Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dark Side of the Moon

I came across a Ted Talks this morning. (linked below) It spoke to something that has always been part of my life. First, in my own family growing up. Later, after joining the Gold Country Writers, through meeting Louise (and Milton) Schnur. Louise had written a book entitled "From Darkness to Light," which spoke of her struggle with domestic violence. Perhaps now is the time for context...

Louise was born 9-25-1930. She was married at 17. Her first marriage, as well as numbers two and three, were a cycle of violent domestic abuse. Reading her story is torture. It is more than dark, it is pitch black. It takes an extreme emotional toll. I can't even imagine living it. That said, several times in the course of reading her story, I literally wanted to "shake some sense" into Louise myself. How could she continue to make the same mistakes, the same choices, over and over? How could anyone be so stupid? Of course, this had all taken place decades before and Louise had fought (literally and figuratively) her way out. My emotional investment was misplaced. Louise had survived and thrived--she met and married husband #4, Milton Schnur, June 17th, 1972. (for perspective, the first modern women's shelter, Haven House, wasn't established until 1964)

Louise became a spokesperson for WEAVE in 1997. (Women Escaping a Violent Environment) In December of 1999 she became one of the poster girls for the organization. (Full page ad; Sacramento Bee 12-27-99) Louise had indeed, made it into the Light. The issue is, those who haven't. And what could be the rationale for men to physically abuse women.

Here in part, is a place to start.

Take time today to examine what your definition of a "man" is. It seems self-evident that many (far too many) have got it all wrong. And it is past time (far past time) we got it right.      

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pop Quiz

No worries--its an easy one. Just name as many of the 10 commandments as you can. It might help if you get in a; "Thou shalt not" mind set. Go ahead, I know that you know a few of them...

1) And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first; and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

(Everything written is from the 34th chapter of Exodus. I am going to start at verse 14, but please read the preceding verses [2-13] so you know I am not misleading you)

14) For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: 15) Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; 16) And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. 17) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. 18) The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month A`-bib: for in the month A`-bib thou camest out of Egypt. 19) All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among they cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male 20) But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty. 21) Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest. 22) And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the years end. 23) Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. 24) For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year. 25) Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning. 26) The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. 27) And the Lord said to Moses, Write thou these words; for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. 28) And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. AND HE WROTE UPON THE TABLES THE WORDS OF THE COVENANT, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

I know that you have been taught the commandments of Deuteronomy, chapter 5. (thou shalt not steal, murder, covet, etc.) Why those commandments have taken precedence over the commandments in Exodus, I can only speculate. What I do know is this: Life demonstrates a code of conduct. And that code is beautifully captured in scripture--"do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Let it suffice.

As to your grade...God is often depicted as "Father." (Our Father who art in heaven) We often call our father's, pop. (mom and pop store) So if you have actually reached this part of the post, you have aced the exam. This "pop" quiz always serves its purpose.