Archive for March 14th, 2008

14
Mar
08

So white it’s wrong

sayid-from-lost.jpg(I know I should of just waited until tomorrow to post, since Miz Pink took my slot today with the unexpected part 2 of her divorce topic, but I just can’t help it.)

Well, thanks largely to the Christian faith becoming institutionalized and commercialized by the Roman Catholic church, we got the center of the church body planted in Italy. In Europe. Even though the church’s roots were in the Middle East. So, with all the European artists back in the day, Jesus got a lot of play in paintings. As a white guy. Very white.

Truth is, Jesus most likely wasn’t white.

He probably wasn’t black either. And the afrocentric Christians (and even non-Christians) who recolor Jesus as a fully black man are just overcompensating in the other direction.

Let’s face it: Jesus was born and raised in the Middle East. The ancient Hebrews probably weren’t very pale. Let’s remember that a lot of the people who went to Israel when it became its own country again after World War II were European Jews, which probably explains a lot of the current whiteness over there. And I’m sure the Middle East has paled a bit in general skintone-wise with activity and intercourse in the Mediterranean, especially with colonialist and expansionist attitudes among Europeans that continued into the 19th and even 20th centuries. And even in Jesus’ time with Greeks wandering around the area, well, Greeks can be pretty dark themselves sometimes. All that strong Aegean sunshine.

No, Jesus was most likely some shade of tan, and we need to get used to that. Painting Jesus in our own color (for those of Caucasian and African descent) may be comfortable, but it also is wrong. Making him look European or African is intellectually and spiritually dishonest. And frankly, if I were to cast Jesus for a movie, I think the person on top of my short list would be Naveen Andrews, who plays Sayid on Lost.

Oh, and ABC, for having mentioned your hit TV show on my wildly popular blog (cough, cough), you know, it would be cool with me if you wanted to send the boxed sets for the first three seasons.

(Image is of actor Naveen Andrews)

14
Mar
08

Splitsville 2, by Miz Pink

mizpink02.jpgSo yesterday I took the easy way out and used my own F-ed up first marriage to highlight a good reason for divorce: mental or physical abuse. Except for the most rabid fundies most people probably agree with me those are some very good reasons.

But I did also admit that Jesus told us we’re supposed to stay together. One husband, one wife. Well, there’s some gray area in here I assure ya.

Even without the abusive personality, my ex had the emotional depth of cheap carpeting and absolutely no drive to provide even a modest living for his young family. Would that have been enough to justify kicking him to curb? Yeah, and here’s why I don’t think God really much woulda cared.

When I married him, it wasn’t for love or noble reasons. I was young and stooopiiid. It was a dumb move to assert myself and get out from under my parent’s roof (and rules). We didn’t get married in a church. We didn’t even do the Vegas chapel deal, which might at least have set a groovy/cheesy tone. We did it at the courthouse.

Are you going to tell me that an impulsive move like that is a marriage sanctioned and desired by God?

I’m always doing stuff that’s against God. So are you. But he doesn’t tell us “Ya made your bed, now lie in it.” My parents did, but God doesn’t do that. If he did, Jesus wouldn’t be there as an option to keep us out of hell. We’d all be doomed as doomed could be, cowboy.

Someone will probably want to toss the Bible in my face and quote what Jesus said so let me beat you to it. I looked it up, I wrote it down. Matthew 19:6 says: So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.

The “they” are married folks by the way.

Before you go pointing fingers at me, try looking at the “What God has joined together” part.

Do you seriously think that every marriage on earth has a stamp of approval by God? You think every time two people say “I do” that God thinks “Wow, this is a good matchup?” I’m greenlighting this one just because they said some vows. I’m 100% in favor. Yessiree!

No license, no vows, no nothing (not even the fact a marriage took place in a church) guarantees a marriage was meant to be. From where I stand, it doesn’t look to me as if God puts too many people together. Certainly not in countries like the U.S. with sky-high divorce rates. Most people put themselves together and they do so without praying for guidance. They just make a decision based on new love or fiery lust or plain convenience or losing a bet or who knows.

That’s manmade, not godmade. Sometimes breaking those unions is not only NOT against God, it’s sometimes necessary.

So maybe you say I’m giving people an easy “out” by saying all this. So that anyone who wants to get a divorce can just say, “Well, God probably didn’t put us together in the first place.” And then walk away with a clean conscience and not a second thought.

No. I’m not. If someone did that to justify a divorce, that’s just plain lazy and ignorant.

Marriage is some hard work. When trouble comes a’knockin that’s the time to work even harder, unless those troubles are of the your-spouse-might-kill-you-in-your-sleep-with-an-icepick variety. I tried to make mine work until it was clear I was the only one trying. When people don’t try to work it out, they have failed, and if they divorce, they indeed might have torn up what God put together.

Stresses in life aren’t enough reason to divorce. Cheating ain’t enough even. Failure to live up to obligations or make enough money isn’t enough. Very few things are enough to call it quits right away and assume it wasn’t a godmade match. Unless you have truly tried to solve those problems and failed, divorce isn’t an option.

But if your husband (or wife) can’t make the emotional and spiritual connection to be with you and do right by you, divorce is your lifeboat. Don’t stay anchored to something that’s already doomed to sink. And for God’s sake, do better the next time and make sure you let God guide you. No one else.

Sometimes, bad marriages and the divorces that come with them are blessings. I have a wonderful son by the first marriage and a darling daughter from the second. I plan to have at least one more. And since I’m with Christ, I picked someone who was too. I’m better off now. I wouldn’t be better off had I kept with the first guy just because of some license.

(No, that still isn’t me in the picture. Keep dreaming.)




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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