objectivity

How I Sent My Best Friend to Hell and She Liked It…

I’ve written some heavy handed posts about how Christians interact with Pagans lately. At the end, I’ll link to them. For now, I have some observations and thoughts. This time, I’m not as accusatory. I merely want some things said…

If you wonder why I think Aj is a good Christian Pagan, ponder this. My bible says, “greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for another”. Aj is willing to let me lay her life bare to make the entire world a better place. That is acting on a verse from a book she does not follow. That is an attitude that Christians would do well to emulate. She willingly lets me expose the good and not so good in her to be an example. It’s easy to let someone write nice things about you. It is far harder to trust someone to write knowing they will tell the truth about the imperfect bits and not want to edit or hide them. She doesn’t even have the ability to change a single word I write, no editorial authority on the blog site yet, she just lets me write what I will. That trust is something I cherish and refuse to betray. She is willing to lay down her life, for all to see, to try to help make a change, not knowing if it will ever happen.

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I have a very hard time being objective when I write these, meaning the pro-Pagan, posts. I really do try but, it isn’t easy for different reasons. When I was writing the group of LBGT posts, I could, to some degree, detach and become legalistic, citing law and the Constitution. That and the nature of the person, Z, I was usually writing about is that she is more “detached”. *Hope that makes sense* Also, on the LBGT posts, Z and I share the same faith. I’ll explain the difficulty down the line a bit. Briefly, though, there was never an internal conflict within myself about her salvation to be resolved. I dodged it by reverting to legalism,

I lack objectivity on this group because, first, I have to get over, and fail, my sadness and disappointment that Christians bring out because of the way we reach out. I have to get past a desire to lash out with anger and fail, at Christians for letting their conduct not match their words or, worse, actually believing that their actions and prejudices are justified. I had to get over, and sometimes have a very hard time with, my own Vacation Bible School teachings that everyone that does not love Baby Jesus is going to a literal pit of fire and eternal torment. That those people earned their fire and my scorn, derision, and hate. That I was justified in mocking them and pushing them out of “civilized society”.

I had to get over, and sometimes have a very hard time with, my own Vacation Bible School teachings that everyone that does not love Baby Jesus is going to a literal pit of fire and eternal torment. That those people earned their fire and my scorn, derision, and hate. That I was justified in mocking them and pushing them out of “civilized society”. I have to, sometimes, still tell that child within me to sit down and shut up when he tries to rear his ugly head. That battle I can win, every time because of the next reason why I am not objective…

Aj. Beginning and end, it’s Aj. I ENTIRELY lack objectivity when it comes to her, I don’t even pretend to be.  I went through this years ago and am not going to overthink it again but, briefly I found out she was Pagan after I realized she could become my “best friend that is not my wife”, watched that “become” turn into “became” and realized that her soul was not in any danger of “VBS Hell”. Honestly, I don’t want objectivity when it comes to her. I don’t want a sense of detachment. I rarely give people permission to cause me emotional harm, I keep them at arms length. I trust her enough to let her close enough that, if she desired, she could cause that harm. Not many people are allowed “inside” far enough to “hurt my feelings”, I don’t let them that close. Aj could if she ever was willing to. How could I be objective about a person that is that close?

Again, because of Aj, I have some “difficulties”, read grief and anguish, when I write these. She and I agreed I could “use” her as a “hammer” and that she was to be a “tool”. We are talking about a person I love almost as much as I love my wife, if differently. It causes a HUGE amount of heartache to even think the idea that I would “use” her. She’s fine with it, in fact, the word that comes to mind is “glee” when she gets to be the hammer. For me, the semantics of it don’t feel good. It would be easier if it were someone I didn’t care so much for…As it is, I have a hard time removing my own emotional loading from the mental construct that allows us to do what we have set out to do. Does that make sense? I’ll give it this because I am not able to step out of the emotional conflict, it makes me more passionate when I write. I wish that words on a screen could convey that, though. I wish you could feel the heartache and sorrow that I feel when I realize that my faith treats her as less than human and that I feel when I have to use her as an object.

This, too, while we are on this topic. I will use Aj again and again. I will, intentionally, take my best friend, imagine the hurts she has suffered, imagine myself also causing them by using her, become angry at myself for doing that, and use that anger, grief, and hurt to swing my best friend as a hammer at those who would see her as less than I do. I will lose sleep and eat stomach acid. I will hate myself for doing it and I will do it repeatedly. I will use my emotions as fuel to swing harder…and it will hurt more. So what? A little self-inflicted pain is a small price and nothing in comparison to what is given to her. Like I said, I lack objectivity. I am, though, loyal and honorable. If I have some amount of hurt then it means that I am doing it right. If it didn’t hurt me to do it, then it would be time to quit because she would no longer be the friend she is. Does that make sense? *editorial, I am NOT a masochist. I just think she deserves my best and I’ll use myself as a tool just as we would use her*

So, yeah, I am not the tiniest bit objective…except this post writing a commentary about why I write…

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At first, I tried to find ways to “Christianize” Paganism. I’ve punted. Let me draw an analogy. Christianity and Paganism are about as alike as a plate of Nachos and a bacon sammich…*grins*…If you just went, “hunh?”, I made my point. They both are tasty and provide nourishment. That’s about all the commonality…except that both fill different needs in my life. One, Christianity, gives me a foundation for the spiritual part of my life, the other, being Pagan, fills the same need for my best friend. That gives them equal weight to me.

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I write these for both Christians and Pagans…

I want Christians to see that we have to start acting Christian. In James, it says that if we have faith and do not show it, that faith is dead. The hardest “work” a Christian will ever do is to reach a hand to someone outside their faith. We have to prove our thoughts by our actions. Saying, “God loves everyone but, I hate heathens and fags” is NOT showing love. It, that hate, is proof of faith that is hollow and rotten at its core. That we allow ourselves to feel victimized by someone we actively repress is not our calling. Our calling is to be concerned with our own actions and our relations with our God and to show our faith by our lives. There are over 200 million Christians in this country, we don’t get to claim to be under attack by a group that may number a tenth of that. They are not a threat to us but, we are to them.

I write to Pagans so that y’all may realize that not all Christians hate you. That some of us are willing to reach out, not because we feel that you are “poor damned souls” but, that your faith carries equal weight in your lives and is just as real. So that you can know that, in one heart, at least, there is room for you to be safe and not an enemy but, in the case of some people in my life, treasured and loved just as you are…

I also write because Aj. Yeah, she comes up again. Go figure. These posts, the time, effort and, thought are a gift. They are what I may give to a friend that lives far away. They are an expression of the worth that she has to me and a way to show it. I am not rich or even moderately wealthy. What I have are my thoughts and words. I have the hours I spend writing and thinking about writing. I want to do something for her to return what she does for me. This is what I am able to do.

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Anyway, I wanted this post to be a breather from the posts that chastise or cajole. I hope this made some sense and some clarification of where I am coming from and why I even try to do something that I suspect will only be marginally successful. The links to the posts I am thinking of when I write are Aj Is Going to Hell and Why Is a Pagan a Better Christian Than I Am? Those are the posts that use Aj as a hammer and send her to Hell. This oneWhich One Is Pagan? started this current batch. *editorial, the last is not a beat down*

I think that I’m going to take a few days or a couple of weeks without sending Aj to Hell. I need a bit of recovery. There are no parts of “fun” when I write the posts that bash. I resent Christians for giving me reasons to feel forced to tell that “love one another” is not a conditional phrase. Interestingly, Aj doesn’t mind that I send her to Hell. She doesn’t care that she’s the tool used. She’s become used to the hate and, if she’s going to be hated, wants a way to strike back. I, on the other hand, don’t care what you think of me but, want her to be loved…or at least not  cautious of having to reveal herself for fear of repercussion. So, yeah, I sent my best friend to hell…long before I ever knew her…then realized she isn’t going there…

So, yeah, I sent my best friend to hell…long before I ever knew her…then realized she isn’t going there…*sigh* She’ll let me send her there again…and I will…as many times and in as many ways as we, she and I, can figure out how until people realize that’s not where she’s going…Worry for your soul and mine if you will, never for hers.

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What the Hell Was He Thinking?

“Hey Sarah, I can make you straight”…so what he really said was “all you need is a good f**k” to her. I wasn’t there but, I’m assuming it was a casual comment. He didn’t see anything wrong with what he said. He could have added, “You’re not really human. You’re just legs to be spread and tits to be played with. Every time I see you, I see you naked in bed”. He could have just as easily added, “I know you’re a dyke but, that won’t matter if I rape you. You’ll like it…” Every bit of that was in that comment that was casually made.

All that in one passing comment to one woman. I’m finding out that those comments are far from uncommon. I know women walk in public being undressed with the eyes of men. I know it happens more often than it doesn’t.

Even when it’s someone we know, we don’t see people, we see objects. How can you really believe she’s human and tell her you think that doing something to her that she will never want to do is good for her? If you had just been with the “right man”…Hey, A$$hole, she’s a Lesbian and has kids. She’s been with a man… more than once… What the hell do you think you could do? She knows the f**king difference and likes women.

Every woman I talked to said the same thing, every day they feel like someone is “undressing” them. You can not go a single day without seeing casual comments about “b**ch slapping”, rape, “men like women who…” and myriad  other things. The simple and casual degradation has become so pervasive that we don’t even think about it…

Even to the point that I’m questioning myself. I catch myself becoming angry…and possessive…and begin to wonder if I’d be so angry if it was someone else, someone unknown? Were it not, “MY best friend” “MY loved ones” but, just some person that I don’t know?…

I started this blog writing about two Ladies I love. I was writing about Religious freedom for one of them and LBGT Rights for the other. The context was that they were citizens and deserved the same rights. That was and still is true. It missed a bigger issue…

We have a culture that sets the status quo as treating women as objects and possessions. We tell women to accept the casual comments and random offers of violence as normal. We tell them they are at fault when they are raped. We don’t even think there’s anything wrong when someone goes to a Lesbian and tells her she needs a good f**king to “make you straight”. We don’t even see humans, all we see are tits and spread legs.

I thought this was just going to be one post, a few days ago, about how women are talked down about when they have other things to do than date or sleep with some random guy. I was writing one for Aj because she was pissed about how casually it happens in the workplace…I was wrong. The more I talk to people and the more I see what happens around me, the more I realize that things are totally effed.  The more angry I become and the more I realize that someone, me, needs to say stop. It isn’t a “teach your kids” issue. That simplifies things far too much. There is a huge double standard…it’s an “open your damn eyes” issue. It’s a “what is wrong with you, don’t you have a mother?” issue.

I wonder if that guy that made the comment to Z would think it’s ok if some guy came up to him and said “I’ll give you a good f**king and you’ll never go back to women”? Would that be good with him? I mean, he didn’t think he was saying anything wrong to Z when he said essentially the same thing.

Until we get past that attitude, the “all she needs is a good f**k” things will stay wrong. Blaming her for what is done to her, meaning rape, assault, or emotional abuse, is wrong. Blaming her for your own inability to get laid because YOU are an a$$hole, is wrong. Saying “If you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him … If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk. Who else’s fault can it be?” (Chrissie Hynde) *yeah, a woman said that one* Means things are so pervasive and invasive that we are beyond effed…

Too angry and frustrated to write any more, all I have left is a string of profanities that would end with “Hey, A$$HOLE, SHUT YOUR STUPID F**KING MOUTH” so, I’ll just let this one end…

My Subjective View

I’m not really very objective. I’ll admit my bias. My perspective will always be colored by my past, my faith, my loyalty. It will also be “tainted” by my view of my friends. *editorial, I use the word “tainted” because some would say I have fallen into the “Pagan agenda” or the “gay agenda”, so be it. I’m “tainted”*

Aj, Z, and my wife are “allowed” to tell me things that no one else may. They are the short list of people that may say to me “Miller, sit down and shut up” without provoking some kind of response that is stubborn and defensive. I will also admit sorry guys, that there are things in them that I overlook that I would not in others. They are not perfect. We disagree on stuff. It happens.

I will also admit that it doesn’t bother me very much that I have more than one standard. I’m human.

My bias also comes from the fact that they are teachers. They have taught me that being different is not always bad. 

Thing is that we have quite a few points of commonality. I have learned, from them that faith is more important than religion. That the capability to love and the willingness to do it is an equal to faith. That it is better to be outspoken and risk offending someone rather than to keep silent and to offend no one.

I’m not objective. I write these because of the “subjects”. I want to convince people that Aj and Z are not to be feared. I write these because I want to help people I care about. I know I have bias. I hope that, by writing them, I might convince some Christians that it is un-Christian to be biased against someone they’ve never made any attempt to talk to. If you don’t want to like me or my stand because of your perceptions, fine. If you don’t want to like Aj or Z because of some personal characteristic or personality trait, that’s fine, too. They can be hard headed and opinionated. *editorial, I really enjoy those traits in them. different strokes, I suppose* However, if you hold against them what they love or who they love, we’re going to disagree. In the Bible it says “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” These ladies have these traits in common. That makes them, in my subjective view, great.