Adam and Steve

February 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm 12 comments

I was taking both the girls to the library the other day, juggling a pre-schooler, an infant, a big bag of books, 2 coats, 3 toques… you get the idea.

At the edges of my personal aura of chaos (I imagine us surrounded by a cloud of disorder, sort of like Pigpen) there was a guy in the lobby, speaking loudly enough to penetrate my chaos-bubble and demand a portion of my attention. And I found myself trapped in this awful question:

I’m here with my kids. So, for their sake, do I just walk past, ignore this guy, not make a scene, and just let his words just hang there, uncontested? Or, for their sake, do I speak up, and speak out?

What he said was, “… but I’m a Christian, and God made Adam and EVE, not Adam and STEVE”.

Now I wish I’d said something.

I wish I had asked him, when Adam and Eve were created in the garden- what colour were they? And what shape, what size? Was one of them blind? or deaf? Was one of them lactose intolerant? And just who, in the whole realm of human diversity, is he prepared to exclude from the realm of human experience on the basis of the fact that they do not, in these regards, resemble Adam or Eve?

If you have given power and authority to this ancient creation story, do you truly imagine that the entire spectrum of humanity could possibly be encompassed by any two human beings?

I wish I had said, among other things, that I, too, am a Christian. And I worship a triune God. And there is a LOT of doctrine that Christian Churches quibble about, but the Trinity isn’t really one of them. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. First, Second and Third Person of the Trinity. We use different language but one of those (rare) basic, credal statements of faith that we make is that we worship a God who is Three in One, and One in Three.

And Adam and Eve were created in the image of that God.

So, if two persons aren’t enough to encompass the fullness of the Divine reality how could it possibly be that two persons are enough to encompass the fullness of the human reality? (I loved, loved LOVED what Fillyjonk said about human bodies “in all their many forms and functions”)

Or, is it possible, just possible, that the human family, the family of those who are created in the image of God, who, as bearers of that image have a claim and a right some basic respect and courtesy from those who claim to worship the God whose image they bear, is wider than just Adam, and Eve. Is it possible, just possible, that there is not, in fact, one ideal way of being human.

The thing is, the discussion about the Church’s role in the blessing of same-sex marriages is ongoing in my denomination. On either side (and many clustered in confusion, hope, and frustration in the middle) there are faithful, kind, loving, scripture-reading, Jesus-following people who are trying choose a path of true discipleship. There are people I admire and respect on both sides of the marriage-blessing table. (And many who are sick of this subject demanding so much energy, who would rather talk about poverty reduction, global inequality, environmental justice…)

Now, if I could just reduce all that to a rhyming sound-bite I could proclaim it to any and all in the lobby of the public library.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Eh? You went fishin’? Friday Fluff: a happy coincidence

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lori  |  February 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    My favorite response to “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” is “Then who made Steve?” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And, in all seriousness, that was a lovely post.

  • 2. angrygrayrainbows  |  February 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Who made Steve…?
    Ummm…. the Easter Bunny? No, No! The Great Pumpkin! It’s gotta be the pumpkin surely… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sheesh. I believe deeply that God made gay people as surely as he made straight people and volcanoes and roses and parrots.

  • 3. Limor  |  February 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Wow. That was a truly beautiful response to an idiot.

  • 4. KarenElhyam  |  February 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I’d just like to let you know that I’ve missed your posts as of late. You’re a beautiful writer, and your perspective through the lens of faith is deeply illuminating. And this is another great post. Thanks!

  • 5. Twistie  |  February 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I’m not a Christian, but I sometimes listen to people like that and wonder what Jesus would make of them. For the most part, I tend to think He would go all moneychangers in the Temple on their asses.

  • 6. wellroundedtype2  |  February 17, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    This:
    Was of them was lactose intolerant?
    made me laugh out loud.
    I think that when God cast them out of the garden, he also made Eve lactose intolerant. That would explain where I get it from. Pain from childbirth is bad, but it only lasts a certain amount of time. Lactose intolerance is for a lifetime.

  • 7. wellroundedtype2  |  February 17, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I’ve also missed your writing. But I so get what you mean about having the Pigpen-like cloud of chaos around you — I felt like that until my little one was well into her 3s. As much as I would love to have another child, I’m not looking forward to having the chaos cloud of disorder and inability to do anything other than simply hold things return.

  • 8. mrsmillur  |  February 17, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    WRT2, I hope you were laughing at the line, and not my appalling syntax, which I’ve since corrected. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 9. wellroundedtype2  |  February 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    No, didn’t even catch the error — I was laughing at the idea.

    I love reading your writing because it I don’t get to talk much about religious ideas, in particular ad imaginem dei — or b’tzelem elohim — with many others in my life, and if I do explore these thoughts, they are usually with other Jewish people — so it was interesting to think of how believing in a triune god impacts your views. (I also learned a new word in the process ๐Ÿ™‚

    But remembering that I am, we are, made in god’s image is such a grounding reminder of how who I am and how I feel is so much in the realm of the normal, of the experience of being, it breaks through isolation and shame. When I move away from this — it’s like idolatry — a belief that there’s some one concrete image I’m comparing myself to and falling short.

  • 10. April D  |  February 24, 2009 at 9:17 am

    This is a truly beautiful post!

    “Or, is it possible, just possible, that the human family, the family of those who are created in the image of God, who, as bearers of that image have a claim and a right some basic respect and courtesy from those who claim to worship the God whose image they bear, is wider than just Adam, and Eve. Is it possible, just possible, that there is not, in fact, one ideal way of being human”

    YES! It is entirely within the realm of possibilities that by “in his image” we have a whole huge spectrum of humanity and being so narrow as to insist that said holy trinity could have only created ONE single perfect pair is just silly in my mind.

  • 11. Rhonwyyn  |  February 26, 2009 at 12:45 am

    “It is entirely within the realm of possibilities that by โ€œin his imageโ€ we have a whole huge spectrum of humanity and being so narrow as to insist that said holy trinity could have only created ONE single perfect pair is just silly in my mind.”

    It might be silly in your mind, but it isn’t silly in God’s mind. The Bible is explicit when it says that He created heaven and earth and everything in them, including Adam and Eve, from whence all human life has come. The Bible is also explicit when it lists the laws God set for the Israelites, many of which were upheld in the New Testament, specifically to this conversation, homosexual relations. When God said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24), he made it explicit: Adam and Eve – man and woman, not Adam and “Steve” or Eve and Eva.

    If you continue reading in Genesis, you’ll see that Adam and Eve were created perfect, but after they sinned by disobeying God, sin entered the world; their children and everyone after them were born sinful.

    Also, God is in the habit of being “narrow.” The road to perfect communion with God in heaven is often described as the “straight and narrow” because of this verse from Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Jesus also said that He, and He Only, is the way to the Father (John 14:6).

  • 12. Cleric at Large  |  February 26, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Rhonwyn, welcome aboard.

    Your comment is an excellent example of what I mean when I say there are “faithful, kind, loving, scripture-reading, Jesus-following people who are trying choose a path of true discipleship” who are in fundamental disagreement about this question.

    You describe God as being in the “habit of being narrow”. I respectfully disagree. I see an over-arching pattern within the scriptures of God being quite expansive- beginning with the Creation in which “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” (John 1:3). And including (but not limited to) Ruth the Moabite who, in a time when foreign marriage was expressly forbidden, married (not once but twice) into the nation of Isreal, was a blessing to her community, became the Great-Grandmother of King David, and whose story was incorporated into the canon of scripture. Jesus regularly ate and drank with those considered unworthy by the religious institution of his time. Also Peter’s experience of Acts 10, where he is called to expand his traditional understanding of what is ‘clean’ and unclean’.

    The healing of Naaman, the widow of Zarephath, Mary Magdalene, the un-named woman at the well… far from narrow, I read the scriptures and find a God who is constantly inviting and re-drawing the limitations imposed by religious institutions.

    You say “if you continue reading in Genesis you’ll see…”. I submit that even after a thorough reading of Genesis (and a few other books, too) the story of God’s relationship with God’s people is a long and complicated one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


RSS Notes from the Fatosphere

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
February 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728  

%d bloggers like this: