Male and Female He Made Them

We see that, at the Synod, the topic of women’s ordination has come up, as if the rest of the Christian world that has gone along with this innovation—and in the teeth of clear New Testament instruction—has not been pitching itself into deeper and more accelerated decline, and as if the contemporary Church has had anything even worldly to boast of, to attempt to justify her presumption that she knows better than the apostles Paul and Peter did, not to mention the Fathers, the schoolmen, the saints, and the countless faithful men and women before our time.

I have long noticed that in any social situation raised slightly beyond the level of an artificial routine, if you switch the sexes, imagining every male to be female and every female to be male, and having them say and do exactly the same things in exactly the same way, you could not get three seconds into the experiment without laughter at the absurdity of it.

When Rob Petrie tries to model a mink coat he wants to buy for his wife, Laura, and he puts it on and looks at himself in the mirror, unconsciously making a couple of motions that women commonly make, we laugh out loud because it doesn’t “work.” You might as well portray a dog tiptoeing gingerly atop a railing, or a cat with his tongue hanging out, waiting for you to throw a stick so he can fetch it.

In my lifetime, almost all of the controversy regarding the relations of men and women to one another can be summed up in a sentence or two. It is held that there are not supposed to be any special relations between men and women, that men and women are interchangeable, that each sex owes no peculiar duty to the other, and that their spheres of characteristic action in the home, at work, in the neighborhood, in the larger society, and in the Church are exactly the same. Anything else is held to be but the residue of old and unjust ways, the mulish bigotry of the past.

Anyone who says that there are distinctions between the sexes that are profound and important, and that each sex is made for the other in a relationship characterized by interdependence, hierarchy, and equality all at once, is to be scorned or ignored or accused of being hateful (if male) or stupid (if female).

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