Are we doing #introduction posts again
Hi, I'm Amanda, I've been here since the Tumblr Titty Ban
I'm a writer, fountain pen user, history enthusiast, general fandom goblin, and maker of bad DIY projects. I have a dog, three cats, and four chickens, and I post about them constantly
Feel free to follow and to @ me about whatever!
2021's hottest club for woke white liberals (affectionate) is: the stuffy church your grandma goes to
There are a lot of other "burned by another church" millennials at my church, and they're all different flavors of religion nerd. Theology, ecclesiology, spirituality, ministry, ritual, whatever (TRULY THE BEST) in addition to being generally woke and educated on The Issues™️
One of has a tattoo of the Alexamenos graffito, if that tells you anything about the flavor of nerd I go to church with
@ LDS Church: your people need entheogens. Please interpret the Word of Wisdom accordingly.
I'm trying not to be some kind of weed monk all the time or whatever, but I think "spiritual" people are the ones who understand their place in the story.
Humans are storytellers. Our spirituality comes from storytelling, whether the story is told by Jesus or your grandma or the guy on TV. Our stories all intersect with each other, so you might be a hero in one person's story and a villain in another person's story. Seeing this, and understanding it, will help us heal the world
So, I looked for the group of Christians who are noticing the same things that I am, and who acknowledge their own past role in causing these problems. This is where I encounter the people who understand society-wide repentance and striving to heal the wounds of the past.
There are other Christianities in America healing different spiritual wounds. This one is mine--the one that is trying to dig out its deepest imperial sins and fix them.
I'm watching that, and I know it isn't right. Christianity is telling me that I, the child of empire, can still fix whatever the fuck went wrong here.
Jesus was indigenous to his land. He had a message and a warning for those who sold their spirituality for earthly gain. He called others to follow him and heal the sick, feed the hungry, and return to the more merciful, more egalitarian way of their ancestors. I want to be his follower, and save my descendents from destruction.
If I put myself at the scene of the Crucifixion, I am the daughter of a Roman centurion, watching as people who look like my dad--maybe even my dad's friends and coworkers--nail a screaming Jewish holy man to a cross. They're doing it according to their own twisted sense of morality--that of law and order, and nothing else. Maybe he threw a rock at a money-changer, or something. Told them they were being hypocrites for exploiting God's law in exchange for money. He had to go.
So, my Northern European ancestors rebel against the bloated, corrupt, decadent empire that was spiritually oppressing the poor with its "buy your way out of hell" monopoly money and killing people like the Lollards and Waldensians and Cathars. They said "fuck you. We want our religion back." Christianity starts to become decoupled from Empire.
I am not the child of the rebels, though my ancestors were, and I'm proud of them. I am the child of an imperial military officer.
It's often said that America's original sin was slavery. That's true, but in the context of the "Europe must die" article, it's Europe we need to look to.
How to explain the history of Europe. Its original sin was empire, I think. Well, before it oozed empire all over the Americas, it was a place where money, state, and religion were all in each other's pockets. It was a mirror of Jesus' society. My ancestors were being murdered, and people were finally noticing. The Reformation happens.
I don't inherit their guilt, but I do inherit its consequences, and its responsibilities.
Christianity is a call to find the lowest person in your society, and help them. In every weak, poor, sick, injured, lonely person is the face of God. And because I inherited the consequences of my ancestors' sins, it is my responsibility to try and fix them. Share your food and shelter. Renounce wealth. Stop fucking everything in sight. Get some friends together and help some more people.
Mormons don't believe in original sin. My ancestors, the people who most needed to hear that they didn't inherit Adam and Eve's sinfulness, came out of environments where religion was used as a tool to abuse and control them. This still attracts people--including my wife.
But I have a decent education and a decent set of values. I know who I am, as the descendent of Europeans in a land that isn't my own. My ancestors took slaves. My ancestors committed genocide. They are not blameless.
200 years later, my shit is together, but the community neither wants me nor reflects my values. But the "get to know your ancestors" part of it is incredibly spiritually meaningful to me and so many other people, and I want to bring that with me.
I know where my individually named, individually loved ancestors came from. I've studied their cultures. I've read their diaries. They wanted us to know who they were, and why they left their friends and family behind. This is an incredible privilege.
From Mormonism specifically, I got the attitude of "find out who your ancestors were. Write their names down, get to know them, find every scrap you can, and we will become one family with all of humanity."
My ancestors were incredible people who left Europe after suffering centuries of religious persecution. The church can NEVER be one with the state.
They were also yet another wave of European settlers. Mormonism gave them a "get your shit together and let's build a community" list of rules.
Okay so this essay lives in my mind rent-free
And it was constantly on my mind when I was thinking about shared eschatology yesterday.
Christianity is telling me something specific. Christianity is telling me, a child of empire, to listen to indigenous people. The whole spiritual narrative of the Christian Bible, when read in reverse, is "your ancestors done fucked up. here's how to unfuck it."
Mormons practice ancestor veneration. As an ethnic Mormon (but no longer practicing LDS), just browsing all the artifacts and stories in the pioneer museum was an intensely spiritual experience. With the way they have the portraits arranged on the walls, it feels like your ancestors are looking down at you, and trying to say "this is who we were. This is what we gave you. What will you do with it?"
actualmermaid on Tumblr. angrymermaids on AO3. History, literature, music, food, gardening, animals. Inscrutable religion takes. Socialist with a small s.
30, she/her, be gay do crimes