Saturday, November 22, 2014

Human

There is no more tidy faith to ride the waves of this life
No more fearsome ambition to feed my hunger for success

There's only these:
words and visions in my head
pounding out color.
Everywhere flashing
the royal purple, blue and gold
through my mind
and across my eyes.

Characters of ignoble intent running through my imagination
destroying kingdoms and waging war against the tyranny of the status quo
all of this
all of these
and the light of the waves.

I know
the final score
and how the film will come to its end.

We all want to know the future
but I never wanted to find out
my long trudge towards death
in all its gory detail.

Yet here I am
with the knowledge of good and evil
running through my veins
fueling my racing,
fragile,
heartbeat.

Completely, utterly, desperately, beautifully, broken
human.

Stripped Bare

What I feel, is that,
I'm breaking apart and I'm not quite sure who I am.

Because I used to define myself by
achievement/thinness/health/religion/workaholism/intelligencce

and now I'm
worn out/overwhelmed/stressed/unhealthy/feeling stupid

I resent the healthy, the people accomplishing,
because how dare they
when I can't
and how come
it's not being taken away from them
when it's being taken away from me?

Is it my fault?
Is there something I could do to cure myself
and I'm not, and I should, and what's wrong with me?

"Those who were not my people
I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved

I will call ‘my beloved."

What if

at the end of all of this
the only thing I'll know about myself 
isn't that I'm the healthiest
most accomplished
smartest
hardest worker

but that I'm deeply, desperately loved
deserving of forgiveness,
and hope
and all things pure, good, true,
and restful

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Vase

And the place where the
flowers stood, orange and flowing
stands empty, wanting.

Friday, November 7, 2014

This Is Who I Belong To

Iron cracking into bone, agonal breathing, screaming. 

This is Who I belong to. 

Side of flesh ripped and gushing the elements of the sacraments I partake in

This is Who I belong to.

Laughing with his friends on the shore
while he makes them breakfast

This is Who I belong to

The one who did so many good, miraculous, healing things
that the world could not contain them all in on parchment

This is Who I Belong To 

When she was shamed for pouring her priceless gift on his feet
instead of selling it for coin
he honored all she had to offer

This is Who I Belong To

extending his love and wisdom to an adulterous heretic

This is Who I Belong To. 

To the antagonizing BELITTLING  fighting GATEKEEPERS |lines|In|the|Sand|:

Though you will feast with me
you do not set the parameters of the feast
thought you will sit by me
you do not choose who enters this banquet
(neither do I, thank Heaven)

the seating arrangements were never up to us
and no matter what you insist upon

the man who invites all to the wedding feast

Is Who I Belong To.

Monday, October 13, 2014

God, Teach Me What I'm For, Not Just What I'm Against

From the nakedpastor
Lord, you have seen my white knuckled hands holding onto a shred of faith amid insinuations from self-enthroned Christians claiming my faith isn't real because the God I believe in is not the one true God.

And you have seen my tear-stained face as I wept for how alone I felt
and how devastating it can be
when you look back to some of those on the other side
and all they have left to offer are there condolences
or
their condemnation
but no more conversation or confession.

You are El Roi, the God Who Sees Me, shattered piece of clay being held together by gossamer threads of divine gold, who has used her shards to lash out in anger
sometimes justly
but many times unmercifully, unjustly.

You are The One who has seen me paint myself with the full spectrum of color pouring from the prism of Your God's Eye,
yet painting those with whom I disagree with the stark, flat contrast of black and white.

You have seen me hurt and be hurt.

I want to to be the one You see bind,
to be an embodiment of Your
intoxicating,
hundred proof grace.

I want it to be known,
that the religion I believe in
the God I follow
sends Her children into the word to bind up the brokenhearted
to bring justice to the oppressed
liberty to the captives
to be comforters to the devastated
and to build up what was ruined and pilfered
(hearts, bodies, souls, minds)
into a bounteous land
filled with tall,
soaring,
mighty oaks.

My Father, My Mother, I know that I could most certainly be wrong, but I have chosen this path because if I am to err, I want to err on the side of inclusion, and if in this way I have erred I have full trust in your heart, that You Who Are Love is the safest place I can stand when I am wrong.

You Who Are Love is the safe place for all of us who are working out our faith with fear and trembling,
a scripture reference I didn't understand much when I was so pious and young and certain,
whose meaning I am still feeling reverberate, undefined and immeasurable, in my own life.
But I tremble and I pray
that I have the humility to model that safety for others.

I am for freedom, justice, grace, forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation,
and none of it cheaply won or fought for or only dreamt about in Your future kingdom
but championed for On Earth As It Is In Heaven, however feebly,
however imperfectly,
however haphazardly and fully human,
because when it is all said and done,
I want to be for You.

So when I am laid to rest,
they may say that I worshipped a God other than their own,
but they can never say I had any other gods before Her.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

The No True Christian Fallacy

You cannot preach a Gospel of unconditional love and then proceed to lay ideological conditions on the Children of God. The moment you utter, "No true Christian would believe," you negate your commitment to preaching the Gospel.

The accusation that no true Christian would believe

in open theism
evolution
that marriage equality is not a sin
that it's okay to support lowering taxes
that it's right to go to war
that God is feminine as well as masculine

whatever ideological enemy you could substitute for that variable, you take away the Gospel from those people. You are telling them that you have figured out that being a true Christian is about who you vote for, how you think the world was created, and not about who you've been forgiven by.

It is painful to be on the receiving end of, "No true Christian would...," but not only does the pain it causes others make it wrong, it's also wrong because it betrays a deeply held sin: that of hubris. Of believing that you have separated the wheat from the chaff, you have sussed out the minutiae of God's law and how it should be applied today, you have reduced the Gospel to a set of doctrinal bullet points.

But there are republicans supping at the table. There are democrats, communists, anarchists, and independents. Same sex married couples, celibates, straight couples, people who oppose marriage equality and people who support it. Evolutionists and young earth creationists. Hardcore traditionalists and liberal revisionists.

To each and every one of them, Jesus says, "Take, and eat."

To think you're anything other than the lowly prostitute or corrupt tax collector who has to fall hard on the mercy of God, to think you're the ideological Puritan,
that is the antithesis to Gospel.

But I won't say no true Christian would do that, because true Christians commit that sin constantly as they fumble through their faith with fear and trembling.

True Christians falter and make mistakes.
True Christians hurt each other.
True Christians believe the wrong things.
True Christians need Jesus.

They need him like they need water because that's all that is left at the end of the partisan bickering and ideological lines in the sand and elevation of certainty over love.

All that's left is Jesus. So fall hard on his mercy, because he welcomes you openly, and we won't give you a test on right doctrine before doing so.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

For She Who Glories in Peace, a poem for my friend's unborn daughter

When you are born
the world will be on fire.
You will be given one clay pot
filled to the brim
with pure
fresh water.
It won't quench all the flames,
but you must remove the lid
pour the life-giving fluid
onto the world
and quench the flames you can.

And in the damp,
charred earth
one small seed will fall
break apart
and finally
grow.

Looking down at that one green spot
that you helped usher into the world,
you'll know

It takes all of us to make the forest. 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Resilience

No longer swimming
but I'm floating
on the surface of these moonlit waves

As long as I'm here
my breath going in with the ebb
and out with the flow
then I'm still alive
and that is enough.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Stream of Conciousness

Perfectionism is imprinted on my psyche
and if I just keep
trying 
harder
and harder 
to 
eat healthy:exercise:breathe:self-care:find the right diet:yoga:journal:go to therapy:pray
I won't be ill any more.

~.~

It took me an hour to write that text to you today. 

(What day? To whom? Doesn't matter. Took me an hour. My thumbs were shaking with adrenaline).

Call you? No way I could survive the prep for that.

~.~

I'm so scared of messing up because explaining to others failures, mistakes and wrongs decisions is worse than the actual failure. 

~.~

What if having GAD means all my dreams and ambitions for being at the top
are never going to come true? I'm fairly bright, I'm focused, I'm diligent, and often rise to the top of things, and then I crumble like a leaf under the pressure. I'm scared I'll never have a consistent career, but I also want one, because I want stability.

"Everybody has a dream that they will never own..." sings Over the Rhine.

~.~

When people learn my whole story, I've had a few friends remark they're shocked I'm as stable as I am.

I am unstable,I say inside but don't dare say out loud. Have you heard of functioning alcoholics? I'm a functioning fear-junkie. 

~.~

I believe fundamentlism is one of the worst things for mental health, and it preys on the vulnerable, which includes the mentally and physically ill.

~.~

I'm scared I'll be like the people in my family before me, who let their darkness eat them alive, and they shipwrecked and lived half-lives. I don't want that to be my story. I want to survive this. But I also fear the sheer amount of work survival will take, and then I want to crawl in hole and fall asleep. And then I understand their half-lives. And then I understand why the darkness ate them, because that's far easier.

"I don't have a few of drowning, it's the breathing that's taking all this work." -Jars of Clay

Friday, August 15, 2014

Explaining The Blog Title

My blog is called "Thy Waves Over Me" (was temporarily "Her Waves Over Me" as a protest against using feminine language to describe God. I went to back to "Thy" to be gender inclusive). It's a reference to two passages of Scripture as translated in the King James Version:
"Deep calls to deep at the noise of thy waterspouts; all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me." Psalm 42:7 
 "For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me." Jonah 2:3
The King James translation of the Bible has a lot of mixed baggage for me. As a young child in an irreligious family, I voluntarily decided to start attending a fundamentalist church at the invitation of our neighbors. The King James Bible was the authoritative translation. The flourish and poetry of it's words still echo in my mind, years after leaving fundamentalism behind, and they can sometime trigger a tailspin into the pain of remembering being controlled by misogyny and homophobia. It has shaped the way I write, and no wonder, as it is one of the most influential texts in the English language. As an adult, I've grown to love it's poetry and it's failings as a translation. It is, like any other translation, full of human error. What has stuck with me are the beautiful turns of phrase. So when it came time, years ago, to name my blog, this is the old KJV song that had been stuck in my head since childhood.

Throughout my life I have strongly resonated with the story of Jonah. Wanting to run, to leave, and hoping that instead of my enemies coming to God's forgiveness, that she would just destroy them all. I have felt like an unlikely and unwilling participant in this story of Jesus Christ who came to save. I have tried to leave my faith behind so many times, exploring Hinduism, Atheism, Neopaganism, and Buddhism. You can see my moments of "apostasy" throughout posts on my blog. These times of fluctuation are just as much as part of my spiritual journey as my times of intense faith, as my time as a fundamentalist. There is no erasing the King James Version, or Pema Chodron, or crystal lore, or Bible College, or my time as a hardcore Rachel Held Evans groupie, or Yoga, or Catholicism, from my faith journey. Ultimately, through dreams, signs, and visions I don't seek out and don't want, I end up coming back. Reluctant disciple. I am Luther at Diet of Worms, "Here I stand, I can do no other," I say to Jesus with a look of defeat and resignation. Or I'm more like Simon Peter, who says with conviction, "Lord, to whom shall we go?"
"If you cannot trust him to let you know what is right, but think you must hold this or that before you can come to him, then I justify your doubts in what you call your worst times, but which I suspect are your best times in which you come nearest to the truth-- those namely, in which you fear you have no faith." -George MacDonald 
I do not share my faith journey as an example to be followed. I simply share it, knowing that I'm not the only one. When Christianity is coupled with abuse, it's hard to forge a faith that will impress others, something I was far, far too preoccupied with for a long time. In the musical Wicked there's a lyric, "Some questions haunt and hurt, too much, too much to mention/Was I really seeking good/Or just seeking attention?" And I know that for a large portion of my journey, it has been the latter. From a troubled childhood I was seeking the approval of others, people who seemed steady and charismatic and had leadership qualities and were devout. And I think I've become a disappointment to every single one, and I've come to grips with that. I will continue to fluctuate, to prod, to ask questions, to despair, to boldly claim, to sheepishly inquire. I will continue to let people down. I will continue to worship the God/dess who is at times very unknown to me, and at other times feels closer than my own breath.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Sun Exploded

As a child
the sun exploded
and left an inky black hole
inside this sleeve of flesh,
traumatized and shaken.

But the darkness inside me
was a staircase of shadows
that ascended the ocean
and led me up through the starry sky
to the diamond
pulsing with blood and fire
at the heart of it all.

Monday, June 9, 2014

You Have No Power Over Me

There's no glass ceiling in animal rescue.

No dog or cat has ever noticed my secondary sexual characteristics and concluded, "Sorry, you're the wrong sex to help me."

They've also never said I'm the wrong sexuality to help them.

Christians say that stuff though.

And you can cry,"But not all Christians do!" and that is a great and wonderful truth

but until the people screaming heresy at women in priestly collars
and men having sex with each other
and people who bend gender expectations

are the minority

and no woman or LGBTQIA person is hurt because of their heresy

(for what can be more heretical than denying the full humanity of the other?)

I find little comfort in, "Not all Christians do."

I've seen too many lives gutted and tossed aside
in the name of evangelical-fundamentalist-conservative heterodoxy.
When your belief system kills people (literally or figuratively)
You no longer have power over me
even though you claim you have the truth.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Get To Say So

"I don't doubt the sincerity of many Christians who condemn gays publicly and work to deny them civil rights, but it is now time for all Christians to take full responsibility for the harm done by their beliefs, the harm to individuals including their own children, and the harm done to those they condemn for their religious reasons."
-Anne Rice

In our lessons
Where I would listen with rapt attention
and allow myself to be molded in your image
You would tell me that people could sincerely believe they were right
and be sincerely wrong.

It's a bitter sort of irony
that it never once occurred to me
or you
to turn this around on our
exclusive
dogmatic
closefisted
closeminded
beliefs.

We could be (are) sincerely wrong.

You can't tell me now that your sincere belief that God's word says being gay is a sin
means
that you're absolved from the consequences your beliefs have wreaked on others

those horrible, heartbreaking, suicidal consequences,

and I get to say so.

Your beliefs don't get you off the hook
while you put the rest of the world on one. 

source: The Naked Pastor



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day

"Just as God is our Father, so God is also our Mother."

-Julian of Norwich

As someone who has never celebrated the holiday, because my own mother left, this truth is profound.

Don't take the Motherhood of God away from the Motherless because it seems heterodox. Don't say it's less important than the Fatherhood of God, that even if true, it's less important to emphasize, or worse, that it would be dangerous and confusing.

Because it's just as important. It's just as real.

And the confusion happens when we stuff our ears from contemplating its reality because it seems foreign to us.

Don't tell the hurting that they can't be a good judge of theology because their pain is clouding their judgment.

Because God is for the Hurt and SHe becomes the Hurt.

If theology is not for the broken, and the perspectives of the hurting and abused and the abandoned cannot help shape it
form it
point out the areas where it lacks empathy
where it favors the blessed over the broken

then theology is for nobody.

Either Jesus came for the fringe, the outcast, the outlier, the abused,
or He came for people who didn't need Him to begin with.

God comes for the abandoned.

And becomes everything to them

that they never had.

Taking that away from someone
is the most sinister form of heresy
I've witnessed.

"For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the Lord will take me up."

"Can a woman forget her sucking child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you."

"So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them."

“You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.”

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Radiance

This is that tenuous space
where the ocean meets the inky blackness of the night
and you don't know if you're the light shimmering on the waves
or glowing in the sky.
Either way
you're radiant.

What The Tall Oaks Taught Me (i.e., Where I Shamelessly Copy The Format of a Mary Oliver Poem)

"Yes, you have years of hard work
ahead of you--

fears, faults, and baggage to overcome--

you don't get there all at once,
in a rush.

You take one breath
then the next.
Then you unfurl your branches.
Then drop your seeds to the ground."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Poem About Blood, Water, and Diamonds

I chipped at each brick with the raw weight of my tears until the wall had turned to dust, and I stood in an open beach with no path, no plan,
just baptized ashes swirling at my feet
and my now dry eyes
wanting to see more
and my now parched throat
wanting to taste more.

So I did the next thing I knew to do
and it was to cry, bleed, and sweat
the help
and the hope
I wanted to bring
to the open wound at the center
of this world
that always 
drips blood in time with our own heartbreak

(so you must know then,
it never stops bleeding).

I plunged that sanguine depth
and found the diamond
I lost at sea
when the teachers told me
to throw myself away
in exchange
for...

I forget what it was
they promised
because it never came to pass.

But oh,
the things we've lost in those waves-
even the things we thought we never had
because we were told they weren't ours to hold-
have a way of floating back
into arms fatigued
from trying to survive in the waters of life.

"Hello,"
I whisper with a smile and trepidation
to the small stone
cradled just beneath the water
glimmering with life and expectation
as it shivers in my hands.
"It's so lovely to be near you again."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Am I A Christian?


I share this in open, raw honesty and vulnerability. I share it not to be the recipient of a lecture or to endure another round of the evangelical inquisition, but to ask a difficult question about what it means to be "heterodox" and yet completely head over heels in love with Jesus Christ. To want equality for women and the LGBTQIA community, to think the Bible is an imperfect document, to vote for the Green Party, to want rights for animals as well as fetuses, and yet also truly believe in the deity of Christ, and his life, death, and resurrection. I share this so that you, conservative evangelical, can know that I exist, that there are other people like me who exist, and to beg of you to please stop using the "no true Scotsman" fallacy when it comes to doctrinal purity ("No true Christian would believe/do X!" is not helpful dialogue). George MacDonald once wrote,  "No opinion, I repeat, is Christianity," and maybe, just maybe, as important as ideas and beliefs are, and God knows I've been hurt by abusive ones, that there's nothing wrong with holding them with an open palm and wanting to explore them, nothing wrong with putting down our figurative torches and whips. And perhaps the abusive potential of theological concepts wanes when we don't hold to them more strongly than we hold to the two highest commandments.


Is it worth sifting through shit to find a diamond?

What about a pearl?

Last night I dreamt I walked down the long aisle of a beautiful cathedral. I walked through a cloud of smoke created by fragrant incense, up into an altar lit with candles and adorned with red and gold tapestries, and there stood the Divine Son and the Divine Mother. They held out a plate of fresh bread, and said in unison, "Take and eat."

I reached out my hand to grab the warm dough, but pulled back at the last second. "I don't belong."

They knelt down and looked me in the eye, and spoke again, in unison,"You do if I say you do."

The idea of whether or not to refer to myself as a Christian has plagued me for a few years, but especially in recent months.

I'm one of those people who loses their faith a lot. It happens when you come out of fundamentalism. You lose, find, lose, and re-find your faith a million times, as you come through the fog of abusive theology and learn to let go of certainty.

My, there's so little I'm certain about any more.

So I wonder, can I, should I use that nine letter word that is loaded with so much history, beauty, tragedy, hope, abuse, wonder, ugliness, and baggage?

Christian.

There are many people who, if they were to review a list of the beliefs I now hold, would conclude, "No, you are not."

"I don't need to tell you what I do or don't believe," sings The Choir. But I want to mention a few, because it's important to voice them, especially when the self-appointed gatekeepers of the throne of God are constantly shouting, "This close you may come and no closer."

I believe that my gay friends are telling the truth when they say they were born that way, and that caused me to reevaluate my views on the bible.

I believe that the Bible is imperfect, and just as I can believe what Plato wrote about Socrates without believing Plato was divinely inspired to pen each word, so I believe Jesus is God.

I believe that the church has never had a serious conversation about women in leadership roles, and until one is had, it cannot say with confidence that the tradition has been worked out and we know where we stand. The canon was a conversation. The trinity was a conversation. The issue of women leading the church has not been given the conversation it truly deserves. Listening to my arguments and then saying, "The Bible clearly says..." is not a conversation, by the way. Some Eastern Orthodox theologians have acknowledged this, and have said that perhaps a true council should be convened to properly discuss it.

I believe that God is 100% my mother as well as my father, and it doesn't matter to me what Bible verse you quote, because none of them will say God is NOT my mother. And I don't want that feminine imagery to be in the background, because it puts my femininity in the background, and after centuries of women being oppressed and shunted to the background, can't we admit that the way we talk about God as only or mostly being masculine-Father, King, Master, Lord, Son-alienates and shunts women off to the side, and this has led to some fairly horrible justifications for abusing women? Am I really created fully in God's image, or are men more in God's image than women?

I believe that we are all worthy of love, in our essence. I believe that what we truly are is righteous, and the great unveiling of God's grace is shoveling off the shit to find the diamonds in our souls that have always been there, and we are truly being cleansed and renewed to become exactly like Jesus. Our image has been marred. But we don't deserve Hell. We don't deserve eternal torment. As odd as this might sound, we deserve grace, because what loving Mother, what loving Father, would create broken people without any eye towards total restoration?

I believe that we're all destined for Heaven and Union with God, it's just going to take some of us a lot longer to get there.

I believe that God comes to us, and we to God, through a million different paths. And it could be Buddhism and it could be Hinduism and it could be Christianity.

I believe that tradition can be useful, that there is a democracy of a dead, but I'm worried that friends of mine enamored with tradition are turning it into the tyranny of the dead.

I believe that people should come to Christianity because of it's beauty and the way it illumines their soul and lightens their burdens and fills them with hope, not because of fear and guilt and shame.

Some would say all of this means I'm not a Christian. Some reading this now want to debate me on one or more of those points, and although I've mentioned my beliefs here, I'm not debating them, because this isn't the blog post to discuss the minutiae of those ideas: it's the space to discuss what it means to use a certain moniker to describe my spiritual and religious life. I know the arguments against them quite well. I've wrestled with them for years. I can quote chapter and verse of the conservative arguments against me. I share these so-called heterodox ideas because I know that they are what set me apart as someone who should firmly stand in the non-Christian camp.

Because I'm a universalist who rejects the existence of Hell
and believes the Bible is imperfect
and I think my gay friends are just swell
and I want women to wear vestments and preach the word if they're called
and I call God Mom probably more than I say Dad because I spent 26 years not calling him Mom so it's time to correct that imbalance...and I just phrased it that way on purpose.

Christian literally means I am the follower of the anointed one, and some days

some days when the tears are drying
and the fog of pain and guilt and shame
and abusive theology clears
and I'm not listening to people
who have the definition of Christian
sussed out in a five thousand page document
complete with a rubric for perfect doctrine
and the final exam you take
before you can enter the pearly gates

I think I might be.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bad News

You think what you have to offer me is love, but I'm not so certain. 

"Here," you say,
"Here is freedom from the horrible illness
That is all your imperfections and foibles
Because that's what your true nature is:
It's your faults and guilt
your shame and dark lusts.
And here is a list we compiled
of traits and acts you didn't know were sins
and all these things will sentence you to an eternity of torment.
Aren't you glad we told you?
Because someone has come to save you from yourself,
from the destiny you deserve.
He has had mercy on your fallen nature
and if you believe in His Son
and abide by the words of this book
as we interpret them
you will be saved."

"But you're not listening!" I protest.

"But I love you," you say.

"You don't believe my story!"

"But I love you."

"You're not trying to understand!"

"But I love you."

In that moment
I realized your definition of love
is that an offer of salvation is always on the table
when I choose to see things god's(your) way.
Until then
I'm not only wrong
I'm depraved and damned
And you're under no obligation to pay attention
to what anyone who contradicts the story you believe
has to say.
You've plugged your ears
with your holy words
and your eyes can't see past
the small print.

Your Small Religion

You are forbidden from using the word "love"
to describe how you feel about me.

Because, in that moment,
I don't think you realized what it was you were rejecting,
You with the impoverished soul,
Who see the children
and gay people paid to serve them
as an abstraction, a two-dimensional talking point
that you can dispose of and hide away,
like props in your war game,
forgot that

It was me you were rejecting. 

I'm the human casualty on the other side of your culture war. 

Is the impact of it all more real to you when
you see me on the other side?

Or will you dismiss my feelings as an over-reaction
and grating sentimentality
for caring that people like my friends
-people like me-
aren't marginalized?

If caring about people
you refuse to care for
makes me too delicate
too hurt
too tragic
too pathetic
too liberal
too heretical
too much
for the religion you serve
to listen-
not for a conversion or to score points or to please God, but
because I'm human and it's right and proper to listen-
then your religion is too infinitesimal
to spark life into the vast, raw,
gaping, bleeding,
cracking, hoping,
breathing, pulsating,
thriving, dying
human condition.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Divine Mother

source

If God does not equally encompass and represent
 and yet transcend
 the feminine as well as the masculine, 
then that god is too small
to be worthy of worship. 


As it is
I find myself cradled in soft blankets 
on the lap
of my Mother
of my Father
my Friend
the Divine Spark
and the Loving Heart
of Whoever it is
that conceived of
and birthed me
-screaming and blinded by the harsh light-
into the waters of this life. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Home Is Where I Am

And I will always be
the mystic girl
who looks for God in the curves of her hips
and the wind on the dappled leaves
and the smile of a dog

Who worships the Loving Heart
that I must, I can't help,
but believe
is at the center of this
beautifulfuckedupmysteriouscomplicatedinsane life.

But I have cast off
the language I formerly used
to describe my attachment
to the Divine Flame.

That there is truth, beauty, and wisdom
in that story of creation, incarnation, death and resurrection
I do not deny
but for me
there is nothing healthy left
to pluck from those branches.
That fruit is bitter in my mouth
and acid in my gut.

There are waves over me
I don't know
if I'm drowning
if I'm being baptized
if I'm swimming
if I'm shuttling towards the bottom trench
or rising to the light.

Perhaps all of the above.

Wherever it is that I am, I know that I am home
here
in myself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"I drew a bitter breath and blew." 
-The Sea Wolf Mutiny

Sunday, March 30, 2014


You disown me
And you stone me
With the rock of ages
-Wayne Kirkpatrick


"This won't be another Salem
That was inexcusable
You won't be my Cotton Mather
And I won't be your crucible."
-Wayne Kirkpatrick

This is a cold war
Do you know what you're fighting for?
-Janelle Monae
"Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Holy Beauty


I was looking for images of ordained women, particularly ones from liturgical traditions. A lot of the images were posted on sites where people were decrying the feminization of the church, the departure from the pure and holy doctrine of male only ordination. Some of them were incredibly vile blogs making fun of people's vestments, singling out women in particular (for what better way to take down a woman than to chide her for her fashion sense?) There were several articles in several reputable online publications discussing women's ordination in the Church of England, where women's pictures were used, but with no caption stating who they were. A few of these articles even had the temerity to interview men without interviewing a single woman close to the matter at hand, but of course still using their images (for the shock value I suppose). So I had to do some digging to find out that the beautiful woman blessing the Host in this photo is Bishop Kay Goldsworthy from Australia, the first female bishop ordained in the Anglican Church of Australia. The sight of her doing this is healing, it reminds me that the God who made us all did not make men more in his image than women, and that all those who are called and qualified to serve can do so.

This image might make some want to mourn, but I offer no sympathy for that. We can respectfully discuss it, but I don't feel a mite of sadness for you.

For all this photo makes me want to do is dance. 

God is my Mother as well as my Father, Halleujah! 



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Losing the Answers

I have left a world behind-a world inside me and a world outside of me-and the wounds inside continue to bleed while I go about my life.

I don't know how to tell people that inside I'm falling apart when to them the wounds seem like they came from an imaginary friend.

These people don't understand how powerful brainwashing can be, how damaging abuse from a religious institution can be to one's psyche.

I'm trying to find my footing and my place and my beliefs and my next step.

You see, I lost my Reason for Existence, my Clear Answer to All of Life's Perplexing Questions.

Even then I still thought I was comfortable with the raw paradox of Divinity, but I had simply not experienced enough of the beautiful, painful, complicated, messy world.

Meanwhile, the dog still needs to be walked, the bills need to be paid, the dishes must be done, the career must be tended to, my husband needs my presence, and on and on and on.

If I told you I was tired, and I tried to explain why, would you understand what it means to be wearied in your soul?

Have pity on me. I used to have all of the answers. Then I had most of the answers. Then I had some of the answers.

Now I have none. I hold my fingers over my lips and in my silence I cry with groanings too deep for words,

MERCY UPON THOSE EXPERIENCING THIS FEARSOME AGONY,

for all those who
lost the Answer
and our finding ourselves.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Αδάμας/Unbreakable

Sophia Summit by The Naked Pastor

In my hands there is coal
and it will take years of pressure before
diamonds come spilling from my fingertips. 

~.~

As a child I held these hands open
you grasped them and said
you'd show me the way
you'd give me the manual
and lay out the path
and lead me on to places
I didn't want to go.

all the while the coal gathered dust
the light flicked away
and it grew cold
on the shelf.

It was during that time
that you laid claim to me
but you don't get the rest of me. 

~.~

I picked it up today
and felt the rough weight of it's potential
against my warm palm. 

~.~

Good things grow in the gardens of my mistakes
but that doesn't erase the regret. 
You can blame me for it all, if that's what helps you rest in peace.
You can tell the world I didn't have to listen to you,
if you think that will grant you absolution.

No matter what it is you now say,
I still have to walk the path
you were trying to protect me from
because it was wide and open
and it splintered into paths infinitum
and in all it’s complexity and rich topiary
you thought there was only chaos.

But there is actually beauty
and freedom
and yes,
chaos

(the lie was thinking you could protect anyone from it).

I thought I’d have to turn back from certain trails
since you had already taken much from me
and they were steep and far too long a road for a drained soul.
But there is a difference between the hard necessary work of surviving the blows,
and the hard necessary work of coming alive.  

~.~

I wrap my fingers securely around the atramental stone
I crack and bleed from the coarseness.
I blister and peel from the heat. 
But it is mine to form
And I will not let go
for no man. 



Saturday, February 15, 2014

What Broke My Heart, The Final Chapter

Help me to understand:

I'm standing here with blood dripping from the gaping wounds on my hands
and you're telling me
that my story of pain means
I don't have the capacity
to indict the ones who inflicted the wounds?

I Only Debate Those I Trust

I used to share a lot about differing political, theological, and moral views. Lately, my writings have focused more on the poetic, the pastoral, the mystical experience of the radical grace of God, and far less on the academic. And there's a few reasons for that: as much as I love an intelligent discussion between people who disagree, in the world of Christianity, there are many who feel that it is their responsibility to call out heresy and to continue calling it out ad nauseum until everyone else in the discussion wishes they would be quiet and actually engage in the arguments being presented.

I find such activities to be a waste of my time. I discuss these big, deep, complex ideas with people I trust and respect. Those who want to put me through their own version of the Inquisition don't have that privilege.

Go Ahead and Try

Go ahead and say, "The Bible clearly says."

But don't for one second attempt to comfort yourself with the delusion that if your beliefs come from the Bible no one is allowed to criticize those beliefs.

This is not a theocracy, this is no inquisition.

I don't doubt that you sincerely believe that the Bible clearly says such and such a doctrine. But since when did sincerely believing something mean that I don't get to call you out for the pain those beliefs cause others?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Animals On Earth, As It Is In Heaven (for Duncan, Heloise, and Keeya)

Perhaps, if you're the sort who only finds a theological idea palatable to your mind if it is based solely on syllogisms and the declarative sentences of accepted authorities, the following will not appeal to you. Not because it is illogical, or because it doesn't take into account authorities on the matter, or because it is anti-intellectual, but because it is also based on lived experience, on the tangible and yet also the mystical and poetic, and on the sneaking suspicion that things aren't only as they appear in an outlined argument on crisp white paper.

But what I must say is this: this impoverished notion--that all creation begins and ends only on this side of earth except for human life--that has invaded the theology of many friends of mine who claim devotion to Christian religion, frustrates me to no end.

The best I can surmise, the argument comes from the idea that human beings were created in the image of God, and that must mean nothing else merits eternal life, that nothing else has a soul.  Tell me, of all the things in holy writ to take to be exclusionary, why did we decide that because humans were made in God's image, that other creatures, with unique visages and personality, weren't going to live eternally, that they don't have their own animal souls, their animus, that will carry them through this life to the next?

And of all the things in holy writ that many insist on interpreting literally, why couldn't it be literally true that all creation praises God? Why can't the trees truly exult, why can't the puppies offer their praise?


You might answer,"Because they have no soul." I retort, "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio."

If creation groans with us for redemption why can't it also be the recipient of it's benefits? Why can't the individual sunset maple of my childhood backyard and the cat I cradled in the light of the sunset while she looked out the window, frail and dancing on that border between life and death, benefit from the healing that will take place?


Perhaps, you might insist, the only reason I believe this is because my day to day work with animals makes me sentimental. But tell me dear one, if my Creator isn't sentimental, what is the point in creating at all?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It Was Worth It, Right?

This is the first time I'm sharing an audio version of a poem. I think speaking it is indispensable to conveying the full meaning, so if you'd like, click play and give it a listen. Transcript provided below. 

video

You're trying to bait her into sharing her deepest truth
But she's a privilege not a right
And her secrets are not your purview.
But you're going to keep pounding away
Until you get what you want
Which is full access
And her admission that she's wrong

Now she's broken in the corner
screaming at the God you say you represent
Now she'll never speak to you or Him again

But it was worth it, right?
It was worth it to be right.
Yes, it was worth it, right?
It was worth it to be right.

You don't know him anymore
And if you tried you'd just shut the door
in his face
before he could finish his story
because if he's not a carbon copy of you he deserves slander
not glory.

Now he'd rather be alone and he won't pick up the phone
No matter what you say he's content
With the knowledge that he's innocent

But it was worth it, right?
It was worth it to be right.
Yeah, it was worth it, right?
It was worth it to be right.

You rejected me because I dared to disagree.
Because the way of Jesus is to make outcasts
out of heretics
until they come crawling back on their hands and knees.
No, the human church does that shit
God's strong enough to listen to little ones like me
and our crayon drawings of majesty.
Errant people excommunicated me in the name of that unholy trinity
of Dogma, Word, and Infallible Pastor,
And now I can't darken your door.

But it was worth it, right?
It was worth it to be right.
Sure, it was worth it, right?
It was worth it to be right.

Stand up for your convictions
Say what you believe is right
But don't you think for one minute
That fighting like the Devil
is gonna make me see the light.

You're on top of a mountain
Alone with the wind and the cold and your firm grasp on the truth
And the valley is littered with the bodies
of everyone who used to know you.
Friend, sister, brother, son, daughter
crying out for mercy and water
but it was worth it, right?
It was so worth it
to be right.
There are people in every group who idolize hate over love and vilify those who disagree with them.

What makes it so maddening when Christians do it is that they claim that God approves of their tactics.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Would You Prefer If I Left Christ?

When you tell people they have to choose between your understanding of God and their own, when you tell them that their hearts are desperately wicked but that your heart is pure enough that you've figured out what God's word clearly says, and you say those are the only options on the table, well, many people will leave Christianity. And I wonder, is that what everyone wants? For me to leave Christianity behind rather than wrestle with it in my liberal, heretical way? They'd prefer I was an atheist or agnostic than a liberal person who really believes in the Gospel, who can say the Nicene Creed without crossing her fingers behind her back, and who loves the sacramental traditions of her Anglican rite? Who wants to love God and neighbor? They'd rather I just leave?
Sorry, but Christ is not getting rid of me that easily. 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-The Apostle Paul



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Anglican Rosary Prayers: Thy Waves Over Me

As a devotional practice, I have begun writing or adapting prayers to use with the Anglican rosary. If you'd like to know more about how prayer beads work, one of my favorite resources is Full Circle Beads. (I am in no way affiliated with Full Circle Beads, I'm just a huge fan of their resources and the beautiful prayer beads they sell. My personal beads are pictured here). All scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version Bible, but for this set of prayers I have used the text of Jonah 2 from the King James Version, because I love the phrasing. 

The Scriptures are filled with water imagery. Water is essential to the Sacrament of baptism, through which God touches us through the material and immaterial to mark us as members of Christ's mystical body.

To quote Florence Welch, "Water is the great overwhelmer." It sustains us and cleanses us but it can also drown us, and the depths of the seas are filled with many mysteries we have yet to plumb. In this set of prayers, I've pulled together some of these Scriptures, including the one the title of this blog comes from. Underneath the great power of God's waves, Jonah learned humility and cried out to God. When I am submerged, it helps to remember that God was good and faithful to Jonah, who, like me, was prone to cowardice, brooding, and a vengeful spirit. The rain falls on the good and bad alike, and the water is for all of us.

The Cross

The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 

The Invitatory

And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Cruciforms

And all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

The Weeks (say each phrase on a different bead) 

1. I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
2. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
3. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
4. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
5. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: 
6. Yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
7. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

Scriptures: Genesis 1:2, Matthew 3:16, 1 Corinthians 10:2, and selections from Jonah 2:1-7


I'm An Animal Advocate, and God Cares About What I Do

As I explored and fought for the cries of my heart and championed for the causes that torched me, evangelicals cried back,

"God doesn't care about these things, or at least not as much as you."

I find the latter part of that sentence more infuriating, because I can handle someone who disagrees with me better than I can fathom how someone thinks that I care too much. As if God cares only a little bit about these things, and I need to measure out my care to more "appropriate" causes. The one most frequently cited to me as better than a career in animal welfare is orphan care. I suppose because, if I'm a woman who wants to help dependent and homeless creatures, I should be helping human ones full time and animals only a little bit or not at all.

I have a feeling if I worked a regular 9-5 as a job and devoted a lot of free time to church and the other "approved" causes, no one would blink an eye. But because I dare to say that the full-time work I do for animals is my holy vocation, I am accused of having disordered priorities.

These people have figured out that God cares a lot about certain things, and not very much or not at all about others. It's time to stop listening to people who are trying to win the world to their own miniaturized human-gospel that they created on their own fallible shoulders, a lesser gospel that insists God cares only about certain "higher" things (humans specifically, which betrays a severely egotistical myopia), and not everything that was lovingly created from the Divine Being and called good.

Which to me, is simply absurd. Especially considering that all of these issues are interconnected. We compartmentalize the work that's to be done for the cause of good in this world, missing the fact that what we do for one part of God's creation--be it humans, animals or trees--impacts the rest of that creation, often times in ways we never would have imagined.

God cares about all things, at all times, more than any human ever could. To do anything less would be to betray Divine character.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

We're All Heretics

We're all heretics. Making crayon pictures of God, which She loves, because what good parent doesn't adore the crude renderings of themselves made by the fingers of their trusting child? The lie was ever thinking any one person could be 100% orthodox. Of all the things I think God meant to give us, certainty about how right we are about the Divine Flame wasn't one of them.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Anglican Rosary Prayers: Comfort for Bruised Reeds

As a devotional practice, I have begun writing or adapting prayers to use with the Anglican rosary. If you'd like to know more about how prayer beads work, one of my favorite resources is Full Circle Beads. (I am in no way affiliated with Full Circle Beads, I'm just a huge fan of their resources and the beautiful prayer beads they sell). All scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version Bible. 

This set of prayers is for anyone who is hurting. But I did compile these scriptures specifically for those who have been wounded by the church. I had been contemplating adapting this passage from Isaiah into a prayer for a while now, and a friend who has a similar background to mine shared with me today about a great sermon she heard on this passage, which inspired me to finally finish the compilation. So many times those of us who have experienced pain at the hands of the church feel like bruised reeds, whom, like the people who have hurt us, God malevolently desires to crush. Or we feel that our abusers are correct and God agrees with them about us. But that is the furthest thing from the truth about God. May these prayers bring some modicum of comfort to those who bear in their souls gaping wounds from people and institutions who should have been safe.

Edit: Per the excellent suggestion of my freind Aletheianna, in italics I have added an alternative set of prayers that are phrased in the second person. Feel free to use whichever set is most helpful for you.

The Cross

Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me;
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Help me take your yoke upon me
and learn from you
for you are gentle and lowly in heart
and you will give me rest to my soul.
For your yoke is easy
and your burden is light. 

The Invitatory

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in mercy to all who call on you.

The Cruciforms

Fear not, for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name, you are mine.

Help me to fear not, because you have redeemed me,
You have called me by my name, [name], I am yours. 

The Weeks 

A bruised reed he will not break,
And a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.

This bruised reed you will not break
And this dimly burning wick you will not quench.
You will faithfully bring forth justice. 


Scriptures: Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 86:5, Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 42:3 

Anglican Rosary Prayers: Psalm 27

As a devotional practice, I have begun writing or adapting prayers to use with the Anglican rosary. If you'd like to know more about how prayer beads work, one of my favorite resources is Full Circle Beads. (I am in no way affiliated with Full Circle Beads, I'm just a huge fan of their resources and the beautiful prayer beads they sell). All scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version Bible. 


This first set of prayers is simply an adaption of some of my favorite verses from Psalm 27. As someone who struggles with anxiety, Psalm 27 has long been a favorite of mine. And since I find meditating on prayer beads helps calm my anxious mind, I thought I'd combine the two.

The Cross

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

The Invitatory

You have said, "Seek my face."
My heart says to you,
"Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Hide not your face from me."

The Cruciforms

I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
yes, wait for the Lord!


The Weeks

The Lord is my light and my salvation
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life
of whom shall I be afraid?


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Heretic's Feast

Respect for the tradition that has come before me
Must mean something other than simply taking onto my plate all that was said
And feasting on it as if it the taste wasn't bitter to me.

Some of the spread on this vast table is nourishing, to be sure, 
But perhaps I can accept that with time, 
tastes change,
and that this is no sin within me, 
it simply is. 

After all, 
every sect in this vast Christendom holds some as saints that others hold as heretics.
So I doubt that anyone has the lines of orthodoxy as clearly demarcated as they imagine.

I've been told that fences* need to stay up if I don't know what they're there for,
But I've searched the ground inside and out this enclosed space, 
Tested the health of timber used,
And still don't know what this fence was intended to protect me from.
I also know it's human nature to build fences where God has planted
sunlit, flower filled meadows. 
For we are much afraid of what we don't understand
and what we can't control.



______________________________________________________________________________

*A reference to what GK Chesterton said about modern reformers wanting to tear down fences without knowing the intended purpose of the fence: "In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it." The Thing, 1929. This passage was quoted to me quite a bit when I was researching Catholicism. 

Mother

All this time, I loved a book, and having all the answers, more than I loved God.

So God took away the Book, took away the answers, took away institutions who said they had all the answers,

And gave me only Herself, with all Her mystery and uncertainty
beauty and nourishment.

And in clinging to that divine breast, She gave me back everything else I ever loved.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't You Ever Lie to Me Again

You are culpable for the words you speak.
Even if you don't know the words are a lie.
Even if you're just being a parrot.
Even if you think I shouldn't take your words so seriously.

It's your responsibility to know the veracity of what you're saying. 

And of course I'm going to take you seriously, you've been telling me this whole time that you have the infallible truth sorted out, you have the mystery of God written down to a science of certitude. You have maps and charts laying out the path, you have a perfect compass.

Of course I was going to take you seriously. 

Until every brick in the wall crumbled, because I met other people.

People who weren't incarnate straw men fallacies,
People spouting complicated ideas, not platitudes.
People living complicated lives.

Flesh and blood beings who are bearing the image of God as perfectly and imperfectly as
YOU. 

You can backtrack now and say you didn't mean any of it as a gross generalization, but you didn't just paint with a broad brush:
You painted with the wrong colors.
Painting people who dared to disagree with you or live differently than you as caricatures, and yourself as the manifestation of truth.
(And we both know there's only one Body whose ever been that).

I don't trust one word that comes from your mouth.
If you ever try to lie to me again
I will bring down the full fury of whips against the table of a merchant
selling atonement
for the one-time low price
of everything I have
while his fingers are crossed behind his back. 



But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.
And the tongue is a flame of fire.
It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

-St. James



This Passage Means A Lot When You're Working Long Hours Against A Tide of Death


Also, this is the first passage from Paul I've been able to read without looking back on the way people used to twist these words. Instead I was able to look forward, to new and better readings. 

"Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we not lose heart...For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show the the surpassing power belongs to God, and not to us.   We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death it as work in us, but life in you." 
-Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 4, verses 1, 6-12

Saturday, January 4, 2014

What Do You Think About Ambition and Contentment?

I've been trying to write something deep and thoughtful about ambition and contentment,
ambition versus contentment,
ambition in spite of contentment,
ambition or contentment,
ambition wedded to contentment.

These two pieces have come across my screen several times recently, and I'd love your feedback: What do you think of them? What is ambition to you? Is it a word brimming with promise? Is it an evil word  of selfishness stripped of all good intent?  Is it what fuels you? Is what eludes you?

What about contentment? Is it possible? Is it like death to you? Is it a word brimming with rest and nourishment? Is it what fuels you? Is it what eludes you?

There are so many stories out there that people like to tell about each of these words. What are yours?

The first piece is an artist's rendering of a commencement address given by Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson: http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/

The second piece is a satirical article by The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/articles/unambitious-loser-with-happy-fulfilling-life-still,33233/

Friday, January 3, 2014

Lying for the Truth

A lesbian poet’s words once saved my life,

and since then

I’ve had trouble saying it’s wrong to be gay.

Women blessing the Eucharist fed my soul

and since then

I’ve had trouble saying it’s wrong to be a woman ordained to serve the Holy Bread. 

The beauty of their lives touched me, torched me,

And I don’t want to be against reason,

but doctrinal purity,

an inability to admit the sacred text and its tradition could be limited by culture, era, its own human authors,

seems an excuse to never apologize, to never admit wrong. 

To stand for orthodoxy while everyone around you dies in the Inquisition

seems the opposite of love.

You demand compliance for your shouted dogma

Shun anyone who disagrees and delight that you’ve consigned them to hell.

This is hatred. This is loving your neighbor as your enemy.

It seems in other ideologies, the trappings of culture can be shed for truth. Not so with Christianity. It seems entrenched. And anything limited by culture becomes limited by doctrine and can never be rescinded. 

Or, if we do, we rewrite our history. 

And in doing so we lie. 

I'd rather be an honest heretic
than a lying believer. 

source