The double standard & women's rights

Notes and References from 2/24/01
Women’s Rights & The Double Standards

There are a number of Bible stories involving women. Two of them were in this week’s lesson and a third, while not in the lesson is worth including here. The first one is the little known story of Zelophehad and his five daughters.

Num. 26:33 (to :)
33 And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters:

Num. 27:2-7
2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.
5 And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.
6 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

What is interesting about this story is the fact that women in those days were neither allowed in the temple and were not allowed to own “landed property”. If a father had no sons then is inheritance went to his male siblings. If a wife lost her husband then the inheritance went to the rest of the “tribe”, in this case the Levites”. The daughters would have to have married their father’s brothers to inherit and of the property. Protesting to Moses and the chief Priest they argued that since their father was not one of the Koresh rebels that were fighting the Levites that his name and property should not be forgotten. They won their case and overcame the one-sided laws of the day regarding women. Mrs. Eddy points out the how civil laws establish very unfair differences against women.

The next story is the one about the women who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years and the doctors could do nothing for her. Notice in this story the relationship of “virtue” to the woman’s healing.

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

The third story is the one about the woman taken in adultery. The double standard is obvious. Men were never accused of adultery. Jesus stood up for her in the face of this inequality and thus we have further evidence of the the importance of consistency and honesty in healing.

John 8:3-11
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Mrs. Eddy, as we have discussed before, puts the recognition of women’s rights as a key element in the practice of Christian Science. Look at her definition in the Glossary of the river Gihon in the Bible.

GIHON (river). The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially.

With the backdrop of these three stories lets look at the elements of thought and the hipocracy we must guard against. In the responsive reading this morning we read:

James 1:8
A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 4:8
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Later in the lesson and also from James is the following:

(20) James 3:13-18
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Let’s break this down into two lists, each with ten qualities:
1 bitterness
2. envying
3. strife in your hearts,
4. (vain) glory
5 lie against the truth.
6. earthly,
7. sensual,
8. devilish.
9. confusion (inconsistency)
10. every evil work.


1. good conversation
2. works with meekness of wisdom
3. first pure,
4. then peaceable,
5. gentle, and
6. easy to be entreated,
7. full of mercy and
8. good fruits,
9. without partiality, and
10. without hypocrisy.

Which type of person do you want for a business partner, family member or romantic partner? The answer is obvious. Therefore which type of person will you be? We all want to emulate the characteristics of the second list but we have to deal with the elements of the first list everyday. Sensuality, ego, strife, etc all always entering our experience and masquerading as our own thought. Look at Paul’s admonition in II Cor 10:4,5:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The first list falls in the imagination category and the second list into the thought category. The following three passages have meant so much to me that I carry them with me in my day planner. I do that because I must constantly work on the inconsistency in my thought. I must lesson the presence of the characteristics of the first list and further develop the second.

Mis 271:13
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Cleanse your mind of the cobwebs which spurious "compounds" engender. Before considering a subject that is unworthy of thought, take in this axiomatic truism: "Trust her not, she's fooling thee;" and Longfellow is right.

Hea 4:24-6
God must be our model, or we have none; and if this model is one thing at one time, and the opposite of it at another, can we rely on our model? Or, having faith in it, how can we demonstrate a changing Principle? We cannot: we shall be consistent with our inconsistent statement of Deity, and so bring out our own erring finite sense of God, and of good and evil blending. While admitting that God is omnipotent, we shall be limiting His power at every point, — shall be saying He is beaten by certain kinds of food, by changes of temperature, the neglect of a bath, and so on.

Un 49:15
You cannot simultaneously serve the mammon of materiality and the God of spirituality. There are not two realities of being, two opposite states of existence. One should appear real to us, and the other unreal, or we lose the Science of being. Standing in no basic Truth, we make "the worse appear the better reason," and the unreal masquerades as the real, in our thought.

These double standards start with ego and color our view of each other. It is most noticible in men’s view of women. Guard against that. Resisting the temptation to have a double standard creates an honest heart. The worst thing any partner or family member can do is to lie to you and vis versa. It breaks down all credibility, all integrity. That also means believing a lie or holding to “two” truths. Commit the following sentences in our textbook to memory. In light of this short discussion it should take on new meaning.

Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.

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