We’re Complicit In Sexually Objectifying Her

Posted by on Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

At one point or another, every woman must deal with the fact that her body is a problem. Isn’t that what we learn from the #METOO movement? Women face sexual objectification, assault, and rape in alarming numbers. Last year there was an outrage for a brief moment. There was hope that change was in the air. Finally, women’s voices heard and bodies appropriately honored. It wasn’t long-lived. The November 8, 2016 vote minimized us, silenced us, – or so it seemed. And as a woman of faith, the deafening silence by my male leaders left me feeling betrayed and disturbed. It’s been a year since Trump was elected, and once again I have a spark of hope. I contribute the outcry to be directly related to last year’s tape and election. Outraged women were silenced but even still the smoldering stayed. Last year‘s silence made way for this year’s cry of “ENOUGH!” I believe that’s what we’re observing with men like Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and as I write – Roy Moore. But even with the loud outcry of “enough” I’m bothered by the silence or worse yet, support reported by my brothers of faith. I’ve been noodling on why they support men who objectify women. I choose to think the best and forgo the idea that perhaps they don’t think what’s being done to women as a very big deal. You know, the “boys will be boys” attitude. Rather I’m wondering if it’s because they truly believe the church doesn’t contribute to the sexual exploitation of women. They don’t have a dog in this fight because they protect women rather than sexual objectify them.” It’s time to rethink that! We, the Church, also teach that her body equals sex. We hosted a salon on body image and had women write on sticky notes the messages they received about their bodies from their mom, culture and the church. As we read them out loud you could feel the toxicity. What caught my attention, which I’m sure it’s due to the climate right now, was how the church is also complicit in sexualizing the female body. We don’t do it the same way as our culture, but it’s still very real and present. Here’s a sample of the women’s sticky notes.   Take note how every message relates to her body and men. Sex, purity, and marriage. Her body is a problem for her and for him! Just like those men being accused, we too see her body as sex. Whether she’s a temptress or frigid, she’s defined by her body. And although I’ve never had a man of faith sexually assault my body (there are women who...

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She’s Putting Us On Notice

Posted by on Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Next April I’ll be in Israel teaching on women in the Bible.  One of the women I’m teaching on is Tamar (2 Samuel 13). Tamar was raped by her half-brother Ammon. She pleaded with him not to do it; she knew it would be her demise. In fact, she even suggested he go to their dad, King David, and ask for her hand in marriage. What does that say about her desperation? How many women ask their rapist to marry them? Immediately after he raped her he felt contempt towards her and instructed her to leave his room asap. Can you imagine your rapist looking at you like you violated him? As she left his room she ripped her clothes to let others know what happened to her. Her other brother, upon learning of her rape, instructed her to be silent. Have you ever had someone silence you? Voicelessness is an act of dehumanization. And what did her father do? In her culture, the father was to avenge the dishonor done to the family. As King, David was to obey the law and bring justice. He did nothing. Nothing! It’s like she kept getting violated over and over again. Violated. Discarded. Shamed. Ruined. Silenced. Ignored. Her story is the story of so many women throughout history. And obviously, it’s still our story -in America 1 out of 4 women is sexually assaulted. So when we read the headlines with names like Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and now Roy Moore – as much as it feels like dominos falling – we must remember we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Over the weeks I have sat back and quietly waited. I’ve waited to see if we would brush this under the rug like we did when we elected President Trump. Last November many of us woke to learn that once again we’d been violated, discarded, silenced, and ignored. So I’ve been waiting. Waiting to see if those in power are willing to take a stand. For us, their sisters. There have been a few voices speaking out, like this morning when Russell Moore tweeted, “A church that worships Jesus stands up for vulnerable women and girls. A church that worships power sees them as expendable.” He couldn’t be more right. And what Tamar’s story conveys to God’s people is… Well, I’ll let you connect the dots. If we look at the book of 2nd Samuel we find: First 10 chapters are David’s successes and the rise of Israel. Last 10 chapters are David’s failures and the decline in Israel. In the middle is what some might call a Hebrew chiasm. Don’t freak out. It’s easy to understand....

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Women Haven’t Forgotten Nov. 8th.

Posted by on Thursday, Nov 9, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I think the #Metoo campaign is a result of what began last January in Washington, DC. Women and men marched for a variety of reasons; one of which to make it clear we are not okay with powerful men grabbing our private parts. A year has come and gone, and women continue, in a variety of ways, to carry the torch of the march. Whether it’s #metoo or women in politics, women continue to stand up and say “Enough.” Yesterday my sister called and shared the following story. “My husband always said I would make a great politician. Usually, it was when I was winning a discussion, but none-the-less. Last night his prediction became a reality. This victory was more significant than just any running for political office. Last year after the presidential election several people vowed to get involved. I, like many others, were disappointed by the swift change in direction of politics, but with three young children, two jobs, a husband who travels, and no real daycare, my plate seemed a little full. I thought about changing jobs in order to get more involved in politics. Two opportunities presented themselves on the horizon. One was a prestigious job with the Governor but would necessitate over an hour commute each way and long, long hours. I would never be home. The other opportunity was local and very close to home: City Council Ward 1 Representative. The city council position for my neighborhood had just been vacated, and the Mayor was seeking someone to take the position and then run for the office in the November election. Running for an office was out of my comfort zone. I can interview with the best of them, but running for office is a whole other beast. The interesting part was that during the budget negotiations for our small city the year prior, I had been angered by my ward’s representative when he voted against funding summer programs for children in the city. While my children actually don’t attend those programs because my work schedule is flexible, I am acutely aware that there are working families for whom the summer strains daycare options. I also love where I live. It is a place that kids can ride their bikes to the neighbor’s house, play outside, and generally be kids. I live in community, real community. Part of that community is taking care of all our children, not just our own. And so with all of that, I sent an email and volunteered to serve. The bonus was I didn’t have to actually get elected. I could just sit for an interview with the mayor. I was appointed in August and LOVED serving and...

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What’s Your Next Move?

Posted by on Sunday, Aug 6, 2017 in Blog | 2 comments

On an impulse, I decided I’d jump in for a swim in the Chesapeake. What I hadn’t considered was how I’d get back into my kayak. Since I wasn’t able to pull myself up into the boat I decided to simply grab on and …well, I wasn’t sure. I guess I’d just keep hanging on. My son pulled up along side and humorously asked, “Mom, what’s your next move?”  I burst out laughing; I didn’t have one. Thank goodness he had more of a plan than me. I’d pull up on his board and from there get into my kayak. Over the past several days I’ve found myself chuckling at this silly episode. Tonight I woke in the middle of the night chuckling except for this time, my thoughts led to Jesus. How many times in life have I impetuously jumped out of the boat giving no thought as to how I’d get back in? Oh my, the conversation the trinity must have while I cling to that boat. I suspect Jesus finds it as humorous as my son did. And here he comes, Jesus, he pulls up alongside calmly without condemnation but a snicker in his tone and asks, “What’s your next move?”  Then he gently suggests I pull myself up onto his paddle board so I can then get myself back into my kayak. What’s your next move? It’s funny and it’s...

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We Leave Things Out

Posted by on Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 in Blog | 1 comment

When my kids were toddlers, Steve and I presented each of them in a what our faith tradition called a baby dedication. Many bible churches enact baby dedication instead of baby baptism. Baptism is saved for when the child is of age to declare Jesus as their Savior. Baby dedications are rooted in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and in the fact that Mary and Joseph dedicated Jesus at the Temple. On a Baby Dedication Sunday we would take our child on stage alongside other parents and their children. The pastor would lead the parents and congregation through a ceremony of commitment to raise our children in God’s Word and in his ways. The pastor might say something like; “In 1 Samuel 1 Hannah presented her son to the Lord. In Luke 2:22 we read Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to present him before the Lord. In the same way, Jackie and Steve bring Hunter to be presented before the Lord our God and commit to raising Hunter in God’s Word and ways.” It was a lovely time, a moment when as a parent you felt full of hope and anticipation for your child’s future. Then I read Luke 2:22-35, once again surprised that Scripture isn’t as sanitized as we’ve made it. Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord… At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,  “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,     as you have promised. I have seen your salvation,     which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations,     and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Simeon then blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very...

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