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I think that's a good point. And I've encouraged women to go where they are appreciated and respected, to not sit in religious services where they are denigrated and undervalued.

I find it hard to understand too, as I would never attend a church that does not treat women and men as equals.

However, I imagine for people who live in very conservative -- particularly conservative and rural -- areas it may be difficult for them to find an egalitarian church that is within reasonable distance.

If there are plenty of egalitarian churches around, though, then I can't understand why any egalitarian minded person would choose to go to a sexist one.

finding a church is the major problem. Not going to church doesn't work that well. Social interaction is a necessity. And focusing too much on what one cannot do is frustrating. The whole issue is grating.

At least these days I'm much more stand up about it all. :)

As a man (married to a woman minister, but still a man, after all), I'm not sure I get an opinion here. I would support a woman leaving for greener pastures, if she felt she must, but I also understand women who stick in their home denominations and try to change them. During the 1980s, the pioneering feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Reuther, who has stayed with the Catholic Church despite watching the erosion of all the gains of Vatican II, continued to tell Protestant women seeking ordination in not-very-friendly denominations to stick it out as long they could, not to leave unless they absolutely had to for mental health. And many women in Protestant denominations returned home after such talks with Reuther, reenergized to keep struggling. Who am I to call them masochistic or second guess their choices?

Both perspectives (leaving vs. staying to fight) are valid. Each woman must pray and ask the Holy Spirit what to do. Sometimes I wish that every woman who is offended in sexist churches would stop attending, tithing, working the nursery, teaching Sunday Schoo, hosting VBS and all volunteer work. What an impact that would make on the church! But most women don't leave -- especially women of my mother's generation. Church is their foundation, their roots. It's the basis of their friendships and intertwined with their family relationships, and leaving feels something like death. So they stay and continue to provide social support for other women who are grieved about the same things. I can't fault them for that. For a great read on this subject, look up a book called Defecting in Place.

I tell you something, I am one of those non religous types too, its a bit like UFOs etc etc, if there really is a greater being a masterfull wonder in the universe, well lets see him, i mean what name has he got, Budda, Allah, God, Jahova, its endless lists of alias, if you ask me.
I believe in the here and now, reality check, people who attend church all the time have something missing from their existence that this place appears to fill the void of.

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