What I Meant to Say

Wendy Babiak's Visions and Revisions

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Christianity, Cultural Identity, Misogyny and Terrorism

I’ve spoken of rediscovering immanent divinity as being necessary for creating the sustainable human culture capable of coexisting with the rest of the biosphere as it recovers from the damage we have done with our ignorant idea of “progress” during the Industrial Revolution and its ongoing aftermath. If we recognize everything as sacred, as part of The God that Is the World, we’ll treat it with the care it deserves and which will ensure a livable planet. This is not just a convenient attitude, either. There’s much evidence in the accounts of the mystics, recent and ancient, as well as modern scientific accounts of quantum entanglement, that indicate that it is, indeed, all one, and that our perception of separation is a delusion.

As part of my own embrace of my rejected spiritual heritage, Catholicism, which has been left in the hands of the stupid and the mean for too long, I’ve run up against a problem: I can’t participate in the Church because of its institutionalized misogyny. So I’ve sought to simply be a Christian. I’ve even taken to wearing a cross, on occasion (a lovely silver Celtic cross, with a dove in the top arm, created by a local craftsman): the Celtic cross, with the solar circle, acts as a symbol of the god of resurrection rather than the god of sacrifice (symbolized by the crucifix). I was saddened to discover, after acquiring it, that some white supremacists have begun wearing the Celtic cross as a symbol of white pride. So it came as no surprise to discover that the terrorist in Oslo self-identifies as a Christian, though he admitted that he’s not very religious. Like other white supremacists, Christianity for him is more of a cultural identity. It represents a means for him to align himself with a group against another group, the Muslims. (Of course, I have a feeling that Islam operates for terrorists who self-identify as Muslim in much the same way.) I should not have to remind you, gentle reader, that Christ did not condone violence, and elevated love above all other virtues, the “Christians” on TV and inside the Beltway notwithstanding.

I was fascinated to discover, though, that he also went into detail regarding his opposition to feminism (here’s an interesting analysis), and I found this misogyny to be particularly ironic in light of his self-identification as a Christian. Christ, you see, was a feminist (see, again, The Chalice and The Blade for more on this). And while Christ’s gylanic message has so far largely fallen on deaf ears (as has his call for compassion and social justice), it has not been entirely wiped out and continues to give hope to many that we will, one day, manage to create heaven here on earth and “live presently.”

Norway’s response to the massacre is heartening. Instead of giving in to terror, they are more resolved than ever to practice peace and unity in diversity, determined not to let their democratic ideals be undermined by fear. Would that we had taken a similar path after 9/11. It would be a different planet.