By Cathy of Alex
I want to, I'm compelled to, add to an excellent post that my friend Mitchell shared the other day.
My buddy, Quantitative Metathesis recently gifted me with a copy of "Bad Girls of the Bible". She was a tad apprehensive when she gave it to me. Would I take it wrong? Would I think she was making a commentary on me?
She needn't have worried. I was delighted. I speak "Bad Girl". I even owned the album in the late 70's-scary when you consider I was not even 12 at the time.
I've seen the bumper stickers Mitchell is referring to. I agree with his interpretation of the reasons why people put them on their cars. I've also seen these bumper stickers "Subvert the dominant paradigm". I believe those bumper stickers are added by folks who think that the dominant paradigm subverts their right to liberality as they see it. I disagree. I think, the dominant paradigm these days IS liberality. Liberality of body. Liberality of thought. All of which has it's roots in liberality from morality. If anyone should be suberting the dominant paradigm, it should be Christians.
If anyone should be subverting the dominant paradigm of our culture today, it should be "bad" girls and boys-like you and me. Like most Orwellian beliefs these days: bad means good.
The Bible and almost all of Catholic history is full of people, women AND men, who were bad, who subverted the dominant paradigm.
The Woman at the Well who dared to engage a man (even if it was Jesus it was still a MAN at the well, which was also a subversion in and of itself since men did not hang out at the wells unless they meant trouble. Water drawing was women's work) in conversation. When you reflect that she was questioning with Jesus Himself it becomes even more subversive. The Woman with the Hemorrhage who touched the hem of Jesus' cloak, The Mother of James and John who had the audacity to ask that her sons sit at the sides of the Lord always, The Canaanite Woman who reminds the Lord that even the dogs eat the scraps from their Master's table, The Magdalene, the woman with the demons who some traditions maintain was a prostitute before her conversion, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar who anointed The Christ for His burial.
The Centurian who asks for healing for his servant and amazes the Lord with his simple faith (a statement we recite to this day at Holy Mass), the Apostle Thomas whose disbelief and stubborn refusal melted into the most powerful 5 words there is: "My Lord and My God", the Apostles as a group who were always failing (most spectacularly with Judas but they all did at some time or another), the man carrying the water jar in Mark 14:13; men did not carry water in those days. What was this man doing? Obviously, he was a sign and an obviously out of place occurance for the Apostles to follow to find the room for the Last Supper.
Christianity and Jesus Himself records these deeds well. Who knows but even Judas may have been forgiven? It's for God to say.
Those are some people of Scripture. Christian history has given us Martyrs in France, Japan, Korea, Mexico, China, during anti-Christian persecutions in those lands.
Clearly, these Holy Martyrs had faith, a faith that sustained them and told them that what was going on must be resisted. They could not, in good conscience, just "go along" with the dominant paradigm. They died for their beliefs.Christianity does not advocate subversion for the sake of subversion, because it's 'cool' to be countercultural..No, we must serve both God and Caeser, but if Caeser is enforcing laws that we cannot, as people of Faith, accept, then we resist.
If that makes us bad in the eyes of the world, than so be it. The eyes of this world don't matter anyway. THE eyes of the other world do.
Herod told The Magi to return to him with word of where to find this Savior so he could "worship" Him. The Magi resisted and did not return to Herod. Thus, they subverted the civil authority of their day so that the Infant Jesus would be safe.
Maybe Bad Girls and Boys do make history-the only history that matters.
Remember, though, there was one girl who was never bad: Mary, the Virgin Mother of God. I think it's safe to say, she made history too. In a big way. In a way, none of us girls, or guys, will probably ever top whether we are 'bad' or 'good'