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I seem to have set off a storm of controversy in my church (as if we needed any more contentiousness) when I walked out of the service last Sunday because of the misogynistic Old Testament verses in Genesis and Judges that were being read antiphonally and then were used as the basis for the homily (see July 27 entry).

I've been informed (by the minister, no less) that the sermon that was given was redemptive and inspiring and as VP of our Board and an usher, I should not have left. If I were going to protest, I should have just stayed away.

I don't know if any of you read the stories cited. The speaker gave his topic as a gay man and one who has been on the receiving end of much hate and bigotry. He found personal affirmation in the stance of Lot, who would not give up a guest to the mob.

I respect that position, and I'm sure that Lot was faced with a very difficult choice. But to offer up his virgin daughter and his concubine to the angry men, finally abandoning his concubine to be used and dumped on his doorstep, is too much evil against women for me to encompass.

Other women in the congregation, especially those who have suffered abuse at the hands of men, agreed with me.

A separate group says that we should have gritted our teeth and suffered in silence because it was rude to walk out (akin to 'relax and enjoy it').

There are times when you have to protest or by silence lend consent. For me, last Sunday was one of those times. Our church, my church, does not stand for misogyny. Or for gay bashing. But I personally could not endure the stories or the ensuing homily.

Let no evil cross this door. I reject it utterly.

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