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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:48 PM

Have You Heard the One About the Religious Woman Who Stops Being Religious in College?

Nov 17, 2012 12:50 PM
Mallory Ortberg

In my final year of attending a Christian sports camp in rural Missouri, the year before I started high school, they began to offer an elective Bible study group for young Christians who wanted a chance to read in the afternoons instead of learn to water-ski. The leader was a very kind, very impassioned man with a bristling chestnut mustache. He spent an hour every day for three weeks drawing the geographic conditions that led to the Flood and charting out the life spans of the Patriarchs on an old whiteboard for a group of prepubescent Christian nerds. I thought he was the most compelling person in the world. He had everything I could possibly aspire to have: a masterful command of the Bible, a deep and abiding love of God, a pleasant speaking voice, a dry-erase marker, a captivated audience.

One afternoon, on a bus ride to Branson (a highly anticipated reward for final-year campers), the two of us fell to talking and I ended up confessing my admiration to him. I spoke of how much I loved writing and spirited discussions and studying the Bible; I spoke of my hopes of someday becoming a pastor or a Christian author like some of my other family members. He looked grave. He also looked a great deal like Ned Flanders, something I don't think a lot of the other campers noticed because most of them were not allowed to watch the Simpsons.

"Mallory," he said, "I know you are a strong woman of God." So far, so good. "I know you are very gifted, very intelligent." He paused and wiped his glasses. "I think this impulse you have to wield authority over others, over men comes from the Devil." He said it kindly; he was not angry with me but concerned.

"Ah," I said. Something to consider.

http://gawker.com/5959784/have-you-heard-the-one-about-the-religious-woman-who-stops-being-religious-in-college

11 replies, 1336 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Have You Heard the One About the Religious Woman Who Stops Being Religious in College? (Original post)
rug Nov 2012 OP
okasha Nov 2012 #1
silverweb Nov 2012 #2
cbayer Nov 2012 #5
okasha Nov 2012 #9
dimbear Nov 2012 #3
okasha Nov 2012 #4
dimbear Nov 2012 #8
okasha Nov 2012 #10
cbayer Nov 2012 #6
Fridays Child Nov 2012 #7
Taverner Nov 2012 #11

Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:58 PM

1. "The Bible also teaches little girls that they can grow up to drive spikes into the heads of

Canaanite generals, and I think there's value in that."

Not to mention chopping off the heads of Assyrian generals. The life of Artemesia Gentilleschi, who painted both scenes superbly, also speaks to little girls' ability to overcome horribly painful misogyny to reach their life goal and fulfill their own ambition.

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Response to okasha (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:07 PM

2. You beat me to it!

That was my favorite line in the whole piece.



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Response to okasha (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:26 PM

5. Lol. Bet she wishes she had been able to say that back at camp.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:39 PM

9. Yep.

One of those zippy rejoinders you think of around 3am of the following morning.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:18 PM

3. To understand the attitude toward women in the Hebrew scriptures, compare Queen Jezebel

with Queen Esther. Jezebel is strong, stands up for herself, and ends up eaten by dogs in the street. Esther is quite the genteel, supplicating heroine, but those in the know agree she is entirely fictional, while Jezebel was real.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:22 PM

4. Esther replaces Queen Vashti,

who was also strong, stood up for herself and ended up divorced.

.

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Response to okasha (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:41 PM

8. Good point, but of course she shares the same historicity as Queen Esther. n/t

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Response to dimbear (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:40 PM

10. Probably.

But I doubt that the sort of cattle-call she refused to participate in was fictional.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:27 PM

6. Recommended. Well written and great personal story. Thanks.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:33 PM

7. Great essay!

Thanks for posting the snippet and link.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:12 PM

11. Ah, another reason why I HATE HATE HATE Evangelical Christianity

 

I do hate it

Christian Fundies, Evangelicals and Pentecostals are the most brainwashed of the brainwashed, babbling their stupid patriarchy, obedience for obedience' sake and sheer, utter LIES.

Viral Ignorance is how I would describe it

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