Category: History

right vs might

by Andrea Elizabeth

I am a traditionalist, but not a lay down and die one. Tradition is right, but hard liners who say, ‘agree with the fathers or you hate Jesus’ rub me wrong. As do those who think Jesus has changed his mind, or that the fathers were wrong. I often find myself without a country. There is peace on both ends but not in the middle. Yes the fathers were right, but might there be room for mercy and non superiority-complex hard line tactics? Maybe even a little room for understanding something with a little fuller picture of things that might have been learned throughout the ages? For instance, the fathers were big on personal guilt, individual free will which leads to total individual responsibility. I think there’s room in Christ’s words, ‘it would be better for a millstone be tied around your neck and hurled into the sea than to cause one of these young ones to stumble,’ for a bit of an external cause for one’s stumbling.

But I don’t like for that to be used as an excuse or a dead end. Stumbling can be recovered from and the fathers have the cure. Or at least the path of mercy. The unworthy and those who have no wedding garment have a path to boldly approach with confession, some measure of repentance to be determined by a fallible father confessor*, and a constant request for mercy.

I read a comment on facebook that the recent aggressive liberal agenda isn’t so much directed towards Christians as towards those who stand in the way of egalitarian marxism. Namely white authority structures, which usually do play the Christian and thus persecution for righteousness sake card. If you don’t submit to me, you aren’t submitting to Christ. Firstly, I don’t know why they aren’t so much against “ethnic” male authority, such as Mexican Catholics and Muslim subjugation of women. I guess it’s because European power structures are traditionally the biggest and strongest. I think there is a lot to criticize about white domination, judgmentalism, and destructive profiteering in the world, but these politicians do not offer a good solution. Marxism is tainted with violence and corruption too. But I don’t blame the peasants and former slaves for falling for it.

*Traditionalism is big on authority figures who must be obeyed. Yet they are fallible and sometimes destructively selfish. It is easier to surrender your mind and gain cozy favor by submitting to a demanding authority. It is lonely and difficult to not totally lean on someone that way and take responsibility for your own moral and mental development. Ignorance and blind submission may be bliss, but I can’t rest in it.


by Andrea Elizabeth

Or, the Italian identity isn’t as poor-relation, southern Europeans, but as northern dominating Mediterraneans!

a reasonable facsimile

by Andrea Elizabeth

It struck me in Elisabeth Gaskell’s North and South, BBC version, that people in Northern and Southern England mirrored in many ways the northern and southern cultures in America, mainly industry vs. rural laid-backness. This was further brought home recently when I studied my ancestral heritage where I learned that the South was populated by poor people from south-western England and the North from the more educated, affluent north east of England. And now we have Spain, the southern country in Europe, immigrating further south in Central America. It looks like people seek out and copy what they’re used to, in climate, culture, and geographic proximity.

So then why did the Italians go to New York instead of inhabiting Florida? Ah, they were recruited.

It’s the horses, stupid

by Andrea Elizabeth

“It’s the ‘blank’ (economy), stupid” was coined by James Carville, who will here represent the Louisiana French influence in Texas.

The Spanish brought the horses, whom the Indians adopted. They also invented horse powered cattle ranching, the biggest stereotype people have about Texas. The original Texas white settlers were farmers and brought slaves to harvest cotton fields. Texas is still a huge producer if not the number 1 producer of cotton in the U.S. Cowboy ranching in west Texas developed later. Now there’s a big English Dressage contingent in our area 30 miles west of Fort Worth, which is where the west beings, aka Cowtown. But the most famous dressage horses are the Spanish Lipizzaner Stallions – so there.

Spanish vs. English, not getting much into French colonialization of North America

by Andrea Elizabeth

Apparently the English were more efficient in their use of natural resources. The Spanish were much more embroiled with the Native Americans in trying to convert and enslave them. They pretty much spent themselves in Central America before pushing north. Perhaps they were more feudal in their approach and the English were more capitalist. I get the sense the French were more individualist in comingling with the natives. I’m sure matters at home had a lot to do with how much energy they, including Germany and Denmark, could expend.


by Andrea Elizabeth

But what about the Spanish, you say? Spain and newly independent Mexico were the intermediate powers between the Indians and then the Scottish, German, and Tennessee pioneers. Their explorers where the first Europeans to map out the area and name a bunch of things, but their claim didn’t last. The Indians were still in control, which is why the pioneers needed the canon that the Mexican government wanted to take back in Gonzales, and why the settlers went to war. The Mexicans hadn’t really nationalized the area. Why the Spanish didn’t really settle the northern regions is a mystery to me.

writing about Texas rather than taking a road trip through the bluebonnets, gosh dern it

by Andrea Elizabeth

What is it about Texas? There is something about the geography and geology, but not entirely because if you didn’t know where the borders were, you may not recognize the difference between the other sides of the Rio Grande, Sabine, and Red Rivers as significantly different any more than either sides of the Brazos or Guadelupe are. There’s something about the people born here. It’s a person thing. I reckon it has something to do with the Alamo and gaining independence. Blood of the martyrs? Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin? I think their intentions made this a whole ‘nother country, and the flora, fauna, rocks, springs, and banks of rivers are all set apart by it.

beginnings, middles, and ends

by Andrea Elizabeth

(Superfluous opening statement) The idea of time travel is so intriguing that it captivates many plot-lines such as H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. More recently it is taken up in movies such as the 1978 Superman and J.J. Abrams’s re-imagining of Star Trek. In many stories, the question burns: can you change the  present?

In Back to the Future you can. Its mechanism is alternate possible universes spun into motion by each decision, and so you can go back and make different decisions and produce different outcomes. Very anti-fate. In other stories, which I can’t remember offhand, fate reigns supreme and all attempts to alter outcomes fail.

Interstellar has a unique, as far as I know at this juncture, take on this question. *spoiler alert* In it future beings can assist present beings to make a better future possible. It’s about altering the future instead of the present. Well in a sequel of BTtF I think they failed to fix the glitch caused by going back and had an undesirable future. So the point of time travel became the It’s a Wonderful Life moment where it was all about making Marty appreciate his uninterrupted present life. Don’t mess with fate – compatibalism? You can, but you’ll regret it.

In Interstellar, the undesirable future is speculated on and doesn’t occur, unless the black hole actually killed Cooper and it is really an afterlife story. Still, there is no alteration of what occurs. The future adds to the present (and past) and doesn’t take away from it.

(obligatory transition statement) The idea of changing the past can also be applied to Christian realities.

One view of repentance is that it can somehow take away past sin. I think this is done in a non-fatalistic way more like Interstellar than Back to the Future. My proof is that Christ’s resurrected body retained his nail-scars. He overcame the effects of sin by his resurrection, but his past suffering was not erased. Our resurrected bodies are timeless possibly in that they can time travel, such as Christ’s bodily epiphany to Joshua by the Jordan. But did he have nail-scarred hands? Regardless, he always appeared to Joshua at that time, even if he was from the future, or outside time.

(reluctant wrap-up) The point of locus is different in Back to the Future and Interstellar and heaven. The first’s is the present, the second is awareness of the future and things simultaneously far away but beyond our reach, and overcoming that gap. It is still trying to preserve happiness in the present life, however, even if it isn’t reached until old age. Heaven transcends time altogether, but there are still pivotal moments of decision, such as Christ’s in Gethsemane, and baptism, and then every second staying in that moment.