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Debunking Christianity - Women Speak Out! #2

Additions to the original article, Debunking Christianity - Women Speak Out! A list of intelligent, compassionate, creative women who wonʼt keep silent. Picking up where the previous list ended, the latest additions include the following…

Women and Deconversion

22) Julie Galambush—Holds religious-studies degrees from William and Mary, Emory, and Yale Divinity School. Formerly an ordained Baptist minister, she is a convert to Judaism and has written, The Reluctant Parting: How the New Testamentʼs Jewish Writers Created a Christian Book (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005), Interviewed on Eye on Books, and Another interview.

23) Dr. Amy Jill-Levine—Professor at Vanderbilt in the Graduate Dept. of Religion, one of the best-known New Testament scholars in the U.S., and co-editor with Dale C. Allison Jr. and John Dominic Crossan of The Historical Jesus in Context (Princeton Readings in Religions) (Princeton University Press; New Ed. Oct., 2006).

Before teaching at Vanderbilt she was the Sara Lawrence Lightfoot Assoc. Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College and has taught at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Levineʼs numerous publications address Christian Origins, Jewish-Christian Relations, and Sexuality, Gender, and the Bible. Her books include Women Like This: New Perspectives on Jewish Women in the Greco-Roman World, and, The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus (HarperSanFrancisco, Dec., 2006). She has also recorded the “Introduction to the Old Testament” as well as “Great Figures of the Old Testament” and “Great Figures of the New Testament” for the Teaching Companyʼs “Great Lectures” series. [Her presentations are quite good and keep oneʼs interest. I heard her first series on the O.T.—E.T.B.] A self-described “Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Protestant divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt,” Levine combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor.

24) Kelly Kerney—Raised in a Pentecostal church, author of a novel that reviewers are shouting about in tongues, Born Again.

25) Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady—Filmmakers, producers of a documentary titled, Jesus Camp(2006) about an intensively religious Pentecostal/Charismatic Christian camp to which some conservative Christians send their kids. The filmʼs myspace blog is located here.

26) Amy Gattie—Liberal, agnostic filmmaker raised by conservative Christian parents explores this experience in her first documentary film, “The Greatest Commandment is to Love,” which documents mission relief trips to Kosovo that she took with her parents over several years. Gattie chronicles her journey toward understanding and communication with her parents and their beliefs, and makes some interesting discoveries about the nature of love, compassion and friendship that transcend specific belief systems. She even points point out the universal problem with self-righteousness that we all struggle with, conservative religionists and liberals alike. Amyʼs interview published in SF Gate appears here.

Interviews with folks other than Amy whose spiritual journeys are interesting can be found in SF Gateʼs “Finding My Religion” series. Search their archives for tales of other religious journeys here. You can even E-mail SF Gate with suggestions for interview subjects!

27) Monique El-Faizy—Former Christian fundamentalist, author of God and Country: How Evangelicals Have Become Americaʼs New Mainstream (2006), and journalist for the New York Daily News (her work has also appeared in The Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and GQ).

News story related to Women and Christianity:

Sunday School Teacher Let Go For Being Female
Woman Taught Sunday School For 54 Years
POSTED: August 21, 2006

WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The pastor of a church that has stopped letting women teach Sunday school said that wonʼt affect his decisions as a city councilman in upstate New York.

Rev. Timothy LaBouf dismissed a female Sunday School teacher this month, saying a woman can perform any job — outside the church.

The First Baptist Church in Watertown dismissed Mary Lambert Aug. 9 after adopting what it called a literal interpretation of the Bible.

The reverend recently dismissed Lambert, who had taught Sunday school for 54 years, citing the biblical advice of the apostle Paul: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”

Lambert has publicly criticized the decision.

The church board said other issues were behind Lambertʼs dismissal, but it did not say what they were.

LaBouf, who also serves on the Watertown City Council, issued a statement saying his stance against women teaching men in Sunday school would not affect his decisions as a city leader in Watertown, where all five members of the council are men but the city manager who runs the cityʼs day-to-day operations is a woman.

“I believe that a woman can perform any job and fulfill any responsibility that she desires to” outside the church, LaBouf wrote Saturday.

Mayor Jeffrey Graham, however, was bothered by the reasons given Lambertʼs dismissal. “If whatʼs said in that letter reflects the councilmanʼs views, those are disturbing remarks in this day and age,” Graham said. “Maybe they wouldnʼt have been disturbing 500 years ago, but they are now.”

Women who Leave the Fold

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