Taking another look at Valerie Turico’s piece as I continue my analysis and response, today, we look at point number three, where she states,
3. Demeaning and subjugating women is evil.When it comes to dignity and equality for women, instead of acting as moral torchbearers, Bible believers have been at the back of the pack for generations, along with conservative factions from other Abrahamic traditions ranging from Islam to Mormonism. The American Quiverfull movement, “complementarianism,” theexpulsion of Southern Baptist women who were making inroads into the clergy, the Mormon Patriarchy’s threats to excommunicate women who seek equality, the Vatican’s decision to crush nuns who thought poverty was a bigger problem than abortion . . . Need I say more?
I don’t know, does she? So far she’s demonstrated an inability to present a case worthy of consideration, making accusations then having to go out of the context that she is discussing to make her point.
When it comes to the question of “equality” we have to be clear in what we mean. Where we place the equal sign when it comes to the roles and responsibilities of creatures to their Creator can either solve or cause problems. If you’ve followed me for a while, I’ve often made the point that equality is about recognizing certain qualities as equal. But first, we need to establish certain categories in order that we can begin to see qualities so that we can recognize them as being equal.
First of all, for Valerie, what is a “woman”? If it is “evil” to “demean and devalue” one ,which means that we have to have a worldview capable of making that consistent definition, we have to have a definite idea of what a woman is? Even in 2014, when the article was written, the definition of just what a woman is had begun to slip into vagueness. Again, this is a worldview question, and whether or not Valerie’s worldview is capable of giving the term “woman” a consistent and positive representation.
Second, what does it mean to “demean and devalue” a woman? You are required to have a worldview that can give a woman an objective value that requires certain duties, which is something that Valerie has yet to provide. She asserts that a certain movement within Christianity is somehow demeaning and devaluing of women but does not demonstrate just how that movement supposedly demeans and devalues women. What she does is, once again, go outside Christianity to attempt to demonstrate her point, which is simply an illogical way of reasoning.
Valerie links to a site for the organization Christians for Biblical Equality, an organization that uses, fallaciously in my opinion, Galatians 3:28 as a proof-text to support their assertions. If I criticize non-believers for abusing texts, ripping them from their context, I have more of a responsibility to come down harder and harsher against people who claim to be brothers and sisters, simply, because they should know better. But that’s not the issue. What is the issue is Valerie’s assertion, her bare assertion that certain segments within the Christian Faith, that somehow they devalue and demean women. Then she equates these certain practices or beliefs with Mormonism and Islam. Just on the equation, I believe that we can dismiss her assertion.
I would love to ask Valerie what worldview can consistently ground the value of women and establish their value, other than the Christian worldview? Further, I would love for her to explain how a Christian movement, such as the “Quiverfull” movement can be used to define something as “demeaning and devaluing” toward women while completely ignoring the abuse and degradation portrayed in various iterations of pornography. Can you smell the hypocrisy?
Further, what does Mormonism have to do with the Southern Baptists defining family and familial roles to line up with biblical teaching? Mormons aren’t Christians, in fact they attempt to refute every orthodox belief derived from Scripture on the basis of their philosophical presuppositions that are laid out in The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants, and the Book of Abraham. By importing that into her argument she is equivocating, using the term “Christian” and attempting to apply it to Baptists and Mormons, when there are distinct differences. Sorry, that won’t pass.
Also, her criticism of the Roman Catholic Church, where some lines could be drawn as well, is equally fallacious because it is up to the Pope to define the position that the church will hold. At last check, Valerie is not the pope.
Just to recap: Valerie believe that a woman’s life has meaning and value, but has not demonstrated what those terms mean, nor how they apply to the groups that she is accusing of doing so. She has used bare assertion and her personal dislike to attempt to to ground her argument. Sorry, Valerie, that boat simply will not float.