Seriously. What Would Jesus Do?
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on Solstice weekend! These long days mark the time when we settle in to watch our gardens ripen, to see if the seeds we've sown will actually sprout up and bear fruit.
(Puck the Faerie likes Midsummer Night. He says we should watch for our seats to bare Fruit Loops.)
Lately I've been reminded once again of the vast chasm between the humble carpenter who preached from a fishing boat way back in the day, and the people who call themselves his disciples in these times.
Last night Mr. Johnson came home just as I was about to toddle off to bed. I agreed to sit up with him just for a few minutes. And in that time he clicked through the channels to Fox News.
On Fox News, a very young, very blonde woman was aggressively challenging a wildlife conservationist about oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She was harsh and relentless -- we need to find every drop of crude oil available in America in order to fuel our automobiles. Too bad if it's under a wildlife refuge. The farmer in Nebraska needs his gas to get into town. He can't move to a big city and take the El.
What caught my attention was not the combative nature of the woman's questioning, but rather the large golden cross on her neck. She was wearing the Big Christian Symbol, large enough and gold enough that no one was going to miss it.
I had to ask myself, "What would Jesus do about drilling for oil in a wildlife refuge?"
Know what? There's just no answer to that. I defy you to provide an answer to that question. How Jesus felt about international consumption of crude oil, or even olive oil for that matter, is not recorded.
This second example of WWJD might be open for debate. I'll leave it up to you.
My fundie sis and her husband made a rare trip to Chateau Johnson in order to attend The Heir's high school graduation and The Spare's middle school graduation. Sis has no children of her own, but within the past year she adopted a rescue dog with a sad past. She brought the dog with her. (They stayed in a hotel.)
Sis and her husband recently moved into a $400,000 McMansion. It's near their church. They share the roomy structure with ... their dog.
We all had to go to the shopping mall to get a pair of shoes for The Spare. When we got home, The Spare told me she saw Sis leaving little notes with smiley faces on them that said "Smile! Jesus loves you!" here and there in the mall.
Sis wanted to know if there was a pet boutique in the area. There's one. We went to it. Sis purchased a pink and black satin tutu for her dog. The mutt needs little else -- it has collapsible water and food bowls, a duffel bag decorated with embroidered dog bones for its trips, and several leashes, depending upon how far a walk is planned.
On the walk back from the high school after The Spare's graduation, Sis bemoaned the fact that she will never have any children, that during her reproductive years she was actually suffering from an undiagnosed disorder that kept her from conceiving. (The birth control pills didn't help either, but Sis must have forgotten about them.)
Since she'd made a snide remark about how I should have used my wand to stop the rain, I made bold to observe that many Christian adoption services existed for all those pregnant teenagers out there who wanted to avoid abortions. I also recollected hearing about adoptions or fostering of older children as well.
This subtle hint was either lost on its audience or ignored out of politeness.
When we returned to Chateau Johnson after an absence of two hours, Sis made over her dog lavishly for more than ten minutes straight. The Heir and The Spare watched this display in utter disbelief. We have pets here, and we love them, but they're just part of the landscape and certainly not the center thereof.
So I ask myself again, "What would Jesus think of this woman, my sister, who tithes faithfully to her church, who leaves little smiley faces in the mall, and whose disposable income and affection go primarily to a pet?"
After Sis left, I asked Mr. Johnson a question, and now I'm asking you. (Maybe I'm querying the wrong audience, but I'm not going to pose this one to Dobson, sorry.)
Is there any mention of dogs in the Bible? The culture from which it sprung depended upon sheep and fish and wheat for sustenance. But I can't recall a single citation about dogs in the whole book. Cats either. Now you know they must have had both. They would have needed the dogs to help with the sheep, and the cats to keep the mice out of the grain.
Why didn't Jesus tell us how to treat our dogs and cats? Heck, there are legions of bored deities out there who are dedicated completely to domestic animals.
Lots of people claim to talk to Jesus one-on-one. If there's anyone reading this who does that, will you please ask Jesus:
* His stance on drilling for crude oil on the Continental Shelf and in the ANWR, and...
*How we should treat our dogs.
Thank you for helping me understand these thorny theological issues.
And for those of you who follow other religious paths, happy Solstice! May all that you plant be a worthy tribute to the deity of your choice!