Friday, December 1

The Price of Success

There's been quite a hit parade here at BG the past few days, and with that has come some new commenters. Welcome. I'm delighted to have new feedback, new contributions, new friends.

Some of the comments have posed a challenge however. The "excellent! Love it!" comment to a months-old post, with a convenient link to a Lipitor/Prozac/Vi@gr@ website, was deleted. The eight-gobzillion word 9-11 conspiracy theory comment did not get deleted.

And then there's this, Wally. Re: my open letter to James Dobson. A commenter calling himself "Mark," on topic, coherent, and totally calling me on my bull:

"What if we in the church told our young people that sex is terrific, especially when you love the one you're with?"

Probably because that is insane! ...maybe? Can you imagine a 13 year old who is "in love" hearing that bullshit? Please make a mental note Blue Gal: A pedophile 'loves' the child.

Once again, perhaps well intentioned, self professed followers of Christ justify their own desires in the name of 'love'. When God's boundaries for our lives are just 'too much to handle and people do it anyway', or by making it OK with God by simply revising God's word to fit their worldly wants based not on His holy word, but human wisdom, we all can just rest easy and 'live and let live'. Tolerance, after all, is key to living a holy life.

Good 'luck' with that thinking. I hope one day you see your error.

Oooh kay. Glad you found Blue Gal, and left the comment. Thanks. Let's set aside the easy smackdown that I certainly was not talking about MINORS when I said "young people." My bad, I should have been more specific.

I think, "Mark," you and I could have a really interesting conversation about "God's boundaries for our lives." That is exactly what I was talking about in that post. God's boundaries, in my opinion, certainly include NOT getting a girl drunk in order that you may have an orgasm inside her without her permission. (BTW how did you find this site? Even on Google Blog Search, "Christian Panties" does not bring up Blue Gal. Yet.) There are a great many other boundaries, I feel, God sets for us out of love. Killing, torturing, plus all the lying about everything, in order to pursue a false agenda and seemingly endless war that just so happens to make all your friends in your Presidential Cabinet filthy stinkin' rich...oh I digress.

I am, as a former theology student, well aware of the tremendous threat perceived by religious conservatives in the word "tolerance." They see "tolerance" as a code word for "tolerance for sin." There's even a "Christian" book on the subject, and while to me it signals "circle the wagons" mentality ("The New Tolerance offers a thoroughly biblical message of love and hope in the face of a culture increasingly bent on sabotaging the foundations of your faith and that of your children."), I also think it might teach a few fundies to cool it, and learn to love a little more for every slight, even a little, when it comes to getting the back hairs up over where our culture is going.

"Mark"'s comment has me thinking a little more about Blue Gal, the blog, and how to continue talking about sexual responsiblity from my own admittedly "liberal Christian" (and yeah, I'll put "Christian" in quotes for myself, too) perspective. As I said in the Dobson post, I don't speak for Dobson, and he does not speak for me, ditto for "Mark." Perhaps I simply need to leave "The Church" alone, and focus merely on public policy as regards sexual behavior, contraception, and civil rights. Although my arguments will still be with those who consider themselves as speaking for "The Church," I don't need to be telling that Church what to preach or how to talk to their young people (18-30) about sex.

Of course, I can retain my opinion that many churches are condemning themselves to complete irrelevance in our culture by not talking to people where they are. The Church can make a difference without "shoulding" all over the place. These days, people feel free to walk away from churches that do too much "shoulding". This is NOT a bargain with the devil. It IS a lesson in human humility. Learn it.

MUST READ: On topic and hat tip to C&L, Mark (not the same Mark, I think) Morford really laffs it up over the "no sex 'til you're 30" advice from our Department of HHS.

What I wonder is, if Walgreen's Pharmacy can provide comprehensive information on birth control (including the morning-after pill) and prevention of STD's online in a rational, honest, and inoffensive way, why can't the federal government? I mean, thank you, Walgreens:

Abstinence is an absolute answer to preventing STDs. However, abstinence is not always a practical or desirable option.

ESPECIALLY if you're think you're waiting 'til you're 30. Think about it, "Mark".


  1. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Me BlogMate, yer cutlass be on target -- as usual. Well held, m'Lass.

  2. Anonymous3:04 PM

    The ideal of separation between church and state that this country was founded upon will be at best an uneasy truce.

    It is hard to keep the two apart.

    But as a Unitarian, I say this: My church does not speak for me. And I do not speak for my church.

    I respect the inherent worth and dignity of every assumption. (/Unitarian humor)

  3. Blue Gal = No. 1 on the web for the term "Christian panties." After this post, anyway.

  4. "Of course, I can retain my opinion that many churches are condemning themselves to complete irrelevance in our culture by not talking to people where they are."

    Amen. And same for the "should"-ing stuff. Too much of religion is about "should not" and "shall not," when real faith - and living that faith - SHOULD be about how we should live, how we should treat each other, and how things shall be better if we can tolerate and learn to love each other.

    Or, as Paul Mooney said on the radio last night, "I don't want to be tolerated. I want to be celebrated." Yeah. Exactly.

  5. Anonymous6:57 PM

    I can't help but look at it yes-from a policy perspective (my degree, just as your background includes theology) but also on a need-to-legislate perspective.

    WHY should religion have anything to do with societal wellness,justice, and mutual service or protection? Its a matter often of what role you think is appropriate for the government. I think it has little role in who I have sex with, as sexual autonomy is my right. But then that ends where violation of the rights of others come in. My autonomy is only limited when I harm others. (re:your example of rape, sorry but your right to rape loses to my right to not be raped)

    Its essentially a matter of rights bartering, with the most vulnerable or "worst potential for victimization" having priority when rights appear to compete.

    If you put my right to have sex next to your right to say no- you therefore should prevail as harm can come to you but less so to me by denying my rights.

    And so it goes. I honestly look at almost every question that way- religion is irrelevant, as are morals about what is good or proper. Its rights based reason.

  6. Perhaps I simply need to leave "The Church" alone, and focus merely on public policy as regards sexual behavior, contraception, and civil rights.

    Absolutely not Blue Gal, don't even consider that for a moment. The weakness on the left has been that we've been willing to cede religion to the radical extremists. To put it simply, when religious dogma conflicts with religious principal, principal should always win. Despite the strong conviction of the radical right that they can legislate sin out of existence, it's not possible. So why shouldn't you point the principals of your faith to prove them wrong? Trust me, the radical right holds no monopoly on morality and a great number of them don't even have a concept of what it actually means. So don't be bullied out of the moral high ground by people who don't have the moral authority to do so.

    If you are right or wrong on any such issue, it's ultimately between you and God to resolve. Mark and radical right get no input into the matter. Since in the Christian faith forgiveness is infinite, even if you happen to be wrong on one particular article of faith, it seems unlikely that you would be punished any more greatly than the rest of we sinners. If they can believe that God can "forgive" Jeffrey Dahmer who killed and ate children and accept him into heaven, I imagine you asking why the church can't be a little more open and honest about stuff fundamental to human existence isn't going to rank to high on the God's concerns scale. Just keep these people and their "concerns" in prospective, they have none.

  7. Abstinence worked well in the 1950's, er 1800's, ah the 1300's, mmm 2000 BC.

    People fuck, always have always will.

    Definition of insantity: Doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

  8. Great comments, folks, and welcome to BG, Lily and Jamison. Much appreciated.

  9. BTW how did you find this site? Even on Google Blog Search, "Christian Panties" does not bring up Blue Gal. Yet.)

    Careful...all though a good one. :) I have no come back that would not be offensive, intolerant, or arrogant.

    My point, you cannot give only parts of your life to Christ. Thanks for your response, I found your shouldering comments interesting.

  10. And thanks for your response and for taking it all with a sense of humor. The fact that I devoted a post (albeit a little snarky) to your comments proves you got me thinking, Mark. Much appreciated.

  11. I don't much care to see my name in parens.

    - 'mark'

  12. Anonymous8:37 PM

    I see yer point, Mark.

    Does it mean 'mark' this spot?

    Is a surveyor 'markin' a new highway?

    Mayhaps there be a dog with a congenital palatal defect in th'crowd?

    It could be so many things. ;)

  13. Blue Gal, I found Mark response kind of amusing. The bible is pretty straight forward on the subject in 1st Corinthians - Chapter 7. Paul was preaching on this very topic and makes it very clear that those that can should follow the word to the letter, but those that can should be accepted as they are. I'm no theologian, but it sure seems to me that the biblical principal is clear. Humans aren't perfect, God knows that, but expects us all to do our best. Those that can should follow the faith to the letter, those that can't for whatever reason should do their best to follow as closely as they can. It even says that premarital sex can be OK. You'll find this to be one of the least covered chapters in the religious right's Sunday morning services.


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