The Southern Baptists have been ousting all their female pastors. It’s been a long-standing policy in the Southern Baptist Church, which is the largest protestant denomination in the US, that women cannot be leaders, but some churches, including a few powerful and prominent ones, have bucked the teaching. But this year, presumably in response to recent culture wars over gender and gender roles, there has been a crackdown, and the organization voted to expel some churches that hadn’t been following these guidelines.
I haven’t been following this news closely. I don’t think I know any Southern Baptists, except on Twitter and such. But I have been hearing snippets of their genuine struggle, and it’s gut-wrenching to hear people make arguments that boil down to: God says women cannot teach men, and God says women cannot be in authority over men, and God says women need to understand their place.
I thought to myself, “These poor women. They should get the heck out of that church and come be with us Catholics.”
And then I realized, “Oh, that’s what most people think Catholics are like.” They see the all-male priesthood and think that we also teach and believe that women can’t be priests because they need to be subservient to men; that they need to learn from men, and not teach; that they need to cede all power to men; and that all men are born leaders and all women are born followers. They think women can’t be priests because men are more like God than women are…Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.
Image: baptism in Järfälla via Pxfuel