Some use Scripture to justify inequality between the sexes, but if we read without assumptions, an argument for equality emerges. Genesis’ first story says, God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; So God created humankind ... in the image of God ... male and female.” God’s image and likeness is found in both sexes.
The more familiar story has man created first, but the reason for woman is because man needs a partner; not an “assistant” or “subordinate.” When Adam sees Eve, he declares, “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” He recognizes someone equal to him, a full partner. Only later as punishment does God say man will rule over woman, but that is not God’s original design.
God made us to be partnered. It is impossible to obey God’s First Commandment: keep the species going, without one another. “It takes two to tango” and make another generation. Is this interdependence meant to teach us that partnership is God’s way?
Hierarchies: men over women, gays better than straights (both better than transgender folk), Christians better than Jews who are better than Muslims — all thwart God’s plan to make us partners. Putting ourselves above others does not make anyone’s life better.
The only way we will be free is if all people, all religions (and no-religion), all nations, rich and poor, able-bodied and differently-abled, old and young, men and women, are respected and valued as marvelous and equal children of God. Whenever anyone is diminished, all are diminished. Whenever the oppressed are lifted up, all take one step closer to the peaceable realm of God.
In the dictionary, feminism is defined as: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. I am proud to be a Christian feminist.
Rev. Brian Bagley-Bonner