I’ve walked around Paris this morning kind of angry, because dammit, maps just don’t work for me. I try to follow them, but then I’m facing in the opposite direction, or turned around, or something, and then the walk to get to the place I’m going is a lot longer than it’s supposed to be, and maybe I’m frickin’ hungry and I have too many options.
And underneath that is this anger about God, not AT God, but about God, because I think the Christian church has fucked a lot of things up, and I’m trying to figure out my place in fixing it, and that’s a tall order.
Unfortunately, I am crazy ambitious. But you can’t accomplish anything if you’re super inventive and creative and full of ideas, and the path forward of discernment for an entire movement of remaking Christianity is done in isolation. But people are all so busy, see, or wedded to their rules and their dogmas, and if you are not the owner of a company like Amazon or Facebook or Google, people don’t want to listen to you. So I’m trying to find my way.
My main point in writing to you today is to reveal to you that Jesus was and is a feminist, and I’m finding ways to share that BEST NEWS EVER with the world.
This funny thing happens to me, when I start to talk about women’s issues publicly, in the shared company of men. Women say things like, “Are you a feminist?” Because I guess this feminist thing seems over to people, and I guess I’m not always hanging out in crowds where it’s familiar or cool. To college-age people, this “f” word is a bygone term, something we just don’t need anymore. And hey, I’m not really into labels. People are people, and I can be as annoyed with a loud-mouth angry woman who calls herself a feminist as I can with a loud-mouth angry man who has different opinions. Ego is ego, and I’m not into it. The key is intent behind all things, and I can usually tell if someone is patronizing me and putting me down, or underestimating me because I’m a woman, or assuming he knows what I’m thinking because he assumes he has some superiority over me, and that’s what pisses me off, not the political label. Talk is so, so cheap. I’ve been witness to this on dating apps, and in faith-based organizations, mostly. What impresses me, what shows me who someone is, is action.
Oh man, I am rambling a lot, it must be my womanly nature, so let me get to the point.
A lot of people who say they follow Jesus are really worshiping the leaders of the church, or the apostle Paul, and not always following Jesus at all. People want to fit in, see, and yet Jesus was a rebel who didn’t fit in, but for many people, “following Jesus,” is like wearing some fancy sweater from the hottest new store in the mall. I’ve been thinking of some people I know who lost their faith, and yet they’re good, kind people, and it was not Jesus who let them down, it was the church who told them things that were wrong and untrue. And so they got wise and realized the church was abusive (or choose another word), and said all kinds of things that went against what they knew intuitively to be right and true. And so they turned against my Sweetie, the Divine Healer, instead of simply recognizing the church for what it was, which was a lying sack of shit. (Okay, okay, maybe not all churches, but you get me.)
SexyJesus never held up the church, people. He never said, This church is the divine, and therefore listen to what priests and church leaders say. Honey, honey, honey. Read the Bible yourself and stop listening to angry white men. SexyJesus spoke adamantly against priests and leaders and those in charge. Because he saw them for what they were—egotistical maniacs, people who thought they knew everything. The temple, he insisted, was his body, and not some building. And he was real pissed about what these assholes were doing in churches/temples/what-have-you, which is why the only act of aggression he ever committed was in a church, where he flipped some tables and called bullshit pretty loud. So it is not the church and its leaders that should be considered holy, it is Christ himself. (And I rarely use that word Christ, forgive me.) You can be a practicing Muslim, honey, and still listen to Jesus and pray to him, and he will help you, because he knows no color, no gender, no religion or denomination. He is just Jesus, man. Who came to save. And will do it, too.
I am going to wrangle all these disparate pieces of this blog post together, don’t you worry, trust in me.
So the thing that is simply ridiculous, is the way we have allowed dickheads to overtake our understanding of the Holy Man, the Winsome Lover (I have so many names for him), and tell us what is true, rather than doing that investigative work ourselves. Because SexyJesus is the Light, and the Light’s intention is to reveal so you can be made new (and you will be, again and again, perhaps), and he may just reveal to you that the people who you were listening to and who were using his name were maybe shitheads you shouldn’t be listening to. (It doesn’t mean you can’t love them or forgive them, but put them in the box where they belong, too, and don’t give them more power than the Healer.) And what a lot of those church leaders have been saying for centuries upon centuries upon centuries is that women are inferior in some way, and that women have no place in church leadership, and that a woman is this and that and the other thing, and they’ve been teaching a lot of shame surrounding women’s bodies, suggesting women ought to be owned, suggesting women are these tempting vixens who are going to destroy you, and blah, and blah, and blah, and again, and again, and again. Man, are you as tired of this shit as I am? Are you, like me, smart enough to start reading between the lines, to recognize there was some sort of didactic movement in place to remove women from all the church founding, and to spread a propagandistic message that has persisted for centuries, the kind of propaganda it is now up to us to overturn?
Thank you, I knew you were in my corner. Phew.
Because I have been a spiritual person, and a faithful and loving person, for many years. And the last thing I wanted to do was investigate Jesus, because he was held hostage by all those bald men, or men with white hair and pot-bellies, yelling on podiums. I wanted nothing to do with that bullshit. But I wanted to do good, and I wanted to help people, and I wanted to lift up women in some way simply because I knew intimately the experience of being a woman. And so I had a hard wall up when it came to the church, and I know a lot of women I love have felt this way, too.
Until I started reading, and started recognizing that shit, Jesus fucking loved women. Like, over and over and over again, he is sticking up for them and elevating them and commenting on their beauty. (Okay, that last part was removed from scripture, but I’m just guessing.) In one story, he’s telling a bunch of assholes to back away from a woman who has had sex, and his mere presence in the crowd makes them all disappear while she stands strong and the men cower in corners. Then, in another story, he is getting his feet kissed by adoring women who know the kind of powerful healer he is, and he doesn’t care who is watching, he lets women kiss his feet and adore him and wash his hair in myrrh. (Men, as you notice, and as he points out, aren’t giving him this kind of adoration. They’re mostly denying and betraying him, see. But they’re the ones who have all the big famous churches named after them. Hmm, interesting.) And then, elsewhere, Jesus is telling women to stop doing the dishes for once and just come rest and hang out with him and be by his side so he can smell their hair, or something, I don’t know, he just likes hanging out with women cause he knows we’re special.
Sexy. As. Fuck.
One of Jesus’s main actions (see how I’m tying all this together?) was to elevate women. Again and again and again. So this is why SexyJesus is my hero, a definitive feminist, the kind of man I want other men to be.
And any Christian who doesn’t agree can suck my balls.