5 comments on “Examining Change – You Bet I Take This Personally!

  1. I don’t have a whole lot to say other than I both cringed at the topic and giggled at your amazing writing style through this post. Couldn’t agree with you more and I would just like to share one of my favorite quotes that I feel is highly applicable:
    “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” —Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  2. I have always struggled with this. I grew up in a conservative home and a church where women were not allowed to appear to be leading men in anything. We could teach children (if we were lucky enough to get that gift…I was not that luck) or teach other women. But not men. I studied the hermeneutics, challenged my teachers, my pastors, the principal at my christian school when he misused a Bible verse to justify a rule at school.
    The response I always got was that I was taking it too personally, that I should calm down and that this is just how it was and I should stop questioning everything.
    (Note: I’m not suggesting that all Christians, or all churches are like this. They aren’t. There are plenty of egalitarian churches and people. I just wasn’t raised in one.)
    They trained me to be a leader and teacher, then forbade me to do it once I was 18. It made me angry. And made me consider all the instances where religion or status quo or privilege is used to deny someone else — who is not a white man in this country — equality or rights.
    I was accused of sympathizing too much with the underdog. (This was a bad thing apparently)
    And that conversation made my blood boil too. The unwillingness, as I’ve said before, to even consider that just because it doesn’t directly affect you, doesn’t mean it’s not hurting someone.
    I’m loving your blog posts, as usual!

  3. That makes me so sad, mostly because I know it was most definitely not just you. I grew up in a fantastic church that had a female minister for years, and one where girls were encouraged to speak up and be team leaders just as much as the boys. On the other hand, I had friends who grew up in churches that most definitely did not, some even going so far as to disallow anyone female to speak in church at all.
    In religion — particularly Christianity — this attitude makes no sense. Did Jesus take things personally? Darn right he did! Was he always calm, and rational, and constructive, and "adult"? No! The man tossed tables over and threw things and called people horrible names when they wouldn't listen! It's ridiculous. And for "sympathizing with the underdog" — what on earth did they think Jesus DID with his time? Pal around with the Pharisees? Aaargh. Argh argh argh.
    On a positive note, remember yesterday when I made an offhand comment about not having someone change their mind since 2000? That was actually my minister at church! We were in Bible study, and for some reason the topic of homosexuality came up, and what to do about it — she said that the urges weren't a sin, but acting was, so they should stay celibate etc. etc.  My father actually argued that that wasn't fair, and I did as well, and after that conversation she agreed to think about the issue more. She ended up completely changing her stance on homosexuality later, a fact that still makes me happy. So it can happen — but only with people who want to listen.
    I'm sorry your (and so many people's) experience with church was such a negative one. You in particular, because you're such a great thinker and leader, I think you would've been awesome. :(

  4. Thanks Lora. I agree about Jesus, when you look at his life and what he did, it wasn’t about standing around in philosophical debates. He was passionate and compassionate. He cared and showed that through his actions. He got angry and sad and took action.
    I know there are great churches out there and that is awesome! And I love your story of your experience with your pastor. that is so fantastic! What a wonderful, intelligent woman she must be to really listen and consider all the information and being willing to stay open minded.
    I went to Biola University for a few years, a Christian school in California, and I had one Biblical studies professor who was very conservative and quite frankly sexist in his interpretations of women in the Bible and in the modern church. A female colleague of his challenged these views. He considered her points and did his own deep search of the issue. He ended up being on of the most controversial and vocal professors on egalitarianism and the study of women in scripture. He supported a completely equal status of women in leadership and pastoral roles and even published many thoughtful papers on the subject. I was so proud to study with him.
    So sometimes people really do listen! It makes speaking out worth it, even when so many others turn a deaf ear to what’s right in front of them.

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