The firing of a celebrity Southern Baptist preacher has been called an apocalypse. It has been described as coming from a war between the older Trump supporting “keep-women-in-their-place” faction and a younger faction who grew up with gay friends and career women. While it’s too early to predict the outcome, it’s safe to say the rules of acceptable social construct will never be the same.
For example, there is this odd issue brought up constantly, “religious freedom.” The fired Southern Baptist celebrity was merely exercising his religious freedom when he advised wives being beaten by husbands to stay in their marriage. Would not the Southern Baptist’s commitment to religious freedom prevent officials from firing someone who is exercising that very thing?
The cultural values which kept the Southern Baptist collect plates full for more than a century, slavery, segregation and putting women in lessor roles and now threatening to empty them. It’s time for new “religious values.” As the old saying goes, “When in doubt, follow the money.”
Whether it’s the civil rights movement, gay marriage or equal treatment of women, the pattern it the same. It is to resist, resist some more and then acquiesce. People who belong to Christian churches that demonize other groups should be ready for changes when money is involved.
For those branches of the faith who do not allow women clergy, there may be an “X” on your back. Maybe it’s time to reread the passages on women and decide they now mean something different.