Worthwhile Reads: It’s Patriarchy, Not Complementarianism

I just read a very interesting article called It’s Not Complementarianism, it’s Patriarchy, by Rachel Held Evans. Here are a couple excerpts:

Complementarians are losing ground. And they’re losing ground for several reasons:

1. They are losing ground because more and more evangelical theologians, scholars, professors, and pastors are thoughtfully debunking a complementarian interpretation of Scripture.

2. They are losing ground because their rhetoric consistently reflects a commitment to an idealized glorification of the pre-feminist nuclear family of 1950s America rather than a commitment to “biblical manhood” and “biblical womanhood.”

3. And they are losing ground because, at the practical  level, evangelicals are realizing that complementarianism doesn’t actually promote complementary relationships, but rather hierarchal ones.

Finally, Evans points out something conservative evangelicals frequently try to hide: “Complementarianism” is just a new word for “Patriarchy.” Knowing that advocating “patriarchy” won’t go over well, conservative evangelicals have simply played the rhetoric card by changing the term they use.

For those who think I mean “patriarchy” as an insult rather than a description of reality, consider this: In the current issue of The Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Owen Strachan wrote, “For millennia, followers of God have practiced what used to be called patriarchy and is now called complementarianism.”

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

    If you read the book “The Way We Never Were” by Stephanie Coontz you’ll find that she demonstrates that the “family values 1950s” are pretty much a myth.

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