I pray that his land is blessed by God:
with heaven’s gifts from above,
with the deep waters stretching out underneath;
with the gifts produced by the sun,
with the gifts generated by the moon;
with the best fruit from ancient mountains,
with the gifts of eternal hills;
with the gifts of the earth and all that fills it …
Deuteronomy 33:13-16 (Common English Bible)
This, it seems to me, is the way to see our world. If we saw it like that, perhaps we would stop exploiting it in such a mindless way. We are dependent upon these gifts, but they are gifts and need to be treated as such.
What all women deserve is to be able to choose freely the lives they want to lead, free of oppression and exploitation, filled with opportunity to be who they want to be. It is all about human rights.
Having shared the key aims of feminism and explored feminist-critical interpretation of the Bible for a number of years, I am continuing to enjoy Fifty Shades of Feminism. As already said, the contributions are short, but what makes them interesting for me is at least partly the fact that they have been written by such a diverse group of women.
The quote above is from a contribution by Helena Kennedy, who, as a barrister, Labour member of the House of Lords and an expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues, also has interesting things to say about how the law, having traditionally been made by men, has dealt with the world from a male perspective.
We have experiences when the light of day vanishes, leaving us in some dark and desolate midnight – moments when our highest hopes are turned into shambles of despair or when we are the victims of some tragic injustice and some terrible exploitation. During such moments our spirits are almost overcome by gloom and despair, and we feel that there is no light anywhere. But ever and again, we look toward the east and discover that there is another light that shines even in the darkness and ‘the spear of frustration’ is transformed ‘into a shaft of light.’
… God has two lights: a light to guide us in the brightness of the day when hopes are fulfilled and circumstances are favorable, and a light to guide us in the darkness of the midnight when we are thwarted and the slumbering giants of gloom and hopelessness rise in our souls.
Faith in the dawn arises from the faith that God is good and just. When one believes this, he knows that the contradictions of life are neither final nor ultimate. He can walk through the dark night with the radiant conviction that all things work together for good for those that love God. Even the most starless midnight may herald the dawn of some great fulfillment.
Martin Luther King Jr, Strength to Love
‘We either contemplate or we exploit.’ We either see things and persons with reverence and awe, and therefore treat them as genuinely other than ourselves; or we appropriate them, and manipulate them for our own purposes.
Thus Alan Jones, Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality.