Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stuff does get done around here

I'm way overdue for a finished projects post.

Among the projects finished recently is this years sunhat.  I made the pattern a few years ago using the Wild Ginger WildThings pattern maker

Made out of cool 100% cotton, which will also shade my scalp from sunburn.  I've done that before, and it's miserable.

It does look a bit wrinkly and rumpled, I know.

But there is a good reason.  See that little, round bag lying next to it?  Well, the frame of this hat is made of the same wire that lets you fold up tents and those sunshades that fit in your windshield, and what not.  (The thing across the top is my bow, which has nothing to do with this post.)

So the whole hat, bow and all, folds down into the pouch and then into your purse.

Rather nifty, if you don't mind a rumpled hat.

Speaking of things that go on your head, I finished a flock of knitted hair slides.

I used the pattern from OneSkein Wonders, but without the I-cord trim, which means they curl a bit.They're good for turning a braid into a bun, very nice on hot days.  And an unused double pointed needle makes a fantastic hair stick.

My last project here is the bag set I finally finished for my MIL.  

Given that they're visiting this week and I promised it to her the last time they came out, I think I finished just in time.

The main bag is the Sassy Bag from Lazy Girl Designs

And the wallet is the Little Wallet from Valori Wells Designs.

Monday, May 21, 2012

On following the bible...

So R. Albert Mohler Jr, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, made the front page of CNN.com today trying to answer the question on why Conservative Christians focus on Homosexuality.  I was going to frisk this one, simply because I found it so very, very friskable, but I don't have time this week, my in-laws are coming to visit and I have a house to clean.

But there are a few points I'd like to make.

Given the heated nature of our current debates, it’s a question conservative Christians have learned to expect. “Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”

An honest consideration of the Bible reveals that most of the biblical laws people point to in asking this question, such as laws against eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics, are part of the holiness code assigned to Israel in the Old Testament. That code was to set Israel, God’s covenant people, apart from all other nations on everything from morality to diet.

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians.

Err, no...

I didn't pick up on this on the first pass.  Thankfully Fred Clark over at Slactivist did.

But while popular, this view utterly contradicts Peter’s own interpretation of his vision. If Mohler is right, then Peter was wrong. If Peter was right, then Mohler is wrong.

For Peter, his rooftop vision wasn’t about kosher dietary laws — it was about people. He says this explicitly: “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

That’s a very different conclusion from the one Mohler draws. Mohler says this story — this scripture — is about purity laws. Peter says this story is about God’s commandment that no people should be excluded as impure.

I’m going to have to side with Peter on this one. Peter was right. Mohler is wrong.

Mohler’s case for his interpretation of Peter’s vision only looks plausible if you extract a tiny portion of the story from the rest of the chapter, but if you read all of Acts 10, you’ll see that the story doesn’t allow that.

That was point one.

Point two:

The New Testament condemns both male and female homosexual behavior. The Apostle Paul, for example, points specifically to homosexuality as evidence of human sinfulness. His point is not merely that homosexuals are sinners but that all humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The New Testament condemns a full range of sexual sins, and homosexuality is specified among these sins. In Romans, Paul refers to homosexuality in terms of “dishonorable passions,” “contrary to nature” and “shameless.” As New Testament scholar Robert Gagnon has stated, the Bible’s indictment “encompasses every and any form of homosexual behavior.”

Yeah, "Paul said".  Not Christ, Paul.  Christ said nothing about homosexuality.  He did strongly and specifically condemn divorce, but all Mohler has to say about it is:

The church failed miserably in the face of the challenge of divorce. This requires an honest admission and strong corrective.

If you were honestly trying to structure your lives and society to follow Christ you would do more than just give it a throwaway line.  You'd condemn divorce and excommunicate everyone who ever divorced and remarried.  Full stop.  You wouldn't waste time and energy going after an issue Christ didn't see as important enough to mention.  

But then when you look at the emphasis Conservative Christians place on Paul, you have to wonder who exactly they're following.  These Pauline "Christians" follow the Romans Road to salvation, instead of the Gospels.  After all, the Gospels make you work, but by following Paul you just have to believe really hard.

A few more points:

Some people then ask, “What about slavery and polygamy?” In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery, and it prizes freedom and human dignity. 

If you're going to follow Paul than you really need to pay attention.


Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;

Colossians 3:22

Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 


Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality? In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times.

I call circular logic on this one.  Homosexuality is a big deal to Christians because everyone is making a fuss.  And everyone is making a fuss because it's a big deal to members of the majority religion, Christianity.

Christians who are seriously committed to the authority of the Bible have no choice but to affirm all that the Bible teaches

And we're right back around to the whole divorce/shellfish issue.  You cannot have it both ways.

But all of this misses the big point.  The big point is that not all of us are Christians.  Some of us really don't care what the Bible says.  We follow good common sense when it comes to how to treat others.  And when you try to turn your religious beliefs into law, you're violating our right to believe as we want.

Believe what you want.  Live as you want.  Stop trying to force the rest of us to be just like you.  We're not, and you're just going to have to deal with that.

Dear Girls....

From a HuffPo article by Soraya Chemaly

Dear Girls,

You are powerful beyond words, because you threaten to unravel the control of corrupt men who abuse their authority


If you were not powerful, they would not take you so seriously and they take you very, veryseriously. You should, too. You can set the world on fire.

Girls, these things happen because there are men with power who fear you and want to control you. I know that I have equated relatively benign baseball games with deadly, honor killings but, whereas one is a type of daily, seemingly harmless micro-aggression and the other is a lethal macro-aggression they share the same roots. The basis of both, and escalating actions in between, is the same: To teach you, and all girls subject to these men and their authority, a lesson: "Know your place." I also know that there are places where girls are marginalized and hurt that are not religious. But all over the world these hypocritical, pious men, in their shamefully obvious wrongness, represent the sharp-edged tip of an iceberg, the visible surface of a deep and vast harm. They employ the full range of their earthly and divine influence to make sure, as early as possible, that you and the boys around you understand what they want your relative roles to be. Where there are patriarchal religions girls, in dramatically varying and extreme degrees, disproportionately suffer. Understand these men for what they are: bullies. Do not internalize what they would have you believe.

Read the rest here. It's fantastic. And it has lots and lots of links to back up her words.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

True Manliness

OK, I have to pick on this one.

Doug Phillips, of Vision Forum fame, has a new scheme going, The Hazardous Journeys Society. From the looks of it, from this side of the rabbit hole, it looks like a company that arranges and markets wicked cool father/son vacations.

Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with wicked cool father/son vacations. Based on his videos here it looks like a lot of camping crossed with some kind of reenactment. I mean why else would you use such clunky, old-school equipment? But if that's what turns your crank go for it.

The problem I have is that he touts his trips as the way to get your boys to achieve manhood. That they involve bravery and risk, facing the enemy and testing yourself and growing into something greater than yourself.

I'm sorry, but going on a camping trip with your church group isn't going to test you. It's not going to prove anything about your manhood. You're not really facing anything. And it irritates me no end that he crows about how his little packaged tours are the be-all end-all of turning boys into men.

Um, no. Just...no.

For some reason I find his swaggering exaggeration extremely annoying.

Want to see real courage? Real bravery? A real test of manhood? Real risk and real daring and really facing the enemy? Um, try feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Helping the sick. You know the drill. Or try something harder. Get between a gay kid and a bully. Adopt a foster kid. You're a lawyer, go to bat for a family losing their home to an illegal foreclosure. Take those adult sons you keep attached to your coattails and train with Search and Rescue. Not your made up, only for church members version, I mean go to the local Sheriff's office and volunteer. Take your bible to the nearest ER and hold hands with a homeless person while they die.

Do something real.

Or, you know, my personal favorite example of the really, really real. You're too old, but your sons aren't. Granted they'll have to serve with gays and with women and with people of other faiths, but hey, risk, right? It will certainly turn them into men, it has for 237 years now. Real courage, real bravery, the entire deal.

Or take your kids on vacation with your friends, whatever works for you. But stop pretending it's anything more than that. We know better.

Oh, and Joshua and Justice and the rest of you?  If you think you're really ready for it.


Good luck.

EDIT: My husband suggested I use the 2012 Marines video, now shown above, as it's more relevant. But the Silent Drill Team across America still gives me the shivers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The illusion of choice

Go here - failblog.org and just look. It's not linking well.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012