Sunday, March 2, 2008


So, while Brent was gone, I tried to surround myself with an insulating layer of God in order to survive. Part of this included changing my radio listening habits from secular to the cheesy, fakey, evangelical, focus-on-the-family type Christian radio station here in our area. The talk programs I generally couldn't listen to, but the music was sometimes nice for reminding me to pray, or just wrapping me up in the presence of God. So, recently, desperate for something different, I switched the radio station BACK to a secular one and OH BOY was it awesome to hear good music again! Not that radio in general plays good music as a rule, but there happened to be a good guitar solo on the minute that I switched. I still listen to both, but I'm done saturating my ears with the evangelical stuff. Too bad there isn't a GOOD Christian radio station out there, one that plays some half decent music (which I know exists), avoids repetitiveness in music selection (I swear, this other station I was listening to had 5 or 6 songs they rotated between), and has programs which acknowledge the wide variety of opinions and interpretations within the context of "Christian" that exist out there...for example, all their family radio programs revolve around this (f***ing) ideal: Well employed, hard working man as spiritual head of household, stay at home mom and properly submissive wife who may or may not be homeschooling her children while possibly selling tupperware on the side, and 2-3 obedient, biological, middle class white children whose struggles are limited to how to bring their friends to believe in Christ, and how to get into University, and how to learn to submissively obey their parents. Of course, I exaggerate. But only a little. Most of their radio talk programs were 'family' programs; meaning intended to strengthen and teach parents regarding family life. The thing is, most of their talk was crap. Crap, crap, crap. Interrelational advice based on entrenched male/female stereotypes and excessive investment in the 'wives be submissive to your husbands' sentence in Corinthians. Some acknowledgment that women might work out of necessity; none that they might work because they like their jobs or find work rewarding. Some anti feminist dialogue. A LOT of (MEN) spouting anti abortion and anti gay rhetoric. Sick, sick, sick. Like I said, most of the radio talk programs I couldn't listen to, being more liberally minded, or at least desiring to acknowledge another more moderate side of the, for example, I don't really agree with abortion, but I don't think making it illegal is the answer...nor is it really relevant an argument in Canada anymore; no one is going to make it illegal again and that is a fact, protesting that fact with placards on the side of the highway only incites rage...someone pointed out to me once, "how would you like to be greeted at the door of your church by a man wearing an "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart" sweatshirt, if you had had an abortion at some time in your past?"...PLUS, I get really really really REALLY sick of evangelical MEN spouting off regarding an issue that almost entirely pertains to WOMEN and belongs in a feminist forum to which men are welcome to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking, if you ask me.
Shouldn't women's reproductive rights be the subject of women's conversations rather than the subject of men's didacticism?
And what about those of us who consider ourselves Christians but don't believe submission is exclusively a woman's role? And who don't like being stuffed in boxes labelled with sexist stereotypes, along with all the other people in the world who happen to share their sex?
And, seriously people, WHAT is so threatening to my family about two people who love each other and happen to be gay getting married?
The #1 question I want to ask God when I die? "WHY on EARTH did you make it so difficult for people to be gay?"
Last week Ellen Degeneres talked about a 15 year old boy in America who was murdered by his classmate for being gay (and for having the audacity to ask his murderer to be his valentine). WTF? How is this possible? HOW is this POSSIBLE? When I heard about this tragedy I cried and cried. I actually had to pull over my car. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been, to be a gay teenager walking the halls of high school every day, overhearing all the anti-gay rhetoric and fag jokes that get tossed around, being mocked and harrassed himself, and then, on top of all that, one of his classmates decided that his brave act of asking out a straight guy deserved the DEATH PENALTY?
I ask you: who taught a fifteen year old to hate that much?
What gives us the right to impose our beliefs (this one I have to disclaim as NOT being a belief I share; doing some listening to my friends who are gay, and some weighing of my experience of God, it is hard for me to accept that simply being homosexual is wrong) on the people around us? Why is living in a society that agrees with us so much more important than validating each other and loving each other, despite or even BECAUSE OF our differences? We need to equip our children to LOVE, not to judge!! Who are we to decide we know who goes to heaven and who goes to hell? Who is 'right' and who is 'wrong?' There IS a true and a not true out there, but who of us really knows how much closer we are to realizing what is true and not true than any other person? I really don't think God set us on earth to delineate who fits in the in box and who in the out. I think he set us on earth to learn how to love each other. Is it love to add to people's pain? Guilt? Shame? Rejection by society? Do you really think Jesus would avoid homosexuals and feminists (ME! Just for the record! In case you didn't already figure that out!) if he came to hang out on earth as a divine human again?
Whew, I had that rant pent up in me for a few months.
I'm grateful for the praise music I listened to for the past six months (all six of the songs), and how it helped me cope with single parenthood. But I guess I had a few things to say to the evangelicals who created the radio station that plays them. Not that they read my blog! But sometimes a rant is warranted.


Tonya said...

Small argument about men having something to say about abortion. I had a good friend whose wife got pregnant and had an abortion - against his wishes. SHE decided SHE wasn't ready and didn't want the baby. She went and got the abortion without telling him she was going to! They ended up divorcing over this because he was sooooo hurt. (I actually believe they remarried a couple years later, but I've lost track of him.) Yes, most abortions happen to single women and many of those in situations where the man is not supportive (or even pushing her to abort), but some actually happen when the man wants the baby. What is his "right" at that point? I understand it is her body carrying the baby, but it is his child too. Somehow we've left men like that out in the cold on the whole debate. So, I know it probably isn't a normal case study, but it does happen. :-)

odeion said...

mel, this rant was good for my heart. thank you thank you thank you. i think i just may link you this morning, so that some of my buddies have the chance to read your great thoughts. thank you, mel!

Jonathan Erdman said...

Good thoughts on Christian radio. It has been interesting to see Christian music go commercial over the last 10 years or so. I hear that it now has the #1 fastest growing audience.

The pop-God culture is on the rise! Hallelujah!

eric said...

"The #1 question I want to ask God when I die? 'WHY on EARTH did you make it so difficult for people to be gay?'"

That's definitely a question I'd like to hear answered, too. But, people like you certainly make it easier for us :) Thanks for writing this and speaking out. (I found your blog via Tamie, by the way!) Peace!