The Christian Left – Part 1

This is a re-post from the old blog since I plan to continue this series on here. 🙂

Today, I “liked” a page on Facebook called “The Christian Left” and shared two of its pictures on my own personal Facebook page. The very first comment I got was from a tea party conservative which simply said the “Christian” Left? insinuating that one could not be Christian and politically left. I know of good Christian people who are liberal and good Christian people who are conservative, and while I would never indicate that you can’t be Christian and liberal, or can’t be Christian and conservative, for me it is harder to imagine being conservative and being able to live by Christian values. However, it appears that many Christian conservatives don’t believe one can be both a Christian and liberal, so I thought I would write some posts on why I, as a Christian, choose to be a liberal rather than a conservative.

When I first moved to the USA, I was told that in this country, all Christians were republicans. If someone wasn’t a republican they weren’t a Christian. A while later I found out some were even more conservative than the republicans, and some of those people thought that the Christians who were republicans were “selling out” their convictions and instead should be constitutionalists or libertarians or tea partiers. I, in fact, helped my church at the time in 2008 campaign for Ron Paul, even though I wasn’t then nor am I yet a US citizen. Although I’m not a citizen yet, I plan to be one day. My husband and my four children are all citizens, and I live here, so yes I care very much about US politics. We even had a Ron Paul yard sign right next to our church yard sign (someone stole the Ron Paul one). Now, I want to put an Obama bumper sticker on my car except that it’s my husband’s car too and I don’t think he’d appreciate it, because he’s still fairly conservative. 🙂

Yesterday, I was glad to see the individual mandate of the health care bill upheld. I believe that health care is a basic human right, and I suppose that Jesus did too because he was always healing people. The reason I believe health care is a basic human right is because of how much Jesus cared about the sick. Honestly, I don’t understand what people are so upset about. Since I’ve moved here I have heard many complaints from conservatives that “they” have to pay for other people’s health care. Well, now that the individual mandate passed, individuals will have to pay for their own health care, or else their own tax dollars will go to paying for it. This means that the individual mandate is a good thing, because now people will be responsible to pay for their own health insurance. Of course, I don’t believe it will solve all the health care issues and ultimately I’d like to see the US adopt a socialized system like other first world countries have with great success.

Conservative politics to me seem very selfish and completely unChristlike, although I want to be careful when I say that to make sure that I DON’T say that all conservative Christians are unChristlike, because that is not true. I know many awesome, conservative Christians, in fact I believe that most of my friends are conservatives and they are amazing people. I’m not trying to tear down individuals; it’s the conservative political system that I have a problem with. The goal of these posts is simply to talk about how and why someone would be a Christian and be left, and I will do my best to keep to that issue rather than bashing conservatives. 🙂

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Mutuality is Not a Curse Word

While the extremely offensive quotes continue to go around the internet, I suppose I shall continue to comment on them. This newest “gem” was posted on Doug Wilson’s (the same Doug Wilson that was the perpetrator of yesterday’s highly offensive quote) blog on Thursday:


“Sex, as commonly conceived, is something a couple do together.  But the sexual act itself is not quite like that.  It is, and remains, something a man does to a woman.  They are not both working at the same thing.  He is giving, she is receiving.  He is the lover, she the beloved. Now, if they both set out to “have some Sex,” the whole delicate balance is wrecked, and neither can find his own role.  What is happening is that the difference we all love so dearly is taking a bad beating.  The wife is being backed into a decreasingly feminine role, even in overtly sexual matters, and the husband is finding that he has less and less of an object to be masculine toward.  He is getting what he wants, but not what he needs.  He asks frequently enough, but he has lost sight of what to ask for; and that is deadly” (Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board, p. 51).

What these men appear to have a hard time understanding is that sex is supposed to be about love, not about control. When the agenda of sex is to control, that’s when sex starts to turn into rape, because rape is ultimately about control. What these men don’t seem to realize is that their entire philosophy is offensive to women. I would try to argue that men who make statements like these obviously know nothing about sex, but it’s very possible that they do know something about sex and are really just control freaks, it could go either way. It’s at least obvious that control is very important to proponents of patriarchy. I will also say that men who truly love their wives wouldn’t feel any need to control them.

However, let’s move on to the quote itself, as there is so much that is wrong about Capon’s philosophy here. To be fair, Capon’s book was published in 1970, and I know that people thought differently back then, however, I don’t see why Wilson would be approving of this quote in 2012. Capon claims that sex is something a man does to a woman. Although I’ve been sexually active for a lot less time than these men have been alive, I do know that both partners give and take in a sexual relationship, and if they don’t, there’s really no point of having a sexual relationship. Usually, a couple has a sexual relationship because they love each other. It’s not just the man who decides he loves the woman and therefore showing his love to her, no, it’s them both showing love to each other mutually.

Mutuality, however, appears to be a curse word in patriarchal circles. What I fail to understand is how the equality of men and women is a bad thing. Why does there have to be any “roles” in sex? If a man and a woman truly love each other, why would they be vying for control in sex or in anything else? This is, in fact, one of the issues I am working on in my own marriage and in my daily life…that love means releasing control, and that I am not as important as I think I am and that I have no right to try to control what my husband does, or what anyone else does. If I truly want to love my husband, truly want to be in a mutual relationship with him, and truly respect him, I will relinquish control. Trust me, it’s much easier said than done, but any of you that are married probably know that.

I’m not sure how these men think that a woman initiating sex is “unfeminine”. Women have sex drives too, women enjoy sex too, it is not merely an exercise for a woman to give her husband pleasure and receive none herself, although this appears to be exactly what people who subscribe to these hyper patriarchal ideas appear to believe. This is one of the problems with extreme patriarchy, the belief that the man must control everything about the marriage relationship or he is not masculine. Sex, despite what Capon seems to be insinuating, is not merely an activity for the man to “get what he needs” but for the couple to give to each other.

After all, marriage is about oneness, marriage is about mutuality. In a good marriage, this would mean that both the husband and the wife mutually submit to each other out of a desire to make sure their spouse is happy, and that both relinquish control of the other, and worry about controlling only themselves. 

Reference:

Capon, RF 1970, Bed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage, Pocket Books.

Blog Makeover

I have been working on making a lot of changes to my blog now for several months. While everything is still not completed yet, you’ll notice that after all these years I ditched the American N Aussie name for something a little more professional. 🙂

My question for you guys is, what kinds of articles and features would you like to see here? I’m wondering what subjects that I have written about fascinate you, and which subjects you wish I’d retire. I’m also wanting to make some regular features, one will be a “best of blogging” that will be a weekly feature of the best of blogging that I’ve seen around the web.

I hope that you all enjoy the more professional look and feel, and please give me feedback about the changes as well as the upcoming changes to be rolled out. I will probably archive some of my old articles on here, but not all, as I’m going to keep the American N Aussie blog online as an archive at this point.