the difference between being
on the bottom or the top
is you fight for what you have
they fight for what you've got
If what you have is what they want
They'll make the laws then break them
They see money there and make 'em
they don't understand...
Spirit of the West, "Homelands"
The latest obsession, it seems to fit some of the rumination going on in my head at the moment.
Fire and Brimstone
So I went to my grandma's christmas play tonight. At her church.
You know where this is going, don't you?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I managed to find a play that told the Christmas story in a way that involved hellfire and brimstone. Well, it was written by one of the church members, and my grandmother's church is very -- well, Charismatic. They're the folks who are buying the Left Behind books. It probably really shouldn't have been a surprise that their Chrismas play would involve hellfire and brimstone, but it did. It was shocking and mind-numbing in its horror. Between bringing in the sado-masochistic parts of the Easter story (yes, that's the only part they chose to bring out of the Easter story, the exquisite pain and torture Our Lord went through to save us measly groveling pathetic humans -- the resurrection was glossed over in the narrative) and the passive-aggressive revenge fantasies that incorporate Judgement Day, they completely wrecked any of the glory and the power that the Christmas story has. Augh!
Now, of course, I can deal with most of this. It's mainly a matter of sitting there and watching, and we're there to support Grandma's acting debut, right? I don't argue religion with the fundies because it's a waste of time. But the part that really infuriated me (well, beyond the factual errors, like Jesus saying "My friend Paul" when Paul of Tarsus lived after Jesus died and the fact that the faith v. works controversy was played up -- when their own beloved New Testament contradicts itself on this point) is at the end. The play was over and their damned pastor (okay, well, he's probably not damned in that sense, but still...) steps up and says, "If you know Jesus, stand up."
So, I ask you, my readers, what a good Unitarian and a good Episcopalian supposed to do? (jillcaligirl's the Episcopalian; I'm the Unitarian. This probably isn't a surprise.) We both stood, even though neither of us wanted to, because there's certain social graces one has to keep in mind, and one of those is simply "Don't embarrass your grandma." And Grandma was standing right there, anxiously watching the audience, and I cultivate the "good Christian girl" act for that side of the family, so I stood. It was a lie. I don't know Jesus in the sense he meant it. (Well, on second thought, I do. When I was younger, I went to that church, and I bought wholeheartedly into the "pray to be saved" -- so I did it repeatedly as a kid. Wonder if that'll save me in their theology now?)
Although. "Yeah, I knew Jesus. He played on my baseball team. Man, that guy could hit, but he couldn't catch a ball to save his life and got caught stealing more often than not..." Mmmm, irreverence. But I'm getting sidetracked. Yeah, that little stunt made me angry. That and having us pray for the cast, since to do proper hellfire and brimstone, you have to get somebody to portray the devil and unrepentant sinners, and this could give room for the Evil One to attack. Yeah. Wow. It was just over the top.
There's such a thing as preaching to the choir, and man did this production do that in *spades*.
The second thing that happened this evening...I want to still process. I'm not sure what to make of it.
But for those of you who were either around in #spork or I've talked to in the past about my family history (tanesmuti, I'm thinking of you in particular here), I talked to the man whom without my mother wouldn't exist. And by extension, therefore, Jill and I wouldn't exist. And that's all I have to say about that at the moment, except for that it went much better than I was expecting.
But I'm going to bed now, waiting for stickyness in my head to process some more. Still haven't gotten any writing done, but nor did I expect especially sticky things to strike. Off to bed for me.