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The heart may become uncomfortable with falsity and militate for the truth, but the truth is rational, logical and reasonable and is apprehended by the mind, NOT the heart. When it is so apprehended, it is AFFIRMED by the heart! - Michael Armstrong

Jesus and Sexism
A look at the issue

The cult of the Virgin flourishes under the repression, veiling it and giving men a good conscience.  The cult of the Virgin does not prove that women were placed too high.  The exact opposite is the case.  It plays the role of an ideology and conceals the mechanism whereby women are despoiled, treated as minors, and negated.  The model is perfect because it is unique.  Because no other woman can approximate it, all others, in the name of the Virgin's excellence, must be reduced to tutelage.  Yet the cult of the Virgin serves to show in what high estimation woman as such is held.  We have here the well-known mechanism of the ideal whereby the more perfect the model is, the more it authorizes the rejection of the concrete. - Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI.  p.34,35.

Institutionalized Sexism

A huge amount of sexism is built into and shines forth from the traditional paradigm and religions, so let’s put this evil in its proper perspective and dispense with it once and for all. It is well known and documented that sexism in Islam is entrenched, extensive and harshly oppressive. Pretty much the same can be said for Hinduism, and to a lesser degree for Buddhism. Christianity has in some quarters made significant strides to overcome this syndrome, but it is still part of the fabric, being institutionalized, being male dominated and controlled. And we are not talking just about Catholicism here.

Male and female symbolism

In the culture that Jesus chose for his universe-saving demonstration, maleness stood for manliness naturally, but also rationality, logic and reason as well as openness, forthrightness, lack of guile, strength of body and mind, capability of leadership, etc., whereas femaleness stood for feeling, emotion, subtleness, inner and less obvious or subtle aspects of the human being among other things including being supportive and subordinate. Let’s understand that there is nothing intrinsically overall superior about the male gender.

For the Originator to show up in the world, the agency he called "the Father" had the ability to impose on him any form and gender the Father so desired. He chose the male form for a set of reasons, ostensibly good reasons. Those reasons are NOT necessarily complimentary to males, but as I understand it, he has “locked” himself into that gender for all time.

Females in that culture were not expected to be completely rational, logical, reasonable, nor significantly intellectual and were thus expected to take a subordinate role in the culture and relationships. Although much of this symbolism is supported by physiology, the sexism bleeding into the mentality of the culture was NEVER intended by the creator. In a healed reality the superior aspects of both the female and male form are meaningless beyond just being attractive to the other gender, and from my perspective those of the female may be MORE valuable and interesting.

Having said the above, it can reasonably be inferred that Jesus came to appeal to the so-called higher aspects of mankind, his intellect, rationality, logic and reason without regard for physical gender. The very meaning of the word righteousness actually means reasonableness in our language of the present time.

The Truth that transcends sexism

The creator of the universe is NOT in the business of being superior, ordinate, transcendent or alien, not in the business of being the “majestic” sovereign potentate of the universe and being served as such, and especially not in the business of being mysterious, mystical or inscrutable. He has REVEALED himself and is earnestly calling for our complete understanding of his nature, character, purpose, plan and values, and is offering us supremacy through equality. Gaining such an understanding is the ONLY way to come into the meaningful and effective unity which is called for. This is primary in his instructions, and not making this a priority is holding back the healing and restoration of the entire human race.

His claim—somewhat outrageous to the Jews—is that he is the paradigm, the truth, and the life source, the ultimate reason to care about taking God seriously. His claim was that he faithfully and fully represented the Father. There is not very good reason to pay attention to ANY other writer or pontificator that does not deal primarily with Jesus and the ultimate issues. This includes Paul, who endorsed the underlying sexism of his culture, while trying to ameliorate it a little.  He never even quoted Jesus in his writings except when Jesus was quoting the Old Testament. Consequently, I don’t CARE what Paul said or didn’t say! He expounded his OWN theology rather than explicate that of Jesus and make it more meaningful  It doesn’t matter that he is not all wrong. He is not saying ANYTHING that is helpful to me! He actually didn’t accomplish anything except laying a false foundation for the world’s greatest false religion, and he had the unmitigated audacity and hubris to commit suicide for God. I am underwhelmed to say the least.

How long are we going to be apologists for ANY of the so-called apostles, who clung to major aspects of their false religion and never even understood or accepted the message of Jesus? All they really did is forge a formal male-dominated club to control their followers in the traditional ways. This is NOT what Jesus had in mind!

We can remind ourselves that Jesus had many women followers that ministered to him more lovingly and effectively than the men. He honored Mary in a way above all others in appreciation for her gesture with the bathing of his feet with expensive ointment. After the resurrection, he appeared to her first before any other earthly human.

Thomas 114

In the Gospel of Thomas 114 it is reported that Peter, the leader of the new formal club, came to Jesus and the group and said, "Let Mary leave us, because women are not worthy or the Life." Jesus' response was, "Look, I shall guide her so that I will make her male, so that she also may become a living spirit, being like you males. For every woman who makes herself male will enter the Kingship of the Heavens."

Despite upon superficial examination this verse seems to be utterly sexist, when there is an understanding of the symbolism, there is a volume of wisdom and insight in this passage, and it doesn't have anything to do with sexual anatomy or hormone levels.

"...most of the [ancient] accounts use the gender categories in a metaphorical sense. Often the transformation of the female into the male involves the transformation of all that is earthly, perishable, passive, and sense-perceptible into what is heavenly, imperishable, active and rational." - Marvin Meyer translation, Harold Bloom interpretation, The Gospel of Thomas, HarperSanFranciso, 1992, p. 109.

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