Music, Art, Gender, Skepticism

While away I’ve missed some good stuff on the Internet. Here are some links to keep you busy on some of my favorite topics:

Music:

No one reviews music like Rob! I just discovered his “10” series. This should keep bloggers busy making their own lists or browsing through Rob’s incredible music knowledge.

Books and Art:

While in Budapest, I “discovered” a wonderful artist named Viktor Madarasz. I stood in front of this huge painting for some minutes. I don’t know what it was that struck me, but the paintings of his were all about death in war and the personal effects on people close to the deceased. Some of the examples at this web site look a little cartoonish when viewed on the computer, especially “Peter Zrinyi and Ferenc Frangepán in the Wiener-Neustadt Prison” but standing in front of it in the museum was a more satisfying and rich experience. The colors, the emotions on the faces, and the rich hues are not done justice on the web. Trust me!

Religion:

While in Hungary, I was reminded again and again how intertwined the Catholic religion is with national politics. How do I know? Look at this picture:

I took this picture in St. Stephen’s Basilica, one of the largest churches in Eastern Europe. Doesn’t that look like a lovely statue of Jesus back there behind the tabernacle? Well, it’s not. It’s Istvan, King of Hungary, now St. Istvan (St. Stephen) to Hungarians. I must say that for me, it’s just as blasphemous as putting a statue of John F. Kennedy behind the tabernacle in the largest Catholic church in New York City. I mean really! It’s like that everywhere in Hungary. The Catholic church’s hold on politics in Hungary and Poland and most of Europe throughout history is astounding. If I hadn’t had a personal whirlwind tour myself through their National History Museum, I would have pooh-poohed it, but no more. It made me realize just how “protestant” I really am, deep down and to the core. I can only describe myself as a Baptist dressed in Catholic clothing, but with a philosophical brain. Oh, well, we are all an amalgam of something. On a side note, relic whore that I am, I did see the dried up right hand of St. Stephen, sitting in a reliquary in a side chapel at the Basilica. They parade his right hand through the streets every year on the anniversary of his death.

The only other thing of interest that other’s seem to blog about frequently is this “God Men” movement that everyone is talking about. In other words, it’s the same old men’s movement where men of the latest generation meet and get all “godly” and “manly” and “cocky” with each other because they aren’t “allowed” to in religious circles nowadays. Trust me, let the video run on their home page and tell me how this is any different from what men accuse women of doing (by “feminizing” the church). And I’m sure wiccans will want to take heed to the potential violence against them exhibited by these men. So, to counteract “feminization” we are now going to “masculinize” it? Yeah, that’ll work. In “Jesus For Real Men” by Brandon O’Brien, Paul Coughlin is quoted as saying in his book No More Christian Nice Guy,

The problem with the wimpy Jesus of the popular imagination is that “a meek and mild Jesus eventually is a bore. He doesn’t inspire us.”

How is this any different than women using feminine terms for God, because the traditionally patriarchal God doesn’t represent them? Absolutely no difference. This is classic boys club mentality. (and patriarchally trained women have them too. Just as stupid) Men can define the parameters of the church however they want because men define everything. They OWN it. It is a men’s club through and through. In fact, the bible is never addressed to women except to strip her of dignity or chastise her for not being “pure.”  Curiously, these same men who claim the New Testament transcends all boundaries are the same men interweaving the gospel into the current culture.  If you recall, the Corinthian church was going through similar throes. Women were bringing cultic elements into worship and over in the Roman church, men were bringing their pederastic tendencies, a holdover from pagan temple worship (so what else is new in Rome?). Nothing ever changes in Christianland. Besides, do they honestly think they are doing anything “new” anyway? Silly boys. I say let the men have their own churches. Let them do chest and bible thumping to their heart’s content and  let us women sneak quietly away and begin changing our society from outside the compound. Nothing will ever change inside it.

Politics

Have I missed anything in politics? Nope. But perhaps we can change the conversation.

And finally, a wonderful take on Skepticism.

4 thoughts on “Music, Art, Gender, Skepticism

  1. Oh Boy! That God Men video was fun, wasn’t it?

    One might be tempted to become a witch after hearing that one guys comments. Picture me as a witch, and that man as a Christian, face to face in the street. Which of us is more likely to strike out and wound/kill the other in the name of their god/belief?

    For myself, I listen to these dicussions and all I hear is men (and women do the same thing) talking about something they can’t prove. None of them have met Jesus. None of them have a clue what Jesus (if there was a Jesus) said. It’s all based on a book as though it’s the literal word of their “God.”

    The God Men seemed to be ticked off and in need of a war, another battle…all of which is nothing new since the beginning of time. Peace for them is an oxymoron. You can’t have peace until you first have war. So, by George, let’s get this war started! Let’s focus on the testosterone of God/Jesus.

    Picture these men at the scene in the “N.T.” … rocks in their hands, ready to stone “her” … when supposedly without a word and a swirly in the dirt, Jesus silences them. When I listen to this video, I wonder, what are the chances those men would start throwing the rocks at Jesus himself?

  2. Zoe,
    Since I’ve been called a witch many, many times, I think I qualify!! 🙂 And I’d pay to see who wins the fight; you or them, toe to toe!

    I think you’re right, they are just itching for a fight and women and children are going to be the ones to pay first. Always is. Scary to think that men don’t see the hypocrisy of their position. It’s ok to clothe the church in the culture they want to see, but for women, it’s not ok. It’s ok to change their view of Jesus, but it’s not ok to change masculine pronouns to reflect all of society, not just half. That “naming” implies power they aren’t willing to give up yet.

    Good points!!

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