Sunday, January 20, 2008

What Hubris!

Warning: What follows will most definitely constitute a rant.

What hubris does it take for church leaders who declare themselves guardians both of the patriarchal traditions still common in many corners of Christendom, AND of what they call biblical manhood, who have always been civilians themselves, to disparage those military veterans who are women?

Just who, I wonder, had the courage and the spirit of self-sacrifice to spend years of their prime young adulthood in service to their country? Not these sanctimonious, self-appointed judges of what they neither understand nor have experienced personally.

Where were they and what were they doing when I wore the uniform? Oh, yes, doing the "manly" thing: marrying and fathering children, while presuming to dispense religious wisdom to the hapless who consented to their leadership. What were they studying while I delayed my education in order to become a weapons expert? Based on their current rhetoric, presumably they studied how to talk a walk they have little experience making on their own steam. While I served in two infantry divisions and endured field conditions in three countries and four states and while I participated in the first Inaugural celebrations for President Reagan in sub-freezing January 1981, these bastions of cheaply held convictions were building their little religious empires. When Gramm-Rudman kept me from being paid on time in order to be "accountable" to the taxpayers, these so-called gentlemen's parishioners were paying them quite well.

Did they ever meet both men's and women's physical fitness standards while both were being studied, all while also learning how to be a soldier at the age of 18? Did they go from never having held a weapon to becoming a rifle expert? Did they qualify to hold three different military occupational specialties? Did they obey orders from openly unlawful and sadistic superiors and have the courage to report the one order they could not ethically obey? Did they find the grace and dignity to ignore the blatant bigotry of those, like themselves, who would never enter military service, yet who dared to lie about their morals and lifestyle simply because of their gender? And did they ever have to manage to be a Christian in uniform and maneuver with integrity through the tensions between the two loyalties?

No, of course they didn't. That's why it's pretty easy to laugh at the stupidity revealed by their petty, graceless, ignorant opinions about female veterans and those women currently serving their country in uniform. Gentlemen (and I use the term loosely), these women, like their brothers at arms, serve and have served to preserve your freedom to demonstrate your bigotry for all the world to read. Bray on.


P.S. an after-thought said...

I must have missed the new conference or whatever that brought on that rant.

While I'm not in favor of war in general, I've often thought about how easy it is to "talk" about any of my opinions because of the sacrifice of others. There haven't been any soldiers in my family with the exception of one cousin who went in about about 1966 but wasn't in the war because he went to Korea.

Psalmist said...

No new conference. Just one blog entry too many against women in uniform from clueless people. The bloggers in question are pretty notorious on the topic, given they've never served in the military themselves. Just more same-old, same-old. I finally felt like ranting about their stupid rants. At least I know something about female veterans.

Oddly enough, I have always been anti-war. There's a saying you hear fairly often in the military: "The soldier prays hardest for peace, because the soldier pays the highest price in war." I'm not sure if I had it all to do over again that I'd serve, but I know I'd also never express anything but respect and gratitude toward those who did. I don't care if it's a man or woman (and so many are little more than boys and girls when they enter), I believe those who volunteer to serve in the armed forces deserve to be spoken of with honor and dignity, no matter what one's personal philosophies might be. These clowns are way out of line on a regular basis. If I didn't have good reason to believe they'd harrass my pastor and fellow church members, I'd tell them so on their poison pit of a blog. And frankly, I don't need them having access to my e-mail address, which is required to comment there. And it's telling that NO ONE among their little mutual admiration society has seen fit to call these "brothers" on their rotten behavior. Or if someone has, they've deleted or not approved the comments. Typical.

P.S. an after-thought said...

One blogger friend often comments on the nasty comments on a wide-ranging faith related (I won't say "Christian") blog. I can't help but wonder, why read that stuff? The writers are not open to thinking about something in a new way, so why bother commenting?

So I wonder the same things about why you read that stuff, especially since you can't comment anyway.

I used to read a "conservative" Christian blogger who had a very big audience. I agreed with the basics of her thoughts, but I disagreed with the application of faith principles and I especially disagreed with the name calling and criticizing that went on there without proper evidence of the whole picture. I had posted some agreeable comments at first, but then I chose to disagree with some things. I was immediately banned by her computer. Well, no wonder all her commenters were so positive!

This blog disappeared awhile ago. I hear from a relative that she is still on the radio dispensing her opinions.

Another parallel to your point is that her "credentials" consist of being a radio commentator, ie not a pastor, no theological study listed, etc. And her chief supporter and co-commentator is a self-studied, self-ordained pastor. Yet they have a nation wide audience on christian radio.

Psalmist said...

Why do I read what these guys say? Because they presume to speak for Christians, because they presume to speak for those who oppose something I think is integral to the gospel of Jesus Christ, namely equality and mutual submission. Maybe I'm weak and shouldn't read their trash. But I am interested, and I find it helpful to be informed just how they're opposing something important to me. I read many opinions that don't align with my own. I don't think it's helpful to read only what I agree with.

P.S. an after-thought said...

I do agree that it is usually a good practice to learn what others are thinking and saying, and blogs are good for that. But I've also found, for myself, that when there is no give and take, it is like beating my head against a wall for nothing.

I relish reading a well written, well thought out commentary from viewpoints other than my own. I want to learn why people hold other views; I might even tweak or change my views. A blog with good give and take is even better!

OTOH, if that person is, figuratively speaking, facing a wall with only his handwriting on it, he isn't seeing much beyond his nose, so I find that a "taste" of those viewpoints is enough for me, within the limits of my computer time.

So my time is a major factor, but also, I am a "reactor" as a person, and I don't need the aggravation unless I have a chance to express my own viewpoint in the so-called dialog.

Psalmist said...

Call it a weakness, then. That's OK with me.

This particular issue, however, is widespread among pro-patriarchy Christians, and until now I don't believe I've commented on it. I guess I take it pretty personally when someone who's never served, denigrates any veteran's service, and particularly when they do so for no better reason than the veteran's gender.

Maybe I just think it's something worth standing up and being heard about.

P.S. an after-thought said...

Well, I guess my fall back position is that God will judge. We aren't to judge, so we point our fingers at "those people" who do and feel we are in the right, but that's judging too.

I'm not trying to be nasty with that comment because I'm a major judger. I've looked back on some things I've judged people about, especially my children's friends, and now I feel like I was wrong to do that.

Humans are judgers, I guess.

Unrelated topic: I've read that some conservative Christians aren't happy with some "liberal" comments made by Billy Graham. I've been puzzled over that, but on Sunday, with it being Pray for Christian Unity week, a quote from Billy Graham was read in church which made me see how open minded he has become, and how he isn't judging people's eternal fate, but leaving it in God's hands, where it is anyway.

Psalmist said...

You're a better person than I am, P.S.

P.S. an after-thought said...

ha, no, hardly. We are the same; washed by the blood of the lamb. Washed white as snow. And snow is really white, blindingly white. [Unless you live in a city where the snow turns black. But that is snirt (snow + dirt) not real snow.

Anonymous said...

ha! snirt! good way to complete this discussion! They are snirt!

Psalmist said...

OK, then, I guess you could say that I still object to the "snirting" on female veterans and military personnel coming out of the pro-patriarchy Christian camp.

Anonymous said...

yes. it's a good verb. I object as well. The old objection used to be that the female military personnel were taking jobs away from the males...not so, now. Not so at all.

Anonymous said...


I didn't know where else to put this, but I just wanted to commend your posts on comp/egal. So far they're letting you say what I'm not allowed to say, and I totally agree with you. But of course you'll never get a rational answer from the comps.

Truces are for those who have accepted some of the other side's errors, and I just didn't fit in with that "vision". There can be no compromise with unbiblical teachings, no matter how thickly they are sugar-coated. And I could not stay in an environment where two comps could post continually with biting sarcasm, irrational arguments, and whining to Wayne to make us shut up, while we egals were expected to comply with restrictions that the comps never are.

Please know that I'm not abandoning the cause or anything, I'm just not allowed to say anything too truthful or direct.

Psalmist said...

Invisible, if you read this, please read my "Taking a Comment Break" entry above this one.

I think perhaps my comments (most of them) were being accepted because I didn't generally name names. But whatever the reason I could comment more freely than you say you could, I'm not going to let myself be the focus of the controversy any longer. I think it detracts from Complegalitarian, and that's too important a venue for those who are actually serious about wanting to understand one another and grow more unified in Christ. I'm at peace with what I've said there and I stand by it being the truth.