Tag Archives: Bible

Kate Kelly & Wendy Davis: By Their Company Ye Shall Know Them

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Controversy alert! (get over it)

If there is any doubt that Kate Kelly (founder of Ordain Women) has gone completely off the deep end (AKA gone apostate), here is a picture of her posing with Texas state senator Wendy David, who famously (and miserably) filibustered for the “right” to abort viable babies past 20 weeks. Abortion is the great horror of civilization, but thankfully all can reject this great evil and be forgiven through Jesus Christ. Still, it’s telling that Ms. Kelly associates with such women as Senator Davis. Don’t be led astray.

By their fruits [and their company!] ye shall know them.”
(Matthew 7:20)

PS: If you think it’s inappropriate/ judgmental of me to post this, I’d ask you this question: who’s actions are worse-mine or Kate Kelly’s?

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Be Not Weary In Well Doing…

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“My life is like my shoes-to be worn out in service.”
-Spencer W. Kimball (former prophet/president of TCOJCOLDS; deceased)

“Be not weary in well doing.”
-Galatians 6:9 (in the New Testament in the Bible)

“Men [and women!] should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will.”
-Doctrine & Covenants 57:28

Are your shoes worn out?
Are you weary in well doing?
Are you anxiously engaged?
🙂

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Equating pro-abortion arguments with pro-slavery arguments: “I don’t personally agree with it, but who am I to tell someone else how to live?”

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Just came across an article that articulates specific reasons why common pro-choice arguments are essentially the same as pro-slavery arguments.

And if any of my friends identify as pro-choice, don’t go hating on me for including this piece that is more than a little harsh/ spiteful/ condescending in tone.  Mark Twain, as you may recall, was a staunch opponent of slavery, and he was also a bitter pessimist against any and all sympathizers, whether or not they actually practiced the institution themselves.  You could choose to think of this writer in a similar way if you’d like.  Here is the article in full:

Arguments commonly made in support of slavery and abortion:

Appeal to privacy: “Well, I don’t personally endorse or condone slavery, but who am I to tell someone what to do with their own property?”
Appeal to privacy: “Well, I personally object to abortion, but who am I to tell someone what to do with their own body?”

Appeal to the superseding right: “My property rights come before the rights of a slave.”
Appeal to the superseding right: “My reproductive rights come before the rights of a fetus.”

Appeal to popular sovereignty: “States can decide for themselves if they want slavery. If a state doesn’t like slavery, they don’t have to have it.”
Appeal to personal sovereignty: “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.”

Appeal to inevitability: “Slavery has been around for thousands of years, it’s never going to go away. We might as well have a safe and legal system in place for it.”
Appeal to inevitability: “Abortion has been around forever, it’s never going to go away. We might as well have a safe and legal system for it.”

Appeal to faux-science: “Slaves aren’t really people. They aren’t like us. Look at them — they’re physically different, therefore we are human and they are not. They don’t have the same rights as white people.”
Appeal to faux-science: “Unborn babies aren’t really people: they’re fetuses. Look at them — they’re physically undeveloped. Therefore, we are fully human and they are not. They don’t have the same rights as born people.”

Appeal to economic concerns: “The economy relies on slavery. It would be a financial disaster if it ever came to an end.”
Appeal to economic concerns: “The tax base is strained already, most of these babies would end up on welfare. It would be a financial disaster if abortion came to an end.”

Appeal to the courts: “Slavery was vindicated by the Supreme Court in Dredd Scott. It’s already been decided, there’s no point in arguing it. Nine men in robes said that blacks are property, and so that settles it.”
Appeal to the courts: “Abortion was vindicated by the Supreme Court in Roe v Wade. It’s already been decided, there’s no point in arguing. Nine people in robes said that fetuses aren’t people, and so that settles it.”

Appeal to faux-compassion: “Slavery is in the best interest of Africans. They can’t function in the real world, they need to be protected and guided by the white man.”
Appeal to faux-compassion: “Abortion is merciful. These babies are unwanted. They would have a miserable life. Better to help them avoid it all together.”

Appeal to the Bible: “Slavery isn’t condemned in the Bible. If it’s wrong, Jesus would have specifically said so, but He didn’t.”
Appeal to the Bible: “Abortion isn’t condemned in the Bible. If it’s wrong, Jesus would have specifically said so, but He didn’t.”

 

ddd

I just love me a rousing expression of freedom of speech.

In the words of my friend Crystal, “Stir the pot, why not?”

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A plow boy reading the scriptures?! That’s quite remarkable.

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William Tyndale, religious reformer best known for translating the Bible into English, said the following (when speaking to the sometimes snobbish clergy of his day):

“I will cause the boy who drives the plow

to know more of the scriptures than you do.”  

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.Um, does this not SCREAM of Joseph Smith?!  Wow!

In literature, we’d call this foreshadowing.

In the gospel, we call it a prophecy 🙂

Read more here about Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s thoughts on these issues.  His talk totez rocks my socks!

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…the boy who drives the plow

[will know] the scriptures…

plow boy knows the scriptures Joseph Smith

AWESOME!

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The single most fundamental tenet of Mormonism…

is NOT that Joseph had a vision, that the heavens are open, that families can be together for eternity, that there are prophets and apostles on earth today, that Jesus Christ performed the Atonement, that modern revelation is real, that the Book of Mormon is scripture comparable to the Bible, or that the Church/gospel has been restored in its fullness.

The single most core belief of the LDS faith is…

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God Exists. 

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Restoring the Sacred Role of Women: A Jungian look at “The Da Vinci Code”

Disclaimer:  The following essay contains ideas that may be misinterpreted as anti-Catholic.  While history has clearly demonstrated corruption within Catholicism, I still know that there are many good people in the Catholic Church who follow Christ.  Please understand that as I write about unsavory parts of Christendom, I do so to reveal truth about gender and religious misconceptions, and not to mock or belittle Catholics.

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Restoring the Sacred Role of Women so as to Unify

Male and Female in Order to Reach Individuation

A Jungian Analysis of “The Da Vinci Code”

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A discussion of gender roles and the separate spheres of men and women has fascinated writers and thinkers for centuries.  Too often, the male and female sexes have been thought of as diametrically opposed to one another, leading to a separation between the two.   But famed Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung believed strongly that the human being’s deepest desire was to become unified, or whole.  (In fact, this fundamental belief is what caused him to split from the views of Sigmund Freud, who believed the deepest desire was to act on one’s suppressed sexual desires).  According to Jung, an exploration of the psyche involves us to look inside ourselves, where we unfortunately see only separate pieces.  But it is not just the unification of the fragmented parts of one’s individual psyche that must occur.  Rather, it also refers to the unification with others, specifically between a man and a woman.  Unfortunately, history has either left women out, stripped them of respect, or even vilified them.  This is most evident in the centuries following the crucifixion of Christ.  While historical Christianity has greatly reduced, even vilified the role of women, certain non-canonical, non-traditional texts give women the respect and honor they deserve, allowing for the union of men and women that is so fundamental for individuation.

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To be clear, it must not be understood that true Christianity does not reduce the role of women.  Indeed, Jung explains that many incorrect Christian doctrines (thus including the importance of women), is “not of the deepest and best understanding of Christianity, but of the superficialities and disastrous misunderstandings” of it (Jung 437).  Rather, it is historical Christianity (specifically Catholicism) that degrades the role of women.

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In Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code (the novel to which this essay will repeatedly refer), the two characters who best embody this idea of distorted Christianity are Silas and Leigh Teabing:  They are both physically crippled:  Silas is constantly engaging in self-flagellation, inflicting himself with pain in the name of God, while Teabing walks with canes to assist him.   But more importantly, they are crippled in the sense that they completely misunderstand true Christian doctrine, as they both commit murder in their attempts to gain access to the Holy Grail.

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There are countless examples throughout the centuries where women have been oppressed and mistreated.  Indeed, the Catholic Inquisition, which warned of the “dangers of freethinking women,” killed an estimated 5 million women” (Brown 125).  Jung explains that this culture of disrespect for women has created a disastrous a role in Western [thought]”, and that “our patriarchally oriented culture is largely to blame” (Jacobi 117).  As Dan Brown’s protagonist Robert Langdon clarifies, it “was man [presumably both human being and male], NOT God who created the concept of ‘original sin,’ where Eve tasted of the apple and caused the downfall of the human race” (Brown 238).

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The only woman that the historical Catholic Church does seem to revere is Mary, the mother of Christ.   Allan Mohl, expert on the impact of religious fundamentalism, asserts, “Catholicism in particular has stressed the ideal image of the Virgin Mary as embodying the maternal characteristics to be emulated by all women.”

But is this not unreasonable?! 

If Mary is the ultimate example of an honorable and noteworthy women, the essence of what other women should aspire to be, it is not fair that she is a virgin, as immaculate conception has occurred (and will occur) only once.

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Indeed, the fate of mankind depends literally and

quite completely on women exercising their sexual power.

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Examples of women being discriminated against, whether explicitly or covertly, are unfortunately not just an idea of the past.  Sadly, women today are often treated in a manner that is inferior to that of men.  In The Da Vinci Code, Bezu Fache dislikes Sophie from the start, claiming that her mere presence distracts the men in his field in their jobs (Brown 50).  He is no doubt aware of her beauty, and perceives her as even a sexual distraction, though she in no way perpetrates this idea by her actions or her words.  Fache is also threatened by Sophie’s intelligence. This is an example of Jungian’s notion of scape-goating, as he is unaware of his shadow, and is thus projecting his insecurity onto the woman, who is a cultural “other.”        

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In an even more overt modern-day example of the subjugation of the female, one needs only to look to the Catholic sect known as Opus Dei.  Brown explains that at its New York City headquarters, men and women enter separate doors; men at the front door, and women at the back door.  Women were made to sleep on hard-wood floors, which is just one way in which they were made to pay for the perceived price of Eve’s sins.  Regarding this, the villainous Silas remarks of Sister Sandrine, keeper of the Church of Saint-Sulpice, “she should not be punished for the sins of others” (89).  This statement is painfully ironic, as neither Silas, nor any of the devout followers of Opus Dei understand the deep significance of his words.

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Christianity as a whole tends to leave women out of the picture as pertaining to historical documentation.  For example, the Gnostic Gospels speaking of Mary Magdalene (namely the Gospel of Phillip and the Gospel of Mary) are notably absent from the cannon. Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, contends that the Gnostic Gospels were not included in the cannon precisely because of their positive portrayal of women (120).

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From a Latter-day Saint perspective, there exists a general consensus that we do not even speak of Heavenly Mother, the wife of our God.  Most believe that this is because we wish to respect Her and keep Her name from being profaned.  Though there is no doubt that many are sincere in this belief, no official church statement or words of high ranking church members (apostles and prophets) supports this view.  Therefore, we must question this notion; is it perhaps unfairly patriarchal, once again reducing the role and importance of women?  Naturally, discussion of Heavenly Mother and also the marriage of Christ make some uncomfortable.  This essay does not intend to be blasphemous nor mock things of a holy nature.  On the contrary, it intends to expose what is blasphemous and restore what is sacred- that of the important role of women, and more specifically, the holy union between male and female.

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Another aspect of historical Christianity that is intricately connected with the cruelty associated with women is the vilification of sex.  Reproductive ability was once regarded as a very sacred power, but now it posed a threat to the male-dominated Christendom, and was therefore portrayed negatively.  Mary Magdalene was stripped of respect and recast as a whore.  (Even the 2004 popular Mel Gibson film, “Passion of the Christ” depicts her as such, once again suggesting that we are unfortunately not yet free of these misconceptions)  Likewise, the Baphomet ceremony, once practiced by the Pagans celebrated the creative magic of sexual union, was banned by Pope Clement (Brown 316).  In The Da Vinci Code, Sophie Neveu witnessed Jacques Sauniere (whom she believed to be her grandfather) engaging in a sexual ritual, which Robert Langdon later explains to be a ceremony referred to as Hieros Gamos, which is simply another version of the Baphoment.  This act is not a perversion, but one which the ancients believed helped the male be spiritually complete in his union with the sacred feminine.  Furthermore, Hieros Gamos was practiced as a celebration of the female’s power to give life (Brown 308-9).   Still, by robbing sexuality of respect and the honor which it once held, the szygy, or the union of opposites between a man and a woman, specifically in the physical sense, was lost.

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Before the union of men and women can occur, women and men must have the same level of importance.  In other words, neither Jung, Brown, Pagels, nor any of the other numerous writers on the topic argue for feminism in the sense that women are superior to men, but rather that women must be respected as equals and acknowledged for their significant view.  A source illustrating the importance of women is found in the Gnostic Gospels, specifically in the Gospel of Mary, where the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is as follows: “And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene.  Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth” (Brown 246).   This passage marks a distinct contrast with the common interpretation of Mary Magdalene, and further suggests a redemptive outlook for women in general.

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Another source with more prominent ethos which likewise implies a respect for women is in the canonical Bible.  If Christ truly was married, as the novel purports that textual and historical evidence suggests, then He would understand the vital role of women.  In other words, true Christian doctrine seems to rightfully revere the sacred feminine.  Therefore, a close reading of the New Testament reveals a veneration of the female.  For example, the oft-quoted Parable of the Ten Virgins found in the Book of Matthew features women.  Although half of them fail to be prepared for the coming of the bridegroom, the other half are prepared, exemplifying righteous women depicted by Christ himself.  At least two other scriptural examples support not only a respectful view of women, but also specifically a sanctioning of marriage:  In the aforementioned parable, Christ is the bridegroom.  Also, the Gospel of John depicts Jesus at a wedding with his mother.  Surely, Christ would not depict himself as a central figure in a marriage metaphor, nor be present at a marriage ceremony, if he did not approve of the matrimonial union of a man and a woman. Furthermore, is marriage not the ultimate example of the union of opposites, both the man and the woman?

According to Jung, humans are fragmented and can only be reconciled by union. This “union of opposites” must take place within one’s own individual psyche, but it must also take place between the male and the female.  Indeed, the first alchemists believed in conjunctio, or the mystic marriage or the concept of creation that results from mating, an idea that Jung describes as “having preoccupied the minds of [scientists] for seventeen centuries” (Jung 398-9).  Elaine Pagels’s interpretation of another of the Gnostic Gospels offers a view of the necessity of gender union to reach salvation, which can be equated to Jung’s concept of individuation.  The Gospel of Thomas explicitly states Jesus’s explanation that in order to enter the kingdom, “male and the female [must be] one and the same” (129).  This implies that men and women are both equal to one another, but must also be united with one another to reach enlightenment.

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Though not involving a romantic/marital relationship, the central characters of The Da Vinci Code exemplify this necessary union between a man and woman.  The traditional interpretation of the quest for the Holy Grail involves a single male knight searching for the cup of Christ.  Dan Brown offers a different version: Sophie Neveu  and Robert Langdon must work together to uncover the knowledge concerning the Holy Grail, which turns out to be not a literal cup at all, but instead a metaphor for a sacred woman-Mary Magdalene.  Sophie and Robert have different areas of expertise, but their collective knowledge is not at all in opposition, but instead complimentary toward the other.  In other words, the male and the female need one another to reach their purpose.

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Jung explains that “the contrasexual element has sunk so deep into the unconscious” that it is very difficult to disengage ourselves from this patriarchal concept which has unfortunately been indoctrinated into our collective unconscious for centuries.   One may question if there is any redemption for the future, any possibility of restoring the sacred feminine, and thus the sacred union between the man and the woman.  Essentially, is there hope? Yes! In 1969, the Vatican officially (albeit quietly) retracted their view of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute, suggesting an attempt to at least begin to eradicate past damages inflicted upon women (Shoemaker).  Brown’s novel certainly offers hope for women, as Sophie is a woman of royal blood, a descendent of Christ himself.  Likewise, the novel suggests that an understanding of art, both from the past from the works of Da Vinci, and from more modern works such as Georgia O’Keefe paintings, offer a veneration for womanhood.  For example, concerning Da Vinci’s famed painting “The Last Supper,” the novel suggests the idea that the figure seated to the direct left of Jesus is not John the apostle, but is instead Mary Magdalene, wife of Christ.  This idea is supported by many factors:  the feminine-appearing face, the V-shape (an ancient symbol of womanhood) formed between both Jesus and the perceived Mary, and other possible evidences.  Although scholars argue over the validity of this idea, Dan Brown’s inclusion of this significant detail causes readers to ponder the importance of women during the time of the original church, and hopefully begin to understand the need for a revival of the knowledge of the important role of women even (and perhaps especially) today.

 

Overall, women have suffered a tremendous amount of oppression throughout the years, which unfortunately has been done largely in part in the supposed name of God.  Jung would argue that this is done not in the true spirit of Christianity, but rather because of an insecurity of men that leads to a society dominated by the repressive views of men.   Furthermore, this concept of the degradation of women, where they are stripped of respect, humanity, and sacredness, is the very source of so much tension and lack of harmony in both society and within ourselves as well.  True wholeness comes from restoring the sacredness of the female, but also in the unison, or syzgy, of men and women, who are not to be in competition nor opposition with one another, but are instead to be understood as complimenting one another.  Jung, Brown, and other scholars look forward with a hopeful view, one in which women are to be redeemed, then reunited with men, allowing for true individuation and wholeness to occur.

READERS!

1.  What are your thoughts/ beliefs/ experiences concerning these ideas?

2.  How can you personally restore proper female/male balance to reach a sacred union in your own relationships?

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gonna start delving into some of my college papers now…

🙂

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Sometimes telling the truth is terribly painful, uncomfortable, embarrassing, and inconvenient,

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BUT IT HAS TO HAPPEN!

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“The truth will set you free”

~John 8:23

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“The truth can be ugly beyond imagination,

but concerning such topics as abuse, we simply CANNOT ignore it.

It may set others free as well.  Figuratively and literally.”

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Read more here about an insight that Mr. Mayer helped me understand regarding the Penn State child abuse controversy.

READERS:

How do these principles/ideas apply to YOU?

And I know that they do somehow.

Truth.

🙂

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