Why I Hate Theology…
Karl Marx once opined, “Philosophy is to the real world as masturbation is to sex.”
To paraphrase and riff off of Mr. Marx
Theology is to the real world as not ever having sex. Ever. Not even once.
For example, Tony Baker, for some poor thought-through reason, decided to go public with his delusional musings on gender:
Let me attempt to bring my gender constructions out of the subflooring of the argument and into the proper living space. The fall narratives, from Eden to Babel to the origin of the Nephilim, are about the disorder than (sic) comes of too much taking. In the latter case, the Sons of God find the daughters of men desirable, and “take” them as wives (Gen 6). The “Sons” are pure activity here, and the “daughters” are so passive that the text implies a Sabine-like rape.
There is here, as in my Prometheus reading, an association of boundary transgression and gender. Masculinity is associated with active violating of “kinds,” and the feminine is a pure receiving. The important thing to notice, though, is that this is precisely what invokes God’s displeasure, and becomes the set-up for the flood cycle. Archetypal gender bifurcation (though not gender itself) belongs only to the fallen form, for Christianity, not to our proto- and eschatological versions. If both woman and creation are “feminized” in the narrative while the earthly and heavenly “sons” are masculinized (Cain, Nimrod, David’s “taking” of Bathsheba), this is a split archetype that belongs to our broken form.
Everything I dislike about some theologies and literary-critical methods in two paragraphs: I have an ideological/theological agenda, so what I’m going to do is divorce this passage from any socio-historical setting and contemporary literature, and make it say what I want it to say.
“Archetypal gender bifurcation…” “Sabine-like rape…” Do you realize how douchey those phrases are?*
I’m going to totally misunderstand and misrepresent an ancient myth, and then use that to propagate my misogynistic theories about ‘gender’. But I used big words so it’s totally OK.
Adam Kotsko also takes Mr. Baker to task because Tony regards the Nephilim passage in Genesis as a rape, and that ‘rape’ scene is the paradigm for masculinity and femininity.
First, if you know anything about the bene haelohim it’s not a ‘rape’ scene: humankind is complicit in the act which is why they are punished (and why your wife needs to cover her head, ’cause those angels be some sexy bastards!). Second, exactly how enormously F’ed up to you have to be to regard a rape scene as instructive to “Archetypal gender bifurcation…”
Just stop and think about that for a second: this dude, a ‘theologian’, thinks a rape scene is normative for gender discussion.
I weep for his children.
But it happens all the time because the Bible is ‘normative’… let me give you a tip: the sons of God narrative is normative on “Archetypal gender bifurcation” like the Lot and his daughters narrative is normative on father/daughter relationships.
In a surprising form of self-awareness in such a poorly thought through argument, Tony adds at the end of his insane article:
If my theory of gender above has any merit [it doesn’t], then I think it suggests that theology can be a masculine form, but when it is it follows the “false Promethean” myth [so stupid I don’t even know where to begin], the fallen trajectories of Nimrod and the Babelians, rather than the redeemed form of Mary.
If history and biblical studies are characterized by a certain textus receptus, a listening to and close readings of texts and events, theology is mostly creative construction in the realms of logic and metaphysics. And theologians can be famously bad at the “receptive mode,” playing fast and loose with Bible and history in order to get on with our argument.
This dude knows–he knows!–that he is engaging is gross speculation: and then engages in some of the most horrible speculation ever! And that speculation is built on a tendentious, uniformed, ignorant, and biased form of misreading the biblical text. But he goes on anyways.
“Creative construction”… I weep for his children.