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scuffnstuff

Was Saint Paul a male chauvinist?

Unlike Jesus who demonstrated a respect for women, Paul (as clearly written in Acts) showed very little respect for the rights of women. He regarded them as suitable to be seen but not heard.

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No,you have to realize that he was writing to little congregations of people who were coming out of extreme paganism! The city of Corinth had hundreds of temples built for idol worship, and there were temple prostitutes everywhere!And a lot of these women in his 'churches' were former prostitutes, and did not know how to present themselves as polite church ladies. They did have loud, unruly ways of speaking! And needed to learn to restrain from speaking sometimes! Some of the verses seem very harsh, but those things were written to that specific group of people! We can all learn from it, but it doesn't apply to all well behaved, civilized people! I think Paul is awesome, he brought the Gospel of Grace to the Gentiles from the Risen Lord Jesus Christ!!!! Bye! Beth

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wickedpissah
I'm sorry, Beth, but according to "non-chauvinist" Paul, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man" (1 Tim 2:12-14).
So, unfortunately, I can't accept your answer.
By the way, I noticed that your icon has hair, but no head-covering. According to "non-chauvinist" Paul, "If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off." (1 Cor 11:6). I guess you missed that one, too.
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scuffnstuff
Why was he opposed to marriage?
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wickedpissah
Actually, Paul was very much in favor of marriage. In fact he said that a man should not be a preacher unless he was married and had a family, because how effectively and devoutly he ran his family was the best indication of how effectively and devoutly he would run a congregation.
But Paul definitely felt that women were inferior beings and subject to the rule of men in all aspects of life.
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Sorry wicked, I do not think women should have authority over men in marriage either. That would be an unsuccessful marriage. Remember, Paul writes to Believers, people who had turned their back to sin. His instructions were for the wife to treat the husband with honor( even if he was not Yet ready for leadership role), and for the husband to love his wife as if he would die for her, as Christ died for His Church. Now if you're talking about a job where a woman is boss over a man...that would not have been a situation that Paul would have dealt with at all. I do not see your side of it at all...
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@Beth: I have been married to my wife for 30 years, and we have raised three wonderful sons who are now adults and very responsible. We set the best example for them we could. That includes mutual respect and letting go of egos for the betterment of all. My wife has certain strengths and I have certain strengths, and each task in our marriage is guided by the one with the most expertise. Certainly there were clashes from time to time, but the solution was never based on gender.

On the other hand, the marriages of my wife's other two sisters and her deceased parents are/were train wrecks specifically because their husbands were very old school and ran their houses as masters. My parents had a marriage more like my wife and I which made for a home-life without a lot of drama. I am so thankful I had them as a model and not people like the parents of most of my friends at the time.

Certainly a rudderless family will not do well. But a couple who approaches life as an equally balanced team is, from my experience, the best of all possibilities. The Baha'i Faith, which teaches gender equality, has a scripture from their sacred writings, written in the 1860s, which I still find beautiful to this day. In part it reads, "The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly. Until womankind reaches the same degree as man, until she enjoys the same arena of activity, extraordinary attainment for humanity will not be realized; humanity cannot wing its way to heights of real attainment. When the two wings become equivalent in strength, enjoying the same prerogatives, the flight of man will be exceedingly lofty and extraordinary." I have found those words to be a guiding principle for a successful marriage.
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Another reason Paul was so adamant in his misogyny was because pagans actually treated their women with far more respect than the Jews- likely because there were many female deities.

And my marriage is also very successful- but I tend to run the roost. My husband is a shy sort who hates making big decisions, letting him be the "master" of the household would have been bad for everyone involved. He works from home and is the primary caretaker of our son and our house- and is phenomenal at it.
This one-size-fits-all view of genders doesn't work, and many cultures in history would have been better off if they had let their women have more power.
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Beth: your answer was excellent : people still try to bring the customs of 2000 years ago into today. That was then. Thank you so much for your sweetness & kindness. It shows a true heart for God.
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@Betty: Then the husbands of my sisters-in-law, my wife's dad, and the parents of my friends I grew up with in the 1950s and 60s didn't get that memo. They were/are Christian men attempting to run their families according to the literal translation of the Bible. Us atheists don't have that problem. It is many of the fundamentalist Christians who haven't moved into the 21st century.
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Yes Cal : everything is the fault of a christian belief. Thank you
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When you use those beliefs to promote inequality and intolerance in our society- yes.

Beth here even said that she still believes, as per the bible, that a woman should hold no authority over a man in marriage. You guys are the ones stuck in beliefs from 2000 years ago.
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Yes skep : i take the blame for all world problems. Now we can move on.
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As I said, it is the fundamentalist Christians who have not moved into the 21st century. Fortunately there many Christan homes with an updated outlook on the rolls of men and women. They are not the problem.
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Exactly, Cal.

Betty- you have a paranoia issue. You, for some reason, read bizarre things into what we say that simply isn't there. Is challenging your claims really so hard for you to handle that you must project them as personal insults?
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yea sure why not

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scuffnstuff
No person, whether male or female, needs to be treated like chattel.
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No more or less than any man of his day and age. It was (and pretty much still is) a time and a part of the world where women were totally subject to men and legally and socially considered second class citizens at best and possessions or chattel at worst. Women didnt HAVE rights in that place and time. In most instances women could not inherit, husbands were chosen by their male head of household, they had very few legal rights, etc. Even now the same is STILL true in many countries in that part of the world. So if Paul comes across as chauvenistic its because that was (and is) how things were (are). Its the culture there. In some of those countries today women are not allowed to drive, have to wear the full head to toe covering burqah in public, cant talk to males not related to her and can legally be killed by her male head of household if he thinks its necessary.

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Yes, he was. And all the apologetics about how he was a product of his place and time don't fly considering what ELSE Christians claim- that he was the divinely inspired mouthpiece for their god. Now, that means that either their god is a misogynist, or else couldn't manage to convey his message properly.

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Kitten, I'm a fan. Your posts are unfailingly concise and well thought. As is the case here.
Paul was most certainly a chauvinist, as the all traditional purveyors of mass delusion,er...religion, have been. I doubt a more misogynistic, hate-mongering, divisive force has ever existed than the so-called Abrahamic religions. History will bear this out.
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No question about it, really. In all his rabid Christianity, Paul couldn't produce a respectful word toward or about women. This despite his much ballyhooed devotion to Jesus, who did. Most of what followed didn't either.

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Yes he was.

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