Archive - Aug 2006

August 23rd

Strange Kinship

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Actually, apart from the surname, I have almost nothing in common with Mary Lambert. She's over twice my age, not my gender, lives in Watertown, New York, and taught Sunday school. They don't let me teach Sunday school, for obvious reasons. But I feel sorry for Mary Lambert, because she got fucked over by stupidity.

Of course, I don't feel VERY sorry for her. Her entire long life has placed her in a Crazy Stupid Nexus - the intersection of small-town crazy, church crazy, and Baptist crazy. You'd think those last two would be the same, but I'm learning they're almost two different species.

Mary Lambert came to public notice when she was fired from her job as a Sunday school teacher for adults after over fifty years of loyal service to the First Baptist Church of Watertown.

The reason she was given for her firing was a Bible verse, 1 Timothy 2:12. OK, first of all, there's a book of Timothy? Is there a book of Lassie, too? How many holy tracts do you people need? Second of all, this means we've got a Lambert writing about a Timothy who used the writings of Timothy to fire a Lambert. I may need a Dramamine if I'm going to finish this column without hurling.

Anyway, Timothy (biblical) was a dickweed, and put in 2:12 that since Adam was created before Eve, women are forever subservient to men. Specifically, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man." Mary Lambert was a woman, Mary Lambert was teaching men, Timothy (both) didn't like that, so Timothy (present) said Lambert had to go.

And on the face of it, it's a textbook instance of religious dickery. Faced on the one hand with half a century of presumably adequate service, and on the other hand a sexist quote from a two-thousand-year-old asshole who may or may not have existed, LeBouf sided, as any crazy person would, WITH THE QUOTE.

But here's where I channel Paul Harvey and give you the rest of the story. It turns out LeBouf didn't fire her because she's a woman. He just SAID that's why he fired her because the real reason was legally awkward. It seems the First Baptist Church of Watertown is a seething kettle of Baptist intrigue and backstabbery. New pastor! Changes! Growth! Pissed-off old people! Complaints to the press! Public embarassment!

Rev. LeBouf wants everyone to know he isn't a crazy misogynist dullard. He just pretended to be a crazy misogynist dullard to a woman with a proven history of going public with her grievances. So that he could fire her for going public with her grievances. I can only assume that once you get past the "women are subservient to men" bullshit, Timothy did not then go on to fill his chapter of the Bible with useful tips on spotting blatantly obvious public relations blunders BEFORE you make them. ACTUAL APOLOGY TIME!

"For those of you who have had doubts I certainly understand and I sincerely hope that this correspondence has clarified things for you and if further clarification is needed please don't hesitate to contact me and I would be happy to give further explanation." - From the book of Timothy I:Fucked::Up.

Given the track record of Timmy's last two explanations, I can only imagine how much further ones would help. Wisdom would dictate that Rev. LaBouf keep his Yaptist shut until the furor over his comments dies off. Or the Sunday school teacher does. Whichever comes first.