He thought about his mother and sisters and the grandmother who died in childbirth and began to read widely in the literature of civil rights and feminism. Eventually he came across the concept of "reproductive justice," developed by black feminists who argued that the best way to raise women out of poverty is to give them control of their reproductive decisions. Finally, he had his "come to Jesus" moment and the bell rang. This would be his civil-rights struggle. He would serve women in their darkest moment of need. "The protesters say they're opposed to abortion because they're Christian," Parker says. "It's hard for them to accept that I do [...]
Sarah Bessey is a blogger-turned-author whose newly released book, Jesus Feminist, critically analyzes the Scriptures and church practices that are still often used against gender equality, as well as advocates for more diverse experiences and female leadership positions to become part of the contemporary church. We spoke on the phone last week.
So, how did you end up as an advocate for feminism within Christianity? Walk me through your background?
My background is actually in marketing, communications and strategy development—I was in banks and credit unions for most of my career. But I’ve always had such a passion for women's issues, which led me towards working in the nonprofit sector. I started [...]
Sex and evangelical American religion have a lot in common: Both are weird and personal; both inspire prescriptive, reductive public dialogue; and both are used as conduits for ecstasy, punishment, comfort, self-satisfaction, and pain that can turn into pleasure. When I was a teenager going to music festivals for the first time, I’d watch crowds of people throwing their hands up and feel like I was back in the mega-church where I grew up, a congregation in the tens of thousands that boasted a decent house band and a massive worship center I called the Repentagon. Recently, I disturbed myself by realizing that the name I’ve said more than any [...]