Do you ever wish you were perfect? I often do. Not feel-good perfect, but in the sense of doing things right. I wish I was perfect, but I am quite obviously not -painfully obvious. It doesn’t do any good to excuse moral failures, it doesn’t do any good to rate them on scales of minor to major. The best one can do is humble oneself and start over.
A dreadfully painful process.
I wish we all listened better and tried harder. I wish I did, but I have no solution for the fact that this is not dependably the case. What I have done, usually, is speak for what is right on its own merit, not on my own. I desire my own merit for reasons of self worth, and maintaining support for the veracity of what I give creedance to, including those things pertinent to God, but I cannot depend upon it.
I wish I did this better …. I wish others in my position did it better. We fail all too often. Miserably often.
This is a preamble of sorts… a preface to addressing mistaken notions of Christians. It will be done more humbly than I would like. Although I am sure both God and my adversaries are the happier for that.
Who of us would not like to be so righteous as to smite the evildoer? Admit it, we all want to smite others down to the ground at some point. I’ll tell you the truth: I find this so universal that if you deny that you struggle with it I would not have much respect for your ability to be honest with yourself.
Yeah, that cynical. Anyway, I am going to address the Scheissmistress and Miss Mousie. On Christianity and Christians.
I’ll take the Scheiss post on Mary Poppins, first, because I think she ought to know better.
Synopsis: first, Mamacita has a little fun with Crisco…took me a bit to figure that one out, but mainly she is down on the bad self of Chuckie-style old Pentecostal ladies with umbrellas and how terrible they are to little children with their moans and groans and insensitive worship behavior. You know, those “Holy Roller” people who are so scary.
I was brought up with a prejudice against Holy Rollers and -let’s see…my mom called them…Hillbillies. Hillbillies was a bad word in my house. Uneducated. The unpardonable sin. So I know how easy it is to target these people…until I woke up as one, myself. Not a hillbilly…. that would be excusable in some eyes, but a Holy Roller, a Pentecostal, one of those Charismatics…. the fanatical enigmas who cause so much of societies ills, ….but do they? really.
You can tell this post irritated me. Not just because someone says all these ill-informed things, but because it plays into the building momentum of real prejudice and discrimination that is fueling the dangerous polarities in our culture.
Why pick on Mamacita? A few things. One is that this is a middle aged woman, who appears to describe events from maybe her twenties or so. It was a real enough experience, no doubt, but ensuing years ought to put perspective on such things. This account was not written with perspective of understanding, no effort is made to put people into context. Maybe Mamacita doesn’t have that context. OK. Then she has no business writing inflammatory matter that makes her readers exclaim with horrified glee that these crazy people slathering Crisco are terrorizing small children.
Here is my perspective. They were probably old-time Pentecostal people. They have dress codes. So what? So do old time Catholics and modern Muslims, and Hindus . And corporate offices. So what.
People, and children especially ( that immaturity is what makes them children) , are often scared by what they don’t understand. Particularly if it is loud and seems outlandish. I am sure a Pentecostal service in full swing seemed that way- I reacted to it as an adult, some of it I still react to. It’s strange, not bad, evil or dangerous, but sure not what you ordinarily encounter. That is true of many religious things in many religions. Big people know this. Usually.
The Crisco thing took some thinking. Mamacita didn’t say, but I doubt if it was hydrogenated fat. It was probably oil, but it makes no real difference. There are matters which involve “anointing with oil” – some highly ritualized in mainstream Christian and Judaic faith, but pouring some oil or applying it to foreheads is not out of the ordinary.
For informational purposes the title ‘Christ’, or ‘Messiah’ means anointed. It was anointing with oil, and so the whole name of Christian has reference to this Crisco weirdness.
Truth is stranger than fiction they say.
So Schiessmeister didn’t mind that chips fall where they may, and this how they fall, but when you pepper words and phrases like “stalked pompously”, “making freaky noises”,”outside in a group of cigar-smoking men (can you spell HYPOCRITE?) ” you are setting up a view and attitudes. Deliberately. With no concession to actual perspectives.
If you are termed an ‘Educator” you are doing it with intent and knowledge of your effect.
Who said cigar smoking is sin? There is debate on that, like on dress codes and lots of things. But you know, that doesn’t flame things properly. Nope, you’ve got to roast these sorts of people to give them their just desserts. You’ve got to burn them at the stake. ‘Cause they are terrorizing little girls. And they made you mad.
“I am a Christian, but I am not a bloody lunatic. And adults who look and dress like Mary Poppins should not terrorize a little girl by screaming in her face and hitting her with an umbrella and attacking her with Crisco.”
Are you a Christian, now? And this is why there is so much bitter invective and inflammatory phrasing? Hmmm, very interesting, that.
I’m not going remark on a personality, that is not the purpose here. My purpose is to say that this post while entertaining the basest part of some, did great disservice to all Christians. It villified a sector, and whether I consider those to be off-base or not is not the point, it villified people from a nontextural view which is then projected upon those who do not do those things, but have the historical experience of Pentecost and tongues and don’t have the appearance that you think Christian worship practice should have.
But besides that, villification is wrong. Just plain wrong. I don’t believe those old ladies deserved that. You were in their church service. The ensuing years you’ve had ought to have put some education and perspective on the events that scared you at the time. They weren’t trying to harm you or any little girls. I’m sure you are aware of that…but your readers, now, are not.
There are women getting stoned, murdered, raped, all iin the name of religious strife … there are are lots of evils to address and the type of fanaticism that engenders that. That is not what this post described. It described worship practices that don’t suit your taste. That’s all.
You wanted the scheiss to hit the fan? ….. well, it did.
Can we clean up the mess now?
Poor Miss Mousie must wait for another day….