Tag Archives: Christian

Soul Searching

My dad told the same stories many many times. Some of his stories embarrassed me. I wish he were here to tell them again.

I remember how he began the story of attending an event at which a lecturer from Berkeley addressed the packed John Glas Fieldhouse on the campus of Bemidji State University. The man was native American. The first words out of his mouth were, “You Christian sons of bitches”.

“You could have heard a pin drop”, my dad would say. “Then the man repeated his words. You Christian Sons Of Bitches. There were some nuns in the front row, looking down at the floor”.

The lecturer went on to tell how the U.S. Army awarded 20 medals of honor to the 7th Cavalry for the shooting deaths of at least 150 Lakota men, women and children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD, Dec. 29, 1890. Babies were found still nursing their dead mothers.

One of his hospice nurses later said to me, “Your dad is very outspoken about social justice issues”.

I remember how he would say there would not be peace in the Middle East until the Israelis (whom he called Israelites) admitted they had taken their land from the Palestinians. “The same way we took land away from the Indians here”, he would add.

A lot of what my dad said comes back to me. He was an admirer of labor leaders John Lewis and Jimmy Hoffa. “They were roughnecks and maybe they cooperated with organized crime”, he would say, “but they put milk in stomachs of innocent babies”.

I find myself telling my dad’s stories. His truth…plain, unvarnished, sometimes hard to swallow and sometimes lacking in nuance…was far more credible than some of the spin that passes for truth nowadays.

Something stolen from me….

As much as I love and cherish my friends who belong to a Christian sect that doesn’t observe Christmas (and I won’t mention them by name), I am very sad and lonely this time of year and I attribute my feelings to them. I studied the Bible with them and took to not decorating for holidays out of politeness, because it made them uncomfortable, or so I believed. At first, I didn’t mind, because it was just one less thing to do. But when I look back on it, I realize that decorating was one of my life’s pleasures. Sometimes I decorated lavishly, and sometimes simply. I marked times of the year with valentine hearts, shamrocks, eggs, Norwegian flags, red, white and blue bunting, pumpkins, stars, candy canes…. It was harmless fun, I think. A celebration of color and lights that evolved during the year. Without the visible reminders, I don’t do much of anything for the holidays. I used to try out different activities. On MLK day I studied American history. I tried baking some Kwanzaa cookies. I wore a Mardi Gras costume to church. I still care about my friends but I have slowly and sadly come to realiza they are practicing a harsh arrogance

Christian Ladies

For a while I posted to a message board for authors and wannabe authors of inspirational novels. Christian romances. Gag me. Perhaps I should have stuck with them, for I would have learned discipline. The publishers’ main outlet was Christian bookstores and the managers of those stores had very strict rules about what was Christian and what wasn’t. The imaginary characters in these books couldn’t have a glass of wine with dinner, and they couldn’t dance, or refer to anyone as an angel unless that person was certifiably celestial. No card players unless they were the bad guys. No references to underwear, or to a breast unless the subject was cancer. I could go on. No novels set in medieval times for those folks were Catholic. And don’t say dagnabit. The plus side was that in spite of their strict guidelines, they could take on grimmer subjects such as child abusel I suggested many times that there should be denomination specific lines, or at least mainline books. To me nondenominational suggests a very specific theology/doctrine. But their attitude was, “Oh, no. We are ALL Christians”. This group was very big on praise songs in lieu of church hymns and I don’t think they cared much for liturgy but I’m not one hundred percent sure about that. They seemed to be the Are You Saved type, and to those people, there is no other kind.