The protestant church in Germany built up a group for men only, because church seems to them to be too feminine. The group organizes meetings, seminars and action days, for men only. Interesting is how they argument this exclusion. There is a full day of action for men, because men would connect faith with nature. On this days they can throw a rope, drive a tractor or electro-weld things. A day, just for the “hard, strong and brave men”. They can be “men like god created them” (“Mann sein wie Gott ihn schuf”). Furthermore they criticize the church for speaking of Jesus in a too feminine way, too passive, too innocent. The way the church speaks of love and forgiveness wouldn’t fit to their imagination of men. Their goal is it to read the bible from a more manly perspective.
But really? Love and Forgiveness should just be women things? The church they want shouldn’t be forgiving but strong and fierce? Imagine what would happen if a Muslim would tell that about his religion?
Maybe the problem is that society seems to demand men to be aggressive, strong and always gladiatorial? Interesting is, how the church is taking biological and sociological descriptions for chancing their picture of their church instead of trying to change the everyday assumptions of `real men`. They take everyday assumptions of men and women for granted and `natural` and try to write it in to the church to change the imagination of good Christians. They separate everything in life, even faith, through gender.
Interesting is how Donna Haraway arguments exactly the other way around in her book “Primate Visions. Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science”. She said in western society a men’s standard would be “disconnection from the (…) “nature” is essential to man’s natural place”. She says men would be more associated with technique. The church’s action, to create days for men in the nature, where men can be `real men`, are in contrast to this assumption. But the other way round what they actually do is use technique things in nature.
Nevertheless I don’t know if men or women are more naturally connecting nature and faith more intensive, or if it is simply about seeing connections like people want to see them. There can be always found signs, out of which we can construct completely different categories. They search in the bible for sings of their own view of manhood. They don’t think about their own categorization, they write it into the church. So maybe it has never been about the ascriptions, but about holding the opposites of men and women up, about creating opposites which fit through the difference. I don’t know, but I know I prefer love and forgiveness in all human beings.
Altendorf – Jehle, Bärbel (2015): Mann sein wie Gott ihn schuf. Evangelisches Gemeindeblatt. Ausgabe 41 (http://www.evangelisches-gemeindeblatt.de/publikationen/evangelisches-gemeindeblatt/heftarchiv/detailansicht/mann-sein-wie-gott-ihn-schuf-1126/).
Dietrich, Peter (2013): Patriarchen und Propheten. Evangelisches Gemeindeblatt. Ausgabe 24. S. 10
Haraway, Donna (1990): “Primate Visions. Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science”, Routledge.