4Thought: Jesus just part of the patriarchy
Laura // 13 December 2010
Tonight’s 4Thought provided a sharp counterpoint to the episode I blogged a few months back, in which Miranda Threllfall-Jones argued that Jesus was a feminist. In this episode, radical feminist Julia Long asserts that Jesus promoted patriarchy and patronised disabled people:
Jesus absolutely promoted a patriarchal structure, so from that point, all of his teachings are irredeemably sexist.
My name’s Julia Long, I was brought up Catholic and I’m now a radical feminist. I believe that Jesus and all that he represents forms the basis of a fundamentally patriarchal, sexist and oppressive religion. My main problem with Jesus is that he makes this claim to be the son of God: God is male, the son, obviously, is male. And he’s surrounded himself – obviously the twelve apostles are all men, so that seems to set up a perfect patriarchal structure.
People with disabilities, typically “the blind”, “the lame”, “the lepers” really as a kind of instrument via which Jesus can demonstrate how powerful God is by miraculously curing them. That representation of disabled people is so offensive, because it’s basically saying if you’re disabled there is something fundamentally wrong with you, where what we have to do is be kind to disabled people, we have to be charitable to them.
I think that men through formal religion and other means have had an awful long time of creating a very oppressive and hierarchical society, and so I wouldn’t see the teachings of Jesus as offering anything to me personally. I think we need to listen to men a little bit less and to women a lot more.
Image by Hellebardius, shared under a Creative Commons Licence.