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Complacency is over

gordon-brown

Gordon Brown – UN Special Envoy for Global Education

Gordon Brown blogged at the Huffington Post today, “Girl Rising: Adult Complacency Is Over“.  He speaks about the attempted murder of Malala in Pakistan by the Taliban, and he speaks about the recent gang rape and murder of the medical student in India.  He suggests that these atrocities should not be just further examples of terrible violence but that they should mark the end of tolerating such violence.

The forces against girls and women are  structural, often subtle and often culturally and religiously ingrained.  You will hear endless rationalisation for how girls and women are treated – until your gut turns and you realise that the human condition historically has objectified or ‘othered’ girls and women.

Our sexism is not planned, it just is, at least until we can name it and vow to move on from it.  It’s like superstition – avoiding walking under ladders, or saying “touch wood”.  We have inherited a  lot of nonsense!  Overcoming sexism is not an intellectual decision however.  We were surprised some years ago, when travelling interstate, when an attractive woman walked towards a semi-trailer from a petrol station and entered the cabin from the driver’s side. She was the driver but our upbringing and conditioning had told us that she would be the passenger. There are countless examples where we detect our sexism.  (Does sexism become misogyny when we start to justify our negative attitudes towards women?)

The Church, in all of its self-congratulatory pats on the back about grace, Scripture alone, etc, needs a moment of confession and seeking of repentance.   We need to start listening to women and hearing their stories of abuse experienced.  As history is often told by the winners of conflict and oppressors, the quiet voices take some time to be heard.

It is time that male complacency towards women’s position in the Church was let go.  As Christians, who are highly adept at acknowledging our sin through the liturgy and general faith, it should not be a major step to acknowledge that we have dishonoured our women.  It is time that we lifted up women in the LCA, and in doing so, were able to benefit from their pastoral skills honed in relationships and raising families.  Anything else is immaturity and vindictive.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in sociology, women's ordination

 

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Race and Gender Discrimination in the Church

Margaret Mowczko, blogger at Newlife

If only people were accepted for what they are or could be, there would be no problem; but to know that something over which one has no control – namely, one’s biologically inherited appearance [or gender] – is forever a bar to the realization of an ideal, this is what hurts and hurts deeply.

via Race and Gender Discrimination in the Church.

It is so disheartening and contrary to love and compassion that those we love are excluded from leading us to God in worship, through their witness and feminine perspective on the Good News. It is our guess that those resisting women’s ordination might suggest that women’s perspective on the Gospel can be no different to that of men – and if they agreed that there was another perspective it presumably would be deemed inferior.

We guess it will take the retirement of the current President for this matter to be progressed. Meanwhile the Church fades.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in sociology, theology

 

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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.

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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.

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Posted by on October 29, 2011 in sociology, theology

 

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Experiencing gender discrimination in the church

Pastor Rick Mickelson, from the ELCA (USA), who served in the Barossa (SA) and Epping (NSW), once wept that he couldn’t affirm for his daughters that there was nothing they couldn’t do. He was painfully aware that in secular life there are no boundaries for girls. In spiritual life, which connects at a much deeper level, women are told in the LCA that certain things are not for them.  How many women in churches around the world have been told that they don’t really have a call to the ordained ministry because they are women?

“It’s sad, really, that the only place in my entire life that I have experienced gender discrimination is the church,” VanScoy emailed me. “Certainly God never intended to gift a woman to do something she was not intended to do.” source – Soujourners Magazine.

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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in sociology, theology

 

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