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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oh, Paul, just HUSH

I freely admit I have never liked the apostle Paul on a personal level, especially due to his remarks in Col. regards women being submissive to their husbands.  Now, I'm not one to say that Christianity gives a bad deal to women overall, far from it.  I think it in general gives women the BEST deal.  But Paul doesn't seem to take into account human nature.  Too many men WILL lord it over their wives with his remark. "See, it's in the bible."    I think that whole passage in particular made me inclinded NOT to want to be married.   50% personal inclination, and 50% confirmation with this particular "caveat emptor."  Yes, sometimes the man is right.  [I think Torvald in A Doll's House, for instance got a bum rap and the protagonist, was frankly, an airhead.  Matter of fact, Torvald respected women who DID have it together, as evidenced by how he treated the Karen character.]  

But I've seen too many men who seem to expect fealty for no other reason for his presumed superiority by virtue of his XY chromosomes.  I've seen too many men who think they "own" their women.  The Sunday after Christmas was ruined for a long time for me by insisting on reading this passage.  It is now optional, and there is the further option of a reading from Hebrews.  Hell will have frozen over before we get the Hebrews reading though by whomever puts together those dumb missalettes.

Somewhere around I've got a rather funny essay by Aloise Buckley Heath, WFB, Jr.'s sister, wherein she ends up wishing peace on earth and good will to everyone but St. Paul.   It struck a chord with me in my teenage years and resonates with me now.  I was saving it for New Year's Eve, but I may put some of it up a bit of it later. Just.  Because.  [Aloise was happily married with 10 children, but still thought Paul was the Pits.]

And Aloise wrote this long before anyone heard of the NOW gang.


Kelly said...

Hi Karen. I think you hit the nail on the head with your remark about human nature and that some men will lord it over their wives using scripture to justify behavior that has no defense. Under the right circumstances this model for marriage is not an issue but it takes mature, wise, and compassionate husbands and wives and the Grace of God for it to work well. Thanks for the entertaining and informative blog!

gemoftheocean said...

Hi Kelly, thanks for stopping by. BTW, I think a few males might not have liked Paul on that personal level either. Especially when he told two grown men to get themselves circumcised so they could go preach in the temple. I mean, it's not like he could have gone himself or found a few other converted Jews....

maris said...

After reading Ephesians 5:25, I always thought we got the better end of the deal.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Sub-mission-under mission, I think that the English text is so often misued...I'll give more of an exegesis later.

gemoftheocean said...

Joe, that is said by someone who though no intrinsic virtue of his own automatically gets to be the lead sled dog, regardless of competence on a given issue, and frankly, if you're always behind the lead sled dog, the view is always the same. I don't want to be the one with that particular view 100% of the time. Thanks, but no thanks!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Perhaps the most overused verse in the Bible (Besides for 1 Cor 13, 4-8) is Eph 5, 21-25....A lot of people think that St. Paul is pro male dominance in society, when in reality this is not the case.

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, his body and is himself its Savior. As the Church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject to everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her."

As we know from theology, the Church is female. (hence it would not make sense for the Church to ordain females as they would be promoting homosexual relations (all be it in a weird manner)) Thus making the male in the person of Christ. (physically, as Christ was a Male).

That leads us to the question what does it mean to be subject to one another?

A lot of people think that this means do whatever he tells you. Well, this does not mean that at all. I mean c'mon now if he tells you to cheat on him, you should never do such a thing. If he does anything to lead you to hell, you should not do that either.

In 1 Cor 7, 16 it says "Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?"

You should be concerned for the salvation of one another. Okay, back to the topic that I was talking about.

We need only look to the example of Christ to see what is meant by being subject to someone. In the Gospel according to St. Matthew 20, 28 "so the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many" In other words submission means to be of service to one another. To help one another, we see this in St. John's Gospel 13 at the washing of the feet. We learn the ultimate example of humility. Which is why the Pope goes by servant of the servants of God. This mentality is also taken as the one who is last shall be first. Submission means to be of service. I can't emphasize this enough. So please, stop mis-using this verse and understand it correctly, for what it is. To be of service to one another. To be like the 1st couple before original sin. To love as Christ loved us.

This is more of what I meant to say, it was early in the morning, and my brain wasn't working, hahaha.

gemoftheocean said...

"As we know from theology, the Church is female. (hence it would not make sense for the Church to ordain females as they would be promoting homosexual relations "

Don't buy this bit about the Church being "female." It's a total non starter statement for me.

Bad logic.

If it's all about "Service" then the "he" in the marriage can shoot "odds/evens" like a civilized person instead of demanding the wife "service" his needs, wants and desires 100% of the time when there's a bone of contention. [To hear the church tell it!]

The pope in theory IS the servant of the servants of God. But boy, if some parish illustrates this "service" idea by having the priest wash a woman's foot to illustrate service to ALL the church, certain other people get vapors to such a state Miss PittyPat Hamilton of Gone with the Wind fame would look quite sane.

More on this later, but St. Paul handles the delicate sensibilites of the male animal by appealing to HIS vanity...essentially "your wife is like your own flesh, so be GOOD TO YOURSELF." Meanwhile, hubby is bound and determined to have the uglyassed green couch and everyone will suffer looking at this eyesore for years.... and if hubby blows 20grand in junk bonds because "by God I'm the man of the house and you're supposed to shut up about it" wifey is just supposed to sit there in silence, because by God he has dingleberries between his legs. Paul can go chase himself on this one as far as I'm concerned!

I even find it interesting that in Canon law, if a Catholic couple is of different Rites, and there is contention of how to raise the children, then practising or not what the man says goes...because God knows MOST children learn religion at their daddy's knee and not their mother's. [Yeah, right.]
I guess it's too much for the church to inquire as to who is the more practising Catholic, etc....

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