The recent election has prompted significant reflection for many evangelicals, including notable contributions from Christianity Today managing editor Katelyn Beaty, Fuller president Mark Labberton and Fuller president emeritus Richard Mouw, and Northeastern assistant professor of New Testament Esau McCaulley, who writes about being black, evangelical, and an Anglican priest.
Is there a way forward beyond the dominant complementarian discourse at this nexus where a predominantly white North American evangelical Christianity has met racial and ethnic others, especially East Asians in the contemporary milieu?
Last Sunday I met James Anderson, the African-American father who in 1963 won his lawsuit against the city of Birmingham, Alabama to enroll his children in the local all-white high school (if you're younger than me--32--you may need a reminder that this was well after Brown v. Board of Education made desegregation a federal law).
All of us know how it feels to be dismissed in a room full of men. However, some of us know what it feels like to be repeatedly dismissed in a room full of women who are supposed to be our sisters. This post is not meant to vilify the facilitator of that conference. I want to educate and bring awareness to an ongoing problem.
Women make up 19% of active duty service members in the Air Force. I’m a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, and the numbers in my career field are even lower. The last statistics I saw reflected fewer than twenty female chaplains in the Reserves, out of about two hundred.
I wondered if something was wrong with me, a woman, or with my female body. Did I dress too provocatively? I began to hide behind loose clothes and old thrift finds. I diminished myself, listening to the messages of shame and fear. Bowing to the voice that whispered that I was dust—unclean.
Recently, in the small bowling alley where Shelby works, three immigrant women and eight children came to the counter to pay for their games. After Shelby realized that none of the women could speak English, one of them tried to apologize, saying, “Normally my husband…” Shelby asked if her husband usually did the talking. She nodded and kept her eyes glued to the floor.