Monday, November 24, 2014

The God Blaming Card

The world blames God.

We blame Him for everything. We blame Him for children starving in Africa. We blame Him for our car breaking down. We blame him for allowing people to kill each other. Even atheists who don't believe in God blame God. "If there really were a God..." or "I can't believe in a God that would..."

And maybe sometimes it's fair to blame God because we don't understand. Frankly I think He can take it.

The interesting thing I see happening now, is that people who would never dream of blaming God, are blaming God.

And it isn't for things that aren't understandable, like why children are starving in Africa and why my car breaks down.

Nope, it's out of protection of men.

In the LDS church there is such a strong belief in prophets and apostles that there is almost an infallibility belief. "Sure they aren't perfect, but they're still like perfect."

Joseph Smith married young teenage girls. Now most of those people that defend him would find marrying teenage girls repugnant, criminal by anyone else. After all, Warren Jeffs, the fundamentalist prophet was downright evil. Ask any LDS person.

Those same people will defend Joseph. "God told him to. If God told him to, then it must have been right."

That would be God blaming. For some reason the idea that a man could sin so seriously as to ruin lives is harder to accept than that God Himself would send down an angel with a flaming sword and death threats to command a man to do the unthinkable and force women and young girls into marriage with him and then rape them.

See, Joseph Smith would never do that unless God told him to.

We see it in the bible. God sent His people into cities with the orders to kill every man, woman, and child, and then steal everything and take hold of the city.

Because there's no way that the children of Israel would do that on their own.

God blaming.

Men of color in the LDS church didn't get the priesthood until 1978. Why? Because God said so. It wasn't the apostles or prophets fault that they didn't have the priesthood. Their prejudices had nothing to do with it.

Women currently don't hold the priesthood because God said so. After all, the apostles and prophet would never deny women the priesthood if it was up to them. Men simply don't do that ever. Okay, sure for thousands of years women haven't been legally equal to men, and maybe that was the fault of men, but maybe it wasn't. Maybe that was God's fault too.

I want you all to read a blog post by an LDS writer. Now before you read it, let me tell you that I think she is a talented and sincere woman. Here's the link. You need to go read it so we can talk about this. "Women and the Priesthood a Mormon Woman's Perspective."

Did you read it? Or at least skim it? Or at the very least, read the hypothetical story that she wrote near the end of the post.

Okay, so now that you've read it, I'm going to tell you why I have a problem with her little story.

First off, I as much as any woman, like anti-men jokes. Tell me a joke about how dumb men are and I will laugh. Yes, it is sexist of me. I admit it.

Here's the thing about such jokes. I believe that it comes from a core of anger. Many women are angry. We're angry at the way women have been treated throughout history. We're angry that we didn't have any basic human rights until the early 20th century. We're angry that in many parts of the world, women still don't have basic human rights. We're angry that we have to always be on guard for rape. We're angry that women are abused. We're angry that until recently we didn't even have rights to our own children that we bore into the world. So we tell anti-men jokes.

It's better than killing.

Besides, along with our anger, we also love men. We love our fathers and our brothers and our uncles. Later on we add boyfriends, husbands, and sons into that love. And later grandsons become the twinkle in our eyes. We love our men. We fiercely fight for and defend our men. We will move mountains for our men. We even pick up their hard, crusty stinky socks from the floor. Some of us even wash them and put them away. Yeah, I'm not one of them. So sometimes we have trouble reconciling our love for our men with our anger towards men in general. It is two separate things and our way of coping is to make jokes about how dumb all men are.

Humans have a tendency, when they are feeling lesser, to try and beat down the people that we feel threatened by.

For instance - girl with books, danger, danger, must shoot in head.

To the Taliban, a girl with a book is a frightening thing.

I think the rise we are seeing with abusive men is anger towards women for becoming equal. Must keep women down. Must show woman who boss is.

And I think Janette Rallisons story, as entertaining as it is, is another symptom. Of course she would deny it. But if you read it, what it does is first, it treats men as if they're lazy idiots. Second, it rewards them for being lazy idiots. Third, it excuses men for being lazy idiots and fourth, it blames God for doing it.

Let me make something clear. I do not think that individually, men are lazy idiots and I do think that there are many wise and good men in the world. I also think that men as a whole have screwed things up big time. All you have to do is look at history. I would also suggest that wise and thoughtful men would agree. It would be hard to make a comparison as to how women would have done since there are so few incidents in history where women have been in charge. When they have been, they have had to behave like men in order to obtain or maintain their position. Mainly the idiot ones.

And it seems to me, that if men have screwed up so badly, where billions of people have been lost to wars, torture, and starvation, then putting them in sole charge of the "one true church"  or any church or organization is probably not a wise or fair course. Nor does it seem like something a wise or fair God would do.

Furthermore, excusing bad behavior as "isn't that cute" is not respectful to men or women who are honestly and sincerely trying to do the right thing.

So Ms. Rallison's story, may help women in the church feel better about themselves. After all, it puts down men, and it puts women on a higher plane, and it blames God, but it doesn't solve the problem of unfairness and abuse that exists in the church. It's simply a demeaning pat on the head to both sexes. "There, there, we know that you're dumb and useless but we're putting you in charge anyway." "There, there, we know you can do better but you get to take the higher road and sit in the back seat where you must remain quiet because you're better and you don't want to hurt his feelings."

It's like back several decades ago when a young woman would be advised that if she wanted to catch a man then she better not do anything better than he did. She could be the best bowler in the league, but she was supposed to pretend she couldn't throw anything other than a gutter ball when he was around. The exception to this is that she was allowed to be a better cook, seamstress, house cleaner and diaper changer. Just as long as she hid the fact that she knew how to fix the plumbing. After all, a man simply couldn't handle being with a woman who might be better at something. It would hurt his fragile ego.

It's what's happening in the church now. There are women that would be better leaders, financial advisers, counselors and teaching manual writers, but, they are not allowed to be because...

Well, because it's God's fault.

After all, men couldn't possibly stoop so low as to deny women the priesthood. Men would never do that.

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