Aug. 25th, 2006

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i personally know a few christians who i consider to be actively using their religion to make the world a better place for all (i realize i would know more if i were a christian and participated in the right kind of church, so trust me, i am already extrapolating from those few). i personally know some more christians who try to make the world a better place for ... mostly their own kind, and while they're generally friendly towards me (at least at first, because hey, i could be convertable), i know they don't approve of my "lifestyle", and tend to pray for me -- patronizing me makes for short relationships, and since my former partner L grew out of zir christian phase, i no longer meet many such people (zir church was filled with them). i personally know a much larger number who seem to be christian by birth only, and it doesn't appear to affect their actions much -- they believe in god in a distant manner, and religion doesn't really inform their everyday life; i don't consider them "religious" like i consider the first and second groups.

but i live with a constant influx of news that show conservative christians undertake actions that are repugnant to me -- constant. not a day passes that i don't read about some christian in a position of leadership saying something outrageous -- and i am not seeking it out! it's not in particular these 24 people in saltillo [1] who cast a bad light on christianity (really, they hardly count at all; a mere drop in the bucket, and i even take a little heart that their pastor resigned), it's the ones who scream for anti-gay marriage amendments, for creationism in public schools, for the consistent rape of the environment (dominionism makes me furious), against sex education (heck, against any sex that's not of the married, missionary position kind), against feminist principles, against other religions, and for war. and i don't think you can blame the news for that, because these people do go out and vote accordingly, and their preachermen take to the airwaves and the net with gusto -- that all points directly to millions of christians who're IMO seriously in conflict with me about what matters, and who are perfectly willing to trample all over me and mine in their self-righteous pursuit of the bloody rapture or whatever heavenly afterlife they're imagining for themselves.

and these people seem to have a disproportionate influence on politics in the US. from surveys i've read, 75% of americans consider themselves to be christian, while 35% consider themselves born-again, fundamentalist, evangelical (and they don't even view more liberal christians as christians). they make a lot of noise, and they affect my life a great deal more than the other 40% who don't seem to be anywhere as politically active. so yes, i am letting that guide what i fear, because from what i can see they're hard at work towards the eradication of the church/state line, and are encroaching ever more on my personal liberties. fortunately they are much fewer in number in canada -- but i am really concerned that we now have a (minority government) prime minister who's one of them; that seems to be emboldening the ones we do have. i view this with much apprehension because the veneer of enlightened multi-culturalism and neutrality might as yet be too thin to withstand a concerted attack by people who seem to admire the state of affairs in the US.

so in effect, those 35% of christians account for 95% of my news about christianity, and those news are almost entirely negative, so much so that when i see a positive story, i write about it, to keep myself from falling down the rabbit hole. i try to make distinctions between fundamentalist christians and the rest, but really, it's not holding because the rest seem to be mostly silent, and i am tending towards "silence constitutes assent" when it comes to really important decisions. of course it doesn't help that my birth family belonged to a sect which believed in demon possession and was quite oppressive to anyone not toeing the line, which was part of what made my childhood hell -- and just a couple days ago i realized that while i once viewed them as extremely conservative, compared to US fundamentalists they were actually moderate, and retained a strong notion of the christian life as a life of service and stewardship instead of entitlement and dominion. and the thought made me shudder. because they were anything but moderate to live amongst in my reality as a child.

add to that occasional random personal encounters which tend towards the proselytizing kind, not the good samaritan one -- heck, the latter is often coupled with the former at salvation army collection points. i am tired of proselytizing. i grew up christian, in a christian society, how come you think i haven't heard the "good news"? i've heard it. it's coming out my ears. work on your own damn log already, will ya, and leave me alone. if god wants me, zie can damn well talk to me zirself.

all of that results in christianity having an image problem with me that's much worse than feminism's. i don't fear feminists. i fear christians.

[1] edited: the article was withdrawn by the newspaper. link is now to a rescue from google cache.

*hic*

Aug. 25th, 2006 22:41
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i don't usually drink. mostly i don't like the effects of alcohol, even if i like the taste of certain alcoholic beverages. occasionally i have a pint of cider at the local pub when we go out with P&G, but since we haven't done that in ages, i've not had any booze this year at all. i am particularly picky about beer, most of which tastes uninspired to me.

so today when i came out of the save-on-foods with wholesome fruits and vegetables, and it was HOT, my eyes fell upon the huge liquor store next door, and i felt a certain pull to buy some yummy beer.

and so i did. i wasn't even carded. i guess there are advantages to being middle-aged.

la fin du monde. OMG, so very good. i am having it with fresh sourdough bread and asiago cheese, but really, it is a meal in itself. this lives up to the legendary trappist beers i had in belgium. vive le québec!

of course now i am considering making wine from the big load of grapes i'm getting this year. i am probably drunk. :)

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