Sunday, July 23, 2017
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Tag: Gender Justice

Time to Sit Down and Listen to the Marginalized

July 17, 2017 David and Constantino Khalaf have some powerful words to share in their July 10, 2017, Modern Kinship blog post on the Patheos progressive Christian...

Saving Women from the Church: How Jesus Mends a Divide

Many more situations are addressed through two stories illustrating a hurtful issue women face in church. Each of these scenarios is followed by an elaborate semi-fictitious version of a gospel story depicting how Jesus treated the suffering woman.

A Provocative Representation of The Divine Feminine: Eric Drooker’s “Crucifixion”

I view this piece and know I can gather the hurting world in my womb. I can allow my feminine-specific suffering under patriarchy to be the conduit for my passionate pursuit of justice and my spark of love I extend toward others. For truly, I am the arms stretched out inside the fallopian tubes. The darkest night of my soul under patriarchy can become the very hope for others to find light.

Report from the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women...

It was empowering to connect with women and men from around the world who are doing vital work for women’s economic empowerment inextricably linked to our overall empowerment.

Poverty Pay for Women’s Work

March 17, 2017 "The bad news is that it’s getting worse for women. In the next decade, low-wage women’s jobs will increase at one and...

How I Learned to Call God Mother: A One-Person Experiment

I can see now that, like my spiritual director said long ago, my image of God was all wrong. My gut feeling was that my own best interest was second to God’s. The image of God as Father left me with too few harbors to go for emotional safety. He would send me out to sea, endlessly, on some errand of his own design, as he did Jonah.

Angels on Earth: Mothering, Religion, and Spirituality

A woman’s actual personhood is a paradoxical irony: young women are valued for their potential to be useful sexually and reproductively, but once they have succeeded in fulfilling those potentials, they are regarded as vaguely defiled.

Women’s History Month: Honoring the Sacred Feminine

For all who came before and all who follow in our footsteps, we will honor the feminine, eternal, life-giving force of this Universe. And then, women will join together, once again, in the sacred circle dance that is our power and our divine source.

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife

Tucker’s hermeneutics are thoughtful and thought provoking. She questions why a husband would beat and terrorize his wife, and answers, regarding her ex-husband, “his perspective on male supremacy and on female submission was front and center.”

Ending the Silence about Sexual Assault

Today, as in the biblical narratives, instead of focusing on the details of the rape and the sufferings of the women who were victimized, we focus on the accomplishments of the powerful men who caused their suffering. We may even support them without thinking about it.

A Dumb Blonde, a Woman Driver, and a Preacher Walk into...

Research from Western Carolina University shows that dumb blonde and women driving jokes are more than innocent fun and games. Psychologists have proven exposure to sexist humor like that “gentle tease” about women drivers leads to tolerance of hostile behavior toward and acceptance of discrimination of women.

What We Can Learn from Christianity Today’s Interview with Saeed Abedini

Allowing Saeed a public forum in which to further denigrate Naghmeh, Christianity Today also denigrates every woman who has heard an overuse of the word 'I' as they were being beaten, and shames every victim who takes the blame on themselves when it’s not theirs to take. The consequences of this piece reach further than one victim.

Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and...

"The most oppressive of human binaries is the one that differentiates between those who are in and those who are out. Just as Jesus “took on whatever stigma was applied to the people he was engaging: women, children, Samaritans, lepers” (p. 180), so must progressive Christians and progressive queers continue to disrupt the inside/outside binary."

Christian Doctrines for Global Gender Justice

Jenny Daggers, Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Liverpool Hope University, U.K., and Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Associate Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion, U.S., extend the conversation they started with their first volume, 'Reimagining with Christian Doctrines'The result is a highly engaging and informative attempt to sustain theological reflection in a systematic sequence while also honoring very different contexts, including those of the readers."

Gender Disputes in Bible Translation

The translation was called Today’s New International Version of the Bible (TNIV), an updated edition of the New International Version (NIV), a favorite of conservative Christians. And many of them were not happy with the new edition. Why the unhappiness? Because the TNIV was the first NIV updating to use gender-inclusive people language.

The Changing Face of Evangelicalism: Rescuing Jesus

Ever since 2007, an award-winning journalist and radio producer named Deborah Jian Lee has been researching contemporary evangelicalism. She has been impressed by a change occurring among evangelicals—a movement that “ditches the Religious Right,” supports working toward social justice rather than political theorizing, and calls itself “progressive evangelicalism.”

Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships

God bless Tim Otto for writing this book in the hope that each Christian will “go through the difficulty of relating to people who are not like us” (p. 118). But his failure to envision freedom, individualism, rights, and equality in the light of the Golden Rule tragically weakens the power of this book.

Calling God “She” — It’s Just Another Pronoun!

To linguistically portray God as a father, or God as a woman giving birth, or an eagle, or a sacred wind, all of those things put a limiting image up to represent God. And, for that matter, so do the three letters, G-O-D. All the ways we choose to refer to God are images, all are limited representations, all are potentially idolatrous symbols. But all our metaphors and ways of referring to God are not necessarily idolatrous. Only potentially.

Christian Feminism and LGBT Advocacy: Let’s Move Away from Slippery Slope...

"The call for change is about acknowledging and honoring the dignity of whole categories of people who have been regarded as 'less than' or 'lower than' or 'unequal to' the privileged groups that determine who benefits from a society’s social arrangements and rewards. In other words, justice movements form in order to challenge the hierarchies that have been set up to keep whole groups of people 'in their place.'"

Fruitful Embraces: Sexuality, Love, and Justice

The authors recognize that for Catholics, who live within “an institution… wedded to historical precedent” (p. 185), it can be terrifying to be challenged to make moves never made before. Yet many Catholic Christians, “their imaginations shaped by biblical convictions, see immigrants, homosexuals, and transgender persons in a new light” (p. 186).

Slouching Toward Gaytheism: Christianity and Queer Survival in America

Ultimately, my opposition to Harris stems from our differing definitions of religion and spirituality. Central to Harris’ argument is this: “When politicians (or anyone, for that matter) cede ethical ground to religious belief, justice for queer citizens is gravely endangered” (p. 154).

Girl Scout Barbie? Are you KIDDING me?

Our culture's obsession with beauty, sexiness and youth doesn't need reinforcement by the Girl Scouts. If anything, scouts should be standard bearers of a counter-culture. That it's great to try to be healthy, study hard, play hard and give back to your community.

Is There Healing for the Church’s “Mother Wound”?

The patriarchal, task-based church cannot affirm anything outside its box, because – like all good patriarchs – it must banish anything it cannot fix. Unless the patriarchal church squarely faces its Mother Wound and allows the nurturance, tenderness, and compassionate caring that has all too long been associated with the feminine (and thus rejected) to come in, it will not only fail to heal but will grow increasingly irrelevant as it fades away.

God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of...

According to Vines, the reason non-affirming Christians reject homosexuality is that male and female bodies are anatomically complementary (the “plumbing” fits together). But such an issue is never raised anywhere in the Bible. Instead, the Bible makes clear that every human being is made in God’s image...

Prostitutes, Virgins and Mothers: Questioning Teachings About Biblical Women

Certainly this book could be meaningful to any Christian wanting a good overview of the women in the Bible, but I also feel the book could be interesting reading for feminists wanting to understand the way layers of patriarchal interference over the years have worked to influence Christian behavior and attitudes toward women. With that said, I don't think this book is "too feminist" to have a wide audience.

A Tiny Little Girl and a Smiling Man – #YesAllWomen

Later that week, my mom, now in her role as the Brownie leader, talked about my experience with the other little girls in our troop. She didn't tell them it was my experience; she just said it had happened to "someone in the troop." I remember sitting there wondering why, if I did the right thing, she didn't tell everyone it was me.

Patriarchy, Power, and Sexual Abuse among Christians

March 7, 2014 A special compilation of links you’ll want to know about. by Letha Dawson Scanzoni Amanda Marcotte writes that “the message in the Christian right...

Rachel Held Evans and The Nines

Strong female leaders of faith are making great, great strides. At this point, we need more male leaders to act in concert with our efforts. Perhaps after so few women accepted Rhoades’ invitation, he should have done as some have suggested—cancelled this year’s event and said, “we can’t go forward without a stronger, more representative line up.”

A man speaks out for gender equality and says we...

Aaron Swor says he realizes that he, as a man, also needs feminism. Everybody does. “The goal is a shift in culture," Swor points out. "A shift in the way the general population thinks, speaks about and treats women. It has been scary to attach that word to myself, to my identity, especially coming from a conservative background. But the more I learn and see and grow and process, I am more anxious and excited to claim that title.”

Equality as a Multiple Choice Test

I'd like it if everyone was very well aware that equal is equal, that anything else is greater than or less than. Because I want to believe that in my life I will experience at least a little time in which I am equal, not less than. But actually, how things are? Equality is more like a multiple choice test. And some people will circle every single answer, and some people will, miraculously, manage to circle one or two.

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women

Iif you spend time looking at what Sarah is doing with all of her personal expression, not just in her book, you'll find that she is managing to not only portray the kindness, compassion, and love of her Jesus in the world, but also create a virtual community of people united around that concept.

To Revere the Image of God in Every Person

It is my prayer that all of us will eventually learn to recognize and revere the image of God in every person of every conceivable gender identity, along with the many other diversities of appearance, belief systems, preferences, and whatsoever differences may occur to us.

Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships

While his final conclusions wind up on the "revisionist' side of the debate, he reached that point via the construction of a carefully considered moral logic that frames a sexual ethic from all of Scripture. He claims that by grounding his approach to same-sex relationships in this way, he provides a rationale that was previously missing.

Rapists’ Parental Rights

The vast majority of Christians will experience a lifetime of preaching and religious education without once hearing that rape is a grave sin to be avoided or repented--or that God weeps with survivors, fights for their protection and healing rather than shaming them into justice-free forgiveness, and calls all Christians to as well.

Submission, Subjection, and Subversion in Household Codes

"... the overarching message of Jesus throughout the New Testament is a call for those in power to give it up or lay it aside for the sake of the powerless or for the greater good of the community. The theme of “little ones” being greatest in God’s kin-dom saturates the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus flees popularity, risks his life to defy rigid structures that oppress “little ones,” and finally endures the shame of crucifixion as a rebel against Roman domination."

Mutual Submission in This Time and in This Place

But something changed a few decades later that made the early church start to rein in the mutual submission and egalitarianism of its Savior and the teachings of its foremost apostle. What was it? The simple answer is that Jesus did not return.

Wounded by God’s People

I wonder if the“more severe” unshared wounds Lotz mentions in the epilogue were originally the inspiration for the writing, but were later left out to avoid causing more pain to those involved. Or perhaps it was just my own personal wounds hoping she was going to give them voice.

Enticed by Eden: How Western Culture Uses, Confuses, (and Sometimes Abuses)...

Providing the evidence of how this narrative functions not only among groups of Christian readers but also among groups with no Christian underpinnings, the authors offer a convincing illustration of the dynamic nature of texts.

There Is More than One Christian View on Homosexuality

"But when it comes to homosexuality, many people have the impression that there is only one religious or biblical view – only one way to consider the question of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. That view, in the minds of many, is that any and every same-sex sexual expression is sinful in the sight of God."

Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in...

"...this book is a voyeuristic look into the messy and gut-wrenching process of a person’s coming to terms with an LGBT identity after a lifetime of being indoctrinated into a theology that says gay people suffer from a shameful defect and will be punished by an angry God throughout an eternity of torment.

“Having it all” or “Being it all”?

"Much of the media buzz about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, 'Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,' has focused less on what I consider the book’s intended message and more on the unending debates about whether women can combine marriage and children with pursuing a career outside the home..."

Christian Feminists Weigh Pros and Cons of Women in Combat

"Last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ruled that women can now serve in combat roles with the United States military. I reacted to this decree with decided ambivalence, as the ruling challenges two ideologies I hold closest to my heart, along with my Christian faith.

My Path to Christian Feminism

I've always been impressed with those white Freedom Riders who chose to stand in solidarity with their black brothers and sisters, risking life, limb, and reputation because they believed in the rightness of the cause, not because it necessarily affected them personally.

Being a Feminist or Being a Christian—Must I Choose?

I had to find out the truth. Did the Bible really limit women as those letters had insisted? Would I have to choose between being a Christian and being a woman? During that spring and summer, I searched the Munich University library for books in English about women and gender roles, especially on biblical interpretation.

Reflections of a Christian Feminist: On Being All We’re Meant to...

So when I think about or talk about feminism, it means I’m convinced that the church needs women and men to be working together in full and equal partnership and applying all the principles listed above.

The Food Network: A Challenge to Gender Equality?

Perhaps I am being too critical of the Food Network, it is, after all, only entertainment, not intended as serious fare. But it does seem to me an illustration of the pervasive challenge to equality embedded in all aspects of our culture. And, while seemingly identifying the problem themselves, it is clear executives had little awareness about how to address this inequity on a sustained basis...”

Celebrating Women’s Athleticism? Or Cultural Beauty Ideals?

But honestly, when I read about the denigration of female athletes who don’t meet our cultural standard of beauty; when I witness the pervasive misogyny in our country’s sports fans; when media images remind me that female Olympians continue to be prized as sex symbols first, and athletes later, it’s harder for me to embrace the idea that beauty = strength, or to feel that I am also created in God’s image.

Understanding Opposition to Feminism and What We Can Do about It

I think before we can dialogue with anti-feminists, we first need to try to determine which category they are in. Are they “warriors against feminism” who hate the very idea of gender equality? Or are they “worriers about feminism” who recognize the value in gender equality but are afraid to embrace it because of the falsehoods they have heard?

Fear, Fairness, and Feminism: Does It Have to Be So Lonely?

Over time I became convinced! Jesus did not condone treating any group of people as secondary and in fact demonstrated how going against societal norms was often necessary to extend grace, love, and genuine hospitality especially to the least and the last. And yet, living in this boundary where only a small number of people have chosen to put down roots at the intersection of feminism and Christianity can be lonesome.

Jann Aldredge-Clanton Interview

In Changing Church I tried to reflect not only racial and ethnic diversity, but also diversity in sexual orientation and Christian denominations. To pursue their calling some of these ministers have overcome obstacles not only of sexism but also of racism and/or heterosexism.

The Secret Life of Bees

Now the content of her previous books has become the air breathed by Sue's fully-drawn characters. My favorite is May, a woman so vulnerable that she builds her own private wailing wall where she can tuck in scraps of paper from her wounded life and suffering world.

10 Lies the Church Tells Women: How the Bible Has Been...

Grady's heart may be in the right place with regard to women's roles and rights, but his research and thinking are incredibly shallow and sloppy [see sidebar]. He refers frequently to church history, but with little cultural understanding.

When Men Were the Only Models We Had: My Teachers Barzun,...

"I do not mean, of course, that I expressed feminist views in the dreary masculinist years after World War II. But I never denied the pain to myself . . . Fiction by and about women," she wrote, "centered on an immature woman whose fate was not yet decided, in disturbing contrast to the questing, destiny-making hero of male fiction" (Grigoriadis, quoting Kress).

The UMC Trial of Beth Stroud: A Mother’s Perspective

I refuse to give into despair and instead have hope that attitudes in our churches, regardless of denominational affiliation, will change. In many ways, it is the church that is on trial.

The Work is Not Done

For all of us who are feminists and claim faith—whether we are 27 or 72— there still remains the most profound work of all: the work of hope. Together, we are called to seize hope and imagine the beauty for which we long.

Unfinished Lives:Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims

Sprinkle laments the continuing rise in the number and the brutality of violent crimes against LGBTQ people; young people in America’s schools and neighborhoods are especially being targeted at an alarming rate, as much for their non-traditional presentation of gender as for their sexual orientation.

A Third Wave Feminist Speaks Out

My first conference was one of the only times I have felt positive, inspirational feminist community. Should this privilege be reserved for the few women who discover an EEWC poster and tentatively attend? Should we not be more "out there" with our God-filled organization? Women of EEWC, I ask you to reach out to my generation with your message.

My Journey to Feminism

"Ever since my feminist awakening, the proverbial “fire in my belly” has burned for those countless evangelical women who are faithfully practicing the spiritual tradition that has been handed down to them, unknowingly replicating a sexist, exclusivist hierarchy of privilege..."

My Fifty Year Journey with Women and Ministry…

The Pauline (as one of my students once said: “I have had enough of Paul; I want to meet Pauline!”) vision of Galatians 3:28— the text used in the ordination sermon of Antoinette Brown in 1853, the first woman ordained in the USA in a recognized denomination—continues to be a critical beacon light of and for the gospel.

The Inclusive Bible

Not only is the appearance of one-way submission corrected in a way that is actually more in line with the Greek text, but the insights are made accessible to people in nontraditional relationships. In fact, the Priests for Equality frequently use the word partner where the Oxford version sticks to the more traditional husband and wife...

Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality

This is a compelling, swift-reading collection of the voices of the women who are leading movements of change in their mosques, synagogues, and churches. Taking Back God provides a meaningful view of religious feminism from the macro level.

Subject, Once Again

The answer given to women at this seminary is that “God expects wives to graciously submit to their husbands’ leadership,” and doing so involves “learning how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation.” Students in class mention cross-stitching, “freezer pleaser” meatloaf, and using the Internet to track grocery coupons.

Of Buttons, Baptists, and Don Quixotes

While working as an associate pastor at a large church, she was told by a colleague that “when she was in the pulpit, he could not focus on what she was saying because she is a woman.” There was also a man in her congregation who covered his eyes whenever she preached.

Gender, Ethnicity, and Religion: Views from the Other Side

Rosemary Radford Ruether's anthology is promoting exciting new research that challenges dominant theological identities, especially S. Sue Horner's work on who we of EEWC were during each stage of the organization's development, and how that history shapes who we are today.

Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life

What I probably liked best were her efforts to provide a sympathetic portrait of women whose religious views differ from my own. Gallagher adopts a very even-handed and respectful view towards both gender "progressives" and conservatives.

What God Has Joined Together: A Christian Case for Gay Marriage

And while Myers and Scanzoni examine other options to marriage, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships, they conclude that only marriage gives the rights and responsibilities essential to a stable society

Religion, Women’s Status, and Self-image

Dear Kimberly, As you pointed out so well in your last letter, girls and women have had access to education for a relatively short time...

Great and Not-So-Great Expectations

When Steven Goldberg's controversial book, The Inevitability of Patriarchy was published in the 1970s, he argued for the existence of a "biologically-based male superiority" that equips the male sex for dominance and achievements. He claimed that "there is not a single woman whose genius has approached that of any number of men in philosophy, mathematics, composing, theorizing of any kind, or even painting."

From Images of Women in Western Pop Culture to the State...

Dear Letha, I loved your last letter, especially how you juxtaposed the situation in Swat Valley, Pakistan with the situation of Susan Boyle in the...

Dreaming a Dream, Lighting a Light

Dear Kimberly, Your further thoughts about pride, lookism, racism, and anti-feminist religious teachings were right on the mark! I want to pick up on that...

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