What’s Wrong with This Magazine Cover? September 19, 2008

What’s Wrong with This Magazine Cover?

Below is the cover for the current issue of Gospel Today magazine.

See if you can spot the problem with it:

Did you find it?!

If you said, “Women pastors?! WHAT?! That’s blasphemy!” then you win!

Turns out Lifeway Christian Bookstores — owned by the Southern Baptist Convention — is pulling the magazine from its shelves for just that reason.

Chris Turner, a spokesman for Lifeway Resources, which runs the stores for the Southern Baptist Convention, said, “It is contrary to what we believe.”

What do Southern Baptists believe? That women are equal to men in all ways… except running a church or a family.

In those cases, to hell with that extra X chromosome.

It’s like the line from George Orwell‘s Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

I know what you’re thinking: “If they took it off the shelves, how will I get my copy?!”

Don’t worry. Apparently, you can still buy the magazine at the stores; you just have to ask the clerk for it privately because they won’t be displayed publicly.

Kinda like porn.

The magazine’s editor, Teresa Hairston, isn’t helping matters very much. She thinks the magazine should remain on the shelves — but not because she wants to see women in leadership positions in the church. She says the magazine was “just reporting on a trend, not trying to promote women pastors.”

Of course not.

We wouldn’t want anyone to think the Christians in this case were promoting equality.

Jesus would never have wanted that.

By the way, if your brain doesn’t hurt yet, here’s a little more of the entertaining Southern Baptist mindset. Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, is a fan of Sarah Palin — who is currently a governor and could be Vice President.

How does he answer charges that he is being hypocritical in supporting Palin’s leadership position with his antipathy for women in church leadership positions?

… I said, ‘If you don’t mind my saying so, that’s an asinine question, but I’ll answer it.’ Mrs. [Margaret] Thatcher said that her husband was head of her home and she ran the country. Queen Elizabeth said that Prince Phillip was head of the home and she was head of the country. If Mrs. Thatcher had been an American, I would’ve enthusiastically supported her for president of the United States.

The only restrictions we find in Scripture are, that for whatever reason women are not to be in charge of a marriage and women are not to be in charge of a church. That has nothing to do with governor, or senator or the House of Representatives, or president, or vice president.

So, running a country of 300,000,000 or a state of 1,000,000 or a town of 10,000 is ok. But running a church of 100 or a family of 7 is forbidden.

Got it.

(Via Christianity Today Blog)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Joe L.

    Personally, I was wondering what was up with the black chick with the bright blond hair on the lower left.
    freaky! 😉

    I like his justifcation – “but for whatever reason women are not allowed to be in charge….” as if it were up to him, of course women could be in charge of marriage or churches. But hey, you know, it’s just not up to me – I have to do what the Good Book tells us, after all!

  • Richard Wade

    The first thing I thought was wrong with the cover was that pastor Copland’s and pastor Dennet’s heads on the far left and far right look strangely out of scale, as if they were clumsily photoshopped into the shot. Unfortunatley the feature of female pastors went right over my head.

    The Southern Baptist Church is actually an accidental consequence of a secret time warp experiment done at the University of Chicago in 1942. Randomly, a section of the United States was affected, causing the SBC to steadily regress backwards in time as the rest of the universe progress forward. They seem to have reached about 450 AD by now.

  • mikespeir

    Hey, I’m with Dr. Land. I hope he sticks to his guns. The more ridiculous he and his denomination look the easier it is for us.

  • SarahH

    They don’t require women to cover their heads in church and be silent, as far as I know, and those requirements are mentioned by Paul right alongside the restrictions about leadership. Even the fundamentalist churches have evolved over the years to incorporate secular moral norms.

    I just will never understand how some churches justify their cherry-picking. I mean, if you’re going to pick the parts of the Bible you like and only follow those, and then give non-sensical explanations when asked why verse A is authoritative today and verse B isn’t… well, why go through all of that and then STILL pick some of the worst parts of the Bible to follow?

  • The height of hypocrisy: Southern Baptists voting for Sarah Palin for the second highest public office in the Nation when they won’t even allow a woman to lead a 30 member church. According to the SBC’s own doctrine, shouldn’t Palin “get back in the kitchen?”

  • Gabriel

    They are very scary looking. Why is it that these women/men all have the same kind of scary crazy person look?

  • Jen

    And some morons think there is no glass ceiling (stained glass ceiling?)

  • cipher

    Land always has been a condescending dick.

    The Southern Baptist Church is actually an accidental consequence of a secret time warp experiment done at the University of Chicago in 1942.

    Richard,

    Would this be an offshoot of the Philadelphia Experiment?

  • Erik

    Interesting fact: I used to work at the Lifeway store in Cary, NC and was fired for “being too flirtatious with the female employees”. No, I’m not making that up, and no…I wasn’t even flirting with them. Just trying to be nice and make conversation…apparently that was just too much for them to handle. Crazy sheltered Christian home schooled broads.

    Disclaimer: I was misguided in my youth and have since strayed far from my Baptist upbringing, to the betterment of my sanity.

    Anyways, this doesn’t surprise me one bit about Lifeway. What I love most about the article is Richard Land saying that “for some reason” the Bible says women can’t do certain things. Oh, just “some random reason”. Well fuck me, I thought Baptists believed in complementarianism (Wiki). I guess now they feel no need to put their women-hating in a fancy construct. Instead they can just blame it directly on the Bible, just like hating gay people and abortion.

    As the token Christian in this discussion so far, let me say that I am disgusted when people use the Bible to denigrate or demote people to lower positions. I think women are equal to men and in fact we should have some kind of affirmative action in churches to promote women in leadership. I think gay people are good people (including my roommate). And it’s not so much that I’m for abortions as I am against denying people the freedom to make their own decisions. Jesus said to love one another, so anything that doesn’t agree with that is wrong IMO. Just a reminder that not all Christians are ignorant assholes.

  • Women did run churches in the early days, before Pauline doctrine got a stranglehold on the church. Paul* even mentions some of them by name…

    * assuming “Paul” wrote all the stuff attributed to him, which isn’t a particularly safe assumption

  • I was going to say the fact that the magazine costs about 3.50 in the States and 4.50 in Canada still when the dollar is pretty much equal these days. 🙂

    I will say however that Christians are left with the rather difficult position of household hierarchy and equality challenges that the Bible presents.

    It’s a great topic for endless circular debating where it always ends up, we agree to disagree type of thing. Like with pretty much everything in Christianity.

  • Why is it that so many of them scream “persecution” when we tell them their beliefs promote sexism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry? “Respect my beliefs. Why don’t you respect my beliefs?” they cry.

    Why should we respect beliefs that offer no respect for living, breathing human beings? Beliefs that often result in discrimination toward or even grievous harm to other people.

    People are far more important than any beliefs. And the exaltation of “beliefs” over humanity is where too many religious individuals go very, very wrong.

  • George in Texas

    Imagine! No religion too!