Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Feminist Myth

Tonight I noticed a new post on CBE's blog, "The Scroll". It begins with this myth:

"In years gone by, no publisher would print a book written by a woman and so women writers had to use pseudonyms to get their work recognised. "

While the author of the post doesn't clarify the period she has in mind when she writes, "In years gone by . . .", given the reference to pseudonyms, I can't helped thinking of the famed, and oh so supposedly repressive long 19th Century. While I admit to being a fan of the cigar-smoking, trouser-wearing Aurore Dupin, Baronne Dudevant (better known as George Sand) and believe that Mariann Evans (better known as George Eliot) penned the greatest novel in English literature (Middlemarch), I am also aware of one or two other lady novelists from the same century who did not feel the need to dress up in men's clothes in order to succeed. Anyone ever heard of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters (lookee there, a whole clutch of female novelists in one family!), or Elizabeth Gaskell? And let us not forget the queen of Victorian Sensation fiction, Mary Elizabeth Braddon or the grande dame of the gothic, Anne Radcliffe.

I can't help thinking one of my New Year's resolutions is going to be to re-read Middlemarch next year. I will admit though, I cannot read it without wanting to run away with Will Ladislaw in the form of the actor Rufus Sewell.

What are you looking at? Pervert!

Some days I do wonder if there is enough collective intelligence left in what passes for Evangelicalism these days, that, oh bother! I can't even finish that sentence sensibly because there doesn't seem to be any left. The state of your average "Christian store" is appalling. Today I went to one of these to pick up a book I am giving to my pastor. I usually avoid them like the plague, but it was my best chance of getting this particular book without having to order it.

And there they were. Big display near the entrance. Christian clothing, yikes! And what, in particular, draws my disgust but jeans. They mostly look like plain old denim jeans except in the details. The details on the back pockets. Yes, that is right, arty-looking crosses on the back pockets.

I'm guessing modesty isn't a concept familiar to the designer or the marketers, let alone the poor benighted folks who made the decision to carry these things in a "Christian" store. Now I don't know about you, but even if I had the shape I used to have, I wouldn't want folks staring at my ass.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'll bet she's wondering what happened to it . . .

Now this doesn't happen every night. Tonight, I was emptying a urine container out of the bag it came in and along with the specimen dropped an earring.

Hmmm, I'm still trying to figure out how that happened and if it were mine, would I want it back, even after having been doused in alcohol?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I already knew that (and so should you)

In an effort to fill air time on what appears to have been a slow news day, one of the local news stations ran a story on how good it is to give. Their "doctor" told us how good it is for our health, that it releases oxytocin (one of the "feel good" hormones, the same one that helps create an emotional bond in a woman when she is kissed by a man), etc., etc.

I was sitting there in the break room at work (about the only time I watch local news), and was thinking to myself, "Hmmmm, this sounds familiar. I think I've heard that before . . ."

35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.' (Acts 20:35,

Yes, I thought so.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

THIS is the public face of Christianity?

This morning I caught no more than a few seconds of an interview on one of the Sunday morning shows. The interviewee was an actress, Kristin Chenoweth, with whom I am not familiar. In the brief moments I saw, she proceeded to slam Christians who oppose gay "marriage" as judgmental. She, you see, has wider world and believes, "people who love each other should be able to get married". I saw a brief clip from an upcoming indie film where she plays a suicidal prostitute. The scene took place in a confessional, cleavage and cross abounded. Then they showed a picture of a cover she had done for a "men's" magazine, skimpy clothes and provocative pose are no surprise here. She reported that her mother cried about it.

Perhaps she should be crying about her "nonjudgmental" life choices. According to her Wikipedia biography she,

. . . has spoken publicly about her faith; she describes herself as a
non-judgmental Christian.[23] Raised as a Southern Baptist, she later chose to have a personal connection to a faith that is not based in any one denomination. When in California, she attends a non-denominational church in Malibu. In New York,
she attends a United Methodist Church.

Chenoweth also has a large gay fanbase, and was uninvited from a Women of Faith conference in September 2005 "due to her publicized and heartfelt beliefs that God is accepting of all people on earth", including homosexuals.[24][25]

"Personal connection"? Really? That she was even invited to the Women of Faith conference seems to show those connected with the conference aren't familiar with Google. This seems to be a continuing problem with these mega-rallies masquerading as Christian conferences. In the early years of Promise Keepers, one of their speakers was a well-known preacher who does not even hold to an Orthodox trinitarianism. When this preacher's modalist theology was brought to the attention of one of their board members, his response was, "How dare you expect us to check on the theology of all our speakers! He signed our required statement of faith!"

When I attended a theology conference as a seminary student, I heard one of my professors remark, "That is the genius of Evangelicalism, it is able to reinvent itself as circumstances change." Evangelicalism has moved so much that those who would have once been in its mainstream are now called fringe, crackpots, fundamental legalists. Simple, seemingly obvious Christian beliefs such as the exclusivity of salvation in Christ, the sinfulness of premarital sex (which used to be known as fornication), lifetime marriage of one man and one woman, the existence of Hell . . .all these and more are now minority beliefs in what is known as "Evangelical Christianity".

Evangelicalism has become a label more pliable than molding clay. It covers everyone from Pat Robertson to Billy Graham to Rob Bell to T. D. Jakes to nonjudgmental actresses when the need arises. It can also dismiss each of these, except for Graham, when the need arises.

And you wonder why I no longer call myself an Evangelical?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My exciting night at work

Some days I hate my job - mostly on the days when it gets exciting or interesting.

I still remember the time when my parents flew me back to the Twin Cities to spend the weekend in my grandmother's hospital room before she died. They couldn't really afford it, but they did it anyway -- for her and for me. This was during my clinical year so, on the flight there, I was reading one of my text books and my seat mate, a nice older (to me at the time) man asked me what I was studying. I told him it was my hematology textbook. And then I said, " You know, the worst thing about it is, the work only gets interesting when someone gets sick." And I still find that true more than twenty years later. Even more so now, with so many things automated, I don't even have to approve some of the results before they are released to a patient's chart. So, when everything is normal there is very little to do.

Tonight was one of those nights. I was doing a manual differential - when we looked at a stained blood smear to determine the different types and percentages of white blood cells -- and I wasn't liking what I saw. I really did not like what I saw. A phone call to the ER Doc confirmed the 69 year old patient had Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia. But what I was seeing was an acute transformation of that leukemia. Not good.

Then in rapid succession, I had a second tech agree with my results, I called the Doc back to let him know we would "hold" the differential until a pathologist could confirm our findings on Monday -- THEN we had an overhead page announcing that a "Plan D" was in effect. This means there has been a disaster of some sort and no one gets to go home until we know what the situation is and everything is under control. Tonight's disaster was an airliner at DIA skidding off the runway and catching fire. We were told to expect casualties.

I guess it's not so much my job I hate but the evil of disease and calamity in this fallen world.

UPDATE: It is now being reported that there was only 1 serious injury but that 38 passengers were transported to area hospitals. The injuries seem to be mostly bumps, bruises and a few broken bones. That's good.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A consumerist eugenics mindset.

This is a "Christian" guide to egg donation. Seems like high-priced prostitution/sex slavery to me.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Funny, I was thinking it was the worst insult ever . . .

Comment culled from another blog:

"Jane, I once spent 11 days in an unairconditioned quonset hut in 100 degree weather facilitating strategic planning with 1 General, 10 Colonels, 2 Majors, 1 Captain and one Sargent Major. All men. Every afternoon, we played golf. At the end of the first week, one of them looked at me and said, you know, I forget you are a gal because you are like one of the guys.
I never had a better compliment. :o)"

(name changed to protect the "innocent", comment otherwise unaltered)