I had always found it ridiculous that the main reason given for excluding women from leadership in my childhood church (besides “Jesus had no women disciples”) was The Slippery Slope.
The familiar argument stated that if you started taking one part of the bible as literary, then you would eventually view everything as open to interpretation. This would inevitably lead to people coveting, adulterating, probably murder, and the breakdown of the family and society.
Similarly, once women were allowed to preach it would only be a short time until homosexuals would be running the show. Everyone knew that homosexuals were dangerous because their ‘sin’ was catching and would lead to the breakdown of family and society. No scientific evidence or personal experience was needed- it was common knowledge.
It used to bother me that as a female I was viewed with the same distrust in a leadership position as a homosexual. It bothered me mostly because I knew how homosexuality was detested by the church at large, although never by my immediate family. I wanted more respect than that.
It seems obvious where that attitude came from- the OT describes both homosexuality and menstruation as an abomination, but I never understood why they were linked.
Now I find myself changing my views on issues that were so ingrained as to be a physical part of me like a leopard’s spots. But the spots were mere grime that has been washed away.
Some of the worst fears of the slippery slope have been fulfilled- I no longer view homosexuals or common-law partners as sinners. The guilt for having kissed boys before marriage is gone. I do not aspire to be a submissive wife. I can no longer claim to know Jesus or anything about him except what some 1st century authors wanted others to believe.
And yet, I haven’t cheated on my husband, abandoned my kids, murdered anyone or slid into depression. I feel more emotionally hale than before and am enjoying my family more than ever.
It is not a slope that religion is afraid of. The way to keep people from one extreme is not to pull them like a rubber band to the other extreme.
What religion is afraid of is loss of power and control. I used to think women in leadership were wrongly associated with the acceptance of homosexuality. Now I see that both are wrongly associated with anarchy and evil.
I haven’t slid down a slope, I’ve climbed out of a pit!