Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Yes, I've been away from my blogdom for a little while. I've been prepping nonstop for Unstoppable and squeezing in moments to finish getting the girls ready for school to start on Tuesday. They still have one more day of summer fun to indulge in!

In the meantime, I have been GIDDY with excitement over McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his VP running mate! So, I have been itching to post about it! I have also been hankering to post about another woman... Hilary Clinton and her speech at the DNC. In true Destiny Driven style, I am going to tie these events to something near and dear to my hear t (without disclosing who I may or may not vote for!)... the shattering of the glass ceiling in both the secular and church arenas.

Let's start with Hilary Clinton. Wow, what a woman! She certainly took the Democratic Party on a wild ride! Alas, the world was not quite ready for a woman in the Commander in Chief's chair, close but no Presidential Seal. All in all, when it came down to it, I believe she portrayed the picture of "grace under pressure" when she gave a charismatic, passionate speech at the DNC last week. In my own opinion, I do not believe a man could have or ever has brought it like she did.

As she forged ahead, the question on everyone's mind... "Can she pull this speech off without sounding bitter???"... was answered within seconds of beginning....

"And whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines. This is a fight for the future. And it’s a fight we must win together." (Hilary Clinton DNC speech)

And whether we like it or not, she made a HUGE crack in the glass ceiling not only for all of us as women, but definitely for our daughters....

"And after so many decades — 88 years ago on this very day — the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote became enshrined in our Constitution. My mother was born before women could vote. My daughter got to vote for her mother for president."

I have to say that I never considered what that must have felt like to Hilary and Chelsea. Like her or not, THAT had to be an amazing moment for grandmother, mother and daughter. And, come on, who didn't love her little shout out to her "sista' girls" with the quote...

"To my supporters, to my champions — to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits — from the bottom of my heart: Thank you. Thank you because you never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history."

Can I say I felt empowered by her speech?... minus the knocks against McCain... I hate that, but both parties do it... part of the political game I guess! Still, when Hilary quoted Harriet Tubman... I felt the Holy Ghost! Am I being a bit facetious? Um, yeah... but at the same time, I am being totally honest...

"By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to bring slaves along the Underground Railroad. On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice. If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going."

Wow! If I were Barak Obama, I'd be seriously kicking myself! Why in the world did he NOT choose Hilary Rodham Clinton as his VP running mate? I don't know the answer to that, and as my husband pointed out, perhaps he actually did and she turned him down. Is Biden a better partner? Maybe, I don't know, but I do know that John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin caused every jaw in America to do one of two things... if your jaw is of the male persuasion, it DROPPED... female persuasion... it POPPED up into a beaming smile!

Governor Sarah Palin, the spokes model for 71% of women in the nation. That 71% of woman have children (60% have children UNDER 3) AND careers! Sarah Palin could not have come at a better time for a woman like me.

Sarah Palin is a born again Christian who believes in the power of the Holy Spirit! At the opening night banquet of the 2008 Alaska AG District Council, Governor Sarah Palin addressed the delegates and guests. Governor Palin spoke of her appreciation for the Assemblies of God and requested that the Council pray for both her and the State of Alaska. Superintendent Ted Boatsman, who was Palin's junior high pastor at Wasilla Assembly of God, along with Pastor Mike Rose of Juneau Christian Center, where Palin presently attends church when in Juneau,laid hands on the Governor and led the Council in prayer.

She is also mother of a large family and lives partnership in marriage with her husband, Todd. As a matter of fact, this supermom/governor/VP candidate Palin gave birth to her youngest child, Trig, in April 2008 while in office as governor. Though she announced that she was pregnant only during the start of her third trimester and one month before Trig was born, her pregnancy is reported to have surprised Alaskans, including her staff. After her water broke, on the day of Trig's delivery, Palin delivered a keynote address in Texas and then flew 8 hours to Alaska. Palin returned to office quickly, just three days after delivering Trig. The baby has Down syndrome; Palin's decision to have the baby was applauded by the pro-life community. (Information quoted from Wiki-pedia)

Her husband is no stranger to being a partner in parenting either! Like his wife, he is able to swap the traditional roles. “My husband loves being a dad as much as I love being a mom,” Palin said. “I’ve got great help there.” (quoted from Timesonline)

And, she is an obvious believer in co-pastoring as well because when in the capital she attends Juneau Christian Center where the church staff is made up of four co-pastoring couples! (Check it out here... )

She was a “hockey mom” who cut her teeth at the parent-teacher association before becoming mayor of Wasilla, a suburb of Anchorage with a population under 7,000. In 2006 she beat the corrupt male establishment in Alaska to win the governorship. (quoted from Timesonline)

She hunts, ice-fishes and is a crack shot who knows how to fire an M16 rifle. “I was raised in a family where gender was not going to be an issue,” she said. “The girls did what the boys did. Apparently in Alaska that’s quite commonplace.” (quoted from Timesonline)

Sarah Palin is sharp, she is determined and I believe she brings balance to the Republican ticket! If people are concerned that John McCain has no heart and does not want to bring our troops home, he wouldn't be able to ignore the voices of every mother who has a son or daughter in Iraq- even if he wanted to, because his partner will be there to remind him! That's right in addition to everything else, Sarah Palin's 18 year old son is headed to Iraq in September.

I listened to Sarah Palin's acceptance speech and I read the transcript over and over. I believe that Sarah can be closely compared to a modern day Esther. But THAT is another post!

Her quote... "It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America but it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all." rang out for every woman in the world.

I am truly a fan of both Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton. I may not be in full agreement with either of them on every issue, but one thing I am for is the equal opportunity for every person, regardless of their gender to fulfill every bit of God given potential and destiny within them! On that issue, we are ALL on the same page!

Now, where does the church fit in with all this? Some of the church, they are right with me... others, not so much.

When will the glass ceiling of the church be hammered with 18 million cracks? I'll leave you with a couple nails that need to be hit so it can be....

1.) When the church stops misinterpreting the scriptures. One scripture I am referring to is about women being the "weaker vessel." Paul uses the "vessel" metaphor when he exhorts every Christians to be "a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work"

(2Tm 2:19-21). This is true for anyone, male or female, who "names the name of the Lord". This does not tell us what Peter means by calling a woman "the weaker vessel", but it certainly shows us something he does not mean. A woman who belongs to God and names his name is no less honored, no less sanctified, and no less useful to the Master than a man who belongs to God and names his name.

(Acts 9:15). There have been times when God has intervened in the life of some person and selected that person for a special purpose. Paul was one, Mary was another. She was the chosen vessel whereby "God sent forth his Son born of a woman" (Gal 4:4). We would be hard pressed to think of any person in history more wonderfully chosen than Mary, chosen to be the mother of the Lord (Lke 1:26-56). This does not tell us what Peter means by calling a woman "the weaker vessel", but it certainly shows us something he does not mean. Among God's chosen vessels a woman was bestowed and blessed with no less greatness than a man.

A different metaphor, that of a soldier, is used by Paul when he exhorts, "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm..."

(Eph 6:10-13). Whom is Paul addressing? Whom is he calling to battle? Who is to gird their loins with truth and plate their breasts with righteousness? Whose feet are to be shod with the gospel of peace, and who is to grasp the shield of faith? Who is to don the helmet of salvation and to bravely wield the sword of the Spirit? Who is to march into battle against the powers of darkness, the terrible spiritual forces of wickedness? It is no battle for a weakling. Who shall be a soldier for Christ? The answer does not tell us what Peter means by calling a woman "the weaker vessel", but it certainly shows us something he does not mean. In the Lord's army women and men fight shoulder to shoulder and one is as "strong in the Lord" as the other.

Yet another metaphor, that of an athlete running the marathon, is used by the Hebrew writer when urging us to "run with endurance the race that is set before us"

(Heb 12:1-2). Who is to run this race of endurance? Whose legs are to be strong, and whose feet swift? Whose will is to get them through the pain barrier, and discipline them to make the distance? The answer does not tell us what Peter means by calling a woman "the weaker vessel", but it certainly shows us something he does not mean. In the Christian race, women and men run together without handicap. Women and men start and finish at the same lines. Women "run with endurance" the same race as men.

Some people read Peter's statement that a woman is "the weaker vessel" and say, "There you are, you see, God says that woman is the weaker vessel. That is God's law and purpose for woman. God created her to be the weaker sex." However that is a fancy. Peter is not saying any such thing, for if he were he would contradict the Genesis account...

"God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them". The first two humans were different, but neither was superior or inferior to the other (Gen 1:27). Adam could not find a wife among all the creatures of flesh and blood. So God took a part of Adam himself, one of his ribs in fact, and from it created a woman who corresponded to Adam. She alone among all flesh was his equal. Otherwise she would have been unsuitable like the other creatures (Gen 2:18-23). This does not tell us what Peter means by calling a woman "the weaker vessel", but it certainly shows us something he does not mean. Woman is not a lesser being than man, for she came out of man and like him was created in the image of God. Peter himself said that woman and man are "heirs together of the grace of life" (1Pe 3:7).

Many ministers will custom build their own understanding of scripture without really studying the Word. For instance, many are quick to point out scriptures classifying women as less than, however, the Word says that God is no respecter of persons! Furthermore, at certain times in history, this same ignorance rallied people to justify slavery as well!

2.) Give both men AND women equal opportunity for fulfillment of destiny and call. The day of the "good ol' boys' club" is OVER! Although there is still a remnant of men who are not up to snuff in the corporate world, the church is shamefully behind in this arena! A dear friend of mine was once told that, "women in ministry is kind of like whipped cream. A little is real good, but a whole bowlful will make you sick!" Men who make and believe comments like that make me sick!

Pastors, if we are living in a time when a young woman can vote for her mother for President of the USA, it is high time the church recognizes that there are women in ministry ready to take on similar roles in the church and in denominational offices all over the USA.

This post could go on forever, that I am certain of! However, as a woman who wears the hats of believer, wife, mother, minister, project manager, daughter, sister, friend, and citizen... I have a list as long as this post that I must get to!

In closing, to all of the Palin haters... (and I need to stop getting riled by them...) just hush your mouths... Esther was an orphan, unqualified, unpolished, BUT... obedient... and look at what God did through her!

And to Governor/VP Candidate Palin.... heed the words spoken by another woman we both respect....

"On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice. If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going. And even in the darkest of moments, that is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going." (Hilary Rodham Clinton)

Love & Blessings,

Tara

15 comments:

Deanna Shrodes said...

OMG, I feel the Holy Ghost up in this blog right now! I am SERIOUS. No lie, I have chills right now as I'm reading this. A prophetic word, my friend.

I am not kidding you either, God as my witness, when I heard Clinton give the Harriet Tubman quote, I too felt it was an anointed word for such a time as this. I wanted to run around my bedroom while I was watching and give up a praise. I should have. For anyone reading this who says that we're ridiculous for thinking that and it's not possible all I have to say to that is, the gifts and call of God are irrevocable and just like an evangelist can still minister and have results even when their lives are not completely right, so Hillary Clinton even with some of the faults that she has -- when she speaks a word of truth it is still truth despite other things in her life that may not be right.

I could say so much on this. And I did on my blog, however as you noted my friend, it could go on and on and on because there's so much to say.

You said it well. Everyone needs to hear this message. We've got to keep fighting, for our daughters. It's not about Democrat, Republican...this isn't a Clinton or Palin issue for me, (and I know it's not for you either, nor for any of our close friends who are in our circle) but it's about the biblical equality of women and the walls of prejudice coming down, and ceilings shattered once and for all!!!

I love you my friend. Thank you for inspiring my socks off tonight. Not that I'm wearing socks here in Florida, but my proverbial/metophorical (?) socks? They flew across the room when read this...lol

and p.s. your husband's insight on the possibility of Clinton turning him down was brilliant.

Leanne said...

You know? I don't agree with Hilary Clinton's politics, but back in 1998 when the Monica Lewinsky scandal hit the fan, I mentally gave her about 10 million "cool points" for the way she handled it. I am so thrilled to meet another Christian who can actually see GOOD things in Mrs. Clinton and even admire her while not agreeing with her 100%.

(Seriously - when Unstoppable is over and done with, and you're fully recovered - we should actually pull out our calendars and set a date to get together - seems ridiculous that we live about 45 minutes away from each other and have yet to meet!!)

As far as the "weaker vessel" thing goes - I've always just interpreted that literally...LOL! My husband has much more muscle than me, and can lift heavy things, while I have absolutely no upper body strength ;o).

DaNella Auten said...

You go girl! Good digging I enjoyed all the quotes from and about both ladies.

DaNella

Deanna Shrodes said...

Leanne, I am not sure if you are 100% kidding with your weaker vessel comment, but honestly that IS how I interpret that scripture. I do believe it means just as it says, that men do have more brute strength, muscle than we do. Do you believe that? I am just curious if you have other interpretations too, not arguing it.

And btw, I also gave Clinton cool points for how she handled that. She was grace under fire that's for sure. Here's one notable thing I remember...a few days after that scandal broke, they were doing a piece on the news about women's health, and heart disease among women, and encouraging women everywhere to stay in shape. A reporter asked her (speaking of "heart heath"), "Mrs. Clinton, have you ever had a stress test?" and she quickly remarked, "As a matter of fact, I'm going through one right now..." and smiled. I thought that was cute. :-) She's a sharp woman, no doubt about that.

Deanna Shrodes said...

Tara,
I'm reading your post several times again, just to digest it all again. (So good.) Just seeing things I hadn't focused on before...

"Is Biden a better partner?" you said.

IMHO, no, no, no a thousand times no. I agree with you on the "why in the world didn't Obama pick her [Clinton] as VP..." and I think the answer to that is, she and Bill would upstage he and Michelle at every turn. No matter how gaga the press is over the Obamas it will never, never compare to what happens when the Clinton's walk into a room, plain and simple. You are right, Hillary brought it the other night like no man or woman could have. Some think Michelle was the clincher for him in advising him not to make her the VP. Some commenters are also saying it would have made for constant tension that his VP's husband used to be the president. Maybe, but the truth of the matter is, he did overlook the best person for the job based upon those "tensions." It is definitely clear Biden is not the better partner, but in the end tne Obama's thought he was the wisest one. Just in communication skills alone, Hillary knocks Biden out of the ring. (What do people criticize Joe Biden for, perhaps, more than anything? He's not a good communicator and some talk about him "droning on" with boring speeches.) He simply doesn't have the rallying power that she does.

Clearly the "best person" is not always chosen when they are perceived as a threat in some way. Hhhhmmmmm...how many of us can relate to that? We've all got a few t-shirts we could give away on that one, as we've all bought way too many.

Okay T, I'll try to be quiet now. At least til' tomorrow. LOL It's just that I'm reading your post over and over and thinking so many things as I do.

Tara Sloan said...

Hey gals...

Thanks for your comments and input... I am so fired about about this...

BTW- the weaker vessel thing is something I have been researching because I have been in interesting conversations lately concerning this is the light I described... basically that women are secondary... I always thought like you both... but after encountering ignorance.. I HAD to go there!

Deanna- I'm with you on the VP issue thing... that as right on! I totally see your point and agree!

Leanna- YES- we MUST get together SOON!

DaNella- I LOVE tracking quotes... and as a fellow writer I am sure you do too!

Thanks for the shout outs girls!!!!

Edge of Design said...

I don't mind being a "weaker vessel" it's the way God made me. Besides, I love when my strong and handsome husband does the heavy lifting.

Leanne said...

Deanna - Yes, that really is how I have interpreted that verse! We are just plain built differently, and guys are (in general!) stronger physically. And at the time that verse was written, the majority of women still were not allowed to be educated, whereas men were...

Another thing I read about the Hilary Clinton thing was that becoming a VP candidate requires full disclosure of all activities, finances, etc., and since Bill Clinton was President, that was just not possible - because of conflict of interest, national security, and all that good stuff...another interesting theory, anyway!

Virginia Harris said...

Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

Even on the question of whether women should vote!

Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

Suffragettes were opposed by many women who were what was known as 'anti.'

The most influential 'anti' lived in the White House. First Lady Edith Wilson was a wealthy Washington widow who married President Wilson in 1915.

Her role in Wilson's decision to jail and torture Alice Paul and hundreds of other suffragettes will never be fully known, but she was outraged that these women picketed her husband's White House.

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Suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with TWO gorgeous presidential mistresses, First Lady Edith Wilson, Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan and Alice Roosevelt.

There are tons of heartache on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN!

Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women can now support the candidates they choose -- left, right, in-between or GREEN!

Exciting, sequential e-mail episodes are perfect to read on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

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Melissa said...

Tara, Girl you hit the head of so many points! I can honestly only say wow! I have given you and Deanna a shout out about your posts on this subject. I feel the same way you two do! The glass ceiling must be shattered in the ministry world that is for sure!

Leanne said...

Oh, and P.S. - I asked my husband about the "weaker vessel" verse, and his response was:

"I always took it to mean that a man is just physiologically stronger than a woman."

He also brought up the point that the word "as" is used in a metaphor, like the verse that tells men to "honor all women AS their sisters." This does not mean for a man that all men ARE their sisters - it means to show them the same respect that you would want shown to your sister.

So "Honor your wife AS the weaker vessel" could be saying to honor her as though she was weaker than you - not that all women are necessarily weaker than all men - emotionally, spiritually, or even physically.

Of course I'm going off my knowledge of the English language, and not taking any of the original Greek into consideration...so keep that in mind!

Deanna Shrodes said...

Couldn't agree with you and Patrick more, Leanne. That's exactly how I see it. It's OBVIOUS that men are physiologically stronger than us, anyone denying that would be in serious denial. One thing I heard is true although I have only heard it from one medical type source, not sure of it's 100% accuracy but I have heard that men are stronger in brute strength where as women can persevere longer when in physical situation such as pain, which is evidenced by the fact of our strength in many hours of hard labor in childbirth and also we sometimes tend to do better when we are sick. Most women that I know perservere and keep going and do whatever for the kids, their families, etc. in sickness or out, while men sometimes not so much. I am not wanting to stereotype (I hate that too!) but it seems to be true in many cases.

Agreed as well that the Bible is referring completely to the physical and not our ability to lead or such.

Pastor Shelisa Hull said...

Girl...I agree with everything you said!!! And you said it so well! No matter what "party" you are voting for, as Christians in general, we need to keep the entire Palin family lifted up in prayer as the media is having a field day with thier personal lives right now!!

Keep these posts coming! They are always a great read!

Love ya!

CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE said...

Tara, this is such an awesome post!

Blessings!

The Takeaway said...

We're talking about many of the issues raising with the selection of Sarah Palin on our show, The Takeaway, on the morning of Sept. 9 (Tuesday): sexism, motherhood and politics. We're taking questions for former Republican Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift, who gave birth while in office, via our website, thetakeaway.org.