“Teachers have held up Helen Keller, the blind and deaf girl who overcame her physical handicaps, as an inspiration to generations of schoolchildren. Every fifth grader knows the scene in which Anne Sullivan spells water into young Helen’s hand at the pump. At least a dozen movies and filmstrips have been made on Keller’s life. Each yields its version of the same cliche. A McGraw-Hill educational film concludes: “The gift of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan to the world is to constantly remind us of the wonder of the world around us and how much we owe those though taught us what it means, for there is no person that is unworthy or incapable of being helped, and the greatest service any person can make is to help another reach true potential.”
To draw such a bland maxim from the life of Helen Keller, historians and filmmakers have disregarded her actual biography and left out the lessons she specifically asked us to learn from it. Keller, who struggled so valiantly to learn to speak, has been made mute by history…Keller, who was born in 1880, graduated from Radcliffe in 1904 and died in 1968. To ignore the sixty-four years of her adult life or to encapsulate them with the single word humanitarian is to lie by omission.
The truth is that Helen Keller was a radical socialist. She joined the Socialist Party of Massachusetts in 1909…Keller’s commitment to socialism stemmed from her experience as a disabled person and from her sympathy for others with handicaps. She began by working to simplify the alphabet for the blind, but soon came to realise that to deal solely with blindness was to treat symptom, not cause. Through research she learned that blindness was not distributed randomly throughout the population but was concentrated in the lower class. Men who were poor might be blinded in industrial accidents or by inadequate medical care; poor women who became prostitutes faced the additional danger of syphilitic blindness. Thus Keller learned how the social class system controls people’s opportunities in life, sometimes determining even whether they can see. Keller’s research was not just book learning: ”I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums. If I could not see it, I could smell it.”
At the time Keller became a socialist, she was one of the most famous women on the planet. She soon became the most notorious. Her conversion to socialism caused a new storm of publicity—this time outraged….Typical was the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, who wrote that Keller’s “mistakes spring out of the manifest limitations of her developement.”
Keller recalled having met this editor: ”At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error. I must have shrunk in intelligence in the years since I met him.” She went on, “Oh ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent.”
Keller, who devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind, never wavered in her belief that our society needed radical change. Having herself fought so hard to speak, she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union to fight for the free speech of others. She sent $100 to the NAACP with a letter of support that appeared in its magazine The Crisis—a radical act for a white person from Alabama in the 1920s. She supported Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist candidate, in each of his compaigns for the presidency. She composed essays on the women’s movement, on politics, on economics…
One may not agree with Helen Keller’s positions. Her praise of the USSR now seems naive, embarrassing, even treasonous. But she was a radical—a fact few Americans know, because our schooling and our mass media left it out.`
-Lies My Teacher Told Me - James W. Loewen, 2007
**Fuck!** Alright here goes nothing. The friendzone is a synonym for unrequited love. The friendzone is also a synonym for…
[trigger warning: sexual abuse, rape]
At this point, I’m used to it. I’m used to being a survivor— at least, as comfortable as I could be considering all the years of fucked up memories. I’ve dealt with this for most of my life, whereas other people haven’t. For a lot of non-survivors, the truth of my childhood would be one of only a handful of moments when they were actually aware of such problems, if ever.
It’s like when you’re in the middle of a meeting or a class, and that one huge wasp flies into the room and starts circling heads, refusing to go away— people can’t help but stare at impending doom. Some will subconsciously hold their breaths and stay as still as possible to reduce unwanted attention. Others will laugh, or cough, or fidget as they fail to focus on the lecture. And some just sit there, not knowing what to do, as they stare into a void and pretend they don’t exist.
That’s what we do to other people— I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s there. With just a few words, I could mentally and emotionally vacate a room. I want to laugh at the concept of having this reluctant power, but it’s more sobering and melancholy than anything.
Survivors are symbols of impending doom, of collapse in society and the bursting of safe little bubbles. We are the harbinger of discomfort. We make people aware of how fragile their little lives really are."
We often think of fundamentalists as crazy people that deviate from the norm. And while this is true if you call the norm normal people who arent bigoted, ive come to realize that (insert whatever religion here) fundamentalists are the true followers of said religion….
While I understand that a lot of the bible is allegorical and that creationists take even these parts literally, what about the parts in the bible that say to kill homosexuals? How do you take that allegorically? Kill homosexuality? Cure it in people who are? What about the method of curing leprosy? How is that to be taken allegorically? I very much understood the article and i did read it, but i dont see how any creationists message is undermining those five “rules.” Maybe im not thinking hard enough. Care to point out some?
I apologize that this has taken so long. I’ve had three draft responses destroyed over the past week due to numerous reasons.
That being said, let’s address this.
First and foremost, we have to address the assertion you made in your OP that fundamentalists are the “true followers” of a religion. I pointed out that such an assertion was false based upon a thorough analysis of the twin Jewish creation myths in a historical and cultural context. You then pile on numerous derailing questions (which I will answer) in order to divert from the base assumption of your post, and then state how you don’t see how a Fundamentalist interpretation interferes with the God-model. Either you’re willfully putting aside its implications, or we’re working with different definitions of “Fundamentalism.”
We both need to be working under a consistent definition of “Fundamentalism” in order for this conversation to go anywhere:
First is the abstract definition, which is a return to the core principles of the faith. This definition applies to the practice of the restructuring of someone’s faith in the event of a change in world outlook, the “born again” phase of faith. I will point out, though, that faith is something that is supposed to mature, and the “born again” phase should be just that: a phase. It is a stepping stone in the journey of faith.
Second is the popular definition: Biblical Literalism. Some people never grow out of that “born again” phase, and as such maintain an immature form of faith that does not seek to understand communicated mores and principles found within scripture.
In both forms, the faith is by definition at an immature stage. To argue that all religion is fundamentalist by nature would be to say that the only true faith is immature faith, and that the truly faithful must ignore the intended communicated messages of scripture. Such a faith, if taken to be the end-form, is inherently heretical, as an immature understanding of said scripture perverts the intended message.
Thus your assertion that the only true faith is fundamentalist faith falls flat, because fundamentalist faith, by either definition, is immature and therefor lacking.
Thus, we return to Creationism, and its violation of the God model: If the speed of light is constant, and we can see galaxies millions of light-years away, then surely the universe must be at least that old. Otherwise, if God moved the light, or altered the speed of light in order to “test our faith,” then that means that the Universe was not perfect for God’s purposes at Creation (thus meaning He is neither omniscient nor omnipotent), or that he is intentionally dishonest (a sin, meaning God is not infallible). As you can see, the implications of these modes of thinking are inherently blasphemous, because God is defined as omnipotent, omniscient, and infallible. If a Christian’s understanding of God conflicts with the physical evidence of cosmic history and physics, then it is the Christian’s understanding of God that is at fault, not science. Hence, denial of evolution or proposition of Intelligent Design deny the perfection of the physics of the universe, which are blasphemies by implication.
Moving on to your other questions, no, not all of the Bible is allegory. But enough of it is to disprove your assertion. However, I promised to answer these questions, so here we go:
There are three forms of law in the Old Testament: divine moral Law, purity law, and common law.
Divine moral Law is communicated in the stories, and in some of the legal sections of the bible, and reflects God’s plan for man. This includes the Ten Commandments, the statements of Christ, etc. This constitutes the Law that Christ said he did not come to change.
Second is purity law, the rules one has to follow in order to approach the Temple. God commanded of the Israelite that they set themselves apart from their neighbors. Much of these laws the Jews developed themselves, such as kosher eating. One of the more popular ones for people to poke fun at is the law against wearing a fabric of two kinds of thread. The primary reason for this was spiritual: the expression of the desired inner purity directed outward. There are also some connotations related to the avoidance of vanity and divided loyalties in this law as well.*
Third is common law. There’s a reason why Leviticus told the Israelites to place railings on their roofs, and it has to do with how you constructed houses in the Middle East. Ever play the first Assassin’s Creed? People would walk on and store stuff on those roofs, and falling was a serious hazard, so the Jews recorded a law that demanded the danger posed by the structure be properly addressed.
A number of the laws that aren’t payed attention to today by modern Christians fall under the latter two categories.
Now, where does homosexuality play into this? Under which category of law does that lie? Given my understanding of history, I would place the killing of homosexuals as a form of common law. While the ancient world had a quite schizophrenic approach to sexuality, I would have to go back to one of the major cultural influences on the Israelites: the Egyptians. In Ancient Egypt, homosexuality was punishable by death.
I am unable to give a definitive answer on the moral position of homosexuality, but I can answer whether or not Christians are called to kill homosexuals. The answer is a definitive no. If homosexuality is inherently sinful, then it is the place of Christians to try and convince them to leave the path of sin and come to God (not by force but by argumentation and spiritual revelation). To kill such a person for that crime would be to deny them further opportunity for salvation, and thus morally and spiritually reprehensible.
We see evidence of this compassionate approach to homosexuals in the story of the Healing of the Centurion’s Slave (Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10). The Centurion, a heathen who did not follow the Jewish God, sent friends to humbly beseech Christ to heal his slave. The story praises the Centurion’s faith in Christ, because he asks Christ not to come under his roof, for the place is unworthy of him, but that he has faith that Christ can heal his slave without laying a hand upon him. Christ Himself tells his followers that such great faith is non-existant within the nation of Israel. This story is relevant, because the men sent to tell Christ of the sick slave used the Greek word “pais” to describe the slave. This word was most commonly used to refer to a same-sex partner, meaning the centurion was both a heathen and a homosexual. Christ did not comment on the possible homosexual aspect of the relationship, but healed the slave-lover of the humble centurion. If Christ saw fit to treat with the homosexual with love and compassion as he did everyone else, then we should follow his example.
Now, having broached the subject of the miracles of Christ, no, we as Christians do not believe these are allegorical. We do believe all of his miracles were performed, and that each was communicative of how God desires us to behave. Christ was God stepping down from Heaven, leveling with us, and then showing us how it is done. Christ experienced all the same temptations man has faced, many of the joys and hardships, and lived a full life in his 33~year existence as a man. God lowered himself to us, and then set about showing us how life is to be lived, by demonstrating who it is God treats with, and a fraction of His power, in powerful acts proclaiming what it is He will do for us: that he will heal the lowest among us, and lift us up, and that he is willing to die horrifically for the least of us. So great is God’s love for us that he suffered, even after death, for those three days were spent in Hell**. Hell is defined by the absence of God, and as Christ is God made Man, God experienced a crisis of identity. For three days God was not God, and suffered in ways we can’t even begin to comprehend. And this separation of self didn’t start at death, but shortly before the Crucifiction. Christ’s anxiety was not at the prospect of death or pain, but at experiencing it without God, which is without his Father, without the Holy Spirit, and without Himself. The Trinity, the great being who created all things, who is right and perfect and all-knowing and all powerful broke Himself for our benefit. He became the scapegoat, and took on all the imperfections of the world at once, and act that would echo through eternity, and render all blood sacrifice moot.
The miracles of Christ cannot be taken as allegory by the faithful, because allegories communicate ideas by communicating them in a demonstrative model. But for the demonstrations to have personal meaning, rather than broad, cultural meaning, they have to be real and tangible. Christ was real and tangible. Christ is the ultimate act of communication, the spiritual bridge between Man and God, as God came to us, not the other way around. And taking them literally does not conflict with our understanding of God and the physical universe, because the literal reading does not deny authorial intent or intended meaning.
I hope I have been at least somewhat informative on how the Christian faith operates, and how in the Bible there is a distinction between the various categories of law, allegorical scripture, and the scripture that is taken literally. Study of scripture with a scholarly mindset will often clear up a confusing bit of scripture, and clarify which of these categories it belongs to. There are plenty of biblical scholars you could look into to answer specific questions you have about particular aspects of scripture, and I would suggest you seek them out. As with all fields, there are quacks and idiots, but if you feel this is important enough for you to form solid opinions on, I would suggest you get looking, because you may be surprised by what you find.
*: The second form of law is actually one of the things that is spoken against in the much misunderstood story of Job. The story is not about God being in control (est. in Gen. Ch. 1 and repeatedly after), but about how the Jews have been so focused on setting themselves apart from their neighbors that they have set themselves apart from God, with Job being the only Jew to have the proper, familial relationship with Him. When Job encounters obstacles, his friends give him very culturally Jewish (and very wrong) advice on how to appease God. Job is likewise wrong in trying to appease God in his own, very personal way, because God does not need to be appeased, because Job has done no wrong. God expected Job to ask Him for help directly (which, if one understands religion in that region and time period, was a leap of faith that in other religions could potentially get you killed for being disrespectful). To the attentive Christian, the story of Job communicates the same relationship with God preached by Christ, one of familiarity and closeness.
**: An explanation of Hell as it fits within the understanding of a loving God can be found in this post, in addition to a dissection of Sam Harris’ fallacious argumentation.
Ok i get a good deal of it. However, are you saying that the Jews essentially TOOK the place of god in some of these laws? because the one about homosexuality is directly attributed to god. If i remember correctly it went something along the lines of “their blood shall be on them.” So, i honestly dont see any way how that cannot be literal and NOT be a part of Christian doctrine. I mean, if you visit the skepticsannotatedbible.com, they have a LOT and i mean a LOT of examples of horrible horrible things written about homosexuals, about how women should never be clergy, how to cure leprosy. I mean, its hard for me to see how so much of that can be taken allegorically. ESPECIALLY the cure of leprosy.
“Their blood shall be on them” would mean that that homosexuals were to be executed. I stated that there is often a separation between allegory and the common/purity laws. Not everything in the Bible is allegory, but everything exists within a particular context that oftentimes cannot be taken at face value by a modern audience, because how the intended audience would have taken it (even at face value) is very different from how we might take it without a rigorous understanding of cultural and historical context.
I believe you misunderstand, the laws were to be interpreted literally (law is separate from allegory, though can be communicated through it), but there are three different categories of law sorted by priority. Given the actions of Christ towards the homosexual Centurion, the fact that he explicitly stated that he did not come to change the Law (that is, the highest, divinely ordained form), and did not enforce the law that called for the killing of homosexuals, the demanded punishment for homosexuality can only be interpreted as common law, regardless of whether or not homosexuality is viewed as a sin. Even presupposing that homosexuality is inherently sinful (which may very well just be an echo of Egyptian influence, or more likely Jews setting themselves apart from the strange orgiastic practices of their neighbors (the two are not mutually exclusive)), Christ’s own words and actions put lie to the notion that the execution of homosexuals is an edict of divine Law (as Christ himself countermanded the law).
As for women never being Clergy, that would fall under Jewish common law (which, I pointed out, as with purity law, the Jews used to distance themselves from their neighbors, a subtle distinction from what God desired, to set themselves apart, which is in fact heavily criticized in the story of Job). The Jews, still neighbors to the Babylonians, would have known that Babylonian priestesses engaged in a form of religious prostitution. It is entirely possible that one of the major reasons for barring women from being Clergy would have been to prevent pagans interested in joining the faith from coming in with the expectation of sex with members of the Clergy, which would have been problematic for the Jews for many, many reasons.
I have looked over the section on curing leprosy. I did a little further research. First, it should be noted that Leprosy is not, in fact, contagious (or, at least, nowhere near as contagious as people used to think it was). Fear of contagion was in fact a very healthy practice in the ancient world, considering the poor state of medicine, so it makes perfect sense that the Jews would be very fearful of catching it. However, all the rituals that you say are to “cure” the leper state that they “cleanse.” While this is sometimes synonymous in the Bible with healing, it is most often attributed to forms of ritual purification, rather than physical healing. The ritual cleansing of the leper appears (to me, anyway), that it is actually a means of reintroducing a much feared and misunderstood member back into the community. Just bringing people back in carries little weight, and given the then-logical fear of contagion, just saying, “Leprosy isn’t contagious, you guys,” simply wouldn’t cut it. People, throughout history have responded to grand symbolic gestures codified in a culturally understood cipher, which is what we see here. Even if the ritual did not heal the leper, the leper was ritually cleansed, and as such the perceived threat they posed to the community was greatly diminished.
As is often the case, practice gets away from people. Many would likely have been confused that the leprosy itself did not seem to go away for everyone (the body can sometimes fight back against the bacterial infection), but for some the fact that not everyone was turning into a leper would have been proof that the individual was indeed cleansed, regardless of the deteriorating state of the leper’s body. Additionally, the large number of leper colonies in the Holy Land at the time of Christ can actually be attributed to the non-Jewish rulership. While the Jews were subject to both Temple law and Imperial law (the law of whoever had most recently conquered them at the time), this did not mean non-Jews were subject to Temple law unless in the precincts of the Temple, and pagan rulers had no reason to care about whether or not some ritual from another religion declared the lepers “cleansed,” they had the public health to think about, other belief systems be damned.
No, the law regarding lepers is not in any way allegorical, it is ritual law that states that it is spiritually (and by extension, physically) safe for the leper to approach the Tabernacle and the community (once enacted). Because that is how the audience of the time would have understood it to mean.
So what about Judges 19, is that an allegory or did God really order somebody to let a woman be raped to death, then chop her body up and send the pieces around to his neighbors like the world’s first serial killer? I know it was supposedly intended to ‘start a war’ or some bullshit, but surely an omnipotent God could have thought of a better way to do it than THAT!
I just read through Judges 19, and at no point did God order anything in that chapter. We are supposed to be horrified by the acts of the Israelites in the book of Judges, because it documents a time in Jewish history when they had no king. As stated “In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes” (17:6) Israel was in a state of chaos.
A thorough analysis of what is going on in this most horrific Bible tale can be found here.
Adding in—-that analysis goes on to say, that apparently the way to ‘settle debts’ in those days was to forcibly abduct a ‘virgin’ (probably meaning a very young girl, because how else are you to know for sure?), bring her home and force her to be a ‘wife’—-i.e, have sex with the man who just forcibly stole her from her home and her family. If she misbehaves you can tell her the story of Levitte’s sex slave as a warning!
Again, this was during a time when Israel was directionless and in a state of chaos. This behavior was not uncommon in their neighbors. as the ancient world was all kinds of fucked up.
You seem to be conflating a statement about how people settled debts with supporting that as being right and proper.
At symposium, a young Greek boy had to pleasure the drunken men there alongside the female slaves taken in war. If he was able to do so without wincing or expressing pain or emotion of any kind during the course of his ordeals, then he was considered on his way to being a proper man.
How is that relevant? Following the logic you applied to the analysis, I must be condoning the treatment of boys at symposium in ancient Greece.
We are not supposed to agree with what the man does to his concubine. We are supposed to be horrified. It is there to show us what became of the tribes of Israel when they were without guidance.
Thin is, nowhere in the Bible does it SAY you’re supposed to be horrified by it. Lacking any direct instruction to be repelled by it, Christians just seem to think that’s all fine and dandy, which is beyond fucked up. (They even read that Judges 19 to Sunday School groups now, as a warning to ‘future wives’!) I want no part of any of that!
I just……urggggh, I honestly cannot fathom how anyone can in good conscience be a Christian.
It’s quite simple: The horrors that take place in the book of Judges take place during a time when Israel was without a guide, both politically and spiritually. Their state was abnormal, and without guidance they descended into the savagery of their neighbors. It is known from the style of ancient writers that when writers of that time discussed a people without proper leadership, the actions of said people are usually out of place an do not sync with the values of that culture during a time of stability.
What you are doing is artificially imposing an interpretive model where everything MUST be taken at whatever interpretation conveniently fits YOUR argument. Considering that you don’t even read the passages you try to use as evidence, even taking scripture at face value is a more nuanced approach because you’re still fucking reading the damn thing, which is more than can be said for you. To rephrase, the approach to scripture used by Christian Fundamentalists, which I have argued above is inherently heretical, is still more scholarly and better informed than any of the bullshit you are posting.
You know, you could try substantiating your arguments. As in, providing proof that “Christians just seem to think that’s all fine and dandy,” (even though I linked you to a Christian analysis of Judges 19 that wholly appreciates how horrifying it is), or posting the link to the article discussing how Judges 19 is being read in Sunday Schools to instill fear in young girls. As it stands you have nothing but anecdotal evidence, and given how much you’ve mangled scriptural context you have literally zero credibility.
Save a shell, grab a quail.
Get the fuck out of here
dude’s got like an infinity dex score
GET THE FUCK OUT WHAt
He’s just like
I WON, EVERYONE ELSE GO HOME
For all the anti-hunting folks who tell us to get animals with just our bare hands. Done.
We found our seeker
Porn fetishises young/underage girls.
That is one of many reasons why Porn Is Bad.
Can u rlly not see why we should be critical of it
So you’re saying the ENTIRE body of porn fetishizes young girl and that is a problem.
Okay. Cool. You’re…
I wonder how MILF porn fetishes underage women. Oh wait…
1. Please direct me to the part when I said “all porn fetishises underage girls?” Oh you can’t? That must mean you were twisting my words??? NO NOT POSSIBLE?!/2/2/1/1/1!?!Q??
2. MILF porn fetishises older women. That’s not much better.
Porn fetishizes EVERYTHING. All people of all social standing of all possible human experiences.
The overwhelming majority of porn is of willing people engaging in acts of their free will (with and without compensation) and people watch it of their free will. People are only “harmed” as much as they’re willing to subject themselves to something you don’t approve of.
Being critical of some elements of porn is understandable. However, it’s pretty clear that porn doesn’t “influence” people. At least, no one that doesn’t already have deep seated issues.
Porn causes abuse as much as video games cause violence. That is to say: none.
I’ve been stewing on this for a couple of days now, and have decided that there is no non-offensive way to say this, so here we go.
Tumblr all rallied together and got…
People like this deserve all the shit in life that gets distributed to the nice, humble people of the world.
I would actually slap her. And then her parents for letting her get spoiled rotten to her core like that. And then drive away in my BRAND NEW CAR.
I wonder if all these people screaming at me to go to a mental hospital realize that the asylum system that kept people locked up for life has been replaced by therapy sessions, medications, and short term stays.
I know you think that if you wish hard enough it’ll be the 50s and you can be openly racist without repurcussions again and lock people away for life but check the calendar, it’s 2013.
My doctor’s going to be thrilled. All this irony tonight has almost completely cured my anemia.
Redd, you are openly racist. People aren’t letting you get away with it without repercussions. You aren’t being harassed. You aren’t being discriminated against on the basis of your identity. You’re being torn apart for your racism.
Your racism isn’t institutionalized racism, which I shall concede is the worst sort of racism, but it is individual racism. Individual racism is prejudice against others on the basis of their race. Nearly all racists have some excuse or reason behind their racism, but that does not preclude them from being bigots in the least.
‘I’ve always thought that you had good intentions. In many ways, I’m sure that you still do. However, you gotta wake up. When people Google your name, the first thing they see is your blog. What will a potential employer think if they see you virulently hating entire races, nationalities, and identities? What will they think if the first thing they see is you telling someone to kill themselves?
I know you’ll just block me and probably tell me to kill myself, but this needed to be said.
yes i’m a boy
yes i play videogames ;]
don’t hit on me silly girls xoxoxo
wft boys don’t play videogames
get back in the garage and fix my car.
another fucking “gamer boy” They all just want attention they cant even play well!
He’s just a slut with a controller.
That console isn’t even plugged in you fucking whore.
he probably thinks that link is zelda