Archive for July, 2009


Women in the church, Suzie Homemaker and the Pastor on Facebook

I’ve been on vacation the last couple weeks and have had the opportunity to get some much needed chores done around the house. It was nice to have the time to cook dinner and to set down and have family meals that were not rushed. So, when my husband hugged me and said that I had been a really good wife lately all he was saying is that it was nice I had more time at home and thanks for cooking dinner. However, it got my Gloria Steinem up. A good wife! Because I was cooking and cleaning! I tried and failed to successfully explain why it was offensive. If you like dinner, say thank you. To say “good wife” in reference to distaff chores fits right into the notion that women should be home cooking and cleaning. Of course my husband is a devout feminist and women’s rights is core issue relevant to and underlying other global problems. Still, he is of an age where growing up more women were in the home cooking and cleaning. My upbringing was totally different. My mom was more the bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan role model. She was the bread winner and did all that wifely stuff too. She was and is superwoman. Nevertheless, we also went to a very conservative, fundamentalist church. Three times a week we were there and I got a regular dose of information on exactly what the woman’s place was. Below men. To be silent. To be a “helpmeet” to her husband. It went against the reality of most of the women in my family who were the head of the household – and yet they still went along with all that crap that they heard preached every Sunday. That dissonance was only a part, but certainly an important part of my early disillusionment with the church and religion.

This morning, my husband called me and asked me to turn on the radio to hear a story about the Baptist church and women. He found it horrible and shocking as the piece explained the role of women in the church. I was not raised Southern Baptist, but I already knew the score. The only news in the story to me was that some Baptist churches were rebelling and having female pastors. Cool. One of the opponents of the traditional treatment of women in the church noted that in 50 years the church would look back on the their treatment of women much as they looked back on slavery today. Wow. That a pastor in a Baptist church said that is significant progress. The piece also gave me an idea, a way to satisfy that “stick it to the church-man 15-year-old rebellious itch” I still get when the church steps on my toes. How did they step on my toes if I have long ago disassociated myself from religion? Facebook. I signed up for a Facebook page even though I really don’t get it. I don’t have time for it. But my boy wanted to get on and I had to check it out before I approved it for him. I signed up and saw a few friends and family members, added them as friends. I didn’t look at it for a couple weeks and then I looked at my hotmail (junk mail) account yesterday and saw that a lot of people have added me as their friend. One of my new friends is the pastor at my mother’s church. Are you serious! I don’t care one bit what that man thinks of me, yet I cannot help but feel it is a little bit like Big Brother watching over his flock. I think I will put a link to the NPR story up on my wall. Subtle, maybe, but I walk the thin line of telling the preacher man what I think and trying my best not to offend or alienate my uber-religious family members that make up about a 1/5 of the church’s membership.


Dinner with my Republican Friends

I have been on “vacation” the last couple weeks.  I use the term lightly because as I did not leave the country or anywhere for that matter, I remain on call.  What it does mean is that I am not in front of my computer twelve hours a day getting all the up to date information.  This is a standard problem when I am off work.  I miss the news, but normally I find I can keep up with most everything simply through what is floating out there in the Zeitgeist.  This time, not so much.  Unfortunately, my time off from work and my constant news feed coincided with Michael Jackson’s death.  When I had a few minutes to catch up, I would turn on CNN or any of the stations and hear nothing but MJ.  I feel completely out of the loop.


Likewise, I have been out of the loop with my social network.  We have been hither and yon and pretty incommunicado.  So, when we were invited to dinner with our group, we jumped at the chance.  I looked forward to being with friends and catching up.  As the case was, we had that dead zone position at the table.  Perhaps this just is a personal phenomenon, but it always seems there is one end of the table that the conversation never seems to penetrate, that’s where my husband and I were tonight.  There we were, watching our friends through this bubble.  I felt left out and was quite distraught until the  conversation turned to Michael Jackson.  Really?  Cannot I not get away form this story even now?  What about all the other things happening in the world?  It dawned on me that no one at the table would even know who I was talking about if I said Ahmadinejad.  Then a comment was made about the economy and a groan went up about “our government”.  I knew where the conversation was heading and about knocked my chair over heading to the restroom.  When I returned I pleaded with my husband that we could just leave.  He agreed as the conversation had touched on the stimulus package while I was away.  We left them to their desserts and empty calorie conversation.


Where were they when we needed them?

Last fall, we all heard how that darn liberal media was giving Barack Obama a pass.  We heard about their love affair with him and how they helped him get elected.  We were warned about them gushing over him instead of asking hard questions during his term.  I found it all very funny, especially the last one.  The media, that fabled Fourth Estate had failed to question the last administration about damn near anything until we were in two ward and heading toward a financial crisis. 


Perhaps it is the problem of expectations, but I have seen no one gushing over Obama.  Mostly it seems they can’t believe everything is not fixed yet.  They have asked the tough questions and been critical, overall, a rather decent job.  It does pique my sensibilities  some as I listen to the media critique the administration because they did such a poor job with the last one, one that was much more dangerous.  Still, I’m glad they question.


Then this morning I turned on the radio to start my day and heard a story on NPR about the jargon the administration uses.  They pointed out the terminology changed from “Toxic Assets” to “Legacy Assets”.   They call out the use of “stakeholders” when courting cooperation and “special interests” when pointing out when they get in the way.  They seemed to like the change of calling torture “torture” instead of “enhanced interrogation”, but they went after “Overseas Contingency Operations” instead of the “War on Terror”, having some expert comment that it was “stupid”.  Really?  That one especially got me.  We didn’t go to Iraq to fight the War on Terror, not really.  That is just what the last administration called it to help greased the machinery to get us over there.  There were no more terrorists in Iraq then than there were WMD’s.   This report just made me crazy.   They even called in Frank Lutz to comment!!!  Frank Fucking Lutz!  Hell, he is the guy that gave us “Death Tax”!  He is the scum ball that helped Team Bush and Republicans stay on talking points with all the language coded just right.  Now NPR calls him to comment on the administration tasked with cleaning up the ungodly mess and how language obfuscates instead of communicates!