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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Women: Know Your Limits


In honor of Mary and Martha - the two Saints of Perpetual Triangulation - whom we remember in tomorrow's lectionary, I offer this instructional video.

I first discovered this little gem - believe it or not - at a Very Orthodox website which is known to have members who froth at the mouth about LGBT people and break into a cold sweat when the conversation turns to the Ordination of Women.

The surprising thing was they 'got' it. They 'got' the joke.

It's amazing, however, how one can use church history, tradition and, of course, scripture - including the passages from John and Luke about Mary and Martha - to support one's conclusion that the "proper" role of women is either in the kitchen or at the feet of Jesus.

Never in any position of ordained leadership. Our brains are "too fluffy" for that.

"The woman has foolishly attempted to venture into the conversation with a wild and dangerous opinion of her own. What half-baked drivel! See how the men look at her in utter contempt."

Best we should only talk about how much we adore little kittens.

Anyway, enjoy the parody.

More on Mary and Martha tomorrow.

10 comments:

Elaine C. said...

Last time I preached on Martha and Mary, I found an article in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly wherein the author argued that both of them (in the context of the ministry teaching of this section of Luke) -- were clearly disciples/apostles/ministers just like the rest of the 70 who were sent out. That they both represented ministerial tasks -- 1) quiet time & building relationship with Jesus -- 2) doing the work. That the "better" part is a poor translation -- should be "good" part. We need to have both in order to minister, doing and being -- and women in leadership/ministry -- is as old as Martha and Mary ...

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I have a hard time believing that Jesus set them up like that. I'm thinking that this was Luke, and that it has something to do with the story of the Good Samaritan which precedes it. I think he's teaching about discipleship - about how to love God and how to love your neighbor as your self. The "good" is Luke's pronouncement, I think.

claire said...

Elizabeth, the following article by a Dominican Sister has an interesting take on Martha & Mary:
http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12364

Thank you for the video. A woman friend of mine pretty much told me the same thing...

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, Claire. The article, however, is only available to subscribers.

claire said...

Oh, sorry, Elizabeth! I just e-mailed it to you.

Daniel Weir said...

I once suggested in a sermon that Jesus needed someone listening to him. In dealing with conflict I often need someone who will listen as Mary did.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, Clair. Can't wait to read it.

Brian R said...

Our priest stressed that Jesus said Mary had chosen the "better" part although he added that he would still like plenty of brussells sprouts and baked potatoes on his next invite to a parishioner for dinner. He told the tale of a fellow priest who stupidly asked his vestry for an assistant. They provided a time and motion expert who noted that the priest wasted 2 hours a day on prayer. The members of the vestry said they had to pray in their own time not at work.

Linda Maloney said...

I suspect the Dominican was Barbara Reid, academic dean of Catholic Theological Union and editor in chief of the forthcoming Wisdom Commentary series from Liturgical Press. This will be a full-fledged multivolume feminist commentary on the whole Bible, ecumenical and interfaith. First volumes probably late next year. Barbara published a book on Luke's treatment of women, "Choosing the Better Part" with Liturgical Press about ten years ago. She doesn't suffer putdowns of active and uppity women gladly.
I'm of course preaching on M&M tomorrow, and I'm emphasizing the power to choose.
Linda Maloney+

KJ said...

Love the parody. Must be shared!