Posted by: smstrouse | October 15, 2016

Christa vs the Alpha Males

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Two news stories this week caught my attention.

First, there was Eric son of Donald defending his father’s so-called “locker room banter” as “what happens when alpha personalities are in the same presence”.

Second was the re-installation of “Christa”in05cathedral3-master768 the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. The sculpture created by Edwina Sandys appeared there first in 1984 but was removed amidst a swirl of controversy over its depiction of a crucified woman. This time, it has been installed as the centerpiece of “The Christa Project: Manifesting Divine Bodies,” an exhibition of more than 50 contemporary works that interpret — or reinterpret — the symbolism associated with the image of Jesus.

How timely could this be?! Not that misogyny didn’t exist in 1984, but it 57fd4b2f1a00006e145b8bb7wasn’t on center stage in the same way that certain “alpha males” have recently made it.  The body language and expression in this picture appears to be saying, “Whaaat?! C’mon, boys will be boys.”

“Christa”, however, expresses the Christian story in away that speaks particularly to women. She gives voice to the suffering of those usually left out in the patriarchal hierarchy. She gives lie to the power of the “alpha male,” even those within the Church.

I just returned today from the ordination of Mary Alice Nolan, Roman Catholic Womanpriest. She14666283_10154664456053628_574688765262278110_n joins over 100 other women and men ordained through the RCWP movement (and before you shoot off that comment about how these aren’t valid ordinations, let me say that RCWP receives its authority from Roman Catholic bishops who stand in Apostolic Succession; see their website for more details about that).

ELCA Lutherans (my denomination) has been ordaining women since 1970. I was ordained in 1989 and while there were more women pastors by then, there were no women bishops yet. We’ve come a long way, but participating in this ordination today reminded me of how far we still have to go. But it also reminded me of the powerful Spirit that creates change and brings about the transformation of even institutions like the Church.

I felt privileged to be a part of this historic gathering. “Christa” and the women and men of RCWP give me hope that the clueless rhetoric of misogynistic dinosaurs will eventually be drowned out. In fact, I can hardly hear them now. They’re fading . . . fading . . . fading . . .

 

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