Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And So Here is Number 300

This is my 300th blog post. I started this blog in 2006 as an experiment for a class I was teaching. I didn't start posting seriously until 2008, as the ledger to the side will show, although I think all of them have some merit. Lots of Bible studies, book reviews, commentary on the news, mini-lectures on academic subjects, a short story or two, and some (a lot) of random stuff. One thing I have learned is that it is pointless to have a blog unless you do it every day or so. I have gone to a lot of blogs whose last posting is two years ago.

In keeping with my randomly randomness, here is a great article on a stupid subject, botox. Like most of my reading recommendations, it is affiliated with Christianity Today, the magazine that saved me from fundamentalism or maybe saved me from myself. I was at a period when I thought there had to be thinking Christians somewhere. I found it in CT and have been a loyal reader ever since, although I don't take it in paper form anymore (does anybody?).

Anyway, the article is about botox's relationship to terrorism. Why anybody would put a poison of that magnitude in their face I have no idea; I don't care who says it's safe; there's counterintuitive and then there's just plain stupid. Oil of Olay will have to do for me.

I am observing Lent this year by giving up media, or most of it. Fox News to start with; radio in my car (music might be better for my mental health to and from work). I'd like to give up facebook but I use it for purposes other than posting that I have gas at that particular moment, which seems to be what a lot of people use it for. TMI, anyone? (this is not for those friends of mine who post Scripture and encouragement, of which there is far too little on Facebook).

In fact, I have decided to start calling it Whinebook.

Speaking of whining, this is mine for the day, maybe for the century. I have been in conservative churches my whole Christian life. I have no interest in liberal churches, either in social policy or doctrine; I'm not even sure what the purpose of them is, other than a social service agency. I am doctrinally conservative. I have no problem with the office of senior pastor being reserved for a man; it wouldn't matter if I had a problem with it anyway, because it's in the scriptures.

BUT, and this is a big BUT, that's the limit of men's power over women in the church. I have seen more than my share of chauvinism in the churches I go to. Men seem to appreciate women as long as they do the paperwork, cook the meals, clean up, shut up and don't ask questions.

Harsh, yes. But I'm 54 and not stupid. I'm tired of men thinking I'm less intelligent because of my number of chromosomes and regardless of how hard I work, how long I've studied, and what I've experienced. My one consolation is that the younger generation--those about 30 and below--don't get the chauvinism. Maybe because they were raised by single mothers, maybe because they just read the Bible differently, I don't see the same attitude of "women are good in their place" that I do from men my age.

The question of men and women is much more complicated than this, I know.


drgregb said...

The millenial generation (my 2 children are both millenials) are very egalitarian... I think too much. Just a thought... Men and women are "other" than each other, but the millenials want to ignore the 'otherness' and foucus on sameness. In the end it will hurt their ability to complement one another. (spoken as a true marriage counselor!)

Barbara Tucker said...

Interesting thought. I have a millennial at home, too (well, he's at college) and as a college professor, I deal with them all the time. They do have pretty different attitudes about gender and gender differences, some of them unhealthy, from my view. If we lose the difference between men and women in marriage, and what roles they play, that becomes even more of an argument for same sex marriage, in a sense.
My issues with how men treat women dismissively in conservative churches is on a different tact, though. Of course, a lot of women in the church don't have husbands who go with them or husbands at all, so in that absence they really don't have a hedge of protection from the dismissive attitudes; I don't think a good husband would tolerate it. But this is just my limited observation and opinion. In reality, I went to a meeting at my church and something happened that got me on that tack, because it reminded of times in the past. I used to work for a fundamentalist college, and even in the academic environment the women were sort of second class. But again, this is just me.

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