Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Steichen hole-in-one

I just finished reading Donna Steichen's book Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism. Although a little dated now, it is still an excellent investigation. She is also good at analyzing the situation from a theological perspective. Here is some of that insight from page 375-6 of the concluding chapter.

The doctrine of original sin is especially pertinent today for the clarifying light it casts on feminist errors.

In the beginning as today, rejection of authority was the central problem. The particular roles of Eve and Adam seem to indicate the temptations to which each sex is most inclined. Genesis reveals that God created both man and woman in his own image, sharing one human nature, equal in dignity, intended for each other in a complementary relationship in the unity of marriage. When Eve steps forth from God's hands, Adam rejoices in her equality, exclaiming, "She now is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." They are delighted in each other, naked and innocent. Just as their human nature is made in the divine image, so their union in the faithful, fruitful, permanent covenant of marriage is an image of the inner life of the Blessed Trinity, loving and creative.

Cunning, the serpent draws Eve into dialogue. She knows the limits God has set, but she listens as the deceiving voice lures her with a promise of autonomy—the promise that she can be her own God. When she yields, her disobedience separates her from God and from Adam. Contemporary Catholic feminists are part of a vivid, and ruinous, re-enactment of that ancient tragedy. Their history strikingly recalls Eve's susceptibility to false promises, her rebellion against legitimate authority and her presumptuous ambition to make herself "as God". Women, it seems, are more prone than men to such fraudulent spiritual enthusiasms.

Men, in contrast, seem especially tempted to irresponsibility. Adam chooses to evade the very duties of leadership that Eve covets. He is not deceived by the serpent, but he eats the forbidden fruit anyway. Perhaps he cannot bear to be separated from his bride by her sin. Perhaps he is intimidated by the prospect of confronting her. In either case, the head of the first family disobeys his Creator and betrays his patriarchal obligations with his eyes open. We can see parallels to Adam's sin in men who abdicate their legitimate authority and obligations in the family. Some use the slogans of feminism to seduce women into sexual relationships outside of marriage, then coerce them to abort their babies. Some deny their wives motherhood or deprive them of the right to live their maternal vocation with full attention by driving them into the labor force. Some welcome any excuse to remain immature and carefree boys by shunting their responsibilities onto their wives.

Many contemporary Catholic pastors and shepherds have similarly succumbed to the lure of irresponsibility. They have failed to teach with clarity and conviction, to defend the Church with courage or to protect their flocks from enemies internal or external, neo-modernist, feminist or atheist. Male support for women's ordination probably springs from the same root. Ultimately, feminists are less culpable than those in the hierarchy who permit them to desolate the American Church unopposed. It could not have happened if pastors and bishops had fulfilled their patriarchal obligations.

Image hosting by Photobucket Ungodly Rage, along with other fine books, are available for purchase from Ignatius Press.

Update: for an example of "ungodly rage" in a parish church as described in the book, check out the thoroughly feminized (and now pagan) Ebeneezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco. Be sure to watch their video.

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