Saturday, February 28, 2015

What Jessa Duggar Seewald doesn't get

So Jessa Duggar Seewald has spoken.

So I enjoy watching 19 Kids and Counting occassionally. Not just in a trainwreck, OMG-what-are-they-doing kind of way, and not in a Brady-Bunch-feel-good kind of way. And I don't get most of the criticisms that people throw their way. Population explosion? I don't think a handful of families having a 12 or 15 or 19 kids is going to have much an impact, in the same way that recycling isn't going to save the world when every middle-class, lifestyle sustaining anything is bad for the environment. Just come and see how much plastic I throw out in a 12 hour ER shift that make modern medicine makes the small amount I recycle every week seem not worth it, but I digress. It's like complaining that we spend too much money on welfare when we allow our corporations to get away with paying no taxes. Whatever, most people in my opinion don't even know why they have kids. As least the Duggars SEEM to like and enjoy their kids.

Seem to. I mean, that's what happens with the cult of personality. I can barely guess at what happens behind the closed doors of my neighbors, let alone what happens in some house halfway across the country that I only know through video. And lets be clear...that's the ONLY way you, I and most of America will ever know them. Because the Duggars are very, very selective on who they let into their house and their circle. They don't even go to a public church, no matter how strict, because it's not strict enough. The only way most of America (or the world) will know them is through their TV show, blog, and books.

So, Jessa ranted on her FB page that people, particularly Christians, use the whole "Judge not lest ye be judged" (Matthew 7:1) thing is used as an excuse by not-as-Godly-as-Jessa-is Christians to excuse their sinful behavior. I wrote a whole post on the things I DO like about Michelle Duggar. But the thing is, Michelle Duggar, et al, would never give me and mine the openminded slack that I give her. She and hers are fervently praying for a world that fits their worldview. For biblical law, a "Godly" America and all the things she is against to be outlawed, like abortion and divorce. This isn't just the Duggars. Google "Dominionism" or "Dominion Theology". If you really want the Be-Jesus scared out of you, Google "Dominionism and The U.S. Air Force". They really want to take over America. It makes ISIS seem like a band of raucous frat boys.

But the part about Jessa's rant that really annoys me is how it separates her from the other. The other Christian, the other non-Christian, the sinner. Is that what Jesus did? Cause I'm no biblical scholar. But I do know that the original J-Wow was out and amongst the sinners and the lepers and the prostitutes. You know that whole, "Let he who is without sin" (John 8:7)? That whole leave your families, sell all your possessions and follow the Lord without much more than the clothes on your back. Yeah, that Jesus. And that's the whole problem with biblical literalness and fundamentalism. You have to shield your child from the world in order to accomplish it. They even use "worldly" as a pejorative: you mustn't wear that, read that, watch that-it's too worldly. It will influence you and lead you astray. It will give you ideas. If your beliefs are so easily swayed, then perhaps they are not much more than stuff and nonsense. I raised my children with certain beliefs: that people shouldn't be judged by their outward appearance, the color of their skin or who they sleep with, that social justice is a meaningful and commendable goal. I didn't want my daughter to be pure NOR did I want her to be a virgin on her wedding night, should she ever decide to get married. You body, girls and boys, is yours, to do with as you please and you should love all of it, even that 1% between your legs. Or maybe especially that 1%. Sex is beautiful, fun, probably good for your heart and whatever 2 (or 3 or 4...) consenting adults do with it is there own business. That's another value that my adult child still seems to share and I didn't have to keep her sequestered to make her believe it.

Anyway, the bottom line of my religious belief is this: it should be a force to bring people together, to create and promote community. I DO believe Jesus was a community organizer (and Pontius was a governor, LOL if you get that 2008 campaign meme). But really, are you trying to bring people to Christ or bring people together? Because it matters. What does it matter if I say, "I believe in Jesus and his Father" and then put yourself away from every unlike you so that you won't be "contaminated" by them. If that's religion, I want no part in it.

I'd rather burn in the hell I don't believe in.