Yes, I have finally returned from Emory and the Youth Theological Initiative. Thanks to all of you that mailed me. Your cards and letters made my days!!
I wasn't planning on blogging again until August, when I'll recap YTI and that sort of thing. But, there was something that was brought to my attention that I wanted to share with ya'll.
There's an article (Article: "Are Churches Too Feminized for Men?") on the UMC.org home page that bothers me in many ways. I wondered if I was alone in that in the metho-blogosphere? So I thought I'd post.
This article bothers me o na number of levels:
1. We in the UMC just celebrated ( in May and June ) the 50th anniversary year of Clergy Rights for Women. Big hoorahs were made, articles were published and Annual Conference themes were set with this focus in mind. Why merely 2 months later is this article, which clearly goes against the gender ideals set forth in our Social Principles, published??
". . .that every effort be made to eliminate sex-role stereotypes in activity and portrayal of family life and in all aspects of voluntary and compensatory participation in the Church and society" (BoD pgph. 161, 162f)
2. A concern is raised in this article, that churches with female clergy in charge need "teams of men and women in worship" so that men can relate. What does that say about how the church is socializing men, if they can't handle a female leader? This was never a concern when churches were led primarily by men.
Imagine an article in 1903 entitled "Are churches becoming too masculinized?"
3. The stereotypes employed, describing femininity and masculinity. The relational aspects of church are, in this article, decidedly "female". And, therefore femininity is seen as a negative and detracting in regards to church membership. The masculine alternative which appears to be set forth in these articles is "strong" "powerful", and therefore positive.
Honestly, I could find many more problems with this article, and probably will. I'm planning on thinking this through again and re-publishing. But I thought I'd go ahead and get this out there. . .
What do you think?