Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mere Christianity

I want to title this 1.0, as in the beginning of a series, but with school rolling...I hate to do that and abandon it. I'll write what I can here and hopefully more will come later.

My brother has been telling me to read MC for a while now, saying, 'dude, it's where you're at.'

Okay, cool.

I loved Lewis as a young reader, Narnia, the Space Trilogy (though I didn't manage Hideous Strength until I was an adult) Till We Have Faces (a novel I've taught now twice in college myth courses); think I read Screwtape. And as an adult, I was impressed with Surprised by Joy and have long liked, since college, The Pilgrim's Regress. But I don't think I ever read MC, though some of the ideas I've heard other places in Lewis. And by now, I was looking forward to EFM, to Von Rad's commentary on Genesis, waiting for time to read Wright and Plantinga.

Looking, I confess, for greater faith.

Not that I don't have faith, personal and sacramental; I am sure I've thrown my lot in with Jesus of Nazareth; if he really was a deluded apocalyptic prophet as Schweitzer argues, what I would have to call a narcissistic failure...well, then my life will end without answer. But while studying the gospels, or a couple of them, over a long period a few years back (and by coercion only, I shamefully admit) I found the Voice. A personality which over time overwhelmed me. Reading John where Jesus states that the Father witnesses on his behalf I felt that witness inside me, I asked God to 'show me Jesus.' I believe I became a grown-up Christian. This was March 2000.

At first things were great. Then my doubts began to chew at the bottom of my brainpan and continued chewing. I saw religious people all over the world with what appeared to be genuine faith, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims. I began to wonder what made my faith special? Why was I tuned into the most enormous of all cosmic truths and they, somehow, were not? As I looked deeper into modern skepticism I found what sounded like reasonable discussions, even solutions. Nothing that caused me to toss my faith out the window, but enough that I have been sitting on the mental fence, off and on, for quite a while. 'Suiting up and showing up' for church and church service (which, without doubt, is good for me) but still leaving The Question open in my mind. I believed this was the only way many modern people can experience religion; I am a skeptic like so many others and I think I always will be. Bigfoot isn't real, ditto yeti, the bermuda triangle, or elvis in tucson. What the heck does a Christian living in our century make of the OT law, the first 11 chapters of genesis, evolution, the fall, and so on?

I believe EFM will help me by exposing me to other skeptics who have chosen both faith and reason, who read the bible as believers but through the light of modern critical interpretation and not the kind which says 'this is God's Word it contains every answer and no part of it is incorrect...look, it says so right here!'

Twenty four hour days. Proof texts. Levitical Law. St. Paul's human moments. (Though people I respect, smarter and better read than me, Romy for example, believe the bible is fully God's word...I've read enough to have my own struggles).

So, back to Lewis (whose essay "On Scripture" in Reflections on the Psalms was very helpful to me when I converted). My opinion of him has dropped a bit over the years. I thought he'd be great to drink beer with, had a great Christian imagination, but was no theist philosopher. I mean, come on, too many people like him.

But yesterday I had a couple free hours between work and evening service. Instead of going to the gym (I'm finally lifting again and had lifted the day before, ouch) I went to the church library. Really, this is just a wall of books in the same room we have vestry meetings. I had seen MC up there the week before. In the beautiful quiet of that empty and air-conditioned spot I pulled up a bean bag took off my work shoes emptied my pockets and read on the floor.

And kept reading.

Truthfully, if my dog wolfie turned to me right now and spoke, saying, 'Troy, Troy, of course God is real,' that is about as close as I can come to my experience with that book. It was like an amorphous blob I had been trying to control in my hands suddenly stiffened, turned, and developed a speaking face. And it spoke very clear.

One thing that struck me was Lewis' confidence. So many Christians in the last two centuries believe like me: half-swim, half-drown. But Lewis moves through his argument without hesitation, and the argument itself is hair-raising. It is possible to look at the universe and argue that its complexity requires no intelligent design, it's done all the time by atheists and agnostics. It's possible to argue against the reality or the relevance of the universal human conscience, but Lewis lays it out so quick and so clean, responding so rapidly to the common objections, that I was staggered. Hypnotized. Afraid.

Now that I've had time to step back from those first few chapters I want to examine his first premises, show the book, actually to Dr. B in anthro. But I've been asking students the same questions for a decade, was asking them today: from Plato, is inner beauty universal, are mercy and generosity and kindness and compassion and wisdom valued across human culture and experience? It seems that they are. That while individuals or cultures drift up and down on what I've called the ontological line for years (probably incorrectly, but imagine a number line, a continuum, which measures goodness, with Hitler low on the line and Ghandi higher up) something Lewis himself describes...if we argue one culture has better standards of behavior than another we imply the existence of an ultimate ethic against which one can measure behavior which would lie at the very top of the line...Lewis' point, that all humans know we should treat those we love well and that we all fall short of that impulse regularly: that is hard to refute. I know evolutionists have an answer, and I want to see it (though they certainly did not observe the conscience develop; perhaps their answer is best described as an informed guess) but in all my years I've never seen such a succinct defense of Christianity. Lewis absolutely hits the core, the very essence of the faith, and he does so incredible precision and clarity.

The book continues into other areas and I have yet to get there; plus, as I said, I want to read those opening chapters again. But I know that an increase in my faith would change my life activity, make me much more useful in the Kingdom. And for that I pray.

Interestingly enough, though S and I have been doing great lately, the last two days have been sucky. Just stupid stuff, but tension and distance and for me, fear. Not obsession, just fear. Where did this come from? Could it be that spiritual warfare is a reality? It seemed almost too obvious. Last night, laying in bed with her asleep and myself hurting, I considered this and prayed to God to help us, to help me, help us, help mind drifted off to another few things and then I felt sleepy, as though I'd taken a drug but I hadn't. And I slept better last night than I have in more than two weeks since school started. I haven't talked to S today yet and I don't know when we'll finally get our baggage out of the way and open up and share the genuine love we have for each other, but even myself, skeptic that I am (and really, the mouse thing a few weeks ago had other explanations) this seemed like a blatant gesture on Satan's part. I have no proof, and I understand the nature of superstition, but this all feels very strange.

Or as Lewis would say, odd.

What I pray for regarding my doubt is twofold: one, a clear enough faith to present it without waver, and two, enough years left in my life to actually do so. I'm 40. More decades would be nice, especially if most of them found me working in the Kingdom instead of merely squirming.

I have to go. I didn't even have time for this but I made it. More on the book when I can. EFM begins in a month and I hope to work through those ideas up here also, moving, by God's grace, closer and closer to the invisible Father of all the visible.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Beautiful Day in the Bloggerhood

I love blog. The posts I received to my concerns about teaching below were thoughtful and I'm still reflecting on them. I don't get many comments up here per post, but the ones I get are always good. Many thanks.

School is slamming me. Slamming. So I haven't had time to do much of anything else. I still want to do things to personalize the look of this blog, but again, when I can. Like Christmas. Look for snowflakes and Santas.

But the minds and hearts that blog has opened me to are exquisite: most are in the margin (excuse the Trek lingo). If you are new here, check them out; they cover a genuine range.

I just wanted to say thanks to all who have supported me over the last year plus.


Friday, August 19, 2005

On the Counter

Well, I finally added a counter to my site; unfortunately, I wanted it to be invisible but that costs money. Also, though it's not supposed to count my own visits to my sites it is, including every refresh. Worse, it only shows 45 hits (I've been updating the page a little). Imagine someone strolling in and saying, 'jeez, this guy has been blogging for nearly 18 mos. and he's only been visited 45 times.' Actually, none of that really matters.

I'm just curious how much my page is even read. It looks like poop, I know. And I used to write web code pretty often; I just don't have or take the time to change the look here. No pictures either. Just long, narrow posts.

But how I love to do the writing; love it and wish I had more time to do even more of it.

Anyway, sincere love to my friends up here.

Hit me.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Teaching and Other Tests of Self-Concept


First week of school is complete anxious chaos. Am. Lit. (first half) for the first time and I'm only one reading ahead of the students; Honors Comp. for the first time (though I have taught some of the texts before, and read almost all, for some it's been years); a new basic grammar class (hot on the schedule heels of Honors); and Freshman Composition, online for the first time. My usual online Advanced Comp. classes are back next semester; for now I'm creating this online class as I go, typing out lectures that I've been doing in the classroom for years. Actually, that's not such a bad experience, but I should have done it over the summer. Instead, I taught summer school for the first time since I was hired full-time. Bites. Gnaw and bites.

I guess things could be worse. But here's the rub: I love to feel competent, look competent, even in the eyes of 18 year old kids. Especially, maybe, the smart ones who tend to be more demanding, whose approval makes me feel even better about myself as a teacher. I'm not an Am. Lit. scholar by any stretch. We might have one or two Am. Lit. Ph.D.'s but the way the system works we can all teach anything on a rotation basis, and I wanted to teach the American and British surveys (it will be years before I get to the brits). Those classes always fill and they're interesting. Last semester I pulled off a pretty solid second half of Am. Lit. in my not too humble opinion; this semester I'm starting a bit more behind and there is so much background I'm learning for the first time. Who were the freaking Pilgrims, anyway? And what the heck do I make of Cotton Mather and his witch hunts? This man would not like Harry Potter.

So even though I'm tenured I am stressing stressing stressing (I will be evaluated this semester, every three years now, though it's purely formative; even a poor evaluation, though it would sting like roadrash on the hands, wouldn't affect my job security or my pay).

Most of it gets back to wanting to look smart, competent, confident, knowledgeable. One kid dropped my Honors class after the first day (for who knows what reason; maybe he doesn't want to do Honors) and I'm questioning myself already and we did almost nothing in 50 minutes. You see. Trying to please a room full of people is exhausting, and while I've gotten better at holding more to my own standards, those are pretty high standards. Pretty high.

When I was a young teacher, my first five or six years in the classroom (most of those as an adjunct, a freeway flyer,) I was more like a popular peer than a professor. One guy in one class kept calling me 'the Fonz,' because my status really was like that. I knew less then than now, but I dressed like a student, looked like a student, was popular and connected to my classes in ways I'm not anymore. Now I tend to dress up (ties aren't uncommon) and I feel a large gap, a canyon, between myself and them. This seems healthy to me; it's a professional boundary; I am after all 40, not 30 anymore. You student, me professor, you write, me grade. I actually expect respect simply because of my position though students seem more inclined to the consumer model than ever. Not that I'm not still popular and at least a little hip, but it's not what it was, I'm not who I was, and I'm harder on myself in the classroom than ever.

Or so it seems. I'd muddle through new books and readings back then all the time (though I never had lit. classes). Yet my discussions were often electric, or so I remember them. But I was an underdog, a 'part-timer.' Now that I've climbed a floor or two into my ivory tower, distanced myself more from my students' world, I expect myself to possess the wisdom of an Ivory Tower Man, to teach and field questions like one.

Maybe I should go back? Put my earrings in, the ones that have been out now for six years since I took this job. Wear jeans, hip shirts (you know I used to teach at CSULB in colored t-shirts, real t-shirts without collars, short sleeve for hot weather and long sleeve for cool, jeans and unlaced boots; I can't believe this now) and take a more egalitarian approach. My college is conservative, but it's not the east coast; and again, I have tenure. The new dean is fairly casual himself and one of my genuine friends at the college.

But whatever I do, I need to realize I am not the god of literature nor do I have to appear to be. Yes, I want to do a good job in my classes, but whatever happened to...'I don't know, I'll try to find that answer by next session?' As it is, I slam myself full of background info and research off the web before each lit. session (and in the survey, it's a different author almost every single class meeting!) try to sound brilliant and then ask questions. That last part, asking good questions on a reading, is really an art. I have to find something the students can connect to, but in some ways I think I'm trying too hard these days to do the work myself, not letting their minds run enough, though I do still have good discussions.

Of course I could teach more theory, the major theoretical schools, and then toss those in when I run out of other things. I barely cover theory now because I don't like it, but this is another idea. And how Ivory Tower.

Or I could not have signed up for am. lit. at all, but since my b.a. and m.a. involved courses from american and british know my areas of specialty, barely, were english renaissance and psychoanalytic theory. Great.

Grad school, compared to community college at least, is just wierd.

I actually wrote a paper about copraphilia in Joyce. That's eating excrement. I wrote about Milton's self-deception, his isogesis, in his divorce tracts and about a bird in a Hardy novel and a painting by Turner and the brother and sister in Hard Times (refuting the ridiculous charge of incest some critic or other tossed out). I did co-write a Bahktinian analysis of a Richard Ford story, who is an American. I don't remember what else I did, but I spent much more time in the British canon than the American in graduate school at least, yet even the papers I wrote...they have very little application to the survey class. And frankly, I don't remember them.

I know once I do each survey the next time will be much easier (and I get them each three times). But for now I have to ease up on myself. Relax. The students learn on their own, too. The ones that scare me most are the Engish majors and the Honor students and they self-teach. They don't need me to tell them all high and holy truth.

I am going to wear jeans tomorow. Maybe even my Vans, the ones Mikey told me to get, but I don't know if I can bring myself to do the tennies just yet; how comfortable they would be.

Well I'm rambling, and I hate to ramble when I know how precious blogtime is; there are lots of great blogs out there, but I needed to talk. I learned something; it's time to ease up. I'll let you know how I do.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Dr. B

Steph is back, Mikey is back (with a deeper voice, more height, longer hair, and a genuine teenage look, amazing) and school starts for me Monday. Since I'm teaching almost all new classes, two new courses online, the first half of American lit for the first time, an Honors comp (for which I ordered things like Bacon's essays and Plato's Symposium and Faust, Part One) I have lots of prep work ahead.

I only hope all this doesn't cut into my blog time too much. I have a hard time getting free online time as it is!

Since I've begun going to church again I haven't really 'shared my faith' except perhaps here. Maintaining the skeptic's attitude and often, struggling with many questions about my faith (some fair, some driven or at least exacerbated by anxiety) I haven't been out knocking on doors. And so it was odd that two days ago, having lunch with the first friend I made at my college, this is what ended up happening.

My friend B has a doctorate in anthropology. This means he is an expert, or at least well-read, in evolutionary biology, religious systems across cultures (he says things like, 'only agrarian, land-owning cultures worship a single male deity') with great conviction. Of course, he knows more than I do about world religion, and I've read enough world mythology and other sacred texts to make discussion. The only thing I could share with him, finally, was my own experience and though process, which began by reading the gospels, or actually Mark and then John (after long resistance, as I've shared here). I was surprised when at the end of our lunch he agreed to pick one of the four and read it. When I don't know.

Because I told him that when faced with questions like, 'what about the indigenous people of Borneo who worship spirits in the forest like every other culture at their level of technological and social development, are they going to hell!' I simply have to say that only Jesus can answer that question. I mentioned Luke's parable of the Good Samaritan, where the man who acts according to God's character is not from the chosen people (I can still hear Dr. B almost yelling, even if non-aggressively, 'how unfair to choose one group of people, the Jews, what kind of God would do that?'). In the Lucan parable, the man Jesus holds up as an example is not-Jewish, worse, not exactly a Gentile either, who, as far as I know, would have been excluded from the Temple rituals and sacrifices. In other words, he was from the unchosen people, from a group excluded by the chosen, but his act of kindness is held up as the standard over the behavior of the very chosen by Luke's Christ.

When I was talking, oddly, I felt like I was actually beginning to answer some of my own questions.

I don't know where this will lead; Dr. B. did have a Catholic childhood (during our lunch at the brewpub he starts yelling...and no worries, professors yell when they argue all the time and mean well anyway...'nowhere in the bible is premarital sex specifically prohibited and Christians are obsessed with it,'...well, literally, he might be right, but it didn't seem like a central issue). He left his child's faith years ago, decades ago, and his arguments regarding the multiplicities of religion are fair questions. Now he's newly married, with a baby on the way, and that perhaps is making him re-examine his attitudes. For sure, he's very smart, very well-educated (he continues to do field work for National Geographic, in fact the project he's assisting on was featured in a recent issue), and astutely skeptical.

Pray for my friend Dr. B if you can; I don't know what to do except follow up in a couple weeks and see if he's started a gospel, maybe even do what John Kwon did for me: meet with him on occasion and read a chapter. I have some anxiety because my own faith is going on trial in a way, though I think I'm willing to hold to both the possibility of natural selection/macroevolution and the clear fact of the multiplicity of world religions, perhaps even the evolution of religious idea, and still have faith in Jesus.

When he got to Spong, who I haven't read, and the alleged errors Jesus made on earth (according to Dr. B, pointing skyward and saying heaven was 'up') I was at a bit of a loss, though I don't remember Jesus ever saying heaven was 'up.' The demonic possessions are also tricky simply because I've never seen a demon possessed person and am unaware of any evidence for such a thing. It is possible some of the demonic possessions in the gospels were misunderstood by the gospel writers (epilepsy, for example) though not all could be unless the accounts were greatly fictionalized: in some places, the demons speak directly to Christ. I have seen an article on this referenced I'd like to read. In any case, all of those who sought help from Jesus got it.

Dr. B did point out that he is unaware of proof of any culture that doesn't have some belief in the supernatural. I don't know about that, but he certainly would.


I start my efm classes soon, next month, S and I both. This will give me a great beginning, an entire year in the ot, another in the nt, then a year of church history and a year of theology. I'm actually disappointed I don't have to write any papers, geek that I am. Actually, I'll probably impose on my friends here when I feel the need to sort things out in writing.

Why do I have such a strong need for a rational support structure for my beliefs? I don't know, but it's where I'm at. At the very least, it helps me talk to people like Dr. B because we approach knowledge in such a similar way (taught, of course, by the spirit of our own age with all its strengths and limitations).

I can't say how much I appreciate this place to share. I need it. I love it. Thanks again to those who read.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Santa Cruz

Hey all,

Santa Cruz was awesome. I got through my first two days of sailing instruction (three more weekends to go) quite handily. And on the real ocean. The second day our little boat was deeply heeled in steady wind, bouncing off two and three foot swell.

Try that in SF Bay. There's plenty of wind, but not the wave action.

I loved it.

The water in Santa Cruz, unlike the Bay, is also blue, gorgeous, rich, full blue. It's a wilder, more natural place. It's farther, yes, but worth the drive some weekends a year. Plus, I'm very proud of my accomplishment. In fact, one of the women on the boat was very afraid and was taking the class to get over her fear. It was great to see that. I was only a little afraid once or twice, like when the instructor took the tiller from me because I was doing something stupid; mostly I just had wild, wild fun.

And everyone was very nice to me. Jamie, the guy who fixes the boats (what else do you call that?) took me the second night to a tiny outdoor restaurant where all the skippers were hanging out, many with their families. It's a tight community, sea folk. I wish I lived closer. The mountains are great, but hot in summer and the mosquitoes suck, and the sea...enormous beauty. I'm lucky I get some of both.

We even called the coast guard for another vessel in distress.

We're tooling along, sailing fast (here I'm supposed to say something like 'close-hauled on the port tack') and as we neared this larger boat we could see the people waving on the deck. As we got closer that consonantal sound came clear across the water...'heeeeelp...heeeelp, we can't steeeer.'

They said help, looks from one student to another. My skipper got on the radio and called the coast guard who tore up in one of those twin outboard zodiacs in less than a minute, truthfully. We 'hove to,' or parked, on their weather side (they were downwind of us, my this is fun). The poor people on the larger boat had to be towed in. My skipper said boats like that have auxiliary steering, emergency rudders or something, but either they didn't have one or didn't know how to use it. Sad, really, but nothing bruised save egos (and maybe a pocketbook). They were so panicked they weren't using their own radio until after the coast guard showed up. They were not in any real danger.

It wasn't until after everything was over that my skipper told us 'I'm just glad I didn't have to leave you in the boat.'

I hadn't thought of that.

Sailing is one of those hobbies that has many faces. It can be all about style, comfort, cruising along in mild weather getting a tan; or as wild as anything, brushing face with what one of Crane's characters calls 'the seven mad gods of the sea.' Or travel. Or racing (this is huge). Or luxury for those who can afford it (thinking about one's investments while getting said tan). Or making a living, even.

If I were a younger man, I honestly think I'd be intrigued about making my living, or part of it, under sail at sea. I never seriously considered teaching scuba, and wanted to teach English in college since I was 16. But sailing the sea....lucky I'm 40, tenured, with a family. Plenty of time to consider my hobby, and enough time off to pursue it, before I run off on some transpacific passage as crew. My instructor, a young guy, maybe 30, spent several years working and sailing on a tall-mast square rigger that used to berth in Santa Cruz. How amazing is that? Like Patrick O'Brian, without the killing.

But then I've only sailed a few days in my life, and only been through the first two days of classes. Lots left to experience.

This was just a quick note to let all know things went well, more than well. S was at Reggae on the River, and I didn't get a call from her yesterday (she had to use other people's phones) or this morning (which sucks, I worry) but she should be home this afternoon. And Mikey comes home from Europe Wednesday.

Pray for his travel, please.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Colorado City

On the bright side: I do my first weekend of sailing classes this weekend in Santa Cruz and I'm very excited; S is out of town and it seems like a good way to spend my time.

On the dark side, I'm sitting here with Dr. Phil on, S asleep on the couch getting over a cold. His show is about a place called Colorado City, a town completely run by polygamists, 'fundamentalist' mormons, long disowned by the mainstream LDS. I read Under the Banner of Heaven a couple years ago, and I've heard these stories before. A reality quite apart from The Scarlet Tent.

And I can't help but think of Jesus' comment in Mark (and also in Matthew and Luke):

"And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.

Does this fit Colorado City? A town where 15 year old girls are forced to marry fifty year old men and share them with other wives, in the name of religion, of my religion? I'm not a Mormon, but I am a Christian, and surely these people consider themselves Christians.

The contemporary skeptical movement, currently starring Michael Shermer, is one rational way to approach what we think we know about the universe. I don't have time to enter into discussion with this here (certainly I struggle with/engage their ideas in my own head often) but one reasonI know Shermer calls himself (if I recall correctly) an 'agnostic non-theist' is that no God would allow such random human suffering, even random animal suffering. Bad things happen to innocent people every day; those who have committed great harm often live well. It's an old philosophical problem; perhaps the oldest besides the origin of existence.

One solution is karma, karmic winds or the karmic imprint: one will pay in the next life. And in this system, the girls being married/raped in the name of God in Colorado City may well have committed some similar act in a prior life and their suffering is payment (though how reincarnatonists, who of course might be correct, find justice in suffering apart from any awareness of prior life crimes is a question for me; I am also suspicious of social castes, or varna). A little girl born with cancer? Same thing. According to karma, she is atoning for prior life sin. In the body and mind of a child.

Christianity is not much more satisfactory for me when it comes to the doctrine of original sin (Adam's transgression damns a race?) or election. And frankly, I don't think any human can understand God's perspective on either of these things; this is not impressive argument on my part I know. However, I admit just because I don't like something does not mean it's false. If God exists, his attributes, his laws, are his own.

But one place I do find Christianity satisfactory is that Jesus claimed to be the future judge of the world. A personal judge who will know every thought and action. A judge who while on earth showed a heart for children and the innocent, the oppressed and the outcast. With the exception of his hard words to the Caananite woman in Matthew 15:26 (though her faith is immediately rewarded) I can't think of a time when Jesus was angry at anyone save religious hypocrites (the withered fig tree doesn't count for me; I can't believe some skeptics use this to undermine Christianity...anyone who could wither a plant through speech would certainly hold my theological attention).

Many were excluded from the Temple because they were 'unclean' by those who lived by the letter of Moses and not the Spirit of God. Jesus argued (in defiance of Levitical religion it seems) that it's what comes out of the man, not lack of ritual washing, that defiles. I also have to note that the parables in Luke...the lost coin, the lost a God actively seeking the salvation of the most lost of the lost. In general, Luke and John both present a Jesus who claims that salvation is open to all who seek it, who seek him, more precisely. Finally, in Matthew is the stunning moral philosophy of the Matthean beatitudes, where the only requirement for divine comfort seems to be need.

Yes, Christianity does present many questions: what about children, those who abuse because they are abused (legion), chemical imbalances, the mentally incompetent, those brain damaged, infants and the fetus, the zygote? But not more serious problems than a world full of accidental suffering and no final justice, an ateological universe, belief in consciousness through accident and without the transcendent. Yes innocents suffer on earth; the world does seem to operate without any final accountability. But no scholar so far has been able to convince me that the 'historical' Jesus didn't claim to be the future judge of the world. And if he was right, then I have to believe he will judge fairly.

I certainly hope so, because then the abusers in Colorado City will be held accountable, finally accountable, for using Jesus' name to justify their lust and need for sexual and gender power. And the girls, at least some, will be comforted, fully. They will find that the nightmare they believe is God is not God at all but a lie. It must also be said that the abusers who seek God will be so changed that their disease is washed away, made 'white as snow.'

But I'm getting over my head. As usual. What is 'fair' in God's eyes? What is justice? And S wants to go the grocery store now that she's awake, and we're out of everything. I'm off.


It is a wonderful gift to have this blog. When I write, I think of each of those I know who read (when they can): Scott, Funkiller, Romy, KMJ, Mrs. Fish, Artist as a Young Mom, Twyla....I hear the voices and see the faces when I know them. Or I remember the kind comments when I don't. Thank you all.