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Have just read an article called “#MeToo and the Atheist Community”

Have just read an article called “#MeToo and the Atheist Community”
 
Some thoughts on it.
 
“The sheer scope of this movement, touching so many corners of society at once, is astounding. Then again, we probably shouldn’t be surprised. As I’ve said before, the sad truth is that an allegation of sexual harassment or assault against a powerful man isn’t an extraordinary claim; it’s an ordinary one.”
 
Ordinary. That’s tragic.
 
“What seems different this time is that women who speak out are being believed and taken seriously, while men are actually admitting their misdeeds and suffering consequences. “
 
Finally.
 
“However, as I said, we in the secular community can’t afford to sit easy. We’re no exception to this trend. As much as we like to think of ourselves as rational and superior, our own gender politics are far from enlightened. We, too, have skeletons in our closets that need to be dragged out into the light of day.”
 
Yeah. It’s not just the fundagelicals who grope us women. It’s all men in every walk of life.
 
“It’s disappointing and enraging to see how many men, including many allegedly feminist men, now stand revealed as creeps and hypocrites. But as painful as it is, it’s a necessary reckoning. Men have been getting away with loathsome behavior for too long, and it’s unsurprising that some of the predators would try to camouflage themselves by mouthing the right words about gender equality. It hurts to find out that they were never the allies they said they were. But that knowledge is essential if we’re going to put a stop to their misbehavior and build a robust, consistent social-justice movement that lives up to its own principles.”
 
I’ve said it so many times before… We see someone who is different from us for whatever reason, whatever we identify as “different” and we go on the attack. For some reason, we choose of our own free will to see someone who is “different from” and treat that person as “less than.”
 
It seems to be the most fundamental human dynamic. It seems to me to be the most basic thing that Jesus smashed to smithereens. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus tells us every single day. “Love your neighbor as God first love you,” Jesus tells us every single day.
 
When are we simply going to concentrate on learning what that means? When are we simply going to accept that no one is “less than” another? When are we simply going to accept that no one is “less than” me?
 
Jesus tells us over and over how we can learn this and change our lives and be better people. So have others: the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures, the writers of the Christian Scriptures, the Greek and Latin Doctors of the Church, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Sienna, Theresa of Avila, Evelyn Underhill, C. S. Lewis, I could go on and on and on and on and on and one.
 
Our teachers are out there. All we have to do is admit we need to learn from them.
 
Here’s a link to the article that provoked this piece.
 
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2017/11/metoo-atheist-community/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Best+of+Patheos&utm_content=57

One place where readers can find these teachers in my facebook group, Celebrate What Christians Have in Common, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409874399270377/

A place to find out what to do in concrete and specific acts to improve this world is in another Facebook group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

Living in the Cupped Hands of God

I used to get panic attacks quite frequently and thank God for better living through chemistry because there some that were so severe that the only way to deal with them was through medication.
 
I am disabled due to Major Depressive Disorder with Anxiety. The onset was when I was nine and being sexually molested for two years when I was twelve only increased the depression as did being raped by my husband when I was thirty. By forty-five, I was disabled and spent decades trying to get a grip on my symptoms.
 
One thing I have to mention.. pastoral care from the clergy surely can suck. I have encountered very few priests with any gifts in that area. I can’t begin to count the number of times I was tempted to give up my faith because of the way Christians treated me.
 
Then I realized to base my faith on the way other Christians behaved was a serious error. My faith needed to be based on Jesus and the Gospels.
 
Many years ago a friend told me something I have never forgotten. “Gloriamarie, we can’t expect Christians to act like Christians. We can only be thankful when they do.” These words have gotten me through some hairy moments and the awful treatment of abusive Christians.
 
We are all sinners. We are all imperfect. We all have a lot of crap to deal with in this life. Life sucks a lot of the time. My response to that is this: Jesus is.
 
When I was thirty-two, I had a Moment that I think has been the defining moment of my life that told me then and still tells me now who I really am. I think this is true for all of us.
 
When I was in my very early twenties and in the grip of the Insidious Dark, I used to cry myself to sleep, begging Jesus to hold my hand. It would be so easy for Him to do, but it never happened.
 
One Saturday morning in late March 1982 after being on anti-depressant meds for the about six weeks or so, the first time I ever took them, I was sitting in bed sipping coffee and praying the service of Morning Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. I don’t remember which if the prayers or Psalms provoked me into screaming my anger at God that Jesus never held my hand when I begged so hard for it.
 
God said to me “My child, how could I hold your hand when I hold you in Mine always?” And I had a vision of me in the cupped hands of God standing on the fleshy pads at the base of God’s fingers, holding onto the tips of those fingers in a “Kilroy was here” manner, looking out at the world.
 
I believe with all my heart that all of us live there. All of us are held in the cupped hands of God and no matter what happens to us, whether we are raped, mugged, robbed, sick, beaten, abused, bullied, that we still live out lives in God’s cupped hands and nothing this world can do can ever dislodge us from that place.
 
God never promises to protect us from the various slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and all the varieties of hideousness that living in this world exposes us to, God never promises to interfere with the free will of others, but God does promise to hold us in those cupped hands and we can rely on that.
 
Some horrible shit has happened to me since that vision. I expect some horrible shit to happen to me as a result of living in this country at this moment with this administration. I am disabled, handicapped, impoverished, and the RepuliKKKans want me to die, but whatever the future may hold I live in the cupped hands of God and if I die, I do so in the upped hands of God. Nothing can ever remove me from that place.
 
Except for the exercise fo my own free will and my own choice to step out of God’s cupped hands. It’s a choice we all have: to live our lives in God’s cupped hands or not.

#METOO

This is going around social media right now:

“Me, too.
Copied: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

When I was twelve a male family member sexually molested me for two years. At first, I would tell my parents who did not believe me and said he would never do that. Eventually, I stopped trying to tell them and endured. The depression that started when I was nine increased. The molestation stopped when he found another younger girl to torment.

When I was married my sex life with my husband was good until it wasn’t. Evangelicalism is a form of religion that invites hypocrisy. There’s a lot of pressure to conform. My husband felt that pressure more deeply than I and in order to make me submissive, he started raping me.

Again, I wasn’t believed. No evangelical friends believed me. My priest didn’t believe me. “He wouldn’t do that. He’s a good Christian man. He’s a nice guy,” were all things that they said.

There was one person who believed me and that was my psychologist and he helped me leave my husband. I still thank God for him to this day. Naturally, I divorced him.

Eventually, I went to seminary and I had healed enough from the rape to start dating again. My fellow seminarians told me they wanted to date me because of my “brains, beauty, and obvious competence.” In the three years, I dated several men for differing amounts of time, two of them long enough to begin to have some serious feelings for. Mind you, we were at an evangelical seminary so sex was not part of the dating relationship.

In every case, regardless of how long or how short a time we had dated, each man would come to me, tell me how much he valued our time together, would always treasure it, but he had met someone down at the College and he believed that relationship had a potential he didn’t see in ours.

Graciously, I wished them well although inside I felt as if I had once again been raped because like my husband, they wanted someone more submissive and a much younger, more naive woman was one who still believed that malarkey about a wife being a second-class citizen instead of one who was equal partners with her husband, according to what Paul wrote in the original Greek.

Those verses about heterosexual marriage have been translated into English with an agenda which is to make sure women are property, not as people with brains, minds, souls, and spirits of our own, created as much in the image and likeness of God as any man, with our own vocations as much as any man. Paul’s intention it says in the Greek is for heterosexual women to be equal partners with their heterosexual husbands. Paul preaches egalitarianism.

If followers of Jesus universally reclaimed Paul’s original purpose for men in and women in heterosexual marriage, if we internalize it and start living it, we would be a beacon to the world teaching men and women what a heterosexual marriage is supposed to be and maybe it would filter throughout the world and we would see rape for the deviant perversion it is.