Sullivan defines sexism as "an ideology based on the belief that one sex is superior to and should dominate the other sex" (Sullivan, 208). Dr. Shaw states that her research is based on feminist theology and feminist biblical criticism (1:05) and how gender works in religion (1:20). She then later mentions behaviors and actions promoted by the Southern Baptist church specifically that she would label as sexist (2:40). As a Christian, and a life-long studier of the Bible, I would be interested to hear more about her thoughts on this issue specifically. I would be interested to get a hold of her book Reflective Faith in order to read more about her views on the subject (2:00). It is already clear to me that there is a great misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the scriptures when it comes to a female's role. Many people read the Bible as if it was written directly to them, in their culture and time, and forget that we have to read it through a lens of thousands of years ago in multiple cultures and settings. For example, when Paul makes the statement to "let your women keep silent in the churches" (1 Corinthians 14:34) it was to a specific church in a specific culture and was never meant to be a rule applied to all churches. When the culture of Corinth is studied there were specific reasons why that was said. The Bible as a whole shows many examples of women in leadership and in teaching positions all the way back to Deborah who led all of Israel in the book of Judges. So I entirely agree with Dr. Shaw when she states that it is bad theology to say that due to Eve being first in the fall, women should not be pastors (4:05). There isn't much in the book about sexism in religion so it is difficult to find a direct connection. However, with the prevalence of Christianity in the foundation of our society I do think that these misinterpretations of Biblical passages have been a huge part of the sexism in our society. For example, the Biblical idea that women should submit to men is a foundational concept in why men tend to be preferred for managerial tasks in the workplace (Sullivan, 218) or why there are so few women in political positions (Sullivan, 225)
I was also very interested, and saddened, to hear the discussion about the 'Christian' couple and their treatment of the lesbian womenasking for a wedding cake (10:39). Growing up in the church I have always heard the same argument of "religous freedom" for issues like these that Dr Shaw mentions (8:46), but I never heard the details of how these people treated the woman and her mother. It's very possible that if they had simply said from the beginning that they were not comfortable making a cake for that wedding the woman would have found another bakery and we would have never heard about the incident. However, they had to go beyond that and ultimately shower hate towards the people in the name of Christianity (even though Christianity's foundation is love) and then try to make it out ot be a case of religous freedom. I've asked the same questions that Dr. Shaw has about the Christians vehement opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage. Why is this the only issue being focused on? It is true that the Bible lists homsexuality as a sin in many places but right along side it is divorce, sex outside of marriage, and even lust. As Dr. Shaw mentions, why doesn't that couple ask people about whether they were divorced and the reasons behind it (9:20)? To add to that they should be asking questions like, "are you already living together outside of marriage?", "have you slept together yet?". Of course no one would ever ask these questions because, despite our moral beliefs, they recognize that those things are none of their business. Yet they feel they can make these decisions based on someone's sexual orientation. I feel this is related to the title of the last section of the chapter this week, "Masculine, Feminine, or Human?" (Sullivan, 237). The section discusses "androgyny" which is defined as "a condition where male and female characteristics are not rigidly assigned and there is a blending of the traits, attitudes, and roles of both sexes." (Sullivan, 237), but to me the question "or Human" is what truly stuck out. I think we can change the terms and ask "Heterosexual, homosexual, or human?" As a Christian I will admit outright that I don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle but whether I agree with their lifestyle doesn't change the fact that they are human and that as a Christian I am to love them as God loves them. There are a lot of lifestyles that I don't agree with and, when it comes down to it, there are many things I do myself that I don't agree with, but I am still called to love.