Worldwide Church of God Experiences
(That is SEXIST not SEXIEST )
A few months ago, someone asked me to give some examples of ways women were mistreated in Worldwide Church of God - basically nothing came to mind. - This AM, several events came to mind - anyway I plan to write a series of posts of some of these experiences - and I would hope that some of the other women will jump in - the ones I plan to write will be experiences that are a direct result of my being a woman - maybe no one is interested in reading them - but maybe I need to write them - and maybe the women who can't relate to my feeling of being put down/ made to feel inferior/ second-class need to read them - and if no one else does, I will read the posts from the other women who contribute.
(As a matter of fact, I really want to read what others of you have experienced.)
DoraOne day after services, I walked over to where Walt (my husband) and a LCE are standing and talking - the LCE was doing the talking, and didn't even acknowledge my presence. I wanted to tell Walt something but also didn't want to interrupt (as much because that is how I was raised - not to interrupt others than the fact that he was LCE).
As I waited and listened to the conversation, I determined that the LCE had put Walt in charge of the concessions for an upcoming event. Finally Walt got a chance to talk and made some suggestions. I added - that yea, we could do this and that........ The LCE turned to me and asked what I meant by "we" that Walt was in charge of this - that this had *nothing* to do with me. I said that well, I knew that I would probably be the one doing most of the work (this was b/4 my college days). He said well whether I did anything to help out was up to Walt & it was up to Walt to talk to me about it and tell me what to do. He also mentioned that even if I did all the work, Walt would get the credit for doing it & if he wanted to pass any thanks on to me that was up to him.
I think he also said something about God's government. I walked away without saying a word, but I think there was smoke coming out of the top of my head. And poor Walt - he didn't agree with the LCE but didn't know what to do - it's an authority thing you know (under authority of LCE). And I chewed on Walt's ear all the way home and part of the PM. It probably ruined his "Sabbath"
Father, forgive the jerk, he doesn't have a clue........
JoyceThis first one is a group thing--our local minister made an announcement that he didn't want any women coming to him with Biblical questions. They were to ask their husband first, and if the husband couldn't answer the question(s), the husband and wife could then come to the minister together, and ask the question, and he would give them the answer.
JoyceMy sister-in-law had a health problem (not terribly serious or life-threatening), and she asked to be anointed. Her husband was the type who over-reacted and freaked out over things needlessly. She didn't want to tell him she was having this problem, because she didn't want to have to deal with his hysterics. She just wanted to be anointed.
The minister refused to anoint her if her husband wasn't involved, and she wouldn't tell her husband, so she never got anointed. She ended up going to a doctor on her own, later.
JoyceAt AC in Big Sandy, it was held over our heads that the dorm monitor would be making random inspections of our closets and dresser drawers and making monthly reports on what kind of housekeepers we were. These reports would be kept in our file at the Dean of Students office (Ron Kelly at the time) and then if one of the male students ever went for counseling about a female student he might be romantically interested in, these housekeeping reports would be brought to light for the young man's inspection and analysis on what kind of wife material he was possibly considering.
MuddyThe women had plenty of outlets to express themselves. What about the opportunity for spiritual growth and expression setting out all those cookies in the church kitchen? There was always the mother's room to catch up on spiritual topics. And last but not least, there was Spokesman's Club Ladies Night, where the women could come and glean a few nuggets of spirituality from us guys and see how spiritual growth is really achieved.
Yessiree, Spokesmans Club was a real orgy of male bonding... "Around the ragged rock, the ragged rascal ran..."
JoyceActually, there was a period of time where even the music outlet was partially taken away. It was probably right around the time of Herbert W. Armstrong's apoplectic fits over the women in the church who looked like whores when they wore makeup. An announcement was made in services (don't know if this was churchwide or local, but at the time I thought it was for the whole church) that any women who were choir directors, even of children's choirs, were to be immediately replaced by men, because women were not to be in authority over men.
I almost quit Worldwide Church of God at the time over the absolute absurdity of this. Wish I had.
DoraYes I remember that - we lost one of the best children's choir directors at that time - she had a degree in music - not sure where from - but I know that she had studied music in Paris and other places - so they put some guy in charge that didn't know a ****** from a **** (so I'm musically illiterate) but he was a man!
Unreal isn't it? (that we didn't have enough sense to quit, that is)
DoraThe year 1969 - the place So. CA - we were attending the LA #1 church "pastored" by Rod Meredith at the time - it was July (I think) and a church picnic - I remember the year because someone brought a tiny black & white TV to watch the first manned landing on the moon.
Well it was a pretty boring picnic - I didn't know many people and was very bashful/shy person back in those days (hard to believe, I know but.....) - some of the guys were having fun playing ball - I would have loved to play but....hey, I was a woman.
As the PM drew on people started to leave and the ball field started to get slim - one guy came over to the grassy area where most of the people were and tried to talk some of the guys into joining them in playing ball - including of course, Walt - he told them that he really didn't want to play but that his wife probably did - I don't remember exactly what the guy said but it seems like he was going to ask some more guys and if he didn't find anyone he'd let me play.
Well, I ended up playing [and I'm sure most of you women have more self-respect than I had - and would have refused to play under such treatment - but I grew up spending a lot of time waiting to play ball - ie the neighborhood boys played and if there weren't enough guys there they would let me play - but if they had enough guys, if I was "lucky" they would let me go out past the outfield and "fetch" the ball - otherwise I would sit (sometimes for hours) and wait til some went home and they needed another player and I would get to play]
Back to CA - so I got to play and of course anyone who knows anything about baseball knows what position they put me in - Right Field, of course - the chances are slim that a ball would come over to me - well, I don't know how long we played after I started and I only remember one play.
I was standing out in the field - noticed "the man" Rod stop by the fence as he was leaving for the day - about that time someone popped the ball up to right field - it was an easy catch - had plenty of time to get under it - but the guy in center field came over - was about to catch it for me - I said that I had it - he asked if I was sure that I could catch it - I assured him that I could and he backed off - like I said it was an easy catch - after catching it, this guy says - Good catch! - wonder how many guys he would have said that to?!?! - and being the dumb sheep that I was, I glanced over to "the man" - he looked impressed that I caught the ball.
And many of you may not even see this as sexist - but the assumption was that I couldn't play ball - hey, I'm not a very good batter - didn't get to play enough when I was a kid but my daddy would play catch with me often - and I have played ball some since then - have made some pretty good (actually some really impressive) catches, but hey not that day. And I wasn't even welcome to play in the first place.
And this is only one of many repeats of this kind of treatment - after moving to Fayetteville and going through this same "Walt do you want to play ball - no but my wife does" type situation, the guys finally learned that I wanted to/could play ball - especially volleyball.
But Volleyball had it's own hazards - like I go up to spike the ball and the guy standing by me comes over to my position to hit it for me - hey I never backed down (til I got older and wiser) - almost got some broken ribs a few times but....... - and of course they finally learned. I guess it's called "friendly fire"
Last time I played volleyball was this summer - with a group of mostly non/never wcgers - guys a lot younger than me but they didn't try to steal my ball/shot - and I wasn't offended by their comment of good shot when I spiked it over - at 51, that isn't something that is easy for me to do any more......
BTW, Walt isn't non-athletic - just knew it was more important to me to participate in sports than he (but y'all - except the newbies - already know that is the kind of guy he is)
At that time because our kids were small only one of us could play at a time - later he played softball (had played baseball as kid) and learned to play volleyball and basketball - and learned quite well, btw.
MuddyIn Hattiesburg, MS in 1981-1982, there was a church choir. In the choir was a lady who was a violinist for the Jackson, MS Symphony, i.e. a person who knew something about music. However, she could not lead the choir because she was a woman. This poor guy, a friend of mine, was put in charge of the choir. He could almost carry a tune himself. He was constantly asking the lady how to do this or that at every turn.
He was so anxious about it that whenever the choir had to perform, he would sweat so bad the whole top part of his suite was wet with sweat from his underarm perspiration.
It wasn't fair to him to put him in a position where he didn't know what he was doing. And it certainly was not fair to Ms. Brown to have her sitting in the choir when she could have lead it easily. But such was the Worldwide Church of God back in the good old days. We damn sure had a MAN in charge! Of course, if either had questioned this setup, they would have immediately went on Paul Kurtz's "bad attitude" list.
DoraAfter moving to Arkansas, I found out that some of the guys got together every Sunday AM and played basketball - oh how I would have loved to play, too! I said something to the minister - he thought that basketball was too rough of a game for women but said if we wanted to get together and play volleyball that would be fine with him. I guess we had a sign-up list every year for 4 -5 years with *one* signature on it......:-( Like the ministers/other men told me - hey it wasn't their fault that I was the only woman that wanted to play. (No way they were going to let me play ball with the guys - although I had started to play coed volleyball every Sun AM while living in Pasadena.)
I was totally frustrated and Walt or I suggested that we learn to play tennis - only need the 2 of us - so we got a library book and some cheap rackets (we were poor) and taught ourselves.
Sometime in there another athletic woman moved to Fayetteville area - and her husband, unlike Walt, played basketball Sun AM - so we teamed up to try to let the guys let us play - no way - so we played tennis some (but she had little ones and her husband didn't help out!).
Well these Sun AM games were unofficial Worldwide Church of God activity and they finally got official games going and started including the boys. And we got a new minister and guess what? Mrs. Minister liked sports. So now it wasn't "the women can play volleyball if they want" - it became strongly suggested that we do - not *quite* a salvation issue but........ - and he basically forced the girls to play.
Anyway I ended up as the girls' volleyball coach. We had 3 hour practice every Sun AM - well the women and girls practiced for the first 45 min and the guys practiced the rest of the time - 2 1/4 hours - the same LCE from Experience #1 was in charge of sports - (think he was only a deacon at the time) - well very meekly and humbly (hey I'm serious), I approached him about this and the fact that many of the girls didn't even get there until practice was 1/2 over - he told me that that was my problem that I need to get the girls to get there earlier - I told him that they came with their dads and it wasn't the girls' fault - of course the bottom line was TOUGH - and I realize that this conversation could have gone on with any of you guys and the little Hitler deacons/LCE's in any congregation.
But my main problem is the difference in time that was allowed for the guys and for the women/girls - he told me that I should be thankful to have any time - that previously the men (including him of course) got to play for 3 hours, but now they had to share the time with us - I think he was trying to make me feel sorry for the poor guys - had 45 min less of playing time - guess, I should have appreciated the crumbs that were falling from the "masters' " table - yeah right! Being the good Christian woman I was (I'm a better Christian woman now but not by his standard) I prayed about it and trusted God to take care of the situation - prayed about it for about a year - the pastor finally learned what was going on and said that the time would be divided equally - still wasn't equal since the men still didn't get their daughters there on time but........
You ask where was the minister's into-sports wife in all this - I don't remember but I suspect that she was probably pregnant at the time so neither of them were involved in Sun AM activities........
And I remember this woman cussing up a storm one time - yes, real cuss words - she and hubby had gone up to SEP one summer - she told me how excited she was when she found out that they had softball games for the "leaders" "serving" up there - guess what? - they didn't let her play! - it was for guys only! She was furious - I think she was even going to write to Herbie about it.......
And I was one of the few women coaches in the YOU district - some of the men coaches treated me as an equal - but others.....
Anyway, for one season, they had some of the women doing some of officiating - then the man in charge of sports locally decided it was wrong and didn't allow it (don't know if the minister knew about it or not - and I thought it would be wrong to go over lil' Hitler's head) - so when we had a tournament, each church area had to provide a certain number of people for officiating - they let me keep score - but some of the men that officiated didn't know much about the game - quite often if the official wasn't sure of a rule/how to call a play, he would turn around and ask me - and it wasn't always about some obscure rule - I remember one game, the associate pastor was officiating - the ball hit on the line and he asked me if on the line was considered "in" or "out"
I heard about some classes that one could take and become a certified volleyball official - before I got a chance to attend, I started to college and no longer had the time - my thought was that if I were certified they surely wouldn't turn me down to officiate - they put me down but I felt/hurt more for the girls & boys that had to put up with officials who didn't know the game. And of course the women's and men's teams had to put up with it too.
JoyceI remember one week, back around that time frame, hearing a sermon by a LCE putting down women over various things. He was pulling lots of scriptures out of context, and saying they meant things that would support his sermon. Some of the stuff he was saying--he was making up on his own.......I mean it wasn't even anything hq was saying...no one had ever heard those scriptures being given those meanings before...and I remember sitting there and absolutely knowing that what he was saying was a lie.
I was playing the piano for church that week and I remember contemplating getting up in the middle of the sermon and walking out, and letting them sing a cappella for the final song. But I didn't want to embarrass my kids and husband, so I didn't. So why did I go back the next week???
AAAArrrrrrrggggghhhh!!! The Stupidity!!!!!!!
New on 3/2/98:
The women students were required to fill out a sign out sheet if they ever left campus. We had to put the down the time we left, where we were going, who we were going with, and when we returned.
The guys had NO sign out requirements.
Now, I can understand why it would be good to know where someone was, in case of family emergencies, but that would apply equally to men and women students, so why the double standard?
Several years after moving to Fayetteville, the men were now letting me and the other woman mentioned in another post, play ball with them. One day at church I was talking with one of my fellow ball players. He said, "You know, you and Carla are more like men."
I had been told such foolishness since I was a little girl so this was nothing new - had heard it hundreds of times before. And as an impressionable little girl it had a profound effect on me. (As a member of "God's one true church," it did too) But I mention this time because for the first time, I had a good comeback.
I asked him what he meant. He said, "You know you two would rather be playing ball than doing *women* things." I told him that it wasn't *my* fault that most women didn't know how to have fun! (He is really into any type of sports.) He thought a little while, and replied that he had never thought of it that way and he guessed that I was right.
Of course that mentality is fostered in our society as well as Worldwide Church of God and I'm sure that many men that aren't into sports have faced just as bad or worse comments by others.
And society may be bad (and I know that those of you who are younger may not understand to the same degree) but when things are taught by "the one true church," the impact is greater. And in Worldwide Church of God, I was not only made to feel like I, along with all women, was inferior, but that I was inferior to most women because of my choice of recreational activities. And yet at the same time, I felt superior to other women - after all I was more like the men - i.e. the important people!
I've even had other women tell me that I thought that I was better than them/more important - that is why I tried to be like one of the guys - give me a break, I just enjoy participating in lots of different sports.
I mention these few instances and a few people but that was the culture/the mentality of Worldwide Church of God - and the underlying message was - a person that is a *true* Christian in "God's one true church" will fit the mold.
But sports is only one small area where these false concepts were perpetrated. I will write more about other areas soon.
And the scars from stereotyping and false teachings take years to leave..........
Here's another nightmare memory from the mid '60s Ambassador College daze:
Women students had a very strict curfew as follows:
Sunday through Friday nights, we had to be in our dorm by 10:00pm, and in bed with lights out by 10:30pm. In addition, we were not allowed to get up in the morning before 5:00am, unless we were assigned to breakfast prep duty at the dining hall, which was assigned on a rotating basis, and came around every few weeks for freshmen and sophomores (I think, can't remember for sure, but I don't think juniors and seniors had breakfast prep.) If we had breakfast prep, I think we were allowed to get up at 4:30am.
On Saturday nights, I believe we had to be in the dorm by 12:00am, with lights out by 12:30am.
The thinking was that the women students had to be forced to get plenty of sleep every night, so they would be as healthy as possible and able to produce babies and heirs for the kingdom. (Yes, they actually told us this.)
My husband says that male students had no curfews of any sort, (or if they did, he obviously didn't pay attention to them.)
When I read this one to Walt, I thought he was going to die laughing - it is pretty funny now - the stupid things that were taught - sure wasn't funny at the time.
In the early 1970s in Pasadena, I remember a sermonette given by an LCE. I heard this type of mindset many times after this, but this particular sermonette stands out because I was infuriated by it. Besides being an LCE, this man was quite a bit older than me, so in my mind, added even more credibility to his words (after all we were taught to respect our elders - they have gone through more experiences so know more - now that I am older than that man was at the time, I think this only has value in a very limited way - and continue to learn a lot from those younger than me). I was in my early 20's and he seemed really old - guess he was probably in his forties.
He and his family had gone camping and hiking the week-end before. He had planned a trip with just him and his teen-age sons, but his wife really wanted to go so he had decided to *let* her go too. Well, it seems that she was out of shape or something because it really wore her out. According to him, she had to rest for a day or two from the trip.
Well, he gave this sermonette about men loving their wives. I guess on the surface it might have sounded really nice. It was all about giving to your wives - but it was from a false perspective. He said - don't put a burden on your wives that women weren't created to able to handle - remember that they are weaker than you and treat them accordingly. He said that he realized how wrong he was to let his wife go with them - that even though she wanted to go, he as the man should have had the wisdom to see that it was too much for her.
Anyway, he had learned his lesson and was never going to let her go with them again. And he encouraged the men to remember how weak their wives were and they are commanded to love their wives - that they are the ones in charge and they are to do what is best for their family even if the wife and other family members think something else is better. As the men, God will give them the wisdom to see what is best - blah, blah, blah.
Like I said, I was furious and of course Walt got an earful - he assured me that he would never tell me that I couldn't go somewhere with him because he thought it was too strenuous for me or anything.......
And I was doubly confused/upset - on the one hand, I knew that most women that were in shape could go hike a few miles without any problem and yet I also felt that Walt was wrong to not follow the directions of what "God's anointed" was saying - and that I was wrong for disagreeing with a sermonette. So besides feeling put down as a lesser being, I had all these guilt feelings and looked down on Walt for not being the kind of man that God said he should be (after all if a LCE said it, it must be true, right?)
Anyway, I would think that some women *might* have liked the sermonette - would be glad to have an excuse to get out of some activities, if they weren't the outdoors types but....
Back to sports but related: After we moved to AR, and were playing volleyball thanks to the minister's into-sports wife, well, she must have also talked her husband into having a women's basketball team. Before that it was considered too strenuous/rough for the women. But we didn't have any other teams to play except the sister congregation's team. All the other ministers in the district said there was no way they were going to let the women play basketball - they just didn't think that it was right.
Well, Joplin finally started a women's basketball team too (the minister's wife was also into sports - wonder if there is a connection). Anyway, we had a pretty good team - several of the women had played when they were in High School, but the Joplin women were pretty new at the game. So when we played against them, our coach made us play like wimps - to back off. He told us that he didn't want us to hurt them. Of course we didn't want to hurt them but.....
(I am glad that things had changed and my daughter got to play basketball both in YOU and Jr High - of course she couldn't play in High School because of the Sabbath, but neither could her brothers. And they were good - probably could have made a college team.....)
New on 3/8/98:
The minister who moved here in '79 actually had the church build him a house! Yes you read that right - He may have hired some of the work done but as far as I know, most of the work was done by church volunteers! At that time about 1/3 of the men in Worldwide Church of God here were carpenters - poor guys.
Walt & I never did help out - I can't remember exactly why - too busy -and I think we might have been in 3T year and couldn't afford the gas to drive there - and they may have said - no women allowed.
When we first moved here, there was a work party to paint the house of an elderly couple - dumb me (I am blonde) I showed up and was even brushing on some paint until the LCE or deacon or some "spiritual" leader arrived and informed me that that was man's work - I said - What, I've painted our house 2-3 times - he told me if Walt wanted me to do work like that that was "his" responsibility and he was in charge here and there wouldn't be any women painting here.
Wonder if we will still be in the Kingdom??????
Then there were the sermons about marriage. I remember one of those when we first started attending in Joplin, Mo. The main point was that men are made in the image of God and women are made in the image of men. Remember no women are made in the image of God! (Yep, that is what he said) And I actually went back......
But the most memorable of the marriage sermons were given while we were attending the LA #1 congregation in the late 60's. Although I haven't mentioned many names, here I will - "the man" himself - head of field ministry at the time - Rod Meredith - let's face it, he was the one influencing the ministers' beliefs on a lot of things.
It was all really quite simple - just obey your husbands in everything - (of course unless it conflicts with Worldwide Church of God's - Oooops, God's - teachings) - No thinking required - Just do it! - Remember God will work it out for good - Oh, He didn't this time - well, He will - just be patient - you don't see the whole picture - be patient - anyway......
We were taught that it doesn't matter how idiotic what your husband wants to do, seems to you women - remember that God has put your husband in charge - it is not for you to question him - God doesn't need *you* to help him see what is best to do for the family - even what is best for you - trust God to work through your husband to lead you - just as parents know what is best for their kids, husbands know what is best for their wives.....
Men were to make the decisions about what to buy, where to live, what to do, recreational activities, how wife fixes her hair, what she wears - Ad nauseum.........
Maybe other women didn't feel like I did - but I felt totally put down - like women didn't have any value at all - and "every" sermon like that I would look around the room and wonder how the other women could stand it (but of course not one of those things that you would discuss) - how could they even stand to stay there and listen and "every" marriage sermon I would think about leaving - but I would also think that if I walked out, that it would be for good - ie would be too embarrassing to come back - and then I would think about if I left "God's one true church" that I would be doomed for eternity - and I would go back and forth in my mind as what I should do - and before I could decide, the sermon would be over.....
And later when we'd get home, Walt & I would talk - and he would tell me that he didn't feel the same way about women - and me especially - and that he needed input from me - wanted me to help him in making decisions - and to make some of the decisions - that he just couldn't treat me or any woman the way that the sermons described.
But I was so brainwashed by the cult that I couldn't even believe what he was saying - I was glad that he treated me as he did but I thought that he was all wrong - wrong for disagreeing with the minister - (in retrospect, he was listening to HS within him rather than a man) - sometimes, I felt kind of guilty for the things that he let me do that other women didn't get to (ie freedom that I had) but I was also glad - and I was also fearful - fearful for his salvation - afraid that he was going to lose out on salvation because he didn't do what the ministers said.
So I was in constant turmoil - and our marriage suffered. Another part of the marriage sermons was the fact that women were commanded to reverence their husbands but they said that the word was really respect. Sounds simple and yet for me it wasn't - after all how could I respect a man that said he was a Christian - attended/was a member of "the one true church" and yet didn't follow God the way He was leading "the church"
And a big irony was - here I was - had the potential for a great marriage (and it was better than most) - had a wonderful husband - was the envy of other women - and yet had lost a certain amount of respect for him and was in turmoil with no one to talk to - and everyone was thinking we had the perfect marriage and how lucky I was.
Yes I was very lucky but thanks to the cult, I didn't know it. And Walt was in a no-win situation.
New on 3/29/98:
My father was (rather, still is) a local elder in the Worldwide Church of God. It so happened one Last Day of Unleavened Bread (or maybe it was the First--I can't remember for sure) the local minister and guest speaker (an evangelist from Pasadena, whose name I can't remember else I would surely include it in all caps) came to our house after lunch. It was a warm spring, and temperatures that day had risen to summer-like levels, so it was incredibly hot in the house when we arrived. My father said to my mother, "Turn on the attic fan--it's kind of hot in here."
Now my father is not the type of man to "tell" my mother to do something. It was more of a request, and had my mother heard him, it would have been understood as such, not as a command. Nonetheless, my mother didn't hear him, and a few moments later he asked her, "Would you turn on the fan?" (He looking through his briefcase for something to give the evangelist, else he probably would have simply done it himself.) Finally, my mother turned on the fan, saying something to the effect of, "My, it's not in here--I guess we should turn on the fan." The evangelist replied in an icy tone, "Well your husband told you to do it two times."
I was only ten or eleven at the time, but I recall feeling such fury when he said that to my mother. I wanted to scream, "My father doesn't TELL my mother to do anything! She's his wife, not his servant!" but of course, being a good little Worldwide Church of God boy, I said nothing.
I've no idea whether my parents ever talked about this later. I have my doubts. I know I never said anything to them, and for the past fifteen years that incident has stuck in my mind, only recently to be labeled for what it is: A sexist comment by a sexist "minister" who is part of a sexist hierarchy in a sexist organization.
Well, this isn't really a single incident but just a lot of things put together - as I said in earlier posts, I just didn't fit the mold of what Worldwide Church of God said women should be like, not only because I enjoyed the sports stuff ,- as, of course, many other women do too, - but a long list of things. One thing is that "this" is supposed to be masculine and "that" is feminine. Society does that too but when "one of God's true ministers" says it - hey, even if everything in me didn't see it, I just "had" to believe it!
Example: Women are more patient than men. Well, maybe most are - but it wasn't that way in our family - and looking back, this is a real strange one, patience is one of fruits of HS - not fruit of being a woman. No wonder Walt was more patient than me.
And hand-in-hand with that one was the "fact" that more men had a temper - I'm trying to think of how many times I've seen Walt angry - not many. Myself on the other hand - let's not go there......
And of course women are "better" with the kids. They have this natural motherly love. Well, when I found out that I was pregnant with my firstborn (at 17), a baby was the last thing that I wanted. And when I started to church at 19, with 2 little kids (by then) I sure didn't have all this natural love that I was supposed. If they had just told me the truth, that despite the fact that they are your kids, when they are constantly doing things that they shouldn't, getting into everything etc. - that there are times that you feel like killing them - that your patience grows thin - that you blow your top. I'm sure that some women are real patient and never get upset with the kid - especially if they waited years to have one - but Worldwide Church of God laid this guilt trip on you - of unreal expectations - (and of course I love all 3 of my "kids" - and we get along great but........)
Speaking of kids, I remember one sermon on childrearing - the "minister" says - now *you women* won't really be able to relate to little boys - how curious they are about everything - then he told how his little boy had taken a clock apart to see how it worked - that women don't care how things work - just that they are working - guess what? - I took a clock apart when I was a kid - was always curious about everything - wanted to know how things worked - what the inside of a machine looks like - why things are the way they are -
And along this line, is the "fact" that girls may sit and play for hours doing the same thing, where as boys, do something for a little while and then have to do something different. Well, my youngest and oldest were like this but the middle child (a boy) would play quietly for hours. And me? I still have a hard time doing the same thing very long; want to try out something else -
And girls play with dolls and boys play with toy cars...... (not me)
And boys are the risk takers - but girls stand back meek and reserved; waiting for directions. (wrong!)
Looking back - these guys were really pathetic. I don't know where they got their information - maybe they looked at their wives - how she was and decided that is how all women are - or maybe they decided how they thought women should be and spoke accordingly.
And some women were that way too. Maybe they told the guys what women were like. I remember one lady in Pasadena in '67 (I remember the year because we had just moved there). She had gone to a lecture of a woman who had paddled down the Amazon or something. Anyway, she told her husband that the speaker wasn't a woman. He said that he thought she had just said that she went to hear a woman speaker. She said - "well, yes, but she wasn't really a woman - no woman would do what she did" (and of course I'm standing there listening and thinking that it sounded like some adventure/real FUN.)
My point: Even saying things about the so-called strengths of women - lumping us (or men for that matter) all together had damaging effects - the influence of society in this regard did also - but much more so was the damage done by Worldwide Church of God/ministry . After all, when they spoke, it was like God Himself was speaking.
Was just talking to my Daughter-in-law about old time Arkansas men - how women had to do exactly what hubby said and all - reminded me of a deacon in Worldwide Church of God - he was an old time Arkie guy. And this story has a "happy" ending - well it is hilarious to me.
Night to be Observed - about 14-15 years ago - we were invited to a deacon's house. A bunch of us women were in the kitchen doing our women's place thing - i.e. getting the food ready. The hostess mentioned that the men were going to go through the line first and sit at the table . Kids would eat in back room on tables she had set up and then us women could go into the living room and balance our plates on our laps and eat there.....
I thought - forget this!!! - I'll do what I want. I got in line with the last of the men. Took my plate over and tried to sit with Walt at the table. The host said that the table was reserved for the men and that I should go into the living room. I stood there for a few seconds and thought that Walt would say something. When he didn't, I was so mad - was too mad at him to sit by him so I went into the living room. I sat there with smoke coming out the top of my head all evening. When we got to the car - well Walt really got an earful.....
We can't remember some things. I think that he didn't say anything because he didn't hear what the host said to me. He thinks that he didn't say anything because he figured that he was in someone else's house and when in Rome and all that.
And something else that I had forgotten about: My 2 sons were in their late teens at the time so they got to sit at the table with the "men". And one of my sons got sick and threw up all over the table!!!!!!!
Of course it wasn't funny at the time but my Daughter-in-law and I have been laughing about this for 2 days now - she said that will teach those male chauvinists......
New on 4/12/98:
My first personal contact with the WWCG was about 1971-72 when I lived in Oklahoma City. I received the Plain Truth, but was not a member and did not know any members. As a subscriber, I was invited to a "bible study" for nonmembers.
During the bible study, the minister made several sarcastic statements about women. During the course of his lecture, he forgot a scripture (where it was located in the bible). He looked at his wife and said, "I know you know where it is, but I'll not have a WOMAN tell me!"...blah...blah... She looked embarrassed and didn't say anything. The whole bible study had this tone.
My very first impression of the WWCG was that they hated women. A few years later I heard that this minister had shot and killed his wife, so I don't think my perception was wrong.)
New on 6/22/98:
Last week, with all the commotion about the Baptists bringing this new doctrine about wives being submissive to their husbands, Larry King had Jerry Falwell, Schuller, and the President of the Baptist org on his show.
What struck me is how these 3 men of the cloth, all inspired by the same God, could not agree on the interpretations of scriptures. I wanted to call in so bad and, first of all tell them about the cult I was in and how they upheld this scripture to the tune of women being abused and being told to tough it out and give their husbands more sex, and to ask why this scripture is inspired and should be enforced, when the one that Larry brought up about slaves being subject to their masters doesn't apply now.
They all had different answers on this one. I would then ask them why we are told to look back, such as albrecht & joe do about Egypt, when Jesus points us forward.
Would any of us do very well today if we were living in the exact manner of people 50 years ago?
Since we were always taught that God blesses when we are good, I'd say that all of the splinter groups must have some pretty serious flaws and problems that keeps God from raining down the money and the people!
And I don't think there's as much an apathy for Christianity as there is for the idiots who push themselves off as virtuous men of the cloth only wanting to build God's kingdom.
I'm much happier going to Vegas and giving my hard earned money to some fat cat billionaire to enjoy than to some religious hypocrite!
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