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"There has certainly never been anything like it in Christ's Church."

2.27.2008

"...alone among teachers and founders of religion, [Jesus] did and said nothing special about [women]. He never said they were tempters, snares, or weaklings, or imbeciles, or inspirations, or angels; he never mapped out a special sphere of duties for them, or told people to keep clear of them or shut them up; when they asked him intelligent questions he replied seriously and intelligibly, and when Martha wanted to hike Mary off on the ground that women's place was in the kitchen He told her to leaver her alone; He never patronised, or condescended, or scolded, or nagged at women for being women, or turned shy or silly or self-conscious or superior on them, and not one teaching or parable of his ever turns on funny stuff about wives or horrid warnings about women, or that mankind was divided into two sections, the one consisting of complete human beings with certain sexual functions, and the other of preambulating sex-organs with a distant resemblance to humanity.

You don't realize perhaps, how extraordinary that is. It's unparalleled. There has been nothing like it before or since. There has certainly never been anything like it in Christ's Church.

All other religions and gods and ethical systems have been preoccupied with sex one way or the other, whether the upshot of the thing is a ferocious asceticism or "nameless orgies." But when you get hold of God personally, you come up against a blank wall. He just doesn't bother about it. He doesn't seem to notice it. If you force the subject on His attention, he merely observes that a dirty look is as bad as the whole hog and that men are in no position to cast stones at the women...Otherwise, not a word--only a few incidental pictures of women harmlessly engaged in looking after children, making bread, mending garments and sweeping the house for lost sixpences, and pleading for justice in the courts, and a long, serious, and polite discussion on theology with a nondescript female by a well. (It is true, he suggested that she should fetch her husband, but not, apparently, to enlighten the feebleness of her female understanding, for He clearly didn't really want the man, didn't get him, and was content to continue the conversation without him.) This refreshing absence of hysteria is unique in religious history."

- Dorothy L. Sayers, 1944

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