Archive for May, 2003

Why aren’t Christians more sexist?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

Or to put it another way, why do we apply such double standards to Paul’s letters.

I have been recently reading through Paul’s letters [and suffering my traditional irritation as I think he is self-righteous and self-obsessed.]

I was unsurprisingly (yet again!) annoyed by his various diatribes on women. I think the gist of them are offensive to men and women of today’s society.

To take a case in point; see 1 Timothy 2:
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

My point however is not that Paul should just get over himself but rather that his various views on women do not seem to hold sway in today’s society and most interestingly in today’s Christian society.

Now I know the arguments why…Paul was a product of the time, you need to take the comments in context..bla,bla.

But this is where the double standards seem to come in. Many of Paul’s comments about women are followed by various qualifications of his right to make statements.

However women are not the only topic Paul makes pronouncements on to take an obvious example is his views on homosexuality. How come a large majority of Christians support Paul’s comments on some topics for example homosexuality but ignore the comments on women? Why are the other comments not contextualised to the point where they can also be side-stepped?

What is the rationale for taking such selective views of Paul’s letters?