Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Upholding Tradition

From MSNBC:
A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by southwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament this week to spare him their outrage.

"These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, said Saturday. "Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid."
Be it resolved that slavishly upholding tradition for its own sake is unjustified in modern society.

Of course I find this obscene and indefensible, as I find burying women in burkas obscene, or female "circumcision", or Suttee, or other "honor killing". It's an extreme on a continuum with the fear of the feminine and misogyny that are presented by many of our own society's cultural conservatives--think the protest against women bishops. At its root, it comes from the same place: women as lower, as "other", as lesser. I am no cultural relativist. I find no justification for the oppression of women "because it's always been like this" no matter the society in which it occurs.

14 comments:

Cany said...

Amen, IT, Amen.

susan s. said...

Yes, I agree with you, too.

rick allen said...

"Be it resolved that slavishly upholding tradition for its own sake is unjustified in modern society."

Agreed. Tradition is simply something handed on. Whether it should be upheld depends much on from whom it has been handed. Some of us think that if it comes from Jesus, and the apostles, and their legitimate successors, that's a tradition worth keeping.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Dearest IT,

Religious sickos...it doesn't matter what the wacko ritual killing is this time...demented extremists of all stripes have been dismembering, burning, quartering, hanging, blinding, stoning and raping/enslaving fellow human beings forever and ever with whom they hold fear/hate or simply contempt...it's one victim or another...but then, you're a good listener, you've heard the abusive remarks directed toward people like US our whole lives...those dememonizing little 'remarks' translate into big beliefs that become "These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Sounds like Orombi, Akinola, Venables, Schofield or David Virtue to me...reason has nothing to do with flow blown insanity running wild as these women are buried alive for wanting to choose their husbands...feardriven insecure criminals...nothing worse.

Fred Schwartz said...

Dear IT,
Plese pass on that I know many persons in Epsicopal churches who are now being threatened because of these types of events in Pakistan. Please let those powers that be that if this type of behavior does not stop we are putting many many good Epsicopalians at seriouse risk of violence.

Anonymous said...

Fred, you will have to expand, that is rather cryptic.

BTW i don't know any power that be...

IT

Fred Schwartz said...

IT,
Sorry, the comment was not meant to be cryptic. It was meant to be a direct response to those in the global south who constantly tell us how it is un-Anglcian to continue to put their parishes at risk by insisting on upholding the rights of every person that wlaks throug hour doors.
Yes, it was done a little tongue in cheek but after reading the "letter" James insisted we read I really went off the deep end (see Off Topic). I am finished with the idea that TEC and ACofC need to be doormats while the Global South goes off on us like we were some much cannon fodder. From now on I am going to "hold a cross up" every time one of these bloodsuckers opens his mouth.

Fred Schwartz said...

Sorry for the lousy editing.

David said...

And I'm sure anyone who's half awake will notice that insistence in upholding "tradition" always seems to crop up selectively. That is, when it benefits those in a position of power.

And that's true whether you're a murderous tribesman from the mountains above Peshawar, or an oh-so refined conservative Anglican...

Eileen said...

The problem with tradition, is that it often hides thinly veiled convention. Tradition is one thing - convention is another.

No tradition is untouched by change and/or cultural markers. It just ain't so - but that fact, in and of itself, doesn't make a tradition a bad thing.

When a tradition becomes a convention, though, and fails to yield to change that is good and necessary and healthy, because it is TOUTED as tradtion, is when things get dicey.

JCF said...

Some of us think that if it comes from Jesus, and the apostles, and their legitimate successors, that's a tradition worth keeping.

Yup. The Tradition of expanding the circle of faith ever wider: from Jesus seeing faith among the Gentiles, to apostles seeing the Spirit at work among diverse peoples, to their legitimate successors in TEC seeing priestly&apostolic ministry among women and LGBTs today. All the same, handed-on Tradition. God bless it! :-D

David |Däˈvēd| said...

Damn, that IT is always stirring the pot!

It is not enough that she will be marrying the person of her own choice, she keeps wanting to make the idea universal, applicable to all who want to think for themselves and make their own choices in life.

James said...

Some of us think that if it comes from Jesus, and the apostles, and their legitimate successors, that's a tradition worth keeping.

No, taht is traditionalism.

Tradition is the living faith of the church.

Traditionalism is the worship of things that have come down from past generations. As Paul said, They worship the creation, not the creator.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Daveed, you can see I am totally out of the mainstream.

IT