tips on how to train a well-behaved woman

commands for women cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

“Commands for Women” (by nakedpastor David Hayward)

(*** You can buy a fine reproduction of this cartoon as well as my other artwork in my online gallery.)

I see this attitude prevalent throughout our culture. Not just in the church.

But the church employs holy scripture as a legitimizing agent in its misogynistic agenda. It’s validated from on high.

This is not true everywhere, but it is true in enough places to merit mentioning:

Men are slightly lower than the angels. Women are slightly higher than our pets.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Caryn LeMur

    I had to smile at this one sooo much. When I lived as a man, I would have greatly disagreed with you, because I could not see this type of logic. Oh, I lived it… but those with privilege seldom realize they have it.

    Now that I have lived as a woman, I am amazed at the cultural messages sent to women that lower them, and elevate men. And yes, I am sadly impressed by the men of the church that ignore the equality among the believers, and insist that their genitals make them divine leaders. ‘For in Christ Jesus, neither X nor Y matter at all, but only faith which expresses itself in love.’ [Galatians]

    But the men are desperate. They need to hold on to a patriarchal viewpoint, for it makes them worthwhile with no work. It is like being a beautiful woman by nature… and they all wish to be beautiful and admired.

    A relationship of equals requires deep communication of dreams, goals, hopes, and a love of protecting others that think differently… even protecting your wife’s right to think differently. This type of relationship requires humility and gentleness. This is work.

    However, ultimately, this type of equal relationship sets the table so that unconditional love can be served for every meal. And, the man that gives unconditional love to those close to him, is a man very worthwhile.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Livin

    People get this backwards. Men are suppose to serve women,kids, the elderly etc…before themselfs. The way it is suppose to work is that the higher your position the more you serve others before yourself.
    In marriage both people are suppose to give up thier indiviuality and you and your wife are suppose to act as one.
    These are radical teachings not accepted by the secual world.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    So let me get this straight Livin… men are in a “higher position”, so they are to use this to “serve women”?

  • Michael

    Clearly designed to provoke. Perhaps you have been moving in the wrong circles for too long David, even ( the vast majority ) of we Catholics are way beyond that kind of stuff. Some of us might even include Mary as the fourth person of the Trinity. And yes, I am happy to be called a heretic.

  • Livin

    Yup. Men need to serve women without requiring anything in return. Deacons need to serve the church without requiring anything back. Pastors need to serve the Deacons and the church without requiring anything etc…

  • Heather

    What might be considered the “wrong circles.” Those within the circle who have been hurt or abused and aren’t silent anymore?

  • Jake Enns

    DANG! That is so accurate of much of society and church that it will be rejected outright by most.

  • Livin

    The Pastor should be the first to volunteer(anytime day or night) to serve and the last to set somthing down. If your Pastor acts like a king then find a new church.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Beware of hierarchies with lots of “suppose to”. They always work well for some but not so well for others.

  • Gary

    My experience in fundamental churches mirrors David’s post today very closely. Women were not only not allowed to be in leadership within the church, the pastor constantly preached at them from the pulpit how they were supposed to submit to their husbands authority and preached at the men how they were to be the head of the house. The result of course was a very misogynist mindset.

    “Men are slightly lower than the angels. Women are slightly higher than our pets.”

    Yup…pretty much sums up net result of such teaching.

  • Gary

    I have come to believe that the church itself is pretty much the “wrong circle”.

  • Al Cruise

    “way beyond that kind of stuff” Where are the women priests?

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Until there are women priests, deacons, bishops, cardinals, and popes, don’t pull that shit

  • Cecilia Davidson

    No, the secular world is okay with women taking the lead. It’s more often that the RELIGIOUS world wants to control women

  • Livin

    That is where you and the secular world is wrong. We should not be looking to take the lead but to serve humanity,to serve others, to put all others before ourselfs. This is what Christianity is about.

  • Michael

    At the time I was thinking of fundamentalist circles – those who preach man is at the top of the pile, and women ( God forbid ) are somewhere down there towards the bottom.
    As for the comments on women in ordained Catholic roles – maybe not in my lifetime but it will happen. I tend to listen to people in the pews rather than the puffed up curia.
    And Cecilia – is there really the need for abusive language in honest debate?

  • Michael

    There is neither male nor female, slave nor freeman – isn’t that in the Scriptures somewhere? Apart from the ‘guy’ stood at the altar I know plenty of churches where such equality reigns.

  • Livin

    Then they would not be Catholic. It is a theological argument as well as a religious one. Calling people names is not a way to talk about differences.

  • Gary

    What name?

  • Michael

    My Rabbi wrote this, to a male friend: “You write that your spouse always wants to disagree with you on every issue. But this is the natural way we were created. We all have our own minds. It’s alright to disagree. Now you must learn to give in.”

  • Jon Fermin

    Mary the greatest saint? Yes. Ark of the New Covenant? Yes. Queen Mother of Heaven and Mother of God? Yes. every honor bestowed upon her in the litany of Loretto (all 50 of them), yes. “4th person of the trinity?” As Lauded as Mary is, she is still a human, and cannot be God. Your heretical comment (for which you are so proud) is designed to provoke too. I am merely happy that you at least are not giving the illusion this is what is actually taught, ( I hear enough of that 4th person of the trinity accusation from fundamentalists).

  • Livin

    You are correct she was using abusive language, I misspoke.

  • Gary

    I find referring to something which one finds to be distasteful as “shit” to be perfectly fine and appropriate language.

  • Livin

    Sounds like a bad church that twisted the message. True some churches do not allow women Pastors but there is nothing wrong with that if the scriptures are properly taught.
    The big problem is twisting a serving position(Pastor,Elder,Deacon) into a position of military like authority.

  • Livin

    Not when pursuing dialog it shuts people off. It also makes them a martyr having the opposite effect of what was intended.

  • Livin

    In churches that decided they want them, while others decided not to and remain biblical. It is freedom of choice.

  • Gary

    Nah…I find that people who are put off by profanity (unless it is directly individually abusive) to be judgmental types who believe their criteria for what is appropriate to be everyone’s.

  • Gary

    “A bad church”? This is not simply one church…but rather indicative of the entire fundamental sect of Christianity.

    And I totally reject your follow up comment, “but there is nothing wrong with that if the scriptures are properly taught” because I firmly believe scripture is wrong in promoting misogyny period. Paul (or whatever forger stole his name) was wrong.

  • Livin

    As long as you do not consider yourself a Christian, then it dose not matter if you follow the scriptures or not.
    If you do consider yourself a Christian you need to find a better church but be less prideful when looking at scripture. To be a Christian is to follow Christ and his Apostles.

  • Gary

    Still dictating the rules I see. LOL

    Guess what? You don’t speak for me or Christians in general. A large percent of the Christian faith does not believe the bible to be infallible and will certainly not accept your admonishments as to what they “need” to do. From my perspective…it is those like you who have wandered away from the gospel of Christ.

  • Livin

    We will see in the end. For your information in the circles I am in I am considered a liberal ;)

  • Gary

    In the end we will see (if there is a god) that no one was truly right.

  • Livin

    Yes we are all sinners and no one is right we are all wrong. But without God nothing matters existance is nihilistic.

  • Michael

    To all your yes’s, Yes! Mary Mother of God – the co-equal Trinity. Not an intentional/designed provocation, but if it does, then so be it. And no, I don’t do pride! And me a fundamentalist, NEVER. I simply try to go where the Holy Spirit blows.

  • Michael

    Most of it – yes!

  • Jon Fermin

    It is easy to misunderstand the Catholic position as mysoginy from the outside. Other Christian traditions for the most part lack a sacramental theology or mariology, and have a tendency to borrow their ontology from whatever culture they happen to inhabit, in other words, those outside the church lack the necessary context to make such a distinction. In western society, the ontological mistake is in existentialism. It’s primary error is that it places identity (and dignity) in the will of the individual, and the expression of the will in their action. Rather, the Catholic ontological view places our identity in our creation, our action and will are true insofar as they are without sin, that is, in line with the will of God. we were created male and female, equal in dignity, complimentary in function and intrinsic, both within body and soul. Just as our physical fatherhood and motherhood are inextricably bound to our unchangeable sexual identity, so is spiritual fatherhood. Hence why priests are called fathers.

    Following up on this. the mass, the primary prayer of the Church, and the role most associated with the priesthood, is inextricably bound with the nuptial language of scripture, it’s language is evocative of the marriage feast of the lamb in revelation, and in this, the priest is taking on the role of Christ in re-presenting Christ’s sacrifice in the eucharist. this is done in accordance with Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” In the mass, the sacramental character of his ordination means that Christ works through him and through the sacrifice of the Eucharist, he and the church, referred to in the feminine become one flesh. and for many people even using this kind of language to describe their sunday service is head-spinning. it’s not an easy thing to grasp, it’s like trying to wrap one’s head around the trinity. this is why paul calls it a mystery.

    this among other reasons, is why Pope John Paul II has effectively said the matter on female priestly ordination is considered closed, but to view this statement without context also bares a misunderstanding, for this is the same pope who wrote mulieris dignitatem (the dignity of women) and held as the highest example of human sanctity for men as well as women, the Blessed Virgin Mary. and proclaimed female doctors of the church like St. Therese of Lisieux as examples of profound theological teaching. Benedict XVI the same with St. Hildegard of Bingen. Pope Paul VI before both of them did so with St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Sienna.

    In fact the sheer number of female saints throughout the ages testifies that the church does not believe that the priesthood makes one any more or less dignified or deserving of heaven than any other, but rather that this paternal role in accordance with scripture is as much a masculine act in the spirit as fatherhood physically is among other men. (Ontologically the body and soul are one, human beings being embodied souls). as such. again this is a matter of ontology, not about the diminishment of inherent dignity.

  • Michael

    I don’t think a person has to be judgemental not to appreciate or be offended by foul language. The need to use such language more often than not points to a need to compensate for a lack of adequate and patient thought process.

  • Jon Fermin

    And you are right in saying that you are not a fundamentalist, for a fundamentalist would be shocked to hear someone proclaim Mary as the 4th person of the trinity, as would any (small “o”) orthodox Christian. one would have reason to question your source as the Holy Spirit, because it flies in the face of what is stated in scripture and there is no historical or theological grounding for such a position. Mary makes no claim for Godhood, and no claim is given. what is your grounding for this position?

  • Gary

    See what I mean? Your evaluation of those who choose to use profanity is extremely judgmental and condescending.

    Thanks for proving my point. LOL

  • Gary

    No matter how much spin one throws at the issue…so long as there are roles reserved exclusively for men it is, by definition, misogynistic.

  • Wendy Smith

    Just for your information: I am a truck driver’s daughter and an ex-sailor. I can cuss the paint off of walls. I do not lack adequate and patient thought processes. And sometimes the mental gymnastics to come up with a “non-offensive” word is simply a waste of time when calling something what it is (in this case, “shit”) gets the point across quite succinctly.

  • April Fiet

    Interesting. I thought the first priority of every Christian was to serve God. And sometimes that means going against others…

    Although, I never was very good at being well-behaved. :) My husband and I are both ordained pastors.

  • Gary

    Since Jesus said there is neither male nor female…which “biblical” version are you referring to? Seems like Jesus’ words would carry more weight than Paul’s.

    Whenever one claims their view is the “biblical” view they are willfully ignoring those parts of the bible they disagree with.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Is the phenomenon of women ill-treating men in Western society negligible in comparison?

    If so I would like to see objective peer-reviewed studies.

    Until then, I am justified in my belief that women are AS LIKELY AS men to be sexist.

  • Livin

    If I threw out the apostles you might have a point but….Paul’s letters are the oldest of the NT canon and are authoritative of Christian practice.
    Jesus’s 12 Apostles were males. The Apostle Paul tells us that men are to be Overseers while women can be elders,deacons and prophets.
    Paul actually gives more roles to women than is found in the Gospels.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    Hi April. Nice to meet you :)

  • Livin

    It is to love God by serving others.

  • Wendy Smith

    Wow, based on the comments from most of the males here, I would say you hit the nail on the head.

  • Jon Fermin

    by that logic would it be correct for me to say that my lacking in the ability to give birth is reason enough to claim misandry? again viewing this from a power paradigm misses the point entirely. I believe you are an open minded individual, open to understanding the views of others, try viewing it from outside your cultural biases and consider the ontological and theological reasons for my view.

  • Wendy Smith

    Don’t confuse an over-reaction to being subjugated to those who have been doing the subjugating. It isn’t equal.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Jon, is that the theological viewpoint that Gods have dicks and only those with dicks can truly understand Gods or their message?

  • Wendy Smith

    And my question for you would be this: Are the women you are referring to as being “as likely as men to be sexist” doing exactly what men have been doing forever?

    You can’t complain when someone has stolen your playbook and chosen to use it as the model for their plays.

  • Anne

    Livin – I am hearing so much from you of what the church has thrown at me for years. But here’s my take, the Bible is not inerrant. It was written by men. Not by women (or very few). It has a bias towards men. That’s just the way it is. We can all hand select pieces of scripture to support whatever view we want. But at this moment in history, across the world, women are being subordinated by religion. And that’s not ok. Period.

  • Gary

    I see this as a simplification (or justification) seeking to normalize misogyny. Of course Jesus only selected men for the apostles (if the gospels are to be deemed totally reliable) because He came during a time period of extreme patriarchy. Even still there is strong evidence to suggest He considered the women in His inner circle to be equals even though the men who wrote the gospels preserved the patriarchy. Considering it was men who wrote the entire bible…it is a wonder that Jesus quote concerning male/female equality made it in at all.

    And as for Paul’s letters being “authoritative of Christian practice”, this is a view which I do not share. I love much of Paul’s writings, especially those parts not polluted by later forgers using his name. But he was still a man who was both imperfect and bound by the cultural failures of a society barely out of the bronze age. Authoritative for modern Christian practice? CERTAINLY NOT!!

  • Michael

    Of course it is not doctrine Jon ( and I never said it was ) nor any kind of orthodox thinking, and neither is it scriptural. That is not the point I was making. It is simply what some feel, and rightly can in the freedom of the Spirit.

  • Jon Fermin

    this is a gross mischaracterization of my position. I suggest re-reading it.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    I have one basic principle, namely that children should never be punished for the sins of their parents.
    Innocent German people should never be punished for the crimes of the Nazis.
    Innocent men should never been punished for patriarchat.
    And so on and so forth.

    I think that if a pain that a woman inflicts to a man is the same as the pain a woman inflicts to a man, then we should feel the same intensity of moral indignation.
    I am an “equalist”.

    Roger Olson documents cases were boys are victims of injustice on his Patheos-blog:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/?s=feminism

    2013/10/8 Disqus

  • Emily Riley

    our pets get treated really well at our home. i’m ok being slightly above them. comfy bed. lazy days. treats all the time. lol. ;)

  • Michael

    Leaders lead. That does not mean to say that they don’t follow. But what they follow is different from what most people follow. They don’t conform for the sake of conforming. They don’t do what others do merely because others are doing it. They follow an inner voice, a call. They have a vision, not of what is, but of what might be. They think outside the box. They march to a different tune. Never was this more dramatically signaled than in the first words of God to Abraham: “Leave your land, your birthplace and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.”

  • Wendy Smith

    Since 84% of our teachers are women, who make (if they are lucky) 75% of what men make, it would stand to reason that they would want to help the females in the classroom to get a leg up. Now, in reading what I read in that blog, I’m not seeing where the boys were victims of injustice. They may have not gotten the benefit of the doubt in some cases (but we also don’t have the full picture of classroom behavior which can factor into grading) however, what injustice?

    Women have been fighting for equality since the beginning of time. What equality have men had to fight for again?

    Men do not recognize their privilege simply because they are rarely on the opposite side of it, as Caryn so eloquently pointed out. My gay friends never realized their privilege as men until they were in a minority class because of their sexual orientation. So, obviously, privilege does exist.

    There is no evidence of reverse discrimination toward males. Just because it isn’t handed to someone as easily as it had been in the past is not evidence of reverse discrimination. It is a more level playing field. It is still not level, by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Jon Fermin

    you speak of this as if were a virtue. It is neutral, it’s good or evil in direct correlation with the verity of the action being taken. the same qualities you mention could describe Abraham just as accurately as they can describe Satan.

    consider if you will, the words of Benito Mussolini

    “If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and those who claim to be the bearers of objective immortal truth, then there is nothing more relativistic than Fascist attitudes and activity. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, we Fascists conclude that we have the right to create our own ideology and to enforce it with all the energy of which we are capable.”

    the question that must be asked is not feeling within ourselves a singular conviction is truth. but we should ask of our convictions, are they true themselves? for that we must look outside the self. Scripture, Tradition both written and oral help in this matter. The humility to recognize when one has gone from this at it’s most basic level is necessary for our own sanity and desire for truth.

    I close with the words of G.K. Chesterton,

    “I know of men who believe in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.”

  • Michael

    Either I have not explained myself well, or, you have totally misunderstood my writing – or both -because I could not disagree with you more.

  • Jon Fermin

    Then please enlighten me, by what means are you discerning whether or not your belief that mary is 4th person of the trinity is of God and therefore true or not of God and therefore false? if this is merely a feeling and there is not even anything circumstantial to support it philosophically or theologically and why should it be considered a position to have faith in? even matters of ultimate questions like “does God exist?” have philosophical or theological consistencies which lend to their credence. Is simply having “just a hunch” justified? if you are to defend your position I am looking for substance. Otherwise if it’s indefensible and false, this is a harmful position which mischaracterizes the nature of God.

  • Michael

    Who can explain the muses of the Spirit ?!

  • Jon Fermin

    I submit these verses for your consideration and encourage you to meditate upon them when you consider your position.

    1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

    Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

    2 Cor 11:13-15

    For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

    1 John 4:1

    Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    sincerely if you believe this error, nothing I say will convince you, but I appeal to your love of the Holy Spirit, take His word and study it, compare it to your theory and test that spirit as it has been instructed to you.

  • Amy Mitchell

    “Theological”? There’s a HUGE difference between biological differences (people born without female genitalia cannot give birth) and doctrine (people born without male genitalia cannot be priests). There are no roles other than childbirth that are exclusively based on gender, and even that is only biologically based on physiology and not even on gender (a male-identified person can, indeed, give birth, while a female-identified person may be incapable).

  • Amy Mitchell

    Are you really arguing about the word “shit” and calling it “abusive” language? That’s bizarre and oddly humorous. Abusive language is something different; swearing is just “words some people don’t like or find vulgar.”

  • Amy Mitchell

    Ha! Yeah, I want to be a cat.

  • Amy Mitchell

    And remain “biblical”? Wow. I’m so glad to know my church isn’t “biblical” and that we had the “freedom of choice” not to be inside your narrow definition of “biblical.”

  • Amy Mitchell

    I am so glad Roger Olson was never one of my professors.

    There is no real evidence that there is widespread discrimination against boys in classrooms. In fact, it’s been consistently proven to be the opposite. When women have rights, and when women (and girls) are respected in the classroom, it does NOT take away any rights that men or boys have. It does weaken the power boys have over girls and the power men have over women, though. I suspect that’s what this is really referring to.

    If you even remotely think the collective power of women to harm men compares to the collective power men have to harm women, you are badly mistaken. I’d love to see how well you’d navigate actually being a woman.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Paul was never in the original group and, except for being blinded by God, never had should have had the authority people give him.

  • Jon Fermin

    this is precisely why I say the error is in the existential paradigm of identity. I can self identify as woman all I want and even get an operation to make my genitalia resemble that of the opposite sex but that does not change the fact of my masculinity. these are not freeform concepts but are qualities intrinsic to our being. as such because such a position rejects identity as a function of will, it by necessity also rejects cartesian dualism. man is not a soul inhabiting a body so much as it is an embodied soul. this is a subtle but important distinction. the difference is that one’s body is as much a part of one’s identity as one’s soul and hence our physiological characteristics are part of reality. this theologically is understood within the framework of the incarnation. for the sake of argument, take my premises:

    • that sexuality is complimentary by nature and pointed towards procreation, is equal in dignity, but not necessarily in function

    • mankind (here referring to both sexes) has it’s identity not in their will, accomplishment or sin, but by their equal dignity and creation in God.

    •that dignity is not a function of will or earned or acquired, but is inherent, making “power paradigms” useless.

    •That paul’s epistles point towards nuptial aspect in the role of the priest

    •That if Christ wished to appoint female priests he would have ordained Mary and the other women followers and there was nothing to stop him from doing so.

    given all these premises you will see that the position is entirely consistent and not created for the sake of enforcing some kind of misogynistic patriarchy, as is often accused, but is designed to follow after the footsteps of Christ.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    okay, existence*
    Secondly, one can live with a purpose of serving others and making the world suck less and not have to believe in God.

  • Amy Mitchell

    Well, since I reject your first premise entirely, I don’t think there’s any possible way for me to agree to the rest. I don’t see gender or sexuality in those terms, nor do I see metaphors used on a different society and in a different time as being prescriptive for all people for all times. That’s what makes them metaphor, not fact.

    Seems like Jeff was at least partly right. Maybe Gods don’t have dicks (and I think even in the Bible that seems to be the case), but only people with dicks may have certain roles. I’m certainly glad you don’t have access to teaching my son what he should or shouldn’t do based on his genitals.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Roger Olson is also very adamant that women should never be discriminated as theologians and pastors and is happy about the growing number of female theologians in his institution.
    Both of us are dumbstruck when seeing the shameful exploitation and segregation of women in conservative Evangelical churches.

    That said, you are wrong that men are (almost) never abused by women:
    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=90542a7c-9b66-4918-83e7-f0f30369bc88

    I see a clear parallel with the situation in France, my native country. Racism from white people against Arabs and Blacks is well combated, but racism against white people is ignored, explained away and denied in the most absurd way:
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/?s=antiracism

    Finally I would have nothing at all against being a (preferably young) woman in a Western society :=)
    It is true I would not want to be in a conservative Evangelical Church. But it would probably be pretty thrilling and exciting to wear a nice cleavage or/and a miniskirt and use my sex-appeal to get what I want from men…or find a new boyfriend in a large sample of serious-minded men strongly desiring me.
    At the very least this is one domain where you should acknowledge that a strong (and scandalous!) inequality between males and females exists ;-)

    Lovely greetings from France.

  • Jon Fermin

    I am not asking you to agree with my premises, merely take them for the sake of argument. If you refuse to be so open minded as to even consider that, then what else is there to discuss?

  • Gary

    Very selective line of reasoning. It completely ignores the fact that the bible was written by men during a period of extreme patriarchy and clearly some level of misogyny so prevalent in the society made its way into the books.

  • Gary

    You are seriously equating physiological differences with clear theological misogyny? I am not speaking from a cultural bias when I identify misogyny. Unless the role requires the production of sperm (physiological) then any gender segregation is misogyny. You are clearly seeking to defend a cultural bias…a 2000 year old bias at that…in which women had little to no rights. You can pretty it up all you want…but it still smells like shit.

  • Jon Fermin

    This also at a time when people worshiped Caesar along with their gods. set up trade in the temple, stoned women to death, committed divorce, and denied the resurrection. shunned the samaritans and considered justice to be vengeance and an eye for an eye, and rejected mercy to the least among us. and yet still Christ was not afraid to be controversial in these situations, fighting against them. Were it his intent to ordain women would this not also be something reflected in the gospels? Or is it perhaps just as likely that Jesus didn’t ordain women? Now, if your theology lacks a sacramental aspect, one could reasonably come to the conclusion you have gary because it lacks a sacramental framework of thought, but given still that there is much support for sacramental theology in the bible, should it not be food for thought to consider these things possible?

  • Gary

    This remark was intended for Jon Fermin…not Amy Mitchell.

  • Gary

    You presume Jesus “ordained” men. Remember what we have been saying…the bible is, at least partially, a product of a heavily male dominated society.

  • Michael

    And what position would that be?
    Are you an American?

  • Jon Fermin

    Michael, your theological position that Mary is the 4th person of the trinity. the same position we have been talking about all this time. I fail to see the relevance of what my nationality has to do with whether this position of yours is correct or not.

  • Michael

    Why are you bugging me on this ( your tone feels VERY American ). You make the assumption it is a theological position – your call not mine. End of story.

  • Jon Fermin

    It is a theological assumption, it is making a statement about the nature of God. how else am I supposed to take it?

    as to my nationality, that’s your assumption, not mine. what does that say about your own prejudices? I really can’t say.

    if my increasing directness in my line of questioning strikes you as American, then take my directness for what it is, neither reading into it anything that is not there or concluding ahead of time what it means. All that it is really, is just the honest and straightforward inquiry that such a theological statement as yours begs. if you have no justification for it, than it simply is a baseless claim, and should be considered as such. to which if there is nothing more, deserves no further inquiry, and should be rejected out of hand.

    having done so, if you wish to end this conversation, consider the case closed.

  • Gary

    Fortunately there are still a few of us who are a bit more enlightened than the typical neanderthal.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    It was a grossly accurate characterization.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    I love that you want to shove the blame elsewhere.

  • Jon Fermin

    this is the subtext you are presenting into it. one that is certainly compatible with the existentialist premise this argument rests upon. and I think philosophically this is where we must agree to disagree. I have said before if that premise were true and there was no sacramental theology that it could be a reasonable position. I am willing to assent that. however given the nature of Christ’s forgiveness which refuses to identify individuals on the basis of act or will but upon a intrinsic level, I am inclined to believe the existential basis of this argument is untenable and that the accusation that Christianity and existentialism remain incompatible remains true. add to this a rational basis exists for sacramental theology.

    To this end, respectfully I must admit this conversation is clearly irreconcilable. I should hope that you do not assume me or those who believe as I do on this basis that we are acting out of some sort of misogyny, but merely widely divergent philosophical underpinnings. underpinnings of which do not deny the inherent dignity of women as equal to men. therefore I ask that we end this conversation on terms of mutual understanding.

  • Gary

    Not to belabor a point…but based upon Christ’s forgiveness…I see no logical requirement that the result of such leads to an endorsement of sacramental theology. And I am also not prepared to accept your statement that my view rests upon an existentialist premise. I believe you draw many philosophical conclusions based on your theological biases. However…if you believe we are at an impasse…I will not belabor the point further.

  • Jon Fermin

    God’s forgiveness and ability to forgive a way which recognizes objective morality and intrinsic identity as opposed to will and action based identity was a reference to an objection against the existential view. it was not a defense of sacramental theology. for that I would cite other things, the ordination of Matthias by a laying on of hands, or the last supper as the first eucharist. it’s parallels with the old testament. presenting a comprehensive discussion on sacramental theology would be an entire essay unto itself. one that at this time I do not believe would be fruitful to discuss given the climate of the current conversation. as I have said assumptions that have come up before such as the idea of a self-determined gender or a cartesian disconnect between body and soul which are at this point irreconcilable between us (and here I use us to mean the whole of respondents) and present a significant obstacle to unity in this matter. to which I state, we are at an impasse and should end this conversation.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    There are many questions.

    1. Is there a God?
    2. Does God care what we do?
    3. Has God tried to communicate certain specific social structures?
    4. Did God communicate social structures to the scripture authors?
    5. Did the scripture authors accurately write down what was communicated?
    6. Were these written communications accurately preserved over time?
    7. Was it the intent that these social structures should apply for all time and all people?

    An atheist may say no to the first question. A deist or agnostic may say no to 2, 3, or 4.

    A progressive Christian may say no to one of the remaining questions.

    A fundamentalist (either Protestant or Catholic) will pretty much say yes to all of them.

    I think misogyny is misogyny regardless of the motivations.

    If someone is misogynistic because they think misogyny is part of God’s plan, I think they are still misogynistic.

  • Jeannie Boen

    As a teenager and new to the church, I instinctively rejected the idea that women were inferior to men and easily fooled and needed male headship for protection. What else would prevent them from being deceived by Satan and bringing shame and harm to themselves and their family? Gradually I was brainwashed to accept this “fact”. It took a while to un brainwash myself and get back to the common sense I was born with.

  • Michael

    A theological assumption – no! Nationality – I merely asked a question, don’t be so up-tight.
    Both Catholicism and every form of Protestantism distanced themselves during the past millennium of divided Christianity from the true form of the Mother of God of the early church. Here and there Orthodoxy, mainly Russia, has held true to the status of Mary. An imaginative theology will/must bring together the old and the new – the unitive and creative dimensions of the mystery of the Trinity. That’s theology. My previous comments are mere muses – inspired the Spirit – maybe. Who knows!?

  • Jon Fermin

    Last I checked the primary differences between Catholic and Orthodox concerning the trinity was the Filioque. and last I checked, we both agreed there were only 3 persons in the trinity. The theology concerning the Theotokos, is largely similar as well, primarily differing on the immaculate conception. and the assumption/dormission. Even taking into account differing views on Theodicy, I am not aware of any Church East or West that says there is more than 3 persons in the Trinity. one could argue for the entirely unique role of the Theotokos in relation to the Trinity (IE daughter of the Father, Mother of the son, spouse of the Holy Spirit), but that is completely different than assuming she is part of the trinity itself as a 4th person. this would be a violation of latria, or worship of God alone. Veneration is fine, even to the extent of hyperdulia in the case of Mary, but not latria, as she is not part of the Trinity. that is 7th century teaching both East and West share it, it would be considered part of the ecumenical councils. your theory certainly does not appear to be a Russian Orthodox teaching, or at least one that their Metropolitans or Patriarchs would recognize.

  • Jon Fermin

    misogyny means hatred of women. at no time have I indicated I hated women or taught hatred of women. I am an advocate of femininity and an advocate of masculinity, I do not think a woman needs to be everything a man is to be fully human and equally, a man need not be everything a woman is to be fully human. I am unabashedly ok with the idea that sex in humans is intrinsic because biology supports this, and that the idea we make up our own gender as we go along is something of an artificial legal construct not supported by biology. if this sounds like hatred to you, I am sorry, I see it as just the plain truth.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    IMO theology is a creative process of the human mind and should not be restricted to just a select few. I say embrace your creative juices and run with it.

    Another idea for the Trinity would be to make one of the other characters female. Perhaps the Holy Spirit. If we keep God stereotypically make (and old school), have the Holy Spirit as female, we could view Jesus as perhaps transgender were there is a certain tension between Jesus and the Father. The Holy Spirit could be the calming influence that keeps the family together.

  • Gary

    Suffice it to say there are many walls in your box for God I consider to be artificial. Your theology is a very meticulously crafted defense of several constructs which I simply do not adhere to.

    Happy to end the conversation.

  • Gary

    You keep trying to blend biology where it dies not belong. If you choose to make the issue one of biology then it seems you are effectively agreeing with the early church father Tertullian who thought a woman was not only “the gateway of the devil” but also “a temple built over a sewer.” , apparently based upon her biology alone. According to Katherine Rogers in “The Troublesome Helpmate”…”The foundations of early Christian misogyny — its guilt about sex, its insistence on female subjection, its dread of female seduction — are all in St. Paul’s epistles.” I agree with her. Paul (or the forger who at times stole his name) was at times very misogynistic.

    Your reference to the extreme of misogyny (hate) is a bit disingenuous since I know of no patriarchal misogynistic fundy who will admit to an actual hatred of women. However in actual practice they clearly fit the definition of dislike as characterized by their deeds.

  • Livin

    I don’t see the big deal othe then the fact that Scriptures says Overssers must be men women can do anything else in the church and in society women can do anything.
    If I belonged to a Wiccan coven that had a all female preisthood I would accept that.
    I do not see the big deal here.

  • Gary

    Really? Cause in my bible it also says women are to remain completely silent and in submission in church and not even ask questions until they get home, going so far as to say it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church since the word of God did not originate with a woman. In another place a woman is not permitted to have authority over a man or to even teach. And in yet another women are slammed for the fact that Eve was the one deceived in the garden while making the outrageous claim that Adam was not even deceived.

    If the misogyny in your bible is limited to women denied being an “Overseer”, than your bible must have a whole bunch of holes in it. .

  • Jon Fermin

    anyone can practice theology. not merely those who are ordained. but one cannot simply make things up on a whim. Honestly at this point it’s hard to tell whether you are actually saying this stuff because you think its a good idea or you’re simply trolling.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I do think that would be a good idea. I think Christianity would benefit from a slight redefinition of the gender roles of the Holy Trinity. It wouldn’t really change anything that is really important to Christianity except for all the social justice aspects that conservative Christianity seems (IMO) to be coming down on the wrong side. It also seems fitting to me that a “slightly dysfunctional family but they are working it out” metaphor for the GodHead would be good in these modern times. I also believe that at some level theology IS “made up on a whim” by someone. The making of it up could happen in modern times or it could have happened 2000 or 3000 years ago. Of course people typically tend to build layers on top of earlier layers. In my musings, I was just taking some theology that came before and made different gender assignments. That was all.

  • Alexnadria Knight

    Interesting how you use “scripture says” with this issue. But if i give you other examples of what scripture says in a literal context, you guys can spin it however you want.

  • Livin

    The passage in question about women silent in church was a local issue about women who were being disruptive. Per the NT women are allowed to prophesise be a deacon and evangelise. This requires them to talk and teach in church.
    As far as women over men you have the main church service where the Oveerseer teaches. Other than that small groups should be seperated men in one are and women in another. The wife of the Overseer runs the womens group and the Overseer runs the mens group.
    Yes, women were the first to sin but men were spineless for trying to blame it on the women. But generational sin is real. What you do affects you children and your childrens children. That is why they were denied Overseership in the Church. In society and in the afterlife women and men are completely equal.
    I have discussed this issue at length with many Evangelical conservatives and shown them Biblical proof for women taking charge in the church as deaconesses and elders.
    Even if a woman is a Overseer like having a woman Baptist preacher as long as they believed in Christ crucified,Rose, and will come again and the scriptures are our guide I can get along with them.

  • Jon Fermin

    Ever read C.S. Lewis’s “The Great Divorce”?

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I haven’t but I will add it to my recommended reading list. No promises, though, when I will be able to get to it.

  • Livin

    Biblical interpitation is more than one verse said X. You have to have XYZ. Granted if you say X is the way to do things then you should follow it.

  • Gary

    Actually no this passage says absolutely nothing about it being a local issue or being restricted to the one church. In fact the language used is rather inclusive. You see what you have done? The passage is totally indefensible, therefor you have created a scenario which changes the intent and as such renders the text incorrect as stated . According to 1 Corinthians Paul declared women were to remain silent in the churches (plural). And your statement that men and women should be separated and taught by the overseer and his wife respectively is nothing more than a personal opinion on your part, and one with which I strongly disagree.

    As for women sinning first…since the genesis story is metaphorical (I am being kind here) it is only biblical literalists who seek to draw distinctions between the sins of Adam and Eve in the garden. I always find it so amusing when those same biblical literalists completely abandon biblical literalism in order to explain away the passages they disagree with. (As you do above)

    I agree with you that there is biblical evidence that contradicts what Paul is reported to have said in the examples I provided. What appears to be a huge difference in the way we handle these contradictions is in how you seem to seek to imagine a scenario where the contradictions could possibly be resolved (no matter how outlandish such scenarios often are) and which in the end invalidates one version as written entirely. Whereas I will accept the contradictions as inevitable (since I reject the notion of biblical infallibility) and seek out the larger truths.

  • Livin

    I look for truth not my own agenda. External evidence backing up my readin of the interplay of verses.
    Richard and Catherine Clark Kroeger cite Plutarch, Cicero, and Livy for evidence that Rome had laws regulating the behavior of women in worship (“Pandemonium and Silence at Corinth,” Reformed Journal 28[June 1978], p. 9). References are Plutarch, Lives, on Solon; Cicero,Laws, II.xv; Livy, XXXIX.xv; and Phintys, Stobaeus, IV.23.61.

  • Michael

    Dear Jon – yet again you completely miss my point. I’m not going to enter into a theological conversation because my point is not about theology. Prayers and blessings.

  • Livin

    Also
    “Donald Binder writes, “Our only clear evidence for the division of the sexes in a synagogue comes from Philo’s writings about the practices of the Therapeutae…. We can only guess to what degree these customs reflected those held outside this specialized community” (Into the Temple Courts: The Place of the Synagogues in the Second Temple Period [Society of Biblical Literature, 1999], 378-9). The Therapeutae were a religious sect and their practices were not necessarily representative of other synagogues.”
    So women in Corithn were being distuptive the synagogues were seperated by sex according to the evidence. Now house churches are different if you hold a meeting in your house you are the Elder of that house be man or woman.
    So I hold the middle ground I use knowledge but rely on Christ.

  • Sarah
  • Gary

    And yet you you cite a source perfectly in line with your agenda.

    My point being that this “external evidence” is presented as a way to say that this passage means something entirely different then what it literally says. In fact the Corinthian passage even says it is “shameful” for a woman to speak in church. SHAMEFUL! This is passing judgment on a specific action. All those who seek to explain away the clear contradiction in this passage are most definitely seeking their own agenda.

  • Michael

    Actually, I think simply and succinctly Jeff P was making a quite valid point. While 99% of your theological argument may be positive, there appears a need to wrap everything in academic jargon. The spirituality of the Church is much simpler than that.

  • Michael

    Woa Gary – there is no proof the Bible was written exclusively by men.

  • Jon Fermin

    to be honest no changes need to be made to the trinity to have a robust sense of social justice. Calling Jesus “possibly transgender” seems bizarre seeing as when Jesus walked the earth He unquestionably was a man and the metaphor that the trinity is a “slightly dysfunctional family but they are working it out” is just plain blasphemy.

    just changing the gender of things on a whim i think illustrates the major difference between our ideas. Existentialist and postmodern thought classifies gender (for that matter all of what one would consider “essence”) as social construct, whereas the more classical philosophical view takes that sex (inseparable from gender) is an ontological state of being. we are neither beasts who have bodies but lack rationality nor angels who lack bodies but possess reason. Human beings are embodied souls, the union of intellect and materiality is part of what defines humanity. with that, comes both a physical and metaphysical ontology which are inseparable and thus humankind was was created male and female both equal in dignity and both in the likeness of God. and trying to change one’s own body into a new ontological reality is just as fruitless as trying to invent a new primary color. the change would merely be semantic.

    Sex of course this applies to human beings with bodies, spirits, lacking bodies are neither male nor female as this does not even enter into the categories of immaterial being. Hence why humans can both be made male and female and still be made in God’s image. The Father is named the Father as it is used in the relational sense to Jesus the Son, as this is the terminology He used. Jesus the Son however IS male as he in the incarnation takes on the form of man. he is not transgender because there was no gender for him to transfer from. He merely incarnated as a man. this being said it is also important to note this is the prerogative of God who possesses the ability to incarnate that is exclusive to Him.

    Philippians 2:6-8 (rsv)
    who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

    in that sense your conception of the trinity, while apparently minor to you excludes an entire set of ontological realities. realities which in the case of human beings, and therefore indirectly the second person of the trinity are biologically supported and unchangeable by human means.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    OK, I see that it is very important to you that Jesus not be transgender and I see your point that it may be silly to discuss gender for an entity without a body (like the Holy Spirit). So I guess that means that we can’t say the Holy Spirit is male either. It is just an it. Can we at least have God to be a hermaphrodite and Jesus possibly a gay man? Would that mess up your theology? I’m just looking to see if we can have a notion of the Trinity that is more inclusive of all possibilities.

  • Gary

    Interesting. Culturally it is clear that a woman authored book would not likely have been accepted. The only book to my knowledge that has EVER been suggested to have been written by a woman (Priscilla) is Hebrews, but most all scholars agree the evidence against such a notion is pretty indisputable.

    Do you have some sort of evidence to suggest some of the books of the bible were authored by women? Please do enlighten us.

  • Livin

    Actually it phrase in that is translated as shameful or a shame can also be translated as “improper” or “inappropriate” which I personally think fits the context of the passage better as dealing with the social norms of of the times which I believe has been taken too far by many churches.
    But I could be wrong; maybe it is a test and I will be reprimanded by God for going to a church where women speak. :)

  • Jon Fermin

    again it sounds as if you are trolling when I just mentioned before that sex is not a categorical aspect for an immaterial being. therefore it is impossible to view God as a hermaphrodite. for one thing as Aquinas notes, it is also impossible to place God within a species or genus. at best the closest categorical descriptions of God come from His nature which is identical to His being. These being Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Justice, Mercy, Love etc. When understanding how these concepts shape our understanding of God. it must incorporate all of these in fullness. let’s apply those natures then to actions and desires. any desire that is true, that is to say, in accordance with it’s nature and is in that nature in accordance with the Good is congruent with God’s nature, thus it is something which his intellect may will. God does not act against His own will.

    let us apply this now more specifically to sexuality. this is a gross oversimplification of Humanae Vitae. One could write entire series of books on that subject, and many have, but for now a brief summary. sexuality has a nature and a purpose in line with that nature. the purpose of sex primarily is procreation. this is as true in the animal kingdom as it is in humans. now within persons and animals there may be secondary purposes such as intimacy or territoriality as it may be with animals but these things can exist without sex. for most species however that have sexual reproduction, sex is the means to which the end (procreation) is achieved. even in IVF, in an indirect way, these means and ends are biologically played out, albeit unnaturally. Sometimes, these ends are not always achieved, in cases such as this, to determine if such a situation is sinful one must account for will and circumstances. if one were open to the possibility of procreation even if the chances of it occurring are insignificant but physiologically possible. they have not erred in will towards this natural end. if one, by will attempts to frustrate this artificially, then they are acting in opposition to the natural end of this act and have sinned. applying this line of thought to homosexual acts, these are acts that are physiologically unable to achieve in any circumstances the natural primary end of the sexual act. therefore, homosexual acts (acts, not people who receive homosexual temptations) are considered sinful as when they are willed They are willed without any possibility of the sexual act achieving it’s primary end. in no way is this act open to procreation of new life in any sense and thus, because it subverts this natural order, it itself is disordered action.

    given this as it applies to Jesus, the second person of the trinity, by definition He is like man in all things except sin. having never been affected by original sin, He also cannot receive Interior temptation to sin. He may be tempted exteriorly, as was Satan’s temptation in the desert, but this is the only temptation He experiences. Therefore while technically it is possible for a homosexual to attempt to tempt Jesus, He himself is not interiorly tempted or commits a sin. therefore. Jesus can neither be an acting homosexual or posses interior homosexual desires that are not acted upon. Jesus categorically cannot be a homosexual. this however does not deny God in his omniscience the ability to sympathize with the struggles of individuals with homosexual desires, but equally, as He cannot contradict His will, He cannot condone acting on those desires.

  • wanderer

    How the fuck could you possibly know how patient and adequate someone’s thought process was?

  • Gary

    Nice way to totally sidestep the point.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I think it is time to end this dusussion. I don’t buy what you say. It is all just talk and self-serving definitions. The real world works a bit differently.

  • Jon Fermin

    I am sorry if you feel that way. If what I say makes you uncomfortable perhaps you should explore why that is. after all, Heaven and Hell are just as real as the world we inhabit now. I don’t condemn you or anyone who struggles with any sort of sin. I mean all of us in this world struggle with sin of one sort or another. Truth is though if we really do love God with the entirety of our being, we have to love him more than we love our sins. we have to love truth more than feeling justified. we have to let go of the fears of being considered outcasts in society while embracing the outcast in all things but sin, As Christ did with the adulterer, rescuing her from death but admonishing her “Go and sin no more”. you may not like what I have to say but If I have not said it in love I would be remiss. in that regard if I had come across as uncharitable in my speech I ask your forgiveness, but I stand by arguments the I have made despite times in weakness when I had worded them bluntly.

    May God bless you with His graces.

  • Michael

    Sorry, but I am not responding to such vulgar language.

  • Jon Fermin

    you are making the assumption I agree with Tertullian’s statement with very little basis, I extend the benefit of the doubt to you, I ask in mutual charity you do the same. Tertullian was a complex figure in the early church, strong willed and passionate, but also at times passionately wrong. Tertullian first of all was never canonized a saint, probably never will be. He had severe anger issues and it comes out plainly in his writing. His early work on trinitarian writing was helpful, but his late work including his more misogynistic texts are not considered as instrumental to the theological position of the church, in fact his later turn towards Montanism (in a sense a kind of proto-jansenism, which in turn a kind of proto-calvinism) found Tertullian too severe and his works for a time were banned. after time had passed, the valuable works of tertullian were sifted out, hence, treatises like Apologeticum or Adversus Praxean were considered worthwhile and documents like “On the Apparel of Women” (the source of your quote) serve nowadays as little more than academic reminders of why Tertullian will never be canonized. so I hope that clears things up with Tertullian.

    As for St. Paul I am not sure which part of the epistles you may be referencing. I know one that is commonly quoted out of context is Ephesians 5:22-24:

    Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

    this quote is often brought up as an example of misogyny. I offer that it be read in context with the rest of the passage.

    (my emphases will be marked with ***)

    ***Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.*** Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. ***Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,*** that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. *** Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. *** He who loves his wife loves himself. ***For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church*** because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, ***let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.***

    given the context of the rest of the passage paints a very different picture. paul begins this passage on a theme of MUTUAL submission for the sake of Christ. in the second emphasized part of the passage note husbands have also been given demands for love of their spouse and not just ordinary love but sacrificial love even to the point of death as indicated by loving as Christ loved the church. Paul in later passages will emphasize the husband and wife are one flesh joined in unity. and denounces hatred of the spouse as detrimental as hating oneself. in this regard, taken into context St. Paul is not being misogynistic at all.

    whatever past hurts with regard to the church you have, or indignation with it’s teaching you have, I ask of you, if you value Christian charity, do not be so quick accuse me or what I am saying. If you value an open mind, I sincerely hope that you will consider the past statements I have made without prejudging them as misogynistic.

    May God grant you peace.

  • Gary

    Try not to get your panties in a knot ok?

    Look…I get that there are many passages of Paul’s which provide for very respectful and loving treatment of women. The fact is there are passages attributed to Paul (not correctly most likely) which are in fact very misogynistic. This is one of the many clear reasons I reject the infallibility of the bible.

    But this is still entirely missing the point which several of us have been attempting to make with you. The Catholic church as well as many protestant denominations exclude women from serving as priests/pastors simply because they are women. Like it or not your defense of this exclusion continues to include biological arguments. As I said earlier…no matter how much spin one puts on the defense of this practice it still boils down to misogyny on some level.

  • Sven2547

    Hence why priests are called fathers.

    And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. ~ Matthew 23:9

  • Michael

    And an intersex person?

  • Michael

    What is trolling? It’s not a term I am familiar with.
    And, I think you are being very hard on Jeff.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Jon: warning: long reply.

    You wrote, “… the Catholic ontological view places our identity in our creation” and “Just as our physical fatherhood and motherhood are inextricably bound to our unchangeable sexual identity…”

    I looked up Ontology and studied it a bit so that we may clearly communicate. Here are key points from Wikipedia:

    Quote:
    Principal questions of ontology include:

    “What can be said to exist?”

    “Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?”

    “What are the meanings of being?”

    “What are the various modes of being of entities?”

    End quote.

    In reply: I am glad you said it was only a “view” (that is, a view point). There are so many other view points about what ‘exists’. I also agree that ‘identity’ does exist in each person… but honestly, I am at a loss to describe how, and why, self-identity does exist.

    I also agree that many church institutions place the ‘correct’ category of ‘identity’ as traced to the creation, and especially to the Garden of Eden commandments: be fruitful and multiply, be ‘male’ or be ‘female’, and so forth. Then, they insist that the grace and/or mercy of God is only for moving us back into the ‘garden image’, and thus uphold patriarchy, fertility, heterosexuality, and biblical/classical gender roles as goals for every ‘good’ Christian.

    However, I lean strongly that there is no going back to the Garden, given that the Fall of Man is still alive and well in every malformed newborn, every sick person, every infertile man or woman, and in every death. This Fall also shows in bisexualism, transsexualism, and/or homosexuality being in existence. All of these are not illusions, from the physical to the neurological to the psychological.

    Even Exodus International (the world’s premier orientation change agency before its demise) has admitted that 99.9% of highly motivated homosexual believers will never become heterosexual.

    Also, I strongly lean that the grace and mercy of God is given for freedom in Christ (the entire book of Galatians). Even the Sabbath day (which is a commandment by example older than the Garden of Eden) is set under the Freedom of Christ and the Individual in Romans Chapter 14. [Thus, individualism is not a Western concept, but a Pauline concept.]

    As argued in the New Testament, our identity is now in Christ (all of Colossians). [Our identity goal is therefore not in the creation nor in the Garden of Eden.]

    As argued by Christ, we call no man ‘father’ (or ‘teacher’ or ‘mentor’, or for that matter, any title to include ‘pastor’) [Matt 23]. As Christ stated, ‘We are all brothers’ – which is an argument of equality, not ‘fatherhood’. [Thus, the argument to call anyone 'Father' is avoiding the commands of Christ.]

    The difficulty I have with the Catholic viewpoint, is that it ignores a multitude of evidences leaning away from its catechism/doctrinal book. In my opinion, it would be wiser to show that there is biblical/medical/neurological/psychological evidence for the other viewpoints, and that, for reasons, the Catholic catechism weights its selected evidences as ‘stronger’ than the other evidences.

    Thus, the question becomes ‘why’ does Jon (or Caryn) hold to the classical Catholic viewpoint and weight it greater than other biblical viewpoints? It is not because of arguments of ‘right or wrong’ – it is because we each need something that the other viewpoints give to us.

    Perhaps you need a black-and-white closed-set in order to feel secure in this crazy world… whereas I need a black-grey-white larger set of possibilities to feel close to Christ and to worship Him freely.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Michael

    I agree Jeff. In the ‘real world’ people ( of all ages ) are able to listen to their hearts and share and discuss what they are thinking, and without pomposity.
    A significant problem the Church has with itself in the 21st century is that its members no longer sit in pews like dumb sheep, but are mostly out ( good word that ) in the real world being hardworking loving neighbours to everyone they meet – and sharing their faith at an honest un-dictated and non dictating level.

  • Michael

    “If what I say makes you uncomfortable perhaps you should explore why that is” = pompous.

  • Michael

    Only the ‘sent out’ Apostles were male, for obvious reasons in the culture of the time.
    There is no NT Biblical foundation for the priesthood being either male or female.

  • Michael

    Now there’s a mega problem – and one that has plagued the Church of England for centuries – using military examples to either run or promote the Church.
    Oh yes, and has anyone noticed how the military has women at the very top of its system?

  • Michael

    It doesn’t matter if you follow the Scriptures or not? Now that’s very odd.

  • Michael

    Up there with you Gary.

  • Michael

    Me too! When I think how fortunate my cat is – loved, adored by everyone, cared for, fed and watered, fabulous beds to curl up on, mates next door to play with, good tempered, inspirational, loyal … I could go on but there isn’t enough space here.
    And when I think of it – all Christian virtues.

  • Michael

    Well you would need to explain that. I don’t purport blame – it’s not in my nature.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Watch the Planet of the Apes moves….

  • Jon Fermin

    in this particular passage Jesus was using hyperbole to make a point. elsewhere in this passage jesus restricts the words teacher and master. also if we were to take the literal interpretation of this there would be numerous points when the apostles use this phrase in the new testament that are not sinful. the letter to timothy for example is filled with paternalistic language. The point christ was getting to in this passage was that the pharisees were setting themselves in authority in places that were for God alone, Jesus used hyperbole to rebuke them.

  • Jon Fermin

    I thank you for your thought out response. each topic you bring up is worth a discussion in itself, however given limited space and time, a few brief notes in response to each point.

    in regards to your question about the impossibility of going back to the garden. this is a position called total depravity, a position formulated by John Calvin and Martin Luther based on a more severe view of St. Augustine’s teachings on original sin. St. Augustine’s view would hold that original sin is removed in baptism, but that internal temptation to sin would still exist. this is called concupiscence. certain protestant groups classify concupiscence as a sin but Catholics would disagree because concupiscence is not freely willed, but instead would classify it as a kind of temptation. Augustine’s idea is also drawn biblically from the encounter of Jesus with Nicodemus, the origin of the term being “born again” in water and spirit to use the words of Jesus. the response to this is a call to baptism.

    As to responding to Exodus international, I believe their methodology was flawed based upon what they in their own writings have chosen as a definition of homosexual. Here, exodus international used a definition which fit with the more common popular existential definition of homosexual by claiming they could not only remove homosexual activity but also homosexual inclination. this is an important distinction to make because again it shows a divergence in ontology, and strikingly an ontological view that is not biblical. it was the pharisees that viewed people as being their sins. that made their identity a reflection of their choices and actions. it is Christ who says to adulterer, your sins have been forgiven, go and sin no more. indeed in 2 corinthians 5:17 notes we become a new creation. Christ no longer considers the sin. God says many times in scripture that when he forgives his people he forget their sin, it does not define them, and in a sense never did. therefore while those who participate in groups like exodus international may remove homosexual activity temptation and desire still exists, and according to their definition they have failed. groups like courage though behave more like 12 step programs in that they acknowledge sinful activity may end but inclination does not. they do not insist that this inclination defines one’s sexuality.

    in reference to your note on romans 14, I agree with this passage. we should not be a stumbling block to our brothers and sisters on disputable matters. however in matters of sin, there is no dispute. Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 tasks us to be our brother’s keeper in this regard. and paul in 1 timothy teaches his spiritual son to look to the church as the pillar and ground of truth (1 tim 3:14-15)

    you have said rightly that Christ is our goal in identity, but again if God does not change, then He is the same in the first century as he was at the beginning of time as he is in the 21st century. therefore the desires God had for us in the garden are still true.

    as to the mention of “call no man your father” I have addressed this with another person just below this post. if you wish a more thorough treatment of this answer I can provide you some resources at your request.

    for the positions that has been presented in opposition to mine, that an individual is their choice or action. can you provide philosophical evidence that this course of thought is not solipsistic in nature? for the argument that man may truly alter their sex, is there any evidence of an individual post-op who obtains the functionality in addition to the appearance of the new sex? if it is mere appearance it is illusion, no matter how skilled the surgeon.

    I weigh the insights of the bible, and the teachings of the church because they correspond to reality. it does not try to imagine something is when it is not. and it grounds our ontological being in Christ and not in ourselves. In the final analysis, our thoughts, our inquiry, do not exist for their own sake, our intellect is designed that we may know God, our hearts that we may love God.

    as C.S. Lewis once had one of his characters say:

    “Thirst was made for water; inquiry for truth. What you now call the free play of inquiry has neither more nor less to do with the ends for which intelligence was given you than masturbation has to do with marriage.”

    me must ensure that the ends for which our actions go are pointed in the correct direction. not self serving or to puff up self, but to bring light to our minds and hearts to Christ. Spiritual individualism is spiritual selfishness, spiritual masturbation. we are called to the marriage feast of the lamb which is unitive in truth. Paul reiterates in Ephesians “… the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Christ in the garden of Gethsemane prayed that we may all be one as his with the father.

    in the end this talk of multiple truths is neither philosophically possible, or theologically sound, I should hope what little insight I may provide in such a small space will be profitable to you.

    May God bless you.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    We are living in interesting times. I think religion is going through lots of flux which will unavoidably result in some theological changes. Christianity is morphing. There is a battle going on for how much it will morph. The morphings will last longer than our lifetimes so we won’t know what will eventually become. I just throw my 2 cents in every now and then and enjoy the discourse. I think those with more old-school views (theological as well as socially) will increasingly be viewed as dinosaurs as time goes on.

  • Michael

    I couldn’t agree more, though I might prefer ‘the work of the Spirit’ to ‘morphing’. And those who ignore the Spirit do so at their loss. But God has always provided choice.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I do have respect for those religious traditions that emphasize the Spirit. You can’t really put the Spirit in a box and define it. That is why so many religious traditions concentrate more on the other parts of the Trinity. It is easier to control, define, teach, and form dogma about God and Jesus.

  • Michael

    I couldn’t agree more. Right on!

  • Gary

    “The point christ was getting to in this passage was that the pharisees were setting themselves in authority in places that were for God alone, Jesus used hyperbole to rebuke them.”

    I believe this sums up the problem so many have with the role of priests perfectly. LOL

  • Jon Fermin

    In the case of the pharisees their teachings were valid but their actions were not, hence Christ in Matthew 23:3 advises to do what they say but not as they do. later in the chapter at verse 24 (after Christ supposedly restricted the word teacher) He promises that He will be sending new teachers, even prompting some of them may be crucified (7 apostles were crucified. peter, andrew, philip, simon the zealot, jude, James the Less, and Bartholomew.)

    In these new teachers Christ was sending, he did enumerate authoritative roles to them. the apostles being the first priests were tasked with spreading the gospel and were permitted to among other things:

    Hear confession and offer absolution through Christ (John 20:21-23)

    Offer Holy communion
    (Luke 22:19-20 see also 1 Cor 11:23-32)

    Exorcise demons
    (Luke 9:1)

    Uphold doctrine and excommunicate
    (Luke 10:16 Matthew 18:17-18)

    now some have cited 1 Peter 2:9 to say that all are priests. While true in one sense of the word it does not mean that all are of the ministerial priesthood. here the author of this letter is citing Exodus 19:6. if we view that passage that was being referenced we see there is a difference between the priesthood of all believers and the ministerial priesthood. note exodus 19:20-22 where the people and priests are mentioned separately and that those priests must also be consecrated. Given this context, the author of 1 peter is referring to the Christians in the context of a people set aside by God which is fitting since this section is talking about how to behave as Christians in a Pagan world. He is not referring to them in the sense of a ministerial priesthood.

  • Michael

    As one who, as a child, was abused by a woman I agree. Isn’t it better to get off the whole sexist thing, show equality with love, and get on with living the Gospel, with the Love?

  • Michael

    Yep. Agree with you Lothar

  • Michael

    Well I don’t know what ‘evidence’ you are missing Amy – on the contrary, stats in many Western countries show considerable discrimination, bullying – both physical and psychological – against boys by women teachers. I have been on the end of that. And sexual abuse!

  • Michael

    “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6).
    Dear friends – my last contribution on the subject – while remembering that Jesus sat down with women and treated them as his equal. Prayers and blessings.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    It’s far easier to emphasize a statement with strong language rather than try to confuse the dimwitted who post the most ignorant of arguments with words that obfuscate.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Jesus never said women can’t be priests. That’s the MEN talking. Get your head out of your ass.

  • Michael

    Well that’s just plain rude, and certainly not Christian.

  • klhayes

    Right because the Catholic Church doesn’t even want women using birth control…they are supposed to have baby after baby. And as someone who grew up Catholic and went to Catholic schools for 13 years, I NEVER heard a single Catholic suggest Mary was a fourth person in the trinity. Wouldn’t be a trinity, now would it?

  • Michael

    Jon dear, come down from your pedestal and out of your ivory tower.

  • Michael

    Clearly the CC has moved on since you were at school. And regarding Mary, clearly you move in the wrong Catholic circles – and being the fourth person is not meant to be taken literally.
    My God, do I have to explain everything?!

  • klhayes

    Yes, 13 years of Catholic school and I missed out on that. So the Catholic Church is cool with birth control and women becoming priests all of a sudden?

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Neither is telling women where their place is.

  • Michael

    Well that depends, it would seem to me, on YOUR definition of the Catholic Church. If you mean the tiny minority that is the hierarchy, then no, ( though there will be some! ), but if you mean the billion plus active and non-active membership at the pew level, then there will be a very significant number who say yes – a resounding amen.

  • Gary

    I bet you have a whole list of rules that define exactly what IS Christian to YTOU.

    LMAO

    no wait…

    LMFAO

    (Means laughing my fucking ass off in case you wondered)

  • Michael

    Yes I do have a list – it’s called the Ten Commandments.
    As for your crude responses – well, they say a lot about you.

  • Gary

    Shocker of shockers…I keep the 10 commandments as well.

    As for what my use of profanity says about me…it says I am not a condescending and judgmental prick that goes around attacking others over silly things such as whether or not they use some :shits” or “fucks” in their speech for affect..


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