10. A man’s place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their behaviour at football matches and other sports.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshippers.
4. An ordained minister should nurture the congregation, but this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are more prone to violence than women. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. This would make them poor role models, as well as unstable leaders.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
It seems to me that Maggie Dawn has something quite important to say to those men in the Church (and maybe, too, the women) who think that a woman has no place in the ministry and leadership of the Church. Her provenance is as follows:
Maggi Dawn is an author and theologian. She began her professional life as a singer-songwriter, but later after reading for a degree and a PhD in theology turned her creative talents to writing books. Maggi is currently based at Yale University, where she is Dean of Marquand Chapel and Associate Professor of Theology and Literature in the Divinity School.
Her latest publication, The Accidental Pilgrim, traces the history of pilgrimage within a theological memoir.
Maggi lives in Connecticut with her son.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand