Friday, January 17, 2014

Other People's Words--and Quite a Few of Mine

Yesterday, still fighting a virus (the worst is over, but I can't seem to shake the tail end) and feeling grumpy about the weather (I needed to body-clip my mare.  At 7am it was 25 F.  At 10am it had warmed up to 22.) I couldn't think of a thing to blog about. It's truly rare that I don't have something to say, but there you were. When my husband came home, he said, "Well, that thing you shared on Facebook. Write about that." Then he thought for a moment and said, "On the other hand, I'm not sure you could improve on it."

I knew what he meant. It's a terrific piece about science and religion and how they co-exist peacefully in many people's minds. He's right, I can't say it better.  So here.

I have never understood Young Earth Creationists or anyone who feels they have to disbelieve science and logic in order to be faithful to God. I feel like God gave us brains for a reason. Also, frankly, the whole of science is so absolutely mind-blowingly beautiful and amazing that the temporal aspects of it seem wholly irrelevant to me. Once, we were driving on an obscure island in Ireland when I saw a handpainted wooden sign with an arrow that read "Tetrapod tracks." I told my husband to follow it. He asked what a tetrapod was. "No idea," I said. "Let's find out." It turned out the Tetrapod tracks were miles away, miles of slow driving through farmland abandoned during the Famine, miles of following little handpainted signs. Then we came to a cliff with a scientific, explanatory sign. Leaning over the cliff, we could see rocks marked by fossilized, wavy, scuffling footprints.

From tetrapods, the first fishlike creatures that developed limbs and crawled from the sea. Four million years ago.

If that's not cooler than playing mind games in a effort to prove the earth is only 6000 years old, I don't know what is. Creation is stunning on its own time.

But, I digress. 

Clearly, no shortage of words this morning. I must be feeling better.

Meanwhile, yesterday, I also read this terrific post by Rachel Held Evans, a straight, mostly-former-evangelical Christian writer and speaker, about her experience at the Gay Christian Network's annual conference.

I don't get a lot of comments on this blog (please! feel free to leave one!) but when I do it's usually someone wanting to tell me that it's not that they hate homosexuals, they just feel they must speak out about what they perceive as sin. I tell you, I don't really get this. I understand they interpret certain bible verses to read that homosexuality is a sin. I interpret those verses differently. It's not that I'm unaware of the verses. It's not that I'm ignoring them. I've read them and examined them and prayed over them, and I interpret them differently. And please, if you disagree with me, don't start in on how you don't "interpret," you just read. Unless you're reading them in the language in which they were first written, you're interpreting somehow. That there are different "versions" of the Bible in English makes this clear enough.

Here's the thing: the Bible is also adamant that we should not eat shrimp.  Leviticus 11:12:  Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.  Please note use of the word "abomination." And yet, we all ignore this. Why? The Bible is really, really clear.

Also? Who made it clear to you that you must speak out about this particular sin? Do you speak out against every sin you ever see people commit? Do you shun the divorced members of your family? Do you point out the dangers of gossip to friends who phone you with juicy news? Do you castigate your family members for the sins they commit? It seems to me people attack this one because they think it's safe. I read a letter to the editor in today's newspaper that opined that the legislature can't decide moral issues. First of all: abortion. Second of all: murder, theft, etc. Third of all: there is a difference between civil marriage and religious marriage. Legalizing gay marriage won't make it sacramental.

Ok, rant over. 

I read one other post of unsurpassed excellency yesterday. No surprise, it comes from Glennon Doyle at Momastery. I think I love everything this woman writes. I especially love this post, on the importance of asking the right questions.

That's all I've got today. I'm off to clean my horse's disgusting winter tail, in preparation for a weekend spent riding with Angelica. I'm out of shape and coughing up phlegm, but I'll take every chance to ride with this woman I can get.

P.S. Why do I still take riding lessons? Because what I'm doing is wicked hard. Nobody asks ballet dancers why they still take lessons. Sheesh.