Out of Touch: Christian Sermons Resembling ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Face Fierce Criticism

Controversy has erupted as a Christian pastor’s sermons, advocating for traditional gender roles, draw striking parallels to themes from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ leading to widespread criticism. Here’s the full story.

Religious Fervor

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When it comes to kooky religious ideas, many of us in the UK like to scoff at what we see as the extremes of Christianity, usually coming out of the United States old fashioned fervor for religion. 

Firestorm of Controversy

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However, back home in Blighty, a Christian pastor’s sermons have ignited a firestorm of controversy and drawn swift condemnation from several sectors. 

Out of Touch

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The sermons were a remarkably out-of-touch promotion of male dominance and female subservience, all with the apparent backing of scripture. 

Accusations of Misogyny

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Reverend Chris Demetriou’s teachings, delivered at Rosyth Baptist Church in Scotland, have sparked outrage and have led to accusations of misogyny.

Intensive Scrutiny

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The content of the sermons has led to intensive scrutiny from secular groups and charity watchdogs. 

“Submit and Love”

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In one such sermon, with the particularly nauseating title ‘Submit and Love,’ Reverend Chris Demetriou advocates for a hierarchical structure within marriage, with husbands at the top. 

Biblical Justification

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Demetriou goes on to assert that wives should submit to their husbands’ leadership, which he justifies with his interpretation of biblical teachings. 

Old Testament Interpretations

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This stance, echoing extremely literal interpretations of the Old Testament, has drawn criticism, not just for its reinforcement of traditional gender roles, but also the denigration of women’s hard won autonomy. 

“The Handmaid’s Tale”

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Critics, such as The National Secular Society (NSS), have drawn parallels between Reverend Demetriou’s teachings and Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, in which women are subjugated and oppressed by a totalitarian, patriarchal, theocratic society. 

Unnerving Similarities

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The depiction of women’s subservience to male authority in the fictional world of the novel, now a hit TV series, is remarkably similar to that promoted by Reverend Demetriou.

Uncomfortably Close Parallels

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These uncomfortably close parallels have further fueled concerns about the perpetuation of harmful gender dynamics through religion. 

Misogynistic and Discriminatory

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In their stinging critique of Reverend Demetriou, the Secular Society condemned his sermons as misogynistic and discriminatory. 

Regulatory Intervention

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They also urged regulators, such as the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), to intervene. 

Barbaric and Extreme

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The Secular Society raised serious concerns about the potential harm that could come from the promotion of such barbaric and extreme views, particularly within the context of a charitable organization.

Questions Asked

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Following the outcry questions have begun to be asked about Rosyth Baptist Church’s status as a registered charity, as well as its compliance with the guidelines set by the OSCR.

Limits to What is Permissible

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While charities are granted autonomy in promoting their religious beliefs, there are limits to what is permissible, especially if their actions are deemed to cause harm to others. 

Legal Implications

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The NSS has highlighted potential legal implications which would come from the promotion of ideologies or beliefs that endorse coercive and controlling behaviors.

Legal Tools

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They have cited the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 as a potential legal tool to be used against the religious organization. 

Insidious Teachings

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Besides legal ramifications, the NSS has also raised ethical concerns about the impact of these insidious teachings on children, considering the church’s involvement in youth programs like Kingdom Kids and parental organizations such as the church run group Bloom. 

Positive Masculinity

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In response to the outcry, the Scottish Government has emphasized the importance of promoting positive masculinity and combating the toxic gender norms that help perpetuate harm against women and girls. 

Toxic Masculinity

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The controversy surrounding Reverend Demetriou’s sermons comes at a time when debates around toxic masculinity abound, with online figures such as Andrew Tate promoting detestable ideas about male dominance over women. 

Negative Effects

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Many teachers organizations have spoken out regarding the negative effects that such views, spread widely on social media, are having on young men and boys. 

Shaping Societal Attitudes 

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The recent sermons by Reverend Demetriou have only added to the broader debate around gender equality, religious freedom and the responsibilities of charitable organizations in shaping societal attitudes. 

Piece by Piece

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The uproar around the sermons reflects the deep seated concerns of a society in which the hard won freedoms of women are slowly being chipped away at. 

Slippery Slope

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While some comfort can be taken that the UK is not nearly in the same position as our trans-Atlantic cousins, where the overturning of Roe v. Wade has robbed women of their bodily autonomy, many view beliefs like those held by Reverend Demetriou as the first step down an already slippery slope. 

Religious Freedom?

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While respecting religious freedom is an important cornerstone of modern society, care must be taken to ensure that the work of generations of women is not undone through pernicious religious views and the effect these beliefs have on the next generation. 

The post Out of Touch: Christian Sermons Resembling ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Face Fierce Criticism first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / SeventyFour.

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