In the “Christianity, Social Justice, & Women” presentation, women were treated in similar manner as Mr. Barker, both in past and present-day cultures (Garzon, 1b, n.d.). During Jesus’ time, women were considered to be of less value or culturally inferior than men (Holcomb & Holcomb, 2014). Additionally, women who were not of pure Jewish ethnicity were not spoken to or treated with respect (Garzon, 1b, n.d). They were judged according to their nationality. Unfortunately, this too, came from “Christian” belief that God valued some people over others, a belief that is not supported by Scripture.
Mr. Barker stated that he was told he could hope to work in the shipyard at best (Garzon, 1a, n.d.). This judgment was based upon stereotypes of Native Americans, especially those with low economic means (Hays & Erford, 2018). Due to his experiences with low expectations, he said that he didn’t even know that he could accomplish anything until after he earned recognition as a Merit Scholar (Garzon, 1a, n.d.).
During Jesus’ time, women had to resort to prostitution or other means to support themselves; these women were judged as dirty. These women probably did not know they could be anything else and they chose their professions or lifestyles for survival. Today, women, especially single mothers, make up over 30 % of the low SES households in America (Hays & Erford, 2018, p. 204). These women are caught up in this cycle, most likely not even knowing what other avenues might be open to them for lack of opportunity, support and resources (Hays & Erford, 2018).
One difference between Mr. Barker’s experience and the injustice toward women is that prejudice against Native Americans has continued partly due to differences in appearance; on the other hand, women experienced devaluing due to position within the family. Historically, women were subject to their husbands based upon the culture of family clans or tribes (Holcomb & Holcomb, 2014). Both have experienced minimalization due to stereotypes.
Jesus modeled God’s heart in seeing the heart of the man and not the outside by speaking to women not of Jewish heritage and of ill repute (Garzon, 1b, n.d.). Both types were also included in His genealogy. (Garzon, 1b, n.d.). Jesus exemplified God’s character through His own interactions and care for those who “normal” society rejected. As followers of Christ and as Christian counselors, we are expected to strive for His heart in our care for others.