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Southern Baptist women: Please stay home next Sunday

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Southern Baptist women: Please stay home next Sunday

After self-described heretic Sonia Johnson exposed the insidious role her Mormon Church had played in the late 1970s and early ’80s in killing the Equal Rights Amendment, she liked to say, “I have to admit that one of my favorite fantasies is that next Sunday, not one single woman, in any country of the world, will go to church. If women simply stop giving our time and energy to the institutions that oppress, they would have to cease to do so.”

Maybe that is not true in Iran or Afghanistan, where the ruthless Islamic regime and Taliban have almost total control in exercising the raw power of their misogynistic religion. We have seen the tragic return of burqas, home imprisonment and school closures in Afghanistan, and the brutal suppression of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprisings in Iran.

But here in the United States, Sonia’s fantasy could really become a reality — if only women would stay home from church next Sunday. Pew Research Center has found that women vastly outnumber men in the pews. Consider that these women are almost always praying to a male Father, Son and Holy Ghost and are mostly ministered to by male pastors or priests. Women are holding up the churches that still largely oppress them, especially the Roman Catholic, evangelical or somewhere-in-between denominations.

Look at the Southern Baptist Convention’s shameful convention earlier this month, which cavalierly purged women from church leadership, along with some churches with women pastors. But really, can we expect anything better of a denomination that began explicitly so its pastors and congregants could own and support slavery? One of the speakers, Tim Lee, said that the Southern Baptists need women “working in our churches. We just don’t need you to be the pastors of our churches.”

Sure, they need women to fill the pews, do the kitchen duty, potlucks, bake sales, child care, fundraisers, volunteering and undoubtedly even cleaning the toilets. Women also perform the function of becoming sexual prey, along with children, according to investigations showing the denomination suppressed reports of sexual abuse for more than two decades.

At the 2023 gathering, almost 13,000 of the convention’s “messengers” voted by a ratio of 9 to 1 to uphold the expulsion of two churches because they have women pastors, including the famous Saddleback Church founded by Rick Warren, even after he showed up in person to plead against expulsion.

Albert Mohler, the SBC Seminary president, insisted to applause, “The issue of women serving in the pastorate is an issue of fundamental biblical authority that does violate both the doctrine and the order of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Hey, this cretin is absolutely correct: The bible does clearly and repeatedly say: “Women, keep silent,” such as in Timothy 2:11–14: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

The SBC’s statement of faith, called Baptist Faith and Message, adopted in the year 2000, asserts that only qualified men can serve as pastors: “The office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” It was this statement that laudably prompted Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter to quit the Southern Baptists. And nothing has changed since. In fact, it’s getting worse. At the 2023 convention, the attendees, who also jeered at LGBTQ rights and racial reckonings, felt it necessary to vote by a two-thirds majority to amend the constitution to redundantly add that the Southern Baptist Convention “affirms, appoints or employs only men as any kind of pastor or elder.”

Yet, there are believed to currently be as many as 1,800 female pastors or women serving as “elders,” “reverends” or on “pastoral staff” in about 1,200 Southern Baptist Convention churches. What will be the fallout of this year’s vote and actions? Will the denomination, realizing it is built on the backs of women, consider it has made an example of two churches and ignore these women leaders? Or will the real purge begin?

How disappointing to see these Southern Baptist women clinging to a religion that reviles and repudiates them. Southern Baptist women: Please stay home next Sunday.

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