Monday, April 25, 2016

Lars Levi's Cousin, Mor Greta

I stumbled across this fascinating article about Mor Greta, a cousin and contemporary of Lars Levi Laestadius. It helps contextualize the distrust of authority in the North.
Margareta Sophia better known as "Mor Greta" (1804-1883) . . . took part in the movement against the Swedish state church. Mor Greta and the group the “New Readers” protested against usage of the new church books that were introduced in 1819. These manuals gave the priests monopoly on preaching and other church ceremonies, something that was very impractical when emergency baptism was sometimes needed in the north of Sweden and the priest could be miles away. Those who did not obey the law were persecuted; and if it was repeated they were banished for two years. 
Mor Greta and the New Readers protested against that . . .​ were punished, and the police force tried to imprison them. Mor Greta, being a woman, was not imprisoned, but taken to Umeå hospital for the insane as punishment. But the doctor at the hospital did not find anything wrong with her, refused to hospitalize her, and released her immediately.

How did a woman in the north of Sweden dare to oppose the powerful Swedish state church in the 1830s? 
One explanation is that Mor Greta and Nils had eleven children, but five died before the age of one. That must have been a trauma and the family had need for emergency baptism. Before they had been able to do that without a priest present, but after the new churchbooks, that became illegal. The families had to take the newborn from the mother and go (by ski in winter) 10 kilometers to the church and then back for the baptism. Not many newborns survived those journeys.
Read the rest of the article here, and another, in Swedish, here.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Not Here

The following just showed up in my Facebook feed from author Elizabeth Gilbert, whose The Signature of All Things I read last year and can highly recommend. It is a well-researched, globe-trotting, rollicking tale about a fictional 19th-century botanist who couldn't be more different than the 19th-century botanist whose career change gave rise to Laestadianism. Both were champions, however, at saying NOT THIS. Let me know what you make of Elizabeth Gilbert's in the comment section.

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Dear Ones -

Most of us, at some point in our lives (unless we have done everything perfectly...which is: nobody) will have to face a terrible moment in which we realize that we have somehow ended up in the wrong place — or at least, in a very bad place.

Maybe we will have to admit that we are in the wrong job. Or the wrong relationship. With the wrong people around us. Living in the wrong neighborhood. Acting out on the wrong behaviors.

Using the wrong substances. Pretending to believe things that we no longer believe. Pretending to be something we were never meant to be.

This moment of realization is seldom fun. In fact, it's usually terrifying.

I call this moment of realization: NOT THIS.

Because sometimes that's all you know, at such a moment.

All you know is: NOT THIS.

Sometimes that's all you CAN know.

All you know is that some deep life force within you is saying, NOT THIS, and it won't be silenced.

Your body is saying: "NOT THIS."

Your heart is saying: "NOT THIS."

Your soul is saying: "NOT THIS."

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Blasphemous Pasties

As regular as clockwork since I posted it in 2008, the user-edited advice at Wikihow's "How To Leave the Old Apostolic Church" is discovered by readers who take great offense. With a few clicks, they make the content disappear, or replace it with their own. But like Wikipedia, changes to Wikihow posts are monitored, and eagle-eyed volunteers quickly restore the page.

The cycle repeats itself, over and over, month after month, year after year. A friend's comment compelled me to review the page today, to see if the advice still seems valuable (it does) and whether any complaints had been registered (yes, plenty). A sampling:
  • Blasphemy. Go back to OALC, it is the one true faith full sheepfold!
  • This article is not something you should be searching for, because you should not want to leave what is the truth. But you should not leave anyway because the OALC is the only living faith church and that is where you will find God.
  • The OALC is a place of truth! Do not be deceived by that small whispered doubt the devil spews into your ears!
  • Expounded blasphemy from satan.
  • This article is false and misguiding. please don't believe any of it.
  • Garbage.
Not to nitpick, but can a whisper be spewed? Blasphemy expounded?

In a creative twist, one culinary-minded critic tried to replace the page with recipes, twice. That is a lot of effort to be lost to the ether, so I'll post his or her recipe for pasties here, even though it verges on the blasphemous (e.g., baby carrots).

RECIPE FOR PASTIES

Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef (uncooked)

3-4 good size potatoes

½ large onion

4-5 celery stalks

½ rutabaga (optional, but I suggest at least trying it)

½ turnip (optional)

12-15 baby carrots

Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

Makes 8-10 pasties
  1. Chop potatoes into small squares. About the size of a French fry, cubed.
  2. Chop rutabaga, carrots, and turnip into smaller squares. Chop onion into small pieces.
  3. Combine everything in a large mixing bowl. (By hand is easiest.)
  4. Roll out pie crust to approx. 9” diameter circles, one for each pasty.
  5. Store-bought pie crust works fine too, and is much easier. Mom’s pie crust is the best I’ve had, but I don’t make it anymore, since a major ingredient is lard. And I’ve found the name-brand refrigerated pie crusts from the grocery store are a good substitute.
  6. For each crust, put in about 1 cup of the mixture of veggies and ground beef, onto one half of the crust.
  7. As you scoop it into a cup, it’s easy to see that you get a good variety of all ingredients.
  8. Fold over the crust. Pinch together the edges.
  9. Place small slits in the top of the crust.

Bake at 375 for one hour.
They are ready to eat! Enjoy. I like ketchup with them (and this is about the ONLY thing I like with ketchup. Brown gravy is good too. But, they are a complete meal in themselves, so the ketchup or gravy isn’t even needed to enjoy your pasty!
They can also be frozen if they won’t be eaten in the next couple days.
For frozen pasties, they can be heated in an oven at 350 for about 40-45 minutes. After about 20 minutes, I cut them in half, to help the middle of the pasties thaw and heat thoroughly.
As a variation, my sister adds a can of Cream of Celery soup to the beef and veggie mixture to help moisten it.

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If any of my Wiki critics happen to be reading, here's a suggestion. Rather than altering or deleting someone else's speech, how about adding more of your own? Perhaps a Wiki called How to Stay in the OALC, with practical advice for making it work.

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