Women in Religion

Women in Religion


Religion has existed for as long as man has. Both men, and women believed in a
superior being to explain the existence of life. Now with the different
varieties of religions, men and women play different roles that are permitted
by each one of them. Men are allowed to do as they please in the church as far
as the worshipping of god is concerned, but women have been and still are
restricted from performing some of the same task. Women are expected to follow
and obey the word of God just as much as men are, but they still are denied the
privilege of spreading the word of God. The male gender has dominated the world
for the past hundreds of years, but times have changed and women are seeking
equality. Even in the church, men are categorized as superior to women. Since
it is difficult to actually know what God wants from his followers, the Bible
is one source that has been used as reference to determine superiority of
genders in the church. "Jesus was a man who chose 12 male apostles to carry on
his work, therefore only men could be priest" (Connel A1), is a common
reference used to the scriptures found in the Bible. This attitude labeled
tradition is still around today and is being taught today throughout the world,
basically in the Roman Catholic religion. The Bible states "Let your women keep
silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they
are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law" (I Corinthians
14:34). When a person receives the calling, whether man or woman, it usually
means that God is asking to become one of hisdisciples and spread his word.
Women receive this calling just like men, but because women have been denied
that privilege for so many years, they have no choice, but to serve only
between the boundaries that have been given to them. Since many churches have
finally given in to allowing women into the ministry, they now believe that God
does not have a gender, and there are a number of ways God can be addressed
without calling God a he or she. Another argument is that Jesus asked his
followers to "take up your cross, deny yourself , and follow me" (Ostling,
55): he did not say whether it should be man or women. Supporters of women's
ordination believe that what is important is that Jesus came to earth as a human,
not a male. One more argument stated stories that Christ was a carpenter,
which dictate that only those skilled with hand tools shall be called to the
priesthood. Besides a numerous amount of evidence in favor of women's
ordinations, there are plenty of church officials, and religions that do
believe that women should not remain in silent prayer. Others feel that women
ministers would be more nurturing and caring. Many religions have given into
the argument of women's ordination. The Catholic religion is one that still
stands firm in its decision. It will keep recognizing women's gifts and full
spiritual equality but wants to preserve distinct roles for each gender.
Catholic schools and hospitals are run by women. Because of the 1983 revised
canon law and Vatican II, women are allowed to lead music and read parts of the
Bible during parish worship. They can also serve as extraordinary eucharistic
ministers. This means only after the male minister has blessed the bread and
wine, they can distribute it. Women are not allowed to give the actual mass or
allow any sacraments to be performed, such as confession, matrimony, or
anointment. Women find the responsibilities given to them are inadequate; they
feel they can do much more to serve there God. The Catholic women have felt the
need for preaching so much that they are driven to convert to other religions.
For some women, who feel irresistibly called to do more, the only choice is to
find a vocation outside Catholicism. There are those who still have hope that
women will be ordained in the catholic religion. The grandniece of the famous
Susan B. Anthony says, "There will always be people who oppose women in any
type of spiritual role. But I believe women will be ordained-maybe not in my
lifetime, but someday. I am just as sure of it as my great-aunt was sure that
women someday would gain the right to vote" (Davis, 3E).