So what does the Bible have against women? I asked the same question, and it seems to come down to this:
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But womenGreek she "> will be savedOr restored "> through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. Timothy 2:11-15
I wonder how different the world would be if the Biblical Editors had left that bit out? It's not just the Bible, though. Verse 4:34 of the Qur'an, translated by Mohammed Habib Shakir, reads:
- Men are the maintainers of women because God has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as God has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely God is High, Great.
I'm no cultural anthropologist, but it seems to me that religions like Christianity and Islam have institutionalized sexism, causing the concept and practice of discrimination against women to persist far beyond its time. Because let's face it, historically there has been a reasonable (not really fair, but reasonable) basis for sexism. Back in humanity's loincloth days, being pregnant or nursing meant you were vulnerable and less able to find food. Without help and protection from a male, your average female and her children were less likely to survive, and therefore less likely to contribute to society and it's development.
Once agriculture came along and people actually stuck around in one place long enough to develop concepts like 'property' and 'inheritance', your bloodline started to matter. Things like land and power were passed down from father to son (not always, but predominantly), and not being sure who your father was could at best cripple you socially and at worst start a war. Setting strict rules for female behavior and controlling who women slept with was terribly unfair, but it kept society from collapsing and there wasn't really much anyone could have done about it except pick up society by its roots and give it a good, metaphorical shake. People haven't always been all that confident in their own survival, and worrying about things like social equality is frankly a luxury.
Thankfully, it is a luxury that I currently enjoy. Haven't we grown out of this yet? Female educators, professors, bosses and (non-Catholic) pastors are all over the place! How can the Vatican knowingly set back the cause of female equality within the catholic church in this day and age?
Because of Timothy 2:11-15. The Catholic church believes the Bible is the word of God, and that doesn't leave a lot of room for argument or change. Not all Christians take the Bible literally, or have even read the whole thing for that matter, but questioning the word of God is still a big deal for a lot of people. It goes against their beliefs, and is generally not received very well. So is it really worth making a fuss about this? Women can still be pastors, as long as they aren't Catholic. The Pope certainly isn't going to change his mind. Obviously, given that I'm writing this, I think so. Christianity and Islam are the two biggest religions in the world. Their influence is huge and impacts the lives of real women all over the world. Questioning these kinds of decisions and holding people accountable for their consequences is the only way to really make progress towards something more like equality. This may be a relatively small issue, but it comes directly from the Vatican with all of the authority of the Pope behind it. It is based on a single Bible passage, and it makes some women feel like they don't matter. Can you imagine being a woman in a church where you aren't permitted to speak or vote on church matters, or where your opinion is ignored because you have boobs? This is still happening today, and it isn't right.