Friday, September 26, 2008

OK, I Read Dune at an Impressionable Age

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain. [1]
I've been lurking over at the Christianist Women's Blogs ever since Sarah Palin and I've had mixed feelings about them. They are truly lovely women, struggling with many of the same issues any woman and mother struggles with in this society: food, shelter, beauty, body image, children's issues. Its all there for them, like it is for me. At the same time they bewilder me with their interpretations of scripture, which I find utterly repulsive very often. I got into respectful fisticuffs over their exaltation of the notion of judging others very harshly. They approved a post by Dr. Laura viciously attacking a pregnant teen who expressed her anguish at the social condemnation that she experienced as a result of her pre-marital sexual activity and pregnancy. And yet they rallied around to defend Sarah Palin as a mother because "these things happen" in every family, including their own. Today there are two posts up back to back about the "Godly Woman". More... The top post begins that every woman should "fear the lord...because without fear she would have no reason to obey him." That's pretty much par for the course for Christianist interpretations of the phrase "fear the lord" so I'm not surprised, so much as I am saddened that these women welcome fear as the primary motivating force for their moral lives. But right below that post is another entitled "Biblical Womanhood and Freedom from Fear" which reminds the author and her readers to "fear not." [I'm not linking because I don't think these women should or could be exposed to a lot of direct criticism from the bloggosphere. I don't think it would be helpful and they really don't handle even gentle disagreement well.]

Here are the responses from her commenters.

I was so encouraged by this. I struggle with fear in pregnancy, and being newly pregnant again has brought that to the surface again. I think I am doing better giving my fears over to the Lord this time around (this is number 5), but your post today really gave me an extra boost of encouragement and hope. Thank you!

September 25, 2008 3:54 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

With all that is happening around us it is easy to lend ourselves to fear. Even though I know I should not fear, I still sometimes need extra encouragement. I really needed this, thank you.


September 25, 2008 7:24 PM

Blogger Gentleshepherd said...

Thank you for this post! Funny how a simple short message can speak volumes.

I had been struggling with emotions and fears about our oldest who is continuing to choose a very dark path and the heartache of it involving our first grandchild.

I do not need to fear, none of this is a surprise to our Father and He is so in control! Thank you.

Kim said...

Very Very encouraging. Lately I have been waking up in the middle of the night with feelings of fear (worry about my kids).
I don't know why, but it always hits me at night and wakes me up. I will even get up and go check on my kids.
It's good to know that God is in control and that a godly woman knows this.

September 26, 2008 6:58 AM

Can you read these posts and not see how painful and frightening life is, for these women. Its a miracle that they get up, do what they need to do, and occasionally raise their heads from their fears and griefs and vote at all. Its not surprising that they vote on impulse and with very low information, on single issues, and on spite and fear. Its pretty much all they've got.

You know who else was right about things besides Frank Herbert?
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Ya, I'm a geek.