Opinions on faith and life

An Exception to the Rule

2007-07-24

In a scene that is replayed daily in message boards, someone makes a generalization about a group, but when evidence to the contrary is presented, it is brushed aside with the phrase, “That’s just an exception to the rule.” Is that a legitimate argument - or any argument at all?

Of course not. A bona fide exception to a rule is simply a more specific case among generalities. But when an absolute claim is made, such exceptions in fact prove the rule to be false. An example of a legitimate exception is the old spelling adage, “I before E except after C”. Even with that exception, the rule still doesn’t always apply. So it is just a generality, a way to remember the spelling in the majority of situations. Its value is in making the list of spellings to memorize smaller.

But a more disturbing use of this phrase is when people hold a certain view of a group to which they themselves do not belong. It is typically used by racial bigots for example. But no specific factors are cited to make exceptions to the rule legitimate. In other words, if the rule were true, one would have to explain the cause for the exceptions. But no matter how they try, racial bigots cannot explain why some - in fact most - of the people in the group they hold to be inferior do not experience or exhibit the limitations devised for them.

I say all this to once again look at an issue which is becoming critical in Christian circles: misogyny. It is becoming fashionable to view all women as inferior to all men, to the point where even female university professors have to ask their husbands what they’re allowed to do or say or wear! Women are thus seen as perpetual children, as incapable of adult thought and reason. And just like racial or any other bigotry, it is promoted in spite of all the “exceptions” that prove the “rule” false.

And if this could somehow all be excused by some religious principle, that women are only inferior spiritually, then why the childish treatment? Why insult women’s intelligence, honor, and contributions to humanity, if this is only a spiritual matter? The very same “reasoning” formerly used by the churches to keep black people in second place are still being used against women - even long after society finally acknowledged the equality of all people.

I’ve said it before, and will continue to say it till it sinks in: women are fully human, fully grown up, and fully equal to men in God’s sight. To say otherwise is to call God a liar when He says He is “no respecter of persons” or that “man looks out the outside, but God looks on the heart”. Any Christian man who even wants to be superior to another adult Christian has a pride problem. Jesus said we must not “lord it over” others, but there is no way to obey Him while holding down half His people and telling the Holy Spirit that He can’t possibly choose women for anything important or “authoritative”.

The reason there are women who have leadership qualities in the churches is not because there are a few “exceptions” (the excuse always given for Old Testament examples like Deborah) or because God sometimes has to settle for second-best, or even because it’s deemed to be “evil” to put women in spiritual leadership over men (!), but because the “rule” is a big fat lie.

God has proven his approval of women, even before Jesus came, and never called any incidences of it an “exception” or second choice. God will in fact require an account from anyone who has ever harbored this sin of pride over other believers, and from any women who have hidden behind this non-rule as a means to escape responsibility.

The main push for all this misogyny is coming from a group called The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). I think those letters really stand for Conceited Bossy Men on a Witch-hunt. They give the impression that it’s women, not money, that is the root of all evil, and men are here to keep those evil children in line. God will judge!

Ye be warned!

P.S.: “I happen to like nice men.” -- Princess Leia, StarWars Ep. V