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Archive for November, 2008

What To Come Home To?

Jennifer/Cally and I have been talking about what we wanted this blog to be.  She really wanted it to be about finding what she believes in terms of women’s roles within the home and within the church.  I really wanted it to be a place where I could explore some of the paths I started down as a Christian woman, and try to figure out where it is I need to go now.

But as many sayings explain to us, plans aren’t always what you end up with.  And in the end, God gave us both pressing issues that needed more of our time.  For me, it’s been keeping my family going while caring for everyone and meeting the needs of two sons with Autism.  For Jennifer it’s been working full time while her husband finishes school.

As Jennifer said in the last post, we want to write, but to tell you the truth, I’m flummoxed.  My walk with Christ sometimes involves my intellect, and I have those periods in which I’m focused on learning about him.  Right now I’m in a place where I’m required to exercise my blind faith.  I have no idea what’s coming next or how we’re going to get through it.  So, I have to put everything in God’s hands and trust that He will see us through.  I wish I could say that was easy.  But I’m a mom.  I’m used to having control over things.  Because if I don’t, who will?  So, how do I write thoughtful essays about Christian feminism?

So, for me, at the moment, this blog is a place to talk about finding my way back to the core beliefs of my faith.  What is it that makes me a Christian, much less a Whitewashed Feminist?  How do I hold on to my faith when I’m scared, or hurt, or worried?

I used to worry that coming back to the basics of my faith would show me for the immature Christian I think I am.  But now I think that every Christian needs to reexamine the basics of the faith regularly to stay connected with them.

At this point, as I come home to Whitewashed Feminists, I’d like to ask anyone still reading, what would you like this blog to be about?  What would you like to discuss?

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On Hiatus

Cally here… I am pleased to announce that life has gotten in the way of our blogging here.  Laura has signed off.  Anne, Normal and I are busy caring for our families and working as “helpers-suitable” to our husbands in the public sphere.  We’ve decided to put this blog on hiatus.  We have a lot in the works, but no time to write.

We are also closing comments for the time being.  We don’t have time to moderate them and, unfortunately the discussions can’t really continue if we don’t moderate.

We will be back so please don’t leave us!!  Our intention is to get back to the original focus of this blog and its going to take some time to get there.

Until then…

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SPL19549_001Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dear White Washed Feminist Readers,

I am sorry to have to write this letter, but I also feel relieved. I have had many good discussions on this blog and have enjoyed interacting with you all. But the time has come for me to resign my authorship and participation in this blog. I hope to still read and perhaps give a comment here or there, but I will not be posting anymore.

I have found that the only thing that unites my interest here with others is my disregard and disdain for the hyper-patriarchs. I have been personally hurt by their followers and I have had my say against them (see my posts here, here, and here). Now that is out of my system, and I also feel that I have given my “testimony” against them in a public way that may be of help to others.

I have participated in a number of discussions on other topics only to find that my real bond with readers of this blog is based on my reaction, on my dismissal, of the hyper-patriarchs. While I can unite with you all around our common disgust for the hyper-patriarchal movement, I cannot find much that is positive to build on from there. (I don’t mean to say there aren’t positive things we post about, but only that I, personally, do not have much with which to connect to you, dear readers.) To the detriment of my own personal reading and study (and even at times to my home and family), I have spent many many hours in defending myself and refuting others over issues and topics that, while important, produce little fruit over the internet. I feel I am the odd man out and that this is not a place I wish to solitarily defend my views. And it is not merely because I feel myself to be alone on certain issues, but it is also the impotence of impersonal interactions like blogs. We don’t really change each other’s minds. Instead we find a topic with which we agree or disagree and we all huddle around and shout “Huzzah! Yes, that’s it!” but there is no real dialog. This is not to condemn you, but it is merely a criticism and limitation of the genre. No one here is going to be persuaded to change their views of ecclesiology, anthropology, or any other “ology” and it is not my desire to go seeking converts to my views, and especially not through this medium. I have much that fills up my days and my hours, and my interests have shifted dramatically to areas this blog does not concern itself with. I will continue blogging, but not in the public sphere for now.

I wish all of you well and I hope you continue in your good fight against the hyper-patriarchal movement, for I firmly believe it needs to be denounced and debated in the public arena. God bless you all!

Sincerely,

Laura Croft

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Quotes on women from St. Kosmas, 18th Century:

When God made man, he took a rib from him and made woman and he gave her to him as a companion. God created her equal with man and not inferior.

There are many women who are better than men. If perhaps you men wish to be better than women, you must do better works than they do. If women do better works they go to paradise and we men who do evil works go to hell. What does it profit us if we are men; it would be better if we were not born.

And a little about his life, thanks to the website of St. Paul’s.  You can read more here.

Father Kosmas spoke out against social injustices, against the abuse of the poor and uneducated and against the inequities that existed between men and women.  He was an ardent enemy of illiteracy and was instrumental in establishing and maintaining over 200 schools in villages where none had existed before.

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In my reading I came upon a very poignant quote which made me immediately think of the hyper-patriarchs and how they elevate and nearly deify the family.

To confess Christ as King means that the Kingdom He revealed and inaugurated is not only a Kingdom of some distant future, of the “beyond” and thus never conflicting with or contradicting all our other earthly “kingdoms” and loyalties. We belong to this Kingdom here and now, and we belong to it and serve it before all other “kingdoms.” Our belonging, our loyalty to anything in “this world”–be it State, nation, family, culture or any other “value”–is valid only inasmuch as it does not contradict or mutilate our primary loyalty and “syntaxis” to the Kingdom of Christ. In the light of that Kingdom no other loyalty is absolute, none can claim our unconditional obedience, none is the “lord” of our life. To remember this is especially important now when not only the “world” but even Christians themselves so often absolutize their earthly values–national, ethnic, political, cultural–making them the criterion of their Christian faith, rather than subordinating them to the only absolute oath: the one they took on the day of their Baptism, of their “enrollment” in the ranks of those for whom Christ is the only King and Lord.

From Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism by Alexander Schmemann (emphasis mine).

Of course this reminds me not only of the hyper-patriarchs who idolize the family, but also of other Christian groups: gay and lesbian activists; left-wing nuts; right-wing nuts; gender and racial inequality activists.  I don’t mean to say that their views merit no acknowledgment, but rather that when Christians hold on to any cause, be it political or otherwise, so strongly they end up losing sight of what it means to be a Christian in the first place–an allegiance to Christ.

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