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The Appearance Of Evil


Beowulf
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"Abstain from the appearance of evil..."

 

I can't count the number of times that phrase from 1 Thessalonians made my life hell. The results and edicts it imparts upon its adherents are often completely illogical. For example, I have mentioned in other threads that my mother would let us play Crazy Eights if we used cards specifically designed for that game. If we used a standard deck, it was forbidden, because it might appear that we were gambling. Nevermind that there was no one else in the house. To my parents, the appearance of righteousness was nearly as important as the substance.

 

Having reached adulthood I thought I was free from this. My parents and I had gone out to eat, and on the way back I convinced my mother to purchase a lottery ticket. Despite her aversion to gambling, she sees no problem with raffle tickets, and won several nice prizes. Getting to purchase a ticket was an amusing adventure, so I posted the following on my blog...

 

A bit o' history. My mother is extremely lucky. During her lifetime she has won many prizes in various drawings, including one large doll, not one, but two 21-inch televisions (in separate drawings), and a 1931 Ford A-Model - an honest-to-goodness antique car that probably financed a good bit of my college education when it was sold.

 

Needless-to-say, I've always tried to get her to buy a lottery ticket. While living in Arizona a decade ago, I at least got her to give me numbers, and I had her breathe on the ticket, but it didn't work. Tonight on our way back from the restaurant I decided it was time for more drastic measures. Powerball is at $179 million, so it was worth a shot. We stopped at a Little Cricket convenience store. I walked in with my mother and gave her $2 for tickets. She wanted me to hang onto the money and pay the man, but I insisted that the money must pass from her hands to the cashier for the two Quick Picks. She then wanted to give me the ticket. Again, I insisted that she keep in until after the drawing, or the mojo just wouldn't work.

 

Call me foolish. Call me superstitious. Just don't call me tomorrow morning when you find out I'm a multi-millionare.

 

My mother never reads my blog. That is, until now. I got a call from her that she was terribly offended, and that I should remove it. I found out later that she had spent the weekend with her older sisters, who are the worst types of fundies, and are terrible judgemental of her.

 

I figure I'll let time pass and hope it blows over.

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I think the whole problem with that is that judgmental people can judge anything as evil, even if it's not. For example, reading science fiction and fantasy. Not evil. Harms no one. Yet, a good many judgmental fundies look on those of us geeks with disdain simply because fantasy has "ZOMG TEH EV1L MAG!K!!!11!" in it. As if reading about it could make it real. Sigh. Just goes to show how few fundies can tell the difference between reality and make-believe. Yet, that is the very reason most of them claim to be against fantasy stories like Harry Potter ("oh, the kids won't know it's not real"). Because they themselves can't tell the difference and believe literally in fairy tales. Arrrgh!!

 

As for your blog, you should be able to change your username and not let her be aware of the change. Just tell her you deleted it. Or don't mention it. I had to change my username after my stepmom found my live journal and freaked out because I was writing about her (and I'm an adult).

 

Edit:

Another possible thing you could do with the blog is make all your posts friends-only, so your mom can't read them but your friends can, depending on which blog host you use.

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What I really hated about the old, "Appearance of Evil" line was that the stuff everyone was so concerned about was never the important things. A preacher can have a baby's mama, girlfriends on the side, dip into the church's finances and church folks can treat each other any kind of way. Yet if you're caught within a ten-mile radius of the Horseshoe Casino or *gasp* a woman wearing pants to church, you're a heathen. :Wendywhatever:

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As for the blog, I just transferred the offending entries from "published" to "draft" status until they get bumped off the front page, then I'll put them back. She hasn't figured out how to follow the links to other pages and only sees what's on the front page.

 

As a follow-up, I had posted the same "God Can" church sign (see the church sign thread) on my site, and she called to say that had offended her and it also should be removed. My reply was that I had removed the entries specifically about her, but I that I refused to let her censor anything else on my site, especially if it had nothing to do with her.

 

"The appearance of evil" doctrine is so hypocritical. Back to the playing card issue, when we lived in Arizona (far from the eyes of any witnesses) on a visit to see us my mother was willing to spend an evening playing poker for pennies. Apparently that wasn't sinful to her. Go figure.

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line was that the stuff everyone was so concerned about was never the important things. A preacher can have a baby's mama, girlfriends on the side, dip into the church's finances and church folks can treat each other any kind of way. Yet if you're caught within a ten-mile radius of the Horseshoe Casino or *gasp* a woman wearing pants to church, you're a heathen.

 

Which brings up the Christian obsession with physical appearance together. Christians adamantly claim that you can deduct a person's values and character based on how they dressed. They decry materialism but then insist that you wear the most expensive thing you can afford to church. This is so bogus.

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