Sunday, 4 October 2009

Colour and Confusion

These are neurons - although not mine, so far as I know.

St. Francis of Assisi, best known for his role as Dr. Doolittle in the film of the same name, had his day today. Yes, 4th October is when churches welcome everyone's pets in to pee on the floor and be blessed.
So, Whisky went to church, and got blessed, he also got admired. A lot. And he dug up earth outside in the church grounds until I decided it was probably not a good idea to be digging in the earth in church grounds.
Whisky has now doubled in size since we got him, no longer resembling a Guinea Pig, but rather a small dog.
In church, someone other than the vicar, made up a new chapter of Genesis, in which God - still as sexist as ever, invented dogs to be the constant companion of Adam (yep) and to reflect God in Adam's eyes, and would therefore be called 'dog' - God backwards, natch - owing to the fact that they had run out of names. All dogs are he.

Ok, so that was the afternoon service.

This morning, a visiting vicar kept referring to God as 'he' in his sermon. I asked him afterwards if he thought God was white. He told me that God was all that we are. Good answer, and I'm not male, so is God not male then? Of course not. So why the 'he's then? Good point. The visiting vicar was incredibly receptive and apologetic, and in fact works tirelessly for equality in the church, which I believed, owing to the fact that he was black.

Now this whole black thing, is in fact...getting weird. The visiting vicar didn't look black. At all. He looked completely white but he sounded black. And I was later told that he had suffered incredible discrimination because of his colour.

Then there's Obambi. Someone I know asked a friend the other day, how it has been decided that Obama is black, after all, he is half black and half white, so who decided he was black? Well, to be fair, he does look black....ish.
So it is rather confusing.

Anyway, back to the morning service.
The visiting white, black vicar received the criticism well, but the director of music didn't.
The people who do the prayers and music have been told they must use inclusive language. The music director thinks this is an irrelevance, bizarrely in my opinion, since he has two daughters and a wife.
He transgressed and I called him on it. He said it was because he was Chinese.
English is his third language,
'But you speak it very well,' said I,
'But in Chinese, you cannot tell the difference between the words for he and she,'
'So...that's great isn't it, no gender differentiation?'
'No, there is, the two words just sound the same when said aloud,'
'Ah, fascinating, however the service is in English,'
'But you need to know where I'm coming from,'
'And now I do, and you speak English very well, so I'm sure you know when you're using a word that means one specific gender,'
'It was hard for me to come to Canada and learn English and French and German and Spanish,'
'Yes indeed, unnecessarily confusing really, however, back to the English, if you are unsure about the word, feel free to run it by any of us,'
'But you know, worship is about love and joy,'
'Certainly, but it is important how we express that,'
'You can fire me if you want, but I am here because I love God,'
'Well I can't fire you actually, but I wouldn't want to anyway, you're a good musical director, but you need to use inclusive language,'

Eesh, by the end of it, I was sure he understood my point, but what I wasn't sure of, was whether the upshot would be that he'd come on board or resign.
Either way.


Raymond's Brain said...

What pronoun do you use with God?
Do you alternate, or is God an it or just God, since that's just as short as a pronoun anyway.

Schneewittchen said...

Just God, and instead of 'his' or 'her' we can usually say 'this' or 'the'. It is often easy to just streamline the sentences also, and rationalise how many mentions God gets.

bozo5 said...

God is a He. We know that. Saying otherwise is silly.

What realllllllly makes me mad is when people try to portray Christ as some Middle Eastern Arab like guy. Come on. Get Real. He's a white guy. People just need to accept it.

God is a person like me, only older. He doesn't look anything like you think. And if you disagree I'll fight you over it.

Schneewittchen said...

That's all very well Michael, but it still doesn't help me figure out how to know if someone's black or not.

Sleepy said...

So, are they moving back to the idea that there are degrees of black?
The days when people had Mulatto, Quadroon and Octoroon on their papers and had to use water fountains accordingly.

I think you have to watch your back with the Music director because I think he is setting you up for a 'discrimination' claim.
Having learned ALL those languages he MUST have picked up the concept of gender.
He's being a prick.

Schneewittchen said...

You have made me think, Sleepy. I was stuck on the idea that the bloke had suffered racial prejudice even though he doesn't look black at all. But the whole quadroon etc. thing was about how much (specifically) black blood you had in you, because it was seen as bad blood. I find it very hard to believe that people really still think like that, rather than what I THINK racism is, the idea that black people are in some way not 'as good' as white people.

Sleepy said...

I seem to be doing that to people lately! ;-)