancy with light, but though I seem to be driven out of my country as a misbeliever I have found no man yet with a faith like mine.