Just yesterday we were noting the strange disconnect among the Religious Right between the idea that it is perfectly okay for Sarah Palin to be Vice President when she could not, in many religious denominations, serve in the capacity of a priest or pastor.
As we noted then, this was especially obvious when it came to Southern Baptist leaders who are well-known for their belief that women must submit to their husbands and notoriously opposed to female pastors … but even we are amazed at how deeply this opposition apparently runs:
Smiling women on the cover of a slick magazine. Sold from under the counter. Must request it from store clerk.
That’s not something a buyer would typically find in a Christian bookstore. Not unless it’s one of the more than 100 Lifeway Christian Bookstores across the United States, including about six in metro Atlanta.
Gospel Today, the Fayetteville-published magazine, was pulled off the racks by the bookstores’ owner, the Southern Baptist Convention. The problem? The five smiling women on the cover are women of the cloth — church pastors.
Southern Baptist polity says that’s a role reserved for men.
Teresa Hairston, owner of Gospel Today, whose glossy pages feature upbeat articles about health, living, music and ministry, said she discovered by e-mail that the September/October issue of the magazine had been demoted to the realm of the risque.
“It’s really kind of sad when you have people like [Gov.] Sarah Palin and [Sen.] Hillary Clinton providing encouragement and being role models for women around the world that we have such a divergent opinion about women who are able to be leaders in the church,” Hairston said. “I was pretty shocked.”
Chris Turner, a spokesman for Lifeway Resources, which runs the stores for the Southern Baptist Convention, said, “It is contrary to what we believe.”