Earlier this week, four feminist protesters from the group FEMEN were arrested in Belgium for dumping water on Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard as they accused him of homophobia. Source: http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/naked-femen-protesters-dump-water-on-archbishop-andre-joseph-leonard-church-is-homophobic-28187/
This story has gone viral amongst many of my Christian friends, especially Catholic friends. My Catholic friends are using this story to show the contradiction that the women display as they try to preach tolerance while at the same time refuse to be tolerant of a representative of the Catholic Church.
In case you’ve lived under a rock the last few years, I am Catholic. I do not necessarily agree with some of the things that most feminists strive for. But what I’m talking about today is not necessarily about politics, it’s about love.
I’ve seen people sharing this story and using it as an excuse to make broad generalizations. I’ve seen some real hate from some people across the web for these ladies and for the movement that they stand for. It escalates from having negative feelings towards these ladies to having negative feelings towards feminism; something these women were apparently promoting.
Here’s the thing; when the Westboro Baptist Church protests the funeral of a gay soldier, they’re doing so “in the name of God,” “in the name of Christianity”. Fellow Christians, do you want people to think that these few individuals represent all of Christianity?
These women were claiming to be feminists. Their actions have resulted in a lot of negative feelings towards many feminists and the feminist movement. One of my friends, who considers herself “100% feminist”, is 100% disgusted by these ladies choices. “(I) consider them an embarrassment to the movement,” she explains. “Groups like FEMEN are part of the reason the movement is so widely considered a joke…”
There are some aspects of Catholicism that may never line up with certain aspects of the feminist movement. However, as my friend continues, “Disagreeing with a person is one thing…but this is not the way to fix anything.”
These four ladies were extremists; it’s as simple as that. Many feminists worldwide support the four ladies’ political views, but are angry at the way that the four ladies went about sharing that message.
My friends who have been sharing this article on the web:
1. You do not have to agree with certain aspects of feminism. You do not have to agree with these four ladies’ actions. You can acknowledge their contradiction of tolerance. But do not think all feminists are heartless monsters who want to attack people they disagree with. You don’t want people to think that the actions of a few Westboro Baptist Church members represent all of Christianity.
2. Do not take this story as an opportunity to lash out at others because of these four ladies’ hypocrisy. We can all see that these ladies were in the wrong for their actions, whether we agree with their political views or not. Instead, take this opportunity to pray for these women. Take this opportunity to clear your mind on misconceptions you may have towards feminism the way you would hope someone would not jump to conclusions on Christianity after encountering a Westboro Baptist Church member.
These extremists should not define a whole group. Disagree with the things a group believes in all you want. But I’m urging you not to take a story like this and use it to take pride in the way the Archbishop handled himself while you “glare” at these four ladies. I urge you to look at the bigger picture and practice the art of not jumping-to-conclusions based on an extremist. Love these ladies, even if you don’t necessarily agree with their political views or extreme actions.