used cars, used religion, Christianity Today, and Audre Lorde

My son Matt has a car with over 300,000 miles on it, a 1999 Honda Accord.  

Matt's granddad drove that car off the lot, brand new, and meticulously maintained it through the first half of its life.  Next, it came to us where wedidthebestwecouldandweapologize.  When Matt graduated from college and needed to upgrade from riding a bike, the Accord passed to him.  

It's been a great, great reliable car for so many family members, but these days we wonder when it will come to the end of its useful life. 

When it gives up the ghost, we will be sad.  We'll gratefully remember the places that car has taken us, the conversations it sheltered, the convenience it gave us.  

But when its useful life has ended, we'll let it go and find new means of transportation.

Capitol Reef National Park, photo: Andy Bruner

Capitol Reef National Park, photo: Andy Bruner

This past week, Christianity Today published an article titled: Who's In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere?   

It turns out that the article was actually only about one side of the Christian blogosphere: the female side.  The author, a female Anglican Church of North America priest, never talks about who's supposed to be the boss of the boys.  

Nope, it's only about who will get those darn women under control.  

The sarcastic responses just boil up out of me:

First they told us we couldn't talk in church.  

Now they're saying we can't talk on the internet, either!

Lord only knows what will happen if you give a woman a blog!

Next she'll have the right to drive!

The right to vote!

The right to own property!

The right to an education!

The right to divorce her abusive husband!

Oh wait.

We have all that...

And you know what?

We also have the right to speak, given to us by the God who gave us brains with vocal cords attached.

I don't know about you, faithful reader of this totally rogue completely unapproved writing site, but I no longer listen to people who use the rules of religion to silence, shame, and oppress anyone, including myself.

Instead, I listen to voices like Audre Lorde:

I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.... What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.

I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.

Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end.

And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” 

― Audre Lorde

I'm sure that listenting to Audre Lorde is exactly the sort of thing that Christianity Today would like to prevent.

However, it's too late for that now.  Gutenberg made a printing press.  I learned to read and write.  Al Gore invented the internet, and here we are: Pandora's Box all over again.  

I know what I know, and I can't unknow it.

I worry about you, though, dear reader!  

What will happen to you if I say something wrong?  

Who will save you from too much Love here at the Kay Bruner blog?

Oh wait.

You have a brain.

You'll use it.

You have a mouse.

You'll click the unsubscribe button.

Oh.

Well, then.

Carry on.

Meanwhile, that old used religion has clearly come to the end of its useful life for me.  I'm glad I've long since been able to let it go, and I'm endlessly grateful for the Love that springs up into new Life instead.

Utah wildflower, photo: Andy Bruner

Utah wildflower, photo: Andy Bruner

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