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Fortinbras Armstrong

(4,473 posts)
3. As I alluded to in my post, that is one of the arguments
Wed Oct 17, 2012, 09:45 AM
Oct 2012

However, it is a poor one. As I said, if one sees Christ only as male, then one can argue that women are not redeemed. No, Christ came as a human, not just as a male human.

Historically, the main argument is that women are inferior to men. The inferiority of women was backed up from things such as Aristotle's statement that "the female is, as it were, a deformed male" (Generation of Animals 2), and Plato, who believed in reincarnation, says: "Men who proved themselves cowardly and spent their lives in wrong doing were transformed, at their second incarnation, into women" (Timaeus).

Here are a few quotes from some of the Church Fathers (a group of writers from the second to the eighth centuries):

Epiphanius says in his Panarion (79) that the ordination of women is impossible, since "women are unstable, prone to error, and mean-spirited".

Tertullian from the opening of On the Apparel of Women:

If there existed upon earth a faith in proportion to the reward that faith will receive in heaven, no one of you, my beloved sisters, from the time when you came to know the living God and recognized your own state, that is, the condition of being a woman, would have desired a too attractive garb, and much less anything that seemed too ostentatious. I think, rather, that you would have dressed in mourning garments and even neglected your exterior, acting the part of mourning and repentant Eve in order to expiate more fully by all sorts of penitential garb that which woman derives from Eve -- the ignominy, I mean, of original sin and the odium of being the cause of the fall of the human race. 'In sorrow and anxiety, you will bring forth, O woman, and you are subject to your husband, and he is your master.' Do you not believe that you are (each) an Eve?
The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives on even in our times and so it is necessary that the guilt should live on, also. You are the one who opened the door to the Devil, you are the one who first plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree, you are the first who deserted the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the Devil was not strong enough to attack. All too easily you destroyed the image of God, man. Because of your desert, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die.

Ireneus from Fragment 32, "both nature and the law place woman in a subordinate condition to man."

Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence 1.10:

Nor can it be doubted, that it is more consonant with the order of nature that men should bear rule over women, than women over men. It is with this principle in view that the apostle says, "The head of the woman is the man;" and, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands." So also the Apostle Peter writes: "Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord."

Ambrosiaster, On 1 Timothy 3.11, "The Apostle wants women who are manifestly inferior, to be without fault, in order that the Church of God be pure."

Aquinas, following Aristotle, believed that women were inferior -- in the Summa Theologia I question 92 article 1, he quotes Aristotle's "the female is a misbegotten male." And he follows this up with "As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten".

This belief in the inferiority of women by authority figures in the Church lasted well into the 20th Century. Here is Pius XI, in Casti Conubii (written in 1930) citing -- with complete agreement -- Leo XIII from the late 19th century:

With great wisdom Our Predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on "Christian Marriage" which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: "The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man"

I sometimes wonder how these men would interpret Galatians 3:28, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."
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