Carol Howard Merritt: “(Re)Imagining Christianity“
Right now, on the 21st Century blogosphere, Christians argue whether women should keep silent in churches. That’s right. It’s 2012 and they believe that women are so subordinate that we should not even be allowed to ask questions in a Bible study. First Timothy explains that Eve tasted the fruit first, so two thousand years later, anyone with XX chromosomes should not open their mouths within the walls of a church. If that logic is not a contrived recipe for oppression, I don’t know what is.
In many congregations, women cannot become pastors, elders, or deacons. Leadership is barred from women. Where else in society does that explicitly take place? I can’t think of any place other than a couple of absurd golf clubs in the South.
Ethan Siegel: “The Power of Admitting ‘I’m Wrong’“
No matter who you are, no matter how smart you are, no matter how brilliantly you’ve drawn the conclusions you’ve drawn from the evidence you’ve gathered, there will come an instance where the evidence you encounter will be irreconciliable with the picture of reality you presently hold. And when that moment happens, your response will mean absolutely everything.
Because there is the possibility that your view of reality — the way you make sense of things — is flawed in some way. You have to open your self up to at least the possibility that you are wrong. It is a humbling admission, that you may be wrong, but it’s also the most freeing thing in the world. Because if you can be wrong about something, then you can learn.
… But if you can’t admit that you might be wrong, if your picture of reality is unchangeable despite any evidence to the contrary, if you refuse to assimilate new information and new knowledge and re-evaluate your prior stance on an issue, then you will never learn.
… But if we recognize that our present understanding may not be the final answer, and we can absorb that ego-bruise from possibly not being in the right when we thought we were, we can step forward.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Things which are of human right cannot derogate from natural right or Divine right. Now according to the natural order established by Divine Providence, inferior things are ordained for the purpose of succoring man’s needs by their means. Wherefore the division and appropriation of things which are based on human law, do not preclude the fact that man’s needs have to be remedied by means of these very things. Hence whatever certain people have in superabundance is due, by natural law, to the purpose of succoring the poor. For this reason Ambrose [Loc. cit., 2, Objection 3] says, and his words are embodied in the Decretals (Dist. xlvii, can. Sicut ii): “It is the hungry man’s bread that you withhold, the naked man’s cloak that you store away, the money that you bury in the earth is the price of the poor man’s ransom and freedom.” Since, however, there are many who are in need, while it is impossible for all to be succored by means of the same thing, each one is entrusted with the stewardship of his own things, so that out of them he may come to the aid of those who are in need. Nevertheless, if the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another’s property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery.