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Hagar and Ishamel: God sees me


I remember reading a secular feminists book on evangelical religion in 2001. Having grown up immersed in it, it made me laugh, especially since I had grown away and out of it.

Since having been unceremoniously dumped into the ranks of the homeless on the 22nd of October 2014, I have not seen and been exposed to so much faith in 30 years.

Last night’s sermon actually was a back-handed comfort and a reminder of sorts to be quiet and introspective. The minister told the story of Hagar. Depending on your views of the origins of the Abrahamic monotheisms, Hagar and her son Ishamel are the root of the Arabic people. * Historians need not jump the gun into conspiracy just yet, so hold your horses.

The upshot was that Hagar was taken advantage of by an old barren woman. Prostituted would be another way to put it. The minister credited her with jealousy despite the above comment. The story carried on to Hagars disgust and exodus from her “home” with Abraham and Sarah and her meeting at a well with a stranger who had a message for her. The usual Christian message from God follows that is typically called narcissism and arrogance about a special purpose for her life and that of her child. What value was in the content was the decision by the minister to have Gods messenger pose the following question: Where have you come from and where are you going?  He then veered into the etymology of Ishamel’s name which he said translates into “God sees me.”

A dialogue followed about how God sees us.

I could not help but note the irony of that statement alongside the Jezebel article about the Burmese national recently beheaded in Riyadh for sexually assaulting and murdering her 7 year old step daughter.

Such stories as the one put forward by a kind well meaning minister last night are also used by the Saudi’s in the power struggle over the direction of Islamic religious growth and unity. What and where would some ideas and discourses be if or when Islam was honest enough to:

A) Behead the woman for sexual assault as a first cause not a second
B) Behead an Arab for the same crimes?

Western critics have been challenging the integrity and authenticity of Whabiasm, which is central to the Saudi regime.

Given some of the universal whitewash about the subject of religious modernism in general post 911, I’ve decided the appropriate response is to yawn globally and mind my own business locally.

Those who like me, who have survived childhood sexual abuse, who know “God sees me” know this old tale says more about nothing than it does about something.

Bait and Switch.

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