The “forces of conservatism” are always alarmed

.

.

“What appeared to be the devil himself – with the head of a man and the body of some unknown creature – was flying down the hill towards them, skimming low over the ground. They whipped their horses and fled, while the devil plunged off the road and into a flooded ditch.”

We have three of the “bodies of some unknown creature” in our garage.

“The bicycle continues to empower young women today … The bicycle ushered in a manufacturing revolution as well as a social one … And it is not absurd to suggest that bicycles are pointing the way yet again … given that the bicycle is still often the quickest way to get around gridlocked areas.”
Why the bicycle’s future looks bright, BBC News, Business

Before the internet and google I used to spend hours messing around with bits of bikes. And now our (internet and google-enabled) son spends a small fortune on carbon-fibre-tech-riddled-two-wheeled “bikes”.

“The bicycle was a liberating force for women. They needed to shed their whalebone girdles and hoop-reinforced skirts in favour of something simpler and more comfortable. They would ride without chaperones, too. The forces of conservatism were alarmed, fretting that “immodest bicycling” would lead to masturbation, even prostitution. But these protests soon seemed laughable.”

The “forces of conservatism” are always alarmed.

Take the bible.

.

.

We did away with slavery.  But bacon is okay.  We did away with negative miracles like all that killing and “indigenous peoples cleansing”.  But keep the positive miracles of healing those with disabilities (if they have faith).  We maintain that same-sex sex is not okay.  But allow divorce and remarriage (if the secular laws are fulfilled).  We did away with the temple industry and replaced it with … Let’s pass on that one.

But no more than I yearn for the penny farthing: “ … which was not the genteel vehicle we imagine through the sepia tint of nostalgia. Courtesy of the enormous front wheel, it was a racing machine – twice as fast as a velocipede. It was ridden almost exclusively by fearless young men, perched on top of a five-foot wheel and prone to pitching forward at the slightest obstacle.”

Neither do I yearn for the “cumbersome conservatism” of a “qualified in God approved bible”.  A cumbersome conservatism called “being scripturally and biblically correct”.  Because that “correctness” changes just as cultural changes change “correctness”: “The forces of conservatism were alarmed, fretting that “immodest bicycling” would lead to masturbation, even prostitution.”

The “forces of conservatism” are always alarmed.

.

.

God Soft Hands Jesus always challenges our preference for “conservatism” … “We are naked”so why hide in the bushes? … “We have seen it written”but I say …  “I do all this shit religion commands me to” you are close but not close enough … “These guys and gals are unclean”you look good on the outside, but on the inside … ? … “When will you come back and save us from this horrible sinful world – us who have given you everything – we who believe – we who give our lives for you”why worry about all that “stuff”?

I remember a bike from my younger days.

Three or four of us set off on an expedition.  We cycled miles.  Up hills and own hills.  With traffic and without traffic.  On main roads and country lanes.  Our parents allowed us. Our parents freed us.  And with our bikes we freed ourselves.  Partway through that day the pedal on one side of my bike fell-off.  Not a repair that could be done miles from home.  I remember just going at a slower pace.  Using the stem of the missing pedal.  Using the other side more than before.

My “disability” didn’t curb my freedom.  I needed no “healing” to be free.  I was not “unclean” and isolated from my friends.  I might have lagged back a little (and then caught up when going downhill).  I might have needed to rest more frequently (and I was very glad when we got home).  But …

I remember that bike journey to this day not for the “disability” but for the freedom and fun we all had – that I had – that our parents allowed – that this basic bike with bits unfit for purpose gave me.

The bible isn’t perfect because (even if it is the “Word of God” and whatever elaboration of inerrancy you wish) it is written by and for humans who are (mostly) unfit for purpose.

And yet this flawed and argued-over bible … ?

If I “shed (my) whalebone girdles and hoop-reinforced skirts cultural biblical correctness in favour of something simpler and more comfortable … “

I Am

Free.

.

.