Monday, October 11, 2004


I can only quote Dave Barry and promise "I am not making this up". I couldn't have, even if force fed with peyote. What makes me wonder if this is all a huge put-on by someone, is that it was pointed out by a site which delights in mocking religion, called "Gullibility isn't in the dictionary". Folks at WorldNetDaily are upset over an upcoming event:
All I can tell you is I wouldn't want to be within lightning strike distance of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio on Nov. 20-23.
What frightened that writer was their report about this:
An annual convention of American religion scholars from prominent institutions will feature sessions favorable toward sadomasochism, transvestism, transsexualism and polyamory.... The presentations offered at the American Academy of Religion's 2004 Annual Meeting in San Antonio next month ... [include] arguments for transvestism and transsexualism in Christian theology ... [and] "The Spiritual Dimensions of Leathersexuality"....

Ken Stone of Chicago Theological Seminary says a passage from the book of Jeremiah, chapter 20, verses 7-18, "can be construed more usefully as a kind of ritual S/M encounter between the male deity Yahweh and his male devotee." ...says the abstract to the paper, which is titled "'You Seduced Me, You Overpowered Me, and You Prevailed': Religious Experience and Homoerotic Sadomasochism in Jeremiah."

Timothy R. Koch of New Life Metropolitan Community Church offers a paper titled "Choice, Shame, and Power in the Construction of Sadomasochistic Theologies." ... [which] argues ... "One of the constitutive elements of sado-masochistic interactions is the removal of the masochist’s choices, making it possible for both masochist and sadist to proceed in a spiritually powerful state of relative shamelessness"....

Julianne Buenting of Chicago Theological Seminary offers a paper titled "Oh, Daddy! God, Dominance/Submission, and Christian Sacramentality and Spirituality" ... [which] "explores BDSM (bondage/dominance, sadomasochism) as potentially transformative encounter in relation to themes of trust and surrender, suffering and pleasure, self-shattering and self-donation found in Christian sacramentality and mystical spirituality ... ."
It would be easy to dissect this kind of nonsense. For instance, that passage from Jeremiah is really about the horrors God is going to inflict on a man who "smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks". He is told
thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends....
The impending lament of the captives echoes chapter 3 of Job:
3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived
but adds a bloodier passage:
14 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.
15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee ...
17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me.
It doesn't sound like "BDSM" to me, but it leaves me wondering which he was wishing had happened, infanticide or abortion. Either way, it seems entirely proper that this kind of radical "theology" is going to be propounded in the same state which gave us Lawrence v. Texas. Perhaps this will convince the world that Senator Santorum was truly a farsighted prophet, albeit one cruelly mocked in his own country.

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