alixtii: Peter and Valentine Wiggin, from the Ender's Game comic book. (Ender's Game)
At long last, Chapter 5 of "Where the Heart Is" is up!

Where the Heart Is (11813 words) by Alixtii
Chapters: 5/8
Fandom: Folgers Holiday Commercial (2009), Folgerscest - Fandom, Original Work, Ghost Soup Infidel Blue
Relationships: Brother/Sister, Folgerscest
Summary: After spending five years in West Africa, a young man returns home to the United States for the holidays. But sometimes home isn't a place so much as it is a person.

Containing ice skating, a traumatic head injury, a dream sequence, a walk in the park, a meal at a fancy French restaurant, and hot car sex!


( Where the Heart Is, 5/8 )

Podfic!

Jan. 10th, 2012 02:06 pm
alixtii: Jerin carrying Odelia, from the cover of A Brother's Price. (Brother's Price)
So [personal profile] tinypinkmouse linked some of her podfics of my stories to my originals on A03, including some she did over the summer--and which I'd had no clue even existed! This post at amplificathon includes links to podfics (and, of course, my original texts) for "Four Times Tony Stark Met Erik Lenscherr (And One Time He Didn't)" (Iron Man/XMM, Tony & Erik, minor het pairings), "Master and Commander" (Sarah Connor Chronicles, John/Allison), and "The Myrrh-Bearer's Gospel" (Biblefic, Mary Magdalene/Joanna). I'm especially excited about that last one, because I don't even know how to describe it, but there's something about [personal profile] tinypinkmouse's reading that just works for me (I think part of it is the congruence of her non-American accent with the non-American characters), and I'm not ashamed to admit that I choked up at a couple places as I listened to the podfic.

Plus she recorded Road to Emmaus (Firefly, Book, gen), which I did know about before, but can't remember if I mentioned in this journal or not.

And which reminds me that [personal profile] eosrose also recorded a couple of my stories over the past year, and even though I did know about those, looking over my recent entries I never pimped them here. So let me point out that she recorded Fatherhood (Parent Trap, Nick, gen) and Last Day on Earth (Ender's Game, Val & Peter, gen).

Lastly, recent acquisitions in technology related to present-giving on Christmas Day mean that I'm once again able to record podfic, so I spent this morning recording and then editing a podfic (link is to sendspace; it's a 23:40 mp3) of "Tiens, Voilà Dix Sous, pour la Salle-de-Bains" [text] (Buffy, Buffy/Darla).
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
Title: The Myrrh-Bearer's Gospel
Fandom: Biblefic
Pairing: Joanna/Mary Magdalene, with mentions of Mary/Jesus and Peter-->Jesus
Summary: The life story of an evangelist and her wife.

( The Myrrh-Bearer's Gospel )
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Title: Glories Stream
Fandom: "Alleuia" by Dar Williams, in the album The Honesty Room [Sendspace Link] [Mediafire link from Lilith]
Pairing: Narrator (I was always taught to call the narrators of songs/poems "personae," but "Narrator" makes a better A03 tag)/Magenta-Haired Girl
Summary: Heather's not a big fan of Heaven, but Liz makes it worth it.

( Glories Stream )

alixtii: Dawn Summers, w/ books and candles. Image from when Michelle hosted that ghost show. Text: "Dawn Summers / High Watcher. (Dawn)
Four years ago on this date, I created my LJ.

For some of the greatest hits of the Tradëscan Codex, see last year's LJ-versary post. For a comprehensive fannish biography of Alixtii O'Krul V, see my Fanlore user page.

For four years, this LJ has been an integral part of my life. Some of you I've even known longer than that, whether from the time I was reading LJ before creating a journal of my own, from the time I spent at FF.net or the City of Angel boards, or offline in high school or college. ([livejournal.com profile] ladyphoenixmage still wins the award, though, since I've known her over half my life.) I love you all and I thank you sincerely for bringing me so much porn joy these last four years. Here's for another four and beyond, whether here on LJ or on some other vehicle.

I do plan on getting a Dreamwidth account at the end of the month. This promises to be a time of heavy turmoil for me in my personal life, though, so I'm not sure how I'm going to use it. If I have the time, I'd like to create a filter on LJ for mutually friended friends who haven't navigated over so I can still read flocked posts, then read everyone else from over there while crossposting. But I might be forced to stay put out of necessity.

I've been spending some time lately re-reading some of the great chaptered fics I've encountered during my time in fandom, so I'm going to use this space for recs. These are all at least moderately long, plotty, and fun, with healthy helpings of the will-to-power. Some are pulpish with occasional lapses into OOC-ness; others really are deathless prose. They all always reward a re-read for me, though, so I thought I'd share the list as part of the anniversary celebrations. A lot of these count as classics, or at least should, but it's possible that not everybody knows about all of them.

the list )

Today's also Good Friday, so here's a link to my Good Friday ficlet "Mystery." And here's the audiofic version.
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Apparently, I am one of two people on the 'net to use the phrase "consent issues like whoa." (The other is [livejournal.com profile] balefully, referring to an episode of Supernatural.)

Saw Watchmen. Non-religion-related thoughts later, but spoiler? ) really shouldn't spoiler? ) during Lent, you know, if that's the spoiler? ) that's going to spoiler? )

(Now I feel like Stephanie Brown's jumping up and saying "Boo!" every couple of words in that last paragraph.)

And looking at my icon has reminded me that the summary to my fic Left Behind reads, "The women behind the Time Lords, annunciationless."
alixtii: The groupies from Dr. Horrible. (meta)
It seems to me that most if not all religious claims can fall into one of five groups:

1. Practices prescribed for the faithful. Go to church on Sunday; don't eat meat on Fridays; don't mix meat and dairy.

It's hard to get worked up over these, I think; they might be silly, but most organizations have mandated behavior for their members, so why should religion be any different?

2. Ethical precepts. Do not commit murder; love thy neighbor as thyself; clothe the naked.

For most religions, the vast majority of claims of this sort overlap with the similar claims one gets through the application of secular reason. When this doesn't happen (homosexuality is an abomination; women should be subservient to their husbands; suicide bombing is a moral obligation) we begin to have problems, especially since these are considered to be universally normative.

3. Claims about transcendence. God is three persons in one being. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Pretty much any sentence of the form "God is ____." plus a bunch of other metaphysical claims, like about transubstatiation. Claims about the afterlife fall here too, I think. (Afterlife claims are weird because we tend to frame them in quasi-empirical terms.)

Myself, being of a mystical Wittgensteinian bent, I don't think these statements are, strictly speaking, truly propositions as such, but rather gesture towards ineffable truths.

Atheists seem to tend to find religionists believing these things to be silly and wrong, but I don't think that much vitriol can be really served up by a metaphysical disagreement alone. I don't think either side is on particularly firm ground here; the religionist's beliefs are silly and weird, but often the atheistic objection is overly broad and leads to a self-refuting positivism as its endpoint.

Extreme skeptical responses, like "Last Thursdayism," would also move a claim into this category. The problem comes when religionists don't want to admit the move, and treat the statement as if were still saying something about empirical reality, e.g. wanting to get creationism taught in science classrooms. It's a sort of category error.

4. Claims that, while technically about the empirical world, are in practice unfalsifiable. Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead.

Based on how much people fight over what "really" happened based on the available evidence, one can question whether this category truly exists at all. What else goes here? Is the claim that the moon landings were faked falsifiable in practice?

But while recognizing that it's not a hard-and-fast distinction, I think this is a useful category for instances where non-radical forms of skepticism might be called for.

The religionist has to remember, however, that to people who lack her faith commitments, "is not practically falsifiable" is a reason not to believe something, not a reason to believe, especially if it concerns something which as a general rule doesn't happen, like dead people getting up and walking. These, like category 3 claims, are things the religionist believes despite (or, in many ways, because) they are weird and silly.

5. Claims about the emprical world which are in practice falsifiable. Dianetics. Creationist claims which don't resort to Last Thursdayism. Bleeding statues.

Liberal theologies tend to eschew these types of claims altogether; conservative theologies (including but not limited to scriptural literalism) tend to multiply them incessantly. Of course, as long as the falsifiable claims are true then there's not really a problem. Both the biblical literalist Christian and the atheist might agree that Pontius Pilate was prefect of the Judaea province from 26 to 36 C.E. But even here, there's a difference, because the secularist's belief is tentative, subject to revision given new evidence, while the literalist's belief is held as firm knowledge based on faith.

I'm going to take a stand here and say if a religionist believes a falsifiable claim which has been falsified without resorting to a radical skeptical response--which is to say, if she claims to be working within the generally accepted epistemologies of history or science--then the religionist is just plain wrong.

ETA: Fixed the double-posting.

Crossposted from this LibraryThing thread.
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)

Adapted from this LibraryThing thread.

I happen to think the moral strictures, at least, of the Bible are on the whole pretty darn clear, as opposed to being, you know, valent, whether multi, poly, bi (not that there’s anything wrong with it), tri, or any other variation on same: Do not murder, do not have sex with someone else’s spouse, lay off of worshipping big wooden statues, don’t lie with beasts, and don’t lie (if you’re a male) with other males (especially if they’re angels and especially if it’s non-consensual).

In one sense, I agree with this, in that I'm distrustful of the project which claims we can apply a conservative hermeneutic to Scripture and still get liberal conclusions--the What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality project, where it seems to be conceded that the Bible could condemn homosexuality, but it's a contingent fact that it doesn't. Whew! What a relief. [On the flist, I know that [livejournal.com profile] hermionesviolin is a big proponent of this view. Sorry, Elizabeth. --ed.]

But I'm not sure that "clear" and "multivalent" are actually mutually exclusive. It seems to me possible that a certain reading could be clear and at the same time God could be using it to say or do something completely different than the "clear" reading suggests. If one finds evolving revelation problematic, then the fact that God seemingly eschews being clear could be problematic. But since my faith commitments (which are fairly orthodox in this respect at least) don't lead me to do so, the problem disappears.

It seems to me "clear" and "multivalent" measure different things; the former measures plausibility (which I think the religionist by virtue of being a religionist has already abandoned [another point I think Elizabeth would disagree with me on--ed.]) and the latter possibility (which is the space in which religion thrives).

Leviticus is pretty explicit on male homosexuality: "don't do it." But as liberal apolgists are probably too prone to point out, it's in a list that also forbids wearing polyester. Is the doctrine of dispensationalism which supposedly frees us from the polyester rule something read into the Bible, or a direct exegesis of the New Testament? I don't pretend to know. Is the division between ethical and non-ethical rules that exempts the homosexuality clause from dispensationalism exegetical or eisegetical? Again, I don't know. I don't think there's a right answer. (Well, actually, I'm fond of "It's all eisegetical.")

But what I'm left with is that the Bible never says anything simply; interpretation is always required. We don't get very far before my "obvious" reading and your "obvious" reading no longer line up very well.

I don't want to deny that the "condemnation of homosexuality" reading is the most intuitive one. I don't know if this fact says more about us (and what we find intuitive) or Scripture, but to deny it would be disingenuous. All I'm trying to claim is that alternate readings are valid. Which reading we choose will say a lot about who we are as Christians, obviously.

Now, it may be that there are texts that, as modern thinking Christians, we might decide are so inherently problematic that they can't possibly be part of God's Word. I won't rule it out completely. But such a move should only be made as a last possible resort, I think; as long as there are ways to constructively re-vision our understanding of a passage, that should be the preferable route.

Scripture, as compiled under the watchful eye of Mother Church, is important because it is, not solely but nonetheless very importantly, what we as Christians draw on and look back to as part of what defines us. But this is a wrestling with God, not a list of directives. Penuel, not Sinai.

I think we need to be honest about this, and admit that our interpretations are born as much from our moral commitments (both personal and communal--and we cannot forget that Mother Church, fractured and divided as she is*, is guided by the Holy Spirit) as they are from any type of straight, direct exegesis. (These commitments are not prior to our interpretation of Scripture, but rather in constant unending dialect with it.) But I also believe that that's the only game in town.[This brings us to Alixtii's peculiar brand of meta/ethics.--ed.]

[*Yes, there's gendered language there. There's something in the gendered language which I think is particularly effective at conveying a particular (Anglo-Catholic) understanding of the composition of the Church. At the same time, all that bride of Christ stuff is so deeply problematic from a feminist viewpoint. Still at the same time, I didn't actually mention any of that bride of Christ stuff, nor would I ever (although I do refer to the Church as "His Church" upthread), just a positive feminine embodiment of a religious concept, and stripping our religious language of positive feminine embodiments of religious concepts is problematic in its own right. I still don't know how I feel about it all, except that there's part of me that feels really comfortable talking about Mother Church.--ed.]

alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
Once nice thing about having celebrated my birthday yesterday is that my flist is now scattered with people referencing me in the same breath as [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic. It's a heady experience.

Today is Epiphany, though, and a lovely story was written for me in [livejournal.com profile] 3_ships that I'm claiming as an extra birthday present. It's Many Magi, and it's the Epiphany story retold using the Firefly crew, with Simon/Kaylee/River to boot, told from Mal's POV with some exquisite existential angst.

I have two fics in the [livejournal.com profile] 3_ships archive. If you want to guess which ones they are, you can do so here. Comments are screened; comments which aren't guesses will be unscreened.
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
So I'm off to receive The Bishop's Touch--if I don't boil to death in my two-piece suit first.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
The ficlet: Eastertide.

Services today mostly just reminded me how socially awkward I am. Through a series of miscommunications I ended up ushering the left side of the congregation instead of the right, and I spent the entire time I was supposed to be helping old women down the steps dreading the inevitable moment when I would have make eye contact with a certain college sophomore. I didn't even try to speak when she said hi; I learned from the last time when I only managed to sort of squeak out her name.

Alleluia.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Okay, it's not actually Holy Saturday anymore (The Lord is risen! Allelulia!), but here's the Holy Saturday ficlet: Road to Emmaus. I'll post the Easter ficlet sometime later in the day, after I've gone to church and then out to breakfast with my father's side of the family, but hopefully before Easter dinner with my mother's side.

I did manage to watch Jesus Christ Superstar yesterday--alone, in my room as I cleaned. Then I watched the newer British version with my mom (and my brother was on the couch too, on my mom's laptop, so he was sort of watching), but we only got through about half of "Gethsemane" when we had to go eat dinner, and then we didn't have time to finish it afterwards. 
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
The objectless genuflection continues unabated, as does my amusement.

. . .

I didn't get to see Jesus Christ Superstar. The original plan was to watch it with my mom, but then our schedules didn't really end up fitting all that well. Then my parents ended up watching it with [livejournal.com profile] ladyphoenixmage and her family while I went to mass. (Is it a mass if there's no consecration?) Lots of kneeling, but at least this time I didn't tear out the knees of my pants like I did the senior year of undergrad.

Came home and my brother's car was gone. (This is at about 8:30pm, for reference.) He must have been picked up from college by my grandmother, gotten home, and left (to see his girlfriend, presumably). He didn't waste any time, did he?
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
My Good Friday ficlet is here: Mystery. I also went and made an audiofic version of it. I'll send the link to the audiofic archive, but in the meantime you can stream it at my Vox or download it from sendspace.

While I was at it, I recorded an audiofic version of Ari's Theories of Divination, also a Giles fic. Your options are likewise streaming it from Vox and downloading from sendspace.

Okay, now I'm off to watch Jesus Christ Superstar.

ETA: Permanent links:

http://jinjurly.com/audio/mystery/
http://jinjurly.com/audio/theories-of-divination/

Thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] general_jinjur!
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
It always amuses me to watch people kneel to an empty tabernacle.

. . .

Other than that, I still don't have much to say; there's no ficlet (yet; maybe next year, but I doubt I'm going to have inspiration in the next two hours for this year) for Holy Thursday and I can't say I'm feeling particularly spiritual. Hopefully I'll get to watch Jesus Christ Superstar tomorrow to fix that. I was thinking I might make a post about why I find that musical so spiritually fulfilling, but I don't think I'll have the time or energy to make the post.

I will be seeing [livejournal.com profile] ladyphoenixmage tomorrow, though, so yay about that! And I'll get to give her back her comics trades (a couple of New X-Mens, Morrison run, trades that really aren't worth my buying since their Cuckoo content is minimal but which I was glad I got to read) which makes me happy because it makes me uncomfortable having responsibility for them.

. . . I forgot to ask her if she wanted anything in return. Well, I'll just show up with what I think she'd be interested in. Astonishing, probably.

. . .

Fic rec: Phallocentric, by [livejournal.com profile] mmmchelle. SGA, John/Rodney. Rodney can't let John suck his dick, because it's a phallocentric sex act which means their sexuality has been warped by the patriarchy. Or not.

I love how these characters (their fanonical versions, at least) lend themselves so well to this sort of meta-point-making fic. Porn (well, the lead up to offscreen porn, at least) in defense of porn, slash in defense of slash--what's better than that?
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
I really don't have anything to say.

I sort of feel Lent this year has been a bust . . . if anything, I've overindulged myself and have not gotten done all sorts of things that needed to be done, and now I'm in difficult situations in all kinds of ways and still can't get the motivation to do anything about it.

But in any case, I've begun playing Jesus Christ Superstar tracks (and a little Godspell, but mostly JCS--both the movie and original Broadway soundtracks, plus some random covers) and am ready to enter Holy Week.

. . .

Jewel's website would make a very pretty LJ layout. But as far as being the blog of a professional actor, it's kind of hard to take the pink and purple princess theme seriously.

Speaking of Jossverse actors' blogs, let me plug Felicia's again for no particular reason.

. . .

I got an email yesterday saying that we should post our [livejournal.com profile] ninebillion fics. I said, "Oh," and went to my gmail inbox to look up the assignments, picked one of them, and wrote it. (See? This is my attitude lately.) The result was Left Behind, which drew on some plotbunnies I've had about Reinette and threw Lucy Saxon into the mix, mainly because I didn't have any time to come up with completely new ideas. Add religion (to satisfy the 'thon requirements), then stir. Also my first real Who fic, since the BtVS/TW crossover ficlet-things don't really count.

I've already gotten a review for it at FF.net: "how do you know french i can speak it a little but i can't write it!" I <3 FF.net. (Note that the French which actually appears in the fic is limited to four sentences, the longest of which is four words long: "Pourquoi?"; "Comment?"; ""Pourquoi pleurez-vous, madame?"; and "Et vous?")

Other favorite FF.net reviews:
** , YOU GIRLS HAVE WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS. Thinking
ABOUT SEX ALL THE TIME. gO DO IT FOR PETE'S SAKE AND STOP
CREATING THIS ** FANFIC. IT STINKS! YOU ARE GOING
TO BECOME A PERVERT! [for Homework Helper -- do I smell homophobia?]

y, even VALIS is funnier than this **. Heinlein should have know when to quit. And the worst, there is a legion of ee-diots who feel 'inspired' by the crap he wrote...the End of Days is close... [for Adventure -- if one thinks Heinlein is crap, why bother reading fic for it?]
The process of writing itself for "Left Behind" probably spanned 9pm to 11pm. Ish. With reading other things and procrastinating and refreshing the flist and refreshing metafandom's del.icio.us account and refreshing gmail and watching Hercules and Xena on Netflix Watch Instantly.

Somebody talk me into writing Euripedes/Homer?

But [livejournal.com profile] peasant_, that's how I manage to have time left over for activities other than fic-writing (like, say, reading the flist). Whether what I produce in that short amount of time is of any worth someone other than myself will have to decide.

Hail Eris.

Feb. 13th, 2008 08:36 pm
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
I was just approached by a Campus Crusade for Christ member who wanted me to take a "survey." We only talked for about five minutes, but I did my best to blow her mind as much as I could in that period--I certainly succeeded in monopolizing the conversation and derailing her script completely. I gave a very abbreviated version of my religious journey. I gave a quick summary of Discordianism and, being a bad Discordian, attempted to articulate a logic behind it. I talked about the connections between my Christianity and my Discordianism and my relationship with Goddess. I pulled out the Leonardo Boff quote (you guys know the one, right? I had this laptop out, so I just typed "leonardo boff alixtii" into Google) about the interrelationships of the concepts of experience, faith, and belief. She gave me a pamphlet (she was supposed to keep it and just walk me through it, but again, the completely derailed script--she skipped two questions entirely) entitled "Would You Like to Know God Personally?" which I'll enjoy sporking when I'm particularly bored one day.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Has the movement for unity among Christians gone into a coma?

[. . .]

Has the ecumenical movement lost steam? Or has it, perhaps, fallen victim to its own success? One way or the other, does it make any difference?
Peter Steinfels examines the changing way Americans approach the concept of Christian unity, and the way this issue relates to issues of denominational identity: "the looming question for many Christian churches and denominations is no longer whether doctrinal boundaries are too absolute and exclusive but whether these groups can define and maintain any clear-cut identity at all."
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
The problem with the Bible in this culture is that its difficult to know when people are simply playing "How many children had Lady Macbeth?" and when they're being all Biblical literalist about it. Obviously it's a book that's incredibly meaningful to me, and to an extent the way it blurs the line between the two activities is even valuable, insofar as it problematizes our notions of truth, but sometimes I wonder if it's not an area in which the Principia Discordia isn't far superior. (<--Possible overnegation?)

It's a problem I struggle with in the homilies of my own parish priest, since he was a history major and finds it edifying to bring all sorts of facts about the history of Israel--especially during the time when the life of Christ, if he existed in history, would take place--into his personal symbology from which he draws during his sermons. He'll go on and on about the specific socio-economic conditions which prevailed at the time, how the Jews got their water or what sort of houses they lived in, and the whole time I'm fidgeting in the pew, deeply uncomfortable, This is a good thing of course; to be too comfortable would be spiritual death. And il n'y a pas de hors-texte and all the word is Scripture.

History cannot be any less valid a midrash just because it actually happened, can it?

Thus I can recognize the poetic power of the exegesis/eisegesis performed in a post like this, providing valid spiritual insight motivated by the Holy Spirit. Bearing to mind the multivalence of the Epiphany story may help to allow to rediscover truths within which are painted over in the mainstream version. I don't disagree with anything in that post, and indeed everything I have to say can be read as an affirmation of the culmination of its first section: "It doesn't matter." But it has me thinking, I think my own thoughts and struggles are, no more or less than the post linked above, a poem to the glory of God.

Still, to say something like "They were not, almost certainly, kings" rubs me the wrong way. It's not just mining the rich possibilities inherent in an Epiphany story in which the Wise Men are not kings, but a rejection of such possibilities existing in one in which they are. For one thing, the concept of certainty certainly seems out of place to me in a spiritual context, as it leaves little room for faith, of which doubt is a necessary element. If we are certain of who and what the Wise Men were, they in that instant become less interesting.

But it also reminds me of those who are so quick to assert that no, of course Mary Magdalene wasn't a prostitute, as if that were some sort of incontrovertible historical fact about a specific biographical figure: in both cases, it's a rejection of centuries of tradition, of visual art and literature and song, of beauty, denying that it has anything to teach us. The lessons of the Holy Spirit are constrained by such a petty concept as historicity. (As opposed to attempts to reclaim Mary Magdalene as not-prostitute in order to revision and rehabillitate her story, to find ways to undo specific damages the Magdalene-as-prostitute trope has wrought, without the foreclosing of other ways. I think remembering Magdalene as a sex worker has a lot to teach us, as well.)

The names Balthazar, Melchior, and Jasper need not be forgotten.

I detect in the privileging of historical "facts" a sort of Protestant impulse, where they are allowed to usurp the liturgical truths of tradition. As an Anglo-Catholic sort of Episcopalian, this scares me. A lot.

Three wise men, the story goes, came to see the (not so much a) Baby Jesus. As my priest reminded me yesterday, they brought the gifts they found valuable, and which were accepted as such. They were not Christians (obviously) or even Jews, but they were allowed to worship in their own language and in their own way. They were not asked to renounce their religions or their beliefs.

What my priest left out: the story is still problematic in that despite all of this, they're still worshiping Jesus, a fact which still implicitly sets Christianity up above all other religions. Under one reading, the Wise Men are wise precisely because they recognized Christ's superiority. Under another reading, Christ is how we, in Christian language, see the Wise Men's worship. This is precisely why multivalence and ambiguity in the Wise Men story must be preserved; so that we can draw on the readings which are most liberating and constructive in the praxis of our spiritual lives, guided by our battle against injustice: sexism, heterosexism, racial and religious intolerance. This is one of the (many) morals of the Epiphany story: that the people who are different, who are not like us, who don't worship the way do, are on a spiritual path which is no less valid in God's eyes.

Maybe the Wise Men themselves didn't agree on whether they were kings or not.`I kind of hope they didn't.

The Legend of the Three Kings )

ETA: "a multifandom fic-a-thon devoted to exploring the role and concept of faith (or lack thereof) in the lives of various characters."
alixtii: The famous painting by John Singer Sargent of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth holding the crown. Text: "How many children?" (Shakespeare)
Happy New Year, flist!

. . .

If My LJ Were Its Own Fandom...
a. Who would people ship me with?
b. Who would be my arch-nemesis?
c. What would a Mary Sue in my fandom be like?
d. When or how did I/will I jump the shark?
e. Write a one sentence summary of the story that would win the Best Fanfic Award in my fandom.
f. What would a typical badfic involve?
g. Who would be the BNFs in my fandom?
h. Why would my fandom end up on fandom_wank?

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