In the wake of recent revelations about Weinstein and Wilkinson and, in the theological world, the renewed revelations about Barth, Tillich and Yoder, we’ve reached a watershed moment for women’s equality. Women are speaking up and speaking out about sexism, harassment, abuse, assault and misconduct, and we’re demanding equal pay while we’re at it. But is there a connection between sexual harassment and women not receiving the wages they’re due?
debate about marriage equality escalates in light of the postal survey, there is much discussion about religious freedom and the potential effect on organised religion. But what exactly would change for Christian churches should the federal government revise the definition of marriage?
In short, nothing. Religious organisations have freedom under Australian law to practice their own doctrines and marriage rituals for weddings held in their buildings and by their celebrants. This applies to all religions, although the focus in this piece will be on Christianity.
In our functionalist society we often define people and their human dignity according to their rational and relational assets and activity (i.e. autonomy or self-rule and ability to choose, crucial in a consumerist society). When these ‘assets’ diminish, we think the person’s dignity diminishes in value. As former PM Bob Hawke said, he’d rather be put out of his misery before he ‘loses his marbles’. Misery equates with losing cognitive capacity. However, his late wife Hazel displayed dignity despite diminishing capacity due to Alzheimer’s.
My interest in this is partly because of my father’s dementia, deteriorating Parkinson’s disease and a major stroke. He is now in a nursing home in Sydney. At the other end of life, we have watched our first grandchild develop, on the pregnancy app and ultrasounds. It was truly a womb with a view. What is the view we have of God at the very beginning, or better what is a God’s-eye view of us? Genesis, Exodus and the Psalms give us a scriptural lens for God’s never-ending knowing of us, across ‘the hopes and fears of all the years’.