Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gender and Christian Anthropology

In my Christian Anthropology class, we have been studying what it is to be human from a Christian perspective. Recently in one of our classes, we were discussing the break-down of the nuclear family. I was struck by this quote from Archbishop Robert Sarah at the Synod of African Bishops in October 2009.

The theory of gender is a western socializing ideology in relations between men and women, which attaches itself to the marital identity of the human being to the anthropological complementary between man and woman, to marriage, to motherhood and fatherhood, to the family and to procreation. It is contrary of African culture and to the human truths illuminated by the divine revelations of Jesus Christ. The idea of gender separates the biological sex of masculine and feminine identity in stating that it is not intrinsic to the person, but is a social construct.

In the name of this ideology, which denies God’s plan, it is stated that from the start we are indeterminate; society models the masculine and feminine gender according to changing choices of the individual. The right to choose is the supreme value of this new ethic.

In African culture, man is nothing without woman and woman is nothing without man. Both are nothing if the child isn’t the center of the family created by a man and a woman and the base of society. Ideology of gender unbalances the meaning of marital and family life that Africa has maintained until now.

How did we get here and how do we change course?

As an aside, Archbishop Sarah was named "Cardinal" last month by Pope Benedict.

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