RSS

Tag Archives: male superiority

Jimmy Carter: Women’s Plight Perpetuated By World Religions

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter as shown in The Huffington Post 28th June 2013

While it may seem harsh that Jimmy Carter blames religious leaders for mistreatment of women across the world, blame needs to be allocated amongst those who carry the power – blame for complicity, whether it’s active or passive.

Through discerning the times, leadership has the potential for prophetic leadership, to provide new direction guided by compassion and justice, to reflect on the best way to prepare membership for change.  If that opportunity is not taken up then leadership becomes part of the problem.

NewsATLANTA — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world.The human rights activist said Friday religious authorities perpetuate misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures mutilating the genitals of young girls.Carter said the doctrines, which he described as theologically indefensible, contribute to a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex slave trade and inequality in the workplace and classroom.

via Jimmy Carter: Women’s Plight Perpetuated By World Religions.

Half the Sky is a sober reminder of the brutal treatment of women and girls all around the world – a highly recommended read!

Times have changed. Just a few decades ago women in the LCA were treated as children.  They could serve in no public way (Sunday School seemed to be acceptable), could take no representative role, nor could they take any role of leadership.

Before 1966 women experienced virtually total inequality in the Church, even though all members presumably would have accepted that “in Christ there is no East nor West.”

Note how recently women were granted various responsibilities in the LCA (a post from this blog)

  • 1966 voting at congregational meetings
  • 1981 being delegates at Synod
  • 1984 being a member of church boards and committees
  • 1984 included in the guidelines for reading lessons in worship
  • 1989 assisting in the distributing of Holy Communion
  • 1990 being lay assistant as an alternative to elder
  • 1990 being chairperson of a congregation
  • 1998 being synodical chairperson
  • 2003 lay-reading

Times have changed but women are still denied full inclusion.

The doctrine of the LCA has contributed to a political and social structure where presidents have passively accepted the inequality of women.  This is ironic in a system that values education so deeply and where girls are clearly taught, through Bible study and role-modelling, that they are equal in all ways with boys.  One cannot educate the young with values of equality and integrity and honestly expect them to fore-go their equality and calling later in life.

We suggest that religious leaders at all levels carry blame for the decades since union it has taken to recognise women thus far.  There will need to be a time of apology to women. The LCA will need to apologise, living emeritus presidents will need to apologise and congregations will need to apologise for having ignored women for so long.

We have learnt that the personal is political – a feminist phrase during the late 60s and 70s where ‘political’ refers to any power relationship – but the spiritual is also political, for spirituality can be used to repress or lift up.  Jimmy Carter is referring to the former. It’s worth noting that Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, were once members of the Southern Baptist Church.

The couple recently disassociated from Southern Baptists, citing its prohibition on ordaining women or allowing them to serve as deacons or in other leadership posts in local congregations. Ref

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Royals to crown women – one less pillar of sexism

Yesterday’s announcement from CHOGM in Perth, that the Commonwealth is to scrap laws barring first-born daughters from ascending to the throne, is one less card in the house of sexism and misogyny that came as baggage from ancient days.

At the time of Jesus it was normal to minimise women, to the point of ignoring them when counting people (Matthew 14:13-21).  Today, such attitudes are unacceptable. In a myriad ways, the position of women has advanced (consider the position of women in Australian political leadership today), but sadly, LCA leadership clings to pre-war notions of women’s position in the Church.

Just as it is inappropriate to maintain male superiority in the British Royal Family, it is increasingly contradictory and destructive to LCA morale and membership to attempt to maintain a theology of male superiority, while at the same time proclaiming Jesus’ grace to the whole world.

________

Check out the recent blog “In search of the picture of biblical womanhood“.  It’s a tough reminder of how women were viewed in the Old and New Testament and then a reminder of the grace that Jesus showed women.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

If you found this post useful, consider sharing and subscribing to this blog for free.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 29, 2011 in sociology, theology

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: