My Essay About Egalitarianism

This has nothing to do with music or television or media or anything else I blog about on a regular basis. I just kinda thought I'd put it here.

I attend a nondenominational evangelical church here in Wisconsin. I love my church, but the one thing I don't like about it is its position on women in the church. I am an Egalitarian Christian, which means that I believe that gender roles (apparently the new verbage is to call them "rôles" if it's about gender or race. I guess I'll do that.) are not biblical, and that passages about them are often mistranslated by (originally) mysoginists and (later) people who had been taught for all there lives that there were gender rôles (or just rôles? I give up) and thought that they were misunderstanding texts about women and such because of what they'd learned. My church takes a Complementarian stance, which means they believe women should be homemakers/child-rearers first, and men should be the ones to provide to the women, and it must work that way. That, therefore, forbids women from being clergy, even though there are several specific passages in the Bible that refer to priestesses, deaconesses, and prophetesses on an equal par with their ess-less (bad pun meaning male) counterparts. Here is the essay, which was originally a letter to my pastor (I emailed it to my pastor and it didn't go through, so I decided it wasn't such a good idea after all. It's kind of well-written though):

Dear Pastor ▓▓▓▓▓▓,

I remember in ICD class that we were taught that women were not generally allowed to be pastors, elders, etc. by biblical passages such as 1 Timothy 2. After reading my bible and various interpretations of this verse, I have come to disagree with this stance. I found the post at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2009/01/07/was-1-timothy-2-written-to-the-church/ particularly helpful. In it, the author describes the error in the common Complementarian interpretation of this scripture. It explains how the scripture is frequently misinterpreted, as the passage referring to "a woman" is singular in Greek, leading us to presume that Paul was referring to one particular example.

Also helpful in that article was mention of Priscilla, which I will further clarify later. Priscilla, as is well known, was one of Paul's "fellow workers in Christ" (Rom. 16:3). Some translations misinterpret this passage as "helper," a diminutive noun, when in fact the Greek quite literally means "co-worker" or "colleague." She is described as equal in ministry to her husband Aquila, and, by total word count, is actually referenced more in all of the texts of Scripture. Priscilla is portrayed as teaching to both men and women in Paul's presence. How, then, can we assume that Paul's words in 1st Timothy apply univerally? Paul also references Phoebe in Romans 16:1 as the deacon or minister of the church at Cenchrea. She is the only deacon mentioned by name in the Bible. Why, then, are female deacons and ministers objected to today? Some [mis]translations go so far as to change the word to "helper" or "servant," when in fact the Greek word is "diakonos", which literally means "deacon" or "official servant (as of a ministerial body)", and is in fact the word from which the English "deacon" is derived. In Romans 6:7, Junia and Andronicus are described as "outstanding amongst the apostles." Junia is a female name. Some more recent translations have plucked the letter "s" out of mid-air, turning it into Junias, a male name. Some go so far as to change "outstanding amongst the apostles" to "men in high esteem" (Amplified translation) or "men of note" (RSV), when in fact the original Greek contains no reference to their being men, of course because one of them wasn't.

Acts 9:36 refers to a female disciple, Tabitha (her Greek name was Dorcas) who was revived by Peter. In Philippians 4:2, Syntyche and Euodia, both women, are described as Paul's active evangelical co-workers. As far back as the early Old Testament, Deborah was a high judge and military commander in ancient theocratic Israel. Miriam, Moses' and Aaron's sister, was one of Israel's triad of leaders during the Exodus. Perhaps most tellingly, the original Hebrew in Genesis 2:18 describes Eve as being Adam's "ay'-zer". That term literally means a co-worker, a word implying equal status. However, almost all translations of the last 300 years use the diminutive "help mate" or "helper." This was simply not the original text. Recent translations such as the NRSB and the CEV use the somewhat more correct "partner." Huldah or Huelda (alternate transliterations) was clearly described as a prophetess in 2 Kings 22:14 and later in 2 Chronicles 34:22, who verified the accuracy of Deuteronomy and brought about a religious revival. According to Karen Jo Torjenson: (directly quoted from http://www.religioustolerance.org/femclrg5.htm)
“… An ancient mosaic which shows four female figures. One is identified as Bishop Theodora. The feminine form for bishop (episcopa) is used. A 3rd or 4th century burial site on the Greek island of Thera contains an epitaph referring to Epiktas, a "presbytis" (priest or presbyter). Epiktas is a woman's name. A 2nd or 3rd century Christian inscription in Egypt for Artemidoras, whose mother is described as "Paniskianes, being an elder" (presbytera). A memorial from the 3rd century for Ammion the elder (presbytera). A 4th or 5th century Sicilian inscription referring to Kale the elder (presbytis).”

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.

Ian ▓▓▓▓▓▓


(Notice that last names are replaced by ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓. This is the internet you know.)

(Another footnote: ICD is like our church's non-Catholic version of CCD. Except it's only a year. For those of you with no religious history whatsoever, that means a class about religion.)


#9 Best David Bowie Songs- Queen Bitch

For a song entitled "Queen Bitch," most peoples' first expectations as such would probably not include the word "catchy." But Bowie's 1971 gem embodies the word in much the same way as Warhol's Campbell's Tomato Soup cans. Indeed, this is pop art which is literally pop.

A completely non-derivative hômage to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, "Queen Bitch" opens with an infectious, fast acoustic guitar progression which is quickly echoed by grittily distorted electric guitars. Bass and drums are next, followed by Bowie's vocals. He sings as though he were telling a joke, either putting himself cynically above the situation or stupidly below. "I'm up on the eleventh floor, watching the cruisers below," he sings, almost hilariously condescendingly. And although the word "bitch" is never used in the lyrics, Bowie makes it clear how he feels about the "Queen":

Walk out of her heart, walk out of her mind?
Oh no, not her!
She's so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that.

Although making it in the style of the Velvet Underground, he actually ended up resembling the later sound of T. Rex (the Electric Warrior/"Bang a Gong" era) more than he did Lou Reed. The resemblance to VU is clear though, especially during the intro.

"Queen Bitch" lived a second life on iTunes recently after being featured in the trailer for the Harvey Milk biopic, "Milk." Most people who didn't already know the song, however, now know it as "that catchy song from that one movie commercial." Such are the way things are.


Sorry About The Lack Of Posts.

I had a wedding in Minocqua to go to, it was hours and hours away from my house and the guest place we were in had no Internet. And I'm really busy lately, but I can promise that come Monday, you can expect either the 9th-best Bowie song or an essay on why the entertainment industry needs to be completely destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up. We'll see.


#10 Best David Bowie Songs- Let's Dance

Let's Dance is almost 2 separate songs: the strange, yet commercial and danceable, single version (first widget on the bottom) and the incredibly bizarre club-bounce album version (second). Don't be afraid to like the single version better, though; even classic rock stations that always play the album version if there is one play the single version of this one. The single version, which even Bowie would agree is the real song, opens with a Beatlesque rising vocal harmony, segueing into a high-bass, Chic-inspired, segmented stomp with synthesized, distorted brass alternating with a deliciously funky bass riff. It is then followed with a heavily echoed, phased, everything'ed vocal trade-off of the Beatlesque backup singers wailing "Let's dance" with Bowie crooning "Put on your red shoes and dance the blues." Vocals, songwriting, instrumentation is all exellent. It's obviously a product of the musically gilded '80s, but it is definitely one of the best products, showcasing the instruments and vocals in a non-sickening way, which is better than most '80s songs could be said to do. Also, instead of just using the drum machine because he can, Bowie's drum machine on this song aids the melody and texture of the song.

The album version opens with a strange, heavily synthesized and hypnotic percussion beat, followed by pumping, funky synths and heavy bass, then a sharper, more synthesized version of the main guitar riff, eventually leading into a muddier version of the well-known vocal intro, but with the drum machine and bleak synthesizers much higher in the mix. This leads into the background singers, accompanied by a hellishly high synthesized and/or distorted saxophone. This version is generally faster, and mimics the electronica and club music which would find its way closer to mainstream a few years later.

I would love to hear your comments as to which version is better. My vote is with the more melodic single version.



People actually read the blog! Past one hundred bay-bay! See that counter? WORD!


R.I.P. Pushing Daisies

Last Saturday was the series finale of Pushing Daisies here in America. Originally there would have been two more episodes, but ABC (those bitches) cut it prematurely, so they
re-filmed the last 5 or so minutes to close loose ends. To mourn the loss of the best show on broadcast television, not only can you buy the compete series as soon as it comes out, you can also read these quotes I've compiled.

Emerson: Well, that idea just made a stupid idea feel better about itself.

Olive (to Randy): Sorry if I was sending you mixed messages. But, you know, messages are like nuts. Who wants all the same kind? Mixed is the best. (nervous laughter)

Narrator: The pie-maker helped his friends in need. Not by pretending he was something he was not, but by embracing the very thing he always was. It gave him a feeling of joy he would later liken to leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

[Ned and Emerson standing in front of Sister LaRue's body]
Ned: I'm not sure how I feel about doing this... here... with her
[Indicating the Statue of Mary]... and him. [Indicating Jesus on the crucifix]
Emerson: Well it ain't like he ain't never done it before; remember Lazarus?

Emerson: The truth ain't like puppies, a bunch of them running around, you pick your favorite. One truth and it has come knocking.

Ned: Is this a bad idea? Olive as a client? It's a little bit too close for comfort.
Emerson: Oh, hang on a second. Let me ask the money. [holds hand up to ear like a telephone]
Hey, money, it's me, Emerson.
I'm good, I'm good. Yeah. Thanks for asking. Say, can I still pay my bills and buy stuff with you, even though you was Olive's money first? Uh huh.
Ned: Wait.
Emerson: [still talking, laughs.] Yeah. OK, then. Thanks! [puts hand down] The money don't care. Touch him.

Chuck: What? You love secrets; you want to marry secrets and have little half-secret, half-human babies.

Emerson: I'm not God, but if I was, I'd be an angry God.

Olive: Get out. This is a pie shop, not an herbal crack den.

[Olive talking to Digby (the dog), Digby licking Olive's hand]
Narrator: As Olive considered how much she loved Digby for paying attention to her when the pie-maker would not, Digby considered how much he loved salt.

Emerson: Sounds like you're narcoleptic.
Ned: I suffer from sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep?
Emerson: What's the other one?
Ned: Necrophiliac.
Emerson: Words that sound alike get mixed up inside my head.
Olive: Me too. I used to think that masturbation meant chewing your food. [Pause, everyone stares] I don't think that anymore.

Narrator: Exactly one mile to the west, Emerson Cod was also not thrilled. During times of stress or anxiety, he liked to knit. Since the arrival of the dead girl who was not dead, he found the stockinette stitch relaxing.
Chuck: Is he [Emerson] upset you brought your childhood sweetheart back to life?
Ned: He barely knows you're here.
Narrator: But in fact, Emerson had already finished knitting a sweater vest and two handgun cozies in the week since Chuck's return.

Ned: "Maurice" and "Rolston"?
Chuck: You didn't even know their names?
Ned: You know, I'm glad Dad got so fun and creative with naming after he left us. "Goodbye, Ned. Hello, Mercutio and Ribald."

Narrator: The firm of Cod & Cod dedicated itself to the pursuit of truth at all costs... a pursuit the young Emerson found "badass."

Olive: [when checking into nunnery and told to sacrifice her belongings to the church] But I like my belongings. That's why they belong to me.

Vivian: It was her father's. I'm sure it's teeming with fungus and microscopic bugs that feed on flakes of human skin, but she was fond of it.

Olive: These nuns aren't my people. Unless you're telling me "flibbertigibbet" is a title of respect.

Olive: I am a sawed-off shotgun full of secrets.

Olive: Look carefully, ladies, this is your future.
Lily: Is it vodka?
Olive: Water.
Lily: As in Russian for vodka?

Vivian: Lily doesn't believe in water anymore. She thinks it's a waste of a perfectly good tumber.

Every once in awhile I'll pull out the old Pushing Daisies quote book and we can reminisce through this underread blog. Care to join me?

Quick Change

It's now the top 11 Bowie songs becasue I forgot to add Rebel Rebel to the list and I can't delete the review of China Girl.