The authentic woman
May 9, 2010 by Bill
Mother’s Day is once again here with Sunday sermons that will be filled with clichés, platitudes and banalities. “Motherhood,” Christian pulpits are going to be shouting, is the divine calling of women. It is time to take a hard look at what the bible and the church have actually done to degrade women. The treatment of women in the bible is characterized by such indecency and utter contempt that it is total travesty to call this book the “word of God.”
Dr. Gerald Larue, distinguished professor emeritus of biblical history and archaeology at the University of Southern California, wrote these words: “The bible has been one of the most powerful social weapons in the arsenal of those who restrict and curtail the freedom of women. No matter what bible you use, the message is the same. WOMEN ARE INFERIOR. Their inferiority is moreover ordained by God. How long are we going to let people who lived and died thousands of years ago dictate the way we live and think today?”
In the year 584 A.D., there was held the Council of Macon in Lyons, France. Sixty-three Catholic Bishops met to engage in a serious debate on the subject: “ARE WOMEN HUMAN?” The vote was finally called for. Thirty-two voted “yes.” Thirty-one voted “no.” Women were declared “human” by only one vote.
The Christian church for centuries taught the doctrine of Augustine and Aquinas (church “fathers,” they are called) that a mother contributes nothing to her child’s genetic inheritance but acts only as the “soil” for the male bearing seed.
To stay pregnant and barefooted has been the “divine” calling of women throughout the entire history of the Christian church up to and including today in 2010.
Martin Luther said it this way: “If a woman dies from childbearing, it does not matter. Let her die bearing children. That is all she is here for” (and they have churches named after this guy).
St. Augustine (345-430 A.D.) wrote: “Any woman who does not give birth to as many children as she is capable of is guilty of murder.”
John Wesley, of Methodist fame, wrote in a letter to his wife: “Wife, be content to be insignificant. Of what loss would it be to God or man had you never been born?”
The history of women in the Christian church up until the present day is a history of half-witted, ignorant and warped men who have acted as if they had frontal lobotomies. The National Convention of Southern Baptists in the year 2003 proclaimed once again, that “wives must submit to the leadership of their husbands in all things.” That was too much even for former President Jimmy Carter, who quit.
On this Mother’s day Sunday there will be hundreds of insulting and ludicrous sermons preached about the “divine” calling of women to be mothers to the total exclusion of respect and consideration for those women who find themselves without children. Are we to continue doing women the gross injustice of claiming that the meaning of a woman’s life is to be found only in having and rearing children?
So, I am saying this: The meaning and purpose of a woman’s life is NOT to be found in having children. Every female animal of every species can reach that goal if the meaning of female existence is to be found only in reproducing the species. We are not here just to have children. There is a much more important and authentic purpose to our existence whether male or female.
One of the reasons for our confusion and failures in relationships and life is due to our confusion as to the meaning and purpose of our own existence. In the long run, all questions boil down to this one: WHY ARE WE HERE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN? We are not here just to have children. There is no truth in the statement that the meaning of life is to be found in producing another generation. Or that meaning is to be found in the next or future generations.
This can be reduced to total meaningless. For either each individual life has meaning on its own, now, today, and retains that meaning, now whether it be long or short and whether or not it reproduces itself, or life has no meaning no matter how many children you produce.
If the life of a childless woman was really meaningless simply because she had no children, then humanity lives only for the sake of its children and the only meaning of existence is to always be found in the next generation. This kind of thinking reaches the height of total absurdity. The meaning of each individual life, whether male or female, is to be found in developing one’s full potential as a unique human being. The “divine” calling of a woman is to be first a person, daily growing and moving toward that maturity and that full flowering of personality, of becoming a significant and authentic human being. The “divine” calling of a woman is to be a person growing and unfolding into her own uniqueness, whole and complete. That would be the greatest gift to any child if having children becomes a part of her life.
Women who ignore their own development and personal growth only produce children that they often do not want, or do not like, and so even more neurotic children are released into the world with all of the harm and tragedy it precipitates. An ignorant girl only becomes an ignorant mother. A bigoted young lady only becomes a bigoted mother. An illiterate young man only becomes an illiterate father. Men and women who have ignored their own development as a full human being only pass on to their children their own immaturity, weaknesses, and failure to become an authentic human being.
On this Mother’s Day, I am telling you to remember that the “divine” calling of a woman is not to just reproduce the species. Every female animal can reach that objective. The “divine” calling of a woman is to be what she is uniquely born to be, an individual human being living with an inner harmony and walking to the beat of the drummer that beats only for her, daily growing into her full potential as a complete human being and an authentic woman.