Women, Voice, and Pentecost

Women, Voice, and Pentecost

And a wild wind rushed down and tongues of fire rested on the heads of the small diverse mass of Jesus followers huddled in the upper room. They were hiding from any who might identify them as ones connected to that crucified Christ, but now they moved into the streets.

Imagine this rag-tag constellation of people gathered from across the Roman Empire. Imagine the looks of surprise on their faces as they spoke languages they never learned. Imagine the sense of awe as they heard their own languages reflected back to them through foreign faces. And imagine the baffled eyes as they realized that in the midst of this public display, in the midst of this sacred breakthrough, in the midst of those raising their voices and being understood, in the midst of those prophesying to the public, were women.

Ari Hart, rabbi and co-founder of Uri L’Tzedek: Orthodox Social Justice confessed in a recent Huffington Post article that as a man, he is supposed to pray the following prayer of blessing every day: “Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has not made me a woman.”— Morning Blessings, Artscroll Siddur, p. 12. He explains in the article that the prayer was written nearly 2,000 years ago, which would place the time of the blessing’s authorship around the time of this first Pentecost.

Now, we stand in the shadows of the 19th century women’s suffrage movement, the 1970s women’s liberation movement and current cultural icons like Madonna, the women of Sex and the City, and Lady Gaga — all attempts to raise women’s voices in the public square, attempts by women to tell the truth about women’s God-given power and intrinsic worth. They declared that they were equally as worthy as men to vote, equally worthy as men are to work, equally as worthy as men are to be paid what their work was worth, and equally worthy as a men to experience the ecstasy God intended in sex. Some attempts were flawed, but flawed or not they pushed against injustice both in the public square and in the bedroom.

The politics of women’s liberation in the past focused, for the most part, on women’s public lives — our abilities to vote, to break beyond glass ceilings in the workplace, and to “bring home the bacon.” Meanwhile, many of our most explosive cultural explorations of women of late have focused on the bedroom, a la Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones. But I sense something new breaking through – finally! Women’s sexuality and the injustice many of us suffer around the world are breaking into the public square— even into our politics.

Consider in the past year alone, America has wrestled over the injustice of forced vaginal probe ultrasounds. We have had our own deep cultural apathy revealed as the media tipped their sympathies toward the jocks that ripped a 16 year-old girl’s life and body through gang rape in Steubenville, Ohio – even as our nation gasped in horror at multiple reports of gang rapes of women in India. And over the past few weeks we have witnessed the unmasking of several U.S. military leaders, who were charged with duties to protect the women in their ranks, as they were revealed to be the very perpetrators themselves.

In Jim Wallis’ latest column, he writes, “It’s time for all people of faith to be outraged” and adds, “And it's time for us in the faith community to acknowledge our complicity in a culture that too often not only remains silent, but also can propagate a false theology of power and dominance.”

Will we do it? Will we take the step? Will we allow this holy wind that has blown the cover off of evil deeds done in the dark to rush through? Will we allow the cleansing waters of God to wash our society clean of practices — both private and public — that twist, maim and crush the image of God in more than half its population? Will we exercise the same courage that it took for those women at the first Pentecost to allow the spirit to move them into the public square and speak — testify, tell the truth, and prophesy? Will we repent from our silence?

Repentance begins in the heart. So, I must ask: “Will I repent of my silence — my safe silence?” Yes.

And so I testify: tracing back to the days of slavery, every single woman on my mother’s direct line of the family has suffered sexual violence at the hands of a family member, a friend or a boyfriend — including me. One great aunt died in the woods after being raped by her uncle. Most of us suffered in silence and some suffered again when they raised their voices to name their perpetrator. Fathers, cousins, even sisters and pastors minimized the pain and chastised the crushed ones for disturbing the “peace.”

But in scripture, God chastises the ones who cry “peace, peace” where there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:14)

I believe the Holy Spirit is moving again over the face of our world’s cesspool of sexual subjugation. The move is as powerful as that first wild wind that caused women to stand in the public square and reclaim their personhood. The question is will we listen to the Spirit?

Lisa Sharon Harper is Director of Mobilizing for Sojourners and a member of Emerging Voices

Image: Women's Rights National Historic Park statues, Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

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Gregg Allman Allman Brothers Band's first two albums and his favorite composer

Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

After 45 years, the demand for the legendary Allman Brothers Band during their careers. In October, she is all in one place, you need to pack a second home for them, Beacon Theatre in New York six shows. Not only are they close to the four-day event on Sunday, June 8, but they played their first two albums, Allman Brothers Band and the South as a whole. As a keyboardist

/ singer Gregg Allman is headed in the last five months, leading the band that bears his name, he took the time to contact us in the first two albums, their history Beacon and what music he heard in those days.

band is celebrating 45 years in a number of shows, including a special performance at Mountain Jam. Celebration of the band's first two albums as a whole performs. Can you tell us what went into the decision process to perform this particular two albums?

Well, I'll tell you. We have two albums once in a blue moon. It should be a really special event for the 45th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the Allman Brothers Mountain Jam sense. The last time we played our first two albums, was the 40th anniversary of the band at the Beacon Theater. We said, DVD, that night so long ago, and this is a kick ass performance. If you have not seen it, you should; We played as well as it did in the line that ever man Additionally, Blues was a bit like a train wreck, but the rest of the night went so well, we all just laughed at the end of an error! Check it out, brother.

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what I'm recording our first album feeling like we're swimming upstream all the time, man I remember. First of all, Tom Dowd to be produced, but the conflict has come, and the project got off Adrian Barber, an English gentleman, who does not fully understand where we have come to pass. We had onl <a href=http://www.burkeandthomas.com/wp/5a85gw/>mens nike air max </a> y a week to cut an album, and some of the other guys have not had a lot of studio experience, and made it even more difficult. Personally, I do not want to sound vocal <a href=http://www.burkeandthomas.com/wp/6z9p4xvt2/>air max 90 mens </a> album at all, but we have to make sure that we could. When the album was released, it hit the mainstream charts. He came in at number 188, and only sunk.

was published after the first album, the band toured a lot and really built a good reputation in the city and during the concert, which, of course, the way the tapes had to do it again in the future. It seems that things are pretty chaotic and in the middle of it all, band had to ma <a href=http://www.burkeandthomas.com/wp/zr1gxp/>womens nike air </a> ke a second album. How likely to put pressure on this second album?

was a lot of pressure on the second album, man. We were in debt to the record company, and we tour so much that it was difficult to set a time to get into the studio yet. That's why the South was recorded in spurts between Macon, Miami and New York. The good news is that the songs were road tested for safety I mean, we're on our way to 300 days in 1970, and the better news is Tom Dowd was the man behind the plate this time. Much better than our first album; I think I broke the Top 30, but I still can not believe that we can make it. My goal is to put out an album each song is an original composition of mine. I want to read the credits, 'All songs written by Gregory L. Allman', that's what I want to do is really done.

What is the song in the catalog that you are particularly proud of?

I have a few, actually. Heart, I am proud because I worked so hard on it and then they told me that it was not enough to be included in the Allman Brothers album. That led me back to the studio and cut, my first solo album. So, in the heart of something very special to me.

movement is another song I'm really proud of it. It was only my first live album, and some people do not know, but I love this song.

of music and bands do you listen to these days? What kind of stuff really inspires you?

If you are traveling by bus to guys who love all kinds of music, you can get exposed to some great stuff, man. Johnny Winter The new box is very cool, and I am glad to hear the new album, Ray LaMontagne, and Neil Young. I know that a lot of Jackson Browne and Tim Buckley, and you know who I usually li <a href=http://www.burkeandthomas.com/wp/7ofwarp3/>nike air max low price </a> ke? The guys from America. They write great songs, man.

you have a favorite moment of the Beacon shows that the Allmans have done over the years?

we've done over 200 shows in Beacon, so picking out the moment it is almost impossible for so many nights, but I can tell you that in 2009, a great run for us. All the guests wh <a href=http://www.burkeandthomas.com/wp/e4f75brj/>black nike air </a> o came to my brother, that we played these shows to honor our asses off. Eric Clapton sit for two nights; Now it's hard to top, is not it?

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