And You Wonder Why: Musings On Female Anger And Sadness #metoo #churchtoo

And You Wonder Why: Musings On Female Anger And Sadness #metoo #churchtoo June 29, 2021

I wrote this piece on female anger and sadness nearly 30 years ago and recently uncovered it while going through some old files. What breaks my heart today?

Even with the stronger #metoo awareness, which includes a growing #churchtoo movement, most in the Evangelical world, as well as the Roman Catholic world, refuse to disavow the theology that keeps women functionally powerless and inherently inferior to men.

Each scenario below reflected a recent experience for people I knew at the time.

Female Anger and Sadness


“Why are women so vocal these days?” the bewildered and conservative Christian man asks. “What need do they have for Christian feminism?

Haven’t we always taken care of them? I don’t like the way they talk-they seem angry.”

And you wonder why we are so angry.

A park, a popular playground, a peaceful neighborhood, a perfectly delightful late winter day, a  young mother places her toddler in the car seat, careful of his safety … and she is seized from behind, thrown against the hood of her car, and is brutally raped.

And you wonder why we are angry.

A teenage boy in a well-regarded Christian high school approaches a schoolmate who has somehow managed to maintain her innocence.  He speaks in sexual innuendoes,  which,  because of her unusual and refreshing naivete,  she does not understand.  He then announces,  “I’m going to suck your tit” and walks off laughing.

And you wonder why we are angry.

A faithful church-goer beats his wife periodically over a period of fifteen years. In retaliation, in despair, in desperation, in sin, she ends up in the arms of another man. The elders of the church place her under church discipline, despite her sorrowful repentance.  The husband’s actions are condoned, for, after all, “she was out of control and asking for it anyway.”

Any you wonder why we are angry.

“Would it not be possible,” the women ask, “to take a more visible role in the church service?” But the churchmen say, “The women may not pray. The men may be offended and walk out.”

And you wonder why we are sad.

Even as I have long since walked away from that world and rejected the theology underpinning it as unworthy of the Holy God, I find myself with deep bodily memories of that anger and sadness.

It’s all about power, of course. That’s the root cause of most of the world’s ills. Gaining and keeping power.

No wonder the words of Jesus about humility and giving up power and are rarely, if ever, preached in male-dominated churches and denominations. Such words belie every single thing that they stand upon and know are necessary for them to keep their positions. There’s no fame there. No adulation. No book contracts or ability to emotionally manipulate others.

Most importantly, money will never flow to such a message. And therein is the key problem. It boils down to money. And that reality also produces anger and sadness.

As I spend a great deal of time pondering the many changes that are already showing up as the after-effects of this ongoing world pandemic start to become evident, I find myself hoping it will also bring about a great reset in the nature of church.

More to come about these things.

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