Horrible Histories?

The BBC children’s television programme Horrible Histories is entertaining and informative for children and adults alike. I’m very careful what my children watch (they rarely watch telly) but this is one that is consistently brilliant.

This one got me thinking. Despite the cruelty of Ancient Sparta, women were at least treated as valuable in their own right. Ancient Greek girls were lucky to be fed, unable to own property, or even leave the house. They were chattel.

Aristotle – that revered master of Greek thought – thought all women were stupid, weak and inferior. Democracy, which we are taught ‘was invented by the Greeks’ was actually only permitted for men.

And that’s not even mentioning life if you were a slave…

So when Christianity came along, and said ‘we are all equal’ (Gal 3:28), ‘love one another’ (John 13:34-35), and ‘what you do for the least of these, you do for me’ (Matt. 25:40), it was REVOLUTIONARY.

I have not a great deal of respect for philosophers and theologians through history who say I lack value simply because of my gender. Some within the modern church would try to say my God-given gifts are worthless, too, simply because of my gender. They wouldn’t get away with it if they were using my race as a reason. Or the colour of my skin. So why, I wonder, is gender important at all, except for procreation? Shouldn’t every person be used for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in a way that makes best use of their God-given talents, whatever they may be?

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