For all of the faith that its leaders claim to espouse, the church has its doubts.
The majority of its members do not believe women — no matter what she is talking about. We believe that God speaks to us, that God will heal us and deliver us but cannot believe that God would use a woman.
We’ll follow Jesus but that’s a reach, that’s a bridge too far— even though Mary carried Jesus on two swollen feet. It would take a miracle and perhaps an angel to corroborate her story for some to believe that God calls women to spread the gospel.
Some might argue that these leaders got it honestly, that the first male disciples didn’t believe the eyewitness reports of Jesus’ resurrection because of the source. They didn’t believe her but had to see it for themselves.
Always second-class, already second-guessed, why would these women lie? It wasn’t as if they were going to be promoted or called to pastor a church.
The belief that God has one-sided conversations with women, that God talks to her and demands that she not repeat it, not respond except in prayer? Now, that’s a lie.
The assertion that God only wants her to talk to other women and children, and certainly not behind a pulpit, is the work of patriarchy.
It is an abuse of power, deciding who will be seen and heard from while using one scripture to do it – a snippet of a conversation between Paul and Timothy.
Because this is not what Jesus would do. In fact, it’s not what Jesus did.
Eavesdrop on his conversation with Mary and Martha and then let’s talk about who’s cooking, cleaning and doing the dishes.
Maybe this is why some church leaders attempt to cover her mouth by denying her calling, refuting or twisting the story that God has spoken to her. It is because, like her sisters at Jesus’ tomb, she knows where the bodies are buried.
She knows that you saw it all too, that you denied it and that you were with him, that you kept silent. She reminds you of your complicity with the patriarchal empire, but some persons in ministry don’t want to talk about that either.
Because “women talk too much.” “They’re so emotional.” “All women do is gossip.” She just needs to “calm down and then I will listen.” Because if we tell the truth, then what can they cover up?
Discounting women’s voices is a habit. Deferring one’s response until she says it the way that we want to hear it is manipulation and a common practice. Dismissing her experience and her side of the story is of no consequence.
Because we, women, have to be rational, right?
We have to be logical. We have to follow protocol and take all the proper precautions. We have to do an investigation and get all of the facts. There are laws that we must abide by.
Do all of this but it will not change the fact that she was telling the truth. While there are few cases, most women don’t lie about abuse.
And what she said about Jesus wasn’t gossip, it was the good news.
Governor Andrew Cuomo resigns but gives two weeks’ notice and a resignation speech, calling the accusations “ugly.” He addresses his daughters and not the women who accuse him of inappropriate touches and unwarranted sexual advances.
He does not apologize but instead says, “I want them to know that I never did, and I never would, intentionally disrespect a woman or treat any woman any differently than I would want them treated. And that is God’s honest truth.”
He’ll leave in 14 days, as if the reason for his departure is normal. But there is nothing normal about accusations of sexual harassment and assault.
It is not easy to say or talk about. In fact, it is more humiliating for the women who come forward than Cuomo resigning in disgrace, though persons often center the abuser.
It takes a lot for a woman to speak up, to tell the truth about her abuse, and it shouldn’t take multiple accusations, a miracle or an angelic messenger to believe her — but it seems that the church has resigned itself to this.