No Outcasts on marriage in postmodern society

Ran across this in a blog that’s an outreach of the Diocese of Central NY that seems to be a proponent of the church of beer. (They have an open spirituality discussion that meets monthly at Empire Brewing Company, in Armory Square in Syracuse.) This essay talks about the implications of marriage in the afterlife, but I had one of those eye-pop out of your head moments when I read the latter portion of it:

Ironically, the emphasis today on marriage and family values has contributed to the loss of community. Isolated and without adequate social support, families are forced to rely on their own resources. The day to day stress on families has increased significantly as both parents are pressured to work more hours than their parents. Children hardly get to be children these days, passed as they are from one activity to the next, one parent to the next. The pressures and tensions are just too much for individual households to bear and literally pits family members against each other.

So beware of political candidates who claim to support family values, it actually demonstrates a lack of vision, an inability to imagine a better basis for our society.

Marriage cannot serve as the foundation of any society. Like Atlas trying to shoulder the weight of the world, marriage is crumbling under a burden it cannot possibly bear. Attempts to artificially reinforce it as the basis of society only make it a rigid and oppressive structure. And worse, insisting on this false foundation deprives us of the firmer ground we so desperately need.

Does this mean we shouldn’t get married? No, but marriage needs to be grounded in the larger context of a human community founded on compassion rather than oppression. If we remember to view marriage as a fragile relationship rather than an institution, we are much more likely to honor the humanity of the people involved.

The emphasis is mine, because it hits very close to home on a couple of points. Many gen-x-ers don’t trust institutions, and that includes both marriage and the church. Maybe that’s why the church of beer, as I call it, is what it is. Hanging out with friends over tea/coffee or a couple of pints and allowing conversation to flow freely may seem anarchic or subversive as a way of practicing faith in community to some folks. But for others, it’s freeing. Similarly, as DFH and I wrestle with what it means to be married, his distrust of the institution is clear even though I plead for us to approach it as a way of personally affirming our lifelong commitment to one another.

Anyhow, No Outcasts is a nifty blog, with a liberal dose of illustrations for those of us that think words are just the things that come between the pictures. You can check out the essay — and find the rest of the blog, which seems to be updated monthly — here.

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House full of teenagers

At the birthday party, part one, and my aunt went to get pizza…

“Will there still be adult supervision in the house?”
“Yeah! Helen will be here….”

I am a teen mother. I mean, a mother of a teen.

So the kid turned 13 today. This is the same kid I referenced in my piece for A Light Blazes in the Darkness.

I survived.

I have been pretty quiet this week as the worst cold I’ve had in years totally had me by the throat. It’s kept me from wanting to write anything, even though I had on my calendar to do several things for crossleft and looking up what’s left to contribute to the next revgals devotional. I love doing that, writing devotionals, and the abbey was meant for that, but increasingly i’m posting fluff to that.

In addition, I had to close off my public LJ (ETA: not gallycat..I have another one I’ve been maintaining for many years)–due to ongoing security issues.

So now the fluff, the day-to-day, the mundane goes here. Jo made fun of me when I said that I was thinking about starting a ninth weblog, but, technically, this is my tenth, as I recently started another private one for dealing with my biological clock. I think God meant for me to have a different kind of family than the one I expected to have, but I’m still kinda irked about that.

Still, there’s something peaceful about knowing that when he’s 18, I’ll be 40. it’s always been hard, because most of my friends are having kids NOW.

But him, at 13–looking at him today as he was thumbing through the big history of football book I got him, us all stuffed full of Cold Stone Creamery treats…

I can’t believe how much my baby has grown.

Anyhow, I’m still relearning how to use blogger (I had one for a while at my domain, but i stopped using it soon after I started). I will definitely be posting links to stuff I see on the web here–and, my discernment journey still lives at Gallycat’s Abbey. But having the distinction makes it easier to be a part of a community at the same time I discover my voice.

Thanks for sharing it with me, everyone.

Another…

this is just one of those shots that make you fall over laughing with delight when you see it. he was dodging the camera all day aside from that posed shot with me (i am still sick as hell, and it shows, but doesn't he look great? and TALL?)

but this one just takes the cake for lucky shot:

Well I got my pizza…

Sure would be nice if I could taste it.

That's right, I've got full-blown sinusitis now. It's the cold that wouldn't die.

I should mention that the virus that started this round is most likely the same one I had a month ago, but got passed around the clan via my son, mutated, and came back to me ten times worse.

It's a teenage mutant ninja virus.

Achoo.

We have hit the sneeze stage of the cold. Wham.

BTW, a few catchup things. One, the visit with Beth went FABULOUS. I love that woman as much now as I did when I was 21. She says I called her while I was in labor with K, and it was one of the funniest conversations she's ever had with me. It was great to catch up. She has two beautiful children, a daughter who's 6 and VERY much the kind of girl I'd love to have as a daughter, tomboyish, green-eyed, and adventurous, and a 2-year-old son with gorgeous blonde curls.

So now in addition to a son and a stepdaughter, I feel like I've got a new niece and nephew I didn't know about. God grant me the money to spoil them all rotten someday. Thank you.

Speaking of God granting money, I got a bonus at work. Nothing major, but enough to seam up some of the cracks and make sure that K has a decent birthday and that both the kids have something to unwrap from us this year. Oh! Momcat! Lil'D's favorite store at Fair Oaks is going out of business, and you know what that means….

Now available in black

I was going to post something rantly about how we are manipulated to shop on this day and hallelujah for those that resist the retail machine. That said, I always like to plug the small businesses of friends of mine that kick ass, and i will do so in a week or so, after payday. But I'm not buying a thing today. I'm going to sell some things today, but that's not the same thing. There's something about mall culture during the holidays that I need to experience again, and so off I go to the little Borders to foist books on people.

But then I found out that http://www.goingjesus.com has made WTFWJD shirts available in black, and I remembered what the spirit of the season is really all about.

I am so pleased that my son doesn't really want anything for Christmas. All my years of poverty that I did manage to get him Santa, and now that I SHOULD be able to get him a healthy roster of stuff, I can't afford to, mostly because he's outgrown all his clothes and is now 5'4.

If anyone has some 32×30 jeans lying around that don't fit anymore, they'll fit him (cuffed), so…

Oh, wait, that's my size. (sigh!!!!!) Eeek!!!

And he turns 13 in just over a week!!!