Friday, 24 July 2009

The Women haters of Armstrongism?

The review comments about Basil Wolverton's art and misogyny (see the previous post) set me thinking.

One of the things that puzzled me about church "literature" during my co-worker phase was the almost complete absence of female by-lines. Secular magazines included articles from talented women journalists as a matter of course, but not The Plain Truth or Tomorrow's World. Booklets were of course exclusively authored by men. I understood that the church didn't ordain women as elders (a position held by most church bodies then), but surely that needn't apply to writing articles... The hilarious part was that even articles on women and women's roles were written by men.

Fade out to a large hall in Rotorua, the year is 1975, my first Feast of Tabernacles. The numbers were impressive, but the demographic was truly remarkable. Young people like myself were strongly in evidence and, hard to believe now, the blokes heavily outnumbered the sheilas. This was no good thing, of course, as the gender imbalance put severe constraints on marriage prospects. If nothing else, it's clear WCG attracted more males than females.

Remember the make-up ruling? Ron Dart could flaunt his toupee, but heaven help a woman with lipstick. The husband was boss, and his sexuality was in doubt if he didn't make a show of exercising Godly "leadership" over the little lady and kids. Paul may have been "hard to understand" in some areas, but here he was loudly quoted with little thought to cultural nuances.

Google's analysis tools reveal that men overwhelmingly outnumber women as visitors to sites like this. Check out the comments: it's the same story. The legacy lingers even here.

Name ten prominent women in the WCG/GCI and its splinters. Tammy Tkach hardly counts - she's only in the limelight because she's joined at the hip to Joe. How about women who have made it on their own merits? Pam Dewey, Dianne McDonnell, Sheila Graham... um, um...

So here's the question. Was misogyny a major problem in WCG? Is it still a major issue in the splinters?

Of course, anyone of either gender is welcome to submit a comment, but it would be particularly interesting to get a strong women's perspective on this question. And please, even if you don't feel like posting a comment, do consider taking the poll which you'll find in the sidebar.

42 comments:

kiwi said...

What sticks in my mind was a WCG talking head visiting from USA telling his kiwi WCG audience that "men have more of the Holy Spirit than women".

The on-again off-again on-again off-again on-again doctrine about makeup was probably the most practical example of "men controlling women" that I remember which affected me personally. So, I didn't fare too badly then.

One woman in our local area was skilled in a particular way at conveying scriptural concepts, and was eventually asked to suppress this talent as it meant men were being "instructed" by a woman.

There was just a general pervasive assumption that "men knew best" even about childbirth and breast-feeding. However I also remember that we tended to just ignore the noise in the background and do what we wanted anyway.

Bring back the goddess said...

The minimalization of women is the product of the New Testament and not unique to WCG. We have a document written by single men with no known relationships intimate or healthy, no children to speak of and all hangin' out together cruising the world's seaports telling everyone how to raise children, be married, be intimate and lead women. What a looney formula for failure.

It's the Talaban Bible that is the problem. The very first chapters of Genesis are designed to dethrone women, blame them and cosign them to having babies painfully and saying "yes sir" to men. Matriarchy and goddess sensitivities are out and Patriarchy, Priests, blood and control of women is now in.

WCG and all literalist churches simply are trying to apply the crazy perspectives written in the Bible to modern day living. It's a formula for disaster and just nuts.

Anonymous said...

I wish the poll had a "Hell, yes!" option. I would have picked that one!

When I have a little more time, I'll give a few examples of the blatant misogyny that I, personally, experienced at AC in Big Sandy and in the local church congregations.

AnnMarie95

Mary Lane said...

I am not sure how much the male zealots of the WCG and other hierarchial organizations(ie, T.D. Jakes Ministries) hate the women, but I do know that the "us" vs."them" mentality is prevalent in those organizations.

Like the time of Esther, men in these types of organizations are afraid of giving women too much power, because it takes from their own control. So as GTA once declared to the WCG, the woman must consider that she is unable to wear the man's pants.

The Armstrongs were short men, and I think they made up for that with the "Me Tarzan, you Jane" control factor, forgetting that God gave women minds also. It was too threatening to their own power.

It was easy to overlook the fact that in Paul's time, women were little more than property, and almost subhuman. But God did not hesitate to give Hulda the revelation for King Josiah, in II Chron.34:22-28 that He was about to send Judah into captivity. In fact members of the Temple Priesthood were sent to her by Josiah.

Paul also probably did not know about Anna(Luke 2:36-38)who taught about Christ in the Temple, and even gave thanks in prayer before the people there. God did not appear to object to that.

HWA once informed us that the Holy Spirit did not give revelation to women, but the above Scriptures show that is not true. God has used women, even as Israelite Judges in the past(ie,Judges 4)

Misogynist said...

Misogyny was only a problem for the women. Men loved it. After all, it's God's way. It's in the book!

Vaughn said...

I cannot count the number of sermons I sat through were Herbie went back "to the beginning" and then blamed women (Eve) for introducing all the evils in the world.

Byker Bob said...

What I've learned in my years since WCG is that women have historically functioned as the conscience of society. This is largely due to their natural roles as nurturers of children, imparters of values, etc. This is not something to be taken lightly, or to be authoritized away.

I also have to remember something which my mother shared with us on several occasions throughout our childhood. She felt that it was much easier for a woman to get closer to God. In retrospect, I have to say that that makes tremendous sense. Typical men possess brute strength, and are problem solvers. In most cases, we won't even stop to ask directions if we're lost.

You have to wonder how much of the WCG attitude towards women came from a singular source: the tale of deception in the Garden of Eden.

BB

Anonymous said...

Kiwi,
You were a 'rebellious' woman!

Nah! A 'sensible' woman really by sound of it.

And I repent of my 'misogyny'!
(hatred of women)

Oldie

Anonymous said...

In the early 80's, a minister who had just transferred into our area and was our new pastor was explaining protocols for asking questions about bible study topics. No impromptu questions were to be allowed. Questions were to be presented in writing, on forms that were provided, by heads of household.

If a man had a bible study question, he was to fill out the form and submit it to the minister. If a married woman had a bible study question, she was to ask her husband. He could either answer her question himself, or put it on a form and submit it to the minister.

Ditto for an unmarried woman whose father was in the church.

If a woman was in the church and had neither a husband nor father in the church (i.e. her husband and family were not in the church), she was a "spiritual widow" or "spiritual orphan". An exception was made due to her circumstances (as this world we live in is not yet god's kingdom), and she was permitted to ask a bible study question (in writing on the form, of course).

I kid you not.

The Skeptic

Anonymous said...

As far as women versus men coming into the church, it seemed to me that more married women (aka: spiritual widows) came into the church than married men and more single men than single women at a young age. Where I was from, there were a few single women but there were some areas where there were many more and not those who grew up in the church either.

Would make an interesting survey to find out why the above seemed to be the way. In my congregation, there were a lot of couples who came in as well, but it seemed the women were interested initially and then the husband afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Women haters?

I am sure there were some, even many, in the ministry in particular, and this played well to members who may have predisposed to women hating or that men were better than women.

When you think of it, these people really hated the members themselves. Telling them to spank wives or some such nonsense. RCM talked a lot about women, yet he was always talking about sex and stuff, so you really wonder where his mind was. The ones to talked a lot about submission issues were the ones who had strong wives. So, they obviously were not buying what they were selling.

I remember Armstrong mentioning in a book or sermon about a man in AC at one time who was domineering. He confronted the guy and said, it is okay to lead or dominate (really a strong term today) not to domineer. He said the guy was constantly brow beating his wife and yelling at her all the time. Wonder why that did not filter down or get applied further?

Look at GTA as well, he was known for his womanizing. That is a form of hatred as well if you look at Wiki. I think these weaklings feared strong women and even feared more stronger men. Reason, they feared that they would be second guessed. By creating an environment of men versus women, they divided households, weakening individuals ability to suceed and excel, making them further dependent on the ministry and church.

As far as Paul hating women. This is the same guy who told husbands to love their wives and to give himself for her. That is a hint of sacrifice. To care for her. I will not go into the weaker vessel concept, but he did seem to instruct on caring and love. And in the end, although he talked about submission, he did say to submit to one another in love. Seems like our 'friends' always left that out and created doubt.

Anonymous said...

Name 10 prominent women...

Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Horn, Mrs Meredith, Sheila Graham (she was a supervisor and editor when men usually only did this work), Mrs Mantuefel, Mrs Dart (helps run his church), Mrs. McNair (Raymonds widow), Mrs Luker, Mrs Escat, thats nine

Anonymous said...

What about Deborah,the prophetess, in the time of Barak ( and not of the Obama ilk I hasten to add.)??

And the seven prophetess daughters of Philip??( I am too lazy to look up the Biblical reference.)

We have a lot to learn about the position of women in God's sight, and the Herbal proscription,repeat proscription, was far from adequate.

Kiwi said that the women did what they wanted to do anyway.What's new!! Who is head of the house,anyway? It might be otherwise than you think.

Read about the life of poetess and noblewoman Anna Ovena Hoyer from whom I directly descend, and whose children descend directly from the House of Oldenberg( Royal House of Denmark).At age 15 she was literate in Hebrew,Greek and Latin.
One hell of a woman might I add.
She got tied up with the dissident elements of the Protestant reformation,lived in fear of her life oftentimes,blew the family fortune on the HWAs of the time and had to be rescued by in-laws from the Swedish royal family.

As I said before,one hell of a woman.

A competent woman allows the man to think that he rules the household but the reverse is often the truth.Quite how this fits into theology is indeed not clear but IT IS A FACT.

Cheers,

Jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

Mary Lane makes the comment that the Armstrongs were short men.

Hold on there, Mary Lane.. there is nothing wrong with short men.Having said that,I must be fair and state that you have not put this construction or slant on the situation.But this can be a common viewpoint, that short men are inferior to tall men.Christ gave potential salvation to Zaccheus,did he not?? God creates both short and tall, according to his purpose.

Small men, may ,in many cases compensate for their lack of height by an aggressive attitude,but that does not mean they are lesser people.

The fact the Armstrongs were short has nothing to do with the price of fish,and yes,Saul did stand head and shoulders above his fellow Israelites.This may have been a coincidence.God probably chose him for his then humble
attitude rather than his stature.

And there are indications in the Scripture that David whom God chose as King could have been short ,although,equally, it could have been his youth that ruled him ineligible in his brothers' and Samuel's sight.God looks on the mind not the height.You can be vain whether short or tall.


Seamus

Ned said...

Anon wrote: Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Horn, Mrs Meredith, Sheila Graham (she was a supervisor and editor when men usually only did this work), Mrs Mantuefel, Mrs Dart (helps run his church), Mrs. McNair (Raymonds widow), Mrs Luker, Mrs Escat, thats nine

No, that's either one or zero, depending on who "Mrs. Horn" might be. Sheila Graham has already been mentioned, all the others are there by virtue of "their man." Here's a hint: if you have to put "Mrs" in front of their husband's name, they're bathing in the glory of their ministerial "mister minister" (You haven't even bothered to give these people first names.) The obvious exception is "Mrs. Escat," but she was riding Joe Snr's... er, "coat tails."

So, who is "Mrs. Horn"?

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

To quote our Pastor at the Baltimore, Maryland WCG congregation in a 1970s sermon (Note: he was actually a “preaching elder” for those conscious of WCG ministerial corporate rank):

“How do you handle a rebellious wife? You rape her!”

Need I say anymore?

Being a product of growing up in the WCG, no wonder I never married!

Richard

The Third Witness said...

Many of us (and that definitely includes me) were seriously screwed up in our approach to just about everything in the past, and I hope that some of us are becoming a little less so as we "grow" older. I voted "Yes" in the survey, and I agree with AnnMarie95about the relevance of a "Hell, Yes" option - unfortunately.

Here are some personal thoughts and impressions triggered by this post, some of which may resonate with others who share what Aggie calls "our uncommon heritage".

I remember the cover of a magazine called The New Internationalist back in the 1970s: "Women hold up half the sky". That issue of the magazine documented some examples of how it is the women who basically manage to make things like everyday survival happen all over the world, regardless of the constraints of the particular society or culture.

For some reason, I always found the women in WCG much more interesting than the men, and it was my personal experience that the dating culture in WCG UK in the 1970s and 1980s made for some great and uncomplicated social opportunities. There was a strong emphasis on mutual respect and trying to give the other person a pleasant experience which a lot of us really believed in and took very seriously. I was always impressed, too, when HWA said things like "the wife is fully 50 percent of her husband's ministry" and "marriage is not a 50-50 partnership; it's a 100-100 partnership". I believed that the WCG approach (as I understood it to be) was balanced, enlightened – and, of course, "right"!

At university, I lent a girl I knew a tape of a sermon on marriage given by our local minister because I thought it was absolutely marvellous and showed such a loving and understanding approach towards women. (This was in about 1976 or 1977, when GTA was encouraging such innovations as listing the minister's phone number in the telephone directory and advocating more of an "open door" policy, but I’m sure I wasn’t allowed to do that.) I also lent her my copy of The Missing Dimension in Sex, as well as [for different reasons!] the issue of The Good News with the article "The New Testament Teaching on 'Tongues'" which I had specially asked my "unconverted" mother (as I then ignorantly believed her to be) to retrieve from my bedroom back home and send me by post just so that this girl could read it without delay. To my consternation, my girlfriend-who-wasn't-my girlfriend took great exception to a number of things - including the following sentence in the GN article in particular (printed all in italics in the original to make sure it wouldn’t be missed): Women are not to participate as "tongue" speakers or as speakers of any kind in the service. Her overall evaluation of the WCG's approach to women (even after I showed her an article about women's roles written by "one of our female writers") was: "You've got women exactly where you want them, haven't you?"

Some years later, in the run-up to my marriage (not to the same girl, as you've probably gathered already), the following exchange took place:
Question: Will you follow my decisions?
Answer: If they're sensible!
[Comment: THANK GOD FOR THAT!]

Shortly after the wedding, a single member who still lived at home (but whom I would certainly not describe as a "toxic bachelor") asked me: "What's it like to be waited on hand and foot?" I didn't know where to start.

A WCG couple once invited me to their home for a meal. I noticed a sign in the kitchen: "I AM THE BOSS IN THIS HOUSE" (or something similar). Having seen the husband in action in Spokesman Club, this didn't surprise me at all. When we were talking "man to man", I casually mentioned that I'd seen his sign in the kitchen. He told me it was his wife who had put that sign up.

Finally, and in conclusion: I once saw a sign in the rear window of a car: "Men only have two faults: Everything they say, and everything they do." That just about says it all really, doesn’t it!

Graham

PS: Ever notice that Wisdom in the Bible is personified as a woman?

Anonymous said...

The Skeptic's bible study question procedure is correct, but this was never a change made in any of my congregations; that was the SOP.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should ask this … Just last Sabbath my daughter attended UCG in Jackson Hole, WY, where Mr. Mark Mickelson spoke--he was there because of Challenger Camp.

Her comments to me were, «had I ever noticed how the ministers had a different demeanor when speaking to women--they moved in close, looked down and treated them softly, as if they might break, but not that they could be strong.» As she looked back in here mind's eye, she could actually see the ministers of her acquaintance doing so down through the years.

As a divorced woman, a single mom, I was not even qualified enough to wait tables at pot lucks.

And one minister said in Bible Study, after I had submitted my question on the approved form, that I should not be asking questions that couldn't be answered--I should wait until I had a husband to study out such questions for me. The particular question was would the people who had to face Satan at the end of the millenium, as those in the millenium did not, be «eligble» for a better reward?

Anonymous said...

"The particular question was would the people who had to face Satan at the end of the millenium, as those in the millenium did not, be «eligble» for a better reward?"

Eh? I thought Satan and the Beast were "thrown into the abyss" before the GWTJ? Or are you referring to something else, Anon 7:37?

larry said...

My wife always lets me think I am in charge.

Anonymous said...

As a single woman who came into the WCG at age 28, I was haunted and tormented for the 13 years of my membership that "something just isn't right" with the whole thing. But nstead of assuming a more intelligent approach of simply walking away from the church, I desperately kept trying to make the square peg fit in the proverbial round hole. The whole WCG experience was a very cruel experiment.

But I am beginning to understand why it was so easy to fall victim to the false teachings and invisible chains of HWA and his paid ministers. Time helps put things in perspective.

An excellent book I have recently read is "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely.

SmilinJackSprat said...

Third Witness said: "PS: Ever notice that Wisdom in the Bible is personified as a woman?"

Not just wisdom, but about every positive force mentioned in the Bible is feminine, whether Ruach (Spirit), Shechinah (God's feminine presence), you name it. The Kabbalists say that if man cannot recognize the motherhood of God, we will destroy ourselves. Fatherhood, even at the God level, isn't enough. Almost every major influence on Moses was female, from his mother to his sister, from Pharaoh's daughter to his wife -- to the gift of Torah that God gave the world through him.

In the Creation story, helpmeet doesn't mean slave or servant; it describes woman as equal but opposite, programmed to resist man when he's unworthy, or cooperate when he's got himself properly together. Man is ish; woman is isha. One is masculine, the other is feminine. Both are ish, but with differences of personality and job description plus overlap. The woman is given an extra measure of understanding, and we often hear of a woman's intuition that makes her indispensible to her family, or wherever else her gifts may take her.

When a husband is the mensch he ought to be, his wife and he should find themselves comfortable in their complementary roles. Let apes beat their chests to prove dominance.

Anonymous said...

A few comments regarding women being treated like crap in the wcg cult:

At AC in Big Sandy in mid 1960s, each female student had to provide information on a log sheet kept in each dormitory or with the booth monitor if she was going off campus. Permission had to be obtained first to even go off campus at night. The log sheet included time out, destination, reason for going off campus, and time back in. On week nights, all female students had to be in the dorm by 10:00 and in bed with lights out by 10:30. AFAIK, the male students had no such rules at all. The rule of "in bed by 10:30 pm was so that future wives would be healthy and strong and able to bear healthy children to the ministerial material that some were destined to marry. IOW, it was part of a breeding plan for healthy stock.

There are many more examples, but this is one of the more blatant ones.

Others have already written how women were not to submit Bible questions on their own but should ask their husbands first, or have the husband submit the question.

In the local church area, I'll never forget the Sabbath that it was announced that, effective immediately, the female choir directors were being removed from their positions because women were not to teach or be over men. In our particular area, this was interpreted to include even the children's choir.

AnnMarie95

Anonymous said...

I remember GTA once saying that the passage in Acts that talks about Phillip's daughters being prophetesses was misunderstood. He said the "prophet" part referred to Phillip, not his daughters. Quite a stretch.

I attended a CGI congregation for a few years where I never felt comfortable. With all the talk of not working on the Sabbath, I could never understand why I was expected to set up and clean up after potluck every week. Isn't doing a ton of dishes work?

The women never gathered to discuss Scripture after services. All they ever talked about was housework. I wanted to discuss the Bible and current events. When I tried to join a small knot of men who were having such a discussion, they actually turned their backs on me and physically shut me out.

Needless to say, I have long since left organized religion and study and worship in my home. I even use (gasp!) non-Dwight Armstrong music.

Freedom is a beautiful thing.

Anonymous said...

At AC in Big Sandy in mid 1960s...... this comment was followed with what was required of women in Big Sandy at the time. At that time in East Texas, they still had lynch mobs. Racial issues were definately tense there. And there were none other than whites on campus.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes,the women in the church were treated differently as one Kiwi deaconess of Worldwide can testify.

Nevertheless, some of the ministers' wives could be what we today would call...er, assertive.I hesitate to use the full monty here.

It truly was the typical contradiction,quite adequately summed up by Christ, " a house divided against itself cannot stand".

Amen,oops should that be "persons" to that.

Jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

Smiling Jack said

"In the Creation story, helpmeet doesn't mean slave or servant; it describes woman as equal but opposite, programmed to resist man when he's unworthy, or cooperate when he's got himself properly together. Man is ish; woman is isha. One is masculine, the other is feminine. Both are ish, but with differences of personality and job description plus overlap. The woman is given an extra measure of understanding, and we often hear of a woman's intuition that makes her indispensible to her family, or wherever else her gifts may take her."

Jack the creation story in my bible versions doesn't say any of this? Please advise what version includes this.

Thanks,
The Skeptic

Anonymous said...

Anne Marie said

"I'll never forget the Sabbath that it was announced that, effective immediately, the female choir directors were being removed from their positions"

Yes, I remember very clearly when that happened in the Philadelphia, PA church. The Philadelphia church had a very good music director, who actually had professional training and experience, Anna Jones. Anna's husband, David Jones, who was not a member but was a professional tenor, sang in the choir to help his wife (and the church).

Although I'm sure the pastor, Mr. Perkins, didn't want to do it, in the early 80's he was forced to remove Anna as choir director. She was replaced by a deacon who did his best but knew very little about music or conducting. This was quite a blow to Anna and to all of us who cared about music. We were stunned. It was ridiculous. Anna kept a good attitude and sang in the choir. As one would expect, with professional leadership replaced by amateur leadership, the choir quickly went downhill.

The Skeptic

SmilinJackSprat said...

Skeptic, first of all, thanks for your skepticism. The Hebrew Torah in English is at best anemic, and at worst bordering on blasphemy, considering the absurd leaps of faith one is expected to make through acceptance of the Creation story in English.

Here are a couple references from the internet, but not to interfere with healthy skepticism: http://www.balashon.com/2008/10/ish-and-isha.html, and http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/592564/jewish/The-Contributing-Factor.htm.

Translating the Hebrew Torah into any other language is akin to adding to or detracting from Holy Writ. It cannot be done accurately, at least not conveniently. The ancient text doesn't even reveal its depths to Israelis brought up in modern Hebrew. The Hebrew of the Torah is richly pregnant with meaning and unimaginably deep, far beyond what might be gleaned from the textual surface.

The Ramban commentary is excellent, published by Shilo. The ArtScroll publication omits significant parts of the text in English, but allows them in Hebrew. Shilo is probably the better choice for those of us who rely heavily on English. For an insight into some of the depth of Hebrew Genesis, "In the Beginning - The Bible Unauthorized" by H. Moose, published by Thirty Seven Books, 2001, is excellent, if a little rough around the edges for anyone accustomed to the matchless prose of the KJV.

Gledwood said...

!

Skeptical Observer said...

It's interesting to see the nearly studied avoidance in this forum of the 300+ negative references to women in the Bible.

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/women/long.html

Yes, I know there are some positive allusions to women as well. The Bible can prove many things given the widely differing interpretations.

Pam Dewey said...

Does the obvious mysogyny of the WCG past still exist in some or many corners of the COGs? Of course.

From my personal perspective and experience ... yes, unfortunately there are a tiny handful of COG-related women who have felt empowered do anything on even the very minor level I have been able to accomplish. I've had a website that can't compete with Ambassador Watch for traffic :-) but I've had over a half million visitors. The site even garnered a mention a couple of years back by Cal Thomas, who is a well known media commentator and one of the most widely published newspaper commentators in the world. (He was looking on the web for info on groups that are big in End Time Prophecy pontifications, and came across my Field Guide. His citation of it in his international print and online column one day led to a big leap in Field Guide site visitors for a few days!)
I've been giving presentations(dubbed "seminars" ... don't dare call 'em "sermons" ;-) ) for over a decade at the Feast of Tabernacles and other COG venues, attended by both men and women. (I've even had some people say that my seminars are one of the primary reasons they chose a particular FOT site.)
I've been invited all over the US to give similar presentations at local and regional church gatherings for over a decade.
I've been an editor and writer for a number of COG publications, as well as written one book of my own and co-authored two books with Ron Dart.

So are my efforts applauded in all circles? Of course not. Even though I get along with many, many men (and am most often invited by men to speak to groups) ... it is obvious to me that I am viewed by certain men in COG leadership positions as a threat. And evidently particularly because of my gender.
I could understand if I were in their own congregation or denomination ... if so, they could bash me over the head with scriptures and make me shut up through sheer corporate authority. But you'd think what I do "outside" the confines of a particular group would have no impact or interest at all to the leaders within the group. I'm certainly no threat to their constituency, since none of their loyal members will ever be going to a place where I am speaking!
Yet some time back I got an email from some fellow who was getting tapes from Rod M. He had written to me to apologize for the beating my rep had taken on a recent Rod tape. Now mind you, I've never had anything at all to do with Rod Meredith. I've never met him, never been part of any group he was involved with since the WCG. Nor have I corresponded with him.
But he evidently named me by name in a sneering way on this particular tape that went out to his constituency around the world.
The fellow that wrote to me said that Rod had ranted something along the lines of "There is this woman out there named Pam Dewey who is trying to start a revival in the Churches of God!!"
Dearie me. Wouldn't want to wake the dead or comatose. What an insidious idea.
I guess I just found it amazing that such a man would find some little grandmother living in Podunk he'd never even met to be that big a threat. Only thing I can think of is that my very existence somehow threatened his masculinity.
Such as it is.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Skeptical Observer said, "It's interesting to see the nearly studied avoidance in this forum of the 300+ negative references to women in the Bible.

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/women/long.html

Yes, I know there are some positive allusions to women as well. The Bible can prove many things given the widely differing interpretations.

MY COMMENT - What next? Is someone going to come along and say the Bible isn't one third prophecy with 90% yet to be fulfilled?

Richard

Questeruk said...

Lake of Fire Church of God said...
To quote our Pastor at the Baltimore, Maryland WCG congregation in a 1970s sermon (Note: he was actually a “preaching elder” for those conscious of WCG ministerial corporate rank):

“How do you handle a rebellious wife? You rape her!”


What sort of scum, excuse for a human being, would actually say something like that? Even in that era did no one challenge this?

Was this his recommended way for obtaining a wife’s respect? Did he practice this with his own wife? Had it not occurred to him that respect is earned?

So here is a so called minister recommending that his congregation should commit what even the OT holds as a crime, with the death penalty for any man that committed such a thing.

Christianity in action?

Anonymous said...

"Translating the Hebrew Torah into any other language is akin to adding to or detracting from Holy Writ. It cannot be done accurately, at least not conveniently. The ancient text doesn't even reveal its depths to Israelis brought up in modern Hebrew. The Hebrew of the Torah is richly pregnant with meaning and unimaginably deep, far beyond what might be gleaned from the textual surface."

Muslims say the same thing about the Koran.

Funny, how the English can't say that, for their bastardized Romanized translation of a Greek copy of the Hebrew Septuagint, and in some cases, Coptic, Syriac, and Greek copies of Greek copies of Aramaic texts.

I'm sorry, what was that about "inerrant scripture"? If there is a god, s/h/it ran out of toner cartridges about two thousand years back, and it's been bad and poorly-fading facsimiles, ever since.

In short, Christianity: The bastard hillbilly cousin of the Abrahamic religions' family tree.

Not that the other two branches are any purer; for all their protestations that the Torah and the Koran are sacrosanct, both of those texts have been ratified, canonized, and subtly altered, over two thousand years of politicking, infighting, and holy wars.

In other words, don't trust anything that's written down. Not even what I'm writing here.

(Which may seem like a contradiction, but it really isn't.)

`So here is a so called minister recommending that his congregation should commit what even the OT holds as a crime, with the death penalty for any man that committed such a thing."

Um. I thought the penalty was the rapist had to marry his victim?

Christianity in action?"

Pretty much, yep.

Phrontistes said...

To Seamus:
Don't be too hard on Ann Marie about her short man comments. While not an universal trait, it is nevertheless a common trait among short men. There is even a name for it:
"Napoleon complex is a colloquial term describing an alleged type of inferiority complex which is said to affect some people, especially men, who are short in stature. The term is also used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives. This term is also known as Napoleon syndrome,[1] Short Man syndrome,[2] , Little Man syndrome and Small Man syndrome." from Wikipedia.

In my many years of misspent youth in the cogs I have met many short mythters. Without exception they all exceeded the already horrid behaviour that was the norm amongst the elite class of the the cogs.

To Anon 07:16 July 27:
Your remarks about there being lynch mobs around AC Big Sandy is no justification for the policy. Indeed, the lynch mobs would have fallen over themselves to protect a helpless white girl from all those so-called sex hungry black men. No it wasn't that at all. My wife spent 4 years at AC Bricket Wood during those same years. The policies were so restrictive that she never left campus for four years. Just like in Big Sandy, the men were free to come and go as they pleased. Misogyny reigned then and continues in the daughter groups to this day.

Questeruk said...

'So here is a so called minister recommending that his congregation should commit what even the OT holds as a crime, with the death penalty for any man that committed such a thing."

Um. I thought the penalty was the rapist had to marry his victim?


Hi PH,

If you use the Skeptic’s Bible as your source, yes you may be given that impression – but then maybe they have a slight agenda????

The verses immediately before this example (Deut 22v25-27) show the case of rape. In that situation the penalty for the rapist is the death penalty and the woman goes free.

The verses you refer to are a little different. The words used are different. Verses 25-27 is referring to force – the verses you mention uses a different description, (KJ translation ‘lay hold’ as against ‘force’), meaning more seduced rather than forced. This is the way orthodox Jewish thought takes it.

In this situation the woman and her family have a choice if she gets married or not, following the couples ‘affair’. But the man has no choice – if the girl wants marriage, he is legally required to support her the rest of his days.

Corky said...

In this situation the woman and her family have a choice if she gets married or not,.

Where does it say that?

Questeruk said...

Sorry Corky, I was forgetting you take the Bible more literally that a fundamental literalist.

Deut 22v28 and 29 express the same sentiments as Ex 22v16 and 17, where it shows it is the brides family that has the option for the marriage or not.

This is showing the legal situation. In practice, the wishes of the girl would be the overriding factor. She would need to be in agreement. Almost any reading of orthodox Jewish practice shows this to be the case in reality, as well as several Biblical examples.

This isn’t so very different to minors of 16 or 17 needing parental consent to get married in the England, and some states in the USA. The fact that consent is needed from the parents doesn’t imply that the minor doesn’t have a say in the proceedings. That would be the case in any normal family.

The letter of the law and the practice can often be two shades of the same thing.

Byker Bob said...

What if the alleged rapist happened to be "non-Israelite"?

BB

Corky said...

Thanks Q.

Actually, I knew that Jews do not go by the literal reading of the Pentateuch and therefore, there is no history of Jews stoning their unruly children.

But then, the Jews never did a lot of things written in their scripture.

If you want to make a Jew really mad, accuse the Jews of making their children pass through the fire to Marduk.

IF they take the time to explain it to you, they will tell you that it is a story about what WOULD happen IF they had done that.

Oh, I know, Christians say that the Jews did do that but Christians also used to say that the Gypsies ate Christian babies too.

No, wait, they also said the same thing about the Jews too.