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Saturday, September 9, 2000

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Beliefs and leg cramps

Is this country founded on Judeo-Christian ethics? Well, sort of, but they aren't just Judeo-Christian ethics and the Jewish and Christian communities have honored them more in word than deed. Take 'Thou shalt not steal'. Well, I don't know of a culture or religion that doesn't have that one. How about 'taking responsibility for yourself'? That isn't really a big issue in the bible but started to come to the fore during the rennaissance, the industrial revolution and the protestant revolution when being responsible for yourself instead of depending on a lord or a Lord took on more importance. It's up to you as to which lord gets the capital letter.

There are all kinds of theories as to why the rennaissance and then the industrial revolution hit in europe, and therefore Christian areas, before it hit other areas, but many of the ethics that we call Judeo-Christian were not really Judeo-Christian but ethics that were known throughout history by many groups but often weren't a part of Christianity or Judaism, or were ignored. If we really wanted to follow the bible we would be stoning women who have sex outside of marriage, like is happening in non Judeo-Christian countries today.

Once people decided they were responsible for their actions, they started looking more closely at their ethics. Sure there were some that chose to throw over every decent but most people looked closely at what they should do. Too often they went way overboard and became rather prudish and prejudiced, but there was always prejudice and even the prudery was never as common as the powers that be would have liked us to believe. The theory of those that governed was that if you think no one else ever sleeps around you are less likely to. It didn't work but people did hide it.

My personal ethics are those of non-aggression. Don't harm. The only exception to this is self defense and I mean physical self defense, not because someone hurt your feelings.

The cat sitter came by yesterday to see where I live and where I keep everything. She seems very nice and I feel comfortable with her. At least I know where she works and can get hold of her, unlike someone I just pulled out of the phone book. Cat will have better care while I'm gone than she's ever had before. Dad would come by a couple times but I don't think he petted her and talked to her.

I woke up with a cramp in my leg the other day, one of those excruciatingly painful ones where you are afraid to even move out of fear of making it worse. It went away but my calf muscle was painful all day. I did a few stretching exercises to loosen up and rather over did them so yesterday and today my thighs have been very sore. I rode my bike around today and it was painful. I think the cycling have helped and I'm not as sore today. I don't get cramps often so it's always a painful surprise when they hit, usually when I'm in bed. I suppose my legs are relaxing and aren't sure what to do?

I read "Half Moon Street" by Anne Perry and liked it very much. She writes such insightful mysteries set in victorian times. This one involved pornography and how even those who accept the fact that people need to be more open and accepting of sex, even what was (is) known as aberrant sex, can't always accept it in people they care about. A strand of the story also involves the shame and horror of women who have to put up with brutality and sadism in sex from their husbands and can't tell anyone, won't tell anyone about it.

Anne Perry is a master at showing us the victorian era as it really was, not as it's shown in the nice drawing room books and portraits. There was much that was beautiful and magnificent about that time as people learned to cope with the massive influx of new ideas and inventions. At the same time she shows how many people drew back from changing the rules and conventions they were comfortable with, while others tried to understand the changes with fear and trembling but also, in many cases, a real sense of relief in knowing that they weren't the only ones who felt tied down by the old conventions. I always feel like I've entered their world when I read one of Perry's books.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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