Lainie Petersen

Women Don’t Need No Education

In May Lainie Petersen and I talked about the danger of women being limited to submissive “help mates” in this podcast for What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down. One of the many alarming things coming out of the Christian Patriarchy Movement is the belief that women do not need an education as they will be stay-at-home mothers. They don’t need to go to college as they will never work outside of the home. Lainie and I discussed how this movement is discouraging women from pursuing degrees in religion and theology.

Last month Lainie pointed her Facebook friends to a blogpost that showed the movement discouraging their daughters from going to college and one woman’s regret that she did not pursue more education:

I believed the “Beautiful Girlhood” spiel. I did it everything the “right way”. I stayed at home, I submitted to my father, I skipped college, I prepared to be my husband’s helpmeet, and I regret it. I had years of my life go by where I was little more than an indentured servant to my parents. My husband and I were forced into thousands of dollars of debt working for an abusive employer that we could have thumbed our nose at if I had been able to get a job. While I was without the commitments of marriage and children, I could have easily gained an education that could have served me and my husband well in early marriage. All those years living as a quiet submissive housekeeper, I could have been discovering interests, and developing as a person.

Why I Wish I Had Gone to College by Young Mom

Earlier this year I published a little E-book called What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down. I interviewed four amazing people about the E-book to see what they thought about it.

Originally I bundled these podcasts with the book, but I’ve decided to make them available on the blog, free of charge. Why? Because of things I keep seeing like this blog post.


This is the reason I wrote Women Who Didn’t Shut Up and Sit Down–to show that Conservative and Fundamentalist Christianity is touting only one of the ways to interpret Scriptures. There are other ways (many other ways) to interpret what the Bible has to say about men, women, and marriage.

That’s why I’m releasing the podcasts, and that’s why you’re going to hear a whole lot about both the podcasts and the E-book in the next month or so. Because people are asking women politcians if they submit to their husbands. Because curriculum is coming out that teaches: “A design for male headship — leading, protecting, and providing for the woman. A design for female submission — submitting to and helping the man; a companion-helper ‘fit for him.’” Because women are being told they don’t need an education and will never have to work outside of the home.

Godde made men and women as equals in all areas of life to stand by stand and show people what the image of Godde looks like: male and female working together to building Godde’s kingdom of love right here, right now.

Stop the lies. Learn the truth for yourselves. Then teach it to your children. Buy Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down Now. (Then you can listen to the brilliant podcast of Lainie Petersen.)

Buy NowLainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen is a very dear friend of mine. It’s not an exaggeration to say I would not have made it through my year of loss and new beginnings without her. Lainie is an ordained priest and bishop in the Independent Catholic Church. She holds an Masters of Divinity and a degree in Christian History from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and a degree in library science from Dominican University. A few years ago Lainie decided she wanted to learn about tea and wound up discovering a new profession for herself: blogging about her tea drinking adventures at where she is known as the Bishop and the Tea Lady.

In this podcast excerpt Lainie and I talk about why it is so important to bring the women of the Bible out of the shadows and show the range of roles these women acted in. Limiting women to the roles of submissive wife and mother and telling them to shut up and sit down leads to abuse–spiritual, physical, and sexual–along with slowly pushing women out of college and seminary Bible and theology classes. Lainie talks of recent incidents in which patriarchal male leaders have been let off on sexual abuse as well as the fundamentalist drive to remove women from academia.

Podcast: LainiePetersenFull.mp3

Here is a link to the book Lainie recommended: Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations by Mark Chaves.

I was extremely glad that Lainie and I talked about these issues after reading this post from Grace at Are Women Human? Later that day another friend directed me to the Women’s Bible Programs at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. These issues are alive and well in evangelical and fundamentalist cultures in the U.S. I have written about the programs for seminary wives at places such as SBTS as well as introduced my readers to ordained female pastors and evangelists of the early 20th century in the Church of the Nazarene in this post.

Did you know there where evangelical, holiness, and pentecostal churches that ordained women as early as 1851 and continued ordaining women into the early 20th century? What do you think of the fundamentalist move to keep women out of college and seminary level Bible and theology classes?

Find out what strong, intelligent, and incredible women populate the pages of the Bible. See what Godde had in mind when she created women in her image. Buy Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down.

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The third full length podcast with Mark Mattison will be posted next Monday (9/26)!