Tag Archives: religion

Aces in the Church

aces in the church cover

Too often, non-aces will speculate about what it’s like to be ace under the gaze of one of the most politically powerful religious groups to date, making assumptions about what we do or don’t face, without asking those of us who have the relevant experience.  This zine, “Aces in the Church,” was created to be a compilation of ace experiences with & within Christianity, to bring our stories together into one place and close the door on any need for speculation.

Big thanks to everyone who contributed.  “Aces in the Church,” a small digital zine edited by yours truly, is now available to read.  Links for view/download: wordpress, sendspace, google drive


late night religion adventures

Haven’t had a contentious conversation with an atheist like this in… a while.  Probably because I tend to just get casually ostracized first, which usually preempts this sort of thing.

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Force

Re: this, on rhetorical strategies for dealing with Christian anti-gay vitriol —

Yes to nixing the antisemitism, but this… “no one should be forced to adhere to the beliefs of someone else’s religion”… *rubs temples*  Look, I know, what you’re going for.  There’s real value to that.

But in so far as I believe in a Thing that is Religion (I don’t), I consider it one of my “”””religious beliefs”””” that all people deserve to live, so… yeah, I’m invested in “forcing” people to abide by that one.

anyway

less arbitrary religious/secular divisions as a basis for deicing what’s appropriate, more responding to bigoted abusive Christians with Bible-based anarchy

as allacharade put it:

more arguments pointing out that the very same book of the bible demands you leave some of your food for the poor, that you act unbiasedly in upholding the law, that you never take advantage of those at risk in your community, that you never mistreat the poor, the stranger and foreigner in your land, those with disabilities or the elderly. More arguments that point out that you can’t be mad that the law of a secular country doesn’t fit with your one interpretation of one verse in Leviticus, but not be furious at the way minorities and poor people in the country are treated. That if you want to call yourself defenders of the bible and this is the only thing you get mad about, you don’t know the bible very well.


supper

[cw: Christianity, alcohol]

While our various ceremonial remembrances of the meal may be meaningful in their own right, it’s a shame they aren’t accompanied more often by actual feasts, complete with bread baskets and wine bottles, elbows and spills, cleanup and candle-light, and big fat serving bowls of mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and fresh green beans.  For many, such feasts are a stable of their informal church life — those planned or improptu gatherings around Chinese takeout or a backyard grill when the people of God just hang out together — but the dichotomy between the sacred and the secular is a Western construction and one I suspect those first disciples of Jesus would find a bit curious given what we know about those first Sunday meals.

–Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday, p.129-130

I don’t know if that dichotomy is actually a Western construction (seems so), but, this hits on one of my pet topics.

Because on the one hand… on the one hand, liturgy is very… pretty.  It can create a very gripping, somatic experience.  I think of church bells, solemn and clamorous, and of the resonant “bowl” I would ring as an acolyte during Eucharist while all else was silent, paying rapt attention to the timing and how to strike, to be loud enough, without being too loud, and pace the blows, letting some ripples of vibration fade before striking anew — and how the sound would fill the space of the sanctuary and it was beautiful.  I loved that part of the service, even though I was anxious about it because there were no diversions to cover my mistakes.

But also?  Usually?  The liturgy can be cold and distancing, and so… lifeless.  It’s a facade,  and it’s stiff, and it’s the same every time, and that makes it tedious.  It can be good for invoking muscle memory and nostalgia and sometimes (sometimes) quiet reverence, but for me, usually, it just feels empty.

And I remember being frustrated even as a, what? a preteen? a young teen? …about this, even then, even though I had a very underdeveloped sense of what was bothering me.  I was noticing that people mostly didn’t want to talk Godtalk without being formal and vaguely scripted about it, like it was this far-removed thing to be held at arm’s length, quarantined to designated hours and structured participation, not a natural part of their actual everyday lives.  I kept feeling this uncomfortable divide between how people handled themselves during Church Stuff and how they handled themselves when talking about literally anything else.  In trying to express my interest in suturing those two worlds together and maybe even collapsing some of the divide, trying to talk to some adults about it, I… didn’t express myself well.

And eventually, I gave up.


“stretch” more

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Found via Cor’s excerpt of this article:

A programmed distrust of “the world,” in combination with the disillusionment of having found the church unable to meet their needs, may make it difficult for former fundamentalists to feel a part of any group or make commitments.

Why did this sentence hit me so hard?  I grew up Episcopalian.


this is just to say

I don’t have high hopes for the input of a White dude who practices M/s, wrote a book on it without even acknowledging the certain specters invoked by the word “slavery,” and who freaking calls himself a “shaman,” as if that term isn’t racially-coded as hell.


yikes

Anyway if you’re going to use phrases like “the barbaric vestiges of their faith” then regardless of context, that’s going to increase how much racism I expect from you.


“Believing in”

Been thinking a little bit about the concept of “belief” lately.  Loosely related, I thought this post was interesting.  Here are some excerpts to entice you to read it (bolding mine):

We [Jewish people] face the now-universal injunction for those who consider themselves “religious” (there has never been such a thing on the face of this Earth before Christianity; Christianity is the first and the last ‘religion’) of “but do I really believe in G-d?” This injunction, this “test of faith” is part and parcel to a Christian mode of subjectivity which has made the (simultaneous) production of, and disavowal of doubt–the challenge of “true faith” versus “hypocrisy”, “heresy”, and “unbelief” which together form the Christian problematic–an integral part of religious experience.

It is significant that seldom in Jewish history have we drawn lines around the ‘community of believers’ in contradistinction to the apostates and the heretics. If anything, we only ever condemned those who refuse the work, a term in Hebrew (avodah) which has nothing to do with our capitalist understanding of labor but instead refers to the act of bringing about that which underlies and redeems the world, of performing mitzvot (commandments), of tzedek, tzedek tirdof (“Justice, justice you shall pursue,” Deut. 16:20). As our sages said, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either” (Rabbi Tarfun, Pirkei Avot 2:16).


RQ Antitheism

lol okay check out this post I found from like a year ago.

Ignore rolequeer (the url)’s input because lol they’re not wrong, they’re just missing the point.  I’m linking more for that last comment because it’s… a trip.

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