Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —


July 21, 2009

President Carter Leaves the SBC over Equality for Women

Category: All Posts,women – Rose – 9:40 am

I saw this on Eugene’s blog this morning. After 60 years President Carter is leaving the SBC. Here is his statement:

What do you think?

It’s important to note that President Carter writes in the larger context of the injustice against women in the global world including his “interpretation” of the larger segments of Western Christianity including the SBC.

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices – as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy – and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place – and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence – than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

July 20, 2009

Testing – Blogging Again

Category: All Posts – Rose – 10:41 am

This is my third post of the morning. Lost the first two. Testing….

April 6, 2009

Lenten and Easter Guides

Category: All Posts – Rose – 9:19 am

If you are like me, I am always looking for good resources to follow the church calendar and bring an awareness to our congregation how to journey together through our Story. Christine Sine has put together some amazing resources that you can find here

I hope your journey through this week of the Passion of Jesus results in great joy on Sunday!

March 28, 2009

Life is Full, Full, Full

Category: All Posts – Rose – 12:55 pm

I barely have time to reflect long enough to write any kind of meaningful post. Life is very full right now. Full of really good stuff. I leave on Monday morning to spend five days on beautiful Whidbey Island. The first two days with two women to begin planning a Northwest Region Women’s Conference for 2010. Then on Wednesday morning David Ruis and 15 songwriters come over for a two-day retreat. I am going to cook for them and just be a fly on the wall as creativity abounds. I come home on Friday just in time for the Missionality and Kingdom training that we will be hosting through Saturday. Then Saturday night David will lead us in worship with music and arts and then it will be Sunday again….whew!!

I am hoping to spend time on Whidbey writing for my dissertation. My dissertation project has been accepted and it is in the works.

In the meantime, Alex started baseball season so there is either a practice or a game every day – so fun to watch only we need the weather to figure out it is spring – it’s cold out there!

That’s if for now..

March 14, 2009

Go Add Your Comments

Category: All Posts,Questions about the Journey – Rose – 1:16 pm

Grace has posted thoughts I have had the last few weeks in her post “Absurdity Abounds” here

March 13, 2009

Two Links

Category: All Posts,Questions about the Journey – Rose – 10:22 am

I have not had much time to blog lately and I still don’t. A couple of things caught my attention this last week. First this article by internet monk.

The second this video from Rick Joyner.

What are your thoughts on one or the other or both?

February 11, 2009

I Need Help

Category: All Posts – Rose – 4:08 pm

Hi everyone,
I am in the process of beginning my dissertation. I need help doing a blind survey. If you would let all your friends ages 17-35 know about this I would be most grateful. I need them to visit my blog and either in the comments or by email to office@vineyard-cc.org and answer the following questions. Again, I need you to be 17-35 years old. All answers will be anonymous. I will use as research for my project and will own the rights to print them (anonymously) in other media. I am trying to reach 200-250 responses.

Again, please let as many as your friends know about this survey. Log into my blog and either answer the questions below in the comments or copy and paste the survey with answers into an email and send them to office@vineyard-cc.org

Survey

1. How old are you?

2. What gender?

3. Do you ascribe to any religion?

4. If yes, which one? Please describe if you are an active participant in your religion and what that looks like for you.

5. If no, please answer the following:

a. If you were going to investigate spirituality which brand of faith would you be interested in learning more about?

b. Why?

c. If you were going to join a spiritual community, what would you like the gatherings to be like, i.e., a church service, a small group meeting that has discussion, spiritual practices, would there be singing or music involved? Could you describe what kind of gathering you would find interesting and how often you would want to meet? Please try to describe in detail all of the different elements you would like included in a gathering of people exploring faith and spirituality together.

February 3, 2009

Ted Haggard

Category: All Posts – Rose – 7:05 pm

I didn’t see Ted Haggard on Oprah or Nightline or Larry King. My first thought when I heard he had been on these shows is that it seemed too soon for him to be in public. It seemed too soon from the standpoint of recovery. These kinds of situations usually take years of healing before a person is ready to go public. A couple of good posts are here and here.

January 16, 2009

Doubt

Category: All Posts,Questions about the Journey – Rose – 9:11 am

I went to see Doubt last week and thought it was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Maybe it’s because I was raised Catholic and went through twelve years of Catholic school in the same era the film is portraying. was in third grade at the time the movie is set in and so many of the issues in the movie which were very complex I found fascinating. What a powerful portrayal of the way a parish worked in the 60’s. Thanks to Alan Creech if you have seen it and want to interact with how to think about it you can visit a great blog that I have now bookmarked, A Nun’s Life where there is some great dialogue about the movie. If you have seen the movie I would love to know your thoughts.

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Category: Advent,All Posts – Rose – 2:29 pm

From the Celtic Daily Prayer Book

This night is the eve of the great nativity
when those who are longing await His appearing.

Wait, with a watchful heart.

Listen carefully, through the stillness;
listen, hear the telling of the waves upon the shore.

Listen, hear the song of the angels glorious–
e’re long it will be heard
that His foot has reached the earth:
news–that the glory is come!

Truly His salvation is near
for those who fear Him,
and His glory shall dwell in our land.

Watch and pray, the Lord shall come.
Those who are longing await His appearing.
Those who listen await His cry.

Watch…
Wait…
Listen…

This night is the long night.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Even so, Come Lord Jesus