Saturday, April 18, 2009

these are the dads i know

mostly, in my life (though thankfully it wasn't shoved down my throat), i heard about a dad who has a beard and wears robes and sits on a cloud with angels. he decides, when i die, whether i go to heaven or hell. he sent his son to earth .... and we all know that story. there's the virgin mother, and the whore girlfriend, and all the miracles.

prior to that story there was the story about the the dad, and the mom, who fucked up in the garden of eden. it's really all the snake's fault, or so the story goes, because if the temptation hadn't been offered by the snake then eve (the mom) wouldn't have offered it (the temptation) to adam (the dad) and we'd all still be frolicking, naked, through paradise.

more recently there's the guy (martin luther) who pinned the theses to the door at wittenberg, denouncing the hypocrisy of the catholic interpretation of the stories. and the one (george fox) who rode around northern england telling people they don't really need the priests at all, they can listen quietly and find the voice of 'god,' perhaps interpreted as 'dad' by some, inside themselves. george, and his followers, were not particularly popular with the traditional clergy. same with martin.

in other cultures they, of course, have other dads and moms. the greeks have a timeless tale about a man (oedipus) who is told that he'll end up killing his father (laius) and marrying his mother (jocasta). that's his fate, and there's nothing he can do about it. he flees his village, hoping to avoid his fate, and has a collision with a horse carriage. i don't remember the details, but he ends up killing the man who, he learns later, after marrying the man's wife, happened to be his father. damned fate!!! he pokes his eyes out with needles, and lives with his daughter (antigone) until his death.

then there's mohammed, who was married with a wife and child/ren when he heard the voice of 'god' instructing him to find solitude. while there, he scribed a doctrine that is used, in some circles, to encourage the rape and subjugation of women. i'm not sure mr. mohammed, or his wife and children, would be particularly impressed by that, or by those occupying armies that seem to encourage, rather than change, the status of women who live in the shadow of mohammed.

finally, there's the great abraham. he and sarah, his wife, waited years and years for their first child. they were considered elders by the time the boy-child was born. i'm not sure of the kid's name. abraham's miracle was about hearing the voice of 'god' instructing him to climb a mountain with his son, the one he had waited all those years for, and at the top of the mountain abraham was to 'give' his son to 'god.' by means of execution. this was abraham's intent as he climbed the mountain with his son - to kill him. climbing the mountain, thinking about killing his son. climbing, thinking, climbing, thinking. one can only imagine sarah's feelings about all this. luckily, at the last minute, 'god' told abraham that he had, in fact, changed his mind. it wasn't the child that god wanted, as it turns out, it was merely a sheep. silly abraham! luckily he got the story straight, at the last minute. abraham slaughtered the sheep, took the boy down the mountain back to sarah (who would, no doubt, have been quite relieved).

and the rest, as they say, is definitely HIStory.