When Abby Kelley, a 19th-century abolitionist, expressed a
desire to address the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society, this is how a
local minister argued against her right to do so:
No woman will speak or vote where I am moderator. It is
enough for a woman to rule at home… she has no business to come into
this meeting and by speaking and voting lord it over men. Where woman’s
enticing eloquence is heard, men are incapable of right and efficient
action. She beguiles and binds men by her smiles and her bland winning
voice… I will not sit in a meeting where the sorcery of a woman’s tongue
is thrown around my heart. I will not submit to PETTICOAT GOVERNMENT.
No woman shall ever lord it over me. I am Major-Domo in my own house.
It’s not, of course, the only way. Monasteries meet daily, while the
Old Testament festival pattern suggests three times a year. (Deuteronomy
16:15-16: “For seven days celebrate … Three times a year you must
John F. Kennedy's famous
Houston speech on church and state during
the 1960 presidential campaign elicited Rick Santorum's after-the-fact disgust. Though Santorum
misrepresents the speech in some ways--Kennedy didn't say anything about
limiting religious institutions and leaders from speaking on public issues--he
is right to find the speech theologically lame.
My wife and I have been joking with our neighbors lately about TV ads that a
Super PAC supporting their cat, Kobie, might run against our cat, Owl.
Now Scott Simon's reporting on an ad someone actually made.
has a way with a sneer. Nineteen times in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul mentions
wisdom, and each time we hear a growing sneer in his voice, until he nominates
Christ as the wisdom of God. The word "wisdom" is distasteful to him because it
is wooing the Corinthians to pursue a dead wisdom when they might turn to a
wisdom he calls the "source of life"--and come alive.
Paul writes that Christ is the wisdom of God, he's tapping into an ancient way
of speaking about God. He's drilling down into proverbs, where wisdom plays the
part of the creative spirit of God. Wisdom is begotten of God, the firstborn of
all creation, the very spirit alive in Creation, a feminine expression of God.
This isn't just some hocus pocus
stuff from the Old Testament, either. The New Testament writers are so
influenced by this thinking that they pay homage to Lady Wisdom everywhere.