Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pastor Tom tries to explain how the Bible isn’t sexist

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Bible verse: “And I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent” - 1 Timothy 2:12
Equality: It’s Biblical
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Pastor Tom Estes of Hard Truth attempts to show how the Bible really teaches that men and women are equally important and worthy in God’s eye. He doesn’t do a very good job of it:

God loves women every bit as much as he loves men. Bible-practicing Christians show women the same amount of respect they show men. The difference between Bible-believers and the lost world is that we acknowledge that God has given men and women different roles. Our society mistakenly places all the blame and gives all the credit to the leader of a given situation, and since the Bible declares men are the ones to be the leaders, the world thinks the Bible elevates men above women because of the afore mentioned mistake. The truth, however, is that leaders only go as far as their followers go, and followers only go as far as their leaders go. A leader with no followers is just a guy taking a walk, and followers with no leaders is a group that is going nowhere. We need both to succeed. A home needs a man who leads and a women who helps to be a successful home. This is why Christ-honoring men love their wives more, and treat them with more respect than those who do not. Because a man who follows the Scriptures knows full well that being the leader doesn't make him wiser, smarter, better, or any other adjective you could think of, it just means that he's following God's design. And following God's design makes everyone, male or female, happy, and that is the Hard Truth.

Sure, God loves everyone equally. He just thinks men should lead and women should follow, playing the doting housewife who makes sure the kitchen tile is always sparkling under the patriarch’s feet. And that’s why Christians love and respect their wives so much more than those dirty, sinning secularists and their bizarre, ungodly ideals about female independence and autonomy and whatnot. Such heresy, that.

See, Pastor Estes, there’s one thing you seem to be missing, here. (Well, okay, there’s an ocean’s worth of things you’re missing, but for time constraints, I’ll stick to one.) The way to judge someone’s true nature is not by their words, but by their actions. Sure, the Bible says that women are important and equally loved and whatnot, but immediately afterwards, it’s declaring that women can only ever be fit to follow in men’s footsteps, that they should abandon any and all dreams and aspirations, and resign themselves to staying at home, slaving after a bunch of kids they may not even desire in the first place and forever taking orders from their man until their bodies are as old and broken as their spirits. And there’s truly no amount of weaseling you can do about how this half-life “blesses” women with God’s grace or whatever that will make up for the fact that, by any objective standard, this is absolutely and transparently contradictory to any claims about how men and women are supposedly treated with equal love and respect. Last I checked, ‘equality’ wasn’t defined as “a relationship in which one is just a bit more equal than the other”.

There’s also the amusingly ludicrous notion that “following God’s design makes everyone, male or female, happy”. Because that’s the general theme that emerges from studying the ever-pious Dark Ages, for instance, or the centuries of women being stripped of even the most basic civil rights (ownership of property, voting, divorce, etc.), or the continuation of regressive and often barbaric ritualistic practices across the world that disproportionately target women and young girls, all done under the cover of religiosity and the Christian faith in particular … that adhering to God’s word makes people “happy”.