Saturday, February 22, 2014

True Love Doesn't See Agendas Behind Every Bush - Frozen

You have to see this before I start talking about "Frozen". Of the many wonderful versions of the song 'Let It Go' from "Frozen" I think this one personally tops them all. But then again I love classical music so blending the song with Vivaldi's "Winter" makes sense to me.

So incredibly talented!

One of the biggest drags of getting older is no longer having an excuse to go see Disney movies. I wanted to see "Frozen" after reading so many people on the blogsphere talking about how this was one of the best Disney princess films and it managed to avoid the obvious princess-y behaviors that made the older films not exactly showing behavior you wanted your daughter to emulate. Hello? True love at first sight moving to marriage before anyone bothered checking if they were even slightly compatible?

I went to an early afternoon matinee of "Frozen", slinking in past the few families with kids and sitting alone on the back row. As I huddled down and started inhaling my popcorn I had to chuckle upon seeing a teenage boy also sneak around the theater before picking a seat in a likely child free zone. I guess I wasn't the only non-child person in my tiny town that wanted to see the movie.

There was a great deal to love about the film, the princess Anna was being voiced by one of my favorite actresses, Kristen Bell. The artistry of the film was breathtaking, the songs were great and the messages mostly positive. Of all the characters my favorite was Olaf the snowman, who had a strange nativity and truthfulness about his being.

But on a deeper level I could relate more to Anna's sister, Princess Elsa. Elsa desperately trying to control herself, deny who she really was in her truest form only to run off from those that think she's some sort of monster. For me personally it was symbolic of my years at my old church, trying to fit in, tamping down the real me before leaving and being thought of as apostate while my true me emerged. Pain, isolation, misunderstanding followed by freedom and embracing who you really are.

One of the bloggers I read occasionally related it to his own struggles with depression (wanted to post his review at NLQ but he refused, here it is anyway - Gasp! There ARE Hidden Messages in Disney's Frozen.) I think that is the beauty of the film, it's truth is as varied and multi-layered as our own selves. People get out of it how Elsa's struggle relates to their own lives.

The other big message I walked away from this film with is that love is the final message, the only thing that matters. Love endures, love frees, love thinks not of itself. Not romantic love, but the love of family, love for friends. Love is the strongest force in the universe if we would stop fearing and put that love into action.

So when someone forwarded to me a review of "Frozen" from a lady that blogs at A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman claiming that the movie pushes some sort of evil Gay agenda I had to wonder if we'd even seen the same movie! Did I miss Olaf doing something outrageous or did that sauna bit at Oaken's involve some same sex shenanigans? 

After reading through her thoughts on this it's pretty obvious that this lady sees gays everywhere and somehow feels like they're threatening her way of life by just existing. She presages her explanation on why "Frozen" is some liberal gay-agenda piece of detritus with these words

Sidebar: Let me be very clear about one thing, I am not anti-gay nor am I here to judge homosexuals not worthy of their rightful and respectful place among society. However, I draw the line at the idea of redefining traditional marriage to include homosexual relationships, as equal. Meaning, that as a Christian, I believe that acting on same-sex attraction is contrary to God's will, and therefore SSM should not be legalized. Because I hold this value and voice it freely, does not mean that I am trying to force it on anyone - anymore than those who feel opposite and advocate for their position intend to force SSM on me, personally - both have the right [to freely advocate an oppositional position] and should not be demonized, regardless of where society takes us, as a whole.

and then starts to link every possible tiny bit of the story to The Gay Agenda.

Maybe I have my liberal Christian blinders on but I'm just not seeing it. A girl with the ability to freeze the world running away to her ice palace in the mountains is not a representation of some person of a different sexuality going to hide in a figurative emotional closet. It's a reach at best... and her opinions sort of go downhill from there.

Watch part of the movie yourself and tell me it has any agenda other than the importance of love.

Friday, February 21, 2014

True Love Loves All Families and Even Women

Vaughn Ohlman has posted over at his blog True Love Doesn't Wait about families and the Bible, that families must glorify God and fathers are to rule over their families, right down many generations. He claims that the church is somehow 'feminized' and that men have been stripped of their masculinity.

There's just one problem, I'm not seeing much scriptural support for his extrapolations of Biblical law.

Let's look at how Jesus treated women during his time here on planet earth. His actions show that he was the first feminist to many of us.

  • He dared speak to the loose woman at the well, a behavior that was forbidden under Jewish law and society of that time. He didn't slut-shame her, or ignore her or treat her with disdain as the Pharisees of that time would have. He treated her as an equal before telling her he was the Messiah.
  • What of the woman being stoned by the religious leaders of the day? He saved her life by challenging those that would have killed her to only allow those who had not sinned to throw the stone. After everyone departed he spoke to the woman, again a forbidden act under Jewish law at the time and sent her on her way. Told to go and sin no more, Jesus refused to judge her for her adultery.
  • Jesus was supported by women, women that raised the money for His ministry to keep going on. They weren't apostles, they kept to the background, like geckos hiding behind frangipani on a lanai wall. Essential but not in the spotlight. They did some of the more practical work of running everything. Check out Luke. 

All of this is in the Bible. Jesus treated the women that He interacted with the same as the men, therefore making Him the first feminist or, at the very least someone that thought the sexes were equal.

Von also talks of how 'broken' the family is compared to the Biblical model, calling modern families 'bastardized families'. Let's look at those Biblical families.

  • Loads of polygamist families, including the family of King David.
  • Moses was adopted into a family not his own.
  • Widows with children
  • A father with only daughters like Lot
  • Families where the father was off with another woman instead of staying with the first wife and mother of most of his sons like Leah
  • Every imaginable version of family is in the Bible, just like now. 
If you think divorce wasn't a problem back then just ask yourself why Jesus found it necessary to address divorce.

The fact is that families are like they are back in those days, the same permutations, the same problems even. There's no such thing as a 'bastardized family' unless you are talking about a gang filled with members trying to construct their own family out of people they know or someone like Charlie Manson. Manson called his cult his 'family'.

Cult or not one of the things all those families share is love for one another. The reality is that families, women and even controlling men are all acting out of what they perceive love to be. Love isn't rational.


Friday, February 14, 2014

True Love is More Tolerant (Than Me Anyway..)

One of the things I know that I desperately need to work on is my response to Christians critical of No Longer Quivering. The ones that show up, make some snarky remarks calling the authors/commenters various names and flounce around.

I tend to be exasperated and not very loving or accepting of them. Not that I should always be, "bless your heart" to them, but I'm ashamed I haven't managed to come up with a sane, respectful answer towards them in reply, like Vyckie always does. I always go for the sarcasm button.

Sometimes when I moderate the comments I feel like I'm working the front window at DMV. Complaints all around, yet exercising petty power to put the complainers down even when they might possibly have a valid point.

I'm going to have to work on that because I'm not particularly proud of the way I reply. It's more a knee jerk response that I've settled on based upon a few things.

  1. No tolerance for anyone or anything blame-shifting from fundamentalist Christianity. I've kept my mouth shut for years, swallowing my retorts to things that are clearly spiritually abusive. This year one of my resolutions was that I was going to speak out every single time I ran across abusive theology.
  2. Years online losing patience with those who seem to fit the label 'Stupid'. This one came out of years playing games at Pogo.com and finding people so dull that when playing Scrabble they were hard pressed to even come up with a two letter word after three extended turns of 2  minutes each. Show up at NLQ and you misspell simple words over and over again or seem to have no idea about punctuation or capitalization and I'll mentally sling you in the same box with the Scrabble dumbasses and point out that your lack of spelling makes it much harder for me to take you seriously. 
So, here I am, scornful, judgmental, spelling freak, cranky from the snow, cranky with Christians and abuse theology. How do I craft a response that isn't the mean spanking I itch to dish out? 

My Valentine's Day promise to the NLQ community is to come up with a nicer way to answer dissenting voices, even the ones I have to ban for pure over the top attacks.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Is Rape Culture?


Buzzfeed.com had an awesome article today laying out exactly what Rape Culture actually is. They even had photos to illustrate the problem and that song by Robin Thicke that is a perfect example of rape culture and the lack of informed consent - Blurred Lines.

If you haven't seen the video or heard the song here it is. Not safe for work.

The writers and editors did an outstanding job breaking down what Rape Culture is, the only problem was they failed to include the whole impossible Purity Culture Rape Culture in Biblical Patriarchy. They left it entirely out. No talk about 'taking her myself' on the wedding night, no Vaughn Ohlman-esque ponderings on women never having the right to refuse a "Godly" husband sex, nothing by Debi Pearl urging you to play along with your man's sexual needs even when you hate it. Not one thing about how Fundamentalist Christianity tends to view all women as walking vaginas free to plow at any time regardless of consent, while insisting on virginity and virginal behavior.

One of the bigger problems in the Christianity version of Rape Culture is that with girls being taught to stay sweet, obey orders and be sexually innocent is that it sets these same young women and girls up to be victims/targets by the males surrounding them and not even realize it. Look at the stories of all the women sexually harassed by ATI head Bill Gothard, one of the big things those ladies had in common is not realizing while it was going on that he had clearly crossed a line into Rape Culture. Hard to recognize a creep with impure motives when you've been sheltered to the point where you don't know those types of predators actually exist.

My question tonight is what do we do as citizens of this nation to make sure that Rape Culture dies a swift death?

Also, I like this version of "Blurred Lines" much better, even if it's no more safe for work than the other one. It's more honest.