15 October 2008

And another thing

[warning: knee jerk rant follows]

So long as we’re on the topic of this essay, here’s a section that made me blink:

Are there certain offices the church may create that are especially suitable for women more so than for men? Yes, there are. I am thinking specifically of the office of deaconess. It is not necessary, probably not even desirable that a deaconess be given her theological training by an institution of a synod. It certainly isn’t appropriate for men who are studying to be pastors in the church to be sitting next to women during their seminary training as these women receive instruction to be what God forbids them to be. A church that does not have a pastor competent to give a deaconess the theological training she needs is a church that should not have a deaconess.

By this standard, I’m doubly wicked: I sat next to men in seminary classes, and I wasn’t even at Sem for the “permissible” goal of being a deaconess. No, I was there because I wanted to know, and hopefully serve, my Lord better; in a weird way I was also doing it as prep for being a pastor’s wife. [NO, I’m not claiming that pastors’ wives must formally study theology, or be “co-partners” in their husband’s ministry or anything like that…I’m just talking from my particular situation and marriage.] ’Splain to me how that means I was “receiving instruction to be what God forbids me to be?” I humbly acknowledge that I am, in general, more than doubly wicked; yet in this particular instance I find that my conscience is clearer than its usual wont.

Does the objection to women studying at seminary center around the fact that the presence of women will somehow distract or lead astray the men? Hmmm…as provocative as the tent-draped pregnant form is to the general public, I never seemed to create much of a stir among all those future pastors as I slid quietly into the back row each day. Wait—I do recall a time that I clearly distracted the man sitting next to me. He asked when the baby was due. I smiled and truthfully replied, “Today,” whereupon he turned rather pale and—no joke—scooted, ever so subtly, just a few inches farther from me. Fortunately for him, Boy the First was (un)fashionably late.

[Excursus: I’m appalled that our seminary felt compelled to add desks designed to accommodate “seminarians of larger girth,” but those extra inches do come in quite handy in the third tri.]

“Certainly isn’t appropriate”—them’s fightin’ words; what else can they mean but that it’s wrong, a sin for women to study at seminary? And how far back does the “inappropriateness” go? Was it also wrong for me as an undergraduate to sit in classes with pre-seminary students—men who were studying to be pastors?

Is there something huge that I’m missing here? Perhaps the various Reverend Bloggers will have something to say on this point, as well.

What really made me blink is the implication that it’s preferable for a deaconess to receive her training from her pastor, rather than from seminary. Say huh? If we’re concerned about inappropriate situations, then why would we want to put a man and a woman into an intense, one-on-one instructional relationship like that?

Hmmm, indeed. I’ll go take a couple aspirin and try again to make sense of the world in the morning.

34 comments:

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

I'll chime in. Women in the classroom changes the dynamic of teaching. Profs feel like they have to choose their words more carefully so as not to offend. As a single student, it was hard enough having to restrain my...well, perpetual libido. There were plenty of distractions already. Throw women (some beautiful) into the mix and its like a kid being at a candy store but not being able to have anything. More distractions, more temptations. I think it was a bad idea. I don't think women should be studying at the seminary.

Joy said...

Reb. Mary,

I too sat in the classroom, not as a student earning a degree but simply because I wanted to learn.

If a sem student (who presumably shared a classroom with women in undergrad) struggles that much with his libido, maybe he should take a few years in the real world to mature and get married before attempting seminary. It's like a parishioner who can't tolerate noisy kids in the sanctuary. If he can be THAT easily distracted, his focus isn't in the right place to begin with.

Rebekah said...

Ha. This also caught my attention, and then the thing at the bottom caught it even more.

I sympathize with Father Paul. I know that when I went through there were certain professors whose classes were known to be "better" (bawdier? =better? well, whatever.) when there weren't women around. I never liked knowing that I was spoiling the fun. And although I know full well that I'm not one of the beautiful ones (and I was also married, and pregnant for part of my tenure), there were (and are) rather well proportioned women on campus who dressed and behaved in ways to help everyone notice.

But I really really really wanted the education that I could only get at the seminary, ie to learn the faith beyond the basics from faithful instructors. I can't get that from books alone or my pastor alone any more than an MDiv student can. It was a matter of both intellect and anfechtung. And I really have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that women shouldn't have access to that kind of instruction just because of the way they're built. Presumably single seminarians run into women elsewhere over the course of their lives--in college? in church? at work?

I very humbly submit: please, our need to learn these things is real, as real as yours. There were dudes in the MA program too. Confirmed laity with no desire for the pastorate can have a legitimate hunger to receive what is given in seminary classrooms.

The truth is that I'm ashamed to have the diploma I left at the bottom of a moving box because I know now I had no business getting it (this degree brought to you by contraception). But I can never regret what I learned at the seminary--particularly about vocation and the interpretation of Scripture.

Maybe we can just ban the pretty girls. The guys can't deal with them, and we mortal females hate them. ;) Or if LCMS Inc. could be persuaded that a women's theological school would generate some revenue, they'd surely open one tomorrow . . . .

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

As a sinful man, I can tell you there is a big difference between seeing beautiful women in the course of normal everyday life, and sitting in the same classroom every day with the same beautiful woman. And don't fall for the myth that "maturity" somehow reduces a man's perpetually sinful libido.

You have a good point about a pastor not taking on the education of a deaconess one-on-one. I disagreed with that point in the essay too.

Joy said...

Rebekah,

"Ban the pretty girls." Ha!

OR, we could have classes for married men who have a healthy sexual outlet, in which women like you and I could sit in the back with a burka over our faces, and another set of classes for single guys who need zero distractions.

Reb. Mary said...

I appreciate Rev. Beisel's honesty, and echo Rebekah's desire not to spoil the "fun" by adding the female dynamic. I wholeheartedly believe that the pastor-types should have "safe" (woman-free!) venues to vent, discuss, share, whatever.

But I'll plead along with Rebekah: I really, really wanted; really, really needed, even, that seminary education! Perhaps certain classes or groups could be limited to the M.Div. track, with others being open to laity, male and female? And break out the burkhas for the rest :D

And more shame to me: I've got not one, but two contraception-enabled MAs in my moving boxes :(

Uh-oh; more later--we're going to be late for story hour :P

Pr. H. R. said...

Here's the real problem: we need a grad school and a seminary and they need to be separate.

A seminary should be a semi-monastic time of intense study, repeated daily prayer, and close camaraderie between men training for a task with men who have lived that task for decades. That's the way it was done for centuries and the Romanists still pull it off (it was only a generation ago that LCMS men could not even be engaged while at the seminary. . . ). A seminary, like training for a military unit, should be a closed group, in that sense. Not only women, but laymen also, oughtn't to be there: I don't get to take classes at West Point.

By the same token a graduate school of theology that serves laity and those clergy who want to serve the church as teachers is also needed. Theology is not only a practical topic for pastors, but an engaging and important academic science where all bright minds need to interact. The same Romanists who manage to pull off an all-clergy seminary also attach those seminaries to larger academic institutions where theology, history, and philosophy are taught as academic subjects in mixed classrooms with laymen and laywomen not only a students but also as faculty. It's a much saner - and traditional - system.

That's the proper way. But we Lutherans try to have everything on the cheap: put the seminary and the grad school on the same campus, have all the classes overlap, live a student life that is at least 50% a "commuter campus culture" with men trying to care for families, work jobs to pay the bills, and so forth. And we wonder why students can come through the seminary unchanged in their theology! They haven't been formed and grown into who they are supposed to be: which is what seminary (garden nursery) really means.

So the seminary ruins the grad school and the grad school ruins the seminary.

Maybe someday North American Lutheranism will really undergo the creative destruction and reshuffling that many have pined for. Maybe then we'll have a true seminary attached to a church university the way that Kendrick-Glennon in St. Louis is attached to SLU. Until then, we're going to be stuck with institutions that are both seminaries and grad schools - which will ever be seeking to expand the latter as a means to staying in the black.

And that's another story: why after 150 years did we suddenly realize the need for a deaconess program at the graduate level - even though the ancient deaconesses and Löhe's modern program were specifically non-academic? It starts with M and rhymes with honey. . .

+HRC

Gauntlets said...

Right now, I only feel covetous as I never got the chance to earn my degree.

That said, I'll offer this, too:

I totally wish it were a matter of maturity and something we could pin on the dudes, as that would make it easy. But the truth is, I don't want to study next to some guy any more than he wants me there. Co-ed study isn't good for either sex, pretty or not (there, I finally said it). The evil doesn't lie in either the form of the woman or the marriage status of the man. It just exists, and it lingers like a staph infection where its least expected or wanted.

On the other hand, I totally empathize with the need to receive education, and not just counsel, from accomplished theologians. I long to look into these things, and as Rebekah pointed out, books aren't enough; I have too much opportunity to rule as my own pope.

What a friggin' pickle.

Blogversary said...

I too attended the Seminary and received a Dcs degree. I only paid a few hundred bucks a year, so they were not getting rich off me.

I like HRC's idea of a separate campus setup. One can dream and may it become a reality some day.

I was there to learn, study, and grow in faith. Funny, I do not recall feeling unwelcomed in a classroom where men were. I never once felt like I was being "hit-on" or having to fight off libido vibes. I guess I am one of the nonpretty ones. Bummer.

Women do change the dynamic in a group of men and vice versa. Women feel the need to change their words too when a man is around. It goes both way. Women should not be locked out the classroom.

And, I keep thinking that some of our Rev's need to question if they are truly concern or just sexist. I am sorry, but the term "throw women (some beautiful) into the mix" and comparing us to candy is degrading. Perhaps if one viewed all people as beautiful this would be a different story.

I need some chocolate.

Rebekah said...

I don't feel degraded. It's just an analogy. And we're all fearfully and wonderfully made, but I think grownups can acknowledge that, for better or worse, some are easier on the eyes.

:)

Pam said...

As to training deaconesses one-on-one, if the gal in question happens to be married to a pastor, or a layman/theologian, then there's no problem is there? ;)

Blogversary said...

Point taken. I confess, I am former card-holding feminist. Hard to shake.

Pam said...

I am seeing two missing elements in the discussion of women and men studying/learning together.

One, we seem to be looking at women in the classroom from the standpoint of "why not?" rather than "why?" I appreciate the candor of the women who have earned degrees because of contraception, but the MA is only part of the equation. I'm not trying to make enemies here, but why does a woman attend college in the first place, if not for an academic "career?" Pr Preus's essay and Dr. H's posting it are encouraging and praising the natural role of women, not giving a few more on the list of "thou shalt nots" for women.

If a young girl is raised to see mothering as the noblest role a woman can have, and thus aspires to it, she is not first distracted by the world's mandate to have a "career" and will most likely be a keeper at home, therefore never in the position of distracting male students in the first place.

Secondly, I don't think women in general really grasp the way a man's sinful mind works. I appreciate also the candor of the gentlemen who have tried to make this point to us, but I don't think it has really hit home.

First of all, let's not focus on the physical acting out on the sexual temptation, because that's not where it starts. While all of what Pr. Curtis says of parameters for confession/absolution are great, there is going to be the case where a pastor's MIND is the problem. And no, it is not as simple as keeping his vestments on, being in the sanctuary, or even keeping his eyes shut!

No amount of maturity is going to take the sin nature out of a man, and the sexual aspect is a part of it! That much is true, and is a big reason why I have heard complaints from pastors about women's choice of attire being so annoying, especially at the Communion rail, because the saint doesn't WANT to sin in his mind, but the sinner is still there and DOES. This the case for any man in the congregation!

Now, there may be and are differences among men as to how big a struggle this is, and it can be affected by what he was exposed to in his formative years, how emotionally healthy he is, and how healthy his marriage is, among other factors. I will dare to say that if you took out all the pastors who had any of these difficulties and are NOT actively addressing them, you would lose a significant number of clergy.

Add to that the increasing sex-saturation of our culture, and you have men stuck between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. Soft porn is everywhere, including in the less-than-modest dress in our congregations, and it is terribly cruel of women to sit back and tell men they are supposed to rise above all that and remain chaste. I'm telling you gals, there is an awful lot that goes on in the mind and no one can see it, so it goes unnoticed by the female population. Or worse, it is downplayed. "Oh, you know men... that's just the way they are.

It does not have to be that way, and women are very much to blame. When we view men this way, we either on the one hand put them on an impossibly high pedestal as being "different" than other men, or they are reduced to being condescended to as some lowly, primitive, uncivilized neanderthal that we have to "fix" to our preferences or ignore as vile creatures.

The feminization of society, including contraception and other forms of birth control, women' suffrage, has hurt BOTH men and women in their natural God-given roles, and it would be silly to think that the church has been unaffected.

As soon as the Church waffled when it came to standing up for what it knows to be Biblical truth, it has just been a matter of time to come to this point. Little by little, issue by issue, our church body in particular is eroding, and we are seeing a clearer and clearer reflection of culture in the church.

I may not write with the wide vocabulary I've seen here by some, nor the eloquence with which they write it, but my brain is made of more than the "mush" of a so-called "stay at home" wife and mom. I don't have a BA, an MA, or any other letters attached to my name, except those I claim proudly, "MOM." ;)

Reb. Mary said...

Well, I think we've accomplished something in this discussion. It's a friggin' pickle, indeed; separate but (un)equal theological education is probably ideal; and we all could use more chocolate. I doubt whether we'll get closer to a solution than that...

Pam: Every day, I am quite grateful to have an in-house pastor available for all my theological questions and vocational dilemmas :)

Reb. Mary said...

Didn't see Pam's last comment before I posted. Screaming precludes further consideration at the moment :O

Rebekah said...

Pam, I've got no problem with women forgoing academic pursuits if they're smart enough not to care about such vanities. A degree or lack thereof is a very poor measure of intelligence, as you and other notable CSPP veterans (and a lot of very stupid people who do have advanced degrees) prove.

An MA from an obscure academically middling seminary is a very impractical degree. I got it because I wanted to learn; I knew it wouldn't get me any kind of job that would take me away from home and family (I did think about such things even in the pre-conversion days). I don't think the pursuit of a degree is inherently problematic.

But I'm not going to tell an unmarried woman that she can't go to college/grad school. As far as I'm concerned, a single woman (virgin or widow) is free to work, study, or use her gifts in whatever other God-pleasing way she sees fit. So the question here is, under what circumstances?

What I didn't know back in the day was that I couldn't have it all and shouldn't try. Women who want spend more time in higher education should know that they won't also have time for a family in that case, and they must choose one or the other.

OK, I'm officially neglecting my vocation today! Must start supper! (My confessor will hear about it, non-provocatively.)

Joy said...

While maturity (or emotional health) will not eradicate a man's sinful thoughts, it should influence his bahavior, his ability to ACT maturely regardless of what's going on in his peccator brain. Again, this isn't something that 'just happens'; it's the result of a series of poor choices.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Pam,

Bravo, and amen.

My two oldest children are homeschooled senior girls, currently considering their next step in life. They are well-educated, and have high enough ACT scores to get them into any college they wish. The world screams at them that the only question they should be considering at this point is WHICH college to attend, not whether or not to attend college. We have had very interesting discussions recently over the very issues you have touched on.

I believe in the value of a classical liberal education. But I disagree with the belief that such can only be obtained by attending an institution. On can be self-educated in the liberal tradition by reading on his or her own. I hold a doctorate, but it is in the field of dentistry. My undergraduate years did not include a classical liberal education. I had a strictly vocational education after high school. The way I have been educated in the classical liberal tradition, including theology, has been by reading and carrying on "the conversation" with my wife and friends. My wife did not have a liberal education either, and this does not disqualify her from carrying on "the conversation" which IS liberal education. I continue to read good books voraciously, and I have taught my children the value of such reading.

But this brings up an important point that I believe you agree with. Liberal education has value, but there is something seriously wrong with the belief that it will somehow make you a "better" person. There is nothing defective about a person who has not had a liberal education. To say so is to gravely insult countless people for whom such an education is not possible.

A young woman who gets married at age 18 and begins having children, leaving little time for liberal education, is NOT doing anything wrong. Marriage is a divine institution. College is NOT! Issues, Etc. had a great discussion of this on Sept. 3rd.

Here are a couple articles we also found interesting recently:

Wall Street Journal: For Most People, College Is a Waste of Time

World Magazine: If not college, what? Often-lucrative alternatives to the four-year degree abound

Pam said...

Rebekah,
I was not indicating pursuit of a degree to be in and of itself problematic, or implying that I would restrict "unattached" women from doing so.

Nor, Joy,
was I saying that the actions of any man, pastor or not, are not an issue.

I am simply pointing out that there are issues to be addressed BEFORE we even get to these. One, the vocation of women, which, as Dr. Heidenreich correctly stated, Pastor Preus addresses in his essay;

and two, that the sexual sin starts in the mind, and since more sin than that of which we are aware is perpetuated there by our ignorance and complacency, we women would do well to HELP our beloved men by keeping temptation out of temptation's way.

This does not take away a man's responsibility for his own actions! It is instead a way in which we can "help and befriend him in every bodily need."

I know sexual sin is a touchy subject. But I think when it does get brought up, men come out looking like creeps, and women smelling like a rose, or so we like to think.

As was recently pointed out to me, the Amish are on to something with their plain dresses that are not form-fitting, their lack of ornament and makeup, and their simple hairstyles. While (for the record) I am NOT stating "let's all dress like the Amish," I do see the benefit of it.

Just think, men, of what you would have all to your own eyes, rather than available for other men to see. More is exciting that we women would think. Behaviors, scents, stored mental images, all play a part. Form fitting jeans and tops, just a hint of cleavage on a low cut top, I don't need to go on. We think we are dressing modestly, and it can still be a stumbling block.

Instead of coming down on Christian men who commit or would commit sexual sins in a PHYSICAL way, we ought to help them flee it in their minds before it ever gets that far.

And there is, as I mentioned, the whole other topic of emotional health, but that's perhaps for another day. :(

Gauntlets said...

Pam, you rock. Come and live in my town.

You said: "I'm telling you gals, there is an awful lot that goes on in the mind and no one can see it, so it goes unnoticed by the female population. Or worse, it is downplayed. "Oh, you know men... that's just the way they are"

And here's the part feminists never seem to consider: It is not in a woman's best interest to expose herself to the sins of man, regardless of who he is and what he intends to do. When in regular and close contact with men, exposed you are, regardless of how tough you seem, how smart you are, how pretty your face, and how modest your dress. This has been my experience. It's not fair, but life's like that people. That's why were all so excited for the Eschaton.

They should work overtime to keep their minds free from sin (for instance, don't look at those ads in your wife's magazine, and find a book to read during commercials), and so should we do our best to preserve our own virtue. When I figure out how to do that, I'll let you know.

Pam said...

Thank you, Dr. Heidenreich.

Neither my husband (whom you know through L & P) nor I was raised in a home where we "talked theology." With him being a pastor, that is a decided disadvantage when it comes to raising his own family. My father, who also became a pastor later in life, did a better job of this, than did my mom, so at least I had some example to follow, but my grandparents were probably the best example I had.

All this is to say that the home is the first and in fact primary source of theological education, whether children "go to school" or not. This is part of the reason we chose to homeschool our children (currently eight)- because we knew we could teach them the faith better at home, and because we would, in teaching them, learn it better ourselves.

I could not have anticipated how true the latter would be! I will admit to not knowing the Bible well, not to mention reading the Lutheran confessions, and maybe someday I'll have more time to pursue things theological in an academic fashion. (Translation: time to read on my own)

For now, I have learned much from the discussions that have come about, either from my questions, of from those of a child.

Much less expensive and more worthwhile than the year's worth of the taxpayers' money and mine I wasted attending a year of classes at a Synodical college.

Joy said...

I've been discussing this quite a bit with my husband. He was surrounded by women at the sem, but never found it a distraction or impedence to his progress. He was 22, straight out of college. For such a man, this is part of what the sem years are for: separating the boys from the men, weeding out who is indeed above reproach and who isn't.

[Hmm. What an interesting experiement it would be to drop about 100 gorgeous, flirtatious young women onto campus and see who can stay chaste despite the stumbling blocks and who can't. I'm with blogversary. A lot of this could be avoided if everyone had a healthy admiration and reverence for ALL of God's handiwork, regardless of proportion or attire.]

Furthermore, in my dh's years of ministry he's been surprised at the number of women who are desperately seeking a spiritual head. Many women in our congregation bring the kids to church faithfully without their husbands. It's important not to confuse these women, who understandably might need more counsel from a pastor and are happy to receive it at church by appointment, with ones who are allured with the office itself, or determined to separate the office from the man via incessant phone calls and drop-in visits with lunch for two. (We've dealt with a few of those too. Talk about a friggin' pickle!)

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Apparently it is unnatural to have a strong libido when you are 23. I actually was at sem before the Deaconess program came, so there were relatively few women on campus besides sem wives.

Women don't belong in the seminary classroom. Sorry. I agree with Heath--have a separate graduate school for those who earnestly desire a theological education. It is natural for men to speak differently around other men, and women to speak differently around other women.

And by the way, some men actually find pregnant women attractive. You all sound like a bunch of feminists. Seriously.

Rebekah said...

Dr H and Pam: Ah, higher education. Who could forget the semester I was assigned to make a collage in three different classes? I was not an art major. So glad I paid thousands of dollars for that privilege.

And Pam, any woman who thinks sexual problems are all men's fault is a shameless liar or a complete idiot.

Father Paul, you know where some of us went to college. That takes a while to deprogram. :P

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Let me add,that I think Preus is wrong to say that there are some things women should not talk to their pastor about. I think other women can be a good sounding board for them, but they should be able to confess to their pastor.

Look, my issue is this: The presence of women in the sem. classroom, while certainly not unBiblical, is in my opinion counterproductive. For good reason it puts pressure on the prof to soften his speech. We should do that in the presence of a lady. But there should be places where that speech doesn't have to be softened, and the sem. classroom is one of them. This is just my opinion. I don't hate women. I love my wife, and I've always thought she was gorgeous when pregnant.

Reb. Mary said...

Rev. Beisel: I'm sincerely sorry if the post or comments have implied that it's somehow unnatural, immature, or jerk-ish for a man to have a "healthy libido." (Joy: just because a man doesn't act on temptation, and does his best to avert his gaze and thoughts from temptation, doesn't mean we should toss as many stumbling blocks as possible in his path...for a crude analogy; I'd find it really rude if, while I was trying to lose baby fat, people kept filling every room I was in with incredible chocolate confections. Even if I didn't eat any, it would be cruelly distracting :) ).

I appreciate your perspective on the pregnant beauty of your wife. In my post I specified that "the general public" doesn't find the pregnant form provocative, because, while individual men (hopefully) perceive the beauty of their own wives' pregnant forms, society in general seems not to. (Or am I wrong here too?)

As I've mentioned here before, I am indeed a recovering feminist and obviously still a work in progress.

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

No, I don't think you are wrong that society in general looks loathingly upon the pregnant form. That kind of appreciation is influenced by a proper understanding of the beauty of womanhood and motherhood.

Sorry if I came off a bit gruff in my manner. I'm really not against women getting theologically educated. But, sometimes getting one's point across requires a little "earthiness," especially when we students had to have our illusions and pietism stripped from us. Some of the profs do this better than others. But it's the kind of thing where one does not like to be humiliated in the presence of the opposite sex. I'm serious too--this is needed. It's like the military. Part of the process of becoming a good soldier is being desensitized to humiliation, pain, and harsh language. This is not the place for ladies. In the sem, some profs use the classroom as a mode to (1) break down the pietism and self-righteousness of the future pastors, and (2) prepare men for ministry to angry and insulting behavior on the part of parishioners. Again, just not the place for a lady. I mean this as a compliment to women, not as a slight. Students (especially those of us who came from Concordia) had a lot of self-illusions to have peeled away by the likes of Scaer and Weinrich and Rast. Sometimes that requires a little bit of theological brutality. (let the reader understand).

Gauntlets said...

Reb. Mary: Pregnant beauty, while subjective and best appreciated by one's own spouse (like all beauty), does occasionally inspire the general public. I really, really hate the general public. :(

Rev. Beisel: Dude, you are SO politically incorrect. ;) We're not feminists around here; we're lunatics. Better just call us "ists" as we're mostly in a state of transition. :D

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

lol. Okay, you got me. :)

Joy said...

Jesus was a feminist too, and a radical one at that. To invite a woman to sit and His feet and learn was downright scandalous for the age. Now, if we come across as male-bashing femi-nazis, for that I apologize.

Joy said...

Reb. Mary,

I agree that we shouldn't place stumbling blocks in front of men--especially sexual. But to spin on Rev. Beisel's analogy of the military, I'll use the example of police dogs. They are trained so superbly that they ARE presented with stumbling blocks (such as a cat walking right under their noses), and if they don't obey the master they're out of the program.

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Look, I never said that there was anything wrong with women learning theology. I just think it is not the best case scenario to stick a couple of women into a classroom where men are being trained for the Holy Ministry. Why do you think it is so necessary to insert yourself in that conversation?

If you're going to use the analogy of Jesus as the "Teacher," I don't recall women being present during those times when Jesus was "instructing" the first seminarians, if you catch my drift. He would often gather the 12 to himself and speak with them privately.

Gauntlets said...

Game off, people. There's a car coming through.

Rosie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.