So far, Putnam and Campbell's Amazing Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us has been a veritable gold mine for me when it comes to blogging topics.
In my previous post, I wrote about one of the churches visited by the authors, Our Savior Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. There is far more material on this church in the book, and after a few pages on the abortion issue, the next topic covered is the role of gender in the church.
One easy way to tell that a particular religion is man made is if it puts the emphasis on the Man part. Our Savior Lutheran's Pastor White sets the tone. "When God created mankind, at the core of that creation was gender."
The book goes on the quote one of the male congregants:
Congregant Jim Carver echoes this view: "To say it doesn't really matter that Adam was created first" is to "forget the order and pattern of creation," adding that "as protector and provider man has all the responsibility." Really? God created Adam, and then after some time went by, He thought, "You know, now that I think about it, Adam probably could use some pussy."
Get enough women to believe that, and they will become complicit in their own oppression. Our Savior Lutheran does not allow women to vote in its congregational assemblies. A woman congregant, Sharon Middleton, is quoted as saying "Pastor White will show you exactly bibilically that women aren't supposed to vote." She goes on to add "There may be a lot of people that will disagree but that's one good thing about Pastor White...you do according to what the Bible says."
And that is the order and pattern of control, at least when it comes to religion. Convince a number of people that a text or collection of texts contains divine commandments and then convince these people that your interpretation of those commandments is the only correct one, thereby putting yourself in a position of authority over them.