Law Schools, Religion, Sexism, Women's Issues

Don’t You Hate It When Your Crazy Religious Views Come Back To Bite You During SBA Elections?

Oh internet, ye keeper of all knowledge ever committed to your bosom. I do so love when you bring somebody’s crazy ramblings from one sphere crashing down on his basically normal-sounding relations in another.

Today we have a great story about a Law Student Bar Association election that received some holy ghost power… in the form of a student sending around one of the candidate’s religious views.

Freedom of speech, baby. You’re free to say it, everybody else is free to talk about it….

Our story arises out of the LSBA elections at Mississippi College School of Law. And yes, if you think that it must take some hardcore religious rantings to raise the eyebrows of students in Mississippi, you are exactly right.

The whole thing starts off innocuously enough, with an LSBA candidate we’ll call “Missionary Position” reminding people to vote in the upcoming elections:

Just a reminder about MC Law’s LSBA elections, which will take place on Monday March 25 and Tuesday March 26.

I ask you to please cast your vote Missionary Position for LSBA President.

Thanks,

Glory To God
In Christ,

[Missionary Position]
Phil. 4:13 Smile, GOD Loves U!
John 3:16 JESUS Saves!

Glory indeed.

Look, personally I don’t find religious sign-offs any more or less annoying than the way God helped Ray Lewis win the Super Bowl. It’s not my cup of tea, but it doesn’t hurt me any, so I don’t really care.

But I do think that people should know who they are voting for. So I’m equally not offended when another student dug up some of Missionary Position’s previous writings and sent them to the entire class. Here’s the excerpt the student pulled up:

ROLE OF A FEMALE MISSIONARY

BY MISSIONARY POSITION

The field leader has to act as a leader that abides by the Bible. Men should be the only ones ordained into the ministry. Remote or not remote does not change the truth. There are those who think that important principles should be compromised when needed. That is not true because no one should compromise God’s Word. The field leader should sit the women down and explain to them that there are responsibilities that men are to carry out that is different than what women carry out. The women should understand that they would be crossing the line and going against God’s will. This might not go over too well with the two female missionaries but sometimes the truth hurts.

That’s lovely, really.

And it’s not like that paragraph was taken out of context. Our law student has a Ph.D. in Theology and has written extensively about the missionary experience and the role of women in the church.

And this view of women, while it seems incredibly sexist and ridiculous when you just lay it out like this, is basically the view supported by the Catholic Church — even nice-sounding Catholics like the new Pope Francis, who wants to focus on the poor and, you know, ignore the Church’s systemic discrimination against women.

Since Missionary Position and many others seem to believe this, I don’t really have a problem with this distillation being sent out to students before they considered whom to vote for. “Sometimes the truth hurts.”

I reached out to Missionary Position to see if this reply-all dust-up affected the election in any way. He emphasized he did not “use” his religious writings as part of his campaign.

There will doubtlessly be people who think Missionary’s religious beliefs are not germane to his qualifications as an SBA leader. Others will argue that he “opened the door” with the glory and Christ in his email sign-off. Personally, I think that if this is his view of women in the church, it’s reasonable to ask what other restrictions he’d like to place on female leadership.

But what really strikes me, again, is that this happened in Mississippi. It just makes me happy to know that there are law students in Mississippi who are annoyed enough at this kind of theology that they passed it along to their friends.

Maybe in another few hundred years, even the Vatican will decide to stop discriminating against women.

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