Many of the largest religious denominations in America, including Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and the Southern Baptist Convention, don’t allow women to be ordained into the priesthood or hold the top leadership positions within the church.
And even within the religious organizations that do allow women to lead, it’s rare for women to serve at the very top.
Sojourners, a faith-based social justice organization, released a video on Tuesday that took a satirical look at this nearly 2,000-year-old trend.
In “7 Reasons Men Should Not Be Pastors,” women from the Sojourners staff listed out reasons why they thought men were unfit to serve as ministers, a parody of the reasons often invoked to disqualify women from positions of power.
“Some men are handsome,” one of the participants said in the video. “They could be too distracting for us on Sunday.”
“They’re too emotional to be priests or pastors,” another woman said. “Go to a March Madness game and tell me I’m wrong.”
The video is the organization’s take on a blog post that has been popular in progressive Christian circles for quite some time. Eugene Cho, founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington, wrote a post on the topic in 2008, basing his list on an older list posted in 2005, which was assembled by Dr. David M. Scholer, a popular Fuller Theological Seminary professor.
Elaina Ramsey, Sojourner’s Women & Girls Campaign Director told The Huffington Post that the staff wanted to revive the message of this blog in a new medium. After celebrating Women’s History Month, they wanted to look forward and try “to honor the future of women’s leadership.”
“We’re all equal in faith, yet women still struggle to be heard or taken seriously in their congregations and communities,” Ramsey told The Huffington Post in an email. “The messages that women and girls receive undermine their sacred worth when they aren’t represented in the pulpit or are restricted to leadership roles based on traditional gender norms.”
“It’s 2016 – it’s time for churches to support women’s leadership,” she added.