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"Spinning Yarns for the Goddess"

by Tom Graffagnino

"Surely there must be a way of looking at all the creation of humanity without having the notion of being conceived in sin...women need to go back to the Garden and come out in a different way, come out without all that guilt."
–Miriam Therese Winter

 "I'm pushing us to imagine and re-imagine the word of God beyond and above the words of God....I'm trying to tap back to those traditions that existed behind the written tradition...."
–Miriam Therese Winter

CALLER:  Who are You, O Holy One? How have Your daughters named You?
VOICE:     I am Nut of the Sky, of Egypt, Goddess of affection.
PEOPLE:  Nut, we call upon Your name and long for Your affection.
CALLER:   Who are You, O Holy One?  How have Your daughters named You?
VOICE:     I am Anath-Astarte, and Lady Ashera of the Sea from the Biblical
land of Canaan.
PEOPLE:   Anath-Astarte, forgive us for all we have done to You......
                                  –(Miriam Therese Winter, "Psalm in Search of the Goddess")

[Ms. Winter's liturgical invocation to the "goddesses" (above) continues in this manner as she addresses other pagan deities such as Isis, Ishtar, Gaia, Aphrodite, Diana, Artemis, Re, etc......and is indistinguishable in form AND content from countless others written by self-professed, influential, contemporary wiccan (ie., neo-pagan witchcraft) priestesses in America and elsewhere...Priestesses such as Miriam Simos (aka, "Starhawk", Dianic wicca), Margot Adler (Gardnerian wicca), Z Budapest, "Merlin" Stone and a myriad of others.]

Ms. Winter is a popular speaker and "storyteller" in certain theological circles. She is a prominent leader in the "Re-Imagining" community and speaks often to Christian groups. In 1995, for instance, Ms. Winter was invited by United Methodist Women's Division officials to address the United Methodist Clergywomen's Convention (800 in attendance). While there, Ms. Winter led certain "avante garde" spiritual workshops.....

In August of this year (2000), Ms. Winter will be a featured speaker at the beautiful Simpsonwood Conference Center in Atlanta, a United Methodist sponsored and supported facility whose purpose is to "...offer a site for....retreats for worship, study , music, recreation, fellowship, and mission in the Judeo-Christian tradition."    Ms. Winter will be one of two keynote speakers at Simpsonwood representing the "Network of Biblical Storytellers" (NOBS).

"Spinning Yarns for the Goddess"

We're a liberal bunch,
And we have a hunch,
The old Biblical texts were distorted.
That ol' Word that we've heard,
Was altered and blurred....
So now "sola scriptura's" aborted.

We do 'works'.
We do deeds....
But we don't scatter seeds,
That suggest Christ alone is the Way.
Crude thinking like that,
Is 'hate-filled' and 'old hat',
And "Thus saith the Lord" is passe.

We're a most humble crowd,
And for that we're most proud.
We know the way to the "Father" is wide.
We don't care what Christ said...
(And besides...Ain't he dead?....)
John, Paul, Peter and Luke?
.....They all lied.

We're a tolerant group.
We're well-read and astute.
We despise all the lies the church sowed,
    About Sin, death and hell....
    How humanity fell.
All those myths and those tales....
   We explode.

No more "doctrines of mean",
That can bruise Self-Esteem,
Causing guilt and unpopular shame.
We find those doctrines hollow,
Hard to follow and swallow....
So we've changed all the rules of the game.

"Storytelling" is "in",
And the yarns that we spin,
Are embellished with fanciful notions.
God's Word's been negated,
"Make Believe" elevated,
As we sip the Goddesses' potions.

You see, "happy" begins,
Once you get rid of Sin.
Just pretend!  And ignore all the facts...
We can dance.  We can play...
We can "Have a Nice Day!"
Now God's children at last can relax!

Just imagine and dream....
We're all on the same team!
We're interconnected and "good"!
Blessed Be!  Ain't that GREAT!?
If we abrogate hate,
Everyone will behave as they should!

This "new" (?) story we're telling...
It appeals... and it's selling!
It's been blessed with "Guru-Approval".
It's catching on in the pews,
In the schools, on the news....
This scriptural worldview removal.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I don't know why You bother,
To care for fools such as we!
We spit in your face,
Mock your Word and your Grace....
And nail Jesus.... each day....
To the tree.

"The visions of your prophets were false and worthless;  they did not expose your sin to ward off captivity.  The oracles they gave you were false and misleading." (Lamentations 2:14)

"Anyone who wants to give meaning to scripture that is not in scripture is an enemy of scripture."  --Pascal

     "They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.
          'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.
       "Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?
           No, they have no shame at all;
           they do not even know how to blush."   (Jeremiah 8: 11,12)

(Dear Lord, forgive us......)

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Tom Graffagnino (laity)
Hamilton UMC
Hamilton, Georgia

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