The story of Adam and Eve that Southern Baptists and Catholics, among others, use to force women to “walk the line” occupies two short chapters early in Genesis and is never mentioned again. Yet this story of the rise and fall of Adam and Eve has the foundational enduring questions of Western culture about the origins of human nature and moral shortcomings. One of my experts aptly put it: “Human sinfulness is a sexually transmitted disease.” My translations say this popular myth’s “apple” was forbidden to eat because it represented “knowing the mind of God.”
But a monk named Jerome was commissioned to interpret the Greek and Hebrew to Latin by the Pope, taking a lot of liberties (aka knowing the will of God) and laid the blame on Eve as a red bulls-eye, an opinion that continues to grow mistreatment of women in churches and in society. And that’s too darn bad!
How do I see this powerful story? It is a powerful myth that deeply and darkly informs and misinforms our understandings and misunderstandings of temptation, freedom, innocence and betrayal. As I was taught in Sunday school, the choice between good and evil … another either-or, huh? Absolute.
But realize Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In fact, he would be against what many Christian churches teach. Trump’s victory over Clinton exposed a huge divide in the Christian community in terms of what we hold dear and what gets votes.
The Christian world of today is pretty small, especially for women in leadership. But, if we are following Jesus literally, especially literally for evangelicals and Catholics, then my sister’s humanity is not up for grabs. Nobody’s humanity is up for grabs; that’s non-negotiable.
Christ taught us to treat all people the same. Equality, huh? I’m hopeful. I’m a Christian! But where is the moral authority coming from today? The White House? No! Evangelical clerics? Heck no! They are responsible for Donald Trump.