About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Women cannot teach men, Bible says
You see, according to the “Reverend” Timothy LaBouf (who is also a member of the City Council), the Bible says that women should stay in their place and cannot teach men. So, the logic goes, Ms. Lambert had to stop what she had been doing for 54 years before the Church's administrators caught up with their reading of the sacred scriptures.
The Mayor of Watertown, Jeffrey Graham, ain't happy about this, commenting “those are disturbing remarks in this day and age. Maybe they wouldn't have been disturbing 500 years ago, but they are now.” Or they should be. The funny thing, of course, is that Rev. LaBouf is technically correct: the Bible (1 Tim. 2:12) does say “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” Hard to misread this one!
It is interesting, from a secular rational perspective, to see how the people involved deal with the situation. Neither Ms. Lambert nor the Major dare take the obvious step and denounce the “sacred text” as nothing but the misogynistic writing of ignorant men who lived thousands of years ago, to be dismissed on the ground that our understanding of human ethics and rights is much better now, thank you very much. Nope, they instead accuse Rev. Graham of not understanding Christianity, of reading the Bible out of context, etc. It is simply incredible the sort of mental somersaults that religious belief leads otherwise sane and reasonable people to do.