Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fences and Walls

Go read this news story.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police on Thursday detained five women at a Jerusalem holy site for performing religious rituals there that ultra-Orthodox Jews say are reserved for men.
I thought the above image was striking. The woman is reaching across the fence, trying to touch the container that holds the Torah. She can't get to it because only men are allowed on the other side of the fence. (Note that this is not an image of the women who were arrested and is not the act for which they were arrested.  It is an image that accompanies the story -- one of several that show how women are excluded from particular areas on the site of the Temple.)

The image is striking. The problem is prevelent, and certainly isn't isolated to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem or to the Jewish faith.    Do you think it doesn't happen here?

What about the church in our Annual Conference where attendees stopped coming because a woman was appointed as pastor?

What about the leader of an Emmaus walk who said that she would only be comfortable serving with a male spiritual director?

What about the committee at the church that was organized to raise funds for a capital improvement project but included only men?

What about the steering committee organized with only women members to plan a new ministry for children?

What about the United Methodist Men's group that also serves as the Endowment Committee?

What about all the ushers being male while all the teachers of non-adult classes are all female?

What about the family that keeps changing church membership to avoid having a woman serve as the pastor of their church?

We don't have fences like the one in the picture, but we do have walls.  They are walls built by men and women -- not by God.

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