This Reply is a critical review of the ELCA Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice (“Draft“). It reviews the Draft’s claims of injustices by exploring the latest results from science, namely, from economics, sociology, psychology and biology.
You can find the full Reply to the ELCA Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice here.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has asked a Task Force on Women and Justice to begin developing a statement defining our church’s stance on the situation of women in society. In February 2018, this task force presented a Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice. ELCA has invited feedback on the Draft to be submitted by September 30, 2018. Following that, members of the task force will review the feedback and prepare the Proposed Social Statement, which will first be discussed by the ELCA Church Council in the spring of 2019, leading to a recommended proposed statement that will be considered by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
You can find a summary of the Reply below.
Man and woman, together, are called to bring our world a little closer to the paradise we once lost. If one half is disadvantaged, or privileged compared to the other, they cannot fulfill their purpose. Hence, it was right and proper the ELCA asked a Task Force on Women and Justice to develop a social statement defining our church’s stance regarding the situation of women in our society.
However, the authors of the ELCA Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice have failed to produce a document that would accurately describe the situation of women in America and suggest an appropriate stance of our church in the matter.
Instead, the authors summarily embraced ideas of third-wave feminism. This is not the feminism anymore that we once knew as fighting for equality. This is an ideology largely comprised of unsubstantiated grievances, man-hate, and a pattern of lying for political benefit. It could best be described as a false religion, complete with dogma, high-priestesses and punishment for those who would be heretics. It is among the most influential modern-day ideologies, having taken over our colleges, the media and Hollywood, and the Democratic Party. Now it is about to take over the churches as well.
Third-wave feminism and the social science of the extreme left, and with them, the Draft’s authors, allege certain social grievances, and justify social policy demands with those allegations. However, many of these grievances are based on no fact at all, or are based on half-truths, or are based on outright untruths.
The latest research on gender issues shows that many taken-for-granted feminist claims have no basis in fact: There is no glass ceiling keeping women from attaining positions of leadership. There is no unequal pay for the same work. There is no rape culture. Women are not disproportionately affected by either public or domestic violence. There is no widespread human trafficking of women and girls as sex slaves. Girls and young women do not do worse than boys and young men in school, in fact, they do better than them.
It is true: women are in fact disadvantaged in business because they are the ones having the babies, even though having babies is in everybody’s interest, not just that of the mother. Just like Mary and Jesus are at the center of our faith, mother and child must be at the center of our culture. We must, as a society, find ways to ease the burden that comes with having babies.
It is true: even though past decades have seen stunning progress, rape, sexual assault and violence are still problems, and we need to continue fighting them. In particular, we should research why it is that alleged rape victims do not report to the police.
But neither violence nor professional challenges are the result of living in a patriarchy. Nowhere in our review of the latest research related to the Draft authors’ assertions did we find evidence for widespread, systemic discrimination against women.
Women have fought and won all major battles. Patriarchy is no more.
We lost paradise when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge; when we gained consciousness, and the knowledge of good and evil, and the ability to sin. Bringing us closer to that lost paradise again has been man and woman’s joint quest throughout history, and still is. Reducing that quest to the oppression of women by men is inaccurate, unhelpful and reprehensible.
The Draft embraces a false religion, demands preferential treatment for women where that is not justified on the merit of the facts and treats men unfairly. It is sexist, and pitches the sexes against each other, rather than supporting them in, together, pursuing worthy aims.
The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly cannot, based on these facts, adopt the Draft’s proposed social statement, either in part or whole. Instead, it should task a working group with developing a draft social statement which addresses injustices suffered by women and also those by men.