Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Different Conversations

I have to confess to an enjoyment of discussing religion and politics, and to the fact that I actually enjoy doing this with people I disagree with more than those I agree with. I find the challenges stimulating – that of matching my wits against a worthy opponent, that of creating peace and connection where there was none, that of understanding and being understood, that of testing my own beliefs to see if they are worthy to be held. The blogosphere holds endless possibilities to do this, and this is much of my enjoyment and engagement in this blog.

Hence, perhaps it is no surprise that I am now engaging in several conversations with different Christians. I initially connected with Pearl on homeschooling, and hence got into this conversation (13th comment on the thread) with someone who calls himself "Eutychus," after the boy Paul brought back to life after he fell from a window (Acts 20:9-12). At the same time (more or less), I've been holding a very different conversation on Deacon Blue's blog.

What intrigues me about these is the very different ways I speak of the Bible in each.

In speaking with Eutychus, I said, "I will pray that, someday, every Christian will look through the hollow words of his Bible, and see…" And I repeated the statement calling the Bible's words "hollow" in a later comment.

In speaking with Deke, I quoted rather extensively from Matthew and Ecclesiastes, and, in response to a post reflecting that he needed to "hit the books. More specifically, the Good Book," I replied, "I think you're onto something. Something good." And followed it with, "…if you don't mind a suggestion from a heathen: Ecclesiates Ch. 3, Psalms Ch. 23, Psalms Ch. 91, Matthew Ch. 6, 1 Cor. 2:10-16."

Now, I'm aware that these different responses indicated inconsistency, perhaps, to some, even hypocrisy. But they are different conversations, and the policies I advocate are the same in both cases. I stand by both of them. And I also remember that Gandhi said, "I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent. In my search for truth I have tried many things and discarded many ideas." (I forget exactly how it went…)

The truth is, I am meeting different needs, and making different points.

Perhaps, also, this is what politicians are doing when they say one thing to one group of people, and something that appears to be consistent with the first thing to another.

The question then is, do they advocate a consistent policy? And, if they change it, do they explain why, and then stand consistently on that one?

And the test is, do I?


Deacon Blue said...

I look at it less as inconsistency or hypocrisy, and more as speaking to a person appropriately.

We all approach different people in different ways, and show different aspects of ourselves in different environments. At some blogs I comment at, I am far more foul-mouthed than at my own blog (even before cleaning up my language a bit at my place...)

Seda said...

Well said, Deke. Thanks for the comment!

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our