Men have controlled the world since time began and in our modern era there are far too many males who want a strong degree of control to continue forever.
The cold hard facts of the matter are that they remain in charge of the domination stakes as women are still not paid equal money for equal work and have to work much harder to advance their careers than men do.
Of considerable concern is that domestic violence just grows and grows as some men try to retain control by physical power alone.
Churches give bad leadership in this situation as, throughout the world, they are still male dominated even though women comprise more than 60% of most congregations and the hope of ever having a female pope is as close to nil as is possible.
So this Sunday at my local Church, Aspley Uniting, I will try to make a contribution to the cause of changing attitudes about the role of gender in society.
I am giving the ‘sermon’ and will base it on the lives and leadership of five great female leaders who were Christians.
*Saint Teresa of Calcutta who spent her life caring for those in hunger and poverty. Malcolm Muggeridge once wrote a great book about her called ‘Something Beautiful for God’
*Florence Nightingale who was British and created the nursing profession despite great hostility. The world knows her as ‘ The Lady with the Lamp.’
*Saint Mary MacKillop of Australia who enabled the poor to get an education. The only person in the Roman Catholic Church was excommunicated for defiance of orders from her Bishop and rise from ‘disgrace’ to be declared a saint.
*Gladys Aylward, a Christian missionary from England who saved the lives of many children in the Civil War in China. Originally she was rejected as a missionary because ‘a white woman could not survive alone in China.’
*Catherine Hamlin of Australia, gifted surgeon who devoted her life to doing incredible work for the poor as a medical missionary in Ethiopia. She is still active at 96.
Clearly, there are many more women who deserve an accolade, but I can’t fit them into one sermon.
PLEASE JOIN ME TOMORROW MORNING SUNDAY, EITHER AT THE CHURCH IN ROBINSON ROAD ASPLEY AT 8.30 OR 10.15, OR BY LIVESTREAMING ON THE CHURCH WEBSITE, THEN OR AT ANYTIME IN THE NEXT FORTNIGHT.
I have highlighted below the cover of a wonderful book on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the powerful crusading Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America who died a few years ago. I enormously admired her.
She was out numbered by dominating male Justices but she influenced their decisions mightily and courageously, particularly in cases involving discrimination and injustice.
Her quest for equality extended to her religion.
She was Jewish and the fundamentalist males of her religion have for centuries, in the ritual of their daily prayers, said
‘I thank you God that I was not born a woman.’
That says it all.
An old bloke from the bush where ‘men were men’. Whatever that means.