Bible, Women and Violence

In my Women, Bible and the Church class, on Thursday, we began to discuss a book by a radical feminist, Renita Weems, called Battered Love (Overtures to Biblical Theology). Weems’ concern is a direct one: the paradoxical and painful connection in the Old Testament prophets of expressions of God’s compassion and love in the forms of violence against women.

One of the classic examples of this kind of text is Hosea 2 where YHWH’s faithfulness is set over against Israel’s infidelity, so YHWH takes Israel — who is described as his wife — into the wilderness and strips her bare and then seeks to woo her back to himself by blocking her path to abandon YHWH. I suppose it would be fair to speak here of a “horrific glory” in this text.

Weems makes the point over and over in her book that the combination of love and violence against the woman is troubling, and she further probes into this topic by arguing a common theme: violence against the woman is justified somehow because YHWH does it. Whatever is done by YHWH is justified because YHWH is just.

We explored in the class how to read one text more carefully, and that text is a long, long one: Ezekiel 16:1-52. Israel is depicted as an abandoned infant rescued and nurtured by YHWH, and she grows into a beautiful woman — and then she abandons YHWH and YHWH disciplines her.  I have the text after the jump. Hermeneutically we explored how far a metaphor can go and how we need to be careful not to go beyond it — in this case YHWH’s love for his wife and the discipline for her sin — but there remains the nagging implication that however the text is read, a woman is treated with violence. Examining texts like this with students never gets easy and neither can we avoid them.

For our Bible readers, what do you do with text like this? (Pretend they are not there is not an option.) I read John J. Collins’ little Facet book, Does the Bible Justify Violence? (Facets), in preparation for this class … and I don’t find his solution, which basically dismisses the certitude of the biblical writers when it comes to ethics, probing enough. At some level, we enter into the story of God’s covenant love and fidelity, the sin of all of us and the heinous of sin, and we are summoned to see ourselves in the text.

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices 3 and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.

6 “‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!”[a] 7 I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew and developed and entered puberty. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, yet you were stark naked.

8 “‘Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine.

9 “‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. 10 I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. 11 I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, 12 and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. 14 And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.

15 “‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his. 16 You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution. You went to him, and he possessed your beauty.[b] 17 You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. 18 And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them. 19 Also the food I provided for you—the flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat—you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened, declares the Sovereign LORD.

20 “‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? 21 You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols. 22 In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, kicking about in your blood.

23 “‘Woe! Woe to you, declares the Sovereign LORD. In addition to all your other wickedness, 24 you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every public square. 25 At every street corner you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, spreading your legs with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by. 26 You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your neighbors with large genitals, and aroused my anger with your increasing promiscuity. 27 So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct. 28 You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians too, because you were insatiable; and even after that, you still were not satisfied. 29 Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia,[c] a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied.

30 “‘I am filled with fury against you,[d] declares the Sovereign LORD, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute! 31 When you built your mounds at every street corner and made your lofty shrines in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.

32 “‘You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! 33 All prostitutes receive gifts, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. 34 So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.

35 “‘Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the LORD! 36 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood, 37 therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see you stark naked. 38 I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger. 39 Then I will deliver you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry and leave you stark naked. 40 They will bring a mob against you, who will stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. 41 They will burn down your houses and inflict punishment on you in the sight of many women. I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers. 42 Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.

43 “‘Because you did not remember the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, I will surely bring down on your head what you have done, declares the Sovereign LORD. Did you not add lewdness to all your other detestable practices?

44 “‘Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.” 45 You are a true daughter of your mother, who despised her husband and her children; and you are a true sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom. 47 You not only followed their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they. 48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. 51 Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done. 52 Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • rjs

    This is a powerful passage. The cultural context of the time it was written clearly permeates the imagery used to describe the relationship between YHWH and Israel.

    In this passage though, it seems to me that one must keep in mind that the “woman” is not a woman but is Israel, and specifically the male leaders of Israel. The description uses a context but it does not prescribe or condone any behavior.

    The context, though, permeates much of scripture and this troubles me because it allows men in particular, but women also, to be shaped in a fashion that makes the underlying assumption of power – men over women – to be not merely context for passages and illustrations, but the God ordained world order.

    I wonder, when people read this, who they identify with. What “eyes” do you assume? YHWH judging unfaithfulness or Israel being judged for unfaithfulness?

  • rjs

    And another thought – the underlying attitude in this text is the attitude that persists today and makes the experience of women in the Middle East (say Egypt, Pakistan, …) dangerous.

    Recall the posts last week… It’s common” and the link to Mary Rogers in Weekly Meanderings.

  • Rick

    I happen to be reading through Ezek. and read this passage just the other day. It never dawned on me to look it as a “violence to women” passage. I read it as a straight God/Isreal passage.

    This is interesting to hear how others look at it.

  • Susan N.

    “Weems makes the point over and over in her book that the combination of love and violence against the woman is troubling,” –I don’t take this so much as God’s sanction of violence against women in the name of love, so much as I see God using an example of humanity (or lack thereof) to explain a spiritual truth. The despicable women are those, both then and now, who are ungrateful for God’s blessings, misuse them, and turn away in unfaithful idolatry.

    “…and she further probes into this topic by arguing a common theme: violence against the woman is justified somehow because YHWH does it. Whatever is done by YHWH is justified because YHWH is just.” –I can buy the basic premise that God is perfectly just. His way is best, even when we can’t (in our finite humanness) understand. Here’s where, for me, this brand of theology breaks down: People who subscribe to this have a tendency to excuse and rationalize their own violent acts or omissions by citing biblical passages like this. Dangerous.

    The passage cited from Ezekiel made me think of a reading from 2 Samuel that I covered with my 10yo this week — David and Bathsheba and Nathan’s confrontation. I was discussing with my son the nature of David’s sin, to get at what the most grievous/heinous aspect of it was. The adultery? The murder? The fact that David abused his power in both cases was, to me, the most grievous part of his sin against God. God had blessed David and put him in a position to rule with the expectation that David would do it justly. God blesses us with the expectation that we will bless others likewise, and in doing so, honor Him.

    Ezekiel being a prophetic book, I think any comparative examples are relevant to the past, present, and future. I don’t think it’s a mandate for violence against women at all. If anything, I think this impresses me that God thinks this aspect of our fallen society is horrifying!

  • John Mc

    The message of the quoted passage is about faithfulness to the covenant and it was intended for a male audience in a violent culture predicated on male dominance and female submission.

    The role of the interpreter is to extract the message from the context and to explain distinction.

  • Diane

    Susan,

    I agree with you. This is a very troubling passage, not so much in and of itself, if we can grasp the metaphor, and if, as Susan points out, we see YHWH condemning the way men would brutally use a prostitute or a needy woman. It is hard to get around the declaration of YHWH that he will strip her naked and humiliate her, an unfortunate metaphor for forcing Israel to abandon its false pretensions and face reality. I’m glad, Susan, you pointed to David and Bathsheba–what we need to do, imo, is to start rereading all the passages about women that have been misread for a more than a thousand years—and put Hosea in the context of a rethinking of women and the Bible. The problem is the cumulative effect of a series of distorted and misogynist readings that have taken hold, so much so that it’s difficult to see many of these texts for what they are. Bathsheba, eg, was NOT a temptress, despite boatloads of art in museums and Judith did NOT, despite Freud’s strange (and yet culturally sanctioned) reading, behead Holofernes because he took her virginity. One strategy might be to read this text (Hosea) against Judges 19, the story of the Levite Concubine who is thrown out to the mob and raped to death to show that God is clearly NOT condoning violence against women. I also think reading some Lacan and Mieke Bal would be helpful to show that we are blinded because we come into texts already “knowing” what they say, and thus misread them. Also, wrestling with authors like Lacan and Bal is good for students, I think, apropos to our conversation on education. Finally, I think the Bible is to be applauding by not ignoring the problem of violence against women. It’s upfront about its existence, which gives us relevant texts for discussing the still appalling violence against in many parts of the world. It we are shocked and disturbed by the imagery of Hosea, maybe we ought to focus on the fact that that kind of violence is shocking and disturbing.

  • Jeremy

    I think Susan is spot on (from my admittedly male perspective, of course).

    I would add that Prophetic voice isn’t supposed to be measured and reasonable. It’s always full of “crazy talk.” I think it’s also worth noting that adultery was a capital offense and YHWH is mostly expressed in masculine terms, so naturally, Israel would take the female role in the metaphor. I don’t think it’s prescriptive in any way. Violence and rage over betrayal are occurrences we can identify with even today, so the language is perfect for conveying the message.

  • http://krisanneswartley.wordpress.com KrisAnne

    This does not do away with the very troubling issue of violence in the passage, but it’s helpful for me to concentrate on what it’s saying about the covenant between God and His people— that it is not simply a contract between political allies or a King and his subordinates— but that it is more akin to marriage. It is family. It is that intimate. Actually, now that I type that, perhaps that makes the violence even more troubling… that someone that intimate would do that kind of violence…

    But I guess I’m trying to understand what would have been surprising or unexpencted to the original audience the prophet was addressing. Would they have been shocked that their God would describe Himself as a husband, and they as a bride? I do not think, sadly, that the description of violence would have been surprising.

    I am reminded, as I think about this issue in scripture, of Pete Enns’ book on the Word of God. I can only stomach this image of God when I understand that just as Jesus is The Word and thus, fully human and fully God, the Bible is also The Word: it is fully human, even as it is also the very Word of God. This is a human image depicted in this passage, drenched in the violent culture of the time… yet God is in it, somewhere, somehow.

  • Anna

    ??? Renita Weems? A radical feminist?

    Feminist yes, and may her tribe increase; radical, no.

  • rjs

    KrisAnne,

    There is another aspect of violence in a family relationship in this passage as well – and that is the violence of Israel in the portrayal of the woman. We can’t look at one without the other. This isn’t a story of an ‘innocent’ person in the hands of a tyrant but a story of absolute betrayal by a person and punishment for that total betrayal.

    Now in this context the image of male violence on a female person is troubling – I am not dismissing that. But it is part of a cultural context that must be considered in interpreting the text.

    I am not a fan of the Jonathan Edwards approach of sinners in the hands of an angry God – because I don’t think the dominant image should be of an angry God – but there does need to be an appreciation for the depth of human rebellion, and the rebellion of Israel, here depicted as the prostitution by the wife.

  • http://krisanneswartley.wordpress.com KrisAnne

    rjs,
    You are so right… and it, in a sense, reveals a vulnerable God, vulnerable to betrayal and hurt Himself. Which, again, would have been surprising to the original audience, yes? What other God reveals that kind of vulnerability?

  • normbv

    Perhaps it is misguided to attempt to understand these OT biblical applications without continuing on to the remedy that is about to be prophesied. Does not that prophecy provide the higher view that runs underneath the old mindset that is the one to be forgotten? Read below Hosea’s hope for the future.

    (Hosea 2:14 NIV) “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. 15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

    Next we have the highlight verse to recognize that through Christ there will be a true loving husband dealing with her and not a “lording Master”. Consider the picture of Christ as her husband as described by Paul instead of the “works oriented lording master”. This story is a picture of the coming Grace of God replacing the Old Master of the Law that Israel strove underneath. Christ is the True loving husband.

    16 “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; YOU WILL NO LONGER CALL ME ‘MY MASTER.’ 17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked.

    (Hosea 2:19 NIV) I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. 20 I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.

    It seems then we actually have a polemic against the form of relationship that is being utilized to tell the story and that needs to be recognized. This goes back to Genesis 3 in which due to the curse of the law that Eve who represents Israel again will have a bondage Lord ruling over her until she is freed. That is what this story of Hosea is unfolding for us. This husband motif started in Genesis and Paul in Eph 5:31-32 brings us back to it.

    Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said … and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.

    Eph 5:31-32 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. (32) This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church.

  • Phillip

    Weems addresses the issue also in her “Gomer: Victim of Violence or Victim of Metaphor” Semeia 47 (1989): 87-104. If you have access to ATLA you can pull it up there. In the article, she recognizes the violence image for what it is, a powerful image that must be understood in context. But she cautions against elevating one such image of God above all others and against taking the image as normative for human behavior. I had my students read this article recently in my OT Theology class, and we discussed both the exegetical/contextual aspects and the pastoral aspects. My own thinking is that we explain the image, much as Weems does, keeping context and the nature and limits of metaphor in mind. We also discuss the potential for misapplying the text. Then we try to hear it from the perspective of those in the pew, some of whom may have suffered spousal abuse. This is where knowing (exegeting) our congregations is important. We stress that this is not a model for husband-wife relationships, that it is one of many images used of God, and by no means a dominant one. We prepare ourselves with resources to help those for whom such a text may stir up pain. I don’t think we can avoid the text, but we have to handle it pastorally.

  • Phillip

    By the way, Weems has her own blog, if you are interested in following what she is thinking and writing about: http://www.somethingwithin.com/blog/

  • John W Frye

    It is not just violence against women. Jesus said, “In his anger the master turned him over to the jailers to be *tortured*, until he should pay back all he owed. *This is how* my heavenly Father treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from the heart” (Matthew 18:34-35).

  • Steve K

    If anyone reads this passage and thinks first about violence to women, they have missed the point.

  • http://www.crackedvirtue.com Brian M

    I think many have already concluded God wouldn’t condone violence against women if you don’t see this text (among others) as giving men a reason to think it’s o.k. I grew up in a “movement” that put a lot of weight on biblical models or patterns. A passage like this would’ve been added to the other dominant male passages to excuse bad behavior as ‘biblical’. While I think they would be missing the point, texts like these give violent or aggressive men all they need to feel like they’re “doing it God’s way.” Verse 58 says, “I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring on you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.” Clearly, they’ve got it coming – and I would hate to tell you how many times I’ve heard that from a “Bible believing” man after he’s physically assaulted his wife.

    What do we I do with passages like that? I make sure that it’s clear that Jesus is our image of God and that texts like this one have to give way to the words and example of Jesus. I teach that cultural context produced expressions and allegories that we cannot take at face value but have to sift in light of the revelation of Jesus.

  • Phillip

    Steve (@16), I agree that such a reading misses the point of the text. But for a victim of violence, it may well be the first thing she thinks about. Experience affects our reactions to the biblical texts.

  • smcknight

    Steve K,

    I am comfortable with your saying violence isn’t the point of the text, but I would push back by saying if one doesn’t see the potential problem in the violent imagery one is also being insensitive to cultural context today.

    Brian M is right: some have unjustifiably used this text to justify violence against women.

  • Steve K

    Phillip & Scot,

    Yeah, I thought about toning down my comment and qualifying it, but was a little enamored with the poetry (for lack of a more complex description). Thanks for the push back. I suppose I wish we could understand and appreciate the ancients’ depth better. I suppose that’s why we’re having this discussion. In some ways, reading violence out of this makes me think of literalist interpretations of Genesis 1. Obviously, there’s a pull toward/danger of that.
    On the other hand, I suppose I could understand my culture better too. *sigh*

  • http://www.ccada.org Kate Johnson

    Many use texts such as these to not only justify violence against women, but to encourage its use. I have had women I deal with whose pastors promote “spanking” your wife to keep her “in line” and always can find a text to misuse to justify these positions. It is not only in other countries, it is in our backyards.

    Thanks again Scot for another thought provoking discussion.

  • rjs

    Scot,

    Many have used these texts to justify violence against women. And many have used the the places where Jesus condemns actions by the Pharisees or rulers as justification for violence (verbal, social, or physical) against others.

    It seems to me that a substantial part of the problem here is identification. This was the point I was trying to make in #1 above. In every such passage, every single solitary human should always identify with and read it from the position of the one who is condemned. The appropriate human/theological message is never to consider how I should condemn, call out, or punish others, but always to consider how I should respond to God.

    It is disturbing that scripture does not condemn in no uncertain terms the kind of behavior we wish it condemned, from violence to slavery and more.

  • normbv

    What is problematic for the conservative evangelical church is that they will take verses like Gen 3:16 and think they are the proper template for the husband and wife relationship. They will then bind this idea of the woman wanting to be lorded over by her husband as set in stone from the beginning. They fail to understand the context that this occurs after the fall and is a commentary about Eve as Israel having a misguided allurement to bondage under the Law. This is played out in the NT where the apostate Jews hang tenaciously onto the Law of bondage.

    Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said … and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.

    Paul carries forth this idea of bondage to Adam in Romans 5-8 and again uses the marriage and adulterous motif to illustrate the point.

    Rom 7:2-4 ESV For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. (3) Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But IF HER HUSBAND [ADAM & LAW] DIES, SHE IS FREE FROM THAT LAW, and if she marries another man [Christ second Adam] she is not an adulteress. (4) Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, …

    The problem historically for the church is that it did not recognize these husband and wife motifs consistently and so they effectively picked and choose what suited their concepts. Often their concepts were driven by ideas in the bible that were polemic representations of not what to be like and so clung to these old ideas in ignorance.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    Yeah, I thought about toning down my comment and qualifying it, but was a little enamored with the poetry (for lack of a more complex description). Thanks for the push back. I suppose I wish we could understand and appreciate the ancients’ depth better. I suppose that’s why we’re having this discussion.

    Honestly, I think that recognizing that this language is violent actually helps us to understand what’s going on with the ancient text. I’m not quite saying “things were more violent then” (it may be so, but that’s not the point) so much as to say that if we just gloss over these texts without recognizing the ways in which they can be read violently, we may well be missing important information about that time and culture (and, indeed, whatever “point” the text does have for us) that we need. We may well be reading out of our traditions more than seeing what’s actually there.

    I doubt that anyone here seriously thinks we should edit the Bible to make it less violent, nor that we should avoid unsavory passages. But we definitely need to recognize that some of this very troubling stuff is there.

  • Susan N.

    rjs @ #22 – “In every such passage, every single solitary human should always identify with and read it from the position of the one who is condemned.”

    This is very good advice for reading/interpreting and applying Scriptural truth. Well-said. Thank you.

  • Anderson

    Anna (@ #9),

    I had the same response. I had Renita Weems as a professor, and would never have thought to use the phrase “radical feminist” to describe her.

  • Randy Gabrielse

    One thought from our class on Reading the Bible through Agrarian Eyes is that Ellen F. Davis (DukeU.), the author of the main textbook, suggests in a chapter on Amos and Hosea as the first rural prophets that what are described as prostitution and other sins of sexual morality are actually ways of presenting the economic sins of the empire under Jeroboam II and Ahab. These would be much like how writers under authoritarian regimes today write about something other than the matter at hand to make a point that the authorities will not catch.

    Peace,
    Randy G.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    Susan and rjs, my wife has been trying to make me more sensitive to the subtle ways that people are put down and how hard it is to see that when in the position of privilege. I just wish she was a bit more gentle in her restorative justice….

  • Anna

    Anderson at #26,

    Wow! I hope her teaching is as powerful as her writing!

    Most of the radical feminists I’ve read wanted nothing to do with the Bible beyond finding ways to bury it; they consider it to be a primary tool of patriarchy. And I think they are right: the Bible IS used as a primary tool of patriarchy. It is only when I discovered there was a good deal more to it that I became a Christian. But I still really struggle with passages like the one in the post.

    I’d consider Mary Daly to be a radical feminist theologian.