Thirty and Not Married!

I took this weird, winding road to where I am now.

I’m thirty years old.

I’m unmarried.

I don’t have children.

Ending up in Master’s Commission for seven years threw a kink in the “normal” life, if you will. A lot of people end up attending college after high school, falling in love with someone, getting to work on a career and having some kids.

Not me.

I took this weird, winding road to where I am now.

I’m thirty years old.

I’m unmarried.

I don’t have children.

I’m two classes away from a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

What really got to me for years?

I wasn’t married! All my friends were getting married except for me. I’d been a bridesmaid about five times (or more…I have enough crappy dresses to prove it). Now, going on 3-0, it’s actually not as huge of a deal to me as it was when I was 24. (Though my current boyfriend might argue with me here. =P Love you, babe)

Why?

My dating life has gone through a radical change.

 

Should a Woman Pursue a Man?

Should women pursue a man?

Apparently Mark Driscoll thinks a woman shouldn’t.

I think that this assumption is faulty on several different levels:

  1. The assumption that women shouldn’t pursue a man is against feminism. It also implies that a woman is not capable of choosing who she wants to date and pursuing that person.
  2. It’s also assuming that courtship is right, and the only way to enter a relationship. This is unbiblical and controlling teaching.
  3. It assumes that nice guys, shy guys, or guys who don’t pursue are “cowards,” have “no balls,” and are never going to take initiative in life. (Copied directly from a facebook discussion on the subject).

In my opinion and from discussing this very issue with many of my guy friends, most men like to be pursued. Yes, this means that some people’s interpretation of the Bible is faulty (duh) and that He’s Just Not That Into You is not 100% correct. Contrary to what some people tell you, I’ve found out that guys like it when a girl takes initiative and asks them out on a date.

Does that mean that all men who don’t pursue are “cowards,” or have “no balls?” No! In fact, I’m dating a guy who’s on the shy side when it comes to women and I couldn’t be happier with his characteristics. He’s thoughtful, sensitive, but he’s also really passionate about obtaining his dreams and treating me well. I’d say we sort of mutually pursued each other—it wasn’t completely one-sided on either of our ends. I just heartily disagree with people who assume the worst about “shy guys” or “nice men.” Nice guys aren’t boring. They’re not doomed to be passive all their life. Nice guys deserve a chance!

The language directed toward men in this debate is strongly emasculating to men. Saying he’s a coward if he doesn’t go after a girl he likes, or that he has no balls is really critical and insulting. You’re figuratively castrating a man with your words.

Now, what if a woman wants to pursue a man? Is she a dictator? Does she emasculate the man by taking away his power to pursue and “grow into his manhood?” My answer is no for many reasons. One, if a man’s personality indicates he’s more shy and doesn’t pursue, I think Christianity should butt out and let him be. They should celebrate the fact that that man is different from other men, and being different is great.

A woman who pursues a man is simply saying “I know you’re pursuing me, but I’m going to make the choice who I like and want to date.” IMO I think women who are aggressive aren’t a dictator and that’s a real scary line to be skating–calling women dictators because they don’t want to go back to the 1950’s and let a man rule their life.

The premise that women shouldn’t pursue oppresses women based on some out dated unbiblical teaching that assumes what Elisabeth Elliot assumes: that men are Gods, men are rulers over women. Or as Mary Daly put it, if God is male, then male is God. Thus, patriarchal religion, which turns to patriarchal society, which is responsible for the oppression of women, the under representation of women who are educated world wide (especially in third-world countries and on the subject of contraceptives). Women are oppressed by this archaic teaching!

Women, do you ever think twice about the fact that there are no birth control pills for men? Do you ever wonder why women in third-world countries have several children, even though they can’t afford them? In some places in the world, some women are not allowed to choose to plan their families, and they’re not educated on subjects as these because their governments make it illegal. (See Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown for more information on contraceptive education in Third-World countries)

On another note, I’ve been pursued many times by men who were interested in marrying me or courting me (yes, I used to follow that teaching). I’ve also been pursued by guys who I’ve met through friends or school. Many times, they pursue me because they like the “idea” of me, or they’re looking for a pretty ornament to walk around with. I’ve pursued men because I know what I want in a man. Macho isn’t what I want. If that means that I have to kill a bug, or make a decision from time to time, then I’m happy with that. I like killing bugs. Mice, on the other hand, I can’t deal with. I’ve been really unsettled in the past by men who try to pursue me based on what little they know about me. Sometimes they see me as just a pretty girl, who’s sweet and think they can handle me. They can’t. I can tell, and I know myself pretty well, so I know when I see a look in a guys eyes like they want me that that aggressive look is nothing more than desperation and trying to appease society by marrying the “good little wife” who will be forever pretty, who will always do their laundry and always clean up their messes. I’m NOT that woman. I’m an educated, ambitious woman who has a 10 year goal she’s striving after.

I’ve written about courtship before, so I’m going to refrain from it here. But I think it’s wrong. I think courtship is really outdated and fear-driven. There’s nothing “Biblical” about it. It’s another way that many pastors (and even parents) choose to take away freedoms from young adults.

The Closet is Safer than Church

I’m what is called an advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people. What does that mean, exactly?

I’m as concerned for the LGBT group’s rights and respect as I am my own rights. I don’t think it’s gross that men kiss men. I don’t care if men or women marry someone of the opposite sex–in fact, I want them to be married. Preventing them from marrying denies them a lot of things that other couples have, and I disagree with putting a stop to it.

As a Christian minister, I don’t remember having a lot of friends who were LGBT. Maybe there were some people who were gay, but I didn’t know it at the time. I never had a particular prejudice against anyone in that group. I didn’t really think about it. I grew up in a very small town, and went right into church work. I was pretty sheltered.

Coming out of ministry in 2005, I started going to a state university. I met so many people and became friends with quite an interesting array of people. Everyone of my friends was different, and I loved them all. Amongst my friends were hippies, people whose parents grew up in Mexico, African Americans, sorority girls, frat guys, Honors Program nerds, tutors, etc.

Ooooh and I forgot to mention….GAYS!

I auditioned for a friend of mine’s play and as it turned out he was gay. Of course, not all men in theater are gay, but some of them were. And the gays were the most fun for me! We would call each other “girl” and give each other the bitchiest attitudes over minimal things.

There was a serious side to my gays, though, and a major reason we were so close. We were both excluded from church and looked down upon from Christians. I was excluded because of my new beliefs and because I couldn’t look at a pastor anymore without cringing with disrespect. They were excluded for a simple reason: they were gay.

I won’t get into too much detail over my friends’ pasts and the abuse they faced, but I can tell you this: if anyone with any heart had the friends I had, they would look at them as people, not as someone to despise or disrespect. If anyone with any heart saw the amount of anger, violence and “faggot” calling that was projected onto them, you’d stand by them and never let them go.

But, onto the real meat of this post…

Since leaving Master’s Commission/the ministry/Our Savior’s Church (yeah, I get around), I’ve had some people contact me who are gay. Some people are still closeted. Some aren’t.

Those who’ve stepped out of the closet and told their friends and families often have similar stories. If their families are Christian or religious, they’re often shunned, cussed out or called FAGGOT or worse. One of my friends was called a cock-sucking bitch by his mother. Another friend of mine was called a faggot by his dad. Many of their religious friends have shunned them. Some of them have religious friends who are only moderately religious or not religious at all and they’ve embraced them.

Sad.

It’s sad to me that “Christians” don’t embrace gays.

Maybe they don’t understand their sexuality, but there’s a lot more to a person besides their sexuality. In fact, just because a person is gay doesn’t mean their not a human.

Wow. What a concept.

I know, sometimes I’m sooo obvious.

I really don’t like that my friends have to stay in the closet because a lot of really rude people don’t understand their own Bible and instead weigh in on a subject that every Christian aligned politician or speaker or preacher has touched on with limited historical knowledge.

If you want a reference point on the subject, watch For the Bible Tells Me So. It’s a documentary. It’s such a powerful documentary that I challenge any of my readers to watch it and still be anti-gay. Seriously. I’ll give you a dollar if you watched it and can quote to me the entire scholarly context that they give about Leviticus 18:22 and STILL are anti-gay.

That’s dumb. I know. Just because you can quote something doesn’t mean you understand it–like the Bible. :p

I’m taking it upon myself to see to it within my lifetime that discipleship programs and churches stop doing “anti-gay” programs. I’ll explain.

I met “Sam” awhile ago, and found out that he attended Master’s Commission. He was accountable to his discipleship mentors about his feelings for his ex-boyfriend and they made him attend an anti-gay program. The program was made up of classes that taught him that his thoughts and feelings for his boyfriend were from the devil and he was demon possessed. He’d walked with Satan, so to speak, and didn’t give his life fully to God, which is why he had submitted to these temptations.

I want to punch those m*ther f*ckers in the nose!

Demon possessed??

I know THESE PEOPLE who are teaching him he’s demon possessed. I feel so disgusted that I was in leadership in such a group that allowed this type of oppression and emotionally violent teaching to go on.

For those of you who don’t support gays, lesbians or transgendered people (the latter is a group I think many people have a hard time understanding, especially those in the Christian community), think about this: If you’re a Christian, shouldn’t you fully support the downtrodden? Shouldn’t you stand up for those who are socially in a weaker situation? (by weaker, I mean those who are more prone to violent things happening to them if they’re public about their lifestyle–not weaker in any other manner)

Mary Daly is one of my favorite feminist (lesbian) philosophers. She says that the “classifications of heterosexuality and homosexuality are patriarchal.” I agree. Let me explain her quote.

Patriarchy is the main thing about Christianity that I despise. It’s ran by men, and women are secondary citizens. God is a man, therefore man is a god. In my experience as a reverend, women were respected only secondarily to men. Our voices weren’t heard if a man’s rose above ours.

For more reasons than that, I can’t consider myself Christian. The entire idea of modern day Christianity serves no purpose socially except to oppress women.

So, this patriarchy has set up and mastered it’s structure to oppress women and recently gays. Why? The Patriarchal Standard Male Christian is this: strong, ambitious, straight, a leader, etc.

Gays, lesbians, transgendered…straight women who are vocal and opinionated (ahem….ME!), straight men who are softer spoken, gentle, and not aggressive, etc are all the outsiders in that equation. We don’t follow the Christian normative behavior pattern.

I for one, don’t follow the normative behavior pattern for a Christian, which is why I’m largely an “outsider” even to Christian friends from the past. I’m outspoken. I’m bold. I’m bossy. I’m not afraid. I have some masculine qualities of leadership and ambition. I’m like Tina Fey in Baby Mama, when they’re eating the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and Tina says she’s kind of bossy and Greg Kinnear says, “If you were a man, they’d just call you a prick.” (or something along those lines).

Anyway, I’m beside myself with this post. It’s nothing but rambling and opinion. I better log off before the Patriarchy Police come shut down my IP address.

For those of you who DO think being gay is not a sin, and anti-gay counseling is unacceptable, pay attention to this recent article in Huffington Post on gay counseling in Malaysia.

If you’re LGBT and in a discipleship group, or church, and need help out, please email me at mycultlife AT gmail DOT com. I would be more than happy to provide a ride and a SAFE place to stay to you. There are wonderful people outside cults who think being gay is a wonderful thing. 🙂 I hope you find some of those people here or where you are. Anyone who thinks it’s disgusting, an abomination, sinful, etc. is someone you should avoid.

Disclaimer for Haters: If you don’t like my opinion about this or anything else, take a hike. I won’t post comments about how much you hate gays. It’s unacceptable here. I like gays. I like lesbians. You know the drill. I think sex is a healthy thing–whether it’s before or after you’re married.

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The Cult of Celebrity

My Religious Studies professor used to always say that we Americans were obsessed with celebrities. He called it the “Cult of Celebrity.”

It’s true. We follow celebrities on Twitter, Facebook, and on television. We even have a network that makes billions of dollars just following them. That network is E! Entertainment.

Ironically, E! is one of my favorite channels. I love it. I’m not a huge fan of E! News, but I watch let the TV play and it usually comes on.

I’d never realized just how obsessed with celebrities we all are (yeah, I know…I’m kind of slow) until tonight when they showed one of their top stories: Gisele Bundchen in a bikini.

Really, E!? Really?

One of the top stories was that a Victoria’s Secret model is in a bikini in her home country, Brazil? What’s creepier than that being the top story? Some creeper sat around, hiding behind these bushes until she came outside dressed for the beach.

Leave the chick alone, photogs!

AMERIKA…FUCK YEAH! Sponsored by Bristol Palin

Everything that’s wrong the way fundamentalists think can be understood by a quick glance at Bristol Palin’s blog. She insults our President and essentially all of the world by saying: “Is anyone really surprised by the fact that President Obama came out of the closet for gay marriage? What was most surprising is when he explained how his position (supposedly) “evolved,” by talking to his wife and daughters.” I’m sorry Jesus, er, I mean Bristol, Christian women aren’t to speak, they’re to be spoken to, right? So, if Sasha and Malia’s dad spoke to them they aren’t allowed to talk back? Or even intelligently dialogue with their father? (For the record, the Obama’s are Christians. Just not the Palin-version.) While it’s true that the Bible does teach men that women shouldn’t speak or instruct men, some Christians move past the oppressive texts and don’t treat women as property. It’s probably time everyone sees women, even young women, as intelligent human beings.

As if that wasn’t gross enough, she’s also writing about the 1950’s by saying “shacking up” hurts men, women and children.  Bristol, 1950 called. They want their ideals back. STAT.

Grilling: It’s a Man’s Job

I wasn’t raised with a man grilling food for me. My mom did all the cooking–and is a damn good cook, at that. She can grill a mean steak. The kind that will come up and bite you in the ass. Just kidding…Bad joke. Anyway, somewhere I got the idea that grilling was a man’s job. I’m sure I can pinpoint where that idea came from–Christianity and the fact that I was a Reverend in the South for a number of years. So sometimes (recently) I’d pretend that I couldn’t grill meat because I thought a boy should do it. Not to mention, the thought of hauling a heavy ass propane tank up the hill to my house sounds like a pain in the ass. And the five minutes it’ll take me to figure out how to unhook the old one and rehook the new one? Ugh. Total boys job.

I’m not working at the moment, so my days are filled with leisure and the most awesome shit ever–swimming, reading, Facebooking, sleeping. And, of course, eating. When I’m busy working, I usually get fast food or frozen dinners. My kitchen is tiny and so is my fridge. I don’t have much of a choice. But lately, since I’m at home a lot and often in my pajamas or bra-less, I don’t want to leave–even if it is to go through a drive-thru. So I decided to “man up” (insert LOL here) and learn to grill. Fortunately, I learned you should marinate a steak from my mom and sister, who are both pretty awesome at grilling. You can even use some Worcestershire sauce which is in my budget (cheap). Yesterday, I decided to go get some meats. Steaks and hamburger meat. My steak turned out pretty incredible and so did my corn on the cob. So, with some success, I decided to work my magic on our propane grill and hamburgers. Even though I smashed the burgers too soon and some of the meat got stuck to the grill because of it, and even though my burgers initially fell apart cuz I flipped them too much, I have to admit they turned out incredible. They tasted so great that I’m going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back for being so “manly” (a joke to the South) and being such an incredible cook.

Sperm Donors

I’ve made it clear that I don’t have a husband.

Okay, we get it, Lisa.

You don’t have to have a husband to have a kid, these days. It’s not 1950.

There’s adoption, foster care, and…sperm donors.

You pay like $500 and go in to see the doctor and get the sperm inserted into your Vag and wait to see if it takes. Sometimes it can take a few tries.

So, it’s kind of costly.

But, lets face it. I’m 30, going on 35. Once you’re 35,  your egg count and quality decreases rapidly each year. Once you’re 38, a doctor may have to interfere by In Vitro to get you pregnant. After 40, I think pregnancy is pretty much not going to happen naturally. Or at all, but of course it depends on the woman.

Not to mention the complications after 35: higher rate of miscarriages, higher chances of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities (aka Downs Syndrome, etc).

Maybe I’m a bit of a head case. I mean, I am only 35. I mean…30.

I still have 5-8 years, right?

 

Babies

Awww, the baby!

 

I’m going through a baby craze right now.

I’m 30.

I’m not married.

I make money, and am working steadily toward reaching some of my life-long ambitions.

So, what is it about babies that are so intriguing to me right now?

They throw up on you. They wake you up in the middle of the night. You can’t just carry them around like a purse and set them down. You actually have to keep up with them. Not like my cat, which is pretty independent when I’m at work. I don’t need a cat sitter. I have a litter box and a few toys for him.

Babies aren’t cats.

Sometimes I psychoanalyze myself. With the marriage and babies thing, I’ve come up with this: maybe the reason I want a home with a husband and a baby right now is that I was involved in a group (Master’s Commission/Our Savior’s Church) that summed up womanhood into two activities:

motherhood

and

marriage.

Maybe that’s not it. But, it’s probably a significant portion of my obsession with marriage and babies.

Waiting to Get Married

My dating life has gone through a radical change.

I used to date Christians only. They had to be super spiritual, really love Jesus and read the Bible a lot. Past that, I don’t know if I considered much else.

Now, I date men who are not religious, respect me as a woman, and can handle a saucy woman. Sauc-y!

When I was still into uber Christian men, the only thing I wanted to do was walk down the aisle and pop out some little chickadees of my own. Maybe decorate my house, too. Oh, and collect tea cups.

I never gave myself the time to discover my own hobbies, my likes and dislikes, if I liked fried eggs or boiled eggs or poached eggs. (Notting Hill reference, 🙂 )

I was waiting. A Lady in Waiting, as a book I once read called it. One of those women who was waiting for my Prince Charming to come sweep me off my feet and solve all my problems and take away my loneliness. Waiting for a spouse to COMPLETE MY LIFE.

Until I found my spouse, there was nothing worth living for.

Eventually, I decided that was unrealistic, kind of co-dependent and desperate.

I had to become the  tYpE of            person who

a) was happy and <3 in love <3 with MYself

b) solved my own problems

c) resolved my own feelings of loneliness by creating hobbies, other friends and things that would keep my active mind going.