12.04.2008

Notes

I should blog more often. Blogging is good. Blogging is much more fun than being busy.

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Thanksgiving, of course, was a good kind of busy. Lou and I spent time with both of our families and still had some time in the weekend to relax at home. That, in and of itself, was much to be thankful for, but I also had him, and I could never be too thankful for my husband.

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Back in the spring I served as a judge for a local private academy's writers' conference. I read something like twenty-five plays. The school gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card as a thank-you, so Lou and I braved the crowds on Black Friday and had some fun. I bought Brian Jacques' Redwall (the first book in the series) and ordered in John Granger's Deathly Hallows Lectures.

Thus far I have not managed to get very far into Redwall; a problem which can be blamed on Stephenie Meyer and two of my friends. I picked up the first book in Meyer's Twilight Saga in a bookstore awhile back, flipped it over, read the little excerpt and burst out laughing. Had it not been for Briana and Leigh, I don't think I'd have ever read the books, but Leigh talked me into listening to part of the first book, after which I of course had to know the ending. Briana mailed me her copies so I could read them without having to get on the immensely long library waiting list.

I really really really want to post a good long review of the books here, but that's going to take some time and thought. Right now I'm still on my second trip through book 3, and I have the same mixed feelings I had on the first trip through. Those feelings are gradually separating and clarifying, though, and should eventually distill into something expressible.

Granger's book almost stopped me blogging tonight. I may email him and beg to be allowed to proofread his next book before it goes to press, but his ideas are positively enthralling and I'm not even past the stuff I already knew.

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Speaking of books, I've recently had a run-in with the worst set of Bible commentaries ever. They contain an appalling combination of bad doctrine, strange ideas, pompous proclamations, and--worst of all--horrific grammar and spelling (he actually talked about 'concrete examples' of God 'damming' people, which sounded a lot more like my old Swiftwater Rescue class than a theological exposition.) Listening to the guy talk about Catholicism is like listening to someone who, having heard a Londoner speak the King's English, automatically assumed that 'the bush' meant the shrubbery on the front lawn.

He has tempted me greatly to make fun of him in various ways. And I admit that I haven't managed to resist the chance to fuss, rather laughingly, to family and friends about his work. But I wonder what, for me, would be the most appropriate response to a guy like this. After all, he calls himself a Christian (although he would certainly say I'm headed for hell if I don't repent of my membership in the apostate church.)

What is the right way to treat, especially in a public forum, Christians with whom I disagree? And should someone who gives fundamentalism a bad name get the same treatment as someone like Biden or Pelosi, whose views on abortion are in direct contradiction with the very clear teachings of the church in which they hold membership? Can I attack untruth without attacking its purveyors? Should I?

I see different philosophies about this in action across the web, and until I challenged the Harry Potter Alliance on their extreme anti-Proposition 8 stance, I didn't really think about it much. But discussion with a member of the HPA and various commenters, hearing the way they think about Christians, and becoming aware of the vast difference between their narratives and mine, has sickened me a little on confrontation between Christians. Because some of what I hear from Christians—even people who believe much like I do politically—is almost a pander to those who hate Christianity, a "We're not like those Christians" attitude that cuts back at errant or dissenting brothers.

This bothers me; it's much more than a simple "THAT guy is off his rocker" statement about this or that public Christian. And I think I'm guilty of it myself, perhaps less in the blogosphere than in my own thoughts and words. I don't know. What I do know is that tonight, I can't mock that author publicly by name. Maybe it would just be calling a spade a spade. Or maybe not. I'd like to straighten out his thinking, and I certainly don't appreciate his arrogance, but in the end I guess I just hope he really is my brother. A mixed-up one, yes--but we've all got somebody in our family who is more than a little nuts.

Yes, a lot of Christians believe some very bizarre things, and no, I'm not afraid to admit that some of them may even be "real" Christians. But atheists and Wiccans and pseudo-Buddhists, etc., are just as goofy. I'm glad to call myself a Christian even in the company of a few weirdos. We Jesus freaks aren't the only ones who need to question our narratives.

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