Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feminists and Their "Hermeneutic of Suspicion"

One of the required texts for my theology class is Lets Do Theology by Laurie Green (who is actually a guy). Now I'm not one to judge a book by its cover, but this time I did. Turns out I was wrong, it was worse than I initially judged. Here is a particular section reproduced below:

"[Feminists] have adopted a phrase from Habermas - 'a hermeneutic of suspicion' - to indicate that it is no longer acceptable simply to take the traditional interpretations of the text, nor the texts themselves, as indicative of the original event. All sorts of power-dynamics were at play in the formation of our Christian tradition, and feminists have helped to design critical tools to excavate beneath the present interpretations and unearth the original revelation. Finally from their new awareness, feminist theologians have offered the Church altogether new insights into the nature of God, God's way with us, and a commitment to a distinctive way of doing theology."

Upon reading this excerpt, I was shocked! To realize that the formation of Christianity was made possible by a bunch of sexist, power-mongers? I'll never look at Paul the same. Now, on a serious note, have we all been misinterpreting Scripture for the past two thousand years? Thank God for the feminists to come along and free us from wallowing in our own misunderstanding and false teaching. Who would've known, those hundreds of Biblical scholars, theologians, pastors, teachers, authors and maybe Paul himself all had it wrong? Greens words perfectly encapsulate Feminist ideologies and thus the height of their hubris. Finally now, we have the right tools! Finally, I can see the nature of God!

Finally I realize how misguided post-modern theology has become. How far that very word has been stretched, theology, so that we can now "do it" anytime, anywhere, with friends, strangers. That we now hear whatever our "itching ears" want to hear.

much love,
Reed

12 comments:

  1. Did you honestly just call feminists sexist and power hungry? Have you ever even met a real feminist? Excuse women for wanting equal pay. As of now they still only get paid 70% of what we make for doing the same work. Excuse women for not wanting to be taught to submit simply because they have a vaginas and we have penises. Excuse women for trying to escape the most successful system of oppression in history. And excuse women for wanting to point out the the disgusting ways in which people preach "biblical truth" in order to keep them submitting, and keep them quiet.

    Critique a mere article as you wish but don't you dare attack an entire ideology because you sit comfortably atop the more powerful majority.

    How about thanking them for giving your mother the right to vote.

    Quoting from the Oxford English dictionary
    Feminism: (n) 2. [After French féminisme.] Advocacy of the rights of women (based on the theory of equality of the sexes). (Cf. womanism n.)

    And before you gloat that your blog is causing controversy I want to say that this isn't some mere example of different opinions. You look like a complete ass hole making fun of the efforts women have had to go through to finally be heard and to finally have their own identity. FINALLY after being beaten, lynched, stoned, (and by the way this still happens in many places on this earth, do you want to call feminists in the Middle East sexist power mongers?)

    Don't go throwing words around when you don't know what they truly mean and encompass.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear 0ed39c46-407d-11e0-adde-000bcdcb2996 ?

    I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, when Green mentions "all sorts of power-dynamics were at play" he is referring to the men of the patriarchal society at the foundation of modern Christianity. Hence, my comment on the MEN of the time. By no means do I believe women are power mongers or sexist. Never would I be inclined to believe that.

    Secondly, I'm not challenging women's right to vote nor their efforts of equality in secular society. I whole heartedly condone them, as do you. I'm simply engaging the debate on women's role in the Church from a Biblical stand point.

    In the mean time, you can continue your gorilla attack on whatever disagreeable blog you stumble upon, unloading your obviously well rehearsed theories of malcontent.

    I'll work on not being an ass hole.

    with love,
    reed

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  3. I read this blog lured by your supposed ability to “enlighten.” I didn’t realize that you would be enlightening me to the paucity of your intellect. You proclaim that you are searching for Truth, capital T. Obviously, you have named this truth yourselves, personalized it, and already defined it. You are not looking for “truth” but simply spewing what you naively regard as truth. Your truth is in the way you were brought up, the books that you have read, and the sermons you have heard. This is your truth that you are preaching, not an omnipotent, all encompassing truth that you pretend to be searching for. Your truth is nothing more than an example of a life sheltered by a sexist, arrogant, and ignorant church, and a true portrayal of what it means to be egotistical. Not all churches are this way and not all belief systems are as stringent and ill-informed. I have nothing to say about Christianity in general, other than to say that what you believe to be true is merely an interpretation and that is all it will ever be. You believe your way to be, ironically, “the way, and the truth, and the light.” You make yourself God, and bow to your own depiction of his laws and teachings.

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  4. Your sentences are rich with condescension and you could make even the most evangelical pastor blush. They would be ashamed to read your rant, as you don’t expose any failings in the text you were assigned for theology but the failing of your own mind. It’s embarrassing and childish to assume that you could educate anyone with your words, and no theologian should take you (their future colleague) seriously. You are not an example of God’s love, but an example of stupidity. As you mockingly state, “Thank God for the feminists to come along and free us from wallowing in our own misunderstanding and false teaching,” you expose your inability to see beyond the own confines of your existence. Not only is your arrogance exposed by your sentences as your scoff at those who have supposedly “got it wrong,” your word choice portrays the fact that you truly believe that you’ve “got it right.” As you state, “Finally now, we have the right tools! Finally, I can see the nature of God,” you depict yourself as self-righteous, disdainful, and ultimately bigoted. If you had some critique of this article, you should have focused on your tone and word choice to actually bring a point across, than expose yourself for what you truly are. Jesus would never have taught any of his parables in the same tone you are using, never would have used those words, and most certainly would not have all of the followers he has today if he had been as pompous and close-minded as you are. Your search for truth can never truly begin until you understand your own misconceived perception of yourself.

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  5. You describe yourselves as young theologians, but close your post with “Finally I realize how misguided post-modern theology has become. How far that very word has been stretched, theology, so that we can now "do it" anytime, anywhere, with friends, strangers.” Do you not understand the blatant contradiction? This blog IS doing theology anytime and anywhere, with your friends, and with strangers like me. By your own definition you are as misguided as they come, and sadly, you aren’t intelligent enough to begin to create a well argued critique of a book.

    Finally, I am appalled by your statements on feminism. Your choice of words is embarrassing and quite frankly an example of your inability to see anything outside of your own understanding of the world. As you define the Feminist ideology as insufficient and unintelligent, you mock their “hubris” in order to supposedly “bring their egos back down to size.” Do you understand the repercussions of this statement? The idea that women who seek equality need to be brought down back to where they belong is what you are truly saying. Where do women belong then? Are you truly as sexist as you proclaim? Feminism is no more than wanting equal rights for men and women. A majority of Americans are, in reality, feminists. Are you going to tell me that you do not believe women should vote? That women should have equal pay? That women should have no power to divorce, to inherit a will, to buy a house? If this is not your argument, then you too are a feminist.

    And finally, as you debate a woman’s role in the church, please consider that you can’t keep women suppressed forever. One day you will have to come to terms with the fact that gender is not a defining characteristic of intelligence or right to become part of theological debate in Church.

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  6. "I'm simply engaging the debate on women's role in the Church from a Biblical stand point."

    Do you not understand what this statement implies? You are choosing one inherent characteristic, in this case gender (a social construction which is not the same as sex btw. who knew?) and deciding that THIS characteristic is what decides one's role in the Church. This IS sexism. Just like a debate on what roles those with dark skin must take in the church is racism.

    To even humor the words "women's role" is to say that by virtue of her genitalia she is either doing what is right or wrong. It implies the predestination of women to live up to a god given role which is really created by whatever society is interpreting your sacred text. You don't want to compromise your text? News flash. YOU ALREADY DO. It's the reason your not as stupid and crazy as you could be. By your arguments, those who used the Bible to defend slavery are in fact correct. Every argument that you could use in favor of "women's roles" could be used by a slave owner. As the roles of a slave and master are just as equally explained.

    The only reason this debate still exists is because our society is still deeply ingrained in sexism. One day evangelicals will look at you and think the same way about you as they do about those who debated a "slaves role" from a biblical standpoint.

    And I wholeheartedly agree with the other poster.

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  7. Thank you for posting this. Though it's been received in a negative light, I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially because you show no disrespect to women.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey 4392c80e-408b-11e0-ac1d-000bcdcb2996 !

    Appreciate the comments (x4).
    Unfortunately, I could spend the rest of my life, and yours, debating Christianity itself, and still have it never bear fruit.

    I'd encourage you to focus your comments on quality rather than quantity. Even though logical, in-depth, and very insightful, they miss the mark of the true issue here. And that is, as I told the last commentor, women's role in regards to spiritual leadership over men in the Church. It's a very specific and Biblically centered debate that rages among every denomination. I didn't have time or energy for such specificity however.

    Maybe it's the newness of this blog or your sense of humor (or lack thereof) but many of the things I stated were sarcastic and not to be taken literally. Sorry for the misunderstanding there.

    Yes, I believe women can vote, receive equal pay, inherit/buy a house. In fact, I am quite a fan of women.

    The difference however, is that these are all outside of the Church. We are not here to debate societal laws, politics, slavery, etc. We are here to discuss the issues relevant to the evangelical Church and modern Christianity.

    So please, give it a rest. My eyes are tired.
    I'd love to discuss the Bible with you and Christ's love, otherwise, please find another venue for your, again, rantings of malcontent.

    much love.
    reed

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nah I think were clear. Having a penis means we get to have spiritual leadership. I would ask what your role is if you have ambiguous genitalia but I know the Bible has no answer for that.

    The Mormons had the same debate within the church about the roles of blacks. This is no different. You are just choosing genitalia instead of skin color.

    I guezz being a fan of the womenzzz is enoughhhhh.
    Have fun on the wrong side of history.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nah I think were clear. Having a penis means we get to have spiritual leadership. I would ask what your role is if you have ambiguous genitalia but I know the Bible has no answer for that.

    The Mormons had the same debate within the church about the roles of blacks. This is no different. You are just choosing genitalia instead of skin color.

    I guezz being a fan of the womenzzz is enoughhhhh.
    Have fun on the wrong side of history.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for posting this. Though it's been received in a negative light, I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially because you show no disrespect to women.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I read this blog lured by your supposed ability to “enlighten.” I didn’t realize that you would be enlightening me to the paucity of your intellect. You proclaim that you are searching for Truth, capital T. Obviously, you have named this truth yourselves, personalized it, and already defined it. You are not looking for “truth” but simply spewing what you naively regard as truth. Your truth is in the way you were brought up, the books that you have read, and the sermons you have heard. This is your truth that you are preaching, not an omnipotent, all encompassing truth that you pretend to be searching for. Your truth is nothing more than an example of a life sheltered by a sexist, arrogant, and ignorant church, and a true portrayal of what it means to be egotistical. Not all churches are this way and not all belief systems are as stringent and ill-informed. I have nothing to say about Christianity in general, other than to say that what you believe to be true is merely an interpretation and that is all it will ever be. You believe your way to be, ironically, “the way, and the truth, and the light.” You make yourself God, and bow to your own depiction of his laws and teachings.

    ReplyDelete