Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Mom Would Not Approve

Fundamentalism is primarily a reaction to modernity. There is nothing wrong with attempting to figure out how your religious beliefs demand you live in our ever-changing world. The problem with most strains of fundamentalism is that they answer the question with fear. Fear of change. Fear of new ideas. Since 9/11 our country has become very familiar with Islamic fundamentalism (well, we think we are familiar with it anyway. I dare say most people have little to no understanding of it, but I digress), but Christian fundamentalism is a powerful movement in our nation and in many ways makes a bigger impact on our lives than Islamic fundamentalism.

Check out this article. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is now offering a degree in homemaking and even better, it is for women only. These women can take classes in cooking, sewing, and the "value of a child." No doubt they are also told to "graciously submit" to their husbands as the Southern Baptists have said they needed to in the past.

There is nothing wrong with classes for these kinds of subjects. They are valuable skills and I'm sure many people would like to take classes like this in college. But why are they limited to women? Because the fundamentalists are scared of our changing society, one in which women are empowered to join the workforce and be the equal of men. They see problems in society and assume that if we just did things "the way they used to be" then everything will be fixed and we'll live happily ever after. It's looking at the past through rose-colored glasses.

The fact of the matter is that gender roles have changed in Western society. The sharp divide has blurred and men can now be found staying at home raising the children and women can be CEOs. Do we have problems in our society with divorce and families? While there may be disagreement as to its extent, I'm not sure you would find many people who would say there is no problem at all. I don't think giving women degrees in homemaking is going to solve this.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Are you sure this is 2007 and not 1907!! What the hell is wrong with both parents making the home and family their top priority! And, dummy me, here I thought our nation was learning how important it is to have both parents involved with child-rearing. Was this guy or guys frozen in some glacier for a hundred years and just now unthawed?? If so, he needs to be frozen again!!!