Tag Archives: death

When a feminist dies…

When a feminist dies, I don’t advise calling on the president of a Southern Baptist seminary to write the report.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Crosswalk.com did this past week after the death of “post-Christian” lesbian feminist Mary Daly, who taught theology at Boston College (until we was ousted for barring men from her higher-level courses of feminist thought…).

Albert Mohler, who frequently writes on current events and culture for the conservative Christian website and is President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, was called upon to reflect on Daly’s death. Mohler makes certain to point out radical Daly’s ironic prejudice towards transsexuals and pokes fun at her belief that women were, in some sense, victims of “gynocide” at the hands of Christianity. While he called her story “tragic,” it is triumphalism, rather than lament that seems to characterize his piece.

After reading Mohler’s article, I had two wishes:

First, that Christians would be sensitive to the personal connections of various authors and in the future, and perhaps choose an author who might not have the same prominence in a very anti-feminist denomination for a piece on the death of a feminist. I’m not saying, necessarily, that the author couldn’t be a complementarian when it comes to women in ministry, but I’ve met a lot of very gracious complementarians that would be much better suited to write such a piece than a member of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s governing body. Mohler was also instrumental in the addition of a statement about women’s submission to the 2000 version of the “non-creedal” creed of the Southern Baptists, the Baptist Faith and Message. I mean, according to wikipedia and from what I’ve heard, this guy is critical of anyone who chooses not to have kids, critical of birth control, opposed to all alcohol use… I don’t know why a more moderate complementarian could not be found who wouldn’t carry the same baggage into the conversation by mere virtue of his name and fame.

Secondly, I wish that we would truly lament Daly’s death in a manner befitting Christians. It just seemed unnecessary to harp on Daly for her views toward transsexuals–perhaps I read it wrong, but it seemed to be a, “Ha, you hypocrite radicals, you!” I also found it insensitive to scoff at her death from “declining health” versus “gynocide.” Just because she had an extreme view, doesn’t make her an idiot, and even if she were an idiot, what does that matter? There is no response we should have to this but sorrow: sorrow that sexism has tainted the church since its birth, sorrow that sexism continues to be inadequately addressed by Christians, sorrow that individuals feel they must choose between Christianity and feminism, sorrow that anyone would feel the Christian God was “phallocentric” or otherwise unconcerned with the lives of women.

Besides our sorrow over the state of things and over the story of this one woman, we also must be sensitive in how we write about such matters, that we not take lightly the death of someone who was others’ daughter, sister, lover, and friend. Additionally, as Daly began as a Christian, she likely knew Christians that cared for her deeply and were hurt profoundly by her apostasy. Regardless of what we make of her views, we must recognize the frustration and pain she apparently felt as a woman and the frustration and pain others felt on her behalf when she went down this path. Let us not let another’s bitterness towards Christianity lead to our own callousness at her death.

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Filed under Gender, Social Justice, Theology & Ministry

Here begins a dialog…

Here begins a dialog.

We’re talking politics, culture, and theology…
…car care, curry,
backpacking, bulldozers,
alligators, and Afghanistan.

We ask who we are. 
Who we can be. 
What we are meant for.

What is the best way to live as humans?
What, in fact, is the most human we could be?

Claiming to be “only human” is a cruel joke.
We may be flawed,
but unadulterated humanity is good.
Very good.

Every day we steal glimpses:
the joy of recognizing “I was made for this!”

The Christian story claims
Jesus showed us
what it means to be truly human.

God became human in Jesus,
so he knows our situation.
He stood in our place in every way.
He lived life untarnished,
showing us who we were always meant to be…
and then healing our world’s brokenness
through his death and resurrection,
healing our brokenness,
he empowers us to follow him…

…into true humanity.

What does humanity look like
when it sheds its anxiety, shame, and pride?
How do we step into our true identities day to day?
Do we buy the reality of that story to begin with?
Do we actually act like we do?
Or don’t?

Here begins a dialog…

…on living with viveza.

*******

Sin, we note, is not breaking arbitrary rules;
rather the rules are the thumbnail sketches
of different kinds of dehumanizing behavior.

—N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham in Surprised By Hope (180).

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Filed under Announcements, Theology & Ministry