I’m a Woman. I cook and sew. Because the Bible Tells Me So.

Sometimes, I think religious people purposely provide fodder for the atheists… (emphases mine):

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers coursework in Greek and Hebrew, in archaeology, in the philosophy of religion and – starting this fall – in how to cook and sew.

Southwestern Baptist, one of the nation’s largest Southern Baptist seminaries, is introducing a new academic program in homemaking as part of an effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and gender roles.

Apparently, it’s the Southern Baptist wives that asked for the course:

Seminary President Paige Patterson [Hemant's note: (Just to prevent confusion) Paige is a male], a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has its executive committee headquarters in Nashville, said wives of seminary students asked for the homemaking courses. The program was approved by seminary trustees in the fall.

“We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God’s word for the home and the family,” Patterson said at the denomination’s annual meeting in June. “If we do not do something to salvage the future of the home, both our denomination and our nation will be destroyed.”

Because the key to a good home isn’t love or spending time with your family. It’s sewing and cooking. Oh no! They forgot to include the course on washing dishes! Their families are doomed…

“Women continue to make more inroads into traditional male bastions, which could be provoking Patterson to do this,” [director of Baptist studies at Emory University's Candler School of Theology David] Key said. Patterson is “trying to draw the line in the sand of where women need to be.”

Ironically, Patterson’s wife Dorothy is “the only woman faculty member now teaching in Southwestern’s theology school.”

Only women can enroll in the classes, and I might be more upset about that than I am that they’re being offered in the first place. Hell, I could have benefited from taking a cooking class in college

The upside to this is that any women taking the sewing/cooking classes will at least end up with concrete skills. Not that the school would like to see a woman working and making her own money, but if a graduate of these classes wanted to get a job as, say, a chef at a restaurant or a tailor, that might be a possibility. She’d have an easier time getting a decent-paying job with those skills than she would with a degree in Communications.

(Thanks to Stacia for the link!)


[tags]atheist, atheism, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Bible, Gender roles, Paige Patterson, Southern Baptist Convention, David Key, Dorothy Patterson[/tags]

  • Richard Wade

    If we do not do something to salvage the future of the home, both our denomination and our nation will be destroyed.

    So let me get this straight. Terrorists are plotting, epidemics are breeding, ice caps are melting, volcanoes are building up pressure, giant asteroids are crossing our path, the biggest idiot in the history of the Presidency is picking his toenails in the oval office, but what will destroy our nation is women not cooking and sewing?

  • Karen

    Hoo boy … that’s pretty enfuriating.

    I don’t understand why they’d bar the men from learning to cook and sew. Are they afraid of turning their students gay or something?

    Can women take the theology courses, or are those male-only – to preserve the traditional gender roles in both home and pulpit? Actually, that wouldn’t surprise me.

  • LeAnn

    I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and things like this infuriate me. To some degree, I understand the logic they use behind ideas like this. There are two places in the New Testament, in Timothy and Titus, that refer to pastors being the “husband of only one wife”. However, I am not convinced that this means that only men can be pastors or teachers in church. I am a historian so I tend to take things with their historical context in mind and at the time these two letters would have been written, women were not viewed as having the capabilities, intellect, etc. of men. Since our views about this and scientific evidence shows us that this is not accurate, I believe that women can be just as effective in preaching as men. Just my opinion.

  • PrimateIR

    Richard Wade said

    So let me get this straight. Terrorists are plotting, epidemics are breeding, ice caps are melting, volcanoes are building up pressure, giant asteroids are crossing our path, the biggest idiot in the history of the Presidency is picking his toenails in the oval office, but what will destroy our nation is women not cooking and sewing?

    Richard, all of that is happening BECAUSE we aren’t cooking and sewing! And we will continue to refrain from cooking and sewing until you give us what we want.

  • Jen

    I duuno about this being marketable skills. The sewing I could believe, though it might be more about creating clothes from scratch than tailoring, but maybe both. Something about it being called “cooking” makes it sound… less important or skilled than becoming a “chef”, so sounds like the good resturaunts wont care about your degree and you would have to be a line cook, which anyone basically can do well enough to work at IHOP or Denny’s. I am not sure it would get a woman a job after her husband leaves her.

    And obviously, outrage, etc, as a woman and a feminist.

  • Richard Wade

    Richard, all of that is happening BECAUSE we aren’t cooking and sewing! And we will continue to refrain from cooking and sewing until you give us what we want.

    Whatever you want it’s yours! Do you think the hoof and mouth disease in Britain or the next category 5 hurricane will go away if you hemmed my trousers and made that great meatloaf? Please?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Everybody should learn to cook and sew. They are basic skills that will serve you throughout life. Sadly as the course is only open to women I shall be forever dependent on good christian women to darn my socks and bake me cakes even though it offends my male ego to be so dependent on the weaker sex. ;)

    mmm, cake.

  • Nick

    Hemant,

    Delurking for a moment to hope that the Degree in Communications line was snark. Uhm, my education in Communications has given me demonstrable skills in a variety of fields: Video/Broadcast Production and Editing, Print Journalism, PR, and graphic design to name a few.

    Now if only I could have taken the cooking and sewing as an elective.

    Damn

    Maybe then I’d be eminently employable.

    Damn Damn.

  • PrimateIR

    Whatever you want it’s yours!

    I sense sarcasm Richard. Don’t make me put down my whisk!

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    I cook and sew–and knit and crochet and make jam and even clean my house once in a while. I still don’t believe in God. I guess knowing how to do “woman’s work” doesn’t make you pious after all.

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  • Richard Wade

    I sense sarcasm Richard. Don’t make me put down my whisk!

    No, really! Honest! Me? Sarcastic? Moi?

    Seriously, this sexist crap is infuriating, but even worse it’s disappointing. I consider this issue one of the saddest failures of my generation. We really fought hard to get society to respect women as equals, won a few yards of turf, but the next generation didn’t take ownership of it and it seems to have all fallen back. The sex object culture, the youth and beauty culture; it’s all stronger than before.

    First of all why does anyone need college level education in running a home? That should be required of both sexes in high school. I wish I had been able to take it back then. (in Sumeria) Unfortunately a boy taking Home Economics would have been stoned to death.

    The article contains even more outrageous things than what is in Hemant’s overview, including a lawsuit where the college apparently fired a female professor simply because she was female. But then check this out:

    Patterson took a leading role in the 1980s in a successful campaign to oust moderates from leadership posts in the Southern Baptist convention. While he was president of the convention from 1998 to 2000, Southern Baptists issued a statement that women should not be pastors and that wives should “graciously submit” to their husbands.

    If the phrase “graciously submit” doesn’t make your blood boil, male or female there is something seriously wrong with you. Stop sacrificing goats and wake up. You’re two millinnea behind the times. Humanity can no longer afford to waste half its brain power exclusively on cooking and sewing. The more rigidly sexist a country is, the more economically impoverished it tends to be. Maybe those two factors aren’t just correlated; I think the first helps to cause the second.

    Every day institutions like this absurd college become more anachronistic and more useless to the real-world needs of society. May they dry up and blow away with the dust of time.

  • Siamang

    Wake up, sheeple!

  • John Fariss

    FYI: we don’t all agree with Dr. Patterson or with the SWBTS program. I know it’s tempting to discard all Christians, or at least all Southern Baptists, on the basis of the sexism of folks like this, but please, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Some of us actually dare to believe women are human beings, and that Jesus and the Bible accept them as such.

    John Fariss

  • PrimateIR

    Elaborate Siamang!

    Richard Wade said

    We really fought hard to get society to respect women as equals, won a few yards of turf, but the next generation didn’t take ownership of it and it seems to have all fallen back

    That would have been my generation – and so true. Once individual opportunities in the private sector presented themselves we lost solidarity.

    Still, I don’t get that angry at this stuff.

    It makes me sad to think that someone regards me as an enemy, as Christianity regards women. But if they do, let them grant me the greatest gift an opponent can bestow…the gift of underestimation.

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  • Darryl

    Two thoughts:

    I for one would appreciate it if a few more young women (I’m assuming most of these women students are on the younger side) knew how to cook. This is a dying art in urban America and could use a little boost. I have fond memories of family socializing around good food.

    Fear not. Women are receiving more college degrees today than their male counterparts at a 3 to 2 ratio. I doubt this class at the seminary is going to put a dent in that trend.

  • Miko

    First of all why does anyone need college level education in running a home? That should be required of both sexes in high school.

    Or just taught at home…


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