Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Cure for Theocracy

This week the friend of a member (who never seems to darken our doors) inquired about being married in our church, and would we be so gracious as to extend them the member rates (which means free). And just one more thing, please. The bride's father would simply not tolerate a woman pastor. Could we bring in someone of our own liking (which means a man)?

Now I can think of no good reasons why we should live in a theocracy, but I want to speak on a personal level. Friends, I am an ordained pastor with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I have been qualified, certified, sanctified and set apart for ministry by the call of God.

But some would peak under my robe and find me lacking.

There is a local funeral home where the director just cannot bring himself to calling me "Rev. Hatfield" and instead calls me "Miss Hatfield." Never mind that I've been married for 23 years.

Then there's the church that volunteers in one of our outreach missions, but rather than have to deal with a woman leader, their pastor simply ignores me.

The even more ignorant assume I'm a lesbian.

The reichwingers would like us all to live in Fundyville. There I would homeschool my children, keep a spotless house and always be available to my husband. (Where does he spend his nights?) All with a smile plastered to my face. All without uttering a word.

Women are to be silent. The bible tells me so. Or does it?

The sordid truth is that women have kept the church running since the beginning. I'm not going to quote chapter and verse - and I doubt I need to knowing what incredibly smart readers come by here. Women followed Jesus. It was the women who told the men of the empty tomb. It was women who financed the Apostle Paul on his missionary travels. And you'll have to trust me on this one: it is women today who do the bulk of the work of the church. Geesh, it's the women who bring their families to church every Sunday. Look around our churches today and it is easy to see who is absent: men!

So if the men proceed with this crazy notion of an American Theocracy, I say let's go Lysistrata on their asses. Okay, we may have to get the male escort union on our side, but you get my point. Without the women, the church would just become an echo chamber.


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