Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sex, Christmas and Virginity

Christians have inherited a fear of sex from our church fathers (always the men!) who repented of their sexually profligate lives and chose celibacy. Augustine of Hippo formulated this into a theology that equated the absence of sex with goodness. He suggested that those who abstain from sexual activity are pure, and are therefore closer to God.

Which is why Mary the young women was transformed by the church into Mary the Virgin. Because, the theory says, the mother of God could not possibly have engaged in the defilement of sexual activity. Some even suggest that she never ever knew what sex was, and went to heaven in this “pure” state.

Which is fine as a quaint and interesting notion.
However, this becomes the foundation for far graver implications.
1. From this we live with the idea that for priests of God to be pure they need to be celibate. And this suppression of a natural God given human function has led to the distortion of sexual expression with choir boys and other vulnerable people.
2. The idea that abstinence from sex equates with purity has left many young people feeling defiled and guilty for their early sexual awakenings. No matter how hard they pray – they still think of sex, and therefore are defiled.

So please, this Christmas, let’s decide to ignore the dirty old men of our Christian history, and cease to call Mary a virgin. Surely a greater miracle would be for God to take the seed in her womb and create Jesus from it. This certainly gives me hope for the power of God to transform my life into something good.

Oh yes - lets celebrate sex as a good gift from God.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

O Come All Ye Faithless

O come, all ye faithless,
Beat up, and defeated
Come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold him,
born the Friend of Sinners
O come, let us adore him O come, let us adore him
O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord

Sing, choirs of vagrants, sing for inspiration
Sing, all ye citizens on earth below,
Glory to God, giving us new courage
O come, let us adore him O come, let us adore him
O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord

Yea Lord, we greet Thee
born to bring us joy
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given
Hope for the Hopeless, now in flesh appearing
O come, let us adore him
O come, let us adore him O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord

- adapted by J. Barrett Lee, and revised by P. Grassow

Thursday, December 07, 2006

See how we love one another!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Happy Holidays

The Americans are right! (Well you will not hear me say this too often, because I am highly allergic to the Bush led desire to crush anyone who dares to threaten American access to oil). But the Americanism “Happy Holidays” is a very helpful greeting.

Because where I live the people all say “Happy Christmas” instead. This essentially Christian greeting is said to everyone and anyone – irrespective of whether there is Christian or any other form of faith behind the greeting. I was greeted this afternoon by a very drunk man, who sought to excuse his public drunkenness by telling me that “it is Krismis afterall”. Christmas became his excuse for inebriation.

Just like Christmas becomes the excuse for overeating; and Xmas becomes the excuse for shops to invite us to max out the credit cards; and Kersmis becomes the excuse for nookie with the secretary at the office party; and Krrissmass becomes the reason for drunkenness and violence. And what we really mean is “Holiday”. These activities are really holiday induced. A mass for Christ will not invite people into gluttony, and debt, and debauchery. But holiday fever can.

So for those who want to break free of socially accepted restraints – please blame the holidays. Perhaps some of us can wish people a happy Christ-mass.