Sunday, November 09, 2003

Al Gore spoke today. It is really good stuff, check it out.
And now for something mildly Heretical, or at least non-Canonical!

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From: "Chris Halverson" | This is spam | Add to Address Book
Subject: Re: Re: The Diary of Mary, daughter of Damion, the Bishop of New Antioch
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 23:08:02 -0600

Attached, as a PDF file, is my translation of the Christian diary the 82nd airborne recently found in Baghdad. As you can tell by all the brackets it was not in the best shape of its life. I hope it helps you with the book you and Judith are doing about early Christian feminism.

In the Grace that has redeemed all,

C.L. Halverson

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>From: Big D. Falk < >
>To: "Chris Halverson"
>Subject: Re: The Diary of Mary, daughter of Damion, the Bishop of New Antioch
>Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 18:39:07 -0700 (PDT)
> Yes Chris, I would be very interested in this manuscript your GI friend found in Baghdad. Send me more >information as soon as you can.
>>From: "Chris Halverson" | This is spam | Add to Address Book
>>Subject: The Diary of Mary, daughter of Damion, the Bishop of New Antioch
>>Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 20:32:04 –0600
>>Hey! I have a GI friend with the 82nd over in Iraq. A rocket recently misfired and blew open an old cave. >>In it were several Christian scrolls. These included variable copies of the Gospels of Thomas andJohn. >>The feature I think you might be interested in is a diary. I remembered you were going to work on >>that feminist book, “The Dead Sea Codes” and I think this diary, of a teenage Christian girl, might be a >>real help.
>>In the Grace that has redeemed all,
>>C.L. Halverson

The Diary of Mary, daughter of Damion, the Bishop of New Antioch
Translation and commentary by Chris Halverson
Entry 26, [The year of our] Lord 221
But for the crucifixion of the Lord I would not believe there is a more painful state than that of being a woman. I say this not for melodramatics or effect, but from the fabric of my heart.
Father has [chosen this] man, this supposed super-deacon. He is a man with the social skills of a goat and the aptitude of a bucket of swill (the meaning of this word is uncertain). Yet by father’s account he is a wondrous thing, a man who will be quickly raised to his status. I can not imagine Alexander as a Bishop and I told father as much. I said to him, “gazing into Alexander’s eyes is like looking into blank space.” Of course he rebuked me, listing off what Paul says qualifies a man to be a Bishop (1 Tim. 3:2-4). He thinks Alexander has every one of those qualities. I told [him I] didn’t think he was hospitable, or an apt teacher in any sense of the word. Father got [in a huff] and mentioned offhand that I was not being submissive in every way (1 Tim. 3:4).
It just doesn’t make sense to me. I have no problem being a good daughter, but this decision is a decision about my whole life. It reminds me of the story of Thecla. She was forced to marry Thamyris, but with silence she refused (Acts of P and T 20). Maybe I should re-read the story.
Entry 27, The year of our Lord 221
I spent much of yesterday as well as today in contemplation of the scriptures. I also read The Acts of Paul and Thecla, as well as the Gospel of the others, (from Mary’s quotations of this Gospel I believe she is referring to the Gospel of Thomas or a variant thereof) which father has a deep hatred for.
After reading the scriptures while thinking about my present situation I am left wondering. I like the Gospel of the others, and I adore Thecla. In the other [Gospel] (once again it is understood this is the Gospel of Thomas) it says, “when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that [the male not be male nor] the female female… then will you enter the kingdom.” (Thomas 22) I suppose father would think this to be just a fanciful thought, not to mention heresy, but it releases my heart up toward the highest heavens!
It makes sense too! In Paul’s letter to the Romans he praises both men and women (Romans 16). Would Julia, or Prisca or Aquila bend down and accept their father’s yoke? No, I think not. So why should hard working Mary? (Contrary to various pseudo-scholars already in Iraq no reputable academic would believe the Mary writing this diary is the same Mary from Romans 16:6, instead she is making a joke referring back to Romans 16:6). Further, it was a woman who anointed Jesus (Mat 26:7) and women who first realized our Lord was raised (Mat. 28:6). Was it not the woman from Syrophoenicia who’s fearlessness earned her daughter the crumbs of the table? (Mrk. 7:28-29)
It all makes sense, until I find other places [that say] I am told not to speak (1 Corinthians 14:34) and not to fight against my father’s ill wishes for me (Tim. 3:4). My father’s favorite book (1 Timothy) goes on to claims those who are like Thecla are hypocrites, and those who listen to them are, “paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.”(Tim. 4:1-2) I don’t understand. If women were good enough for Jesus and his good news, why does Paul object to us? For that matter does Paul object? He praises individual [women], why will he not praise all of us? Why does he change his message in Timothy and parts of 1 Corinthians?
It is all very infuriating. The more I come up against these inconsistencies the more I like the story about Paul and Thecla. All I need to do is, “fear only one God and live in chastity.” (Acts of P and T 9) It seems it at least is quite clear, “There is for you no resurrection unless you remain chaste and do not pollute the flesh.” (Acts of P and T 12).
Paul says slaves must be submissive to their masters, and women submissive to their husbands (Titus 2:5, 2:9) but I refuse to become a slave to a husband. I can see [myself as] a noble Lioness, (Acts of P and T 28) owning myself. I am more than just a gossip and a busybody (1Tim. 5:13). I am a Lioness. It is late, and I’ve worn myself out. Maybe I will write again tomorrow night.
Entry 28, The year of our Lord 221
Things are horrible. I’ve been too contrary with father; he has been of a very ill sort over it. He has in fact said he can’t control the family with the way he is acting. He is worried that he is a failed Bishop (1 Tim. 3:4-5). I am so worried about him, but at the same time I can not, I will not [submit]. I am scared and still very confused.
Entry 29, The year of our Lord 221
I can not believe these things that have happened. Father knows I have been reading those books. He said if I did not submit to Alexander he would resign as bishop. I responded that none of this would be a problem if he saw me neither as male nor as female (Thomas 22). He said the Gospel doesn’t allow for such things. I responded, “Make me a living spirit father, resembling that of a man,”(Thomas 114) he knew where I was gaining this knowledge (Mary is referring to gnosis) and burned with anger because of it. He yelled that I have no authority because I am a daughter, an Eve (1 Tim. 2:13). I responded badly, worsening the situation. I said, “And for that I am not ashamed!”(This may be a response to Acts of P and T 10). He chased me out of the house. I am writing this underneath a fig tree. By tomorrow I must decide. Will this lioness face the lion, or rip Thecla to shreds? Why must I decide?
Entry 30, The year of our Lord 221
O’ paper, sweet [paper], you listen to my every ill. I [cry upon] you. The lioness becomes a martyr to the lion. I raise my bonds to the air, and kiss them as Thecla kissed Paul’s bonds (Acts of P and T 18). I shall become Alexander’s wife. I submit, but within myself my hair is cut off (Acts of P and T 25), and this knowledge (gnosis) is mine. As the passions of the fire did not touch Thecla (Acts of P and T 22) the passion of Alexander shall not touch me.
I guess I'd never actually searched for links to my blog. Check this out !!! Ain't it cool? Man, with all this "exposure" I should blog more often!
Big news!
Killing the Buddha has me down as a place to go to!
Here were last weeks D+D questions.
The Questions
1. Do angels fit into your picture of “Religion”? What is the point of angelic beings?
2. There is a process of knowing God by looking at humans and saying God is the reverse. E.g. Humans are mortal therefore God is an unmortal (immortal) does this process make sense? Or can it only be taken so far?
3. Does the written word hold spiritual power? If so how?
4. Is mysticism a spiritual reality, or is it simply a way to tap into unconscious thought, or both?
5. What is the resurrection of the dead?
6. How should Christians resolve conflicts with one another? with non-Christians?
7. There was a Reformation, can there be a Reconciliation?
8. If other letters of Paul were found would they become scripture?
9. How should Christians view the non-Canonical Gospels?
It was a really good D+D, we had a new member, Samuel, he added quite a bit to the conversation.