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Mar. 30th, 2009

river of dreams, journey


Do you ever feel like you're on your own?

I suspect many of us here have the problem of feeling our beliefs clash with conservative Christianity. Unlike some of you, I find it relatively easy to avoid frothing conservatives because my church is really liberal, I'm not related to any or really even peripherally friends with any, and so therefore all I really need to do is avoid reading online communities that get under my skin. I still feel like an outsider among political liberals, though, because many of them aren't Christian and frequently don't understand why anybody would bother to be Christian, and/or have skewed views of Christianity, and may or may not be open to hearing any alternate interpretations.

But I just realized, I feel the same alienation with feminism. And now having realized that, I feel more alone than I already did. I was steeped in feminism from the time I was a young teen and it always informed my worldview, but there was always some discomfort. I could never quite figure out which direction to go with my life, and feminism told me I could do anything I wanted to, which was nice, but ... not really complete enough for me. Since becoming a Christian, I feel like I have a little more guidance. And like I said, my church is really liberal so I feel like I can reconcile my differing sets of beliefs there. But I was reading a feminist blog last night and getting so annoyed by the dismissive views that some people had of Christianity, and also by the "If you don't want to have sex, just don't have it" mentality. I don't want to go into a ton of irrelevant detail, but let me just say that in my younger days, I had a really hard time figuring out how to act sexually, and I felt like feminism gave me precisely zero guidance on that. I read the works of women who were embracing sex-positivity and wondered why I wasn't more like that, thought I should be like that... and only realized way later that I could have gone a different direction, but it wasn't one that I saw represented in mainstream feminism. "If you don't want to have sex, just don't have it" is not sufficient to help young people work out their sexual choices, pros and cons.

A lot of religious feminism seems to focus on the idea that women are called to be homemakers and mothers and that's perfectly okay and women are really equal to men, which doesn't seem sufficient to me.

I'm not really sure what I'm looking for here. I'm trying to accept that my particular mishmash of beliefs and the way I look at the world means that people frequently aren't going to understand me and that's okay. But it's kind of hard to accept that.

It helps me to remember that people didn't really understand Jesus either, so if I'm going to try to walk in His way, that sort of goes with the territory.

What do you folks think?

Sep. 10th, 2008

subject verb


(no subject)

do people still read here?

Dec. 21st, 2007

river of dreams, journey


Mod post

Since I'm technically a mod of this community (not that it ever needs any modding to speak of) I wanted to post to let all you folks know that I'll be out of town for the next week and I won't be online very much. In the unlikely event anything blows up, co-mod violetrose should (hopefully) be around. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and stay warm! Cheers!

Dec. 20th, 2007




I found the following article last week, but only got the chance to read it today

Why Abortion is Biblical
How anti-abortion activists misrepresent the biblical record

It was interesting, but I'm unsure what to think of it. Thoughts?


Dec. 18th, 2007

starry night, art


A Question about Address

I wonder if anyone else has dealt with this and looking for some advice.  Please note, I want to deal with this in a gracious, Christ-like manner. 
Whether you're married or not, if you have advice on this issue, I'd appreciate it.

What is the best way to make it known that you do not like being referred to as Mrs. Husband's Name?  Especially when both are being addressed so that the woman becomes just the "and Mrs."

My first response is to say, "There is no such person.  Especially since I don't even share his last name."  But that seems overly rude.  Any help?

Nov. 12th, 2007



(no subject)


I'm 14, and my home is a Christian one. We're Coptic Orthodox. I've recently gotten interested in feminism, and decided to see what my denomination had to say.


(It's a podcast. Scroll down or do a search for feminism)

Unfortunately, it's a bit long, but if anyone has the chance to listen to it, could you reply here and tell me what you think? Thanks.


Oct. 12th, 2007



One explanation for 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Hello! I have had some issues with my feminist and Christian beliefs recently, so I thought I'd post a question to the community (I had posted it to my journal, but it didn't seem to catch on to discussion.) 1 Timothy 2:11- 15 has always bugged me. I can understand the explanation that Christians give me for gender roles (that they represent the relationship between God and the Church,) but this verse seems to contradict that statement. Perhaps I am misunderstanding this, but it seems to say that woman cannot have authority over man because man was created first, and because woman was deceived: 1 Timothy 2:11-15: "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."

So anyways, I have been trying to expose myself to different explanations for this verse, and I want some opinions on this one:

"For not without significance did the apostle say, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression;” 1 Tim. ii. 14. but he speaks thus, because the woman accepted as true what the serpent told her, but the man could not bear to be severed from his only companion, even though this involved a partnership in sin. He was not on this account less culpable, but sinned with his eyes open. And so the apostle does not say, “He did not sin,” but “He was not deceived.” For he shows that he sinned when he says, “By one man sin entered into the world,” Rom. v. 12. and immediately after more distinctly, “In the likeness of Adam’s transgression.” But he meant that those are deceived who do not judge that which they do to be sin; but he knew. Otherwise how were it true “Adam was not deceived?” But having as yet no experience of the divine severity, he was possibly deceived in so far as he thought his sin venial. And consequently he was not deceived as the woman was deceived, but he was deceived as to the judgment which would be passed on his apology: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me, and I did eat.” Gen. iii. 12. What need of saying more? Although they were not both deceived by credulity, yet both were entangled in the snares of the devil, and taken by sin." copied from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf102.iv.XIV.11.html, an ebook for St. Augustin's City of God and Christian Doctrine that you can access without a subscription.

If you have any input, that would be much appreciated. Do you agree with this interpretation? Isn't it worse to knowingly sin than to mistakenly fall into sin? I have always been told that this is the case, but if this is the reason that man has authority over women, it doesn't make sense to me. The message I am getting here is, "Eve didn't know better, so perhaps she isn't the best person to be following. Adam knowingly did wrong- but he is the better one to be following." Wouldn't both be bad? Maybe it's even worse to follow someone who knowingly does wrong, than someone who just doesn't know any better.

Sep. 18th, 2007

starry night, art


"Value Voters"

 Does anyone else have a problem with the category "Value Voters?"  

I tend to listen to Conservative Christian Radio at work - partly because I'm not aware of any good Liberal Radio to listen to.  Frequently, I find myself rather angry at what I hear.  Perhaps it would be easier for me to have compassion for fundamentalists if I did not listen to the words of their leaders so much, but I wonder if I would still feel the same impulses to teach and help people ask questions if I did not keep in touch with the extreme right.  Since many of these beliefs find a home within my family of origin, there's a good chance I would.

Today, on AFR's "Today Issues," the topic was the Value Voters Debate that was held last night.  Obviously, only Republican Candidates showed up - and interestingly the four "top runners" did not make an appearance either.

The problem that I have with calling socially conservative Christians "Value Voters" is that the implication is that those who do not share their social positions do not have values.  Only this select group of Christians (often fundamentalists) and those who align with them socially have values.

I realize I cannot speak for other voters, but I know that I vote based on my values.  Unfortunately, that often means voting for the "least bad" candidate from the perspective of my values, but I do vote based on my vaules.  I would like to believe that everyone who takes the time to go to the polls are also voting based on their values.  I wonder what it is that "Value Voters" think that those who disagree with them base their voting choices on.

This, of course, is tied into the issue of "Family Values."  Again, the implication is that if you support the family, you support a particular form of it ONLY.  I have "Family Values" and definitely believe in the protection of the family - I just do not believe that protecting the family means telling two committed men or women that they cannot form and start a family just because they don't have the right equipment to do it on their own.  Nor do my values for a healthy family mean teaching girls to be submissive and men that they have to be the spiritual covering of their future wives or that I should teach my future daughter that she is a gift to her future husband.  (Similarily would be the term "Pro-Family.")

Words do matter.  I had a friend who said that "words are silly."  But the truth of the matter is that words do matter.  And these terms of "Value Voters" and "Family Values" used in a narrow exclusive sense are very hurtful to those individuals who take their values very seriously but don't agree with the social conservatives.

Do these terms bother anyone else?

Jul. 11th, 2007

starry night, art


Why are you a feminist?

What mile-stones do you remember that led you to embrace the label "feminist" in your own life and faith walk?  So many women, particularly of faith, see feminists as evil or misguided and feminism as the enemy of being a Christian woman.

I'm curious to learn what experiences, for both women and men, have lead individuals to call themselves feminists.

For myself, there are many mile-stones.  Including the fight with my own family for them to accept my calling to be an ordained minister.  Interesting that that fight did end successfully.  My father performed my ordination.  However, it was not an easy fight.

One stands out even above that however:

I remember in 1998 reading the updated Baptist Faith and Message.  A section on the family had been added at the Conference that June.  I remember reading it and crying.  Crying because I knew, in that moment, that I could never get married.  I could not be a Christian wife, according to this BF&M.  And if I could not be a Christian/Biblical wife, then I never wanted to be a wife.

The particular section of the article reads as follows:

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

While there is language of equality in there, it is clear that the woman is only equal before God, not in the marriage itself.  She is to "submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ."  To her alone falls the "responsibility to respect" and is to be "his helper."  There is no true mutuality here.  No equality.

Fortunately, I have since learned that this limited interpretation of Ephesians is not the only one, nor is it even the most correct one!

This mile-stone is particularly important to me.  No young woman should have to cry because God has made her wrong (which is what I thought at the time).  

(A fuller post and exploration of my own journey can be found on my journal inimagiodei.  I've only posted the first of these mile-stones (the one seen above), but will be posting more in the next few days.)

So what events or people formed you, so that you now call yourself a feminist?

x-posted to faith_feminists.



Jul. 10th, 2007

river of dreams, journey


Couple questions concerning sex and society

What do you folks think about sexual liberation/the sexual revolution in general? Was it a positive change for women?

my own thoughts on the matterCollapse )

On a more personal level, I haven't been particularly Christian up until recently, but I had a passing familiarity with it beforehand. At the point when I was making the decision about whether or not to have sex outside of marriage, I didn't feel that any of the Christian rhetoric on the matter was at all helpful. What can be said to people facing this decision that is more helpful than "The Bible says to wait until marriage"? Because, let's face it, that's not very helpful.

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