Archive for February 27th, 2008


Who really blew it in Eden?

apple.jpgA lot of people get a little worked up about the patriarchal nature of Christianity. God the father. Jesus the son. Twelve apostles that were all men. Male-centered language all over the place in the Bible. Understandably, it’s the women who are most likely to feel a bit peeved about this state of affairs. Who can blame ’em? Seems pretty sexist on the face of it.

While I do believe in things like only men being pastors, men as spiritual head of the household (at least in households where they are present) and a lot of things like that, I understand why it doesn’t sit so well with a lot of women. I’ll pick some other day, though, to defend the reasons for men “outranking” women by a small margin on spiritual matters. (And believe me, it ain’t necessarily a privileged position.) 

Instead, let me take this moment to get women off the hook for something by noting that it isn’t the fault of a woman that humans got kicked out of the Garden of Eden and the world took such a nasty turn for all of us spiritually (yes, I believe in the Eden story, and someday I’ll get around to noting why it doesn’t necessarily have to conflict with evolution and other scientific notions).

Yeah, folks, despite centuries of people pointing the finger at Eve, it was Adam who screwed it all up.

Sure, Satan came at Eve first. Sure, she gave in and ate the forbidden fruit. And yes, she offered a taste to Adam. But Adam didn’t have to eat the fucking thing! And despite all the notions that she was some temptress, I don’t think she did something like dangle the damn fruit between her bosoms and say, “Take a taste of it or you won’t get a taste of me for the next few decades, mister.” Hell, even if she had, Adam should have found the nearest waterfall and taken a cold shower.

God told both of ’em not to eat off that damned tree. More than that, Adam was created first and had been hearing God’s voice long before Eve was added to the mix. The man knew the  score. He knew God was good, he knew God was in charge, he knew there was only one freakin’ rule for him to follow: Don’t eat from that tree right over there.

Simple rule.

The problem wasn’t Eve. And you can’t blame her for being a weak-willed sop and neglect the fact that Adam was just as much a pushover as she was. Let’s show some equal treatment here. The problem was that sin itself is a tantalizing thing. God knew that, but he had to provide something counter to Him in order for humans to truly have free will.

The fact that Eve ate the fruit showed that humans could choose to disobey God. It set some major precedent. There probably would have been repercussions for her on some level and maybe for us as a species. But remember, it wasn’t until Adam ate the fruit that they got kicked out of Eden. God didn’t evict Eve. Not until Adam went and disobeyed, and then they both got the heavenly boot. Problem for all of us is that, essentially, the Earth was deeded to Adam. He was the steward of this planet, and when he disobeyed, Satan got a major foothold, taking over the lease in some respects from God.

When Adam looked at Eve and saw she hadn’t been struck dead for eating the fruit, he decided to doubt God and give in to the temptation to do his own thing. And that’s what separated humans from God in a spiritual sense. The guy was put in charge, and he was too much of a wuss to hold out at least long enough to have a few kids.

Because the world would be a vastly different place, I suspect, if the human race had started on the right foot with babies first being born to an obedient couple, or at least a couple with one obedient member. Instead, it started with two people who disobeyed and had been left spiritually dead, one of whom was the head of the “household” (whatever passes for a household in a big garden, at least).

And ladies, this should give you some sense (even before I go into any major debate on male leadership in the faith) of why I don’t think it’s always such a wonderful thing, for example, that I am spiritual head of my household because I’m the guy. With that position comes some responsibilities and burdens that I’d rather pass along, thank you very much.

That being said, at least I’m glad I wasn’t the guy who screwed it up for the rest of us.


Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


Jeff Bouley

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February 2008

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