Picture it. Youth group. 1997. What the hell are these people talking about?
Part look back at how "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" crept into my (mostly) Mainline church, part look back at that weird AF subculture.
Trigger warnings: purity culture, sexual assault.
We wanted to call this episode "Sarah Dies/Abraham's Thighs," or "More Weird Shit with Abraham" but those aren't the most important parts of the story. What Isaac does after the death of his mother is one of our first "Holy Shit" (in a good way?) moments thus far. We've read this text many times, but it still caught us completely off guard.
"A few chapters back, Sarah tells Abraham to get rid of Hagar, and Abraham says “she’s your slave. She’s your issue. Do whatever you want.” In other words, you’ve already trafficked this Egyptian to me, I’ve already raped her, I don’t give a shit.” But now, oh, but now. But now there is a son involved, and so now, this jackass seems to care..."
(but not that much...)
"You’d think maybe Father Abraham would at the very least clue Hagar in to the fact that the boy will not only be spared, but greatly blessed. Even if he didn’t give a shit about Hagar’s trauma (this is her second banishment, after all), he’d at the very least want to reassure her and the boy that every little thing is gonna be alright. Well, you can invent those conversations if you want to, but they’re not in the text..."
The Incarnation of God as the willful cosmic wave-collapse response to our penchant for creating (not just choosing) evil. Schrodinger (sans cat), my snoring dogs, the Upanishads, Jesus, warm milk, and melatonin.
As we move through Genesis 19, familiar patterns are starting to emerge. We see the patriarchs, matriarchs, and their families recreating trauma in destructive cycles. As noted in the last episode, this tracks with what modern neuroscience knows about the ways in which "the body keeps the score." Trigger warnings: incest, rape.
We're repainting a room and the fumes are getting to us. This episode looks at the covenant ritual in Genesis 15, and was interrupted by the church dog, its own outro, and just a bit of Abraham fatigue. We humbly share it anyway. Enjoy!
We consider the competing narrative claims of "indigenous" Judeans and repatriating exiles in the formation of the Genesis text; we also look at Karen Gonzalez's 2019 piece on Sarah as a human trafficking survivor. TW: Human Trafficking.
Published in 1916, this poem is at once a meditation on Jesus and Sandburg's "statement of faith" against sham religion. Aimed at prosperity-preaching fundamentalists in general (and Billy Sunday specifically), Sandburg contrasts the wealth and "work" of these hucksters against the extreme poverty of their target audience and the true "free as air and sunlight" message of Christ.
In today's episode, we look at the first call of Abram/Abraham and begin to consider what the content of these stories says about the the circumstances of their composition, how that relates to competing (or complimentary?) agendas and needs, the codification of the Torah, and more.
"Hello and Welcome to Worst Church Ever, the show that rolls its sleeves up to play in the mud with Yahweh, even though our fundamentalist neighbor thinks we ought to keep the Holy action at a distance and call God Elohim..."
"Everyone born downstream of Los Alamos, Nagasaki and Hiroshima are children of the atom, that’s not just some cool turn of phrase Stan Lee used to launch the X-Men. Everyone born downstream of Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, are children of that same revolution. We’ve got all the good things Neil Young talks about on Free World, and I’d add things like pasteurized milk, modern medicine, and yes, friends, vaccinations..."
"I said listen, brother, you’re a smart guy, you know this so-called liberal view of scripture isn’t new, I didn’t make it up, it’s the balance of the Christian tradition..."
"The cross of Jesus Christ upends the story of empire, it lifts up the true story that our highest calling is not our status or success in the eyes of Jerusalem or Rome or Madison Avenue, but in solidarity with and support of people on the margins..."