Thursday, February 3, 2011

Where I get preachy

There are a few things I hate more than internet-bible-blog-scripture-flinging discussions. In fact, I avoid them like the plague. I have enough problems (in my own, passive, private way) with a lot of Christian authority (I know there special ring of hell for Pat Robertson) that my general rule, especially for this blog, is no scripure, no telling people stuff (mostly because I have such a wise, kick-ass readership that I fear "opening my mouth too wide that my tiny brain falls out"), no getting on my Jesus soapbox.

But what are self-imposed rules for?  If not to be broken?

I was reading this blog post from "ristowswife". Here is the link.  The rest of this entry is a response to that post, so read it first.

http://ristowswife.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/the-area-god-roped-off/

I like this blog a lot, the writer is spunky, a Christian and very talented. But after reading her post, I was mad. It took me a long time to untangle the faceless wad of irritation, betrayal, shame, righteous indignation that I found myself in. It took me a whole hour-and-a-half. Aided and abetted by the fact LuLu decided to sleep in.  I didn't want to rant on Ristowswife, so I am getting it over right now.

Open rant
I do not love Jesus because he makes the best rules.
(The Sikhs have the best rules)
I do not love The Church because it has the best logic.
(I leave logic to the Nazis)
I am not a Christian because it is right.
(I more obnoxious group of deviants I have never sat down with)
I love Jesus because he has love and a place at the table for everyone, the master, the slave, the Republican, the Democrat, the tranny, the woman, the pimply adolescent, the murderer, the victim, the post-colonialists, the hacks, the malcontents, the idiots, even Peter Singer.  All we have to do is just sit down and break bread with Him. Our transformation is his wild, crazy, illigitimate miracle.

Close rant

So, that said, here is the ├╝rtext version, complete with my own (case in point) ridiculous opening typo.  Ristowswife has comment moderation, so in case my lil' gem gets round-filed, it is here for your edification.

W, and whathat a fantastic blog!  I have been lurking for a while this post is inspiring me to come out of the shadows.  A couple of things in your post struck me;

First off I had no idea those reservoir drains were called "glory holes". I am familiar with the one in Whiskeytown Lake, and it is terrifying.  Even from the road, I can feel the pull, the weight of all that water. 

Secondly, as a dilettante ocean swimmer I love buoys.  They represent safety and and a goal.  When I swim with friends, we are always trying to "touch the bouy" as it represents an accomplishment. Of course, we have no desire to go beyond the buoy, as that would place us in the shipping lane. 

Thirdly, I am familiar with the story of Ruth and this is the first time I have heard it interpreted as a cautionary tale regarding border-crossing.  You are right, Ruth was not an Isrealite, she was in fact a Moabite.  Ruth was breaking no laws by living in her own ancestral land, and I am not sure that Naomi was, either. Famines are wretched (which is why we build reservoirs) and I don't sense that the writer of Ruth was condemning them for leaving, nor that the death of the husbands was a punishment.  So much suffering in life happens through no one's fault. God took these awful events, the famine, the deaths and made something beautiful from them. If Ruth had done what Naomi told her, she would have stayed in Moab with her sister-in-law Orpah.  A legitimate (but silly) arguement could be made for doing the opposite of what your in-laws say.  By returning to the promised land with Naomi, she entered God's covenant, that is the miracle, she didn't have to be an Isrealite, she didn't even have to be married to one.  She had no credentials, no pedigree. In fact, not only was her pedigree lacking, it was wrong-- the Moabites were the descendants of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters.  She entered as a bastard-widow-beggar, just like we do.  And God's love and blessing is bigger than borders, and natural disasters, and sin, and death.   So yes, you are right, Ruth is a tale about border-crossings, across the great divide of history, of generations, and time and culture, Ruth is saying, come to the table, there is enough for you, and your messed up life, and your kids, your disasters and heartbreak.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

i love and miss you dearly!

John B. said...

I had just written a long and thoughtful "atta girl" to your post, but it seems to be lost. Shoot.

Here's the short version: that Ruth, in her act of leaving her homeland to accompany Naomi, is actually moving beyond the buoys of culture and religion--she is transgressing rather than obeying. But that is what acts of faith are, after all: leaps from the known into the unknown.

Camille said...

This is so belated!

Thanks, John B!

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