Archive for November, 2003

On Being a Post-Christian

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

Quatrain 158, Open Secret: Versions of Rumi,
(tr. by John Moyne and Coleman Barks, Threshold Books, 1984)

The Social Construction of the Feminine (1941-1963): A Personal Memoir

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

In the 1970s, when NASA spacecraft performed docking maneuvers in orbit, the Apollo and Saturn modules consummated their couplings with the aid of a very large (but quite simple) male plug and female socket. The Soviet space agency of that same period equipped its Soyuz vessels with a male-female interlink almost identical to NASA’s. However for the linkup between Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19, in July of 1975, U.S. and Soviet aerospace engineers designed an incredibly complex (and inefficient) set of docking clamps that bore no resemblance to the genitals of any known sex. This was necessary for one reason only: on that historic “first date” between the two rival space agencies, neither participant was willing to take the “female” role, which would require its spaceship to be penetrated by the other nation’s male hardware.

Excerpt from a letter from F. Gwynplaine MacIntire printed in the February, 2000, issue of The Atlantic Monthly


Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

Judging from the continued cultural resistance to both feminism and environmentalism, I think we can safely say that both woman and nature have an image problem. As an ecofeminist, I would maintain that these image problems are related — that the degradation of the environment and the oppression of women arise from a single source — that woman, nature and the earth are tarred with the same brush — a brush which is wielded by all religions of the Abrahamic traditions, but specifically Christianity.

Getting Over God

Monday, November 10th, 2003

I no longer believe in God. But before you automatically write me off as a nihilistic atheist, let me explain. When I say I no longer believe in God, I do not mean that I do not believe in a first cause or a principle of ultimate reality or that I think for a minute that what we understand as material reality today is all there is to know. What I do mean is that I no longer believe in that personage called God which we have come to know through the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and the Koran and who, as Jack Miles clearly demonstrated in his Biography of God, is really a very unsavory character. I do not confuse this cruel tyrant with ultimate reality, dear reader, nor should you. As to ultimate reality, I confess I know nothing — except I know it isn’t God.