A wee look at Ephesians 5:22-25

I was a reader at my sister’s wedding this week. The passages chosen were safe: 1 Corinthians 13 (the Love Chapter) and John 2:1-11 (the wedding at Cana). I am reminded of the less safe passage chosen at my own wedding: Ephesians 5:22-25 ff. Reportedly, the reader almost choked on the words:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…. (ESV)

It’s easy to see how this passage is the root of all patriarchy in our society, leading to subjugation of women, blah, blah, blah. With a little bit of investigation, it can been seen as otherwise.

First off, Ephesians was a work of Jewish literature long before it became part of the canon of Christian Scripture. Essential to the Jewish wedding is the Ketubah, or marriage contract, whereby the husband obligates himself to his wife (“Husbands love your wives….”) and the wife submits herself (places herself under) the contract. She is not obligated to love her husband. The Ketubah places all of the obligation on the husband. It’s his promise to her.

Of course, anyone who is committed to 21st Century North American egalitarianism is bound to be offended by the gender distinction, no matter how the roles are defined. However, it’s fun to imagine how this passage might be read in a society where the gender roles are reversed. The husband has to love his wife (no similar obligation on the part of the wife), he has to be willing to lay down his life for her, and she has to do what? Just accept that?

Okay, there’s that headship business, but otherwise, it’s easy to see how this passage is the root of all matriarchy in our society….

Call an infidel an infidel

A rather unimpressive letter has been published on the internet by “The Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau” decrying “[t]he recent attacks in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu [which] have shocked and horrified Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.” The identity of the author, and any indication as to how he/she/they might have the authority to speak on behalf of “Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau” is conspicuously absent.

If the “Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau” or any other group, religious or otherwise, wish to know who to totally dissociate themselves from an individual who claims to represent their ideology, they are going to have to be a good deal less diplomatic about it. Take, for example, the response of the Canadian Forces to the conviction of Russell Williams: His “uniform was burned and his medals were also later cut into pieces, his commission scroll (a document confirming his status as a serving officer) was shredded, and his Pathfinder was crushed and scrapped” (Wikipedia). The message was clear. “You are no longer one of us.”

So here is what I would really like to see from from the “Muslims of Ottawa-Gatineau.” (And let’s make it clear — I’m not picking on Muslims. The letter below could be easily modified by any group, religious or otherwise, who wish to show the world that anyone blowing themselves up in a crowded mall in the name of their deity or cause is actually a loose cannon without the support of the group.)

Dear Mr. Bin Laden (or other terrorist)

As (title of person with actual authority), in light of your resent actions, I regret to inform you of your excommunication. Your actions, which you claim to have taken on behalf of Islam have brought shame to our worldwide community, and are a disgrace to our God. You are no longer a Muslim. As such, you will be barred from the Hajj and attendance at any mosque. May God have mercy on your soul.

You are not a Muslim. In fact, your sin is multiplied by your message to the world that your despicable acts represent our God and our faith. Until your actions and your words show a complete repudiation of this message, you are to be regarded as an infidel by those who were once your family.

It is not heaven that awaits you for what you have done, but the fiery torments of hell. Until you submit yourself to God and his messenger, you are lost.

Signed (name of Muslim with actual clout)

A brief note about tea and surgery

The proper way to make tea is to pour boiling hot water onto the tea bag. Purists would assert that there is certainly a much more involved process, but this is the bare minimum.

On the other hand, when I had my surgery at VGH recently, I discovered that they serve tea in a most unorthodox manner. I was chowing through the most delicious cream of wheat the morning after my surgery when I turned to my tea. Then, I discovered, much to my shock and dismay, a cup of tepid water, and a dry tea bag on the side. I had to insert the bag into the cooled water and wait for my tea.

It is one of the miracles of modern medicine that they can remove a body part from one individual, attach it to another individual, and have it function in its new body.

Yet they can’t even make a decent cup of tea.


Worldly Vision releases their 2012 gift catalogue

The 2012 Worldly Vision Xmas Catalogue
(click to view larger image)

Worldly Vision announced Tuesday the release of their first annual Xmas Gift Catalogue, just in time for Xmas 2o12. “We’re very excited about this new catalogue,” gushes exective director Karma Grey. The catalogue, which features on its cover an enthusiastic tween showing off her new cellphone, allows Canadians to give gifts to needy tweens all over Canada.

“Goats and chickens are nice,” explains Grey, “but we wanted to find that niche that speaks to the self-esteem of a segment of the population that until recently has gone un-noticed.” Tweens, according to Grey, are lost in that gap between childhood and adolescence. “They feel they are ready to venture beyond the protection of their parents, but they are not quite ready to join a street gang or hang out all day at the mall.” Thousands of Canadian tweens, says Grey, lag behind their peers technologically. You might see them with a cellphone, but they can barely afford a phone card. Unable to receive text messages, they are unable to truly keep track of who said what with who and whether whoever knows.

The catalogue contains such items as cellphones, cellphone cards, computer games, internet access and much more. Canadians can pay for these on the Worldly Vision website, and receive a tax receipt.