Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Woman Preacher Gets Southern Baptist Church Expelled

It's hard to believe in these modern times that there is still overt, legal discrimination against women. But leave it to religion to be in the dark ages when everyone else has seen the light. The Druid Hills Baptist Church, a thriving Southern Baptist congregation in Atlanta, Georgia, has been declared "not a cooperating church" because its associate pastor is a woman (*gasp*!).

The official policy of the Southern Baptist Convention is that the role of pastor is "limited to men as qualified by Scripture."

Yeah, that's the right idea! Let's take the morals of a bunch of farmers, goatherds and rabbis who lived two thousand years ago, and decide that by golly, they got it right! We can't possibly have learned any new morals or ethics since then! Why, God spoke to them and personally made sure they wrote down everything we'll ever need to know about morality, once and for all.

Actually, the retrograde morality of the Southern Baptists makes me happy. It is sure to drive at least a few members away from this backwards, repressive church, and that's a good thing.

The Southern Baptists are shooting themselves in the foot with this silly policy. Religions are constantly evolving and changing. They're inevitably shaped by a "survival of the fittest" mechanism, which means that churches with outdated, repressive and unethical policies lose membership fade away.

Our American culture, the "ecosphere" in which these memes (ideas) reproduce, is changing, becoming more and more hostile to the idea that women are not equal to men. When the environment changes, species have to change to match, or they become extinct. So it is with churches: they can rant and rail all they like about "God's word," and earnestly believe they have truth on their side, but cultural evolution is as relentless as biological evolution. Sooner or later, if a religion doesn't evolve to match its changing environment, it will become extinct.

And when one species starts to teeter towards extinction, it leaves an ecological niche that another species will fill. A more liberal church (or perhaps even secular or atheist ideas) will "infect" the brains of the people who leave the Southern Baptist Church. That's evolution – cultural evolution – at work, doing what it's been doing since humans started speaking.

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Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

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