Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Creation and Evolution: A Christian Witch Perspective

I have to admit it, I was never that close to the earth and her seasons and her influences until I became a witch. Now, that doesn't mean I was a litter bug or anything like that, it just means that I was never that perceptive of the way the earth affects and influences the individual.

One of the things I have always believed about the creation of the earth is the notion that God took his own time creating her and the metaphors of time written in the Old Testament were simply that, metaphors. They were a way for early people to understand how God created the earth and how it became the way it is now.

So, for good or for bad, I will explain how I think the earth was created and remains the product of a divine hand. We are told through science that somewhere in space, particles were brought together and energy was produced that caused these particles to form a mass that eventually exploded, the big bang theory. These particles spun out from the center of the explosion but eventually stabilized into a slower pattern that now spins around the sun, the center of the universe and the source of the particles that are now our stars and planets and even other galaxies that created their own centers and systems spinning around them.

As the earth cooled, there were chemical reactions that created things like water, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, all of the things that comprise life. Life begins as simple forms of bacteria that evolve into plants, animals, insects and sometime or another an intelligent primate appears and that is the beginning of human existence on the earth. I know this is very simple but bear with me. I'm not a physicist or biologist and only a fair paleontologist.

This we are told by scientists was a very slow and complex process, affected by the changes the earth underwent. Animals lived, reproduced and and died by the whims of the weather and the earth. So it was for primitive man.

Sometime during the development of man, they begin to consider how they came to be, how they came to live in this place and what was beyond them, in this world and the next. They tried to puzzle out these questions by observing nature. They did not understand thunder and the lightening and the hurricanes and tornadoes and the tides and the volcanoes, so they believed they must be the presence of the gods and they studied and meditated on the gods and some believed because they were patient and prayerful that they were given revelations about the gods and how they came to be and how the earth was made.

And the writer of the first five books of the Bible was no different. Moses was a Hebrew, born among the slaves of Egypt but he was raised by the sister of the Pharaoh who thought Moses was a gift to her from her dead husband. He was raised among the other royal children and was taught the ways and cultures and histories and religion of the Egyptians. When he is exiled from Egypt, he goes out to find the people of his birth and he found the people of Midean, people who would eventually become Muslims and they told him the stories of their religious beliefs, which was basically Hebrew. As Moses gains authority in his own people, he decides to compile all the stories he heard (as they were primarily oral traditions) to make a permanent record of the stories he heard.

He hears that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, but we are also told that a thousand years is but a day unto the Lord. We hear fabulous stories of Methuselah who was well over 900 years old when he died. So, one of the things we as philosophers must accept is that God does not count time the same way as humans do. For us, time is arbitrary, we simply say one day is from dawn to dark. We count time in the most basic way.

So what if Day One of Creation is longer? Day One then is the period of the big bang. God pulls to himself all the energies that exist to him and in a clap of his hands, causes the big bang to create the planet we stand on. Day Two is the cooling period wherein the waters and the atmosphere is created. Day Three is the beginning of simple life and so on until we get to the emergence of man.

Now, I personally don't believe we evolved from apes. I think our genetic partnership with the great apes is one we share with all living things, break us down and we are all carbon. What man evolved from was a primitive, thinking creature that began to contemplate beyond his circumstance and as he evolved his understanding became more complex. We are still evolving. Americans look different from their ancestors who landed on the shores of New England, those folks look different from their European ancestors of 700 years ago, and those folks look different from their ancestors living not very differently from the aboriginal peoples of America.

Evolution means simply change over a long period of time. To deny evolution is to deny the very instrument of God. I read a book called Einstein's Universe. I thought that Albert Einstein would be so elliptical and difficult to read, but what I discovered was a man of faith. And don't confuse this with religion, because though Einstein was raised as a Jew, he had very little feeling for religion. One of the things he said though was that science can only answer so many questions and then you have to say "What next?". He said that that after you get to the Big Bang as you work your way back through time to the very moment, you have to ask, "What next?" He described the Creator as the Priam Mobile, the prime mover. He said that someone had to touch off the spark, the act that caused the big bang. He said that religion without science is ignorance, and science without God was folly.

As a Christian and a witch, I have begun to observe the earth and the planets and the moon. I have begun to observe the seasons, and the tides and the way things grow. I have begun to ask the question of how to leave a smaller footprint on the earth and make the earth a better place. Because though Fundamentalists dispute the notion of evolution, they ignore the sacred duty God gave them to care for the earth. They say God called the earth into existence by the mere sound of his voice but then they ignore the fact that the earth is burning up and being consumed and her inhabitants are being destroyed.

If you believe that God was a part of an evolutionary design or if you believe that the Lord created earth in a day, then you must believe that you owe a duty to the earth. After all, he commanded that we care for his garden and its inhabitants. Or are you doing what you accuse us of, picking out what we want to believe about the Bible and making the rest over to suit our needs.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Here are the Daughters of Eve

I just read on the internet that there are places in the world that condones the "honor" killings of women who go against their families. Places like Pakistan and India and Saudi Arabia and Iran and Iraq and Africa where women are still considered chattles and according to the most extreme versions of their religions and cultures are not even endowed with human souls, unable to recieve the benefit of an afterlife because they had the nerve to be born women.

It sickens me, and not because I think that Christianity is unimpeachable in the matters of recognizing the humanity of women. I am sick because there are still places in the world where women can be forced to have their clitorises removed in savage, unsterile rituals, where women can be accused of lechery because she has the termerity to say that she loves someone outside her class, or that she doesn't love someone her fathers, uncles and brothers have chosen for her. Where women cannot seek out modern medicine because they can't disrobe in front of a male doctor and female doctors are unable to practice, so they must have painful births without the aid of medicine, and sometimes die from botched deliveries, babies who should have been delivered by cesarean, or are punished because their first baby was not a baby or cannot concieve at all.

There are places in the world where women can be sold as if they were a car or truck or even cattle because their families can't care for them. There are places in the world where men can and do cheat on their wives and give them the AIDS virus, and are then punished because they are accused of infidelity while their husbands walk away free to infect more. I read a story that there were a rash of rapes in small African village and one of the victims was a small baby baby girl of only a few months old. The local medicine man told the men that they could get rid of the AIDS virus if they had sex with a virgin girl. They could not find anyone but the small baby girl and they opened holes in the body of that precious child and raped her through them because her vagina had not been formed yet.

Here in America, women complain about everything, they think they have it so hard because they don't have a pair of Jimmy Choo's or if they aren't keeping up with the Paris Hilton's or the Brittany Spears' or they aren't like "Desperate Housewives". I see them, walking around half dressed, with glazed looks in their eyes as they talk non-stop on their cell phones carrying their scurvy little dogs in their hand bags. But there are women out there who would love to live in the poorest American home and work the hardest job if it meant that they would be safe, that they wouln't be raped and considered "damaged goods" by their families, or they could say no to a husband who wanted to have sex with them after working like a slave hauling water from a mile away while her husband sat in the shade with the other men because hauling water is woman's work and wouldn't dare do such a thing.

I don't just castigate these primitive countries, I point my fingers at the US. I have been in those fundamentalist churches where women are ordered to be silent, to obey your husband, even when he gets you with one child after another and forces you to home school them and doesn't lift a finger unless it is to raise your nightgown. I point my finger at the men in the US who go on foriegn trips to these countries so they can see exotic sexual practices and have a few practiced on them, sometimes by the children no one wants. I point the finger at my government who since the days of colonial expansion we wandered into these primitive countries and raped the land of their people and their valuable natural resources and then left them for the vultures in the form of dictators and despots. South America, the Congo, India, they were betrayed by the so-called Christian countries after they were exploited.

Women were created by the hand of God, to be a helper to Adam in the beautiful garden. Because she was taken from Adam's body, men are to love their wives because they come from them and they from women. We are all beautiful creations of God and to desecrate one another with violence is desecrate God. And not just the God of Christians or Muslims or Jews or Pagans. We are the reflection of the divine. You want to see the face God? You want to see the God Particle? Look in the mirror, look into the face of your sister, your wife your daughter and your lover, your father, your son, your brother and there is God. And the next time you rape a woman, or beat a woman, or deny the basic human rights of a woman, all of these things will be done to you. For you come from the Daughters of Eve.