Tuesday evenings my prayer group regularly meets. I have been with this group for seven years, but the last three years, ministry meetings often interfered. So they were surprised to see me turn up at the last-minute this evening.
After opening prayers, we listen to the upcoming Sunday Mass readings and then discuss them.
God must have a sense of humor, because this coming weekend’s readings start with the creation of Eve as a “partner” for Adam. That is the reading coming off two weeks of Supreme Court drama involving a “she said,” “he said” situation as I write this.
Think about it. Adam seemed to have everything. He lived in the garden of Eden. He had every tree and plant that provided good nutrition. He got to name every beast God presented him. He walked and talked with God himself in the garden.
Eden was Paradise, a word literally from the Greek that means “a pleasure park.” With God as his friend. Yet it wasn’t enough for Adam.
In fact, God himself acknowledged “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
According to Genesis 2:18-24, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, took one of his ribs from his side and created a woman out of the rib. When she was brought to Adam, his response was:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” Genesis 2:23
In Hebrew, woman translates as “ishsha.” From it comes the word ishah (her man).
The author of Genesis says this is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his “wife,” and the two become “one body.”
If you combine that last sentence with the Hebrew translations above, taken together they do not indicate a man dominates, but “he” belongs to “her.”
Or at least that is the way I am choosing to interpret it.
That’s an important distinction coming off a week in which it seemed like male dominance – well, predominated.
I have never seen so much anger and so many red faces on men in my life at one time as I saw on the GOP side of the Senate Judiciary seating.
I guess it is because they see their cultural Eden slipping away from them. They are no longer Masters of the Universe. Or at least, they can see they won’t hold that power for very much longer.
As Bob Dylan sang clear back in 1964, “The times they are a-changin.”
Many people didn’t like it then, when it involved full Civil Rights protections for blacks and the final push for desegregation of public spaces and schools, as well as ensuring voting protections.
Clearly they don’t like it now, when the #MeToo movement is adding fervor back into the life of women who have been physically violated, sexually harassed or been treated with less than equity and dignity when they have the same skill sets, talents and credentials as their male peers.
Despite all his amped up rage about how hard he worked to get where he was in life, the truth is that Brett Kavanaugh had things pretty much handed to him. He started life at Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit and elite private school on the East Coast. He was a Yale legacy student. Okay, he was a smart Eli, got good grades and went on to Yale Law School.
So have a lot of men. And a lot of women, for that matter.
Then either fate or the right connections land him in a fellowship with Judge Kenneth Starr, and he becomes an integral part of the team pursuing Bill Clinton for impeachment and the lead in drafting the Starr Report (hands up from those, like I, who actually read the darned thing.) He was hell-bent on seeing Clinton impeached.
From there he goes on to work for the G.W. Bush presidential campaign (doesn’t everybody who lifts a few weights and drinks a few ‘skis’ and was somehow “disadvantaged” and had to “work his butt off?”) He again played an integral role in the “hanging chad” controversy and went on to become Bush’s White House Staff Secretary because – hey – he just happened to be in the right place at the right time again. Pure co-inky-dink. No special connections to call on at all, I am so sure.
Then, without ever really having practiced law in court a day in his life, without having advised a client who didn’t have a politically partisan stake in the game, without having ever prosecuted anyone but Bill Clinton on paper, Kavanaugh gets nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit because, well, I am sure there were just no other potential jurists who had actually practiced law anywhere to be had.
That he didn’t make it the first go round didn’t stop the GOP from pushing for a second, just like it didn’t stop them from saying they would vote for him for the Supreme Court after three women alleged sexual misconduct and there were doubts about whether or not he truthfully answered questions put to him in both his FIRST hearing and the one involving Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Brett Kavanaugh DESERVED this, by gosh. There were weights lifted. There was beer drunk. He had a calendar!
And the women coming forth were just lying. Period. End of discussion. Before an allegation had even been investigated by the FBI.
After all, it was all Eve’s fault, right? She was the one that took the bite of the apple first. She was the one who “seduced” Adam into taking one too. At least, that was basically his answer to God when God wanted to know why Adam was hiding from him. I mean, it wasn’t like Adam had any free will of his own to exercise and say no, right? It wasn’t like God had befriended him, walked with him, talked with him. Trusted him.
Isn’t it always the woman’s fault, even when it isn’t?
Yet God’s harshest words were for Adam:
“By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.” Genesis 3:19
Yes, Masters of the Universe, God was harsh with you that day. He had expected you to be “her man.” He had expected you to stand up for her, not victim blame her. As the steward of Eden, God had expected YOU to say “get thee behind me, Satan. We won’t be tempted.”
But you were – tempted. Men sometimes are. Eve, she was just tricked by the devil.
It’s not like guys have free will, after all. Just weights to lift and “skis” to drink.
And low friends in high places to help them hide from God when they don’t want to answer his questions truthfully. Or those of the Senate Judiciary.