Women Teaching

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by kaufmannphillips » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:08 pm

Homer wrote:
Perhaps you can tell how you see an analogy between the practice of slavery and the role of women in the church.

steve wrote:
This was directed to kaufmannphillips, but he declined to take up the challenge. Therefore, I would like to put the same challenge to anyone out there (if kaufmannphillips, cannot think of a sensible reply). In my opinion, kaufmannphillips was shrewd to dodge the challenge, since there can be no rational comparison of the plight of slaves in old times to the plight of women in the church at any times. So I throw the question to the public: Can anyone find any reason to appeal an analogy of the institution of slavery when evaluating the biblical teaching about women's roles?
Alas, Steve – you have known me for so long, and yet you have such little faith! :|

Or is it that you wish to goad me? ;)

Let’s rehearse the thread of engagement:

Danny wrote:
Here's an example of what I'm getting at...

Homer wrote:
Your example of the practice of slavery prior to the Civil War is a strawman and irrelevant to the question of the role of women in the church.

kaufmannphillips wrote:
Perhaps you would explain how the example of slavery is “a strawman” and “irrevelant to the question of the role of women in the church.”

Homer wrote:
Perhaps you can tell how you see an analogy between the practice of slavery and the role of women in the church.

kaufmannphillips wrote:
After some experience in dialogue with Christians, I should not be surprised to find an attempt to foist the heavy lifting in argumentation onto me. But you are the one who has made the claim here, and it is your responsibility to support it adequately. So my challenge to you, sir, is to step up your game or step off your claim!


Who, here, is “dodg[ing] the challenge"? Homer made a claim; I nudged him to explain it; he failed to do so; I challenged him (with some indelicacy); and as you may note, he still has failed to respond with an explanation.

But perhaps you are more tolerant of your peeps when they decline to take up a challenge, if they cannot think of a sensible reply.

As for me, O ye of little faith – if I am “shrewd” enough to “dodge the challenge,” mightn’t you imagine me to be shrewd enough not to swat at Homer’s assertion in the first place? Assuming that, in both cases, I was not able to “think of a sensible reply”?

Do not worry - I can manage a sensible reply to Homer’s challenge. Sensible - but not terribly ingenious. And probably something you could anticipate, if you were thinking in a suitable direction.

But I will wait a few days to kick it out here. I want to afford Homer more time to “step up.”
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"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
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steve
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by steve » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:24 pm

For Homer to say that there is no analogy between Atlantic slavery and the traditional role of women in the church needs no defense. It is as if one would say, "There is no analogy between stomping on cockroaches and asking the postal service to deliver a letter." The statement is self-evidently true, unless some point of valid comparison can be imagined and pointed out by a debate opponent. There is no burden of proof resting upon the one making the original (obviously true) statement. The burden of proof, in such a case, would be upon the one who wished to assert that such a counterintuitive analogy exists.

If one man were to say, "There is no analogy between the rise of President Obama and that of Adolph Hitler," and another man were to assert, "No there is a clear analogy"—while my sympathies might lie with the second man, my sense of fair play would require me to expect him to bear the burden of proof. That is, if he cannot show where the similarities lie, then the first man's statement must stand as tentatively valid.

The existence of an analogy (like the existence of condor-sized mosquitoes) is something that anyone may deny until evidence for its existence has been presented. The man who says that condor-sized mosquitoes do not exist does not have to prove his point, since the existence of said mosquitoes is poorly supported and is counterintuitive. If one wishes to convince others that condor-sized mosquitoes do exist, he has his work cut out for him. He may be able to prove his contention, but until he does, the nay-sayer stands in the stronger position, with or without bringing forward specific evidence for the universal negative he is asserting.

In order for Homer to defend his rational assertion, as you are asking him to do, he would have to list every aspect of the institution of slavery, as well as every fact about traditional womanhood, and go about to show that no aspect of one bore any analogous comparison to any aspect of the other. This would be an unfair burden to place upon a person who had simply made a self-evident statement.

On the other hand, if one wishes to assert that there is an analogous relationship between two institutions, it should be a simple enough matter for him/her to identify the respective characteristics of the two institutions in which he/she thinks an analogy exists.

It would, of course, be possible to point to the most meaningless of analogies (e.g., that all participants in slavery and all women are earth-dwellers), but such general similarities do not qualify as analogies for rhetorical purposes—and would justify Homer's use of the term "straw man" if someone were to seek to establish a point about either slavery or womanhood from such irrelevancies.

Since the only imaginable comparison of slavery to woman's traditional roles would be that, in both, a hierarchical relationship exists, then this "analogy" is far too inexact to be meaningful in a discussion of the merits of traditional roles. This is because every hierarchical relationship—including many to which no one could ever object—would bear precisely the same analogy to slavery (e.g., employer to employee; management to labor; congress to citizens; military officers to enlisted men; parents to children; teachers to students; sports coaches to players; etc. etc.).

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Homer
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by Homer » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:45 pm

Thank you Steve for your excellent and thoughtful reply.

The "strawman" issue to me is that Danny took the example of slavery, which he knew most people would find repugnant, and pretended an analogy to the role of women in the church. His argument went something like this:

1. Slavery in the history of the United States was evil.

2. "Christian" slaveowners quoted scripture to support their practice.

3. They claimed there were no scriptures forbidding the practice of slavery.

4. However the entire spirit of the New Testament points to equality.

5. This spirit of equality is not found in a proof text, but is found everywhere.

6. Reasoning allows one to see the bigger picture.

7. My position is analogous to that of slaveowners, therefore it ought to be obvious that I am wrong.

I deny there is any analogy between slavery and the role of women in the church, especially in light of the position both men and women have in the church as servants of the same Master. We just have different roles, as in all of life.

Danny was comparing slave owners who assumed a position and then asked for scriptures forbidding, or negating, their position, to the complementarian position regarding the role of women in the church. I am seeking the truth and correction if I am in error by asking for any scriptural statement(s) affirming a positon contrary to my past position, which appears to be plainly stated in the scriptures.

Egalitarianism is being promoted everywhere in secular life. We have seen a great push for equality in sports for young men and women, and it is the law. I was informed 15 to 20 years ago by a professional trainer who had been employed by a major university about his concern for the damage girls were doing to their bodies that he felt was caused by their natural body structure. More recently there was an article (New York Times, as I recall) telling of the far higher proportion of girls who were suffering major knee damage in sports, confirming what the trainer had long ago observed.

A Christian man I have known for many years was a trainer in the Los Angeles Police Department who retired several years ago because he was ordered to pass women candidates who failed the qualification tests. And I would ask for an honest answer: who would be equally satified if their life was threatened and in response to a call for help a woman officer showed up rather than a man?

My wife and I are not young, and a lifetime of observation has convinced both of us that men and women are generally different in non-physical characteristics, as the columnist William Raspberry observed. As my wife commented, men are more direct in dealing with people than women are, and it is easier to "read" their intentions. Women go about things in a more "round about" way generally speaking. Years ago a woman worked for me in an office position as a "Planner/Scheduler". It was my responsibility in her annual review to help her prepare for advancement. The department she was in was mostly all men with a few women in positions more or less like hers, and little opportunity for her to advance. Opportunity for her was in another department with mostly women and when I brought up possibilities of advancement for her she immediately informed me she had no interest in "working with all those women". She confirmed what I had heard of the difficulties there, difficulties not generally present in men who present different difficulties.

On the other hand it is easy to observe positive differences in women. They certainly seem to have more of a tender heart for those in trouble and obviously have a softer heart toward God (church attendance bears this out as Sister Silena observed so long ago). Men's weaknesses are often compensated for by the strengths of their wives and vice-versa. we can thank God we are different, in wisdom He made us so.

In sum, the egalitarian position seems to be counter-intuitive while the complementarian position seems to be both confirmed from the beginning in the scriptures, and in nature.

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glow
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by glow » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:34 am

homer,

in regards to your statement that woman get to play men now, I don't think you are really being condescending on your statement.But I did want to add, Because the world is so different now in many ways, alot of woman have to "play the mans part" .(Some prefer it for sure) But there are many single parents not by choice or widows. And widows are not taken care of in society and churches, like they used to be either.

I for one am a widow. I came from a family where my mother was sick alot . I learned how to do alot of things as a step in mother for my siblings and dad in helps. My father being a colonel in the air force, expected me to learn alot of things that I later found out were beyond the "normal" realm of woman also.I worked on indoor painting, yard work, repair etc.

This was very confusing to me for a while when I was looked at by some of "playing a man" as you might call it,when I started dating.I just did, what I knew. Some were very threatened by my knowledge ( home repair, carpentry etc).. And when my husband became ill, I was actually thankful I knew how to do many mens jobs that most woman did't because I had to fill in for my ill husband.

So even though I was taught to go beyond a womans role by my father on earth, my father in heaven used it to help my husband on earth ! Make sense? Before he was ill though, I loved being in a traditional role, and preferred to step back and be "taken " care of and putting my attention on my children etc. and helping him with his career.Though it was a struggle also to not feel "guilty" I didn't have to do these additional jobs.

I do have to say also though, now that I am single again, I still have to play some mens roles I would rather not do.The homestead I have takes alot of care and I do not have many folks to help me now or get out of it as of now. I prefer the traditional womans role. It certainly feels more natural and comforting when I am able to be in it.I have played both. I pray if it is Gods will and blessing for me, I may have a husband again in the future. But if not, I try to do the best I can.

So we do what we can, even if Gods best design is different than the role I (and other women) have to play now.

Also I would be one of those woman who encouraged a person to get back on the horse , but I think I'd be more gentle... :D .

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Homer
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by Homer » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:23 am

Hi Glow,

Thanks for your reply. I certainly mean no condescension towards women. They are superior to men in some ways and men are superior in others.

It angers me when I think of our late niece who was treated so unfairly in her divorce. Her husband, in prison, got half of everything, with nothing set aside from his part to help with raising their three kids. Our niece lost her home and was a renter until she died. But those are our laws in this enlightened age.

I have no problem with women working at what might be considered "men's" work. Another niece and her husband had a small farm. He was an emergency room nurse while she stayed home with the kids and raised chickens by the thousands. That is certainly a role reversal. What I have a problem with is women demanding equality in the workplace when they are not actually equally able to do the work. The man I mentioned previously who resigned from LAPD told of a female officer who tried to get a man to sign a ticket. He overpowered her, handcuffed her to her patrol car, stripped her to the waist, and left her there by the freeway. She should have never been placed in that role in my opinion.

You wrote:
So even though I was taught to go beyond a womans role by my father on earth, my father in heaven used it to help my husband on earth ! Make sense? Before he was ill though, I loved being in a traditional role, and preferred to step back and be "taken " care of and putting my attention on my children etc. and helping him with his career.Though it was a struggle also to not feel "guilty" I didn't have to do these additional jobs.
You are blessed to have those abilities and I pray God will bring you a good man.

Earlier you asked about a temporary woman pastor. I would ask what the problem is with the men in the congregation? They would seem to be derelict in their duty. Many churches have no pastor at all. I have been in a smaller church where there was no peacher temporarily and we would have various people give short exhortations, testimonies, etc. instead of a traditional sermon. One man, who was saved from a long life of drugs and alcoho,l can tell of his new life and love for God and be more uplifting and inspiring than most preachers you will hear.

God bless, Homer

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glow
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by glow » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Homer.,

Thank you for the reply, including your opinion on the interim female pastor. I don't believe the church ( UCC)feels the men are amiss. They are very liberal and they welcome women pastors.

I send my sympathies to you regarding your niece.There are alot of really cruel rules and statuettes on the law books.Some things I think are better,but certainly some are worse.

I agree also, there are places women just should not be placed.I for one do not think women should go to war (and I have my doubts about going to war period).My daughter who works in a job that is male dominated , crawls under the cars with the best of them some times to fill in, but mainly works in the office( chip off the mother i suppose), but i was really proud of her, when her boss was going to give her the same pay as the men for an xtra job she did, but after hearing a fellow male worker complain because she was a woman and shouldn't get equal pay in it, she declined the xtra monies to keep the peace.

Thank you also for your prayers, Glow

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sun May 02, 2010 7:10 pm

A quite tardy reply here.
kaufmanphillips wrote:
Don’t you think that there were freedom-lovin’ Jews in Jesus’ time, who would have had a slew of retorts to the notion that they should put extra time and sweat into supporting a government that they loathed?

Homer wrote:
Yes, Jesus took one of those "freedom-lovin' Jews" named Simon (the Zealot) into His group of twelve apostles along with Matthew the publican, who we might expect that Simon, previous to meeting Jesus, would have been glad to kill. He learned better from Jesus. Amazing! Who would have thought to put those two on the same team?
The Real World: Galilee.;-)
kaufmannphillips wrote:
Remember that the seminal point in the discussion was not that Jews should be generous helpers – it was “do not oppose an evil person.”

Homer wrote:
I think you are in error here; I understand this instruction to be primarily about how we are to react to persecution. I think Matthew 5:41 is more in line with 5:42:

Matthew 5:41-42 (New King James Version)
41. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
I think I am not in error here. Please note the recurring structure of the chapter: topical segments are introduced with the phrase “You have heard that it was said.” Taking this structure into account, discussion of “going the extra mile” falls within the topical segment of vv. 38-41.

You also may note that the “extra mile” follows the same pattern as the preceding cases of maltreatment: the sufferer is not only to refrain from retaliation, but to thrust themselves further upon the sword, as it were. The struck person offers their cheek for another blow; the uncloaked person surrenders their tunic as well; and the drudge goes the extra mile.

The diction of v. 41 sheds further light upon the matter: the term which your NKJV renders as “compels” refers to drafting somebody into service. The same term is used in Matthew 27:32 and Mark 15:21, referring to the drafting of Simon of Cyrene to carry Jesus’ cross. This was not a matter of answering a request for help; the draftee could fear serious repercussions if they dared to refuse to serve. But for Jews, this sort of service would have been particularly distasteful; freedom/non-servitude is an important element in Jewish religion.

When we look at v. 42, though, we find no additional thrust upon the sword; furthermore, we find no maltreatment – only entreatment. The verse may be a secondary interpolation, or it may be a tangential foray. But in either case, it does not overshadow the clear correlation of v. 41 with the preceding verses.
Homer wrote:
One of our nieces suffered greatly before her death just over a year ago. She was a good Christian woman. Her husband went bad - very bad. He was imprisoned for a horrible crime against another relative, for which our niece legitmately divorced him. She had three teenagers at home at the time, yet, due to our liberal feminist ideas and laws that now exist, in the divorce settlement her husband got half of everything, with nothing deducted from his half to help support their children. Prior to the Nixon administration, she would have gotten everything.

{and}

I have no problem with women working at what might be considered "men's" work. ... What I have a problem with is women demanding equality in the workplace when they are not actually equally able to do the work. The man I mentioned previously who resigned from LAPD told of a female officer who tried to get a man to sign a ticket. He overpowered her, handcuffed her to her patrol car, stripped her to the waist, and left her there by the freeway. She should have never been placed in that role in my opinion.
Supporters of any social position may adduce a number of sob stories to plead their point. But your vignettes do not establish that an egalitarian outlook is unfounded.

In the first case, we are not privy to the legal wranglings that yielded your niece’s situation. And it is not my concern to validate American family law. But gender should be irrelevant in the resolution of such a case. If the roles were reversed, should the offending wife enjoy legal advantage over an innocent husband? Of course not. So the issue is not that the genders should be treated inequitably.

In the second case, we are not privy to particular details about the situation. But the issue appears to be that we had an officer who was physically weaker than the offender. This is not inherently a gender issue. Some women are physically weaker than some men, and some men are physically weaker than some women.

Now, you have expressed “hav[ing] a problem with ... women demanding equality in the workplace when they are not actually equally able to do the work.” This is not necessarily a problem with egalitarianism; it is a problem with a particular tactic in the pursuit of egalitarianism.

But what if we invert the equation? Do you have “no problem with women working at what might be considered "men's" work” so long as they are “actually equally able to do the work”? If so, then we may loop back to our root topic of discussion: if a woman is able to teach with an equal ability to a man, then what problem do you have with her doing so?
Homer wrote:
You do not seem to realize that Christianity teaches a reciprocal submission, with the husband arguably getting the hardest part, that is, his model is Christ who gave up his life for His bride. And historically men have labored to support their families in jobs that were dangerous, and prior to OSHA, claimed many more lives than today. Consider the great many who have died mining coal. I wince when I look at old pictures of men in factories, working around unguarded machinery. And I can scarcely believe the dangerous things I did at work when I was young - things that were considered routine. And I would have never put my wife in that position.
:arrow: Chivalrous of you, perhaps. But men are not less deserving of safety than women.

:arrow: You can make soothing comments to your heart’s content. In my upbringing, I had family members who held Southern sympathies, and I heard soothing comments about slavery growing up.

Somebody could plead: Northerners do not seem to realize that some Southerners took good care of their slaves. Slaveowners had to manage heavy responsibilities that slaves simply were not equal to, and they protected them from the challenges of life out in the free world. Hey, some slaves were happy in their circumstances and did not want to be freed.

There are some constituencies where those sorts of apologetics would still be well-received. But there are other constituencies where they would cut no ice whatsoever. Indeed, the very attempt to make such soothing comments would be quite offensive to many persons. (Let’s keep that in mind for now, and we will touch on the issue of giving offense in a bit.)

:arrow: But your remarks about what “Christianity teaches” loop us back to our question of interpretation – are Paul’s comments on the order of the family to be properly understood as universal, or as for his own time and place?

When David was king of Israel, no doubt he issued a great many edicts. Now, it would be one thing to assert that David’s mandates were valid and that his subjects had a sacred responsibility to follow them during his reign. But it would be another thing to assert that all subsequent kings and their subjects would be beholden to those mandates after David’s passing.

David’s situation was remarkably different than that of his successors. To cite one key example: David faced military challenges from relatively petty powers; but his later successors faced military challenges from huge empires. If David had authored an authoritative manual on military engagement for his time – and even enjoyed the guidance of the holy spirit in doing so – would it be proper to impose that manual on the military leadership of all later generations – including the IDF?

So in parallel – it is one thing to assert that the apostles gave valid mandates and that their adherents had a sacred responsibility to follow them during their ministry. But it is another thing to assert that all subsequent generations are beholden to those mandates after the apostles’ passing.
Homer wrote:
I vividly remember a column written by the Pulitzer-prize winning columnist regarding the benefit children get from the complementary roles of mothers and fathers. He wrote of observing their reactions on the playground when their child was hurt on play equipment. The mother was quick to sympathize with the pain suffered and to comfort the child while the husband encouraged the child to dust off, get up, and try again. Children are shortchanged if the parents both fill the same role. If that is the case, one of them is redundant. And God, in His infinite wisdom, has recognized that truth in all of life, and certainly in the church.
I have never won a Pulitzer-prize. But I have spent years working with children and caregivers. Not terribly long ago, a child in my care related (without my solicitation) an anecdote about how she had bloodied her nose, and her mother got her right back into activity. Some caregivers react to emergencies in one way, and some in another. There may be reactive tendencies within each gender (for whatever reasons), but one will find a range of reactions amongst members of each gender.

Now, it can be a benefit to a child if their parents have different sorts of personalities. But a child is not “shortchanged” if they have two well-balanced parents who are each capable of being sympathetic and comforting to a due extent, and capable of prodding to a due extent. Even if two parents are very similar in personality, it is advantageous for a child to have both of them, because (broadly speaking) four hands are better than two.

Your fallacy is to fill roles with classes of people, rather than with individual persons who are well-suited to them. If a child needs comforting, they do not need a woman – they need a comforter. If a victim needs encouraging, they do not need a man – they need an encourager. And if a naïf needs a teacher, they do not need a man – they need a teacher.

Now, ancient societies often chose to fill roles with classes of people. And Paul lived in that sort of ancient context. It was a concern of Paul’s not to make unnecessary waves in his context: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” But we live in a different societal context. Would Paul have sought to make waves, and give offense and potentially alienate the lost, by muzzling able women in the present-day church? Or would he have been “all things to all people,” and flexible toward the current social sensibility?
Homer wrote:
The "strawman" issue to me is that Danny took the example of slavery, which he knew most people would find repugnant, and pretended an analogy to the role of women in the church. His argument went something like this:

1. Slavery in the history of the United States was evil.

2. "Christian" slaveowners quoted scripture to support their practice.

3. They claimed there were no scriptures forbidding the practice of slavery.

4. However the entire spirit of the New Testament points to equality.

5. This spirit of equality is not found in a proof text, but is found everywhere.

6. Reasoning allows one to see the bigger picture.

7. My position is analogous to that of slaveowners, therefore it ought to be obvious that I am wrong.

I deny there is any analogy between slavery and the role of women in the church, especially in light of the position both men and women have in the church as servants of the same Master. We just have different roles, as in all of life.

Danny was comparing slave owners who assumed a position and then asked for scriptures forbidding, or negating, their position, to the complementarian position regarding the role of women in the church. I am seeking the truth and correction if I am in error by asking for any scriptural statement(s) affirming a positon contrary to my past position, which appears to be plainly stated in the scriptures.
Thank you for your explanation.

I cannot speak for Danny, of course. And my own outlook is probably substantially different from his. But his analogy is not quite a “strawman.”

Danny has compared two situations where a particularist approach may be counterposed against a generalist approach. You and the slaveholders have looked at particular details in the text and considered them to have prevailing significance. Other parties would look at more general themes in the text, and consider them to have prevailing significance.

Now, you may complain about precise elements of this analogy – as a particularist is wont to do. But you have not been particular enough in your own scrutiny. Danny did not only refer to “slave owners who assumed a position and then asked for scriptures forbidding, or negating, their position.” Danny also wrote: “They quoted Eph. 6:5-8, Titus 2:9-10 and Col. 3:22-24.” In these references, slaves are told to be subordinate to their masters, heeding their masters with fear and trembling and singleness of heart, even as they would Christ. So the slaveowners were not only asking for proof of forbiddance; they also had plain statements to undergird their current practice.

Now, one might draw a distinction between your heart and those of some slaveowners: you might be open to correction, whereas some of them might not have been. But Danny was drawing an analogy between your methodologies. They argued from particular elements over against general themes – as do you.
Homer wrote:
Egalitarianism is being promoted everywhere in secular life. We have seen a great push for equality in sports for young men and women, and it is the law. I was informed 15 to 20 years ago by a professional trainer who had been employed by a major university about his concern for the damage girls were doing to their bodies that he felt was caused by their natural body structure. More recently there was an article (New York Times, as I recall) telling of the far higher proportion of girls who were suffering major knee damage in sports, confirming what the trainer had long ago observed.
Equality in funding for sports is the law. Society in general does not expect women to field the same physical performance as men. There generally are men’s and women’s divisions within sports.

As for physical damage wrought by sports – this is not limited to the feminine gender by any means. The root problem is a warped approach to athleticism in some segments of our society. Too many persons are striving too hard for competitive success, when a more appropriate – and more genuine – measure of athletic success would be a healthy realization of one’s personal athletic potential, irrespective of another’s performance.
Homer wrote:
A Christian man I have known for many years was a trainer in the Los Angeles Police Department who retired several years ago because he was ordered to pass women candidates who failed the qualification tests. And I would ask for an honest answer: who would be equally satified if their life was threatened and in response to a call for help a woman officer showed up rather than a man?
Can she shoot straight?

What if their life were threatened, and in response to a call for help a 5’4” officer showed up rather than a 6’0” officer? Who cares – so long as the officer can handle the situation?

Israel is the only country worldwide that requires military service from citizens of both genders. Women can serve in 90% of positions within the IDF, including ten combat positions. One combat battalion, the Caracal, is comprised of 70% women, who undergo demanding physical training and pursue weapons specialization. And about one out of four officers in the IDF are women.

Now, I suppose that the IDF has some concern for military efficacy. Would it tolerate basing one-third of its “manpower” (ha!) upon women, if it considered them to be an inherent liability? Would it deploy a combat battalion that fields twice as many women as men? And I ask for an honest answer: if you were in a predicament, and an all-female unit from the Caracal battalion happened to show up, would you ask them to scurry along and find some “real soldier-men”?
Homer wrote:
My wife and I are not young, and a lifetime of observation has convinced both of us that men and women are generally different in non-physical characteristics, as the columnist William Raspberry observed.
Myself, I am not yet fifty years old.

Persons of varying ethnic backgrounds are generally different in non-physical characteristics, too. Likewise for persons of different ages, or different financial means, or different levels of education. We could come up with hundreds of little corrals for people, based upon general tendencies that might or might not have any material bearing upon their personal fitness for a role. Or we could seriously consider the fitness or unfitness of a person, without presumption. Which approach seems more responsible to you?
========================
"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
========================

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kaufmannphillips
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by kaufmannphillips » Sun May 02, 2010 7:18 pm

steve wrote:
For Homer to say that there is no analogy between Atlantic slavery and the traditional role of women in the church needs no defense. It is as if one would say, "There is no analogy between stomping on cockroaches and asking the postal service to deliver a letter." The statement is self-evidently true...
Au contraire, monsieur! Both activities will usually involve a sticky stamp.

I nudged Homer for an explanation of his assertion. And to his credit, he has provided one.
steve wrote:
In order for Homer to defend his rational assertion, as you are asking him to do, he would have to list every aspect of the institution of slavery, as well as every fact about traditional womanhood, and go about to show that no aspect of one bore any analogous comparison to any aspect of the other. This would be an unfair burden to place upon a person who had simply made a self-evident statement.
I am not responsible for the manageability of Homer’s defense. It was Homer who set the broad range of his assertion.

A shrewd debater will take care to articulate their assertion(s) in a manageable way. Often this means sacrificing rhetorical punch. But a measured blow can be more advantageous than an unwieldy attempt at a haymaker.
steve wrote:
There is no burden of proof resting upon the one making the original (obviously true) statement. The burden of proof, in such a case, would be upon the one who wished to assert that such a counterintuitive analogy exists.
Simply because one person – or even many persons – might consider a notion to be “obvious” and “self-evident,” this does not mean that the notion is true. Diligence requires that even “obvious” and “self-evident” notions be examined and tested.

But if a statement is “self-evidently true,” then it should be no great burden to explain and illustrate it.
steve wrote:
Since the only imaginable comparison of slavery to woman's traditional roles would be that, in both, a hierarchical relationship exists, then this "analogy" is far too inexact to be meaningful in a discussion of the merits of traditional roles.
Quite a brash sally here on your part. Have you imagined the possibility of there being a comparison that you haven't imagined?


One vector of correlation would be that neither slavery nor female subordination can be identified for certain as universal elements of G-d’s design for humanity.

We may weigh, then, a number of contrasting possibilities.

:arrow: On one hand, either form of subordination might be universally required as part of G-d’s design.

:arrow: On another hand, either one might be universally rejected as part of G-d’s design.

:arrow: And on another hand, either one might be situationally appropriate and/or inappropriate from G-d’s perspective.


Another vector of correlation would be that slavery and female subordination have varying significance in different cultures.

In some cultures, one’s enslaved or feminine status is utterly determinative; there is no allowance for breaking out of the strictures of these identities. But in other cultures, such a status is not utterly determinative; an exceptional slave may earn or be awarded their freedom, and an exceptional woman may be allowed to pursue unconventional roles. And in still other cultures, there would be broad distaste at proposing enslavement of an individual, or restriction of a female to a subordinate role based sheerly on her gender.

Now, we may weigh a number of contrasting possibilities.

:arrow: On one hand, one may be free – in the eyes of G-d – to follow or disregard the conventions of a culture, as one wishes.

:arrow: On another hand, one may be required – in the eyes of G-d – to disregard the conventions of a culture, regardless of any social fallout.

:arrow: And on another hand, one may be beholden – in the eyes of G-d – to follow the conventions of a culture, insofar as this facilitates one’s fruitful engagement of that culture.


Yet another vector of correlation would be that both slavery and female subordination were constitutive elements within Roman imperial society during the first century.

Both forms of subordination were basic parts of the social fabric, and pressing against either would have been gravely countercultural. Not merely “whoa, that hep cat is far out” countercultural, but “begging for a Joseph McCarthy” countercultural. (Except McCarthy would have crucified people or thrown them to the lions metaphorically.)

And so we may weigh a number of contrasting possibilities, in those circumstances.

:arrow: On one hand, it might have been appropriate – in the eyes of G-d – to present a challenge to either of these forms of submission, even though doing so would give offense and alienate persons from G-d and from his communities of faith, and even though doing so could trigger grave persecution.

:arrow: And on another hand, it might have been inappropriate – in the eyes of G-d – to present a challenge to either of these forms of subordination, since doing so would give offense and alienate persons from G-d and from his communities of faith, and since doing so could trigger grave persecution.


Still another vector of correlation would be that advocating for or practicing slavery or female subordination would be a point of offense in many present-day American circles.

And so we may weigh a number of contrasting possibilities, given a present-day American context.

:arrow: On one hand, it might be necessary – in the eyes of G-d – to advocate for or practice either of these forms of subordination, even though doing so would give offense and alienate persons from G-d and from his communities of faith.

:arrow: On another hand, it might be necessary – in the eyes of G-d – to neither advocate for nor practice either of these forms of submission, since doing so would give offense and alienate persons.

:arrow: And on another hand, it might be appropriate – in the eyes of G-d – to pursue a carefully nuanced stance: one that seeks not to give unnecessary offense, yet affords a variety of advocacies and practices in varying contexts.


And I will introduce one more vector of correlation.

For the Christian tradition, it may be argued that the cardinal dynamic is to love. And it may be recognized that love does not easily distill into a universal list of “do”s and “don’t”s. A particular action, in one circumstance, might be recognized by nearly all parties involved as consonant with the dynamic of love; but that same action, in another circumstance, might be regarded by nearly all parties involved as a violation of the dynamic of love.

And so – we may consider the following vector of correlation: both slavery and female subordination are paradigms that might not be an inherent affront to the dynamic of love; yet both are paradigms that might pose a serious incursion against the dynamic of love.

Let us consider the case of slavery. In some circumstances, one might make the case that enslavement is not inherently unloving. Some persons, who are authentically wretched and pitiable when it comes to their self-management and exercise of liberty, might be better off in circumstances where they are closely and firmly disciplined. For such persons, enslavement might not be inherently unloving.

But for many persons, enslavement might be an incursion against the dynamic of love – say, when genuine concern for the best interest of these persons might entail their enjoying self-management and exercise of liberty. One might imagine this sort of entailment to be the more common when considering participants in present-day American society, which highly esteems independence and freedom.

And so we may turn to consider the case of female subordination. In some circumstances, one might be able to make the case that such subordination is not inherently unloving. Out of love, females might be exempted from combat duty in some circumstances – say, if rape were a serious likelihood should they be captured. And in some circumstances, exemption from combat duty might naturally preclude assignment to positions of authority.

But in many cases, insisting on female subordination might be an incursion against the dynamic of love. In much of present-day Western civilization, women are educated and trained to handle the demands of authority. Many modern women have become, to their personal core, leaders; and many have found that, through their leadership, they are able to make positive contributions to their communities. Stifling an essential skill-set of a modern woman and barring her from devoting the natural fruits of her personhood should not be taken lightly. And in some circumstances, to do so might be an incursion against the dynamic of love – not only against the church’s love for a modern woman, but also against the love that such a woman might be tendering unto G-d, and against the love that G-d might have toward her (and toward her potential beneficiaries), equipping her for good and fulfilling service in love.
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"The more something is repeated, the more it becomes an unexamined truth...." (Nicholas Thompson)
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yard1
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Re: Women Teaching

Post by yard1 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:44 am

Well said..
Thanks for the post..
Now I can do my project about women.
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Michelle
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Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:16 pm

Re: Women Teaching

Post by Michelle » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:41 pm

yard1 wrote:Well said..
Thanks for the post..
Now I can do my project about women.
What kind of project?

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