From Our Archives
WILLIAM EDELEN (1922 – 2015)
The Contrary Minister
Mother’s Day once again is here with the Sunday sermons filled with clichés, platitudes and banalities. So perhaps it is time to take a good, hard look at what the bible and the church have actually done to degrade women. The treatment of women in the bible is characterized by such indecency and utter contempt that it is total travesty to call this book the “word” of God.
Dr. Gerald Larue, Distinguished professor emeritus of biblical history and archaeology at the University of Southern California, wrote these words: “The Bible has been one of the most powerful social weapons in the arsenal of those who restrict and curtail the freedom of women. No matter what Bible you use, the message is the same: WOMEN ARE INFERIOR. Their inferiority is, moreover, ordained by God. How long are we going to let people who lived and died thousands of years ago dictate the way we live and think today?”
The bible is man-made, written BY men FOR men and promoting the ludicrous party line that they are taking orders from a male God.
A brief history lesson:
In the year 584 A.D. there was held the Council of Macon in Lyons, France. Sixty-three Catholic Bishops met to engage in a serious debate on this subject: “ARE WOMEN HUMAN?” The vote was finally called for. Thirty-two voted “yes”. Thirty-one voted “no”. Women were declared “human” by only one vote.
The Christian church for centuries taught the doctrine of Augustine and Aquinas (church “fathers” they are called) that a mother contributes nothing to her child’s genetic inheritance, but acts only as the “soil” for the male bearing seed.
To stay pregnant and barefooted has been the “divine calling” of women throughout the history of the Christian church.
MARTIN LUTHER put it this way: “Women should stay at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. If a woman grows weary and dies from childbearing, it does not matter. Let her die bearing children, that is all she is here for.” And think they have churches named after this guy.
ST.AUGUSTINE (345-430 a.d.) wrote: “Any woman who does not give birth to as many children as she is capable of is guilty of murder.”
JOHN WESLEY of Methodist fame in a letter to his wife wrote: “Wife…be content to be insignificant…of what loss would it be to God or man had you never been born.?”
JOHN KNOX of Presbyterian fame wrote: “Woman was made to serve and obey man.”
The history of women in the Christian church, up until the present day, is a history of half-witted, ignorant and warped men who have acted as if they had frontal lobotomies. At the National convention of the Southern Baptists in this year of 2003 it was once again proclaimed that “wives must submit to the leadership of their husbands.” This was too much even for former President Jimmy Carter, who quit.
Now, you might ask, where did they get these sick and psychotic opinions? Why, where else but from the bible, that book that many still call the “without error” word of God.
They never give a thought to Thomas Jefferson’s observation that “these so called sacred scriptures are the writings of ignorant and bigoted men.”
About five years ago I wrote a column speaking for a Maude Featherhead. I wrote:
Let me tell you folks on this Mother’s Day how proud I am to be married to Clyde Featherhead. My name is Maude, or Mrs. Clyde Featherhead. Now, here is why I am proud on Mother’s Day. Clyde and I, we live that bible man cause we really believe that God dictated it for us little people. Why do I say “little?” Well, that commandment about adultery was only meant for us little people. That King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, sleeping buddies. That commandment was not written for the big shots. That word of God book also tells me that King David’s servants brought him a young virgin “that my Lord may get heat.” (sure beats an electric blanket). So you see the bible was only for us little people.
Like in 1 Corinthians, chapter 14, God tells us women to SHUT UP… QUIT BLABBING OFF AT THE MOUTH. “In all the churches, the women shall keep silent. They are not permitted to speak… but shall be under obedience. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. It is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” There it is. God said it.
God tells me I gotta ask Clyde to instruct me… even though Clyde is a half bubble off plumb, and is two tacos short of a combination plate. His elevator doesn’t go to the top floor. But we believe that bible folks, yes we do, and our preacher believes it… that every word is true from God. And my god almighty folks, he is a grand and glorious sight on Sunday mornings when he stands up there in that pulpit and chops the air with his bible… yelling at us… the word of God in his hand… why he looks just like he is chopping wood.
Now Clyde, he reads Playboy and those kind of magazines. When I asked him about that, why he just opened up his bible and read it to me right out of the mouth of God, himself. There it was in 1st Corinthians, Chapter 11. There it was right out of the mouth of God. God told me I was made just for Clyde. That I was made only for men. “For man is the image and glory of God, but a woman is the glory of man. Man was not created for woman, but woman was created for man.” Hot damn, there it was right of Gods mouth. Us women were created for men. Ole Clyde, that son of a gun, he tells me…”don’t give me any of that ‘I’ve got a headache baloney’ ….God says you were put here for me.”
I just say…” yes sir boy…ole God himself said it.”
You know… I don’t tell Clyde cause he would get mad… he loves it this way, naturally, of course. But sometimes in the night, when I cannot sleep, I allow myself to think that Thomas Jefferson was right when he called the bible “a dunghill,” written by “ignorant men.”
Sometimes in the night, my doubts surface and a small light goes on in my mind/brain… and a voice says to me… garbage remains garbage… even if sprayed with perfume and covered with straw. And a voice says to me that even today in so many Christian denominations this degradation of women by male run churches with their male ministers is one of the great crimes of human history… even though sprayed with perfume and covered with straw.