Decontextualize

Decontextualize: (v) to remove from a context

Water.

What do we use it for?

  • We drink it.
  • We swim in it.
  • We clean with it.

Very simple.

This is the context for water.

So the young prophet shows up at the river and he wants to use the water to baptize people. Why?

Because it’s something we drink, we swim in it and it cleans us.

The context is clear.  Water is a symbol of life, joy and cleanliness.

What a great way to communicate a transition in our beings. Take us into the water, let us promise good things, let us believe better things. Then splash us beneath the deep and rise us up—cleansed.

Could anything be more beautiful than that?

Does it matter how the water is used?

Does the top of my head have to get wet?

How about my hip bones?

Is it less significant if my kneecaps remain dry?

Since we understand the context of water bringing life, joy and cleanliness, why must we decontextualize by insisting the style in which we enact this ritual is more important than the expression itself?

How shall we take our communion?

Should we use wine or grape juice?

How can we take the symbolism of the body and blood of Christ and trivialize it down to grocery store concerns?

Are you saved?

How do you know?

Did you confess?

Did you come to it on your own?

Did you do it in church?

Did you do it in public?

Do any of these things matter?

Is it necessary to take the context of something beautiful and change it to a complexity and make it nearly inaccessible?

How do you know when you’ve found something pure?

That’s easy.

When no one needs to explain it to you.

 

Context

Context: (n) the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.

If it is similar, is it the same?

For instance, if I buy a coat and it is a similar color of blue to another coat I have, is it the same?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Probably not.

But if we are discussing Jim Crow and the segregation of the black race in America in the mid-twentieth century, then an assertion that approaching immigration with a concern only placed on our Southern border and not our Northern border with Canada, might be so similar that it’s the same.

It’s all a matter of context.

And to determine context, we must understand the mindset of the speaker, the beliefs of the preacher, the politics of the Congressman and the motivations of all.


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Circumcise

Circumcise: (v) to cut off the foreskin of a young boy a baby as a religious rite,

It is so much easier to believe in God if you don’t read the Bible. Opening up the Good Book immediately reveals some pretty bad things.

You can become one of those type of followers who rationalizes the meaning, or worse, places it in context with the times, but you always
look like you’re trying to explain the reasons that your uncle diddled his niece.

Simply reading the Bible often makes God come off as an asshole who is in charge of a bunch of sons-of-bitches. Especially when you consider there is supposed to be some significance in trimming off the stinky tip of a poopy-smelling penis.

Yes, at one time it was considered to be a spiritual experience which set the decapitated victim apart as being one of God’s “true people” instead of one of those still wearing a fleshy penis-hat.

You see how ridiculous it sounds?

That’s why I always insist it’s much easier to be an atheist than a believer. I, myself, am circumcised, because I grew up in Ohio, to parents who tried to be faithful to the Judeo-Christian standard, which insisted on trimming the pecker.

It has never done anything for me personally.

I’ve never had a conversation about it with anyone until now.

I’ve never had a woman gasp in delight upon seeing my circumcised unit because she was impressed with my choice.

I’m not so sure there was ever a reason for it, because later on in the Book the Apostle Paul makes fun of it and says it was completely stupid.

So I guess it depends on what chapter you read. If you’re only going to read the opening part of the story, you’ll believe that dick tips have special significance to God. But if you catch the story later on, you’ll realize that apparently God got over it, and no longer felt that it was in spiritual fashion.

 

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