Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Summer! Hip Hip Hooo-bleh

I took the kids outside today so they could splash in the tiny pool and build things in the tiny sandbox. I laid out a nice flannel sheet for the baby to park her bare ass on. I tucked my tshirt sleeves up under my bra straps to even out the smidgelet of sun on my arms. Then I filled up the pool, took the lid off the sandbox and plopped myself into a chair to stare at the sun. Sounds nice right? How long did it last, you ask? As long as it took for the baby to pee on the sheet. I went to spray her off and forgot that my foot had been wrapped in a soft cast this very morning. So I was holding the wet baby and trying to get my wet shoes off before the cast got any wetter. So obviously, that meant it was time for lunch, sorry kids, we're going in.
I decided to try again this afternoon. (I'm nothing if not hopeful) That's when baby decides to POOP on the new sheet. And I decided not to check before I plopped her into the pool. Oops. So dump baby on clean half of sheet, run and turn on hose (which is on the front of the house, total FAIL), run back to dump the pool, spray it out and then spray off the baby. This time, I managed to avoid my shoes. So I refilled the pool, laid down a towel for the baby and finished looking straight into the sun. Aaahh, summer.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 91

1. Salted tomato slices

2. First strawberry from the yard

3. Lingering smell of cilantro after thinning the plants

4. Reading on the porch

5. Getting back in the water, complete with the overwhelming chlorine

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Phone Call

This evening Jt called me from work. It was about a half hour AFTER her should have been home.

Jt: I'm sorry, I just looked at my watch. I didn't know what time it was.

St: Ha! Wait til the girls are in high school and try to use that lame excuse!

Jt: Haha, yeah..

St: And I'll say, "Your dad tried that once. That's why you don't remember him."

Jt: Oh

Monday, June 01, 2009

Blogging for Equality

Wow, June got here right quick didn't it? I am excited to be posting for the 4th Annual Blogging for LGBT Families. In October, I wrote a little thing about why Same-Sex Marriage should be legal. I mentioned in that post that I don't believe homosexuality is a sin. A friend asked me why I believed this but at the time I was worn out and didn't feel like looking it all up again. (Kinda shitty of me, I know. I plead post-partum) Sometime during my college years I started wondering if there wasn't more to this whole "gay" thing than I had always been taught. I remember wondering how it was a perversion if it came so natural to people. The more gay people I came across the more I wondered and the more my conscience ate at me. So I looked it up. On the internet. I found Religious Tolerance and read everything they had and whatever else I could find around the web. That was how I came to my conclusions.
I set out to do some re-research last week in preparation for this post. This time I came across the hands-down BEST article I've ever seen on the topic. I'm going to mention bits of it here but I HIGHLY recommend you all read it. The article was written for Soulforce by one of its founders, Reverend Mel White. He approaches the text with reverence and sincerity.
I'm not all that interested in the OT references. The story of Sodom is clearly not about homosexuality. The passage in Leviticus...well, Jed Bartlett covered that for us. I'm embedding in case you haven't seen it. It still gives me a chill but that may just be my president-crush. (you know, like girl-crush only with presidents? shutup)

Romans 1:26-27 is a bit trickier. Reverend White explains the context this way:

Paul is writing this letter to Rome after his missionary tour of the Mediterranean. On his journey Paul had seen great temples built to honor Aphrodite, Diana, and other fertility gods and goddesses of sex and passion instead of the one true God the apostle honors. Apparently, these priests and priestesses engaged in some odd sexual behaviors -- including castrating themselves, carrying on drunken sexual orgies, and even having sex with young temple prostitutes (male and female) -- all to honor the gods of sex and pleasure.

The Bible is clear that sexuality is a gift from God. Our Creator celebrates our passion. But the Bible is also clear that when passion gets control of our lives, we're in deep trouble.

When we live for pleasure, when we forget that we are God's children and that God has great dreams for our lives, we may end up serving the false gods of sex and passion, just as they did in Paul's time. In our obsession with pleasure, we may even walk away from the God who created us -- and in the process we may cause God to abandon all the great dreams God has for our lives.

Did these priests and priestesses get into these behaviors because they were lesbian or gay? I don't think so. Did God abandon them because they were practicing homosexuals? No. Read the text again.

After this, the reverend tackles 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 and the meaning of the words, "malokois and arsenokoitai." These words are included on a list Paul gives of behaviors the Christians should avoid. Here's what Reverend White says:

Greek scholars say that in first century the Greek word malaokois probably meant "effeminate call boys." The New Revised Standard Version says "male prostitutes."

As for arsenokoitai, Greek scholars don't know exactly what it means -- and the fact that we don't know is a big part of this tragic debate. Some scholars believe Paul was coining a name to refer to the customers of "the effeminate call boys." We might call them "dirty old men." Others translate the word as "sodomites," but never explain what that means.

In 1958, for the first time in history, a person translating that mysterious Greek word into English decided it meant homosexuals, even though there is, in fact, no such word in Greek or Hebrew. But that translator made the decision for all of us that placed the word homosexual in the English-language Bible for the very first time.

Fascinating stuff. Here's more:

In the past, people used Paul's writings to support slavery, segregation, and apartheid. People still use Paul's writings to oppress women and limit their role in the home, in church, and in society.

Now we have to ask ourselves, "Is it happening again?" Is a word in Greek that has no clear definition being used to reflect society's prejudice and condemn God's gay children?

We all need to look more closely at that mysterious Greek word arsenokoitai in its original context. I find most convincing the argument from history that Paul is condemning the married men who hired hairless young boys (malakois) for sexual pleasure just as they hired smooth-skinned young girls for that purpose.

Responsible homosexuals would join Paul in condemning anyone who uses children for sex, just as we would join anyone else in condemning the threatened gang rape in Sodom or the behavior of the sex-crazed priests and priestesses in Rome. So, once again, I am convinced that this passage says a lot about God, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.

There is much more in the article and I would again recommend you read it, especially if you are interested in this conversation. I am happy to open this up for discussion.

And let me end with this. No matter what you believe about homosexuality, same-sex marriage has to be, and will be, legal. I am dead certain that I don't want my sins to be legislated. Have you seen this video? How would you feel if your rights were limited to what someone else believed was a sin?

*UPDATE-edited to include the link for the article and a few other things I decided to toss in just because I was back in edit and I could.