A Sermon from the Past
(Originally there was a funny skit embedded here about the differences in the brains of men and women, but the video is now unavailable.)
Funny, isn’t it… how many serious points were made in that skit? But sad, at the same time, that it represents many men’s ideal world. And infuriating, that many men claiming to follow Jesus are making it a salvation issue. The only thing that separates this scenario from all the world’s religions and cultures is degree, not kind. And that is why many of us see no difference between the “complementarian” view of women and that of the most barbaric cultures and religions; it’s the principle that matters, not the style. Those who don’t see the difference between principle and style likewise don’t know why any woman would complain about a life such as portrayed in the video. They only see the pretty dresses and hairdos and the fine food, not the ugly, demeaning inferiority “elephant in the livingroom”.
When a woman objects to this, um, objectification, the mocking retort is often “We can’t give birth, can we?” That is, since only women can give birth, then only men can… well, whatever they decide they alone can do. Yet many of them reserve the right to dictate when and how often the women do what they can’t— and then call this “equality” or “balance” or “fairness” or “mutual submission”!
And when you think about it, a lot of other topics suffer from the same double standard, the same lame arguments. The most pervasive, per my observation, is the one-way “niceness” so popular now, where the privileged in any given group can insult and mock at will, while their hapless victims are called unloving, un-Christlike, hateful, or bitter for the very same behavior, just because it’s direct. More value is placed upon the pretty exterior of one’s words, regardless of what’s behind them. This is what passes for Christianity now, and those who see through it are the scapegoats to blame if someone turns away from the gospel. Just as Christian women are supposed to say and do things “properly”, so also are all Christians, and the standards are not coming from God but from traditions and trends.
The last 50 years or so in America have been the closest women as a group have ever been to equality in society, and this was not by accident; it was primarily Christian women who organized for the vote at first, then other things we take for granted such as property rights, inheritance rights, jobs, bank accounts, and many more. Yet in one of history’s many ironic twists, the society this produced is cited by “Christian” men as something evil that the church must stop bowing to— never mind that the majority of history has been nothing but male supremacist. And how is this any different from the Islamic demand that every society they move to must bow to their sensibilities and reject western culture as evil? The number of differences between the “Christian patriarchy” view of women and that of Islam gets smaller every day— and likewise between “Christian” and Muslim intolerance.
Which all boils down to people being whiney and thin-skinned. You spoke to me with a hint of disagreement? You hatemonger! I am the loving one, you moron! Speak as I decree, for unlike you, I am humble and gentle! ;-)
Seriously, that’s how it goes, whether we’re talking about “niceness”, political correctness, or “servant leaders”; it’s all the same principle, a world full of pots and kettles. This video only demonstrates one outworking of this “my way or the highway” attitude so pervasive in every aspect of life today. Christians really are hypocrites… just like atheists, Muslims, political parties, westerners, easterners, and everybody else. What we all need to work on is to stop trying to control and judge people on the basis of externals; that is, to ignore the insults and hypocrisy of the other and just focus on the argument. Pipe dream, I know, but it’s the thought that counts. ;-)