Friday, April 13, 2007

FEMINIST RANT AHEAD: PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Yesterday I read a short piece in the newspaper about a movement afoot in North American churches to reach out to that huge "unreached people group": men.

Apparently men don't enjoy church. Someone has written a book along those very lines: Why Men Hate Going to Church. Another title mentioned was The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity. Apparently men don't like the "hand-holding" and "touchy-feely" stuff about church; they want short services (in/out, kind of like Christmas shopping I suppose), "shot clocks"to limit the sermon length, sports metaphors, AC/DC instead of Celine Dion, etc.

Before I get all weepy, let me ask you: name me one woman who has had a significant role in the formation of the Christian church, theology, creeds, etc., whether in the Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox streams. Go ahead, name ONE. Who are running the Bible colleges and seminaries: women or men? Who are (primarily) the seminary professors: women or men? Who are the heads of major Christian organizations and foundations: women or men?

Enough rhetorical questions. My point is: the Christian church, in all of its forms, has been pretty much totally ruled by men for its entire history. I cannot name ONE woman who would be mentioned in the same breath as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, the Wesleys, the Catholic Popes, etc. Men have run, ruled, and organized the church since its inception, so to find out now in 2007 that they don't have any fun attending the institution they have dominated ... well, pardon me if I cannot muster up a great deal of sympathy.

Richard, ever a wise and humble man (and one for whom attending church is the highlight of the week), listened patiently while I vented these opinions last night, and responded with these words,

"Don't cry for me, Argentina."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

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