JIM CREES: Those folks? Or us folks?

In what has become pretty much a run-of-the-mill example of hypocrisy, a acquaintance of mine recently pointed out an interesting article in the newspaper.

It seems an Iranian-born Stanford University professor, Mariam Mirzakhani, has become the first woman ever to win one of the most (if not THE most) prestigious awards for work in the field of mathematics — the Fields Medal.

This is big stuff, especially if you’re are a mathematician (and more especially if you are a female mathematician).

However, my friend pointed, there is another story. It seems Mirzakhani’s achievement gained a lot of attention in Iran since the mathematician herself is Iranian born.

But, to my friend’s shock (and I’d guess hidden delight) coverage of the award and the honoree in newspapers in Teheran and around Iran was ... um ... strange.

Mirzakhani’s hair, ears, and neck were digitally erased or altered. In at least one case her image was published with a photoshopped hijab covering her hair and head. All this was done to appease the country’s morality censors.

“See how those Muslims treat their women,” opined my acquaintance who is herself a member of an ultra-orthodox Protestant Christian congregation.

Hmmmmmm ....

Lemme see ...

Not too horribly long ago, in March of this year, Pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., drew no little attention to his preaching when he told women in his congregation they should remain silent during the worship service, and not even let loose with a hearty “Amen” if “moved” to do so.

Anderson said women needed to remain quiet during teaching and preaching in the church in accordance to I Timothy 2:11: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.”


So ... women have no right, under Pauline code, to speak AT ALL in church?

Hey! Don’t get jumpy. It’s not me!

Pastor Anderson quotes Paul out of I Corinthians 14 saying: “Let your women keep silent in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak. But they are commanded to be under obedience as also sayeth the law. And if they will learn anything let them ask their husbands at home for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

He said it. He preached it. In church.

Not in Iran.

It is so, so easy to see the speck in some other persons eye while ignoring the beam in your own.

Then of course there is the mega-pastor Mark Driscoll from the mega-congregation Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

My friend is shocked when authorities in Iran photoshop a hijab on a woman, but too many folks just don’t seem to be too upset about a pastor who suggests — from the pulpit — that it is a wife’s duty to ... um ... er ... service her husband on demand, and daily.

Driscoll has taken masculine Christianity to a new low gaining lots of fan amongst men — and astonishingly enough women — who believe that women are created to be completely submissive to their husbands. In every way.

Now certainly some Christians leaders have protested Driscoll’s message, but more because he uses rather crass ... rude ... terminology from the pulpit. Most are more concerned with the phrases and descriptions coming out of Driscoll’s pulpit than they are worried that he basically suggests that wives should be chattels of their husbands, and sexual slaves at that.

Hey, again! Not me, folks.

You got a problem, contact the pastor at Mars Hill Church.

In a recent interview with one former parishioner, Driscoll was described as “... the Rush Limbaugh of Christianity, a bombastic big-mouth.”

But my friend worries about Muslims in Iran?

Forget “those others” in them there far away foreign lands. What about down the street and around the block?

How can a Christian man view a woman as his inferior?


If you are a subscriber to Judeo-Christian beliefs, God created woman to be a “helpmeet” or a “helpmate” (Genesis 2:18-25.)

The exact phrase in Hebrew is “ezer ke’negdo.”

The word “ezer” is most often used to describe someone who provide support, and even protection, from a position of strength. It is often used in military situations in the Hebrew Bible.

“Ezer ke’negdo” is best translated as a “companion.” Never as a submissive, but rather as a strong and supportive partner.

Even in the most repressive view of the Bible, Eve was never created as a servant. Instead she was designed to be a full partner with Adam.

How then this has become preached from the pulpit as describing a woman’s role in life as submissive and subservient to a husband is simply beyond comprehension.

My Dearly Beloved has always been, is, and will continue to be my full life partner. Never a part of the furniture.

Maybe, just maybe, we should pay more attention to our own opinions, and pay less attention to those “crazy” folks across the ocean.

They don’t know how to treat women? Heck! WE don’t know how to treat woman.

Question: Has the Equal Rights Amendment passed yet?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm ...