Monday, March 25, 2013

A Female Jesus - Does Gender Matter To You?

Earlier this month in one of my Skype conversations with my good friend Mark he said that one a bulletin board in Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) had this image of a female dressed up like Jesus being crucified naked.  It was supposed to evoke a debate on whether or not it would matter to you if Jesus was a female or not.  But instead people thought it was for nothing more than sexual erotic purposes.  The following images do have nudity and are meant only to evoke discussion.  I apologize if you are offended, but please don't make it something it's not.  Thank you!

Now, you see the above two pictures are of two women being crucified like Jesus was.  What is the first thing you think of when seeing this?  Sexual, offensive, erotic, inappropriate?  Or maybe thought provoking, interesting, mind blowing?  Those or any others words or phrases are appropriate to use.  Myself, I'm of the latter with this topic and pictures being thought provoking and interesting.

I will say that these woman are beautiful, but that's not the intent of these pictures.  The intent is to evoke some discussion on whether or not you'd be okay with a female Jesus.  Are you okay with that notion and that idea?  Are you okay with a woman dying for our sins?  Are you okay with saying Father, Daughter, and Holy Spirit?  These are just a few questions of many that you need to ask yourself.

When discussing this with Mark, we both agreed with we are okay with this.  I can personally say that I don't have a problem with a woman dying for my sins.  It's the fact like Jesus, this female was chosen by God to dye for our sins.  She was the one chosen to do everything Jesus did.  I know there are lots of people that can't wrap their heads around that.  That it's mind blowing to think that a woman would be held in such high esteem as Jesus is.  They'd probably think it's sacrilegious to think that a woman would be a religious figure during Biblical times.

Here is one thing that Mark brought up and it's that we look at images, iconography, crosses with Jesus on it in churches and whatnot, art, etc. and we see a naked male being crucified.  In some cases, you can see his manhood.  So why would it be so wrong to have a woman in these same things?  Is it more acceptable to see a man in that way.  Is it because it's become more accepted in the world to see woman naked in a sexual sense?  Or is it wrong to view woman naked in this sense?  Some people might think we are objectifying women.  But it's that kind that of thinking I don't like.  Not everything that has a naked woman on it is sexual or objectifying women.  That kind of attitude is one I can't stand.  The double standard is that we don't always see a naked male as sexual or objectifying.  So why should this be any different?

I'm not the kind of person that thinks it's not such a bad thing to have a woman a historical religious figure.  If roles were reversed and women were what men are, than we'd have no problem with this at all.  But since that isn't how it is, a lot of people would be uncomfortable with the idea of a female being what Jesus was because it wasn't what they were taught.  It isn't what they know to be correct.  Maybe we need our thinking shook up and maybe we need to be challenged into thinking that this is alright.  That a woman can be the standard for a prominent historical religious figure instead of a male who was Jesus.

If you had to pick a gender, I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that would say male without hesitation.  If don't care what gender Jesus was.  If He was a female instead of male, like I said, I am perfectly okay with that.  It doesn't bother me in the slightest.  If we had open discussion on this issue, I'd be interested to see if people were okay with these two images because they certainly are okay with seeing a naked man being crucified.  Why is it wrong to see a woman crucified?  The taboo of it all and the stigma needs to be removed because that will be a big step and get a good lot of people seeing this for what it is and not for what it isn't.

I'm open to discussing this in public forums and getting people's reactions.  I want to know if people are willing to be receptive about this idea and not make it into something it's not.  But judging by what Mark told me, I don't know if that's 100 percent doable because someone somewhere will make it out to be something it's not.  We need to stop doing that and see this for what it is.  See it as a means to evoke discussion on whether or not you'd accept Jesus as a female.  Once again, I know I would.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ottawa 2013

I'm finally getting around to posting about my trip to Ottawa last month.  It was an awesome trip.  I got to see some friends and check out the capital of Canada.

I was planning for months and months to go to Ottawa because of some friends I have close to there.  So that was part of why I wanted to go.  That and I have never been east of Saskatchewan plus to some of Winterlude and some friends.

I worked half a day on the Tuesday of my flight.  So I took an afternoon flight from Saskatoon to Calgary than Calgary to Ottawa.  The Calgary airport is like a mall in itself.  It's crazy!  So, my friend Carrie agreed ahead of time to pick me up.  So my flight got in just before midnight Ontario time.  It was good to finally meet her in person.  She gave me a big hug which felt good.  Getting a hug from a friend can feel so good if you don't get them often.  So we drove around trying to find the place I was staying at.  We drove around while I told her the directions on the GPS to get to the place I was staying.  We found it and I dropped off my stuff, than went to Tim Horton's before dropping me off where I staying.  So I decided to walk around the neighbourhood where I was staying and I found this bar called La Maison. I wanted to get a drink, but this chick who apparently worked there was outside smoking.  She was so rude and a bitch to me.  She grilled like I was walking around with a pint glass all drunk.  I wasn't even two hours off the plane and I got treated like that from some female.  She even was like, "I don't know if she will serve you."  It's shit like that that ruins wanting to go in.  But I went in, got my drink, than left after I finished it.  The place was so ghetto and such a dive (not in a good way) inside.  When I go back to Ottawa, I'll never go back to La Maison.  Such a terrible experience.  I didn't let that ruin my trip.

During the day on Wednesday, I walked to the Rideau Canal and walked on it.  I walked what I believe would be east or so, than I stumbled upon Parliament Hill.  So I walked up and walked close to the Parliament Building.  Next time I go I'll look into a guided tour of the Parliament Building.  On the steps of Parliament Hill there are people set up with signs spreading their propaganda.  One guy had one of his signs that was a picture of an aborted fetus.  Pretty messed up.  I didn't take a picture of that.  But I did take a picture of a couple of the other ones.

So I kept walking after leaving Parliament Hill and I found Sparks St..  So I walked down Sparks St. and I found this mall which, if I'm remembering correctly, was on Sparks St. and it had this food court.  I found this very good burger joint called Manhattan's Handmade Burgers.  You may think that burger joints are a dime a dozen in North America with McDonald's, A&W, Burger King, Fuddruckers, Harvey's, Checkers, etc.. But they have great burgers.  I recommend checking out one of their locations if you are ever in Ottawa.  After eating I kept walking around and found other malls one that had a theater in and another location of Manhattan's Handmade Burgers.  Keep in mind that this is in the very business area of downtown Ottawa.  I found another mall which had an Empire Theater in it.  It wasn't a huge mall or anything. but still a mall.

After I was done walking around that area, I went back and walked around the Crystal Gardens which is some of the ice sculptures apart of Winterlude.  After seeing those I walked on the Rideau Canal some more.  I walked quite a distance.  I walked to where the marker showed 5.4 km.  That was a good walk for that day.  So I walked back and went back to the place I was staying at.  My feet were soaked needless to say.  I watched TV for the rest of that night.

The next day was Thursday and I walked past some churches on my way down King Edward Ave. I pased the Angolan Embassy. I found the Rideau Centre which is the big mall.  It has a store called Happy Daze in it.  It has pop culture items in it like shirts, glasses, stuffed toys, etc..I found a couple of shirts that wanted to buy.  One for my niece and one for my nephew.  I walked past Parliament Hill again.  I went back to that Manhattan's Handmade Burgers again.  It was that good.  Than I walked down Elgin St. which took me past Sens Mile and took me past the National Arts Centre.  That's named after the NHL franchise, Ottawa Senators.  I walked pasted a McDonald's and I thought I saw this actress by the name of Sally Taylor-Isherwood who was on the Canadian show "Overruled!"  She was sitting at a window seat with a guy drinking coffee and eating a muffin.  I turned around walked back because I had to take another look because I wondered if I saw who I thought I saw.  I'll never know.  So I kept walking and found a cool store called Splash Mountain.  It's a cool candy store.  I just looked around and left.  I kept walking down Elgin St. and I seen a women walking her dog and we started talking.  We talked about dogs and she welcomed me to Ottawa.  She went her way and I kept going down Elgin St. and I passed the police station.  I walked all the way to where I found a TD Bank. I turned around and walked back to where I was staying.  Another great day of walking around Ottawa.

Friday, I walked past the Angolan Embassy going down King Edward Ave..  I ended up on Rideau St. and found a Don Cherry Sports Grill and had breakfast there.  It was a really good.  I kept walking down towards to the Rideau Centre which is the big mall.  I found the store called Happy Daze again.  So I bought a shirt for my niece on that day.  It said "keep calm and play video games" and had a picture of a Nintendo Entertainment System on it.  I walked around the mall for a few hours before going to a movie at Empire Theater in the Rideau Centre.  I saw "Identity Thief."  It was funny and had a story it as well.

After the movie finished, I walked around that area of Ottawa.  I found a place called the ByWard Market.  It is such an awesome place.  It has a farmer's market style area as well as many retail businesses and restaurants, pubs, and such.   I walked around got a free beer from a place that was giving out free beverages outside.  I was looking for a place to eat.  I walked all around the ByWard Market looking for a place.  There are a ton of pubs and restaurants in that area.  I wanted to go to the Lone Star Texas Grill, but no dice as I didn't want to wait half an hour to get a table.  So I went to Dunn's Famous.  I had the hot dog poutine.  I had to ask what that was as I thought it was poutine on a split open hot dog, but I was told it was hot dogs on the top.  It was so good!  While looking for a place to eat, I kept seeing the original Giant Tiger.  So I went and it was wasn't what I thought it would be.  I know Giant Tiger is a crappy store, but I thought there would be more to it than what it was considering it was the original.

Saturday came and I had breakfast at Don Cherry's Sports Girl.  After that I walked to the Rideau Centre.  I bought my nephew a shirt at Happy Daze.  It is from the video game "Portal" and says "the cake is a lie."  It has a picture of a cake on it.  If you know about "Portal," than you'll get it.  After that walking around the mall for a few hours, I went back to the place I was staying at for a bit.

My friend Barbara was meeting up with me and she had to get a ride into Ottawa due to circumstances beyond her control.  So I walked to city hall where more things with Winterlude were happening.  I met up with her and we walked around the Crystal Garden looking at the ice sculptures.  Than we walked down Elgin St. looking for a place to have supper as we walked to her friend's car.  Barb showed us the place she lived in when she lived in Ottawa some 25 years ago or so.  We were deciding where to eat in the car and there was mention of Greek, shwarma (Barbara goes on and on about it), and other places.  So Denny's was mentioned and her friend who was driving was set on it,  So we had to go there.  Driving down Bank St. to get to Denny's which is in South Keys, Barb was pointing out different places to eat like bistro burger joint.   So we arrived at Denny's and I had the Slamburger which was awesome.  It has bacon, fried egg, shredded hashbrowns, and cheese sauce.  It was so good.  But Barb had gave me some of her meal since she got the Lumberjack which came with a lot of food.  I put some of her pancakes, ham, and sausage on my burger too.  It was good.

After that we went to Walmart which was right there in the same big box outlet in South Keys as was Denny's.  After finishing at Walmart, we were headed to drop me off, but before that, we drove around and I was shown how to get to the Prime Minister's house.  Barb than asked if I wanted to go into Gatineau which is in Quebec.  I was up for it and we drove the main drag going to into Gatineau a ways than turned around than dropped me off.  On the way back into Ottawa, I saw the United Arab Emirates Embassy from a distance.  I showed her around the place I was staying, than gave her a hug.  It was great to finally have gotten to meet her.

I went and walked to the ByWard Market.  I wanted something to munch on.  I didn't know where to go.  So I walked around and I walked down a street past the ByWard Market and it reminded of home because of the middle class feel it had.  I turned around and walked back and walking into the little building in the Market.  It has some restaurants and shops.  The restaurants have a lot of ethnic cuisine.  You can enter through the restaurant doors or you can enter from the side.  I ended up getting a pizza from Pizza Pizza.

 On Sunday I went to church.  Throughout my time in Ottawa, I kept walking by three churches.  But I went to an Anglican Church.  It is called St. Alban's.  They are a contemporary urban church.  Evidence of this is that they did a Goo Goo Dolls song for offering.  They do parts of the service in French which is different.  After the service, I talked to some people.  I talked to some people who used to live in Saskatchewan and and one person that used to live in Saskatoon.  I also talked to a diplomat.  He said when he first became a diplomat that he traveled to some of the provinces and Saskatchewan was one of them and that he visited Saskatoon and Regina.  I explained to him the running joke about Regina.  I also talked to one of the ministers.

Here is a video from St. Alban's.

After church, I went to the ByWard Market and I walked around looking for somewhere to.  I walked around the ByWard Market building and one of the shops did this thing where they took a grain of rice and wrote something and put in this holder and which is put on a necklace.  I thought that was quite interesting.  I ended up going to Dunn's Famous for lunch.  I had the hot dog poutine.  After lunch I walked around past Parliament Hill.  I walked past the United States, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabian embassies.  I went inside the National Gallery of Canada.  But I didn't take a tour.  Next time I will.  I walked past the Royal Canadian Mint.  I decided to walk into Quebec..  I walked into Hull.  It's an odd shaped village.  It is a rectangle strip of a village.  I found that odd.  After walking back from Quebec, I went to the mall and bought a something for my other two nephews and one niece.  I also bought something for my one sister.

Monday was time for me to depart back to Saskatchewan..  Overall, it was an amazing trip and I do hope to get back there.  The weather was great except for the weekend when it was cold.

I was told by someone who I used to work with that Ottawa has an amazing aviation museum.  I told him that I will have to go there.  Ottawa has so much to do and see that I don't know if I'd be able to see it all when I'm there next time.  But I see more of the sights and hang out with my friend Carrie and hang out more with Barb too.  Carrie wasn't feeling well which is why I wasn't able to see her aside from he picking me up from the airport.

During my trip, I seen more Tim Horton's, Mac's, Subway than any other places like McDonalds, Wendy's, A&W, etc..  I found that to be interesting.  I also walked by two Ethiopian restaurants.   I don't know what kind of food would be served there.  I found that interesting nonetheless.  Also, I walked by the Ottawa "chapter" for a lack of a better term of Scientology everyday when I walked down Rideau St..  I found that funny.

When I got back, people said they noticed I lost weight.  That was attributed to all the walking I did in Ottawa.

I know this is a long read, but it's well worth it!