Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."

Last Friday I was having a conversation with a friend about the Book of Revelation, including a Shiva analogy, and I went to capitalize "Destruction" and "Rebirth" and I thought of the Endless and realized that all of the Endless are White. Admittedly, making them racially diverse would come with its own host of problems (tokenism, stereotyping, etc.), but it still makes me uncomfortable.

Folks with better familiarity with Sandman than I have (it's been years since I read the books) suggested that the Endless appear as whatever the viewer's default is, which I had kind of been suspecting, and which is apparently supported in the text by Dream's appearance to a particular character in one story arc -- though problematically the follow-through on this is incomplete, as Dream appears as White in modern America, regardless of the race or culture of the person he's appearing to.


In my conversation about the Book of Revelation, I got into the OT/NT dichotomy, which I've come to really problematize in recent years, and how I now see the Bible as a record of a people's encounters with the Divine, mediated by their sociohistorical context, which reminds me of something I saw excerpted recently:
In March 2007, a reader left the comment: "Would you folks please stop putting the word 'Christian' in front of the name 'Ann Coulter' as an adjective? Those of us who actually do practice our religion would appreciate it."

My answer was no, I wouldn't stop. And my answer about distinguishing between "real" and "unreal" Christians, beyond noting that there are Christians who try to impose their beliefs on others and those who don't, is also no.

[...] Yes, I have personal opinions about how closely self-identified Christians of all stripes hew to their own religious text, but it's flatly not my place to kick someone out of the Christian community, even semantically.

And, truth be told, even if I did feel like it were my place, I wouldn't stop identifying as Christians people like, for example, Ann Coulter, anyway—because Christianity is about culture as much as it is scripture no matter on what part of the Christian spectrum one falls.

-from "On "Real" Christians and Christian Privilege" posted by Melissa McEwan on Shakesville
I clicked through and read the whole post before posting here, and she talks a lot about privilege, which I found really interesting.

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