Friday, August 31, 2012

Life on Mars and Life in Community

I was directed to this article by a friend of mine who is quoted in it.  She was very badly hurt by Mars Hill (the Seattle church under fire for quite a few local and national controversies) and has spoken out about it on many occasions.   For that reason, I read the article. 

As a Christian and a feminist, I can't help but feel like the article isn't the full story for either side of the divide.  I'm disappointed that yet again women's rights and health are pitted against the church as if the two viewpoints have to be on opposing ends of the spectrum. 

But regardless of my beliefs on that issue, that's not exactly what drew me to the article or why I'm posting about it here.

What I find particularly interesting is the idea the article presents that community holds a bigger draw for people in joining a group or cause than the actual cause itself.   The piece argues that feminism has failed women because American culture and American government have posited the idea that because women CAN have it all, they SHOULD have it all.  And yet, no support is offered to help women as they strive for this unrealistic ideal of perfection.This leads to pressure instead of freedom, isolation instead of belonging.  Mars Hill is appealing partially because it is a community.  A place where people can feel loved and belong.  Regardless of the price of that belonging, the need to feel connected and included is so strong that often we can align ourselves with beliefs or causes we don't even agree with just to be a part of something!

I believe in the power of community and in the power of belonging.  I want to take responsibility for building that kind of network of support in my neighborhood, my church, my children's school.  How about you?

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