Tamerlan Tsarnaev became a religious radical and he did what so many other religious radicals do. He demanded a visual sign of his religion and he turned to women to show that.
He demanded that his mother don the hijab to cover her head and he also demanded that his wife don the hijab to cover her head. His head remained uncovered, but began to be filled with religious hatred for those who did not believe like he did.
That is nothing new, even though to write it seems extreme to our Christian beliefs.
Because you see, we, too, turn to women to be visual signs of our religion. We, too, take on extremism, not in actual murder of those who do not fit our image, but in a more subtle way.
We too, tell women that they must visually wear our religion.
1. Church by-laws tell congregations that only men can be deacons.
2. Church creeds tell congregations that only men can be pastors.
3. Some denominations demand that women cannot cut their hair, wear makeup or jewelry, wear red clothing, or sleeveless clothes, and certainly not pants.
4. Some denominations demand that women wear little caps on their heads.
5. Pastors, bloggers, seminary professors and others remind women of their boundaries.
6. Marriage seminars are held to teach “God’s design” which means being a submissive wife.
These are covers that we have put on women in order to show our piety.
Men remain uncovered. Oh, they are supposed to live like Christians (women are also), but there is no visual sign they have to either wear on their bodies or restrictions placed upon them.
Again, I wonder what pastors think when they sit in their recliners and watch this unfold. Is there ever a niggling thought in the back of their mind that they, too, demand that women wear their religion?
The Bible is used to keep women under submission, just like Tsarnaev did to his mother and wife. But what pastors will not tell their congregations is that there is no biblical basis for keeping women in the 21st century tied to standards and cultural customs of the first century.
Will you read my book “Dethroning Male Headship” and ask your pastor to read it, and to put it in your church library?
Pastors, you have an obligation to both women and men in your congregation. There is no biblical basis for keeping women from serving God as they are called, or as they are needed.
Will you remove the covering from their heads?