Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Email: Courageous Christian living [JB]

It's what I call "crowd-control tactics." The worst thing for conservative Christians is that a person would "sin" or become "cheap"; hence the metaphor of a china vs. a styrofoam cup (which everyone throws out, though you feel bad about it if you're environmentally sensitive -- which I guarantee fits in with What Would Jesus Do). Therefore the tight-lipped crowd tells women they are never to kiss a man until they are married. (Why don't they instead make men stop trying to kiss women?) Keep in mind now, I have published proof that they would like to do away with dating altogether and return us to the days of arranged marriages!

Normal Christians that are not so insanely paranoid, on the other hand, believe that if you keep your eyes upon Jesus and God's word and all the learning you can consider from wiser Christians, you will have the growing and deepening moral strength to make the right decisions in each situation you find yourself in, both now and in the future. This is how St. Paul lived -- leaping from height to height -- not as the fundies would have us all live, which is hunkering in a bunker, for fear that the sunlight shining on the cheek or shoulder of the person next to us might cause us to get a twinkle in our eye, which of course would be a sin.

It is the rod-up-the-back (and -butt) people who wax poetic about the "Proverbs 31 woman." Yes, let's all go back to living in the 1850s and earlier, please. These folks do not want women to think, work or compete with men in the marketplace. Their problem is that they want to equate the public and the private spheres. (They're still stuck in the 1960s, when Gloria Steinem broke that bubble.) A woman can be a competent professional in the public sphere while still being womanly, a good marital partner and mother and so on, in the private sphere. Funny thing, though: Men have to pay equal attention to their families and not just their careers, if they are to support their wife's reaching all her God-given potential; and it's harder to get men to be an equal parent than to get women to just stay barefoot and pregnant -- so that remains the status quo amongst those who prefer to take the path of least resistance.

When it all comes down to one thing, it really is about the men being in control of the women. The solution, in turn, remains this: Trust and nurture each other in Christ and be true partners, not authority and subordinate. This has all been spelled out for the past 18 years in The Priscilla Papers, written by Christians for Biblical Equality.


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