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#1 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope to get your thoughts on this issue, as it is something I have been struggling with. I was raised in an atheist home, but have been exploring my spirituality over the last couple of years and attending Church services I feel very comfortable with and at home in (Serbian Orthodox Church). I do have to stressed that I have remained at the exploration stage very much. I categorically reject the notion that women are less than men, have to subject to their husbands, and similar ideas, and identify as a feminist.

I would love to hear from anyone who has any angle on this.

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#2 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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It depends on your definition of feminism, I think. I wouldn't id as a feminist because what that represents to me currently, I really don't like.

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I have remained at the exploration stage very much. I categorically reject the notion that women are less than men
I do to. And I do not believe the Bible teaches this. Differences in roles and functions, yes. But differences in ability, intelligence or human value or worth, no.


However, there are plenty of Christians who combine their faith with radical feminism. I know quite a few IRL.
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#3 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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I do to. And I do not believe the Bible teaches this. Differences in roles and functions, yes. But differences in ability, intelligence or human value or worth, no.
I believe this. I identify as a traditional feminist. I don't feel I need to become a man or have all of his masculine qualities to be his equal.

I believe the original movement was necessary to allow women to care for themselves and their families. I think that at it's core it accomplished a lot. But I think I probably turned off of the path at some point.

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#4 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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Women are not less than men in the Bible. As the previous post stated they have different roles and responsibilities. I do have to obey my DH, but my DH has to be willing to die for me, just as Christ died for the church. Christ loved the Church and DH has to love me that much. So anyone who loves something so much as to die for it, would not be demanding, controlling and manipulative. Those actions do not come out of love. DH loves me so much that he wants my input on decisions and will decide to proceed with my decisions or make sure I am comfortable with the decision. Someone who truly has that much love also would never make a decision that would hurt that person.
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#5 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
I hope to get your thoughts on this issue, as it is something I have been struggling with. I was raised in an atheist home, but have been exploring my spirituality over the last couple of years and attending Church services I feel very comfortable with and at home in (Serbian Orthodox Church). I do have to stressed that I have remained at the exploration stage very much. I categorically reject the notion that women are less than men, have to subject to their husbands, and similar ideas, and identify as a feminist.

I would love to hear from anyone who has any angle on this.
I'm Orthodox. The Orthodox view on submission (women being subject to their husbands) is much different than that of Protestantism, which is the one most people have in their minds. The Orthodox very much subscribe to the mutual submission of husband & wife St. Paul writes of.

Perhaps this might help (OCA Encyclical on Marriage)

http://www.oca.org/DOCencyclical.asp?SID=12&ID=4

ETA: if you're in an ethnic Serbian parish, there will be cultural norms that are coloring what the priest and others are telling you. In other words, you're probably going to get a different take on an ethnic Serbian priest, especially if he's from Serbia, than one who is American-born and raised. I was recently dating someone from the Balkans and the culture is VERY traditional - man is the head of the family, and the woman does everything with the home, even if working full time, etc.

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#6 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Women are not less than men in the Bible.


I do have to obey my DH, but my DH has to be willing to die for me, just as Christ died for the church.
Thanks for your input. What you are saying gets straight too the core of what I have difficulty with. The two above sentences seem to be in conflict with each other, from where I stand. If I have to obey someone, that means submission by definition (what am I missing?), which does not mean equality. I do not wish to be dependent on someone loving me so much that he asks for my input, despite not having to do so. I am not against submission as such, submission to God, or obeying God, makes sense. But does that mean submitting to the opposite sex?

When I think about it, your sentence makes complete sense if I switch think around a bit. My children are no less than I am. Of course, I am willing to die for them. They do have to obey me though (even when asked for input) . "Woman" having such a relationship with "man" makes me extremely uncomfortable, however.

My opinion tends to be that men and women are capable of the same things, but that women just have one extra ability - growing and birthing children.

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#7 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm Orthodox. The Orthodox view on submission (women being subject to their husbands) is much different than that of Protestantism, which is the one most people have in their minds. The Orthodox very much subscribe to the mutual submission of husband & wife St. Paul writes of.

Perhaps this might help (OCA Encyclical on Marriage)

http://www.oca.org/DOCencyclical.asp?SID=12&ID=4

ETA: if you're in an ethnic Serbian parish, there will be cultural norms that are coloring what the priest and others are telling you. In other words, you're probably going to get a different take on an ethnic Serbian priest, especially if he's from Serbia, than one who is American-born and raised. I was recently dating someone from the Balkans and the culture is VERY traditional - man is the head of the family, and the woman does everything with the home, even if working full time, etc.
I'll get on to your link now and comment when I have read it. In the meantime, I want to say that I am not in an ethnic Serbian parish, but in Serbia . I am lucky to have met a wonderful priest who is very helpful in answering every question I can come up with, but who seems to be very liberal in relation to other priests. Suits me though! On culture, I actually notice that religious people (I should say men) here are generally much less sexist and more respectful of women than the rest of the population.

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#8 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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I believe this. I identify as a traditional feminist. I don't feel I need to become a man or have all of his masculine qualities to be his equal.

I believe the original movement was necessary to allow women to care for themselves and their families. I think that at it's core it accomplished a lot. But I think I probably turned off of the path at some point.
:

I don't believe I have to have the same job, title, calling, etc as a man to be his equal. Equality not sameness.

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#9 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:

I don't believe I have to have the same job, title, calling, etc as a man to be his equal. Equality not sameness.

I agree that equality is not sameness. I do not have to have the same job as a man to be his equal, but I have to *be able* to have the same job, if I choose to. Same goes for the man by the same token, I think. If "traditional conjugal roles" are forced upon us, can we truly be equals?

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#10 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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However, there are plenty of Christians who combine their faith with radical feminism. I know quite a few IRL.
What Christian denomination are these women?

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#11 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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Sure. I've been studying Church history, and it's very likely that there were female apostles of Jesus. Mary Magdalene is acknowledged as the first Evangelist and the "apostle to the Apostles". I think that women had a much larger role in the founding of the Christian church, than is Biblically expressed; but that this information was intentionally left out when the Scriptural Canons were put together, due to the patriarchal nature of the Church at the time.

I also believe that there are a LOT of unfortunate misconceptions about Biblical submission, and that the whole concept has been manipulated and abused for centuries. As I understand it, the word was mistranslated from the original Greek, to begin with.

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I do not believe the Bible teaches this. Differences in roles and functions, yes. But differences in ability, intelligence or human value or worth, no.
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II don't feel I need to become a man or have all of his masculine qualities to be his equal.
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Originally Posted by paulam View Post
Women are not less than men in the Bible.
: To all of the above.

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#12 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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Discussion of "roles" aside... in the Bible are many strong women, who were prominent characters. Besides Esther, whom I feel was always objectified just a tad - JMO.

Deborah was a judge, a leader of the people, a warrior -- a very strong woman who stepped up to the plate and did another person's job because they were afraid to. When it is saying that he would be shamed for letting her do his job, I don't think it was because she was a woman, although that's how it's often painted, but because it was HIS job and he didn't have the courage in YHWH to sally forth.

Jael (or Yael)... well, perhaps she's not the best ad for feminism , but she was most certainly no cowering servant, and she is considered to be on the side of God's people.

Lydia of Purple was a successful independent business owner, and received the teachings of Jesus through Paul.

And Jesus traveled and taught with women... something that was very much outside the norm. It was one of the "odd" things about him, during a time when the men prayed "Blessed art thou, O Lord, for thou has not made me a woman."

There were many ideas that he challenged - during that time a man could divorce a woman for ANY REASON (but not the other way around). Jesus spoke against that. A woman could be stoned for adultery; Jesus stopped men who were doing just this and interceded for the woman.

It was women who stood by him to the end, and were the first to receive him when he was resurrected - their loyalty was due in part to his unique treatment of them as equal to men, and also I think was a way of honoring women as having a special bond with the Divine, a special faith that transcends pain and fear, a strength that the men did not display. (Again, challenging the assumptions of the day that women were weaker in body and mind and needed the guidance of men.) Women had little standing in that culture, and no religious authority, but (or they had the role of informing others of his resurrection. It was not by accident that this is in the story.

http://www.godswordtowomen.org/feminist.htm seems to be an interesting article... I just skimmed it but it might be a good starting place.

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#13 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 04:09 PM
 
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I really have nothing to add, except the Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Ephesians Chapter 5 verses 22-33. It was actually the New Testament reading at my wedding. People giggled at first, but Father gave a wonderful homily about how the relationship between Christ and is Church is what the relationship between a Husband and Wife should be. Father also talked about how the Eucharist is how Christ shows love for His Spouse (the Church) and how each time we receive the Eucharist, we are renewing our covenant with Christ. In that way, sex between a husband and a wife mirrors the Eucharist because the husband and wife are giving themselves to one another and renewing their covenant to each other.

5: 22-33
Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it:
That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself: and let the wife fear her husband.

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#14 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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I agree that equality is not sameness. I do not have to have the same job as a man to be his equal, but I have to *be able* to have the same job, if I choose to. Same goes for the man by the same token, I think. If "traditional conjugal roles" are forced upon us, can we truly be equals?
Absolutely and also no. On one side when a man can carry a child and give birth then we can talk about being able to have the same jobs being vital to equality. The truth is men and women are just different and I think it does a disservice to women to expect them to want what men have (on some levels). We downplay the importance and sacredness of what we as women do by nature when we do that, IMO.

I think the jobs men and women have can serve to compliment each other. I think that's the way it was meant to be. The way I view my faith, where men hold the Priesthood and women do not, is that Motherhood and the Priesthood are equal in importance and vital to the Plan of Salvation. And they compliment each other. They serve each other. I used this mental image with a friend of mine who feels the same way and she agreed so let me see if this makes sense- I, as a woman, am sitting in a tent in the wilderness breastfeeding my child and there is work to be done and a livelihood to defend. Now I am perfectly capable of this but when I place my husband between me and the job outside that needs to be done I can have more time and more ease in caring for my children (of course we share in these roles but not exactly 50/50). Now I am in no way saying all women should be barefoot and pregnant in their homes while the men go out and work I am just trying to illustrate that these two jobs are equally as vital to my family but my role is made easier when DH is fulfilling his- whatever those roles might be. I think we all have roles and that we need to find what they are for us and our families. I guess it's like yin and yang.

BTW I use to feel the same way as you. I left the LDS church in my teens because of it. I do have a different understanding though. I still believe in equality of the sexes and that women are just as important just as intelligent just as capable but in my mind I can see now that we have fallen into the trap of expecting sameness from women. We have confused sameness and equality and that took away from the importance of "women's work". If we didn't view "women's work" as lowly as we do I don't think we'd be having this discussion, ykwim? It's no longer desirable or honorable to be a woman and mother as traditionally defined. Our lawyers and doctors are way more important than the moms who raised them and stayed home cooking meals and doing dishes.

On the flip side (the more "worldly" side) I'm for choice. I'm for women being able to leave home if they want and go to school and get a job and so on. But some things are just going to be separate and I am ok with that too. I think that we can't expect everything in life to treat men and women exactly the same.

I also am for women in general. I am for the choice to fulfill traditional roles being more accepted and more respected. The pendulum has swung- now the women who leave home are respected and those who choose not to are looked down on. I want women exercising their choice to always be a beautiful thing.

K did I go off on a total tangent from the OP or what?

ETA- I feel like I need to clear up my above mess by saying in answer to the question quoted above some things are what they are and therefore "forced". Men and women are just different. But in other things we have the opportunity to open it up to everyone regardless of sex.

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#15 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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Ok and totally on another note...

Men being the "head of house" and all that and yet his wife still being equal is hard to wrap ones mind around, I know. In my faith it works like this- husband and wife are a team and come to agreements, etc as such but the husband is the "go between". As a wife I of course speak with the Lord myself and by my husband side and visa versa for him. Both men and women are entitled to personal revelation for their families from God. When I feel this I go to DH and he comes to me when he feels it. We discuss it and verify it for ourselves.

But he is the head of our home. What does that mean and how does it work? Basically he presides. He makes sure, on the spiritual level, that we're on the right track and such. Say we're on a hike. He and I have planned out the trail and the activities for our family on the way but on the actual hike he is the one in front of the family leading us. He is the one who watches the clock and tells us when it's time to stop and eat (and if we get hungry before then he will of course find an appropriate spot for us to stop) and he's the one who is watching the trail up ahead- and because he has this view at the head of the line when he yells STOP we know to stop. Me and my mental images, I know.

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#16 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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But your mental images work!

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#17 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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This was such a hard concept for me. I grew up being told that men were worthless and horrible and selfish. I grew up being told that a woman can do anything a man can do and more. My mother had been divorced twice, to drug addicted alcoholic men who beat her. She raised us on her own.

I saw all that she could do but she was never happy. She has recently been giving up on those ideas. She loves my husband and sees how well he treats my family. She loves my sons, and when she lets things slip "We dont need any stupid men AROUND HERE" is her battle call when she takes a lid off a jar or something psychically hard she accomplishes, and I explain that it's a hurtful thing for them to hear, she realizes that no, all men are stupid and worthless.

She called me crying recently telling me she wanted to be cherished and adored by a man, and taken care of. She was tired and lonely. These are biblical things. God created woman to be with man. To love each other, for him to cherish her, and to love her as much as God loves the church.

Surely women can do many many things, but just because they can do it all doesn't mean they're necessarily HAPPY doing it. Does that make sense?

I'm better at taking care of our kids, I'm better at keeping a house calm and neat and flowing well, I'm better at being nurturing and teaching. He's better at going to work every day and bringing home money He's better at disciplining and making hard choices for our family. I know some couples where all this is reversed, and it works great for them. It's fantastic they found each other to compliment so well.

I think its hard when you (not you but "you") think you have to be able to do everything a woman is "supposed" to do, and everything a man does, all equally well and while being happy. It's totally okay to realize men and women excel at certain things and together are totally awesome.

The way submission works here is we work together on everything. If we come to an impasse and can't make a compromise (pretty rare) I have to fall back to what he says. We did this before I came to Christianity too, as it just makes sense to me. Not everyone can get their way all the time. Right now it's killing me though because I really (really really) want a dog. He says no. All my Christian friends are telling me to just go get one. But that's not how our marriage works. I respect his reasoning for not wanting one but mine more Right now I'm hoping we'll compromise on that soon.

Sorry this was so long and spacey, I'm soooo tired right now. I hope it made sense
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#18 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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You may find it helpful to reexamine what 'feminism' means to you.

I think some where along the line 'feminism' took a wrong turn. It seems that mainstream feminists don't want anything to do with you unless you support their liberal, pro choice agenda. The current feminist movement has failed miserably to support and respect the spiritual choices of so many women. It doesn't even attempt to understand them and that's a real shame.

I maintain that I am a feminist although I have little in common with the mainstream movement. I believe that feminism is about supporting women in whatever choices they make, including spiritual.

I am not a religious scholar but I have found this discussion very interesting. I think that the notion that Christianity (or any other religion) for that matter, is inherently sexist, is a false one, fueled by misunderstanding and I look forward to reading more posts on this subject.

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#19 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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Women are not less than men in the Bible. As the previous post stated they have different roles and responsibilities. I do have to obey my DH, but my DH has to be willing to die for me, just as Christ died for the church. Christ loved the Church and DH has to love me that much. So anyone who loves something so much as to die for it, would not be demanding, controlling and manipulative. Those actions do not come out of love. DH loves me so much that he wants my input on decisions and will decide to proceed with my decisions or make sure I am comfortable with the decision. Someone who truly has that much love also would never make a decision that would hurt that person.
Well said. Couldn't write it better myself. I also like the hiking illustration.

I think that feminism says that a woman is less than a man unless she can do everything that a man can do. She's basically saying, "Why have you made me a woman." There is such honor and esteem in submission. I feel like I have "relaxed" into the role I was designed to do. There is comfort in being the wife and keeping my home well.

Yes, sometimes men abuse their wives, but that's not loving and leading as Christ loved us (His church). Sometimes parents beat their kids, but that isn't an excuse for all the kids in the world to rise up in rebellion against all adults.

I agree, though, that this is a hard teaching. But, I wish you could see the tenderness with which my husband looks at me.
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#20 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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I used to have a hard time with these ideas too, and in fact I don't really know even now, after 10 years as a Christian, that I have really figured it out.

I do know some people, with wonderful and fulfilling marriages and personal lives who live this way, which has been helpful.

One thing I would suggest is perhaps not to worry about it too much. Think about it, read, pray, and watch. Sometimes things come slowly, and with more experience. I can say that having children really changed my outlook on this issue in many ways.

This is a really good article, by an Orthodox lady, that you might find interesting - it's about the male priesthood, but it has some relation to the issues you are looking at.

http://www.frederica.com/writings/wo...rdination.html

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#21 of 195 Old 02-21-2009, 11:56 PM
 
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I can reconcile feminism with Christianity, but not all denominations. Christianity does not necessarily equal wifely submission, prescribed gender roles, etc.

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#22 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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I hope to get your thoughts on this issue, as it is something I have been struggling with. I was raised in an atheist home, but have been exploring my spirituality over the last couple of years and attending Church services I feel very comfortable with and at home in (Serbian Orthodox Church). I do have to stressed that I have remained at the exploration stage very much. I categorically reject the notion that women are less than men, have to subject to their husbands, and similar ideas, and identify as a feminist.

I would love to hear from anyone who has any angle on this.
I guess for me it would depend on my view of feminism and of Christianity. No, I personally could not reconcile it within the context of a Christian church which believes in the Bible literalism or inerrancy (and I have no idea if your church would fall in that category). The churches I have attended and the ones I grew up in were very theologically liberal and approached the Bible as a collection of parables, as incomplete and written and interpretted through a patriarchal cultural filter. The Bible was used as a springpad of sorts for a personal relationship with God.

I personally think that many Christian sects use the bible as a way of continuing patriarchal power and it is one of the reasons I have moved away from Christianity. I still believe there is much to learn in the lessons of Jesus but I question whether those lessons are really the basis for today's version of the Christian church - but that is another topic I guess.

I no longer attend Christian churches. Our family now attends a UU church which fits far more with my values and with what I want to teach my children.

There are a couple of books I have enjoyed reading on this topic.

Sue Monk Kidd's Dance of the Disident Daughter follows the author's journey from conservative Christian through a search for ways to incorporate Feminist theology into her own spiritual truth. I was reading this at the same time I was reading The Red Tent which was an interesting combo.

The Feminime Face of God

At the Root of this Longing: Reconciling a Spritual Hunger and Feminist Thirst. by Carol Flinders


And this one I have just put on hold looks interesting: A God Who Looks Like Me

hth
Karen

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#23 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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Here is a link to another book, Chasing Sophia: Reclaiming the Lost Wisdom of Jesus. You won't be able to read all of it there but it will be enough to see if you're interested in reading all of it.

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#24 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 03:13 AM
 
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I still believe in equality of the sexes and that women are just as important just as intelligent just as capable but in my mind I can see now that we have fallen into the trap of expecting sameness from women. We have confused sameness and equality and that took away from the importance of "women's work". If we didn't view "women's work" as lowly as we do I don't think we'd be having this discussion, ykwim? It's no longer desirable or honorable to be a woman and mother as traditionally defined. Our lawyers and doctors are way more important than the moms who raised them and stayed home cooking meals and doing dishes.

...

I also am for women in general. I am for the choice to fulfill traditional roles being more accepted and more respected. The pendulum has swung- now the women who leave home are respected and those who choose not to are looked down on. I want women exercising their choice to always be a beautiful thing.
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I think some where along the line 'feminism' took a wrong turn. It seems that mainstream feminists don't want anything to do with you unless you support their liberal, pro choice agenda. The current feminist movement has failed miserably to support and respect the spiritual choices of so many women. It doesn't even attempt to understand them and that's a real shame.
nak - ITA and refuse to identify myself as a feminist because i think they are actually hurting women more by demanding sameness instead of equality. they have hurt us by making women think they HAVE to work to be valued and we are NOT all capable of or interested in that. i think God made us unique and wonderful, and not the same for obvious reasons.

as for the leadership in the home - i do believe too many cooks spoil the stew and constant jockeying for position is bad for the harmony of the home. God makes it easy for us - we attend to our role and our husbands do theirs! simple!!!!
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#25 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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I'm sure I could reconcile Christianity with a type of feminism, but my questions are a) should I have to? and b) do I want to?

I don't feel I have to reconcile Christianity with feminism because my worldview is Christianity, not feminism. I don't believe in 'Christianity as long as it conforms to the prevailing paradigm of secular humanism'; I believe in Christianity. As such, I don't feel like I need to contort or tailor Christianity to any other worldviews (feminism as a worldview or sub-worldview included); Christianity doesn't owe anything to them. In other words, if my baseline was feminism I would feel the need to interpret Christianity according to the feminist paradigm; but that would make me ultimately a feminist, not a Christian. I do it the other way round, interpreting feminism according to the paradigm of Christianity; and if some of feminism gets lost or must be tailored or reinterpreted in the process, so be it.

Whether I want to be able to reconcile feminism with Christianity is a stickier one. I've heard MDC feminist mothers often lament that everyone thinks feminism is XYZ when it's really ABC, and that 'all feminism is' is believing that women are people/women are as good or worthy of respect as men. Therefore, they say, anyone who believes these basic statements is a feminist whether she will or she nill, and if she denies the label because of any other connotations of feminism she is simply perpetuating a stereotype.

And I do indeed believe that women are people, and 'as good as' men (not at everything, bell curves, weight-lifting-but-long-distance-swimming, yadda yadda but in terms of personal worth), and certainly as worthy of respect. But no, I don't identify with the label 'feminist'. The label simply has too many negative connotations, and those connotations tend to be about things I feel strongly about. The abortion issue is the biggie for me. No, not all feminists are pro-choice, but I don't think abortion and feminism are completely separate views either (as I've heard some feminists claim - along the same lines as "Some Christians keep hens, but not because they're Christians"). One pro-choice argument is definitely based in feminist principles - that because a man can choose not to 'have' a baby when he creates one, a woman should be able to likewise choose not to 'have' the baby. Such an argument is not a necessary conclusion from feminist principles, but it is not divorced from them either.

So I keep away from feminism largely because of its associations with abortion and so on. I'm sure some people will say that it's my civic duty as a woman (or whatever) to seek to redefine the title rather than allowing the stereotypes to continue. But then, once I've removed everything I find objectionable about feminism from feminism, I find it already has a name: Biblical Christianity. Which of course is a term with its own immense baggage, but given that I believe Christianity saves souls and feminism doesn't, I'd rather put my energy into reclaiming the real meaning of that term.

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#26 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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I'm sure I could reconcile Christianity with a type of feminism, but my questions are a) should I have to? and b) do I want to?

I don't feel I have to reconcile Christianity with feminism because my worldview is Christianity, not feminism. I don't believe in 'Christianity as long as it conforms to the prevailing paradigm of secular humanism'; I believe in Christianity. As such, I don't feel like I need to contort or tailor Christianity to any other worldviews (feminism as a worldview or sub-worldview included); Christianity doesn't owe anything to them. In other words, if my baseline was feminism I would feel the need to interpret Christianity according to the feminist paradigm; but that would make me ultimately a feminist, not a Christian.
I wanted to say something along these lines but didn't know how to.

Basically I once defined feminism and women's rights more along the lines of demanding exact sameness. I was in the "get out and work" category where if you were a SAHM you were weak and under the thumb of a man and so on. I didn't even take DH's last name (only married him for the tax benefits I thought you got BTW now I hyphenate). Over time I started asking myself if my view of feminism was more important than other things in my life. I was literally forced to stay home when I was on bed rest with DD2. When I found that I preferred that I was at a loss.

What I'm trying to say is where, depending on your definition of both, you don't have to choose I think you need to ask yourself truly where your beliefs lie...

So if you just can't believe in a God who would, for example, deny women the Priesthood then there ya go you don't believe in that God but if you do believe in that God and just can't reconcile the 2 which is more important- your world view or God's word? Sometimes it's a wake up call (ie: "guess I don't really believe that so I'm not religion X") and sometimes it's a dose of humility (your world view vs. God and choosing to follow God). Either you find a sense of understanding and peace in your religion (or church) or you change your religion (or church).

For me I both came to a different understanding of feminism and Mormonism. I hadn't fully understood the function of the Priesthood and on top of that I had a much more narrow definition of feminism. But then life happened and I had babies and realized how important mothers are and yaddy yadda yadda

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#27 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I really liked the Motherhood and Priesthood analogy.
It makes sense, esp since women cannot be ordained. We each have our roles, and we were designed for those roles.

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#28 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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I really liked the Motherhood and Priesthood analogy.
It makes sense, esp since women cannot be ordained. We each have our roles, and we were designed for those roles.
I guess this cuts to the heart of the matter for me.
Why can women not be ordained though?
What makes a woman inherrently unworthy or unable to fulfill that role?
Because a man dictates it? Because the Bible says it is so? (And does it really? - I honestly don't know of a passage that says that and have read that Pontifical Biblical Commission determined more than 30 years ago that there were no scriptural reasons preventing women’s ordination.)
I was just listening to an interview a few days ago with female Catholic priests who were ordained in the United Church of Canada because the Catholic church refuses to acknowledge them and has excommunicated them.


Clearly I don't see feminism in the way that many who have answered here do. I believe it has lead to more choices, not fewer for women and men, and that it addresses equality rather than "sameness". At it's core for me feminism is the belief that women should have equal political, social, sexual, intellectual and economic rights to men. How women choose to exercise those rights is a matter of personal choice but they shouldn't be denied based solely on gender - which many sects of the Christian church do. Thirty five years ago, my mother was denied having her tubes tied by a doctor in a public hospital until her husband (who she had separated from) and/or her minister approved. Feminism is what ensured we had the right to make our own medical decisons about our body, rather than having men or the male church do that.

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#29 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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The short answer is that no, I can't reconcile the two. That's one (of many) reasons I no longer consider myself a Christian.

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#30 of 195 Old 02-22-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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I guess this cuts to the heart of the matter for me.
Why can women not be ordained though?
What makes a woman inherrently unworthy or unable to fulfill that role?
The point I was trying to make (and I'm not sure if anyone else is in agreement here though I know in my faith there is an agreement) women are fully capable of it and worthy. If we needed to we could. We don't have to have it, though. We already have a job.

And that ties into my problem with other brands of feminism- the belief that for a woman to be of worth she has to be able to do the same exact job as a man. That cuts down women, IMO.

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