The American Humanist Association sent our a press release stating:
HUMANISTS LAUNCH LARGEST NATIONAL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN CRITICAL OF RELIGIOUS SCRIPTURES:
A national multimedia ad campaign --the largest, most extensive ever by a
godless [their words] organization--launches today and will include a spot on
NBC Dateline...as well as other tv ads, that directly challenge biblical
morality and fundamentalist Christianity. The campaign, sponsored by the
AHA, also features ads in major ....newspapers and magazines demonstrating that
secular humanist values are consistent with mainstream America and that
fundamentalist religion has no right to claim the moral high ground.
....ads ask the audience to "consider Humanism." One example is the following pairing:
The Bible: "A woman should learn in quietness and full
submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a
man; she must be silent." I Timothy 2 (NIV)
Humanism: "The rights of men and women should be equal and
sacred--marriage should be a perfect partnership." Robert G. Ingersoll, in
a letter dated April 13, 1878.
AIG notes that context is important in scriptural interp and application. They go on to say that this admonition concerned the separate roles for men and women --that they are equal but have different roles in the church.
I would say that you also have to consider all the other teachings on women in the Bible, examples in scripture --and note that in this letter to Timothy, Paul says, "I" do not allow women to teach in the church and he gives his rationale. He doesn't exactly state that he is speaking for God here, does he?
There is much Biblical rationale to allow women full responsibility in the church today. In fact, fundamentalist Christianity has evolved the role of women more than any other group in all the world --as they were the first to have women preachers --because of the scripture by Paul that says that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on both men and women --and that women will prophesy or tell forth the Word, (same as men, evidently.) Of course, Deborah is an Old Testament example of a woman in a man's role as a judge and military advisor/leader. There is no biblical condemnation of her in these roles.
Jesus allowed Mary to learn at his feet along side the men --which was culturally atypical, we believe --at least when Mary's sister thought she should be in the kitchen instead. Jesus spoke to a woman at the well --an immoral woman --and went to her home to teach her family and friends. He refused to condone stoning the adulteress --after all, where was the adulterer? If the men who wanted to stone her were not without sin, they had no right to stone her, He said.
My pastor once pointed out that the subjugation of woman was part of the curse after the Fall --and notes that Christianity is about resisting and lifting ALL the curses: death, disease, pestilence, pain in childbirth--and subjugation of women.
Paul says slave, free, Jew, Gentile, male, female --all are equal in Christ. The implications are clear, even for the Church --though some churches and Christian men do get adamant about keeping women in their state of subjugation.
I'm glad my denomination is not about the subjugation of women. We had a split over the issue in my local body. The people are sincere in thinking that Timothy's letter from Paul mandates that the church today must subjugate women in roles in church in order to be a Biblical church. I suspect AIG thinks this, too.
We who disagree note that there ARE other issues in scripture where Christian churches have latitude. E.G.: the wearing of jewelry and hats.
A real liberal wants us to let homosexual conduct go, too, along with the subjugation of women. But that's a different matter entirely --and cannot be justifed Biblically, since we were created to be male or female in the image of God for His purposes. Anal and oral sex with our own sex just don't qualify as good and natural, healthy, normal --or Christian or Biblical --by any stretch of interp.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible