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#66 - A parody: "Why men should not be ordained"
by Robert Nguyen Cramer
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
Question/insight #66: (The following parody is from a fellow-correspondent on an "Ordination of Women" email forum in which I participate.)
ACCORDING TO THE NATURAL ORDER OF THE WORLD, SOCIAL CUSTOM, AND THEOLOGY
WHY MEN SHOULD NOT BE ORDAINED
1. The male physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as picking turnips or de-horning cattle. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work. How can we argue with nature?
2. For men who have children, their duties as ministers might detract from their responsibilities as parents. Instead of teaching their children important life skills like how to make a wiener-roasting stick, they would be off at some committee meeting or preparing a sermon. Thus these unfortunate children of ordained men would almost certainly receive less attention from their male parent.
3. According to the Genesis account, men were created before women, presumably as a prototype. It is thus obvious that men represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
4. Men are overly prone to violence. They are responsible for the vast majority of crime in our country, especially violent crime. Thus they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
5. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinate position that all men should take. It is expected that even ordained men would be unable to withstand the natural male tendency to buckle under pressure.
6. Jesus didn't ordain men. He didn't ordain any women either, but two wrongs don't make a right.
7. Men are simply too emotional to be ordained. Their conduct at football matches, in the army, at political conventions and especially at Promise Keepers Rallies amply demonstrates this tendency.
8. Many men are simply too handsome to lead public worship. They could prove to be a distraction to the women in the congregation!
9. To be an ordained pastor is to nurture and strengthen a whole congregation. But these are not traditional male roles. Throughout the history of Christianity, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. If men try to fit into this nurturing role, our young people might grow up with severe gender role confusion.
10. If the Church is the Bride of Christ, then it goes without saying that all ordained leaders should be female. It just makes theological sense!
[Note: One reader of the above "Ten Reasons..." wrote: "This is another version of an address given by Rosemary Ruether to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA in the mid 70s. I haven't seen her original on the net, but I have seen Mennonite and Lutheran versions and now a PC-USA version as well."]
Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer