Friday, September 15, 2006
The First Baptist Church of Watertown, New York, dismissed a female Sunday school teacher because it decided, after she had taught there for 54 years, to adopt a so-called "literal interpretation" of the Bible. Specifically, the church cited St. Paul's First Epistle to Timothy: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent," as justification for the dismissal.
The Rev. Timothy LaBouf, who also serves on the Watertown City Council, issued a statement saying his stance against women teaching men in Sunday school would not affect his decisions as a city leader in Watertown, where all five members of the council are men but the city manager who runs the city's day-to-day operations is a woman.Needless to say, the Reverend's fellow politicians were more than a little leery:
''I believe that a woman can perform any job and fulfill any responsibility that she desires to'' outside of the church, LaBouf wrote Saturday.
Mayor Jeffrey Graham, however, was bothered by the reasons given Lambert's dismissal.Of course, when cornered, people of this mindset always whip out the dark innuendo on their way toward the gutter:
''If what's said in that letter reflects the councilman's views, those are disturbing remarks in this day and age,'' Graham said. ''Maybe they wouldn't have been disturbing 500 years ago, but they are now.''
In a statement, the board said other issues were behind Lambert's dismissal, but it did not say what they were.So, basically, this church board, and the fine upstanding people on it, lied when they issued the original letter. Or maybe they are lying now. But the operative part, that will not bother them one little bit, is that they lied.