It's noon, but I haven't quite come into focus yet. I was just dumbly chewing some English muffin while the news, in the wake of the death of a pope, again brought up the subject of Christianity and the female to the infinitely credulous, never-heard-it-before public. That's like asking if a Jew could ever be elected president in the US.
The story included a sound-byte of some spokesman saying that Christ didn't choose his mother as an apostle: didn't choose any woman.
Some religions have a coed pantheon, but not Judaism: and not Christianity. Much of reality, of life, of the truth is cut out, expelled, repressed. And the cutters and repressors remain proudly immune to learning. For example, they still talk interchangeably about "Christ" and "Jesus", as though they were synonyms, interchangeable. That is, they look at rugged problems of fact and interpretation, faith and experience, as though they were flat, simple, solved ... Like lawyers they assure that irrelevancies are infinitely worried over, while real basic questions are not admitted: very much the way questions of whether or not Americans should be murdering Vietnamese wholesale was blocked by niceties of whether we should reduce our acceleration of the slaughter by 1% or by 2% ... after the next election or after the next election after the next one ...
But: I remember when the question of a Jew in the White House was no more risible than the question of a Catholic in the White House: and then by God the American people elected JFK! So nothing no distinction, no wisdom, no prejudice, no blindness is necessarily immortal. Learning can take place (and so can forgetting): once in an eon ... or myriad times in a second: though long gaps of no learning seem to be the average.
Once upon a time we assumed that light was instantaneous, its velocity infinite. Now we think differently. Once upon a time we thought that things like light, like seeing, were continuous: then we decided that more and more things are both finite and particulate. Light came in photons, then even gravity came and went as a quantum.
It strikes me that evolution, when it comes at all, comes in quanta: and that applies to evolution in religion, in philosophy, in epistemology ... as well as in DNA. The God who tries (and fails) to kill Moses [Exodus 4:24] bears little resemblance to the God who speaks as the chief baron among barons [Genesis 1:24 etc.] or the God who decides that he himself will be the sacrificial lamb ... The United States that killed Indians while taking their land, their democracy ... is visibly different from the United States that beats its breast about Social Security ... (however strong the resemblance between the United States that killed Indians and the United States that burned the books of Wilhelm Reich).
Do I waste my time pointing out the existential distinction between Jesus and Christ? I'd have to be able to look at us in this millennium and then in another (and then in another) to have a clue.
I know a male God. I know him fairly well. I also know a god (more than "one") that doesn't seem to be limited by the stock responses of gender. I also know a Church, a church that's defiantly male. I don't want that Church to reform, to grow, to learn, to evolve. I want that Church to put everyone on the same Procrustean Bed. I want to watch that Church sink beneath the waves.
By the way: does anyone know a good priest who doesn't hate the Church? (Does anyone know a good American who doesn't hate the United States? isn't embarrassed by it?)
I'll take women a great deal more seriously when more of them are embarrassed to be female: as I am embarrassed to be male.
The 25th: Would the Church have burned fewer heretics and witches had women been priests all along? more? about the same?
I don't know that women would make "better" popes or presidents than men: I see few females as alpha. (Would we be better off with betas?) But this occurs to me:
Men may have made our institutions, but don't women fit them better? Females are the more social gender: across any number of species. Women are less riled by rules.
The rules are man-made, but the breakers of the rules are more likely to be male.
2011 07 25 Oo, a few things I said above, long gaps of no learning seem to be the average, are soo Darwinian!
But one thing I have to add I didn't know when I posted the above: I didn't know till I read Bart Ehrman's studies of the New Testament that Christians altered the gospels over the centuries to serve certain agendas. They made mistakes, naturally enough, but they also faked text for politics.
First, gospel evidence isn't reliable, but we have gospel proof that the role of women in early Christianity was important, and further that that evidence was interfered with! The history continues at the PKnatz blog.