Thursday, September 30, 2010

Magical Moment 238, "Jesus is a Feminist"

That title got your attention, didn't it?! I’m writing on a heavy, controversial subject today, something I scarcely do. I didn’t intend on it, but after watching a short video of Gianna Jesson tell her story of surviving a late term abortion (she was the infant, not the mother), I was inspired to put my two cents in.

I’ve always considered myself a feminist, and gotten some crazy reactions from people when they hear that. Once I even got a self-righteous, knee-jerk response, “So I guess you don’t believe in God.” It’s hard for me to control my emotions and not engage in arguing with these kinds of people. If I do, I may end up sounding just as ignorant and foolish as they do. Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. I would like to ask them, “How much time have you spent seriously studying feminism? If the answer is zero, how can you possible say that it doesn’t fall in line with what God teaches?”

Some people joke, “You’re for women’s rights, so move that couch all by yourself.” Again, I have to bite my tongue and not engage the “fool.” First of all, I probably can move any piece of furniture alone, but that’s beside the point. Second of all, women’s rights doesn’t mean that all women should be treated like men. That’s absurd. If that were the case, then why don’t we all start treating men like women? We can pay them less money and expect less success in their futures. We wouldn't press them to live up to their full potential in education or in their careers. That would meet that particular definition of gender equality, wouldn’t it? Equal rights simply means that all women should be allotted the same courtesy, respect, and opportunity as anyone else. It is a very, very basic and reasonable principle. And a shame that some radical feminists and misogynists have made the concept seem so crazy and eccentric. 

I’m not saying that God didn’t have a design in His creation of man and woman. But I don’t think it was meant to be the cookie cutter plan that some legalistic Christians believe. If it was, Deborah certainly would have been out of God’s will, as the Old Testament judge and military leader. Jael committed murder and became a war hero (Judges 4:17-24). I’ve also noticed that the model “Proverbs 31 Woman” who is portrayed in church sermons as strictly a wife and mother, uses her “earnings” to plant a vineyard. And she does business with “tradesmen.”

Simply promoting gender equality is so 1970s anyhow. Of course gender bias still exists and is wrong, but the basis of feminism and women’s rights has moved far beyond the plight for only women. It promotes equality and respect for all genders, races, and cultures. It says that everyone should have basic rights like, to vote, to not be subject to genital or body mutilation, to wear what they want, to not suffer racial, gender, age, or any other kind of discrimination, to simply live! And with that at its core, I would venture to say Jesus is a feminist.

Now, on the other side, I’ve had people say, “How can you be a feminist but not support abortion?” For those who will not accept, "it's murder and God says it's wrong," as a legitimate answer, then here. It’s as simple as this. Feminism supports the rights of the oppressed. In a case of abortion, there are 2 sets of rights, right? The mother’s right to her body and the unborn child’s right to live. That cannot be denied. So whose rights are more important? As a woman and a human, for me, it is the child’s rights. Even in the case of rape? Yes. Even in the case of handicap or brain damage of the child? Yep. Everyone has a right to live. 

I think it's important for everyone to define what they believe and why they believe it. To be able to present facts that support their point of view maturely and respectfully. That's what today's blog has allowed me to do a little more clearly. Below are parts 1 and 2 of Gianna Jesson telling her story. I hope it inspires you in some way today.

Part I

Part II

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