Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Great Thou Art

Oddly, I woke up yesterday with a song in my head. It was Dixie Carter singing "How Great Thou Art" (at least I think that's the name of the song). If you were a fan of "Designing Women", you might recall the episode where she sang this hymn.

It's the one where Charlene confronts her pastor about the church's inability to see women as full, valid persons. The episode included a long, sad conversation between Charlene and the pastor. He affirmed the church's position: women cannot be priests. So Charlene told him tearfully that she was going to have to leave the church. It hurt her terribly to consider doing this, but the church's misogyny was too much to bear. She couldn't be a part of that. And she figured a loving god would have nothing to do with a church that viewed women as adjuncts, helpers and servants -- but never equals.

And meanwhile, Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter) worried that she wouldn't be able to hit the high notes in "How Great Thou Art", which she was to sing in church that evening.

Anyway, this episode and that god-awful song were stuck in my head when I woke up to the news that Pope Francis likes gay people. But hiding behind this news, almost unnoticed by the media, was another statement: that the door is closed to women priests. Never. Gonna. Happen.

I think that was the huge news of the day, not that the pope managed to mention gay people without throwing up, but that the church will definitely continue to view women as half-persons, invalid beings who cannot fully participate in the church, by virtue of their vaginas.

I think dog was sending me a message by sticking that song in my head. It was a presentiment, a foretelling. Dog was saying, "The popeyguy's gonna trash women today. Watch out!" And lo and behold, that's exactly what happened.

If I was a Catholic woman who held out hope that the church would finally recognize my existence, I would be terribly depressed by the pope's words. And what is his reason for denigrating women? Because it's always been this way.

That's quite a church they've got there. It's a sickening organization in so many ways. But at least we know for sure now: the Catholic church hates women.