Sunday, September 27, 2009

Right-Wing Christian Hatemongering Fueled [and Solved?] by Men

Frank Schaeffer asks something rhetorically in his essay, "Right-Wing Hatemongering Fueled by Christianity?"

He astutely asks "Can Christianity be saved from the Christians?"  And just as astutely, he answers that the answer to this question...
is not going to be found coming from [athiestic] people like Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris et al. Instead that answer may be found in the life and work of Christians such as former president Jimmy Carter, President Obama,  the late writer John Updike, and other public figures from Desmond Tutu to Nelson Mandela who's faith can be taken seriously because of the moral authority given them by their achievements outside the realm of theology.
Read the essay and ask who Schaeffer is leaving out altogether.  Yes, not a single mention of any woman whatsoever.  Do women play no role at all in the discussion?  I first heard Schaeffer on this subject recently as a guest on Rachel Maddow's show, but why no mention of women in politics, in atheism, or in Christianity who may damn or save the religion from without or within?  Who do you think of when thinking of an answer to the question, "Can Christianity be saved from the Christians?"


Mark Baker-Wright said...

At a guess, Schaeffer himself, if challenged on the question of having left any women out of his list, would agree that this is a problem (if perhaps not an oversight, per se, since it's probably harder--especially for a man with a background in evangelical Christianity, however much he's shifted away from it--to think of prominent Christian women of the influence needed to do this task, given the preponderance of male dominance in this field).

J. K. Gayle said...

B-W, Welcome! Great point. Indeed, Frank Schaeffer would likely rewrite his essay in a second if he'd realized his only examples were men. The fact that he appeared on Rachel Maddow's show and that his book was so well received at Christian Feminist is a good sign:

He's even endorsed Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality as "The most comprehensive overview of the status of women and religion I've read. It chronicles the harm religion can do to both men and women, but also holds out a promise of radiant hope."