Thursday 17th November 2022
I almost didn’t write this post. When we’re talking about theology that creates abusive attitudes complimentarianism- the notion that God gives men and women different roles, seems so obvious it’s hardly worth discussing.
I’m also convinced that, men in particular who believe that women should have a different role to them are never ever going to change their minds no matter how many biblical texts to the contrary are presented to them, it’s just too darn convenient for them.
But, I promised to discuss the bad fruits of beliefs Christians hold, and when it comes to abuse this may be the one belief that produces the most rotten, stinking fruit, so I can hardly miss it out.
Let’s start with the complimentarian strapline: “equal but different” or as George Orwell phrased it “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” Really, think about it, essentially complimentarian theology posits that it’s a man’s role to hold all the positions of power, to do all the interesting stuff and it’s woman’s role to “help;” to wipe children’s bottoms and noses, to organise the church flower rota, to be submissive and silent and essentially be the “support act’ to the mainstage event- the men. But we’re all equals!
That’s a strange concept of equality they have isn’t it.
This is what Orwell referred to as ‘Doublethink’ or what victims of torture and abuse refer to as gaslighting- when a perpetrator seeks to redefine reality for his victim in order to make her accept his abuse as normal behaviour. Complimentarian theology, at it’s very core, gaslights us, brainwashes us, as women, to accept that doing all the menial crap that men find demeaning is equal to decision making and leadership. What a steaming pile of crap!
If a doctrine has to use abusive tactics like gaslighting just to get us to buy into it, it’s never ever going to produce any good fruit, because it’s built, as a whole doctrine on abuse and male entitlement. That’s before we even look at the practical implications of telling men they are entitled to lead simply by virtue of having a penis, geez I wonder why male entitlement is so rampant in churches!