Feminism | Posted by Alli B on 05/20/2011

Tales From The Other Side

feminism and the church

feminism and the church

I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. My parents divorced when I was five years old and after living with my mom and grandparents for two years I moved in with my father who raised me as a feminist. He always told my sister and me to be independent, to not rely on a man for anything, and to get an education and career before ever thinking about marriage. “Books not boys!” he would always tell me as I was growing up.

Then I fell in with a bad crowd and got lost. I had always considered myself a Christian but never really fully believed, just went along with the flow. Then when I turned fifteen I went to a church that my crush went to (stupid reason I know) and I found Jesus all over again. Sadly, I also found an extremist way of believing.

Growing up I had feminist ideals and was raised in a church that said homosexuality was not a bad thing and that God loves us all. I believed these things until I went to this new church, where they told me that a woman’s place is raising children. I wanted to believe in Jesus with my whole heart and do right by him so badly that I started to blindly believe these things. While I feel that my time with this church was beneficial in that it kept me out of trouble, I’m sad that I was not true to who I was – a feminist who wanted out.

You can be a Christian feminist. I consider myself one now. But at the time I was told that you can’t be one, that it was against God. You had to be pro-life because that’s what Jesus would want, and you had to be against homosexuality because that’s what the Bible said, and you had to get married because it was a sin of lust not to. Then a few things happened that changed my mind.

The first thing was my sister got pregnant by an emotionally abusive man. She had to leave her town to move in with us. My mother took her to Planned Parenthood as well as to the other “Christian” option. My mother told me that the Christian option was crazy because they actually told girls not to use any sort of birth control. They said that using the pill was just as bad as having an abortion. At first I was upset that my sister would go to this sinful place called Planned Parenthood. I was told by my church that it was where women would go to have abortions. I had no real facts about it until my sister told me what really goes on there and says that they don’t even perform abortions at these places, but they helped my sister make her own personal decision that was right for her, which turned out to be keeping her baby.

This was just a small stepping stone for me. I started to think about girls like my sister, who were either too poor to a raise a baby or who had a horrible boyfriend or husband. Wouldn’t abortion be the right choice for them? So as I continued to think about it, as well as talk to some women who actually had abortions, my ideas changed.

As this happened I stopped going to church mainly because I did not feel comfortable going anymore. I did not agree with the majority of what they said. I also took a religion class that changed my thoughts on how literally I took the bible. My teacher told us that there was no way you could possibly believe that the Bible was literal because then we would have the same knowledge as God and that is sacrilegious in and of itself. We also talked about homosexuality and how Jesus didn’t really talk about it, in fact he didn’t really seem to care because he loved everybody. My views on that changed, and I became a fighter for equality.

I leave you with this: keep fighting, because who knows who we will change. I did, hopefully others will too. I especially hope there is change among men, that they will fight with us, and realize that feminists are not the enemy and that we want to get rid of gender roles for all, not just women. Hopefully that day will come, but until then I will listen to my anthem, “I Am Women Hear Me Roar” and continue on changing for the better and praying that others do the same as well.

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  • Lillian @ at 12:53 pm, May 20th, 2011

    Excellent post! I have a parent who is a Christian fundamentalist and for a while I went along with it, but I was never really happy. Eventually I realised that I was only doing it to stay close to my Dad, and that the sort of Christianity I was being taught had no connection to morality at all. Eventually I got out. It makes me sad that extreme religious beliefs affect so many people and prevent them from seeing what’s right in front of the- we are all equal.

  • Kiara @ at 3:23 pm, May 20th, 2011

    Hello Alli :)

    Your post was quite interesting. I am currently studying Women’s Studies at my college and I am also a Christian. What you said about your church beliefs were alarming because they weren’t completely Biblical. Yes God loves everyone which is why He sent His only son Jesus Christ to die for OUR many sins that caused us separation from God. And as we follow Jesus’ (not our church and church doctrine) example and have a relationship with God we shall obtain the award of eternal life in heaven. (John 3:16) But as any group, organization or government, God has standards. And although He loves the people He created, He hates our sin, the sin which includes lying, stealing, lust and homosexuality which separates us from Him (Isaiah 59:2). And we must repent from those sins and turn away from them.

    But I’m not here to Bible thump. I just want to encourage you to develop your own personal relationship with God and pray to Him and ask Him questions and also pray that you find a Church that truly believes in the Bible. I am deeply sorry that you may have been confused going to different churches because everyone is not teaching the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I DESPERATELY don’t want you to be turned away because God loves you and He wants to give you answers if you ask and seek Him and have faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6) Please, please, please if you have any questions feel free to ask me! I hate to see anyone, especially God’s people confused about Him and His Word! God bless :)

    ** PS I have a lot of reading to do for class lol so I couldn’t address all of ur points but I am open to talk and answer any other questions.

  • allie b. @ at 4:00 pm, May 20th, 2011

    it effected me more than what i posted here. through a lot of deep soul searching, i found out after 12 years of my feelings of sexual and emotion attraction to both men and women that i am bisexual. being christian and bi is very hard because you feel you have no support from either the straight society or gay society. both don’t really like you and then add the whole christian morality of it, it really confided me for so long, but now i’m out. well i’m not all the way out, must a few people know and they are very supportive as i’m sure God is supportive as well!

  • allie b. @ at 5:15 pm, May 20th, 2011

    @ Kiara
    thanks but me and God are good! i know God and i know that none of us are perfect. i believe in the light theory, if you try to do good to others and create peace why would God desert you. i know God i know who he is, i don’t need others to tell me who he is we are good, thanks though!

  • A @ at 11:21 pm, May 20th, 2011

    Awesome post, Allie! It was an interesting perspective- usually Christian extremists seem too distant from feminism to even relate, but it was cool hearing about your reacquaintance with both God and feminism.

  • E @ at 5:29 pm, May 22nd, 2011

    I am a Christian feminist!!!
    I am also bi-sexual!!!
    I love this post, and I feel
    that I can really relate to this post. Thank you so much.

  • JJ @ at 6:21 pm, May 22nd, 2011

    One of the best articles I’ve read concerning Christianity and Feminism.
    Very personal and relatable. Thank you.

  • allie @ at 7:10 pm, May 22nd, 2011

    thanks guys! that really means a lot to me!

  • Kiara @ at 2:16 pm, May 26th, 2011

    Hey Allie, glad you have a relationship with God :) but I’m curious, Can you further explain the light theory? I never heard of a Biblical teaching as such.

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