Can’t Have a Christian Woman Talking to the Kids

In Denver, Pastor Kathy Escobar was invited to speak at a local high school’s baccalaureate service (basically, an optional, religious graduation ceremony).

***Update***: As a few readers note, I should explain these ceremonies a bit more. I’ll just quote Drew M.:

A baccalaureate is an religious service for the graduating class. It is held off school property and attendance is optional, so it doesn’t violate separation of church and state.

Now, back to what Kathy wrote:

… they were looking for a female pastor, someone who would inspire the kids & open up some doors that hadn’t been opened previously by some of the standard baccalaureate sermons/messages.

As far as those services go, it sounds like a respectable choice.

But Kathy says that didn’t last very long:

… yesterday i got an email from him letting me know that unfortunately when the other pastors and leaders found out that a female pastor was speaking, they banded together to reject the idea. they said they couldn’t listen to someone they didn’t agree with and strong-armed a very conservative evangelical into the spot instead.

… i asked, “so, is it really just the woman pastor thing or is it about my beliefs…he said that the woman thing was definitely the main issue, the deal breaker, and anything that remotely is connected to the word “emerging” was just icing on the cake.

Well done, Christians leaders in Denver.

Those high school graduates are about to learn that they can do anything they want to do in life!… unless they’re female, relatively liberal, and use the title “Pastor.”

It’s probably for the best. The menfolk wouldn’t want Escobar warping the kids’ minds with her ridiculous ideas.

That’s their job.

(via @rachelheldevans)

  • Ian Reide

    haw haw haw — sorry if I seem insensitive.

  • http:http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/// Andrew Hall

    At least they are consistent.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    this is what will happen if they ever wipe out the queers, moosleems, (optionally, the jews), and all other faiths. They’ll turn on each other!

    Phelpsists just show the way

  • mcbender

    The sad thing is, I came in here expecting to agree with the premise if the emphasis had been “Can’t have a Christian woman talking to the kids”.

    This, though, is despicable.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    I wonder what the response will be from female students who are graduating.

  • http://madmonq.wordpress.com/ madmonq

    I agree with these pastors…with respect to Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Phyllis Schlafly. They need to shut up. Almost anyone else is allowed their say. I imagine these same pastors find their, um, loins girded everytime they speak.

    I wonder how all of these outspoken political Christian woman will feel when their Lard & Savior returns and puts the kibosh on all of their yammering. They will suddenly see the benefit of liberal ideas they’ll never get to express.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Don’t you have gender equality laws in the US? This is clearly sex discrimination.

  • JenniferT

    Aww, stop being so mean and give them some credit. It’s not as good as banning all pastors, but at least they’re 50% of the way there.

  • Steve

    Since when does the law apply to Christians? Seriously, they think they are exempt from every non-discrimination law because they claim that they infringe on their “religious freedom”. Many laws actually have such clauses built into them.

  • http://on.fb.me/HonestAtheist The Honest Atheist

    I actually think this is good…it shows the true definition of secularism. Government should not be involved in Church decisions and the Church should not be involved in government decisions.

    I wonder what kind of high school would invite Pastors to speak at their graduation anyway…was this a private school or public school?

  • Dakota Bob

    Ahahahaha, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day! when will these silly gooses learn, Religion =/= Gender Equality

  • Richard Wade

    That has to hurt. Let’s keep that in mind.

  • Walter

    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first than Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control.” 1 Timothy 11-15. Which part of the New Testament is pastor Kathy Escobar not agreeing with? Do Christians have a choice in accepting some parts of their book but not the others? The other question is this, is this a public school? Would someone local there with their kid or kids file for injunction please.
    Pastor Kathy Escobar herself says: “last month a mainline pastor from a small town outside of denver got in touch with me to see if i would be willing to come speak to their high school’s baccalaureate service in may. they were looking for a female pastor, someone who would inspire the kids & open up some doors that hadn’t been opened previously by some of the standard baccalaureate sermons/messages.” But Christianity, as judged by their own writings, is against equality, at least in this life…. Women will be saved [from what? hell?] only if they dutifully bear children, and continue in their submissive faith, love and “self-control” (I wonder what he meant by that)… Frankly, pastor Escobar should give up on Christians and join Atheists for Christ movement….

  • Steve

    @Walter
    Those bits are merely the personal opinion of Paul, who had completely screwed up and inhuman opinions about a lot of things. And while modern Christianity should be more accurately called “Paulinianism”, everybody is free to disregard that stuff. It’s even less the “word of god” than the rest of the Bible.

  • Roxane

    At least the service is optional. I would imagine that a lot of students would boycott it.

  • Walter

    @Steve
    So, it seems to me that at least the New part of the Bible would have to be reduced to Jefferson’s bible for Christians who would like to follow their master in an orthodox way, right?

  • Drew M.

    @The Honest Atheist

    A baccalaureate is an religious service for the graduating class. It is held off school property and attendance is optional, so it doesn’t violate separation of church and state.

    It’s a shame Hemant didn’t mention that in the very first sentence.

  • Vanessa

    @The Honest Atheist

    It wasn’t for a graduation it was for a baccalaureate. Not all schools have a baccalaureate, but if they do, it’s completely separate from the graduation. At baccalaureate, it’s usually standard to include prayers and religious speakers. Why schools still have this, I cannot say.

  • Erp

    Well actually we don’t know whether this one is held off-campus because we don’t know where it is held. Certainly some conservative Christian groups recommend hiring the school auditorium or gymn (or getting a christian student group to sponsor it and get the space for free or a discount).
    http://www.pacificjustice.org/articles/guidance-high-school-baccalaureate

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    I wonder how all of these outspoken political Christian woman will feel when their Lard & Savior returns and puts the kibosh on all of their yammering. They will suddenly see the benefit of liberal ideas they’ll never get to express.

    That was the only giggle that Ann Coulter ever gave me. When she went all “Pious Xtian” and frothed about America being based on Xtain values, I imagined how she would be treated if those old values returned. I expect our fine Xtian ancestors would have sewn a red “F” (for fornicator) on her chest and displayed her in the public stocks as punishment for her wanton immorality.
    (Because, ya’know, Clinton was a sinner for committing adultery, but she, as a single woman, could have sex with whomever she pleased. Apparently, she missed the part where Paul condemned “liars, thieves, adulterers and fornicators“.)

  • Drew M.

    Oh jeez. The first time I’m quoted and I have a typo. It figures.

  • Drew M.

    @Erp

    Certainly some conservative Christian groups recommend hiring the school auditorium or gymn (or getting a christian student group to sponsor it and get the space for free or a discount).
    http://www.pacificjustice.org/articles/guidance-high-school-baccalaureate

    Oh wow. That link is disturbing.

    In my experience, baccalaureates were always held in an actual church, so my apologies for not being completely accurate.

  • Indigo

    I am, sadly, not surprised. I find it ironic that religions claim to be the only path to morality when so many of them use it as an excuse to cover their asses for things no one would let them get away with without it.

  • Erp

    I wonder how many high school graduations in the US have baccalaureate services associated and how many of those are religious. My high school didn’t as far as I can recall (my university did but that was (and is) as multi faith as possible) possibly because a large minority of the student body was Jewish. The local high school where I now live has one but it is on campus and appears to be religiously neutral (likely to be true since the local community has Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and humanists).

  • http://grace-filled.net jen

    I wonder how many high school graduations in the US have baccalaureate services associated and how many of those are religious.

    We had one at my high school and I performed at it with my (secular) middle school choir. We usually had at least one religious piece in our repertoire and one universalist one.

    It was held at a local mega-church that could accommodate a fair number of people. It was on a Sunday afternoon and they usually had a rabbi, a priest, some kind of evangelical preacher, and whoever else the committee could line up. It was generally a Christian event and it was totally up to us if we wanted to attend. I didn’t go to mine because I was performing in a church recital that afternoon.

    Certainly some conservative Christian groups recommend hiring the school auditorium or gymn (or getting a christian student group to sponsor it and get the space for free or a discount).

    I’m sure that happens but I grew up in an affluent neighborhood in Silicon Valley so there was a pretty clear separation of church and state there. I think in the Midwest or more rural communities, you’d find more crossover and churches would use the gym or auditorium.

    Regarding the stupidity of rescinding the invitation, I wish people would read Paul in context instead of quoting him randomly.

  • Irene

    I grew up in New York and had never heard of a baccalaureate until I moved to Western Nebraska. My husband teaches Social Studies at the local public high school, so we went to it the first year. It was discomforting and I never saw the use or point of the ceremony.

    Also, this particular school holds their baccalaureate in the auditorium of the high school every year. It is optional, but all the kids say that they are made to feel that it is mandatory by their peers.

  • martha

    I graduated high school in a small town in 1973. Baccalaureate was held at the school. Everyone attended. It didn’t even cross my mind at the time that this was inappropriate. Thank god my dad taught me to think for myself. It just took awhile to put it all together.

  • Halley

    I didn’t know those were usually held off campus; the ones at my school are held in the school.

  • dropnout

    The school where I teach has a baccalaureate every year in the auditorium. We have almost zero religious minorities here, so nobody speaks up about separation of church and state. We have pro-life pregnancy center counselors come in, but not Planned Parenthood. Two students recently died (in separate instances) and the principal wants to bring in two local pastors to address the students. A few years ago the ACLU got involved in a graduation prayer dispute… time to call them again!