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Tag Archives: Women’s rights

She deserves nothing less from you

from Inspirational Quotes to Live and Learn – on Facebook

Are you waiting for women to pull themselves up to equality?  “It’s coming soon!”  “I hope those groups get their act together.”

It doesn’t work like that.  The marginalised cannot do it by themselves. It requires men and women of good will to speak and act on their behalf.

If it’s going to happen it’s going to need your involvement. The women are your sister, your mother, your daughter, your wife.  She deserves nothing less from you.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in theology, women's ordination

 

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Women’s Ministry Network page – Version 2

Women's Ministry Network image

Women’s Ministry Network image

The Women’s Ministry Network webpage has been redesigned, thanks to Isabel Mason and Tanya Wittwer.  The site, is still a work in progress but, as a webpage is an evolving thing, additions will continue over coming months. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that it corresponds roughly with International Women’s Day, a day that seems to go mostly unnoticed in the LCA.

There are significant resources on the new website that provide the theology and history of the debate on women’s ordination in the LCA.  There are study-guides, conference galleries and women’s stories from Biblical days and today, as well as current news.  These stories need to be heard for us all to understand the importance of acknowledging women’s faith and spirituality, as well as their leadership and wisdom.  The days are gone when women are seen simply as an adjunct to men.

It’s a great resource and worth coming back to.  Bookmarking the site may be the way to go.

Here’s the site, one more time.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in women's ordination

 

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Feminism

“Any woman who says she is not a feminist, but wishes to be treated as more than a piece of seagull poo on the windscreen of life, has simply got the terminology wrong.”  Attributed to Kaz Cooke

Recent events in Australia and around the world – from the accusations of misogyny, to the sad and senseless death of Jill Meagher, to the shooting of young Pakistani girl Malala Yousufzal have sparked a wave of feminist debate about the right of women to be safe and to live their lives without fear of ridicule or harm.  More than 320 000 people have joined Jill Meagher’s Facebook tribute page (unsubstantiated) and almost 30 000 people gathered in Melbourne in her memory.

Feminism is not a dirty word.  It quite literally and simply means insisting that the political, economic, and social rights of women are clearly defined, established and defended as equal to men.  The feminist movement has always sought to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.  In short a feminist is “an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women“.

Over the decades, the feminist movement in Australia and indeed many parts of the world have campaigned for and achieved to varying degrees women’s rights when it comes to contract law, property ownership, right to vote and reproductive rights.  Further, feminists have advocated for women’s workplace rights, such as maternity leave and equal pay.

Sadly, the feminist movement has even had to work hard to ensure that women and girls are protected from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.  There are many who argue that while feminism has mainly been focused on women’s issues and rights, the very fact that feminists seek overall gender equality, means men’s liberation is a necessary part of feminism, and that indeed men have also benefited from gender equality.

I am confident that almost of my family and friends are 100% in favour of rights and equality for all.  Most of them want to see an end to gender-based discrimination in society, the home and the workplace.  Most, if not all of them, would agree that women should be free and safe to walk our streets and that young girls like Malala should be free to speak up about injustice.  And yet most of them would not call themselves a feminist.  I wonder why?  Reference: To be or not to be a feminist, Tish Champion, in AEU Journal SA, 44(7), Nov 2012, p19

We have every reason to be thankful for feminism.

As most people support the equality of women it can be said that most people are feminist.  However, some people will want to refer to something nasty that individuals have done in the name of feminism but that gives us no reason to dismiss feminism.  Plenty of wars, child abuse and domestic violence are carried out by Christians but that gives us no reason to dismiss Christianity.

Without feminism in the LCA women would still be barred from taking leadership roles in the congregation and from participating at District and National Synod levels.

You may like to review the growing freedom that women have had in the LCA.

 
 

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Richard Holloway on Church and Ethics

Richard Holloway

The former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway states that Christianity and other revealed religions have a problem with keeping up with the best of modern ethics.

He says that a lot of church values are bronze age values; the subordination of women, seeing gays as an abomination (Leviticus) and how slavery was authenticated.

Holloway says, “If you believe that your revealed Scripture (‘our sacred title deeds’) is timelessly perfect in every regard, then you’re stuck with these bronze-age attitudes.”  The following quote is verbatim from ABC RN – Big Idea.

Christianity has to recognize that ethical challenges can come from the state and from secular society.  They don’t have a monopoly on goodness and idealistic thinking and the real challenges to the church in my lifetime have all come from outside the church: the challenge of women – the feminist movement – it took the church a long time to catch up*, and the gay thing, most people under 40 in my country (Great Britain) – the issue’s over – and we’re tearing ourselves apart about it, because it’s there in our sacred title deeds, and we need to reposition ourselves with regard to the title deeds.

It is said that a fish is unaware of the water it swims in.  In the same way many are oblivious to this discord between secular and conservative Christian ethics.  For some, equality and respect are corollaries with belief in a loving God, while for others, a hierarchy of humanity and exclusivities are necessary for belief.

What are the exclusivities in your congregation?  Are women in your congregation doing any of the following:

  • reading the lessons of the day
  • being stewards
  • assisting at holy communion
  • serving on your pastoral committee or church council (and doing something other than secretarial tasks and taking minutes)
  • serving as congregational chairperson
  • preaching the sermon
  • serving as pastor of your congregation

       It is an absolute certainty that one day women will serve in all of these roles and more.

*T   * The LCA, at this point, has not yet caught up with the equality of women.

       Reference: Religion: the next chapter – Big Ideas – ABC Radio National Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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I am a Feminist. I am a Christian. No Disclaimer. – Angela Drylie

Christ as Holy Wisdom

feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests — feminist n or adjfeministic adj

I am constantly bemused by the number of people I meet who say “I’m not a feminist but…. [insert statement that implies the person making the statement believes in the importance of equality between men and women]”. Many of my friends, my uni mates, work colleagues, and wider family do not think they are feminists, yet believe in the equality of women and their right to fair treatment. Kelly Clarkson claims not to be a feminist yet protests against the “Old Boys’ Club” she is constantly up against in the music industry. Just who do all these people think a feminist is? Contrary to popular myth, feminists come in all shapes and sizes, ages, genders, sexualities and religions. You do not have to a) be a lesbian, b) be abundantly, unabashedly hairy, c) eschew makeup and all kinds of laughter (although if you so choose any of the above, that is entirely up to you). It is not a prerequisite that you hate men. In fact, you can even be a man and still be a feminist. In fact, you can be a Christian, even a Lutheran and still be a feminist. Heck, I even know some pastors who would describe themselves as feminist. I even would go so far as to describe Jesus Christ as a feminist. The Feminist even.

Sojourner Truth in 1851 argued: “that …man…, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? …From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.” While he was bodily on earth, Jesus consistently acted in a manner that affirmed the worth and equality of women. Christ advocated for the equal application of Jewish law to men and women (Jn 8:3-7). Christ appeared after his resurrection to women first and commissioned them to give statements about this (in those times women were unable to give evidence in a court of law) (Jn 20:13-18; Mt 28:8-10). He included several women within his close group, teaching them (Mt 27:55-56; Lk 8:1-3; 10:39, 42). Throughout the Bible, God ordains female leaders, apostles and prophets such as Miriam, Deborah, Anna, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia. The first chapter of the Bible highlights that both men and women were made in the image of God (Gen 1: 27). God even answers to names with feminine overtones – for instance, ‘El Shaddai’ can be translated as “The Breasted One” and has connotations of abundance and fertility.

Christianity in general has always been concerned with issues of injustice and oppression. Feminism can sit comfortably alongside other important social justice concerns such as disability, poverty and homelessness, exploitative trade practices, Indigenous rights and the rights of prisoners. Despite this, many Christians still seem loath to be associated with feminism. I think this is partly to do with confusing the arguments of some feminists with the arguments of the whole group. Christians are not a homogenous group. We are not all prudish, cross-wearing, Bible-waving, teetotallers (though again, if you so choose, that’s your prerogative). Feminists are not a homogenous group either. The stereotypes are merely stereotypes. There is only one criterion in order to be a feminist: that you think that equality and fair treatment of women is a good thing. So am I a feminist? Absolutely. Do I need to qualify that? No. Do you believe that equal rights and fair treatment for women is a good thing? Yes? You are a feminist.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in sociology, theology

 

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