Complementarian Christians

The most recent attempt at relaying foundations for the scapegoating process in America can be found in a Christian movement called complementarianism. Formerly known as “hierarchicalism” (some form of which has been practiced since the Constantinian era), this system relegates women to traditional roles in society and maintains a power imbalance within the family and the church.  Complementarian Christians base their theology on a few verses taken out of context from the letters of Paul and on the interpretation of Genesis that I mentioned earlier. They argue that God created men to rule – to lead society and family. Conversely, God created women to obey – to support men and raise children. The complementarian model of “biblical manhood and womanhood” claims to value equality between the genders, but in practice, it prescribes inflexible gender roles that lead to a consolidation of authority and power in males. This strict interpretation of gender roles has its roots in a prescientific, Aristotelian philosophy rather than a responsible reading of the Bible. It takes its cue from the same mentality behind the “cult of domesticity” and mimics a popular idea from the 1950s – the Ozzie and Harriet myth of the perfect (white, middle-class,suburban) American family. It also, unfortunately, continues to dominate evangelical Christian churches in America today. 

From “Scapegoats: The Gospel Through the Eyes of Victims” by Jennifer Garcia Bashaw – Fortress Press