Bible Crystal Clear on Male-Female Equality

The Bible states that in the very beginning of the human race God created man in His own image, in … Continued

The Bible states that in the very beginning of the human race God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:27-28) In other words, the Biblical record is clear: God created men and women equal. Period. Dominion over everything was given to the woman as well as to the man. The woman was not created inferior to the man; nor was the man greater than the woman.

However, when sin entered the human race, one of the consequences was that men and women became separated from God. And that basic broken relationship distorted the Divine order in many ways, one of which was that men began to rule over women (Genesis 3:16).

A vast variety of religions have been established in a vain attempt to reach God…to bridge the gap between God and man that sin opened up. But the attempts have been futile…man has remained a sinner, separated from God. And this sinful state has been very evident in the way women have been treated throughout human history by various religions.

Religion down through the ages has been hard on women in general. From ancient times when their babies were sacrificed to the gods, to Greek times when they were used as prostitutes in the temples, and to a lesser degree, in modern day practices where women are discriminated against or oppressed, the implied message has seemed to be clear: Women are second-class citizens, objects of scorn or sex or service. Generally speaking, they have not been highly valued in religious circles…nor in the cultures those religions influence… until Jesus came.

God Himself elevated the status of women forever when He chose to send His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be born of a virgin. The words and actions of Jesus underscored His elevated opinion of women, as did the early church that was established in His name following His return to heaven:
His first miracle was performed in response to a plea from His mother (John 2:1-11).
His first revelation of Himself as Messiah was to a woman (John 4:25- 26).
His greatest miracle was performed at the request of two women (John 11:1-44).
His death was memorialized by a woman (John 12:1-8).
Women were included in His expanded group of disciples (Mark 15:41). Women stayed with Him throughout His crucifixion, even after the men had left (Matthew 27:55-56).
Women observed His burial (Matthew 27:61).
Following His resurrection, He appeared first to a woman (John 20:1- 16).
He commissioned women as the very first evangelists (Matthew 28:1- 10; John 20:17).
Women were included in the group of disciples who met daily for prayer after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:14).
Ancient prophecy was fulfilled when the Spirit of God was given equally to men and women at Pentecost (Acts 2:17).
Women were among the very first “believers” or “Christians” who made up the early church (Acts 5:14; Acts 8:12; 17:4, 12).
The first church in Europe was begun with a group of women and actually met in the home of a woman (Acts 16:13-15).
The early church was staffed by many women (Romans 16:12, Philippians 4:3).
At least one early church was co-led by a woman (1 Corinthians 16:19).

The very fact that the Bible goes out of its way to carefully record all of the above reveals the intentionality of God’s purpose to reestablish the position of women to that of equality with men. His Son, Jesus Christ, not only bridged the gap between God and man through His death on the Cross that made atonement for man’s sin, He removed all barriers including that of gender, race, and nationality.

This was confirmed by the apostle Paul when he stated, There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ then you are… heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:28-29).

Today, when the Bible, which is God’s Word, is read, applied, obeyed, and lived out, women are treated with respect and honor as co-heirs with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God (1 Peter 3:7).

In summary, women may not have fared well in the world’s religions, but they are greatly loved by God who, in the beginning, created them equal to men. The discrimination that women bump into does not come from the heart of God. He created them in His own image–with a capacity to know Him in a personal relationship. And when sin destroyed that relationship, God redeemed them through the death of His own Son. And one day, He will welcome into His heavenly home every woman who has claimed Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord. And the equality, respect, and status she has longed for will be hers. Forever.

Anne Graham Lotz, a daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, is founder of Raleigh-based AnGeL Ministries, which supports her Christian evangelical outreach. Her ‘Just Give Me Jesus’ revivals have been held in dozens of cities in the United States and other countries.

Anne Graham Lotz
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  • David

    Really enjoyed this comment. However, you saved a bit of prejudice for your religion for the last.There may very well be “one way” to the father as the aboriginal tribal book states, but there is at least a thousand or more ways to the “mother”. Thank Heavens for that.

  • Cheryl

    Terrific, well thought out article. Wouldn’t it be great if we all treated each other as God’s children, instead of segregating other humans by race, gender, culture and choice of religion?I find it incredible how mankind continues to discriminate, judge others, kill and maim, oppress and degrade others all in Gods name.

  • Richard

    You folks pray too much, you should think instead.It’s the more realistic approach to the problems of these days.It could have prevented this last, unnecessary war, for instance and all its disastrous consequences.Instead we have a president that believes he gets his orders form above.He should have read more about the history and the factions and the reality in that country.Reason, folks, reason. Not belief.

  • Robert Jones

    I find it rather sad that religious folk have to jump through such hoops to convince themselves that women should be treated equally to men. Of course they should. All people should be treated equally with respect to their basic human rights. Common sense and simple human morality should tell everyone that, regardless of religion.

  • Silence Dogood

    Evangelist Earl Bailey has presented the Fall of Man in a refreshing way and he exonerates Eve as a seductive temptress deserving of blame…Adam saw Eve as his own flesh and knew God’s consequences if he consumed the fruit of that one tree…upon learning that Eve was going to die, Adam had a choice : remain pure and obedient or join her and die too. So great was his love for her (the First Adam) that he voluntarily surrendered his life so he could join his wife in the promised death (surely die). He ate the fruit, too.Many will recognize this view as Gen.3 foreshadowing (see typology/types and shadows) of Christ (the Second Adam) who also descended from his pureness out of a love for a condemned world.Others will ridicule it, some because it makes a male the hero and others for a variety of reasons. At least the fresh look at this old event removes blame and focuses on a man’s love for his wife.God redeemed Adam and Eve almost immediately after shedding the blood of an innocent animal and placing its skin upon them.Hebrews 9:22Thank you for the scripture you shared.

  • Lynne Henderson

    Thank you for this post. It is about time, indeed long overdue, for a mainstream Christian to acknowledge the equality of women in God’s and Jesus’s eyes. . . I look forward to being able to use this to educate my students a bit more (since most have read the Bible only selectively, as we are all wont to do, being imperfect creatures)

  • Disbelieving

    I never read so much convoluted BS in my life. Her argument ignores the argument of the existence of God, the fairy tale of the bible being a msg from God (if he exists) and then uses that bible to justify her argument. I dont disagree with her main point of women being equal, just her arguments to make that point.

  • AJ

    I plan to forward this email to my friends who doubt the authority of women in ministry! I thank God for you willingness to tell the unpopular truth.

  • Bstew

    With all due respect, are you completely crazy? You selectively skipped all the references where the Bible makes it perfectly clear that women take their orders from men. I mean, give me a break. And before you say, “Oh, only the truly saved can properly interpet the Bible” doesn’t it stand to reason that a real God would have left his instruction manual to life (the Bible)with much clarity, just so it wouldn’t be misinterpeted? I mean c’mon.You are probably a good person, but please open up your mind. Why does God have to be a He? Why was women created from the rib of a man? Why are all the leaders of the church men? Because it is a patriarchical belief system that places the fellas first. There is no equality in the Bible and there is no equality in the fundamental belief system. Your thought system has done much more harm then good. It is time to look beyond what is inside your head, for that is just a prison for your soul. And your soul is really your reason embellished with caring…

  • Kevin Johnson

    This is a strange topic coming from a pastor daughter. I think we need to segregate what religions do and don’t do , first of all I don’t believe Christianity is a religion, a religion is set rules of do and don’t set up by man, that will never get you close God, by following these rules. A faith comes from belief in God and God will for man life. If a man operates by faith, which Christians should do, treating a women as a second class citizens will not happen. But these topic is not applicable to America, women have just as many rights and choices as men and if found to be discriminated against can sue and get retribution. Speaking about women in Darfur or other third world countries, yes women are treated bad, but here in America, it’s just more victim talk by women who are not victims. The woman are poor and the underclass, they rarely speak, I don’t believe they’re victims neither because there’re programs to help them out. If she wanted to comment on helping men and women in these situations, then I’m all for it, but here’s someone who’s come from a large and wealthy ministry talking about the victimization of women, not buying it. Women are treated equal in America, no one tells them to make go to bars, get drunk and embarass themselves, no one tells them to date the bad guys that many are in love with, no tells them to prositute themselves or put themselves on drugs. Men are stuggling with same problems, these issues should address on human race level, not gender specific. If she has issues with gender discrimination, go to the Middle East or some Eastern Asian country, here I’m not buying it. A women can be anything a man can be here in America.

  • NW

    I think Ann Graham Lotz is right on target. The issue is definately one of control and the proper boundary in a relationship or marriage as demonstrated in countless biblical stories.

  • bilfleisch

    This to me isanother example of so many instances wherein people, when extracting support for their mythically-based beliefs, are able to interpretate the text to their satisfaction. . They can, in other words, read either “in” or “out” of the text what they want.

  • MyHoboSoul

    There are two accounts of the creation of man and woman in Genesis and Ms. Lotz omits the second (Genesis 2:21-24) which does not present an account of male/female equality. The omitted version is the more familiar:”21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. In this account woman is created for man. And though I admire the aspirations of Ms. Lotz selective quotation and reinterpretation, she is not being faithful to the intent and meaning of the text.

  • Megan

    I am usually with you, Richard, but consider these thoughts: You suggest that the US government has failed because it does not respect the reality of Iraq and its neighbors. That reality encompasses the Islamic faith and the great role that plays in its believers social and political lives, and if you feel, as I do, that our government has disrespected the Islamic faith by ignoring or belittling it in language and action, calling someone out for their culpability in the war for an article on Christian gender equality seems both out of place and hypocritical.I say this as someone who does not believe that Jesus is the one and only, but I sure am glad that someone is looking for a Biblical link to female empowerment.

  • saul

    Since the Bible is full of contradictions, distortions and lies why pick on this one item.Romans 11:26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:The two themes that run through the O.T. Messiah message is that the Messiah would restore Israel to it’s former glory and that Israel would become Eden like ( Heaven on Earth) nothing about getting one into Heaventhe site

  • Michael of Bowie, MD

    Genesis 3:16 and 17- 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.From these two verses I think it is clear that Adam and Eve (man and woman) are seriously cursed, maybe equally. But more importantly, isn’t verse 16 clear that man was made the head “he shall rule over thee”. No, not rule as an abuser, etc, but as the loving head. No house can have two heads and stand. Since God is not a respecter of persons, then sure men and woman are equal. However, we have different responsibilities.When babies were sacrificed to the gods, weren’t they also the babies of men? I don’t get that only woman paid the price here.Finally, I can’t go with Adam’s love being so great for Eve that he volunteered to die. Satan deceived them into believing that they can be as Gods. Adam knew who God is and how powerful, etc. Now that’s a temptation!

  • Steve

    I must concur with the earlier post. “Wives obey your husbands” can be dressed up and distorted in a variety of ways, but the word “obey” will always clearly distinguish the hierarchy of man over woman. Those who believe that the bible is the literal and inerrant truth of god, (as opposed to those who view it allegorically) will ever use the mysogyny written into the bible to exclude women from positions of power or from experiencing unqualified equality; regardless of what Jesus himself might have favored!

  • scary folks

    Wow, there are a lot of very angry folks on here. I like the believers. Whewww!!!! Let’s see George Bush, Bible lies, and “belief” bashing. Hmmm. I believe I’ll go to church tonight. Good article.

  • Casey

    Thanks for publishing this. I particularly appreciate the pains the author takes to draw the distinction between how religions can be sinful and cruel to women (because every religious institution is made up of flawed human beings) but that these abuses are not God’s will. Too many people see the sexist sins of Christians and assume that their sin is representative of Christ, which simply isn’t true. Clear, concise, and persuasively written. Well done.

  • Marge Wolfram

    While Ms. Lotz’ comments may seem to address an archaic issue to some readers, they are quite relavent for people of faith. Women have had to suffer many messages arguing for the scriptural bases of women taking a second tier status within the community of faith. In my experience, making a case for equality of women in the church has created doubts about my own credibility as a Christian.Lotz makes a very credible and important argument for the equality of women. She has obviously taken the time to study the issue rather than superficially accept some verses from the Bible that have not transferred linguistically their intent into English.I thank her for being a voice for women of faith who are not being heard in the church. We need women who are credentialed to speak for us.

  • pv

    fascinating!an insight into discrimination that poopoos sexual discrimination, but validates religious discrimination…niiiiiiiiiice.

  • Brandywine

    For those of you who are critical of religion(Reason, folks, reason. Not belief.)(I find it rather sad that religious folk have to jump through such hoops to convince themselves that women should be treated equally to men.), I would like to point out that reason comes from religion. It was Christianity that led to and fueled the Renaissance. It was the Renaissance that formed western civilization, so without folks who “pray too much,” we wouldn’t even know that North America was here, and we wouldn’t be talking about reason at all.

  • Bimbo Alert

    I just LOVE her million watt bleached teeth with the QT tan. That right there says it all (the Bible doesn’t say not to judge a book by it’s cover, right?).

  • checkered

    When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion

  • pv

    I’m guessing she makes a lot of money doing this.

  • Neo

    This woman is very talented. She can talk about of both sides of her mouth at once.

  • Bruce

    Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a hymn writer and Presbyterian pastor, has written a hymn that celebrates women in the Bible titled “God of the Women.” It has been translated by Roman Catholics in Japan, published in a hymnal supplement by Episcopalians, sung at the Lutheran women’s national meeting and posted by the Methodists on their national web site:

  • maddy

    This is a nice article BUT it fails to delineate St. Paul’s rants about women not speaking in church (I Cor. 12) or covering their heads, being submissive and the rest…some argue that is a cultural bent that St. Paul required and it doesn’t fit today…. And quoting from the Old Testiment for “Christian” norms is silly. But anyway there is one good observation to make here. ONLY in a “CHRISTIAN” based society is it possible to have relative equality for women and men. Without the Christian teaching, do you think Judaism, Shintoism, Buddism, or Hinduism, with its concept that women are inferior to men in reincarnation, or other non-Christian cultures could have produced such a dynamic push to equality? The Church (Catholic or Protestant), even with its faults and sinful members, has served to enlighten humankind.

  • Tonya

    I just wanted to comment on something.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Dear Anne Graham Lotz,You didn’t mention the best example of male -female equality in early Christianity: Jesus, his companion, Mary Magdaline, and their daughter, Sarah (or Sara).

  • Robert Jones

    Brandywine, “Reason” is the ability of the human mind to form and operate on concepts in abstraction, in varied accordance with rationality and logic. Reason does not come from Christianity or any religion. In fact, religious beliefs often (not always) directly defy logic and rationality. Reason was not invented during the Renaissance. Many ancient non-Christian civilizations used reason quite well centuries before.

  • jkoch

    God is a woman and master of man. Gosh, there She goes again, reminding me of sins of commission and omission. Moses’ list had only 10 items. Hers must have a hundred, starting with that busted whatchamacallit the guy at Home Depot said was discontinued. I blew an afternoon hunting a substitute, and she thought I’d been up to mischief. “Discontinued, you say?” she exclaimed. Why, I’ll discontinue you!” Sorry, Dear, I’ll get around to it. Just let me see this next play. Half time is coming up.

  • Tirade

    So this is what happens when Christianity begins to lose followers by this masses–reinterpret the holy texts to fit the social norms of the day. And not even a good reinterpretation at that. Claiming that quotes such as “His death was memorialized by a woman” was indicative of male-female equality is really stretching it.

  • Wale

    Ann is right. Christ does frown against the mistreatment of any class of people based on gender, race or nationality. However, many stretch this to imply that the Bible makes no distinguish between the male and female especially in the role they play within the Church structure. The Apostle, Paul , did instruct his protégés (which, hopefully, all believers are) to select tested men into positions of leadership (Paul instructs this, not just the Church), Christ did choose 12 disciples and they were men, Paul did call the husband the head of the home as Christ is the head of the Church. Historical, sound leaders of the Christian faith have held that while men and women are equal in the sight of God, God has given both different roles within the Church. Men, when available and capable, to lead, not in abusive or opportunistic sense, but for in love as Jesus demonstrated; and the women are instructed to support the men in the common goal of serving Jesus. Both males and females are ultimately accountable to God in how they play their respective roles.

  • Megan

    Tonya,You break my heart. “All of us ‘ARE NOT’ God’s Children. Yes we all are ‘CREATIONS’ of God but you can only become his child once you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of your Life.”If you truly wish to subscribe to Jesus as your personal savior, right on, but beware that the divisions and discrimination in such statements do not make you a good Christian, just a creative wordsmith.”It’s already hard enough carrying a baby why on earth should I have to build the house and take care of it.”And relying on religion, God and Jesus to take responsibility off of women’s shoulders sounds more like laziness than it does like faith.

  • Matt

    Yeah I am quite dubious about this article.But as others have noted here, it seems like the author just cherry-picked sections of the Bible that support her thesis.I think the author would be happier if she interpreted the Bible through the lens of modern beliefs. This is similar to Rabbinical Judiasm. A literal interpretation will not give very good result.

  • pv

    So I see lots of bible quotes regarding this, but did Jesus ever say anything like that?or just the GUYS that followed?Did HE ever say it’s shameful for a woman to speak in church? I don’t think so.

  • God’s Servant

    I pray that the Lord will show mercy and grace to all of you who don’t know or even want to know him as Lord and savior of your life. I pray that he will touch your heart and give you understanding about the things that are going on in this world today. I pray that he will show you who is the one and true God and Father of the Heaven and earth. I pray that you will read the word of God and get understanding not from someone else’s interpretation but through the Holy Spirit that will come into you through your invitation. Finally, I pray for your salvation and those of your family and friends, that you may come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I won’t bother to quote scripture to you because the Bible teaches the “believer” that we will be considered “Peculiar” people to the world. My prayer is simply as God’s servant to be a blessing to those whom the Holy Spirit will use this prayer to touch in Jesus Name! Amen

  • halozcel

    Excellent article.You shall go to Heaven.Seventyfive percent of World unfortunately shall not.Bible,God Word which is written by Hunan Matthew,Mark,Luca,John and confirmed by Jew Saul,apostle Paul who didnt see and didnt talk to Son of God.You are shrewd as snakes Mat 10.16.You are elected but I am not.Please have nice time in Heaven.Knock and the door will be opened to you Mat 7.7

  • Ba’al

    The fact that idiots like this believe that “Dominion over everything was given to the woman as well as to the man” is part of the reason why our species is in big trouble. This has nothing to do with gender, but it needs to be noted.

  • Linda

    I was really digging this article because I have always believed that the Bible totally demonizes women. But I also took this article in w/a grain of salt since I know about the author’s prejudicial views. Pertaining to what Tonya just wrote about only being God’s child if you proclaim Jesus as your savior–if God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are one, then don’t you worship all if you worship one? Judaism believes in the Most High but they don’t believe Jesus to be the Messiah. So since they still worship God aren’t they worshipping Jesus also? And if God is omnipent, all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere, doesn’t that mean we ALL worship the same God? We just have our own ways of worshiping him. Even in the Christian faith there are several factions that have their own interpretations of the Holy Trinity. I think I may have digressed somewhere but I am really interested in knowing what others may think. Thanks!

  • seniorchief

    I respect what Ms. Lotz stated in her message. However, she doesn’t have a clue about equality for women or human beings for that matter, someone born with a silver spoon in her mouth who quote selected passages from the bible to prove her point should stop before she embarrass herself. You are a “Chrisitian Right” princess who look down on all minorities and proactive in taking away rights from other human beings (gays) and have the nerve to state that christians should practice equqlity to woman. I agree with that but I say equality to ALL human beings regardless of race, creed, religion or color or sexual orientation. Thank you

  • Paul

    Equality is a false concept. Men and women have different roles, in part, due to their physiology. Is the Son equal to the Father? Jesus himself stated that the Father is greater than he. What is fair and good should be the standard, not a misguided concept of “equality”. Feminists, in their misguided crusade for “equality” have introduced a whole slew of different issues.

  • travis

    dear p.v, so are you saying that all the epistles are useless??

  • pv

    no, I didn’t, but nice attempt at a strawman.

  • travis

    anyone who reads this:please read the holy bible for yourself,

  • Grace alone

    Amen to “God’s Servant” To my fellow sorjourners! >

  • travis

    p.v.i’m sorry but what is a “strawman”?

  • B Tau

    Please, Genesis 2 makes it quite clearly that women are subordinate to man. Yes, Genesis 1 does not. But that’s because the Bible is a narrative mess and tells the exact same story of creation twice, in both 1 and 2. You and many other posters on this site are making the enormous historical error of applying intellectual concepts that did not exist historical to an extremely old document. There was no idea of democratic government, or liberalism during the writing of the Bible. Equality for women came out of a liberal political tradition that came from English, French and other continental thinkers’ political philosophy, as well as intellectual movements of revolt against church control. This is the ultimate in Americanist revisionist crap – applying our proto-liberal (small-L liberalism as in the vast intellectual movement, NOT the liberalism that the Democratic party espouses)

  • travis

    dear p.v.i was not trying to offend,just being curious.so if my question seemed rude or implying something

  • mo beck

    Bible Crystal Clear on Male-Female InequalityApostle Paul in Ephesians 5:22 is “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.””Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).”Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:11-14).”Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:22-24). “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18).”And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation. And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. And if it be from sixty years old and above, if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female, ten shekels” (Leviticus 27:1-7)”And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her” (Ecclesiastes 7:27). “But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the Lord shall forgive her” (Numbers 30).”If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out onto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city . . . But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die . . . For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her” (Deuteronomy 22:23-27). And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free” (Leviticus 19:20).And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house . . . thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife” (Deuteronomy 21:10-13).

  • pv

    “so are you saying that all the epistles are useless??”This is a perfect example, because I never said anything like that. You attempted to simplify it to a binary argument. Just because I disagree with what Paul said about women doesn’t necessarily mean I disagree with the rest of what he said, as you’re implying, falsely.Note use of the word ‘all’. That was YOU saying that. I never did. Also note use of the word useless, as if the two choices were ‘useful’ & ‘useless’. hope that helps, Travis

  • Anonymous

    “Brandywine:For those of you who are critical of religion(Reason, folks, reason. Not belief.)(I find it rather sad that religious folk have to jump through such hoops to convince themselves that women should be treated equally to men.), I would like to point out that reason comes from religion. It was Christianity that led to and fueled the Renaissance”Renaissance? It was the Enlightment that broke the old system, Voltaire+Rousseau, Hume, .. These guys did it.

  • pv

    don’t sweat it Travis, I didn’t take it the wrong way. I think this discussion is useful!Strawmen arguments are being commonly used these days politically. It’s like insinuating that if I’m not 100% FOR Bush’s plan, then I’m FOR the terrorists…. sound familiar? It’s not a good way to argue and many people are catching on.

  • pv

    oops, I suppose it should be a straw-person argument in this context!

  • travis

    p.v

  • pROUD uNITARIAN uNIVERSALIST

    So Ms. Graham:DO YOU OR DO YOU NOT BELIEVE THAT DENOMINATIONAL PROHIBITIONS AGAINST ORDAINING WOMEN CONSTITUTE RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN?IF YOU ARE TAKING A STAND FOR WOMEN IN MINISTRY, BLESS YOUR HEART! YOUR FELLOW EVANGELICALS NEED TO WAKE UP ON THIS ISSUE.

  • jon

    If there is a critical Bible scholar looking at this, I’m curious about the passages attributed Paul. While the authenticity the attribution to Paul of almost every passage in his letters has been challenged by someone, what of the above passages is generally thought to be msot likely to be Pauline and what of this is thought to be written by others in Paul’s name? 1 Corinthians I believe most think is authentic for the most part, but I think there is dispute over passages. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Meeks.

  • Anonymous

    no, it’s not safe to assume that.I believe the words came from Paul, not God.even if many of his words are beautiful!

  • Señor The

    God please let there be a more coherently reasoning woman of “christian” notoriety than Ms Graham-Lotz to bring a bible history discussion of women’s equality to those who for whatever reason require christians of notoriety to explain things to them.Ms Graham-Lotz, like embarrassingly many cloth folk of any religions, sees life as no more mysterious, amazing or real than a series of childish fairy tales. There is a lack of depth in her words to such a defiant extent as to insult both the cause of gender equality and the elementary education of the full readership of this column.How does “witnessing Christ’s burial” or “being among the first ‘believers’” indicate anything about a god’s equal regard for your gender? And didn’t the women stick around longer than the men as a show of ‘service’? To clean up? You honestly can’t find more compelling and substantial ‘evidence’ than that in the whole of the Bible King James coordinated for our modern usage to claim knowledge of god’s view of women? Far more obvious millions of a c t u a l living reasons present in the non-fairy tale real world have left little question in the minds and hearts of America’s rational majority. I cringe whenever I see religion used as an excuse for religious authorities to anchor their world view to pre-adolescent morality fables. The life your Christian God gave you is far more complex, real and wondrous than it would appear you’e allowed yourself to appreciate. As is your own brain. If there’s a god, I would wonder if he considers this ‘doing your best’ on his, your, or anyone’s behalf.If you are unable to recognize gender equality and still need the approval of some kind of church leader to conclude whether something is so, please look further. You’re smarter than the above OnFaith contribution is interested in bothering to acknowledge. Even if you want to deny all of god’s lessons to you in the real world and instead pretend that a few words of ‘scripture’ constitue some kind of absolute truth, you can do soooooooo much better than this. As wacky and cobbled and often senseless as the bible is there truly is a lot of immensely more useful material in it than Ms Graham-Lotz’a retarded bullet list. She has provided little more than randomly plucked mere acknowledgements of the existence of women. Even the crippled struggle against reason that religion so often is can provide more.

  • ladiesman

    Ah, Mrs Graham Lotz. How elegant.As for me, I just wonder why God didnt send his beloved daughter to rescue us. He’d already send us a string of male losers, had he not? Moses, Abraham, David, Solomon, Noah, and even John the Baptist. I would consider your faith more seriously if St Paul had been married and had children, and taught us how to raise them and treat our wives. But I see in your case, madam, the apple did not fall too far from the tree.

  • DD

    Agree with B Tau et al….Good grief, let’s not deny that the books of the bible were just written by a bunch of misogynistic men who were enslaved by the particular cultural limitations and world view of their time. There is plenty of biblical justification for the domination of men over women; so lets grow up and try to rise above all that, and see traditional organized religions in all of their brittleness as antithetical the divine universe in all of its mystery.

  • queenofzouk

    I used to be all fvked up on drugs. then I found the lord. now I’m all fvcked up on god…yes, I am trying to offend! Ramen!Nice teeth; but won’t they get in the way when she gives her “man” a blow job. Nice tan too. All that tanning lotion will make for a good nasty sex lubricant.:~)face

  • Robert Jones

    “Renaissance? It was the Enlightment that broke the old system, Voltaire+Rousseau, Hume, .. These guys did it. You don’t want to tell me that papal power pushed for human rights, human equality and the rule of reason.”Good point! Thanks for the correction.

  • SpongeBathSquareDance

    Travis – which parts of Paul’s writings were divinely inspired, and which parts were just his ideas? And how do you know which are which?

  • Eleanor

    I’d like to know what Lotz and her fellow Christians are doing to correct the wrongs of Biblical distortions to oppress women.What about other Christian “distortions” that oppress gays, non-Christians, non-whites and anyone else who is different?

  • Fuzzy

    She might be the next genius (bible genius)

  • Anonymous

    While I would love to agree with Anne that the Bible does indeed equate the sexes, I fear that there are numerous church leaders who find many other passages to justify just the opposite conclusion — one being my mother’s former Baptist church in Florida. I have stepped away from organized religion for this very reason.

  • Bob

    What a pile of crap. Woman have been completely dominated and suppressed by all religions down through the ages. It is only in liberal democracies, based on non secular law, won by continual social demonstration by women that woman have been able to advance to some status equal to men. In the most religious societies on the planet, woman continue to be oppressed and we all know that.Religions have been forced to adjust to the progress gained by women themselves, and not the other way around. I think we all know this to be true.Thank you.

  • Matt Dooley

    Bimbo Alert: That’s quite the reasoned argument you have there, Bimbo! Excellent job of dissecting Lotz’s opinion.Are you saying that only pale people have valid opinions?

  • J. Rhinehart

    I love your message here, and I’m sure your Biblical references are accurate (though I didn’t check each one myself). But please, do not attempt to speak for God.

  • Bayly

    At the beginning of her attack upon Scripture, Ms. Lotz writes as if she’s a friend of Scripture, categorically stating, “the Biblical record is clear: …dominion over everything was given to the woman as well as to the man.”Wrong. While woman does function with man as vice-regent over the rest of creation, God Himself bars Ms. Lotz’s sex from exercising dominion over man. Further, this is not the result of the Fall, when sin entered the world, but of the order in which God created man and woman. It was (and still is) man first, then woman. And flowing from His order of creation, God our Creator explicitly prohibits woman from exercising authority over man. Why?Not because woman bears less of God’s Image and is unequal to man, but because God has attached to each sex an order of authority and submission that He forbids us to deny or defy. Thus God’s Holy Spirit commands: “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12, 13).As many have pointed out above, this order of God’s creation of the sexes is a central theme of Scripture. It’s revealed by God in Jesus Christ taking the flesh of a man, not a woman; it’s revealed by Jesus’ choice of twelve men as His Twelve Apostles; it’s revealed by God’s command that wives submit to their husbands “in everything;” it’s revealed by Adam naming Eve (again, before the Fall); it’s revealed by original sin flowing from Adam, who ate second, not Eve, who ate first; and it’s revealed by Jesus commanding Christians to “Pray like this: Our *Father*, Who art in Heaven…”It’s sad to watch the daughter of a prominent Christian evangelist lashing out blindly at the clear teaching of the Word of God, rebelling against the boundaries God has decreed for her sex. No doubt, it’s very hard to stand against the rabid egalitarianism and feminist ideology that have wormed their way to the heart of our culture.But really, if we’re going to start picking and choosing which biblical commands we want to obey, there’s a much better place to start than the place Ms. Lotz has chosen. I’d nominate the command Jesus placed at the beginning of the straight and narrow path of Christian faith: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

  • Steve

    Ms. Lotz artticle does select some passages to support her thesis while leaving out others. Are there any Christians on this forum who simultaneously believe1. That the bible, in its entirety, is the true and inerrant word of god. and 2. That men and women ought to have equality in both Religious and Temporal life? or 3. That Ms. Lotz selection of passages is valid and that the bible does in fact MANDATE equality between men and women?

  • Anonymous

    Also are there any Christians on here who believe that the bible is the word of god but who also believe that Jesus’s belief in equality should be privileged over the beliefs of his disciples (and parts of the old testament) which profess inequality?

  • Steve

    I commend Bayly for his logical consistency. One cannot simultaneously believe in the literal truth of the bible and in liberalism (in the classical sense of the word) or pluralism.Unlike Bayly who openly advocates for inequality, I faced this contradiction earlier in my life and (in the spirit of Jesus, to say nothing of John Stuart Mill) decided that where belief collided with the equality of all humanity the former had to be rejected!If you truly believe in human equality face this contradiction and realize that at the very least fundamentalism is incompatible with modernity and decency.

  • Bill Brooks

    To avoid this being seen as a cherry picking argument, it could have been cleaned up to refer only to Jesus, but not Paul. I doubt anyone can come up with a quote from Jesus that indicated that he did not support gender equality.As to the question of the worth of Paul’s writings in the face of his failures to consistently adhere to gender equality, I would say that such a grevious error, which has been used to justify denying women basic rights for centuries, makes it very difficult for me to take Paul seriously as a philosopher. That is not to say that none of writings have any merit, but I would be inclined to view them with much greater skepticism that those of Jesus.One of the greatest myths that is widely accepted among Christians is that all parts of the Bible have equal merit. Nothing can be further from the truth. Jesus himself rejected some of the teachings of the Jewish faith, as Lotz indicated. I cannot take anyone seriously who believes that the man who said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” would have supported the witch hunts inspired by the Old Testament line “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” And even within the New Testament, Paul never met Jesus, and so how could he have gotten an endorsement from Jesus for anything he wrote? Anything else is wild speculation with no evidence whatsoever. I have already disproved the fallacy “The entire Bible is inspired by God”, because God, if he existed, would not be so self-inconsistent.Lotz’ argument, even though some of her support is dubious, does support the notion that Jesus believed in gender equality. Her argument cannot support the same for Paul, because of the existence of counter-evidence which other people have posted and I won’t repeat.

  • Mo Beck

    To Bayly,You write, “But really, if we’re going to start picking and choosing which biblical commands we want to obey, there’s a much better place to start than the place Ms. Lotz has chosen.”I agree. But instead of your straight and narrow, let’s start with the first commandment “Do not have any gods before Me.” Deuteronomy is explicit in the commanding of sanctions imposed on non-believers. If your brother, the son of your father or of your mother, or your son or daughter, or the spouse whom you embrace, or your most intimate friend, tries to secretly seduce you, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” unknown to you or your ancestors before you, gods of the peoples surrounding you, whether near you or far away, anywhere throughout the world, you must not consent, you must not listen to him; you must show him no pity, you must not spare him or conceal his guilt. No, you must kill him, your hand must strike the first blow in putting him to death and the hands of the rest of the people following. You must stone him to death, since he has tried to divert you from Yahweh your God. . . .(Deuteronomy 13:7–11) I’ve got my stones ready. How about you?

  • Pax

    Protestants-never will you get it right! Second letter of Peter-1v20-21.

  • Michael

    Gee, Ms Graham-Lotz, Ya Think? What a novel concept: Jesus’ teachings about love, respect, forgiveness have been twisted by humans for greed, power, and oppression. Kind of should give the “religious right” something to think about doesn’t it? But they won’t because it would upset their world-view of moral, racial, and religious superiority. And where would our little religious war in the Middle East be? Then the only justification which can be advanced if we’re not fighting Christian oppression, is the desire to control another people’s natural resouces (presumably granted by God), and to subjugate the people.

  • JNGRNLS

    It is disappointing that in all the words of the original essay and interesting, but misdirected discourse, “equal” goes undefined? Consider the following,Our society, in an effort to be politically correct, is in the process of erasing religion from it. What instituion becomes the moral compass in its place? The government?In all of this, God’s two highest laws and commandments have been overlooked. The first is to love the Lord your God and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. It does not distinguish between male and female neighbors, and if we truly followed the commandment and loved ALL neighbors as ourselves, would not male and female be treated equally? It does not make them equal, which too many, in the religious and secular worlds, want us to believe.

  • Jill Ireland

    All this and no mention of Augustine and other early Christian writers? If one reads only the words attributed to Jesus himself, it’s quite clear He Himself regarded women as equals. Assuredly that’s part of what got Him in trouble. But it did not take long for his followers, and the institutions they built, to start ignoring that inconvenient fact and to continue with business as usual.

  • Fred – New Jersey

    This whole revival of Christianity in the US is scary. I live in a New Jersey bedroom community with both men and women working – primarily in Manhattan. Average family income is about 200 thousand per year, average house value about 1 million. They just rebuilt a burned out, small 200 year old protestant church in the middle of town with true historical value, totally changed the design and construction, grossly enlarged it, parking facilities galore. In short, a monstrosity. We complain about Islam Middle East insanities. Let’s first look at ourselves.

  • bd

    Bill Brooks said: “That is not to say that none of writings have any merit, but I would be inclined to view them with much greater skepticism that those of Jesus.”

  • WhatMeWorry?

    mo beck completely refuted Lotz, using Lotz’s own source–the Bible. Note that most of the quotes below really are “crystal clear” as to the inferiority of women, whereas Lotz (as other commenters pointed out) made assumptions about what the Bible said, and was selective in quoting it. Bible Crystal Clear on Male-Female InequalityApostle Paul in Ephesians 5:22 is “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.””Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).”Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:11-14).”Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:22-24). “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18).”And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation. And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. And if it be from sixty years old and above, if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female, ten shekels” (Leviticus 27:1-7)”And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her” (Ecclesiastes 7:27). “But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the Lord shall forgive her” (Numbers 30).”If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out onto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city . . . But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die . . . For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her” (Deuteronomy 22:23-27). And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free” (Leviticus 19:20).And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house . . . thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife” (Deuteronomy 21:10-13).

  • Magi

    Eleanor,Please let me know exactly how Christians oppress non-Christians, non-whites, or any other non-believers.Fred,I don’t think any Christian revival is centered on buildings. If you find a big church to be “scary”, then perhaps the issue lies with you, and not the church.Pax,Only a 4th grader would pull a single quote from the Bible and use it to substantiate a thought. I could probably justify anything I wanted using this methodology. In fact, Jesus said that “the only way to the Father is through Me.” Doesn’t that contradict your position? Get it?

  • bd

    Aren’t all of the books of the writings in the bible accepted as the word of god?

  • ENRONHUBBARD

    dude her picture is freaky. god help us.

  • Magi

    Whatmeworry?If you’re going to be a lemming and quote Ephesians, do it correctly. Strange you didn’t finish the scripture . . . “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”Submission to a husband does not mean a woman is to be a slave in bondage to that man, but rather it is to be a mutual submission in love. Ephesians is stating that we are to submit unto each other. Men are to love their wives like Jesus loved the church. Christ laid His life down for her. Men that are demanding that their wives submit to them have not learned the right way to win them and that is to love them with the love of the Lord.

  • Bill Brooks

    “Aren’t all of the books of the writings in the bible accepted as the word of god?”Accepted by whom? All Christians? The Catholic Church? Every Protestent sect? The Eastern Orthodox Church? Everyone in the world?My point is that if the entire Bible were the word of God, then why is it self-inconsistent? If the Torah and the Old Testament are word of God, and Jesus rejected some of the practices of Judaism, then does that mean that God messed up and Jesus had fix his mistakes?

  • simplewords

    Hi Mam,The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization might take a lot of offense from you quoting John 2:1-11 as Jesus’ first miracle! Please read that miracle (!!) before you quote it!” 1 The next day[a] there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” 5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.[b] 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. 9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” 11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.”

  • Habib Haddad

    Just below this freaky looking and thinking lady of

  • Kevin the Agnostic

    First, I’ll point out my bias, which is that I don’t consider everything in the Bible to be divinely conceived, and I look at old testament stories as allegories and not literal history.Now, using logic and reasoning, I would like to point out that there is a direct conflict between the teachings of Paul and the actions of Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus is God in the flesh. In believing such, they also believe that God is infallable. Therefore, it goes without saying that Jesus–being God in the flesh–would have been quite deliberate in all of his actions, particularly those which he enacted after his shedding of the flesh on the crucifix. And I think that one completely overlooked piece of scripture–certainly, I don’t think a single person here has mentioned it–occurs in the Gospel of John where Jesus specifically chooses Mary to appear to after his resurrection. If we believe that Jesus as God is infallable, then we believe that this choice was not just a whim or random occurrance or just incidental. His purpose for her was quite specific. The Gospel of John says that it happened thusly: This is a pretty clear directive from Jesus to Mary to not be silent, but rather to proclaim the good news of his resurrection to the others. He could have easily appeared to Peter first. Peter had just been at the tomb along with “the disciple that Jesus loved”. It’s clear that he appeared specifically and deliberately to Mary and commissioned her with this task. Of course, this flies in the face of what Paul taught, which was, as has been mentioned here numerous times, that women should be silent. If Jesus had intended for women to be silent, he would not have appeared to Mary first. So, it seems to me that the most notorious revisionist here, if we are thinking logically with our reason, is Paul.It’s amazing–here we are talking about Christianity and we’re quoting Moses, Paul…everyone except Jesus. How do the actions of Christ himself become the things that are completely ignored in a discussion concerning Christianity? That makes no sense.

  • Daniel

    Why are all you anti-religion people here? Can’t you find anywhere else to preach?

  • Paul J Lemnah

    DAMN, SHES NO BETTER THAN HER FATHER……….

  • Paul J Lemnah

    AND REMEMBER, EVE IS THE ONE THAT TEMPTED ADAM, AND ITS BEEN THAT WAY EVER SINCE,ITS THE WOMEN THAT CAUSE ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THIS WORLD, REGARDING MEN, ALL THEY DO IS TEASE, TEASE, AND TEASE AND WHEN THEY GET WHAT THEY TEASE ABOUT, THEY CALL IT RAPE, GO FIGURE. I THINK MOST WOMEN ARE EVIL, WELL ALL EXCEPT MY MOM, AND I WILL HAVE TO ASK MY DAD ABOUT THAT, LMAO

  • WILLEM

    oh jesus anndear jesus/god she just doesnt excist its all a hoax run by homophobic money grabbing preachers!! look around you and you must see that ‘RELIGION IS THE PROBLEM AND NOT THE ANSWER” and oh jesus anndear dont put your mom and dads tomb into a museum we allready have a wonderfull disneyland. oh and by the way anndear we have 55000 homeless persons in los angeles isnt that more important then all of your jesus hokus pokus.pleezeee anndear get a life!! hoping to hear from you soon [email protected]

  • Rastas

    Isn’t this the same preacher’s daughter that beat the crap out of her husband in Florida last summer?

  • Bill Brooks

    “ITS THE WOMEN THAT CAUSE ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THIS WORLD, REGARDING MEN, ALL THEY DO IS TEASE, TEASE, AND TEASE AND WHEN THEY GET WHAT THEY TEASE ABOUT, THEY CALL IT RAPE, GO FIGURE. I THINK MOST WOMEN ARE EVIL, WELL ALL EXCEPT MY MOM, AND I WILL HAVE TO ASK MY DAD ABOUT THAT, LMAO”This sounds like trolling, but if you really believe this, join the Taliban. They’d welcome you.

  • Bob K.

    @MagiIs Christ here eyeballing this guy’s wife? This is freaky. Also is Christ a cousin of Jesus or something?

  • Jess

    I know some people who are respected for whatever feat they’ve achieved, but I haven’t witnessed any of them taking a stand on issues such as race discriminations or the plight of the poor. I know they indulge in the limelight, and probably would never know what it must be like to be a man or woman of colour. Why are they filling up prison cells or hospital beds or even on the streets, I guess the white man and white woman would never know. All they know is what relates to their own status and wealth and images I guess.That’s why I admire people like Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson and Mariah Carey.

  • Anonymous

    Maddy: Regarding “Without the Christian teaching, do you think Judaism, Shintoism, Buddism, or Hinduism, with its concept that women are inferior to men in reincarnation, or other non-Christian cultures could have produced such a dynamic push to equality?”FYI, Wicca, the oldest faith, exhorts gender equality, and indeed, reempahsizes women in their natural spiritual role above that of men.

  • bd

    Bill Brooks said “My point is that if the entire Bible were the word of God, then why is it self-inconsistent? If the Torah and the Old Testament are word of God, and Jesus rejected some of the practices of Judaism, then does that mean that God messed up and Jesus had fix his mistakes?”So how does anybody figure out what is the word of god and what isn’t? Do you have an interpreter that you trust to know or do you just recognize it when you read it?

  • Jim L.

    I once heard that Christ gets to marry all the nuns after they are dead. Does the church still believe that?

  • Jack

    What I find fascinating is that Billy Graham (and yes I like the guy, especially now that he is an old man)was so successful in what he was doing, the world over, for many years, with many followers. It is fascinating because it was all 100 percent nonsense

  • Bill Brooks

    “So how does anybody figure out what is the word of god and what isn’t? Do you have an interpreter that you trust to know or do you just recognize it when you read it?”I am relying on logic and facts. I do not believe there is any word of God. I am simply supposing “what if there was” for the sake of argument. And if there was, God would not contradict himself, unless he is far more fallible than any Jew, Christian, or Muslim that I have ever heard of believes. And if God were fallible and the Bible were the word of God, then that would mean that the Bible wouldn’t be entirely reliable anyway.I do believe that Jesus believed in the equality of women.

  • bd

    Bill, if facts and logic lead to the conclusion that Jesus believed in the equality of women then please demonstrate. I’m not trying to be a wise ass, I really want to know.

  • dkm

    I find it mindboggling that someone as closely affiliated with the religious right would actually come out and claim that women are people, too. Maybe there is hope yet that the idea of the husband being the head of the family and receiving absolute obedience from the others can be laid to rest. This is what Dr. Lakoff means when he talks about the right being strict father disciplinarians vs. the left being nurturing parents, both father and mother. Thank you, Ms. Lotz, for repudiating your roots and instead, growing in your appreciation for what God by whatever name intends for people’s behavior toward each other.

  • Chris

    Hey Pax,Maybe you ought to worry a bit more about the Catholic Church a bit more before cricizing the Protestants. I am guessing that providing shelter and cover-ups for decades of child-molesters is a part of “God’s great plan”. BTW where is Cardinal Law these days….Ahh yes the last Pope (not the child-Nazi) tranferred him to the Vatican to avoid prosecution in Boston. Nice job John Paul!!! Can sainthood be far away?Please.

  • Vulcan_77

    However, when sin entered the human race, THROUGH THE ACTS OF WHO? one of the consequences was that men and women became separated from God…

  • Paul M.

    Anne Graham Lotz makes a wonderful argument for something I have always believed … no matter how truthful the seeds of a religion, culture always wins out in the hearts of the people. If a culture has strong, indigenous beliefs, they will not be wiped out by the advent of a new religion – rather, the religion is sculpted to fit the beliefs of the culture. So it is that Christians or Jews or Muslims or Hindus, or any other group, can proclaim “truths” that are so incompatible with even the most casual reading of their scriptures. People pick and choose, and they tend to choose what they already believe and force it into the interpretation of the texts. This is also how “custom” can shape a religion … a good example being sharia law shaping Islam even if the interpretation that establishes the custom comes a hundred, or a thousand, years after the words of the Prophet.

  • :-)

    Hey Pax and Chris,

  • Vulcan_77

    Dear child of Graham, I hope I was not so harsh as to make my words fall upon blind eyes. Become a child of God again and you will see. May Light, Truth and Peace be with you and yours always.

  • David

    Setting aside the reality that there was no person named “Jesus Christ”, didn’t he give it on the chin to woman who yelled out to him “blessed is the woman who nursed you”?He turns, without skipping a beat and yells back (poor manners) “Blessed rather are those who keep my commnandments!” He could not even honor a woman at one of her most powerful stations in life, that of a nursing mother.Oh well, this little gospel comment is just another thrown in by those who invented historical fiction, the Jews. Pretty good at it, too.

  • Jim

    This whole thing in the Christian Church about men and women and who is better or equal or whatever shows a forced way of thinking. That’s why I prefer the Moslem Religion. There 2 buildings make it all very clear that both are equal. Look at the Tah Mahal in India. The larger rounded building is the woman’s stomach, and the long skinny thing sticking up (actually there they have 4) is the erected penis. That is all it is and shows the realities of life.

  • James

    God said in Gengsis 2:16 To the Woman God said”I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;In pain you shall bring forth children: Your desire shall be for your husband,And he shall rule over you”. And Malachi 3:6 says “I am the Lord Thy God I Change Not”I truly wish people would quit changing the bible to fit their own agenda.The man’s job is to provide for the household and the womans job is to tend to the kids and home period. That’s why this whole country is so screwed up.Because both parnets work and there’s nobody to tend to the children.Get a grip people you’ve lost it entirely.

  • Jeff

    What a colossal waste of time. Whatever the origins of religion, once people figure out useful it is to gain power over and control the masses, it always becomes corrupt. It really doesn’t matter what Jesus intended, like other major organized religions, Christianity has an abysmal record, particularly with regard to killing people, committing countless genocides and quoting the Bible all the way.As for the equality of men and women? I really do not need a book to tell me to treat other people with respect, inclusive of not shoving my beliefs down other people’s throats. Those who need to justify their principles by citing the Bible like a legal brief may want to reconsider whether their spiritual connection with God needs a bit of strengthening.

  • I. Anderson

    There are many roles and duties to be fulfilled by the women in the church, but in accordance with the Holy Scripture we should not recognize a woman as equal to the man. It matters not who stands for it or justifies it. We need to stick to the Holy Scriptures – let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4). The Apostle Paul wrote, “I suffer not a woman to teach or usurp authority over the man but to be in silence.” 1 Timothy 2:12.

  • Rick

    Let’s see. I just spent 45 minutes to an hour reading 121 comments in response to a column written by Ann Lotz which advocated something we should all have accepted from the time we were old enough to think rationally. I was not enlightened by the article since there is nothing new in it, nor any of the comments since none of them added anything to the question–are men and women equal?–presumably in God’s sight. The truth is that the article does cherry pick scripture to support one position which is a naughty naughty no no, and should be rejected on that basis alone. But I understand this is a free forum if not country, and she is free to say what she likes and cherry pick scripture as much as she likes. And I was free not to read the article nor the comments or to read them as I chose to do. And at the end I’m wondering why?

  • Vince Porter

    Why would anyone consider important what dead guys think of living people?

  • Alex

    I must agree with the previous statement about loving one’s neighbors. Jesus asked the man what the most important commandment was, “The man replied ,’to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind’” essential everything you’ve got. Jesus asked what the second most important was and the man replied ,”To love your neighbors as yourself”. Look back at the old testament at the 10 commandments and you’ll see that by keeping these rules you’ll completly honor all 10 commandments. Jesus never refuted or ignored teachings from the old testament. Remember he was found teaching in the temple when he was a young boy. He came to fufill the covenant of the Old Testament. Prior to Jesus’s death, the only way to gain absolution for one’s sins was to offer a sacrifice in the form of a unblemished lamb, dove, or other animal. But since man has dominion over animals and his prized more highly by God, the blood of an animal can’t cover the sins of a man. It took the blood of an unblemished man to cover the sins of the imperfect. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament covenant, creating a new covenant with his blood which we remember in the Last Supper. As for the equality… the bible clearly states that there are specific roles for men and women in the church, but it also says that believers are to submit to one another in love. We should never oppress or hate anyone based on any factor of their life. If Jesus can die for me, as unlovable as I can be, then I can show love to anyone in this world. I think that’s what Jesus had in mind.

  • Stan Moody, Ph.D

    The reponses make for a fascinating read! Permit me to comment, if you would…I speak as a believer who has waged a lifetime battle against McChurch, the drive-through, fast food dispenser of instant grace…McChurch has a long history of attempting to Scripturize preconceived belief systems…What God thinks of women ought to be self-evident if the Kingdom of God, ushered in through the Advent of Christ, were a lynchpin doctrine of the church…Alas! For most American Evangelicals, God’s Kingdom is away, to be brought to fruition if we do enough of a rain dance – like husbands faithfully lording it over their wives, or crusading to strip civil rights from gays and lesbians, or killing the infidels in Iraq…The message of Jesus is that in the New Covenant all heirarchies and theocracies cease…There is “neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, rich nor poor.” That was and is a revolutionary concept… The Christian Right hates that notion because it takes the behavior code, with its assumed brownie points, out of the Scriptures and permits mere mortals to amuse themselves trying to figure out what God is doing or going to do…The Bible, then, becomes a map for your belief of choice, rather than a living document for your life…Interpreting dead authors is preferred over reading Scripture in the context of living word…My book, McChurched: 300 Million Served and Still Hungry, is a call to Evangelical Christians to stop leaving their brains at the church door on the way in and their hearts in the pew on the way out…And please – let’s stop analyzing what other people are doing or not doing and start working on ourselves…There’s plenty of sin to go around for everybody…

  • Rick

    There is no seperation – never has been, and never will be. WE ARE ALL ONE.

  • Dennis B

    The Post shows its usual discrimination against men with this headline It’s Men’s discrimination not MALE — a dehumanizing term used to describe animals.Men die seven years soon, make up the majority of homeless and are get four times the rate of prison time when they commit the same crimes women so. This society needs to stop looking to empower women and make it fair towards men again. And I have even mentioned the educational system.

  • Rafael

    News flash for Dennis B:

  • Thinking Man

    For those seriously interested in weighing the merits of belief vs. unbelief, read “The Question of God” by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. Dr. Nicholi puts the words of C.S. Lewis up agains the words of Sigmund Freud and a wonderful debate ensues between a devout Christian and a devout Jewish Atheist. Both men are deep, both men are passionate. If you are a thinker then you will enjoy this book.

  • CLE

    It never ceases to amaze me that the media considers people like Ms. Graham as mainstream Christian spokespersons. Why not Elaine Pagels? Why not Karen Armstrong? Why not someone who takes a sophisticated view of the meaning and significance of Christianity, as well as its faults?

  • Anonymous

    Because she is the celebrity daughter of the master illusionist that served several past presidents. Celebrity sells better than scholarship.

  • Bill Brooks

    “Bill, if facts and logic lead to the conclusion that Jesus believed in the equality of women then please demonstrate.”Actually, the equality of men and women (as well as races, etc.) is a simple corollary of the Golden Rule. Jesus never said “Do undo others as they do undo you, unless they are women, gays, Zulus, or Mongols.” He made no exceptions.

  • Bill Brooks

    Left out some words:Actually, the equality of men and women (as well as races, etc.) is a simple corollary of the Golden Rule. Jesus never said “Do undo others as they would have you do undo you, unless they are women, gays, Zulus, or Mongols.” He made no exceptions.

  • TacoBellManager

    All the capitals in this thing make my eyeballs hurt.

  • Henri Solomon

    Actually, many mythologists believe that a goddess (often a female solar deity) preceded a male god because children were born of women. And it was not until it was determined, in the last few thousand years, that the man’s seed impregnated the female that a male god became more prevalent. Lest we forget, in the life of the solar system Christianity is still in diapers. There is evidence that women were much more respected thousands of years prior to its birth.

  • TacoBellManager

    All the god damn capitals in this thing make my eyeballs hurt.

  • Rob Bailey

    As per usual, the typical dreary group of atheists, agnostics and general liberal-pinko types dominate this blog. Oh, well, it is run by the Washington Post. What was I thinking??

  • Miguel Vinuesa

    As a Roman Catholic, I must totally agree on Mrs. Graham essential point: Jesus preached equality between man and woman. For they are the same thing.Just take a look at the first Christian communities in the 1st, 2nd an 3rd centuries -and I know we Catholics tend to rely more on tradition-. In those communities, women even had responsibility.She’s said it all, and I’m quoting “Women were among the very first “believers” or “Christians” who made up the early church (Acts 5:14; Acts 8:12; 17:4, 12).” The fact that in the Roman Catholic Church women are not given a rank of priest is not an incoherence, though: There’s been an interpretation of both the Biblical readings and our tradition, and it was established that women should not achieve it, for it was quite necessary to differ from all similarities with the ancient Romans, who had woman priests for some of the gods, such as Vesta.What movements like the Evangelical Church have done is just follow their conscience in a way we understand, but don’t share. There’s some Evangelical Church followers, here in Spain, like media mogul Cesar Vidal who have criticized us for this, but I believe we can all share our different visions that point in the end to the same Loving God.I hope you can excuse my poor expression, however ;).

  • Jai Khosla

    Another dishonest article.No religion has ever given women full equality. Giving women equality was not of great concern to Jesus or Buddha. To Muhammad, women were sex toys as proven by his prefernece for six with children. His wife Aisha was only nine when he took her to bed. Saffiya, Maria, Juwariyah and Rayhana were teenagers, 15 or 16 years of age. Maria and Rayhana were Muhamamd’s child concubines.But even Muhamamd did give women some rights. Before his time nothing barred women from getting, for example, all the property of their parents if there were no male siblings. Most often due to the dominance of males women got nothing. Muhammad tried to correct this by giving women something, they got half the share of their male siblings. But since Muhammad claimed that his Arabic god Allah had told him so, women could not get all the property even when they were the sole heirs. Grave injustice was reduced to less grave injsutice, but it was injustice for women nevertheless. Muhammad did not seem to understand that women are and were, even in his times, sole bread winners in the family.Jesus and Buddha never made women equal because it never occurred to them that women desrve equality.It is time we admitted that Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad etc were great humans but were flawed humans. They were not divine nor were they divinely inspired. the Bible is not the word of God. The Koran is not the word of God. Hindu scriptures and Buddhist scriptures are not the word of God. If God wanted to send a message He would not need Sons or Porphets to send His message. he would appear periodically at footbal games and barbeques to tell us what He thinks and what He wants us to do.It is time we recognized that we need to build on the imperfect foundations these great men had bulit by first reinforcing the foundations.And part of thet reinforcement is to give women complete equality. This has happened in non-Muslim societies as Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhists have passed laws to make women fully equal.It is time our Muslim brothers and sisters took the same steps and pass laws that women in Muslim societies become fully equal. When Muhamamd is wrong they should not stick their heads in sand and try to fit a square peg in around hole.I had dinner with a Muslim couple a few weeks ago and the questions of wife-beating came up. I pointed out that the Koran urges husbands to beat their wives if they are disobedient. The square peg stuck up its head. the Muslim wife insisted that wife beating was permitted but only a light beating may be administered even though the Koran says no such thing.Muslims ahve a long way to go. But the path for Christaians and otehr non-Muslims is not much shorter. We have a long way to go.

  • Bruce W. Haupt [Esq.] [Disb.]

    THE EARLIEST COPY OF ANYTHING EVEN PURPORTING TO BE ANYTHING LIKE THE BIBLE THAT MANKIND HAS FOUND IS KNOWN AS ‘THE LOST BOOK OF ENKI,’ [YAHWEH OR ALLAH.] IT IS THE ONLY BOOK THAT WE KNOW TO HAVE BEEN ……DICTATED DIRECTLY ……. TO ENDUBCAR, MASTER SCRIBE OF THE ERIDU CITY. the BOOK WAS DICTATED OVER A PERIOD OF 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS, BECAUSE IT WAS THE WISH OF ENKI THAT THIS PERIOD OF TIME BE USED FOR THE DICTATION, NOTING THAT THE PERIOD OF 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS WAS A NUMBER HOLY TO THE GOD[S] THEMSELVES. where THE TERM GOD IS USED IN THE PLURAL, IT REFERS TO GOD AND ANGELS TOGETHER AND THAT REFERENCE APPLIES TO THE ELOHIM OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS.Genesis and the first 5 of the Books of the Old Testament, have three overlapping sections in each book, respectfully called the [J] [Yahwehist], the [E] Elohist and [P] Priestly redact ions, or edited versions. Together, all 3 portions are used together, especially in the Book of Genesis and there are two distinct creation stories addressing the creation of human kind by God, namely, where Eve is taken from Adams rib [but without taking the rib -- men and women have the same numbers of ribs] and where both men and women APPEAR to be created together, time wise.

  • Jai Khosla

    Bruce Haupt and others.All so called scriptures are of human origin. We must tell our children this truth. Once the Bible, Koran etc lose their validity as God’s words, the religious conflicts that are hurting our society will dimisnish and hopefully disappear.

  • Bruce W. Haupt, Esq., Disb.

    …..[CONTINUED]…..The CONFUSION as to whether men and women were created EQUAL comes from the two distinct creation stories of mankind, both in Genesis. Normally, when one is engaged in CONFLICT RESOLUTION, one examines the conflicting portions of the subject item and sees IF there is any way by which both portions can be interpreted without conflict WITHOUT ADDING ANYTHING to the readings. Now it is OBVIOUS that both sexes are not LITERALLY equal, for men cannot become pregnant, nor can they carry babies to term. It is FURTHER OBVIOUS that woman was created as a HELP MATE the literal translation]for man, not as some independent entity, divorced or separated from man [no puns intended.] While the female experts on religion that have appeared on Oprah, seem to be of the view that God has promised women everything they will ever need for their welfare in life IT IS CLEAR that God NEVER promised women a SPOUSE. It is also clear that God never directly speaks to Eve in the Garden of Eden, directing all comments to Adam as her husband AND it is clear that all Commandments and LAW otherwise found in the first 5 of the Books of the Bible address MEN, unless they refer to ritual cleanliness associated with menstruation and/or pregnancy [where men are also, thank God, not equal to women.] Men, on the other hand, have the obligation of caring for women SPECIALLY. One of the earliest instructions to mankind is to ‘GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY,’ SO, OBVIOULY ANY ADVANCED MATH SKILLS ARE NOT REQUIRED [PUN FULLY INTENDED.]

  • Tomcat

    If God created men and women equal, why didn’t He make it more explicit? It would’ve saved a lot of exegesis.

  • T. Stramel

    Just a point on logic:

  • Bruce W. Haupt, Esq., Disb.

    ……..[CONTINUED]……. Jai Khosla, just above, has noted that ALL Holy Books, the Bible included are the work of mankind. He is correct and that is WHY the LOST BOOK OF ENKI is such a significant find.The ATTESTATION that accompanies the LOST BOOK OF ENKI reads as follows: In the seventh year after the Great Calamity, in the second month, on the seventeenth day, I was summoned by my master Lord Enki [Yahweh], great god, benevolent fashioner of Mankind, omnipotent and merciful. [....] … It is for this reason that I will tell the true account of the Beginnings and of the Prior Times and of the Olden Times, for in the past the future lies hidden. For fourth days and forty nights shall I speak and you will write; forty shall be the count of the days and the nights of your task here, for forty is my sacred number among the gods. For forty days and forty nights you shall neither eat nor drink; only this once of bread and water you shall partake, and it shall sustain you for the duration of your task. …. [....]….And there was a pause and a silence. And I, Endubsar bowed to the ground and said, BUT HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT TO SAY? And the voice of Lord Enki said: The signs will be in the heavens, and the words to utter shall come to you in dreams and visions. And after you will be other chosen prophets. And in the end there will be a New Earth and a New Heaven, and for prophets there will be no more need.And then there was silence, and the auras were extinguished, and the spirit left me. And when I regained my senses, I was in the fields outside Eirdu [City.]

  • Bruce W. Haupt, Esq. Disb.

    ……. [CONTINUED] ……….. So, the question is are men and women EQUAL and the answer is THAT DEPENDS on what EQUAL means. Perhaps it is easier to state what EQUAL does NOT mean, rather than what it does mean. CLEARLY, in a FAMILY situation, the man is the head of the family and a woman-s function is ADVISORY in nature. This in no way means that women are in any way dumb, but it does mean that their brain has been wired [if we can use that expression] differently than a man-s brain is wired and modern medicine has confirmed that CONCLUSIVELY. Women generally tend to have DIFFERENT strengths and weaknesses than men and vice-versa. Various female Gods [angels in our terminology] are referenced thruout the Lost Book of Enki, but in only two instances are they considered ‘equal’ to the male Gods [Elohim]–[angels] and most organized structures of these Gods have either no female Gods on them, or one at most and when they are present, they appear to be treated equally to their male counterparts. One area in which the female Gods evidence clearly equal status is in the area of medicine, especially nursing, though one of the Gods ‘chief scientist[s]‘ is female and treated equally [professionally.] Other instances that occur show that they have the same skill for being cunning and deceptive as human women often show, especially in matters of the heart. They are fully capable of keeping grudges and in seeking vengeance, as are human women. Suffrage appears to be equal in those areas where female Gods are present, but generally the male Gods reign supreme in most matters. In at least one instance the equivalent of drivers licenses are extended to female Elohim also.This book, The Lost Book of Enki, is translated from the Sumerian by Zecharia Sitchin and is available in hardcover from Bear and Co. in Rochester, Vt. and it is a part of Sitchen-s series collectively entitled as The Earth Chronicles. GOOD LUCK !!!

  • Vulcan_77

    QUOTE Jesus and Buddha never made women equal because it never occurred to them that women desrve equality.It is time we admitted that Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad etc were great humans but were flawed humans. They were not divine nor were they divinely inspired. the Bible is not the word of God. UNQUOTESee Daughter of Graham, the vile anti-light that you attract. Stay strong My Dear God, stay Strong.

  • Vulcan_77

    Richard, praying vs thinking false choices get you no where

  • Anonymous

    Robert Jones, common sense is not always common and trials sometimes require thoughtless actions. Your soul as well as your heart have to be right.

  • Anonymous

    Silence dogwood, would that include filtered blood my friend?

  • Anonymous

    Disbelieving, therein lies your answer. Sometimes understanding requires faith. Actually all understanding as man understands it requires faith based upon some construct. Make sense?

  • Anonymous

    BSTEW Be Still and ask of yourself what you ask of others first.

  • Anonymous

    K. Johnson, if you do not believe why do you come here? Learn or begone. Time is too precious to waste if you are mortal that is.

  • Anonymous

    Richard, consider the Bible to be a childs bedtime story book. Would you want your parents to throw your copy out just because you had transcended their messages? Assume there to be a long line of younger siblings.

  • Anonymous

    Richard Harrington, The Devil wears what? Prada. Right. What better way to short-circuit the Word than to impersonate God’s Gift to man.

  • Anonymous

    Richard Harrington, thanks for the links btw.

  • Anonymous

    myhobosoul. Thank you. That is the version I am most familiar with, still, how could woman not be equal under such genesis? One from the other?

  • Anonymous

    bile flesh you are certainly not exempt from your own observations. we all must start somewhere.

  • Anonymous

    Saul, perhaps you project into the bible what you bring to it. I am starting to understand the true value of bible study groups.

  • Anonymous

    Michael of Bowie, many points rule does not entail domination. We americans seem to have trouble with that. Perhaps due to our own origins. Perhaps Eve did not know of the nature of the serpent and Adam took responsibility knowing God’s Nature, and knowing his own, joined God’s gift to him and threw himself at God’s mercy…saving Eve who he felt he had let down. Where is the conflict again? Makes me what to kiss both of his cheeks while looking him in the eye. It takes strength to be a gentle man.

  • Anonymous

    Steve, adults may obey one another and help one another make it through their own weaknesses. give and take. take and give.

  • Anonymous

    Scary Folks. The same applies to most of these forums. the greater the outreach the greater the backlash.

  • Anonymous

    PV, I THINK IT MUST HAVE BEEN INTENTIONAL. and I agree, nicely done. I was not as charitable as you initially though.

  • Anonymous

    Brandywine thank you BIMBO ALERT thanks for the warning.

  • Anonymous

    BIMBO ALERT BIMBO=This word derives from the Italian bimbo, a word of masculine gender that means (male) baby or very young (male) child. Again injured child, thanks for the warning. Have you spoken with God about it?

  • Anonymous

    J Cantwell Seen her playing the devils advocate have you? Hmmmmm, I do not think she is truly the Arc Angel Lucifer, so what do you think she was doing? Guess I had to have been there. I was not, you were. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    Checkered, is that your past, present or future? Hopefully you can put it in the past and talk to God about your future. Leave formal religion out of it if you need to. You can certainly read the bible without help. Search for truth. Seek and you will find. God Bless you. May Light and Truth shine upon you Always.

  • Anonymous

    pv, i am guessing she is worth every penny

  • Anonymous

    maddy:

  • Anonymous

    For me anyway….time to FLY!

  • Anonymous

    Travis, from Wisdom we know that God can demonstrate a Strawman Argument, not to mislead but rather to show how others are. And so it goes, I believe, with the author. Nice search for the beauty in truth pv. I like it!

  • Anonymous

    …….ligHT AND TRUTH BE WITH YOU AND YOURS!!!

  • Porker Joe

    Now tell us the part in the bible that makes women better than men like we have in the United States through EEOC laws which make it impossible to get rid on non productive female and minority employees.

  • Dennis

    For a non-believer like me, Ms Graham’s words seem kind of silly. She writes a lot about concepts like original sin and man’s separation from God, ideas that strike me as little more than long-accepted mythology. As the author Richard Dawkins writes, we tolerate a lot of really bad ideas in our society because we are told they have a religious basis. The subjugation of women is indeed one of these bad ideas. Lots of people quote the Bible to justify bigotry of one sort or another and the demeaning treatment of women is just another type of discrimination countenanced far too long by organized religion.

  • CK

    The bible is fiction, who cares what it says?

  • Bruce W. Haupt, Esq., Disb.

    Would you not be TRULY SHOCKED for Ms. Graham to say women are not quite equal in many ways to men, and vice-a-versa. Again, woman was designed to be a HELP MATE for man — not the other way around. When such a relationship generally works out smoothly, with cooperation in recogniZING STRENGTH AND WEEKNESSES, THINGS WORK WELL, BUT TWO CHIEFS AND NO INDIANS PRESENTS ISSUES AND THOSE ISSUES ABOUND TODAY. ouch

    sEE MY EARLIER POSTS ABOVE !!!

  • plunge

    Let’s look at her logic:”The Bible states that in the very beginning of the human race God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:27-28) In other words, the Biblical record is clear: God created men and women equal. Period.”Wait, sorry, to look at logic, we first need some. There is none here. Nowhere is the viewpoint she is pushing found ANYWHERE in the passage she cites. It’s read in entirely as her own interpretation, rather than being crystal clear. The Bible IS crystal clear on all sorts of special restrictions and limitations for women, including ritual uncleanliness for most of their adult lives. Christians can handwave that away, but nevertheless that is what God held as a moral standard before Jesus came along and declared that morality was off and he had a flashy new model (this was prior to Islam, which then came and did the same thing to Christianity: evoking lots of hypocritical whining from Christians)

  • James

    Preach it Robert Dimic

  • James

    Plunge

  • White Eyes

    OK, I guess if it takes this kind of scriptural hoop-jumping to reach full partnership in the southern Baptist church, so be it. This kind of reasoning and use of the Bible is so bizarre. More power to you!

  • jngrnls

    After 12 hours and many additions to this string, the discussion continues in the same meandering, unfocussed manner it began. (This is an observation , not a criticism.)

  • Ashamed

    Case in point of how divided Christians are over the role of women can be found in SWBTS firing of the highly qualified Dr. Sheri Klouda for the sin of “being a woman.”And the Southern Baptist wonder why more and more people are leaving the largest evangelical denomination. Could it be ungodly leaders like Patterson?

  • non anonymous

    i just love how anonymous comes into just pick on people. what a sad world we live in.

  • Belieiver Dave

    I remember one Faith op-ed where someone was commenting that Jesus is a myth. Well, this is one reason that is obviously not true. Imagine someone making up what Jesus did for women. The belief haters don’t know what to do with that do they?

  • Jim

    Strange picture of Billy Graham’s daughter. Is this some toothpaste advertisment? Something aint clicking here.

  • Jonathan Switzer

    Amazing to me how people view the Bible’s willingness to acknowledge differences between men and women as oppressive. Yet the feminist movement started out in the 60′s trying to act as if there are no differences and found itself in the 90′s and new millenium realizing that denial of differences is the greater oppression. Differences in abilities and giftedness to no harm whatsoever to equality of outcome in the Kingdom of God. Also, many today have complained about the great lengths of logic that Christians have to go through (hoops!?) in order to show that scripture shows the equality of men and women. Remember, however, that is the point. Logic requires rigor and humanists are always complaining that Christians are illogical and simple-minded. Then, when they step up to the plate and logically knock one out of the ball-park, the humanist sits back and says, what’s the big deal? Just know that a society that is not able to logically and rigorously prove equality to be moral will find itself easily swayed from its position. Billy’s daughter has honorably and rigorously argued a point in such a manner that Christians can be pervasively swayed to a moral stance. Would you discredit her for that?

  • Vivek

    Jesus, I pray to thee, save us and always protect us from your followers.

  • Kishor

    It might come as a surprise to some of the respondents and the author of this column that Hindu and Buddhist thought has been caputred way before Jesus the Christ was born. It will be great to open your minds and read about Upanisads and Bhagvad Gita. The best contemporary author is Eknath Easwaran. His books are available on Amazon or bn. May be it will help you get out of the corner you have painted yourselves in. There is more than one way to think of God. There is more to rationality and philosophy than that provided by the Christian Church or even the Greek philosophers. But then I am hoping for too much!! Perhaps the fact that Yoga and Meditation are gifts from Hinduism and that positional number notation also come from ancient Hindus is a hint into what lies in store if you should choose to read beyond the norm.

  • Jonathan Switzer

    William Wilberforce, who single-handedly gave his political career to the abolition of slavery in England is one such example. His CHRISTIANITY informed his passion for freedom for all. See the soon to be released movie- Christianity should not be discredited for its fruits along these lines.

  • American

    Replace all the bashing above toward the Christians with, say, Muslims. The ignorance and mean-spiritedness of the public toward Christian beliefs, as above, are only because the Christian belief is a tolerant one. There is more uproar when the Southern Baptists meet and say they don’t condone woman preachers, then there is when a Muslim woman is forcibly raped for the actions of her brother. Why is that? Is it because we are scared of retaliation of the Muslim faith? Why bash Christianity? Is it because we offer prayer and compassion to non-believers?

  • WILLEM

    WELL THIS SHOWS US ONCE MORE THAT NOT ALL CLOWNS WORK FOR THE CIRCUS! RELIGION IS THE PROBLEM AND NOT THE ANSWER! ITS ALL RUN BY HOMOPHOBIC MONEYHUNGRY MINISTERS/PREACHERS ITS A BIG SCAM! GIVE YOUR MONEY TO THE HOMELESS OF WHICH WE HAVE 55000 JUST IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY!

  • Dave Brock

    Christian religions can treat women like dirt…Islam treats them worse though and often kills them.I see all the bad…But I also see who’s actually worse!!

  • Theresa O’Keefe

    I just got a chance to read this posting today, and many of the comments. It is such a poorly constructed argument that it’s not hard for folks to take pot-shots at. And of course, many do. It is unfortunate that the Ms. Lotz does not see her own androcentrism affecting her capacity to interpret the chosen texts with greater accuracy and nuance. The consistency with which she called God “He” and her interpretation of the different words of the Genesis text as “man” when the Hebrew calls for greater nuance, indicates that she cannot see her own tendency to put men at the center of the picture. Thus she cannot see that the biblical texts do too. That is where the real critique lies. Instead she tries to proof-text her way out of a textual and religious history that requires greater tools than that.

  • MWarbinek

    To Anne Graham Lotz:I praise your comment on women under God and the principles of God, regarding women. The only thing that I would say is incorrect, is when you stated, “Jesus underscored His elevated opinion of women”. The incorrect word used, to be precise, is “opinion”. Jesus Christ did not exercise, promote, preach, follow or obey an “opinion” of women. He exercised, promoted, preached, followed and obeyed the eternal (never changing), principles and laws of God the Father. Therefore, the gospel that speaks about how to treat women, and women’s place with God’s is based on his eternal principles and laws, not “opinions”. Mortal’s have “opinions” which created many false religions and perpetuates sin. God does not have an “opinion”. All his thoughts and being exist in pure eternal truth. This is why he is perfect and why Jesus told us to learn to be perfect as well…Matthew 5:48Amen

  • bd

    MWarbinek, Thanks for your opinion.

  • Gerry

    I apologize for putting part of a former piece here again:All religions are deceptive and designed in order to wield power in a given social system. And it works so beautifully, as can be seen by all the circular arguments of Christians and Moslems on the thread here. Since these so-called “scriptures” are pretty voluminous, you can practically, with a little fantasy, deduct just ANYTHING (including its opposite) from them: Freedom for women, subjugation of women (for which there is such huge evidence I am amused by some people trying to circumvent the appropriate spots by carefully picking other “proving” spots, as Ms. Graham has tried to do with uncertain success.)Didn’t Bush, besides talking to god, consult with Graham before turning the US – and the world – into such an incredible quagmire? Thus, this quagmire is “god-given” in a very ugly double sense of this expression.No, I think it is the duty of anybody with some self-respect left to start thinking for themselves and using evidence, reason and a bit of experience of human behaviour instead of belief in pre-adolescent fables as a nourishment for their “god-given” (excuse me) brains.The circular reasoning is unbeatable: Once you put up the concept that whatever happens is god’s will, you can prove the existence of god by whatever happens. Logically, It boils down to a question of “applied semantics”.

  • alan

    The very fact that someone would have to list so many bible versus to prove their point is altogether sad. Each verse in the scripture becomes real when we as believers live what has been written. Too many articles and to much explanation is given to a sin sick world with no corresponding lifestlye. If we live the scriptures as believers ought to, then those who do not know God will ask the question what must i do to be saved? The fact that Jesus told woman first to go and evangelize is not as important as the fact he told someone. Remember, we are equal right? So what difference does it make who he told to do it, lets praise God that he told somebody!

  • Saved

    I have a reality check for christians who believe that women in the church should be silent in the church. The only reason I have salvation today is because a woman spoke these words to me:Romans 10:9-109 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. How are women today different from the woman at the well (St.John 4th chapter)? Jesus specifically exposed himself as the Son of God to her knowing that she would go and tell others of her experience. Was she not the first evangelist?Is it Bible Doctrine or Church Doctrine? Most churches have taken on the concept of surpressing women in ministry but the Bible does not.God wants His Word preached by everyone….Why? Because it is for EVERYONE…He loves us all and wants us to operate in a way that will allow us to FREELY talk about His love for us. How many souls has God used to add to His Kingdom? How many souls would be lost without the voice of a woman? If you can convince me that God is NOT pleased with a woman speaking of His goodness, forgiveness, kindness and mercy towards us then I will have a different interpretation of His Word. But until then, women will remain fishers of men!

  • ARK

    I’ve never understood why Christians use the old Testament to explain God’s intentions. Old Testament equals Old Covenant.

  • Dave Brock

    A.Hermit:Good points. Good quotes.Strange you fail to see (and defend) the oppression in Islam though…much of which is far worse than the oppression in Christianity due to the fact they still carry out such prejudices to the (often lethal) letter.At least I am not hypocritical in refusing to see the evil in ALL religions, and for noticing the worst.

  • ghostbuster

    “Following His resurrection, He appeared first to a woman (John 20:1- 16).”Looked at through the lens of the validity of a woman’s testimony in the ancient world, this was a rather profound statement for John to make.

  • Courtney

    Jonathan Switzer:There can be no reason in religion, which requires one to put aside all personal reasoning and intellectual abilities and rely simply on faith with zero evidence. Why would anyone decide to do such a thing? Because they were told it was right.Christians are taught that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, so it cannot be questioned, even when its contents fly in the face of logic. This creates quite the trap. You MUST believe whatever the Bible espouses because you believe it’s infallible. Even when it makes no sense or flies in the face of decency, it is still blindly trusted by christians, because they’ve decided to accept something and stick to it – even when evidence of its ridiculousness is abundant.Faith = I don’t have any reason to believe this fairy tale but I was raised to, so I’ll stick with it.

  • craig

    I have just one question: where in the world have women experienced the most freedom? Has it not been in cultures whose heritage has been Judaeo-Christian? Certainly Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, atheistic, etc., cultures have not come close to producing the same freedom for women. Why? Judaeo-Christian scripture produces a dynanism in the soul that cannot be denied or quenched.

  • One sick dude

    To the guy who so smugly said “reason, people, reason. Not belief.”Let’s hear your rational explanation for the equality of men and women. Because I can think of a few rational explanations for inequality. They’ll all be offensive, but they all can be put in rational terms. How about this one, from the “might makes right” files: Men are generally stronger, therefore they can dominate women, and therefore they often do. That doesn’t sound much like equality, but those are the cold, hard, observable facts from the beginning of recorded history to this very day. All the ethical conjuring about equality is based on BELIEF!Reason’s only a tool, bucko.

  • Dave Brock

    The fact is, ven the nutty Catholics and Baptists can’t compete with the abuse of women done in the name of Islam and under Islamic regimes.They stop women driving in Saudi.They forbid Muslim women an education in many places.They hack up Muslim teachers in Afghanistan for educating girls.They enforce (with violence and religious police) draconian dress codes on Muslim women.They stone Muslim women.Pakistan has the most disgusting rape laws seen in the modern world, where the woman can be charged with adultery (and stoned) if she dares to bring a rape case without 4 male witnesses! Which basically legalises rape!They forbid Muslim women to work in professional jobs.They murder Muslim girls/women on a mass scale in State approved/Culturally approved ‘honour killings’.They force young Muslim girls into marriages, often with much older me.They arrest and beat Muslim women for being alone with a man who they are not married to.And on and on..And as for women’s rights and their safety…Any Muslim woman in The West has more rights and is safer than women in Muslim countries!Nothing in this world, in 2007, is as dangerous, malignant, prejudiced, backwards and barbaric as Islam!

  • Jeff

    To Courtney: “There can be no reason in religion.” Are you kidding yourself? Human beings, including the religious ones, are rational. Just about everyone uses reason to arrive at their beliefs and decisions. The differences emerge based on the facts they start from. Sure, religion demands some faith for SOME of the starting points, but reason often informs faith as well, just as faith informs reason.Not every Christian is a fundamentalist, you should know. Christians question the Bible all the time, including those who hold it to be inerrant (which is not every Christian), and they question what it really means, and sometimes, after new facts emerge, they conclude that their previous understanding of it needs some adjustment. Christians would probably argue that it’s not the Bible that has problems, but people’s understanding of what it says. Faith = I don’t know and can’t know all the facts, but based on what I do know, I accept this proposition. Everybody uses faith, just as everybody uses reason.

  • Brandywine

    Robert Jones, reason staple of western culture because of the Renaissance, and the Renaissance thinkers were inspired to create art to celebrate the beauty of God’s creation….. They used science to understand God’s creation….. heck… The most important invention(maybe) ever(the printing press) was created to mass produce God’s word….. So, had it not been for religion or “belief” as Richard said, and specifically Christianity, we wouldn’t even be talking about reason today….. So, I’m glad most of you weren’t around in the dark ages….. We’d still be there if Christianty hadn’t inspired science and art the way it did, and Christianity wouldn’t have been there had God not inspired all those writers who composed the Bible…..

  • Johnathan

    I do agree with Mrs. Graham’s article about the way that women have been treated throughout the ages. I believe that women have been treated badly simply because of their sex. Like a lot of things, people have simply taken certain Scripture and made it what they want it to be. I also believe that you can’t ignore the fact the man is the head of woman. We are all equal in the site of God but we are not equal in position. Just as there are managers and workers there is man and woman. Both positions are important to completing a job but there must be a leader. Woman can never be the head of man. She is not a slave or less of a person, but there is an order to all things. Just as the order is God, Jesus, Man there is an order here on earth. This is not the order that God has placed and to ignore this order is to ignore the commands of the Lord.

  • KAR

    Yes, please remember to separate Old Testament from New Testament. Too many so-called “Christians” spew OT hatred to justify their actions. Remember who said “turn the other cheek”? Or, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”? Not many “Christians” actually have the guts to practice those ideas. By the way, Paul of Tarsus was a mysogynistic anti-Semitic before his onset of seizures, and stayed an anti-Semitic misogynist afterward, completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus. And why are so many posters attacking her looks? Do you attack male commentator’s looks, or is this yet another instance of the double standard?

  • Robert Jones

    Brandywine,You seem to be ignoring the massive contributions of the rest of the (non-Christian) world. Some quick examples: Muslims invented algebra and the astrolabe, China invented paper and gunpowder, India invented the mathematical concept of zero and made significant contributions to astronomy. These discoveries, using “reason”, were made many centuries before the Renaissance and had nothing to do with Christianity. It’s ironic that you talk about Christianity leading western culture out of the dark ages when there’s a current movement in evangelical circles to put us back into the dark ages today.

  • Solange

    For Plunge, regarding: “The Bible IS crystal clear on all sorts of special restrictions and limitations for women, including ritual uncleanliness for most of their adult lives.”Menstruation is mother nature’s way of renewing women’s bodies, so they may continue to pick and choose sexual partners according to their own needs, rather than a set fertility cycle. It is the detritus from contact with males which is being “cleansed” each month.Thus, it’s all about perspective…when religion is written by males, it reflects to their advantage. Bruce Haupt notes in a prior post that bodily functions distinguish the sexes, and extrapolates an “equality” disparity (to the male advantage, naturally).Male-derived religions often point to bodily functions, particularly menstruation, or their socioeconomic implications (like childrearing) to justify encoding gender disparities.We know, of course, today, that chromosonally speaking, males constitute a sort of “incomplete” female genetic profile. But the major world religions were born in economic conditions which favored those who do not care for children. This is from whence ideologies like the previous post:”CLEARLY, in a FAMILY situation, the man is the head of the family and a woman-s function is ADVISORY in nature;”Islam, etc. flow.Pointing out that women are not assigned a spouse in traditional Christian scripture, Haupt affirms his modern day anxiety over that most important center of male existance — the overriding concern that forms the foundation of all male-created religions: sexual advantage and access.As we know from all the major religions, male access to sex trumps the care of children and other community members, women of course, and the environment…all fall vicitim to the pursuit of the all encompassing male need for special attention.That’s why women will simply have to, and indeed globally are, rejecting male-derived “religious” ideologies, to achieve “equality;” reject “family” oriented plans that retard female spirituality and destroy our environment; and care for our children and community.

  • Joseph Bayly

    “And one day, He will welcome into His heavenly home every woman who has claimed Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord. And the equality, respect, and status she has longed for will be hers. Forever. “What equality is desired? What status is longed for? Our desire as men and women is to be out from under authority. We make our own decisions and nobody has any right to tell us no. This is not new. Adam and Eve also had this desire for equality with God, and so they ate the forbidden fruit. They did not receive equality with God. They did not receive the status of independence that they desired. Their desire to be out from under God’s authority caused their ultimate separation from Him and His paradise.In Heaven as well as on earth, God the Father rules for all eternity. Contrary to what Anne Graham Lottz says, at that time we will learn the truth of God’s fatherhood, and no man or woman will claim equality with the ruler of the universe. Nobody will be thinking about how much respect they deserve.For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” – Romans 14:11…at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth – Php 2:10If we proceed in our rebellion against God, we too will be separated from him as Adam and Eve were. Let this be a warning to those who fight against God’s authority.“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.” Proverbs 1:22-33, NAS95.“He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” Psalms 2:4-12, NAS95.

  • Holly

    The bible is nothing more than a sounding board for the those who read and interpret at the time. Historical.Women being overlooked or misrepresented says more about our historical view of women (and men) and it says more about humanity than the bible. Women need to regain our place in history and never allow men to banish our historiacl contributions to the last page. Women are more spiritual by nature. We see the unseen. Often we see the obvious. Not better than men, just different. It is this difference that is the basis for some much of our opression–it makes men nervous. It is easier to burn women than listen and respect their views. After all you can only be in power if someone else is under you. Modern society has a chance to re-tell biblical history. Celebrate the heroins of the bible. View these women for their strengths at a time when women had no power. We should explore the women who make these stories timeless. Perhaps looking to those who compiled the bible and rethink what gospels we not included. Add to the bible and allow women to tell their story.

  • Gerry

    To sick DudeYou write:This is a pretty ridiculous statement which suggests that you need belief in a religion to behave like a dignified, self-respecting human being. I, an atheist, claim to behave certainly as ethical as you with your belief, and as long as you cannot disprove this, you might as well accept it! Your allegation implies another sad observation: If you need religion to behave, you behave out of fear of punishment or at least out of hope for reward. If a non-religious person “behaves”, he simply thinks it is better IN ITSELF and besides much more intelligent. This applies, of course, also to the respect for women: I don’t need any threat, reward, story or myth to regard a women as completely equally valuable as myself.This discussion has been fought ad nauseam, and nobody who takes a look at the facts denies it anymore. Non-religious societies or parts of a mixed society like the US statistically have hugely smaller portions of crime as compared to the religious. This may not be a causal connection, but if your allegation were watertight it should certainly be the opposite.Unfortunately, as you stated so clearly, reason is only a tool. A tool for what? To concoct fairy tales with a certain inner contiguity but without any connection to physical, scientific, perceptual and social reality.

  • Gerry

    To Jeff:Your core statement:”The differences emerge based on the facts they start from.”True: Once you start out from a deceptive assumption, all the consequences necessarily will be deceptive, no matter how “reasonably” they are deducted. The old silly question, how many angels can sit on the point of a needle, is completely “reasonable” in this context.Then: “Everybody uses faith, just as everybody uses reason.”Who do you think is “everybody”? Not me, at least.

  • Marcella

    People who say the Bible is a historical document and not inspired of God have never really read it. It is divine and timeless. I agree with the message of women being equal. History shows the oppression of women because of the law. Christ fullfilled the law and made it possible to have equality with others in God’s eyes if we just believe. Man does what man wants but God reigns supreme. Psalm 118:8 says,”It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” I don’t know about any of you but I don’t care a bit about what “people” say but what God says in his word. I am not talking about religion, but about being a believer in Christ.

  • Jeff

    GerryI think everybody is everybody, including you. Do you ever trust another person? I’m sure you employ your reason when you do, but you can’t get around faith. You can argue against it all you want, but unless you’re omniscient, you use faith in your day to day life. Obviously, you probably modify your faith, using your reasoning capacity, as your knowledge increases. But, without some use of faith, we’d never get anything accomplished. There is such a thing as faith informed by reason. Take care,

  • One Sick Dude

    To Gerry: “Bucko” was to fight smugness with smugness. What I wrote wasn’t a claim that you need religion to behave like a dignified, self-respecting human being. I only said you base your ethics on belief. You have to believe something about what a dignified, self-respecting human being is. You have to believe that one value usurps another. Ethics arise from belief, not necessarily religious belief. You prove the point when you say: “If a non-religious person “behaves”, he simply thinks it is better IN ITSELF and besides much more intelligent.”You say, “he simply thinks it is better.” Bingo: that’s BELIEF.There are no real absolute proofs for ethics. You can point to people getting along better and such, but what about the person who has priorities other than people getting along? What about the power monger whose precise objective is to set one group against another? Oh, is that unethical? Who says? And then, what’s with the red herring about crime statistics? Where are the “non-religious societies” you’re talking about? Sweden? Canada? You undermine your own point by saying that there might not be a causal connection between religion and crime. Maybe you should be focused instead on the causal connection between poverty and crime, because I have a hunch that many of the “religious” countries you’d mention would also be poor countries. And before you say that their religiousness is connected to their poverty, think carefully about all the geopolitical realities that are mostly to blame. You say: “I don’t need any threat, reward, story or myth to regard a women as completely equally valuable as myself.”Good for you. But guess what. That’s no more rational than believing women are unequal, just because.

  • ngordon

    Jeff….

  • Courtney

    Jeff- Yes, one might agree that people use faith every day, but how does that validate the Christian faith?? The stretch from the everyday type of faith you tried to describe to the christian faith is huge and they are hardly related. Just because it may be natural to use “faith” does not mean it is sensible to believe in an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do and will send you to Hell to burn for eternity if you don’t bow down to him, even though apparently He’ll still love you while He watches you burn!! Arguing that faith is a natural human tool does NOT justify a faith in an archaic mythology.

  • Courtney

    Jeff- What does the everyday faith you mention, which is a stretch, have to do with a faith in an archaic mythology? You seem to imply that because faith may be used by humans, a Christian faith is logical justified. There is actually no connect at all. Humans using faith does not logically lead to humans being justified in believing that an invisible man in the sky watches their every move and will forever let them burn in Hell if they mess up their short time on Earth by not worshipping Him. But oh, remember that this guy loves you, even while He watcehs you burn!!

  • Jeff

    Courney:You say: “Just because it may be natural to use “faith” does not mean it is sensible to believe in an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do and will send you to Hell to burn for eternity if you don’t bow down to him, even though apparently He’ll still love you while He watches you burn!!”Then you repeat essentially the same thing in your subsequent post. Christianity knows nothing of an invisible man in the sky. It teaches nothing about this invisible man watching people’s every move waiting for them to mess up so they can be sent to hell to burn. Christianity teaches good news of an infinitely merciful God (not a male, by the way) who surrounds us like the air and who pours out his mercy not only on humanity that hates him, but on the whole of his creation, which he loves beyond description. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is this God, who stepped out from transcendence and into his creation to make his creation holy, coming in the flesh to make himself known to people, to demonstrate his love to the point of death, and in this way to destroy the power of death, corruption sin that has been the curse of humankind since it rejected God in the first place. Christianity teaches a loving God, not a menacing God, regardless of whatever those stern bible thumpers you’ve surely encountered in the past want you to think. And what’s more, Christianity teaches that to anybody who asks Jesus for mercy, God will grant mercy and will also send own Spirit to dwell in that believer. On this level, faith is trust that becomes more than assent or belief. It becomes experience. It’s all hogwash, you say? Fine. You’re free to reject it and even to rail against it. Christianity would teach that God will deal with you mercifully anyway, because he is merciful at all times. All the talk about wrath and hell? Sure, it’s a Christian teaching that some Christians love to brandish around, but no Christian can claim any revelation that tells him or her who is going to hell, and every Christian holds that God’s wrath was aimed at him or her but was transferred instead to Jesus. The Gospel teaches God’s mercy toward those who scorn him. The fact that some Christians are unmerciful doesn’t alter the good news that God is merciful, according to Christian teaching. Christianity is not an “archaic mythology.” It is actually quite current, which is why we’re discussing it today in a journalistic forum rather than in a university classics department. It is ostensibly believed in one form or another by more than a sixth of the world’s living population. This in itself is not a proof of its truth, only a refutation of the notion that it’s “archaic.” Naysayers against anything always seem to think they’ve dealt a death blow to the thing they hate because they dub it “archaic,” “outdated,” “obsolete,” “so 12th-century,” or whatever. Really, they deal with nothing of substance in this manner. They’re just nonarguments.Sure, “everyday” faith and “Christian” faith have differences. Christian faith is a bigger leap that can alter much of how you live. But little faith and big faith are based on the same principle, which I described earlier, and neither is necessarily devoid of reason. You tried to argue that there can be no reason in religion, and you said it in absolute terms. I said that there is reason in religion. There have always been religious intellectuals (in every religion) who employ reason all the time. Reason is not proof of anything. Reason is method, consistency, connection and criticism in thought. If you conclude that every Christian is some kind of unreasoning idiot just because he or she believes something you find to be unbelievable: well, that’s just not very reasonable, either. Certainly, at a very basic level of religion, such as when dealing with the question of whether God exists or whether this God has communicated to people, faith is the bottom line. But even here, reason can be employed to support faith. As somebody else commented to me earlier, the reasoning falls apart if the foundational proposition taken on faith is groundless. That’s true. But this doesn’t negate the quality of the reasoning itself, nor does it make the believer unreasonable. The very basic question is whether a God or something similar exists. Any answer you give to this question is an answer based on faith. Certainly, the athiest can say that because God can’t be seen, the burden of proof rests with the believers who claim that this God is there. This can be a potent conversation stopper, but it really doesn’t solve the matter. The fact is that, at this point, there is no empirical proof one way or the other, so any answer is taken on faith. You believe or you disbelieve or you say you don’t know (which is the fact of disbelief with a willingness to believe). Saying that God is “made up” or that a religion is a fairy tale doesn’t really do anything to change this, because it begs the question: “How do you know?” The answer is, you don’t. OK, I’ve rambled too much. Respond as you like. I’ll read it, but I probably will bow out of the conversation after that. Peace

  • bd

    Jeff, Thank you for YOUR opinion. But why should it be given any more weight than the “bible thumpers” or these believers:”All the talk about wrath and hell? Sure, it’s a Christian teaching that some Christians love to brandish around..” ?

  • Spencer

    After reading all the posts, I’m inclined to think that blogging or posting a healthy religious argument is impossible. When debates such as these are held you really need to be able to look each other in the eye, because I cannot believe it possible to say such vile things to another human being while personally sharing in a common place and time.Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s commanded that Christians should keep proclaiming the Truth, but there may be inappropriate forums in which to get argumentative about it.Jesus said in Matthew 7:6, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (NASB)I believe the activity on this message board is a testimony to the accuracy of that verse.I believe if Christ be lifted up He will draw all people unto himself, as the scripture proclaims. However, the Holy Spirit must be involved, and people must seek Him with a willing heart. Christians will never drag unbelievers kicking and screaming to salvation.”For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

  • WG

    To BD:You ask why Jeff’s opinion should be given more weight to those of the judgmental Bible thumpers. One reason is that it more resembles what Jesus actually said. When you read Jesus’ words, they are harsh at times, but they’re always tempered with gentleness and forgiveness. When trying to determine what a religion really teaches as opposed to what some of its more extreme or demagogical elements believe, it’s better to listen to the voices that are gentler, more articulate, more learned and more understanding of humanity’s foibles and struggles. It’s better to listen to those people who sound like you might actually enjoy engaging them in conversation. This isn’t foolproof, but it is better and more pleasant than listening only to the people who, in what is perhaps a deficit of understanding, seem mainly to want to regulate the lives of others. This applies to Christianity, and it also applies to other religions, especially, in our time and situation, Islam.

  • bd

    Thank you WG. That all assumes you are “reading it right”. There is obviously a lot of problems in that area when it comes to holy books.

  • bd

    wg, I just saw a post from Timmy, Posted January 20, 2007 5:14 PM,

  • MyHoboSoul

    In response to anonymous, who asked why if woman was created from man is she not equal to him?

  • WG

    To BD:Yes, “reading it right” is sometimes a problem with holy books. Sometimes, reading is made to be more complicated than it needs to be. Most passages are fairly straightforward, and difficult passages can be understood by appealing to other passages. With the Bible, talk about God’s wrath is necessary if a message of mercy is to have any meaning. God commanded or allowed a lot of people to be killed brutally in the Old Testament, but then Jesus empties hell in the New Testament. Who knows exactly what that means? I take it as evidence of a God who makes all things right. You might take it as evidence of a schizophrenic God. You can take it however you like. One thing about a holy book is that it’s susceptible to a lot of wacky readings, but, a knowledgeable reader can usually refute those same wacky readings by balancing them with other passages. This, of course, is quite meaningless to somebody who doesn’t believe the holy book to begin with. Christians through history have already provided many valid responses to many of the oddest readings of the Bible. But, there’s no stopping people from holding on to whatever they want to hold on to. I read Timmy’s comment, though I didn’t read much that came before it. I understand his point, but his example is just absurd. What am I supposed to say to that? I’m not a Mansonite!I’ve been reading the Coran the past few months. It’s not easy reading for someone with no prior knowledge of the book or its interpretations. But I can tell you one thing, at face value, the book doesn’t say the things that the Taliban says that it says. These books need to be understood in their wholeness if their parts are to be understood.Take care

  • Tom Fox

    Women were objects of scorn until Jesus came? What about the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:25-30 and Matthew 15:21-28? Jesus called her a dog after she pleaded whith him to help her daughter. How did that honor women?

  • WJ

    Tom Fox:It honored her because it challenged her faith, and her response was faithful. As you probably noticed, Jesus praised her faith and granted her request. The reference to dogs had nothing to do with her being a woman, but had to do with her being a Gentile. It was a metaphor, not an insult. It was also a quoted proverb.

  • WJ

    Tom:Also, think about the fact that he was even talking to this woman, which was not the common practice of the day.

  • Lester

    I like my dog. If somebody called me a dog, I’d be happy.

  • stephen

    Please tell me about the marriage process of Christianity whether a person whose wife is died can he marry again? tell me detail portrait of marriage in Christianity

  • Anonymous

    Equality of worth, of course, does not equal identical vocations, about which the Bible is also crystal clear.

  • michael

    I would like to ask from where does this “reason” over just plain belief come from? How does one account for “reason” in the first place?Consistency people, consistency…..

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  • Dolores Lear

    This is a High Tech Science translation of the Bible. Since we have returned to High Tech Science knowledge, it can explain the mysteries of the Christian Bible.e The supernatural creation of Life on Earth was done by High Tech Colonization. The Man Gods and Angels were our High Tech Ancestors that Colonized Earth. Today we know a planet can be colonized.The God that talked to Adam and Eve was our High Tech Ancestors. They also reproduce by High Tech Science in a High Tech Science Womb. High Tech Science is ‘super’natural. Today we know we can reproduce without the sex act, by joining the seed in a dish in the lab and inserting it into the female. As the Bible records, God created the male supernaturally, and then made the female from the male’s rib, by the Higher Nature of reproduction in a High Tech Womb. Today we call this Cloning. Adam and Eve were Equal Pure-bred male/female clones. They were Soul Mates, or each others better ‘half’. Today people are looking for their other ‘half’ in the sex act or in marriage. There is no other ‘half’ in Heterosexual Mis-bred Body Birth of a male and female. The genetics are different, and not compatible. We know this by all the different sex partners looking for love, and the divorce rate.When Adam and Eve Sinned, they reproduced Genetically Mis-bred Cain, the first killer because of defective genetics. And all people since have been born in Original Sin. With Body Birth, all are made a little lower than God, our High Tech Science Pure-bred Ancestors. Our HTA did make a High Tech Science Colony. Adam and Eve were not the only two people on Earth. Cain did go out and marry and start another city.Once the people our HTA made ‘fell’ to the lower ‘nature’ of Body Birth, they had to go through the fullness of Time to understand what Mis-bred Body Birth does to their Home planet.Our HTA also set up a Balanced Eco System, and Fallen Man has almost ruin their Home. Our air is polluted, pollution is piled up, the nuclear waste is on land and buried in the ocean. Fallen Man has made nuclear bombs with their Mis-used High Tech Science for Evil instead of for Good, that are all over our land and sea. We are all set up for the Last Days ‘Arm’ageddon.The Curse to the male and female is in the Bible, and the female was to be subjected to the male and have the child in pain. The male had to work by the sweat of his brow to support the female and the child. The second record of the male and the female, to replenish the planet, was written after the Fall of Man, but the Creation of the male and female clone was not supposed to reproduce by Body.The Fullness of Time is here and in the last Days, all the mysteries of the Bible will be revealed. It is, when we translate it with the High Tech Science knowledge.My web site covers this in the Creation and the Fall sections.

  • Dolores Lear

    Is it Time for Jesus and God to return to Earth to see what we have done to their perfect creation in the beginning?Earth is a spaceship, with all the resources aboard and Humans are the Crew. Have we kept a clean environment for Life as we know it?What about all our filthy pollution, our trash dumps, oil spills on land and sea? What about all our nuclear bombs on land and sea?Is it time to start cleaning house for Jesus’ and Gods return? What will the Judgement Day be about? Who we believe in, or how we took Care of their Creation?Is it time to clean up our Home before Jesus and God return?Peace.

  • Kathryn

    Right on, Anne! I remember when Franklin Graham was chosen as his father’s successor. Is it possible that God may have chosen Anne as her father’s successor instead? Being made in the image of God refers to a spiritual state, not a physical one.

  • Kathryn

    When Jesus said “Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it”, He was not belittling motherhood, but He was calling that woman-and all women-to a higher way of life. He commended Mary, the sister of Martha, for sitting at His feet rather than staying in the kitchen where others believed she belonged as a woman. Jesus may not have had female disciples among the Twelve-this was after all the old Abrahamic Covenant yet-but on Resurrection Day it was out with the old covenant and in with the new! His appearance to Mary Magdalene and the other women first of all signals a new day, and a new Testament, or Covenant. The Apostle Paul had to deal with cultural realities concerning women and slaves, but he commended Phoebe, a deacon (“diakonos”), and women who prayed and prophesied in I Corinthians 11. Paul is often misunderstood by those who wish to restrict women. Galatians 3:28 has been described as the Magna Carta of Christianity. Preach on, Anne. God is with you.

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  • Josie

    About Gillette’s God of the Women hymn, we sang that in church recently and its propaganda angered me. The lyrics are about women, not God. I don’t want to sing in worship about women and what they’ve done for us, I’d like to sing about God. Furthermore, the line “forgotten, left out of stories” – left out of stories in the Bible??? Does that mean the Bible isn’t complete? Did the Holy Spirit forget something when it was bringing this info to the rememberance of the people whose hand put down the words??? Or left out of “other” stories? If so, that’s irrelevant in a church worship service.

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  • goblin

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  • goblin

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  • immanuel

    What a timely, truthful and very important article!!