Tag Archives: Theology

Feminism and singing bowls

19 Feb

In college I took a class about gender roles in the theatre and on stage. If we didn’t know it already, we were very clear by the end of that class that feminism was the belief that the genders are equal and should have equal rights. I think this definition is a surprise to many people. Feminism to many means a bashing of men.

Now to be clear, I understand that I see the world through the lens of someone who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and never had the though cross my mind that there was anything I couldn’t do because I was a girl. Heck, I was 3 when Sally Ride made her first space flight. My mom was college educated and also could build things, fix cars, and sew. I grew up with the benefit of the equality that the women and men of previous generations devoted their lives to. And I am grateful.

Demanding equality for a marginalized group continues to be a theme of our society and I don’t pretend that there isn’t still progress to be made on many fronts. If there is discrimination, it needs to be dealt with.

But that’s not really why I’m riled up today. Actually, I’ve been working on this one for a while in my heart and mind. Equality doesn’t exist if one group is less than another.

Something I hear multiple times a week is a woman saying “well you know men, they always (fill in the blank.)” Usually, whatever they have put in the blank is #1, some blanket statement that is very over-generalized, and #2, applicable to about 50% of the population, but just as much women as men. This makes me squirm because it is creating a sense of ‘us’ and ‘them’, and  when it’s putting another group down, I can’t help but wonder what’s the point? Can we lift up this group, “wow, us girls did a great job building this wall” without having to say boys are ___? Then can we lift up the men, “hey you men did a great job ____!” without saying “we’re no good without you.”

We find ourselves divvying up along all sorts of lines, gender, race, orientation, hometown, ability/disability, then you throw in the chosen affiliations such as hobbies, sports and professions , and you have an infinite list of people to look down on. WHY!

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with a customer in the bookstore and she was looking at the singing bowls. One of the neat things about the brass singing bowls we have is that even if they look the same, are the same size and design, they still don’t sound the same. You have to play them to find the right one for you. Even though they look similar, they are all unique. And I thought to myself, that’s exactly like we are. We’re all a little different, and sometimes we aren’t in harmony with others, but that’s ok, it doesn’t make either of us wrong.

In fact, I think having differences is what makes life interesting. I’ve said for a long time that I don’t really know what I believe until I have had the chance to talk about it. But if everyone was the same there would be no need for that discussion. The discussion is what takes us deeper, to open to new ideas and strengthen others. But if we choose to see their different-ness as bad or a threat, how can we have the chance to learn?

We’re heading into a big election year. No doubt if I watched TV more I would have already started to see the ads. I’m disappointed in a political system that often seems to be more about how so and so is wrong instead of about why I’m right. It’s not any different than I tell my kids at church, Don’t be a Hater!

By the dictionary definition, I am a feminist. I believe in equal rights for women. But even more, I am egalitarian, I believe that all humans are equal in worth. I will not diminish a ‘category’ that I am not a member of because of the actions of a few.

Be the love!

Ra

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the opposite of love

1 Dec

We’ve probably all been there, in a group conversation, maybe not fully engaged and then BAM! You hear something that sticks to you like fresh gum to your new sneakers.

Today’s topic happened to be God’s love, the anti-Christ, and a touch of Revelation. (don’t ask, just assume I spend a lot of time around people who talk about ‘churchy’ kind of stuff.) The thing that I heard that rocked my world in that moment was something like this:

‘If God is love and the Anti-Christ is the opposite of God, than that is the opposite of love, so every time we are acting out of fear and hate, we are worshiping the anti-Christ.’ 

Another way to say it would be that in every moment we have the choice to choose to trust God or not. And yes, somewhere about here we could dissect what we mean by all those theologically loaded words, but I’m not gonna go there, because I mean a one presence one power everywhere present God, and that’s all I have to say about it.

But back to the real topic. I get to choose to be fearful or not about whatever is going on. If I am experiencing physical pain, I can play thru all the scenarios that are the worst case, or I can take the time to rest and rejuvenate, taking time to bless and appreciate my body. Maybe I seek medical or spiritual support in easing my pain. All or some of these things may be necessary for me to feel better, but nowhere in the equation is fear, worry or hate required.

Many times I have felt myself lean towards being fearful around money, or more specifically, the lack of having enough of it. When I heard those words, that fear was worshiping the anti-Christ it really struck me. If I have fear of not having sufficient funds, how can I be walking a path of faith? Not that we shouldn’t be prudent and mindful of our budget, but we should also be mindful of the place from which we make our choices. Is it one of fear or one of being a good steward and giving thanks?

Now don’t get all over-metaphyzzie on me, I’m not saying we don’t all have times when we’re wavering, according to the bible writers, even Jesus had his ‘moments.’ I am grateful for the conversation I heard today, because I know, next time I have a ‘moment’ I will be reminded, where am I putting my faith? Love or fear?

Lotsa Love,

Ra