a boy and a girl play doctor

a boy and a girl play doctor April 11, 2013
full or partial pass cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

We live in a stereotypical world. Stereotypes abound. Like labels, they make life easier because it is predictable and understood. Stereotypes lessen mystery.

If women would just be the stereotypical woman and men the stereotypical man then wouldn’t life just be easier?

Our societies and cultures impute upon women an ideal of what they should be. Add upon that most religions that impute upon women not only the cultural ideal of what they should be, but also impute upon women theological rationalizations for these ideals, and then add to that the threat of discipline and even punishment, temporal and eternal.

The churches I grew up in had and taught very strict and well-defined ideas of what a man and a woman was and should be, and what a biblical man and a biblical woman should be. For either one to step outside of those clearly defined boundaries was fatal.

We are so enmeshed in stereotyping that we have lost the fact that there is no pure female ideal. There is no pure male idea. The gender spectrum is so vastly diverse! There are as many kinds of female as there are females and there are just as many kinds of male as there are males. And everything in between!

No matter what we look like or are like, we all get full pass.

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  • Michael

    For some strange reason, I feel to say, “I love the naked pastor” today!

  • Bea

    I saw this on a friend’s LiveJournal account and it immediately made me think of you:

    10 reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained For Ministry.
    10. A man’s place is in the army.

    9. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.

    8. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.

    7. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

    6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.

    5. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.

    4. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

    3. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

    2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.

    1. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.

    This list is the work of Dr. David M. Scholer, a former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.

  • Scholer was one of my professors while I was studying at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. Awesome!

  • Gary

    Bea that is excellent. The list sounds silly and demeaning, and of course it is. And then one has to recognize that it is a perfect parallel for the sexism against women that absolutely exists in many churches. Obviously this irony was at the heart of Dr. Scholer’s humorous piece and it is very well done.

    Thank you for posting it…I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  • Kris

    Love the list! Putting anyone in a box b/c of their gender is silly and the list proves it.