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Designing Women S2 E20 - A Smidgen of Religion

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

LBT took a big swing at sexism in the church with this one, and in an exciting turn, she uses Bernice to hit it out of the park. That’s right, one of our faves, is a biblical savant and low key feminist who destroys Charlene’s minister’s antiquated argument against women in ministry. Meanwhile, Julia sings “for all us girls, everywhere” – giving us 2016 Hillary vibes all. over. again.

Stick around for this week’s “Extra Sugar” where we explore the genesis of this episode: women at the pulpit.

Check out these reads:

Come on, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey Nikki.

Nikki: Hey Salina.

Salina: And hello and welcome to Sweet Tea and TV.

Salina: Hey y'all.

Salina: Well, here we are.

Nikki: We're here.

Salina: Nobody ever knows.

Salina: But again, it's been a while for us.

Nikki: How long has it been?

Nikki: Like a month.

Nikki: There was a little sickness in between there.

Salina: Do you want to talk about that?

Nikki: I had a little sickness in between there.

Nikki: It took about two weeks to get over it.

Nikki: Was the sickness syphilis?

Nikki: Not that sickness.

Nikki: No ma'am.

Salina: Just I'd ask.

Nikki: Why'd you go there?

Salina: I just wanted to queue you up.

Nikki: No, it was the sickness of our time.

Nikki: The plague.

Nikki: The COVID was terrible.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I mean I can't pretend like I didn't know.

Nikki: You want to ask me a bunch of questions that you haven't already asked me?

Nikki: Sure.

Salina: So you got some first hand experience?

Nikki: I did.

Nikki: Right there.

Nikki: Firsthand front row.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: Turns out an unvaccinated four year old who's got the virus sneezing in your eye is no good for anybody.

Salina: Right in your eyeballs.

Nikki: There's just no way to avoid it when your kid gets it.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Just is what it is.

Salina: So it just took down the whole Maze clan.

Nikki: Almost all of us.

Nikki: One of us is staying strong, but it took us almost all of us down.

Nikki: But we're back on our feet now.

Salina: She's got that fairy blood.

Nikki: She does.

Nikki: She's just better than we are.

Salina: Unicorn blood.

Nikki: There you go.

Nikki: There you go.

Salina: Something magical is what I'm trying to say.

Nikki: It's true.

Salina: Sprite.

Salina: It's not the drink.

Nikki: Now I want sprite.

Salina: I'm sorry that I can't help you with.

Salina: All right.

Salina: Well here's the thing.

Salina: I started looking at when this was going to air and this podcast episode, this one right here is going this.

Nikki: One recording right now.

Salina: This guy right is going to record.

Nikki: No air the day we're out of practice.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Let's start over.

Salina: Just kidding.

Salina: We're not going to start over?

Nikki: No, we're not doing that.

Salina: We're going to just leave.

Salina: It really is, this is just natural.

Salina: Anyway, so it's going to air the day after Easter.

Nikki: How fortuitous.

Salina: Well, it seems to me that since we got this out of the blue religious episode, it just sort of struck me like it feels like a good time then to talk a little bit about Easter.

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: As one does.

Salina: It's a pretty big holiday, especially in the south, especially in the Bible Belt.

Salina: And so I thought I would ask you, do you have any vivid Easter memories?

Salina: It can be from now, but also if you were younger, whatever.

Salina: Any.

Nikki: Yeah, we used to go to my grandmother's house in South Carolina.

Nikki: My mom's mom, we called her nanny, we'd go to her house.

Nikki: And I have a lot of cousins on that side.

Nikki: And I have a lot of memories of going there on or around Easter and doing like the big family lunch and all of us.

Nikki: I just remember sitting outside on the porch like all the cousins.

Nikki: I think there were Easter egg hunts involved, I think.

Nikki: But we definitely did Easter egg hunts with my family.

Nikki: An Easter egg hunt is my thing.

Nikki: I don't know why.

Nikki: I don't have a super vivid memory of one.

Nikki: But as you are aware, I'm competitive.

Salina: So you killed children?

Nikki: I didn't kill them.

Nikki: I severely maimed them.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Killing them.

Salina: It was like a real hunt for you.

Nikki: It was a Hunger Games, is what it was.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Well, there's food at stake.

Nikki: It's true.

Nikki: It's true.

Nikki: So I love a good Easter egg hunt.

Nikki: So all of my Easter memories rotate around the Easter egg hunt.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: All right.

Salina: What about you?

Salina: Well, one thing that I thought about is I started thinking about the Easter bunny pictures.

Nikki: Oh, sure.

Salina: And I don't remember taking them.

Nikki: I don't either.

Salina: But there is picture evidence and oh, not with me.

Salina: I'm sorry.

Salina: No.

Salina: I just remember seeing the pictures.

Nikki: Oh, okay.

Nikki: But they are pictures of you.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Got it.

Salina: Easter.

Nikki: So you've blocked it out of your memory because the Easter bunny is terrifying in that arena.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: They need to soften them.

Salina: This is probably why they do, like, the real bunnies and the chicks now.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Salina: You actually might have a lineny situation.

Nikki: It's not a lineny situation.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: The Grapes of Wrath Linny.

Salina: He, like, rubs it.

Salina: He loves it too hard, and he accidentally breaks its neck.

Nikki: Why wouldn't you have called that a Dumb and Dumber reference?

Nikki: Do you remember, kid?

Salina: I don't know why I do remember.

Salina: Yeah, but the bird.

Salina: The dead bird.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Oh, spoiler alert.

Salina: I also spoil Grapes of Wrath.

Nikki: You can still get a picture with the Easter bunny at the mall.

Nikki: Or you could in the before time.

Salina: Hold on.

Salina: I think it was a bunny.

Salina: And maybe that's why it's Grapes of Wrath.

Salina: Because we're talking about bunnies.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Bunny connection.

Nikki: All right, you carry on with your story.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: Felt like we've spiraled.

Salina: Anyways, I was all to say that bunny creepy.

Salina: That's all.

Salina: I also have, like, really vivid memories of the outfits oh, yeah.

Salina: So floral dress that I was forced into, or some sort of ruffle situation was at play.

Salina: Do you remember the lace pantyhose?

Salina: Like white lace?

Salina: No, like white lace pantyhose.

Salina: And always black patent shoes.

Salina: Maybe some black yeah, not white.

Nikki: Interesting.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Of course, I could be misremembering.

Nikki: See, we did the little white socks with the little ruffle around that.

Nikki: Did you have those, too?

Nikki: That's what I remember from, like, Easter adjacent.

Salina: Well, and I feel like maybe and it was Lacey in, like, a doily girly way.

Salina: Not Lacey and like a but a boom, boom boom.

Nikki: I'm trying to remember when I started wearing tight.

Nikki: I don't really remember wearing tights as a kid.

Nikki: But you know what?

Nikki: Now that you're saying that we have a series of pictures of probably JCPenney.

Nikki: Or Sears or whatever.

Nikki: Maybe Kmart.

Nikki: But where we're wearing pastel dresses, my mom's wearing her 80s finest.

Nikki: And maybe there are tights involved.

Nikki: I would have been, like, three or four.

Nikki: I'll have to dig these out.

Salina: Yeah, well, you might have repressed that memory, because it's not comfortable.

Salina: I mean, I wore them from the time I was, like, two or three.

Salina: Yeah, and that's because there is also photo evidence of an outfit that I used to put together that was pantyhose white pantyhose.

Salina: My bathing suit perfect.

Salina: That was green with, like, a pink ruffle on it.

Salina: And then the black patent shoes.

Salina: This sounds nice.

Salina: I mean, I kind of feel like I was always fashion four horse, but.

Nikki: It really was you're just marching to the beat of your own drummer.

Salina: Well, my uncle tells stories about how he'd be like, Go get dressed for the mall.

Salina: That's what I go put on.

Salina: And he's, like, talking to my mom.

Salina: He's like, Sabrina, I'm not taking her to the mall in that.

Salina: And then my mom's like hippy dippy.

Salina: So she's like, you let her be who she wants to be.

Nikki: That's nice.

Nikki: So how old would that have been?

Salina: I mean, it's kind of nice.

Salina: Like three.

Salina: Okay, three, maybe four.

Nikki: That's a tough age to negotiate clothing with.

Salina: It really is.

Salina: I mean, it is sort of nice to kind of, like, let kids be free, I guess.

Salina: As long as they're covered and not cold.

Nikki: Yes, but sometimes, man, it's a toss up.

Nikki: It's 715, and he's wearing shorts, and you're like, It's January.

Salina: Well, I meant more like no socks.

Nikki: No shoes, but we need to get to school.

Salina: Your b***'s still covered in that situation, so I feel like you're making strides.

Nikki: That's true.

Nikki: Good call.

Salina: So the other things that stand out to me is, like, making Easter supper.

Salina: So I have a very vivid memory of making garlic bread.

Salina: What's wrong with me?

Salina: Garlic bread with my grandma.

Salina: She's, like, standing behind me, showing me how to do stuff.

Salina: And there is actually also picture evidence of that.

Salina: I can picture what I'm wearing.

Salina: The whole thing been dragged to a few sunrise services.

Salina: Yes, dragged.

Nikki: Dragged sunrise service.

Nikki: That sounds mean.

Salina: This is the south.

Salina: We take that real seriously.

Salina: It's still cold and dewy because it's early spring.

Salina: But there was also, like, even being like, a little kid, I could see the majesty in it.

Salina: You're a believer.

Salina: You're not a believer.

Salina: We're not here to judge.

Salina: We're talking about memories.

Salina: But just sitting out there, I was like, all right, I kind of get it.

Salina: And I think it's just like, how everybody gets moved in the moment or something.

Salina: And then, of course, you mentioned Easter egg hunt, so I won't talk about that.

Salina: But baskets.

Salina: Easter egg baskets.

Salina: And I just have to give a shout out to my mom because she made the most epic Easter baskets.

Nikki: Really?

Salina: Yeah, she was like doing the Pinterest Easter baskets like before.

Salina: That was a thing.

Salina: Oh, that's cool.

Salina: She's got a lot of showmanship.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I'm glad you brought up Easter baskets, because I do remember I definitely remember we had a cool Easter basket every year, and there was always the hollow chocolate bunny inside.

Nikki: And I looked forward to that every single year.

Nikki: And I have gotten my kids, I guess, because it's so ingrained in my memory, having a cool Easter basket every year.

Nikki: My kids have customized Easter baskets, so they have their names embroidered on them and I hide them away for the rest of the year.

Nikki: And I only pull them out, like, the week before Easter.

Nikki: And then they keep it out for a couple of weeks after Easter because they still like to do egg hunts in the house.

Nikki: But I'm glad you brought that up because I do remember the Easter baskets.

Salina: That's a good time.

Nikki: It really is.

Nikki: Now I want a hollow chocolate bunny.

Salina: All I want is a Reese's egg.

Nikki: A reester egg.

Salina: Which, by the way, I mean, that's an all the time event.

Salina: Every Reese's, if you put it in a shape, I'm there, I'm like, they taste better.

Nikki: Yeah, Reese's.

Nikki: Christmas trees.

Salina: Easter egg really gets it on.

Salina: That nice chocolate peanut butter ratio.

Salina: It's just right.

Nikki: On this note, I should mention, I never ate cadbury eggs growing up.

Nikki: That the whole concept is gross to me.

Nikki: Like, cream inside something is disgusting to me.

Nikki: But we went to Europe for our anniversary, and it's in late May, so I don't know if that's seasonal in Europe the way it is here, but they were still out there.

Nikki: They are so much better in Europe than they are here.

Salina: All candy is better in Europe.

Nikki: That may be true.

Salina: All of it.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: All right.

Nikki: I haven't had a Sour Patch Kid over there, so I don't know.

Salina: But chocolate, chocolate.

Nikki: European chocolate.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Because here's the thing.

Salina: I'm not trying to poo poo on people who love a Three Musketeers, if that's your thing, good for you.

Nikki: I love a Three Musketeer.

Salina: Three Musketeers like anything in that realm, I'm not really that crazy about it's.

Salina: Fine.

Salina: But I could also go the rest of my life and I'll be okay.

Salina: But every single candy like that, when I had it in Ireland, was the best candy I have ever, ever had.

Salina: Every single piece.

Salina: And they have, like, the milk and all that, and that's where cadbury eggs come from.

Salina: It's like England, specifically.

Salina: So hopefully I'm not stepping on my factoes there.

Salina: But I think that's correct, calling them factoes.

Salina: Factos.

Salina: I think that's right.

Salina: Yeah, it felt cadbury, right?

Salina: Yeah, that's English.

Nikki: Yeah, it didn't get more English.

Nikki: Cadbury.

Nikki: That was Scottish cadbury.

Salina: Don't you tread on the Scotch.

Salina: I'm just kidding.

Nikki: Derailed again.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Salina: Well, I could talk about candy for days.

Salina: We'll stop it there to say what makes you think more about candy than religion and to I don't know.

Salina: Take us there.

Salina: Nikki, we're here to talk about Designing Women in the south.

Nikki: So we are to episode 20 in season two.

Nikki: This is called How Great Thou Art.

Nikki: Hulu says Charlene faces an ethical crisis and resigns from her church.

Nikki: IMDb says, take a deep breath.

Nikki: This is a long one.

Nikki: Julia is chosen to sing a solo at the closing ceremony of the Baptist Convention, but she worries about a high note in the arrangement of How Great Thou Art.

Nikki: Charlene is upset when she discovers her minister is against allowing women to preach.

Nikki: She tries to persuade her minister to reconsider his position, but when he remains firm, she faces a painful decision.

Nikki: Salina, would you like to comment on the inaccuracy of that IMDb description?

Salina: Oh, the inaccuracy of it?

Nikki: Well, it wasn't a Baptist convention.

Nikki: I thought that's why you were making that face while I was talking.

Salina: No, I was actually laughing that they put the thing about Julia first.

Nikki: So I had the same thought.

Salina: Yeah, I thought you were making the.

Nikki: Face because as I was reading, I was like, it wasn't a Baptist convention.

Salina: You're right.

Nikki: In her faith Community Council meeting or something.

Salina: Yeah, something like that.

Salina: So you're absolutely right.

Salina: That is incorrect.

Salina: So how dare you, IMDb user.

Salina: I love movies.

Salina: 83 crazy.

Salina: And I think the other thing that's funny to me is but when he remains firm, she faces a painful decision.

Salina: And it's just like, I know they're trying to leave it broad, but I'm like to kill him.

Salina: How painful is the decision?

Nikki: Yeah, these were two totally different descriptions.

Nikki: Hulu is like, cut to the chase.

Nikki: Charlene's got an issue.

Nikki: And then IMDb is like, here's everything you ever needed to know about everything.

Salina: Anthony took some luggage to the car thing once.

Nikki: Let's talk about King James version of the Bible.

Nikki: So this one aired February 22, 1988.

Nikki: It was written by LBT.

Nikki: And it was directed by Harry Thomason.

Nikki: So some general reactions and stray observations.

Nikki: I'm going to start with my general reaction.

Nikki: This is like a really heavy episode.

Nikki: There was just so much to process.

Salina: Well, and unusual.

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: Kind of off script a little bit.

Salina: For a TV show, for a sitcom to discuss, like some pretty I'm going to borrow your word heavy.

Salina: Like religious issues.

Salina: I don't think that that's an average thing to happen.

Salina: And so I do think that makes it a stand out.

Salina: I mean, even literally quoting scripture in verse, right?

Nikki: A lot of it.

Nikki: A lot, yeah, it was probably, I don't know, like a third of the episode.

Nikki: Like, a lot of it was about scripture.

Salina: Oh.

Salina: They were really tossing it back and forth.

Salina: So yeah, that was different.

Nikki: So my very first question going into this episode, I think on that note, is, is LBT.

Nikki: Southern Baptist?

Nikki: Because this felt really personal.

Salina: I agree.

Salina: That it felt personal.

Salina: That was definitely one of the things that stuck with me.

Salina: I'm going to go out on the limb and say she was at least raised in a Southern Baptist home.

Nikki: I Googled relentlessly and could find nothing.

Nikki: But I did find this.

Nikki: I found an article and I don't remember where it was, but it was about Harry Thomason and it said there was little in Thomason's background that suggested he was bound for Hollywood or Washington or any place larger than Little Rock.

Nikki: His father, Travis Thomas.

Nikki: Thomason was a grocer and deacon in a Southern Baptist church that Harry always takes pains to describe as, quote, moderate in order to distinguish it from more hard shell varieties.

Nikki: So he certainly has some history.

Nikki: I think a hop, skip and a leap could take you to the fact that she probably does as well.

Nikki: But it just felt really personal.

Salina: I agree.

Salina: Well, also we've talked about this kind of thing where we feel like there's some similarities between Charlene and her.

Salina: And so I guess that was another reason that it struck me that between that her growing up in a rural area I'm not saying that there aren't Southern Baptist churches in non rural areas, but I do feel like there probably is some leanings in more rural areas.

Salina: It's also just like one of the I think it's the largest Christian denomination southern Baptist.

Nikki: Yeah, I think that's right.

Nikki: Did you have any other general observations?

Salina: I thought this was a tippy top episode for Jean Smart.

Salina: I really felt the emotional roller coaster that she was on in this episode, and I was into it.

Salina: I felt myself like I felt for her.

Salina: I wanted to fix it for her.

Salina: I felt that anguish and the passion of her argument for women to be ministers, her disappointment in her own pastor, her agonizingly asking him to see the contributions of women in the church and her sadness when she resigns.

Salina: That all really resonated for me.

Salina: And I think it felt realistic because even if you're not a religious person, most people have been let down by someone and someone they either admire, look up to or someone who's a mentor to them.

Salina: So I did think that all of those things felt very realistic as well.

Salina: I have one more general reaction.

Salina: When she asked Julia to sing for all the girls everywhere, I just about lost it.

Nikki: Really?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Because all I could think of was a certain someone's concession speech in 2016 where maybe she said to young girls everywhere to not give up, that they could still do anything, be anything, including reaching the highest office in the US.

Salina: And so for me, I don't care what your political leaning is.

Salina: I feel like if you're a woman, that probably moved you in some way because it is not an office that we've been able to reach for so many reasons.

Salina: And I think reasons that are the undercurrent of this episode.

Nikki: So I think the only reason that didn't strike me as hard is because how do I say this?

Nikki: It was just like, of all the talents that Julia has, she's a beautiful voice, but she could have also just as easily given a speech that was super powerful or made 14 million really good points.

Nikki: And so to reduce her to singing as the way of showing that girls can do it just was sort of like, okay, all right, that's an interesting perspective.

Nikki: And that's not to take anything away from her singing talent, because that's a whole other thing that I'm sure we're going to talk about at some point.

Nikki: It was beautiful, but it was just sort of like I don't know, man.

Nikki: Women are known for singing, so I don't really know that Reverend Nun is going to watch her and say, like, I'm so moved by this woman singing.

Salina: I saw it more of like, Julia was scared Julia wasn't going to go, and Charlene told her to be brave and go do it for girls everywhere.

Salina: And to me, even I think getting to the big stuff means being able to do the little stuff and not letting anything stand in the way.

Salina: So I guess singing is maybe seen it could be seen as like a frivolous stand in, but there's something about that, that it still worked for me.

Salina: I thought that whole subplot was it's in my don't likes.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: But that part and Charlene's acting, or Gene Smart's acting, was so strong that I totally bought it hook, line and sink.

Nikki: Her.

Nikki: Oh, yeah, it worked for the episode.

Nikki: Like, all of it was fine.

Nikki: I just felt like that's what we're going to have her do.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: You've got this woman known for tirades.

Nikki: The other big thing for me about this episode is that it's obviously so much all about that scene where Reverend Nun comes to Charlene's house for dinner.

Nikki: And even Julia's questions were not as pointed as I would expect they would be from her.

Nikki: So she really does get reduced from the person that I would have expected her to be on this issue in this episode.

Salina: I think it's because they wanted Charlene to shine.

Nikki: Sure.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: But I understand it did feel like an interesting now that you bring it up, because I didn't think about it before, but it does feel interesting that they didn't use what is possibly her greatest strength, which is her ability to really cut somebody.

Salina: Yeah, but we'll talk about it in cut lines.

Salina: But they also cut some of her lines.

Nikki: They did, yeah.

Nikki: Did you have a couple of strays?

Salina: I did.

Salina: So I'm pretty sure in this post pandemic world that I am Bernice.

Salina: At the beginning of the episode, she comes in for help with the sofa.

Salina: So this is her and Mary Joe.

Salina: I think Anthony eventually comes in, but basically Mary Joe is like, what about this, Bernice, for your sofa?

Salina: And Bernice goes, you don't like the color of my sofa, Bernice?

Salina: I thought that's why you came by.

Salina: No, this is the first I've heard about it.

Salina: Miss Clifton.

Salina: Don't you remember?

Salina: I came and got you and brought you here because you wanted to get your sofa reupholstered.

Salina: Right.

Salina: What about it?

Salina: Nothing.

Salina: Just a reminder.

Nikki: I see what you mean now.

Salina: That's me.

Nikki: Now it's pandemic.

Nikki: Plus, I can completely attest now being a few weeks out from COVID like something it does something to your brain.

Nikki: And I ask the same question probably 14 times now because I'm like, did.

Salina: We talk about this?

Nikki: We did talk about this, right?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So that was definitely a standout for me.

Nikki: In that same section we get a Perky throwback, which I just wanted to flag for a second.

Nikki: So perky is Julia and Suzanne's mom.

Nikki: She's good friends with Bernice.

Nikki: We met her in season one.

Nikki: We haven't seen her giving episode.

Salina: No, because she's been away.

Salina: But I feel like they're playing tricks on us.

Salina: I feel like the place keeps changing.

Nikki: Maybe I'm wrong.

Nikki: I knew she was in Europe.

Nikki: I haven't paid close enough attention.

Salina: This time they said Japan.

Salina: Oh, did they really?

Nikki: There you go.

Salina: I can't tell if it's like a writer's room joke.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: You mean an LBT joke.

Salina: Well, she could joke with herself.

Nikki: It's a joke between her and you.

Salina: Hear what I came up with?

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: Did you own the best.

Salina: I know.

Nikki: I also am my own biggest cheerleader.

Salina: Yes, that's important.

Salina: I'm hilarious.

Salina: Isn't that a saying?

Salina: If you don't cheer yourself on now, who will?

Nikki: Kyle's always like, you make yourself laugh, don't you?

Nikki: And I'm like I do.

Nikki: Did you think that Charlene's dress at the beginning was a ReWare?

Nikki: It's that bright blue peplum dress.

Salina: I feel like I've seen a host of rewares and have gotten tired of going back and looking.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Oh, I didn't go to the trouble of going back to relook.

Salina: No.

Salina: Only an idiot would do that.

Salina: It's me.

Nikki: It just seemed like too much work.

Salina: Unless anybody out there wants to do it, then that makes you wonderful.

Salina: And please DM us and tell us what you find as you mine through the episode.

Nikki: It was just like a bridge too far for me on this episode.

Nikki: There was so much more to look into.

Nikki: But the second she showed up on screen, I was like, I feel like we've seen that before.

Nikki: If not the same dress, certainly the same color.

Nikki: It's a very striking color in, like.

Salina: A blue and, like, almost where it's almost veering into royal purple lane.

Nikki: It's a really nice color on her.

Salina: It is nice.

Salina: I had a stray about Charlene saying she also wanted to be a minister.

Salina: She's never told anyone before.

Salina: And last season, a country singer and she was a beauty.

Salina: Product salesperson.

Salina: When we first meet her in the show on the side.

Salina: Little side hustle.

Salina: She's also doing the real estate work on the side.

Salina: She's really doing the most.

Nikki: But who among us hasn't had more life dreams than what we're doing right now?

Salina: Well, I think this is probably considered separate from what we normally do.

Nikki: My son wants to be a police officer and a restaurant singer when he grows up.

Salina: Police officer, restaurant singer.

Salina: You could probably put those together somehow, I think, because you could keep the piece in the restaurant, maybe, and do the singing.

Nikki: So if they'll let you do it at the same time but if you have to keep things separate, you'd never sleep because the restaurant singers show up at like, five and they don't leave till nine.

Salina: I love that.

Salina: That's so realistic.

Salina: Like, not like, I want to be the world's greatest singer.

Salina: Like he's like, I want to sing in a restaurant.

Nikki: Sing at a restaurant.

Nikki: That's it.

Salina: And I feel like you could probably say, son, we can probably work that out.

Salina: Really dig that.

Salina: One of mine, too, was Charlene Talks about her first Bible.

Salina: She had her name embossed in gold across the front.

Salina: And that really is like, visceral for me because I remember having well, a few.

Salina: But what really sticks out is like I think it's like a precious moments Bible.

Salina: Here's a time.

Salina: Of course you do.

Nikki: I forgot I had one of those till just now.

Salina: Well, I forgot it was Precious Moments until just now as I was envisioning it in my head.

Salina: So it was that it was this really pale pink and yes, my name was embossed in gold on the front.

Salina: But it was the they misspelled my name every time.

Nikki: Oh, no.

Salina: My maiden name was Kramer.

Salina: They didn't understand that.

Salina: They certainly didn't understand Salina in the age of Ashley's.

Nikki: How terrible.

Salina: And so every time it would be like Kramer or Salina with an E or it was always wrong.

Salina: They always got the A right for the middle name.

Nikki: Sure, okay.

Salina: I really got that one.

Salina: So it was like, I'm part of it.

Salina: I'd be like, I'd love it because it was like my own thing.

Salina: And then the other side of me is every time, god.

Salina: But I think it set me up for life's.

Salina: Little disappointments.

Nikki: That's good.

Salina: Yeah, it was a lesson.

Nikki: There you go.

Nikki: Isn't that what religion is?

Salina: Absolutely.

Nikki: Lessons.

Salina: Do you have more strays?

Nikki: I don't.

Salina: I have one more stray.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Hal Holbrook in the church, or Reese, and he's listening to Julia Singh.

Salina: I saw him get teary eyed, then I got teary eyed.

Salina: It turned into a whole thing.

Salina: But I thought that was really sweet.

Salina: And I like as much as I don't like Reese, I think I love Hal Holbrook.

Nikki: You stole one of my likes.

Nikki: Oh, no, I'm sorry.

Nikki: I mean, it is what it is.

Nikki: That's in my, like, section because how Great Thou Art is just a beautiful song.

Nikki: The way that she sang it was beautiful.

Nikki: The arrangement was beautiful.

Nikki: She did not look like she was lip syncing, which is a really big thing for me.

Salina: Oh, she's definitely not.

Nikki: I hate when on TV shows, I know they have to record a really clean version of it, but I hate when it's really obvious they're lip syncing and it was so natural and beautiful.

Nikki: And then they flashed to him and he has got this he's not even credited in the episode, so he just.

Salina: Like was wanted to be there.

Nikki: He was like husband cheerleader on set that day and he has this tear in his eye and I'm with you.

Nikki: That's when I lost it this morning.

Nikki: I watched that part again this morning and I just like, tears down my face.

Nikki: It was so beautiful.

Salina: Yeah, it was really nice.

Salina: But every time we're going to see her sing now, there's a part of me that all I can think is what liberal rant was this for?

Salina: Because there really hasn't been a lot of Julia rants this year.

Nikki: Because we learned a while ago that that was a trade off between LBT and Dixie Carter.

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: Because she really is more of a conservative in real life.

Nikki: So every time her character has to go on a liberal rant, she gets to sing.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Twice this year.

Nikki: I didn't think about that.

Nikki: Yeah, good points.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Maybe it's coming in one of the future episodes.

Salina: Well, we don't really know what she considered liberal.

Nikki: Yeah, that's true.

Salina: It could be things that we just aren't identifying with from whatever liberal was 35 years ago.

Salina: Want to talk about some likes now that I've stolen yours?

Nikki: My only one.

Nikki: No, I'm just kidding.

Nikki: I was going to mention the Bible.

Nikki: Her name embossed on the Bible because I have the same visceral precious moments memory, and then also later, just a plain white Bible with my name and gold on the bottom that my grandmother gave me.

Nikki: I think I still have it at the house and I actually meant to bring it today for show and tell.

Salina: It's the grandparent gift that keeps giving, really.

Salina: I'm sure every Bible I got was from one set of my grandparents or the other.

Nikki: God bless my grandmother.

Nikki: She's given me probably every Bible I've ever owned.

Nikki: And just every couple of Christmases I.

Salina: Would get a new Bible and then some explainers about how to interpret your Bible and then like, conversations with God and then say a little prayer.

Salina: And grandparents, I've got a lot of things on the shelf.

Nikki: We can.

Nikki: Precious moment bible.

Salina: I don't know where that is.

Nikki: What a shame.

Nikki: Yeah, because it really had some cute little drawings in it.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Any hoozy that I wanted to mention and Bernice was just on fire.

Salina: I mean, I have Bernice and about 100 exclamation points and then for the win.

Salina: 100 exclamation points.

Nikki: She was just on fire.

Nikki: She was amazing.

Nikki: For me, the whole episode was about that scene at Charlene's house and just the back and forth between Reverend Nun and Bernice.

Nikki: And that scene right there crystallizes, I think maybe for a lot of people, certainly for me, crystallizes, the challenge that I have with organized religion, which is two very informed people sitting across the table from one another, interpreting the exact same text completely differently.

Salina: Isn't it interesting how humans can get involved in anything and really screw it up?

Salina: Yeah, I frequently think about something.

Salina: I think it's a Gandhi quote, I think, and someone please hold me accountable if this is wrong, but I think he was known for saying, I like your Christ, but I don't like your Christians.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: I'm not saying I agree with it necessarily, but I am saying I get it.

Nikki: There was a lot so I really dug into some of the script in this episode.

Salina: Oh, wow.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Yeah, I had to know.

Salina: Good for you.

Nikki: I had to know some things.

Nikki: So Julia and Reverend Nun have an exchange where she says, you keep using this scripture about the deacon having to be the husband of a wife.

Nikki: And she says, I don't understand how that rules out women being ministers.

Nikki: And he says, well, what I think it means in layman's terms is that if you find a woman who's a man, she'll be eligible.

Nikki: So I first had to look up deacon because I don't understand how is a deacon different than a pastor and then how is that relevant to this particular script?

Salina: Sure.

Nikki: So this may be part of what you'll cover in Extra Sugar, but real quick, I'll just say that Baptists traditionally recognize two ordained positions, elders who are sometimes also called pastors and deacons.

Nikki: And that's per one, Timothy Three, which is, incidentally, what Reverend Nunn is quoting.

Nikki: And I Googled one, Timothy 312, which is the specific one he's quoting.

Nikki: I found at least three other possible interpretations of that scripture.

Nikki: Interesting.

Nikki: Divorce is a possibility.

Nikki: Polyamory is a possibility for what that could be referring to.

Salina: Okay, wait, that they're supporting it or they're against it, that he has to.

Nikki: Be the husband of one wife.

Salina: Oh, okay, got you.

Nikki: So they could be saying, like, if you're a polyamorous, you can't be a deacon.

Nikki: So there's lots of interpretations.

Nikki: And then this gets into something that Bernice touches on, which is translation.

Nikki: So I found something that said that if you study Greek, it'll clarify the opposite of his interpretation.

Nikki: So it says the passage is descriptive, not prescriptive.

Nikki: So the entire letter is written about leadership issues in the church.

Nikki: And here Paul may well be responding to a question Timothy may have asked him about a man who aspired to become an overseer or a bishop.

Nikki: So he may not have been saying women can't serve as deacons, or he might not have been saying, like, it can only be a man.

Nikki: He may have just been saying, hey, you're a man.

Nikki: Here's something you should know.

Nikki: You only should have one wife.

Nikki: So, like, he wasn't saying women shouldn't be deacons.

Nikki: He was just saying, in your circumstance, I'm saying you're a man, so you should know.

Nikki: You should only have one wife.

Salina: Does that make sense?

Salina: It does.

Salina: I think what's funny is I'm over here thinking, like, how interesting and challenging religious studies must be.

Salina: I didn't do any of that in school because I wasn't going down theology route or anything, but it must be really interesting.

Nikki: Wow.

Nikki: And there were a few times when Bernice and Reverend Nunn were going back and forth with one another that you could hear it was so obvious to Bernice one interpretation, it was so obvious to Reverend None.

Nikki: The other interpretation.

Salina: I think it speaks to the psychology of how we interpret things, because we interpret things through our existing biases, and we interpret things through our experience, and we interpret things through our environment.

Salina: And what we're seeing is those things are different for both of these individuals.

Salina: But one interpretation is impressing an entire group of people, and the other one isn't.

Salina: So I don't know.

Salina: I mean, I'm not passing any judgment.

Salina: I'm just saying that's just my interpretation of the situation.

Nikki: So the other high point of the episode for me on that note is Charlene leaving her church and telling Reverend Nun essentially, like, I'm not questioning God, I'm questioning you.

Salina: Very powerful.

Nikki: That's super powerful to me.

Nikki: But also, I think that maybe speaks to part of religion and what you believe can be a journey, and it doesn't have to be the thing that one person tells you.

Nikki: And I loved that they showed Charlene critically thinking about an issue and saying, we're not on the same page.

Nikki: I appreciate you, I respect you.

Nikki: We are not on the same page about one of my core values, and I can't live like this anymore.

Nikki: Your interpretation isn't working for me.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: And I really liked that part of the episode.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Wow.

Salina: I want to go back.

Salina: So really, Bernice was the thing that was the focus of what I liked.

Salina: One thing that I wanted to share about why I liked her as the messenger.

Salina: I thought they did a really nice job of giving her almost extra silly lines in the beginning because it packed that much more punch when she lands them.

Salina: I think that made it stronger for me.

Salina: It made it surprising.

Salina: I think it did give it a nice humor, and I think it was a really good decision on LBT's part.

Salina: And there's enough mystery surrounding her that there's no way we would have known that her father was a pastor.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So that was everything.

Nikki: Yeah, that was great.

Nikki: Did you have any other likes?

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I mean, I do I like lots of things, but nothing on my list.

Nikki: What about things you didn't like?

Salina: Yeah, I have done the b plot for Julia.

Salina: It's like they were taking it too seriously.

Salina: And so I didn't care that she was singing at the closing ceremony, or at least all these times that she talked about being nervous seemed a little unnecessary.

Salina: I do think that was trying to build up to this moment that her and Charlene have, but I think because we didn't know that's where we were going along the way, I'm like, I don't care.

Salina: Charlene is having an existential cris.

Salina: Can we get back to Charlene?

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Julia, also, in fairness to what you were saying before, it doesn't make sense.

Salina: Julia doesn't get nervous, which is what.

Nikki: Charlene said to her.

Nikki: She's like, you don't get nervous, Julia.

Nikki: This is weird.

Nikki: Yeah, there were some cut lines again, where they talk about various times she's had trouble singing.

Nikki: So there's a little history there.

Salina: And maybe they should have let that in, because that would have been helpful, I think, too, to make it feel more realistic so that we're not like this brazen ball z lady suddenly is afraid to sing a couple of notes in front of someone.

Salina: I mean, not that it's not a.

Nikki: Hard song, but I agree with you.

Nikki: The first few times I watched it, I was like, what are we watching?

Nikki: What's happening?

Nikki: Why are we wasting time on this?

Nikki: I will say Dixie Carter's acting around that whole, like, the way she stares off into space at first when they're trying to get her to tell him what's going on, how she shows her nervousness, it was amazing.

Nikki: I really did.

Nikki: I thought it was just very well done.

Salina: She did.

Salina: She does.

Salina: Distracted well.

Nikki: And then at the end, when she was singing, her body language and the way her face looked, it just communicated so many things, like pride in herself.

Nikki: I could feel like she believed the words that were coming out of her mouth, like she genuinely registered the song.

Salina: Sure.

Salina: Well, I only have one other thing that I didn't like.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: Charlene's minister.

Salina: Ugh, what a putts.

Salina: Just a real schmeckle.

Salina: Those are my exact words.

Salina: Just didn't like him.

Nikki: You didn't like him?

Nikki: I didn't like the words coming out of his mouth.

Salina: Well, that's all you are to me.

Nikki: I think it was come I i think it was coming from a place.

Salina: Of conviction, and it always is.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And that's the problem for me.

Salina: Oh, but they're such a nice person, but they're oppressing people, so your niceness doesn't count.

Salina: And we've talked about the difference between nice and kind.

Salina: That's why nice gets a bad rap, because it's stuff like that.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: One of the things I wrote down was one of the things I didn't like about this whole episode was sexism disguised as piety.

Nikki: So for me, because I'm female, this doesn't work for like, it's almost as if some of the biggest tenets of the religion are built to, to your point, oppress women.

Nikki: And the idea that someone can so believe that to be the truth is hard for me to register.

Nikki: But at the same time, if you're in a religion, if you're in a church, you want to follow someone who believes their convictions.

Nikki: And I feel like he was sitting there listening to the women say these things and he was acknowledging them and he was validating them, but just saying, I disagree with you, and I agree.

Salina: That that part was a slight saving grace in terms of at least he wasn't like and we cast you out.

Nikki: He didn't cast him out, and he wasn't condescending to them.

Salina: He was incredibly condescending to Bernice, so much so that in the episode, she calls him out and she says, and I know that's not bemused condescension across your face right now.

Nikki: See, I didn't get that sense.

Salina: I did.

Nikki: I felt like.

Salina: I felt like he was seemed tickled.

Nikki: See, I didn't get that sense.

Nikki: I felt like he was like that's a good point.

Nikki: Here's just another one that I think makes more sense.

Salina: I don't know that he acted that way towards anyone but Bernice.

Nikki: She's just entertaining.

Nikki: I also just feel like she's entertaining, but I think delivery is funny.

Salina: Take it at face value that if she felt and she said it, that's what LBT.

Salina: Is setting up in the episode, there was some condescension at play.

Nikki: I've seen a lot more condescending in this show, and I feel like if she really wanted I just feel like he could have been way more condescending.

Salina: I think he's a really charismatic guy.

Salina: The reverend.

Nikki: You mean?

Salina: Yeah, and I think he like I do.

Salina: I genuinely think that he is.

Salina: I think his face is nice.

Salina: I'm not even saying attractive.

Salina: I mean, you're attractive, man, but you know what I'm saying.

Salina: There's just something about him.

Salina: He's got a good energy about him.

Salina: I think that makes him perhaps read a little softer than maybe he is.

Nikki: The only reason I'm leaning into this one is not because I liked what he said, not because I liked what he believed.

Nikki: I wanted to not like this man.

Nikki: I really wanted to be annoyed by him, and I really, really was not.

Nikki: I would have done what Charlene did and I would have left the church because I disagree with him, but I wouldn't have left because I felt like he was condescending to me.

Nikki: I wouldn't have left because he disrespected me.

Nikki: I would have just left because I.

Salina: Would have been like he clearly cared about Charlene, and I agree with that.

Salina: I still don't like him.

Salina: I think it was society.

Salina: I agree that conviction is important.

Salina: I don't agree in conviction covering up things that are not.

Salina: If you are trying to take away the ability for a whole group of people to do a thing to me, I don't care as long as that thing isn't illegal.

Salina: I'm going to see a problem with that, and that's what I see happening with his convictions in mind, I understand.

Salina: I'm glad that he feels conviction.

Salina: That's great.

Salina: I don't think it's because he's a bad person, not at all.

Salina: I think it's because of the society around him.

Nikki: So yes, I almost feel maybe as you're talking and I'm listening, I'm thinking I almost feel sorry for him.

Nikki: And I'm thinking of a particular pastor that I've run into in my own life who is super likable, has a fantastic family, he's a really great guy, and he just genuinely believes some of these same things.

Nikki: He just genuinely thinks, like, he's again, not condescending to women.

Nikki: I think at a macro level, you could say he's disrespectful to women because he doesn't think that they belong in these positions.

Nikki: You could say that, but that's his religious belief and he just genuinely believes it.

Nikki: And I kind of look at that and I'm like sad for you.

Nikki: And so I don't dislike him.

Nikki: I don't like him.

Nikki: I would have imagined she would have made that character someone you actively dislike, but I guess you can't.

Salina: That was Charlie Markson.

Salina: Well, but that also I think then the whole argument would be so one sided that it would be a terrible argument.

Salina: I think it was really important that she made him a likable guy because I think the situation is complicated.

Salina: I don't like him because I have such a problem with what he is putting out into the world.

Salina: But him as a guy, could we have a well, we wouldn't have a beer together because he's Southern Baptist and I don't drink, but could we go and have a coffee together?

Salina: Absolutely.

Salina: I'm sure he's a fascinating, lovely guy.

Salina: I should probably tease apart the fact that I don't like what he stands for, not I don't like who he is.

Salina: And we're also talking about a character, so it's starting to sound silly, but you know what I'm saying.

Salina: But there you go.

Salina: There you go.

Salina: You can't say that the episode isn't thought provoking.

Salina: Anyways, I think it's smart that she made him nice because I think if she made him an evil guy with a handlebar mustache standing over a woman who is wrapped up on the railroad tracks, it would be really obvious.

Salina: And I don't think she wanted it to be that obvious, and she probably has anyways, I shouldn't put these emotions on her because I don't know, but I imagine that she has a reverence for the church and a reverence for Christianity because I didn't read any of this as disrespectful.

Salina: I read it as her opinion on something that read to me as an important thing to her.

Salina: Women in the ministry I'm like.

Salina: And on that note, stick around for extra sugar because we'll be talking about women in the ministry so lots to think about.

Salina: We'll be thinking for a while, but is there anything else that you want to talk about in the not?

Salina: Likes?

Salina: What would you like to rate this sucker?

Nikki: I'm ready.

Nikki: Okay, I'm going with Bernice.

Salina: Bible blowouts.

Salina: Oh, that sounds like the pooh.

Nikki: No, she's blown out a good way.

Nikki: It was her victory.

Nikki: Yeah, I did it.

Nikki: I gave it a five out of a five.

Salina: Oh, nice.

Nikki: I went all the way in.

Salina: Wow.

Nikki: It's maybe my only second of the season, but I feel like I've maybe been a little more generous this season.

Nikki: Doesn't matter.

Nikki: I thought this episode was really perfect.

Nikki: It's hard to watch for me, because there's discomfort, but when you break down that scene between Bernice and Reverend Nun, it was just really beautifully done.

Nikki: To your point, choosing Bernice to be that messenger was just, like, inspired choice, maybe divinely.

Nikki: Inspired, maybe divinely.

Nikki: It was just like cherry picking the perfect person to share those messages.

Nikki: I loved how it's set up, how clearly people can interpret the exact same thing completely oppositely.

Nikki: And that's the problem.

Nikki: We just don't know what was intended.

Nikki: We are only at the mercy of someone to tell us, and we have to trust that that person in the middle is delivering the message that was intended to be delivered.

Salina: Faith is not for the faint of heart.

Salina: Yeah, it's really not.

Salina: And so I think people either choose to believe in a thing or they don't.

Salina: And it does get complicated, and it does get dicey real quickly.

Salina: Before I get onto my rating, I'm just going to say we talked a little bit about this off air, but I think this is also a little bit of an uncomfortable talk for me.

Salina: But let's see.

Salina: I was raised in the church.

Salina: I've done a lot of things in the church.

Salina: I've been very involved in the past.

Salina: My grandfather's a preacher, so this has been very in and of my life.

Salina: And at the same time, I have always been a very convicted person myself.

Salina: And I've never shied away from saying how I feel about something.

Salina: And I don't ever want to come across as disrespectful to anyone, but if I disagree with something, I have to say it.

Salina: I just think I'll die if I don't say it.

Salina: And I've said as much to my grandfather before if I disagreed about something, and especially the way that I felt like women were relegated to really interesting roles in the church and at home, I made my opinion clear, and I didn't really care what it bumped up against in any religious text.

Salina: And that's just always how strongly I felt about that.

Salina: And I'm talking about when I was seven, eight and nine years old.

Salina: But I do want to say these are just my opinions, and I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I think everyone's entitled to say how they feel I think that is one of the most beautiful gifts that we have in this entire world.

Salina: On that note, I gave this a 4.8 out of five shaky mansplanations.

Salina: I thought it was surprising, but in a refreshing way.

Salina: And we've already talked about this to some extent, but I am guessing that this is something that was near and dear to LBT's heart.

Salina: And in previous episodes, we've talked about how she has this amazing way of taking something that's like this complex social issue and making it entertaining and making you want to tune in instead of tune out.

Salina: Not everybody has the ability to do that, and she does.

Salina: I think it's usually when she's the strongest.

Salina: Except for that Dash golf episode where she tried to convince us to read.

Salina: Not on my watch, LBT.

Salina: Not as long as there's Instagram.

Salina: But anyway.

Salina: So, yeah, it's been a top for me, I think, for the season.

Salina: You want to talk about some references?

Nikki: I don't have anything until we get up to references I had to look up or that we need to talk about.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Salina: So I'll try and run through these.

Salina: I didn't have any combinations.

Salina: I did have an eighty s one that stood out to me.

Salina: It's from a cut line.

Salina: I probably have a rule about that.

Nikki: I know.

Nikki: I almost went into it, and then I was just like, no, Pee Wee.

Nikki: Nobody else knows the lines.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Well, Peewee Herman.

Nikki: He was referenced.

Salina: He was referenced.

Salina: Now I feel bad going into any of it, but I did actually watch Peewee's Playhouse when I was a little kid.

Nikki: It's weird.

Nikki: It's weird.

Nikki: Like, what were they letting us watch when we were kids?

Nikki: I also watched it.

Salina: Well, that was made for kids.

Nikki: I know, it's weird.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Salina: Like a little trippy, maybe.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: But I feel like a lot of stuff that was made for kids over time has been kind of trippy.

Salina: Peewee was weird.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: But what I didn't realize is that now I do remember the movie.

Salina: So the movie actually led to the series before all of that.

Salina: What I didn't know is that it started as a stage act.

Salina: I did know that, actually, because I.

Nikki: Looked him up recently.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Nikki: On a completely unrelated note, I feel like he's hit some rough times.

Salina: Well, I think but his stage act, though, is more adult, and then they made it more childlike, and I wonder how that decision got made.

Salina: And that part is kind of weird.

Salina: And you got to wonder what led to those decisions.

Nikki: And the translation didn't fully happen.

Nikki: It was not a successful translation to children.

Salina: Yeah, it was weird.

Salina: Have you watched an episode recently?

Nikki: A couple of years.

Salina: For Netflix.

Salina: Right.

Salina: I think like, four years ago.

Salina: Yeah, they brought him back.

Salina: That tells you how long it's been because he was charged in 1991 for public masturbation.

Salina: Sorry, I laugh not because that's funny, but because I just said masturbation on twice, this podcast.

Salina: Twice.

Salina: But anyways, it was in a movie theater.

Nikki: And like an adult movie theater.

Salina: I knew that that happened.

Salina: I was 91.

Salina: I was six years old.

Salina: That's how pervasive it was because it was on the news.

Salina: It was everywhere.

Salina: I think my mom had to low key explain to me, help me understand what happened.

Salina: And it was like a whole weird thing.

Salina: Six years old.

Nikki: I'm not prepared to talk about this today, but I did end up down a rabbit hole, and I think that might be a good example of how fierce the fame machine is.

Nikki: I think it was an adult movie theater, so he was already sort of in.

Nikki: If there's ever an appropriate environment for that, that's where he was.

Nikki: But this thing that he did in his personal life became so publicly discussed.

Nikki: I think at one point he fled the country or something.

Nikki: Like he had to hide out because the paparazzi were so aggressive.

Nikki: It's a fierce machine.

Nikki: I'm not prepared to talk about it, but there are some facts behind it that I did know at one point in time that just almost made me sad.

Salina: I feel very bad for what happened to him.

Salina: It was way beyond the pale of what was called for.

Salina: And I think, again, in a show where we speak to the times and how things have changed, they did a lot of things to him that I feel like were based in homophobia.

Nikki: It's fascinating to me how a person who's put through the ringer like that just gets up the next day and puts 1ft in front of the other and just keeps going forward.

Nikki: Because when everyone in the world, it feels, like, hates you, villainized you.

Salina: It may not seem like it because we're trying to put out a podcast, but I really enjoy my life being anonymous.

Nikki: It's scary.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Once people know about your life, the judgments and the I don't know.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Anyhow peewee?

Nikki: Herman, man Am I right?

Salina: Right.

Salina: You just could have skipped over that cut line, Salina, but no, you just couldn't do it.

Salina: Southern things.

Salina: So at some point, Charlie mentions that I guess who's going to be playing with or like, while Julia is singing is going to be the Atlanta Phil Harmonic.

Salina: That bothered me because I was like, wait, they mean the Atlanta Symphony?

Salina: And so I looked into it, and as far as I can tell, unless you tell me differently, and you made me know there wasn't actually an Atlanta Philharmonic until 2004 or five anyways, I.

Nikki: Put that in my references to look up, and I actually didn't find the Atlanta Philharmonic.

Nikki: So I just came to the conclusion that, yeah, it was a made for TV way of talking about the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which was the name was decided on in 1947.

Nikki: So that's what it would have been called by the time this episode had.

Salina: Aired, it just seemed like a real easy grab.

Salina: But these are in pre Google days.

Salina: I might be Phil Harmonicing it too.

Salina: I'd be like, sure, the Philharmonic.

Salina: Okay, so references that we need to talk about.

Nikki: Well, you took one of mine.

Nikki: The other one was the Interfaith Community Council.

Salina: You find them?

Nikki: I did not.

Nikki: Again, this one feels like a generic made for TV name.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: But I think there probably was some kind of interfaith group that was meeting and talking about church things in most major cities.

Nikki: We do actually have Interfaith Atlanta now, which was previously called the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta, and their mission is to promote understanding, respect, prayer, interaction, and unity among the diverse faiths in the greater Atlanta region and to advance the influence of voices of faith communities for the common good.

Salina: Wow.

Salina: Be hard to get on a t shirt.

Nikki: So we have an interfaith we do have an interfaith group now, so I don't think the specific thing they mentioned was real, but the concept is yeah.

Nikki: What else you got helpful?

Nikki: King James.

Nikki: The King James version of the Bible.

Nikki: I have a lot of notes here.

Nikki: I'm trying to figure out how much of it's useful.

Salina: Well, it's only, like, 7400 years of history.

Nikki: Let me boil it down.

Salina: Yeah, get that into a sentence, please.

Nikki: He was the king of Scotland and England in one five hundreds, 16 hundreds.

Nikki: His mother was Mary, Queen of Scots is important to know.

Nikki: Most notably for the purposes of this episode, he sponsored the translation of the Bible into English, which is known as the King James version.

Nikki: I found something that this goes beyond my religious historical knowledge, but I think the King James version is oftentimes talked about as the first English translation.

Nikki: It was in fact not, but rather it borrowed from previous English translations.

Nikki: So there were at least a couple other previous translations.

Nikki: His Bible was the work of 54 scholars and clergymen who met over seven years in six man six nine man subcommittees called companies, and the Bible was created to try to settle differences between Puritans, a faction of the Anglican Church, and the Church of England.

Nikki: I also found I don't know how far you want me to go.

Nikki: The other thing about the Bible is that it's about his version of the Bible is that it's written in very flowery, almost like Shakespearean language, and that was partly intentional.

Nikki: They wanted it to sound very pretty.

Nikki: But some of the Idioms from the Bible have slipped into everyday use, so you might not realize, like sour grapes drop in the bucket, pearls before swine, fly in the ointment, eat, drink, and be merry are all biblical terms.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: The Bible is like a beautiful piece of literature.

Salina: I also looked things up, but it looks like we had different things.

Salina: So today it's still one of the most printed books ever.

Salina: It remains the most famous Bible translation in history.

Salina: And I think kind of relevant to this episode is this idea that so he commissioned this translation in the early 16 hundreds for selfish reasons.

Salina: Basically, it is true what you were saying about this idea of trying to settle some issues between these different sects.

Salina: It's a hard word to make sound good anyways, but he was really also trying to consolidate his own power.

Salina: But inadvertently, he winds up making the Bible more accessible than ever before.

Salina: Which is kind of funny, I thought, and interestingly, because, see, the Bible was solely controlled by the church prior to this translation, so you and me wouldn't have our precious Moments bibles.

Salina: And that translation now included passages that usually were not read out loud in church, including ones about limiting the power of the king.

Salina: So he inadvertently winds up opening people's minds to this concept of the fact that, oh, maybe this isn't the greatest person ever, and maybe we do have some autonomy.

Nikki: At what point do you think that registered with him?

Nikki: Do you think it's like he gets the first copy of it with its gilded pages and he's like, I'm so proud my name is on it.

Nikki: Oh, crap.

Nikki: Mutiny.

Salina: It makes you wonder, too, though.

Salina: Like, did these commissions know what they were doing?

Salina: And was there something more at play there?

Salina: Were they kind of heroes of their time?

Salina: I'm going to make stuff up now.

Nikki: Have we gone from historical fact to Salina weaving a narrative?

Salina: It's definitely the movie I would make.

Salina: Ridley Scott's, the Bible Commission.

Salina: There's action adventure.

Salina: There's a love story somewhere in there.

Salina: Something more references.

Nikki: I have the two missionaries that Charlene mentioned, annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon, basically, they're both missionaries.

Nikki: Annie Armstrong Southern Baptist Church churches continued to annually collect the Easter offering for North American missions in her name, and she died in 1938.

Nikki: And then Lottie Moon died in 1912.

Nikki: She was a Southern Baptist missionary to China.

Nikki: And the annual Lottie Moon Christmas offering for international missions has raised a total of $1.5 billion per mission since 1988.

Nikki: And it finances half of the international missions budget of the Southern Baptist Convention every year.

Nikki: And lots of articles pointed to the fact that she was low key slash high key feminist and not so quiet about it.

Salina: Yeah, I mean, not that I care.

Salina: In the episode, Charlie mentions that she starves to death in China.

Salina: So I got interested in that aspect to see what happened.

Salina: And basically, she gave everything that she could, money and food to those around her, and it winds up severely affecting her physical and mental health.

Salina: The year she died, she only weighed 50 pounds and she was sent home because she was so unhealthy, but she actually died on the journey home.

Nikki: Sounds like a terrible idea.

Nikki: Send a person in poor health home before you had a.

Nikki: Jet that could get her there in just a few hours.

Salina: Did you see how tall she was?

Salina: She's four foot three.

Salina: So I went down this whole rabbit hole.

Salina: I'm like on the BMI pounds off.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: So an average person at four foot three should weigh 70.

Salina: I'm just guessing on a frame that small to get down to 50 would be incredibly dangerous because on a five foot two frame, I can tell you that maybe you gain five pounds and it looks like it's 20.

Salina: So I'm just guessing the opposite would be true, too.

Salina: No matter what, 50 pounds is very tiny.

Salina: I thought so.

Salina: Some interesting facts about her because she just seems like a really fascinating person.

Salina: So she received one of the first Master of Arts degrees awarded to a woman by a Southern institution.

Salina: And then she does have specific ties to Georgia, and one being, she opened a female high school in Cartersville and she was also ministering to families in Barto County.

Salina: That's close by.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: I think that's north, like, north is right, Marietta?

Salina: Yeah, we just live here.

Nikki: Most importantly, Georgia has the most counties, or like the second most counties in the nation.

Nikki: We have a lot.

Salina: It really is a lot.

Salina: It is a lot.

Salina: Okay, that makes sense.

Salina: I'm going to go with that.

Salina: That's why I don't know.

Salina: There's so many most importantly, she fought for women missionaries to have the freedom to minister and have an equal voice in mission proceedings.

Salina: And based on what you were saying about her being a low key, not so low key feminist, so she is considered by some to be a pioneer for gender equality.

Salina: And she actually wrote from China in 1893, what women have a right to demand is perfect.

Salina: Equality seems very ahead of the times for 1893.

Nikki: Something I read was like saying that her going to China to be a missionary was almost intentional to get her away from the purview of the male controlled Southern Baptist Church.

Nikki: So she could pretty much just do what she needed to do out there.

Nikki: And they didn't really pay attention to her because she's a woman somewhere else in the world, doing good things that make the church look good.

Nikki: They're just like, you go do your thing.

Nikki: Meanwhile, she's writing letters that say things like this.

Salina: I could see that.

Salina: I think I read that she was also, like, a really strong writer.

Nikki: Wasn't everybody in the 18 hundreds and 19 hundreds, though?

Salina: Comparatively?

Salina: I'm going to go with yeah, I'm going to go with Yale, since we often choose to be illiterate in this country, so well, what are you going to do?

Salina: I know what we're going to do.

Salina: Are we going to talk about how.

Nikki: Great thou art real quick?

Salina: I hope so, because I also looked.

Nikki: It up because I was just curious about it.

Nikki: It was written in 1885 and it was originally Swedish.

Salina: Fascinating.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: I would not have expected that.

Nikki: Yeah, I think and I didn't really go down way a rabbit hole on this.

Nikki: I think it was translated to English in the 60s or the 70s.

Nikki: So it's kind of a recent song when she was singing it.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: And it's a song that's, like, ingrained in my mind, is something I'll probably never forget.

Salina: Yeah, it was really beautiful to hear.

Salina: Do you want to talk about some cut lines or do you have more references?

Nikki: No, I don't.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: Yes, we can.

Nikki: The first cut line I had when Julia was talking about her big solo between her saying she can't sing alone and Bernice asking when her performance is we talked about this earlier.

Nikki: The whole spot where she basically said all the times that she's had trouble singing in public, she wants it to be perfect.

Nikki: She clutches up her throat, closes up.

Nikki: Her mom had planned a recital for her at the library.

Nikki: That's when she sounded like Peewee Herman.

Nikki: And at Esther Cutsinger's wedding, she was so bad, the child organist cussed her out afterwards.

Nikki: So I feel like that's just it sets the stage for how terrified this unflappable person is.

Salina: Yeah, I think they should have left.

Nikki: That in, but I do, too.

Nikki: The other part I think they should have left in is another exchange between Bernice, which I feel Bernice and the Reverend, which I feel like you maybe just alluded to.

Nikki: She says she's cooking on all circuits.

Nikki: Then she also says, it seems to me that people are always interpreting the Bible in a way that will support their own personal prejudices.

Nikki: This may have turned me off of him.

Nikki: He says, oh, you mean like certain feminists who would have us believe that God is a woman?

Nikki: And I guess it's Bernice.

Nikki: Maybe it's Julia.

Salina: I think it's Julia says, I don't know.

Nikki: Many feminists would say that I believe God is a spirit.

Nikki: Bernice must say, Well, I certainly don't believe God's a woman.

Nikki: Why not?

Nikki: Because if he were this is my favorite line probably ever, then men would be the ones walking around wearing high heels, taking my doll and having their upper lip waxed.

Nikki: And then she says, again, taking into the historical context of these teachings in this passage you're talking about, paul was simply referring to a few big mouthed women who had converted over from their pagan religion and were causing a lot of trouble in the church.

Nikki: Just drives home the point that people can interpret things various and sundry ways well.

Salina: And I think historically, religious texts have been used very specifically to support personal prejudices.

Salina: It's been used to support racism, sexism, homophobia.

Nikki: It just has it's marriages between a man and a woman.

Salina: Oh, boy.

Salina: So, you know, it's basically just like confirmation bias.

Salina: It's just too darn bad.

Nikki: Yeah, it is too darn bad.

Nikki: For the point that Charlene says, for what possible reason could God not want women to spread the word.

Nikki: What reason?

Salina: Yeah, keep teeing me up, lady.

Nikki: The minister, of course, counters that with it's not for us to question, which I feel like is the easiest way.

Salina: Always the answer.

Salina: Yeah, it's divine.

Salina: So we can't talk about it.

Salina: I'm like, nobody said we can't talk about it.

Salina: Nobody said that.

Salina: Otherwise there wouldn't be all of these schools dedicating to studying the thing top to bottom.

Salina: Souped, nuts and everything in between.

Nikki: We got more to say and Salina's got way more in extra sugar.

Nikki: So our next episode is episode 21.

Nikki: Ted bear.

Nikki: Yeah, just keep going along.

Nikki: And men I don't like, we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage.

Nikki: We're on instagram and Facebook at Sweett and TV.

Nikki: You can email us at

Nikki: And we got a lovely email this last week, Salina, from listener.

Nikki: Colleen and I fangirled over it for a little while.

Nikki: I definitely texted Salina.

Nikki: I was like, oh, my gosh, look at this.

Nikki: And she said she's listening and enjoying it.

Nikki: So it's very exciting for me.

Salina: It absolutely made my night.

Nikki: It was lovely.

Salina: It was very sweet.

Salina: Thank you.

Salina: It really means a lot.

Salina: Not that we ever expect anybody to, but it means a lot when we get some feedback so that we know that we don't need to adjust.

Nikki: It's true.

Nikki: It was lovely.

Nikki: And our website, WW dot, where we put all of our show notes, which include our references.

Nikki: And we've got extra sugar this week.

Nikki: I think you might have already mentioned this, but you're talking about women in the ministry.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: It's going to be a good one.

Salina: Well, you know what that means.

Nikki: What?

Nikki: Salina?

Salina: We'll see you around the bin.

Salina: Bye.

Salina: Welcome to this week's edition of extra sugar.

Salina: So the episode's religious themes and specifically its look at women in southern Baptist ministry inspired me to dig deeper.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: So what I do want to say is, unfortunately, unlike the rest of this, it's going to be me talking a lot.

Salina: But what I want you to do is stop me and let me know if you have any questions.

Salina: Because if you have questions, it's very possible that anyone else that's listening may have the same question.

Nikki: Teeing up tough questions.

Nikki: Got it.

Salina: Perfect.

Salina: And I can't promise I'll know the answer, but I'll do my very best.

Salina: And if it's something that's really outstanding, we'll find a way to make sure that we bring that back.

Nikki: Outstanding.

Salina: We're starting a mini series on our extra sugar.

Salina: Extra sugar, right.

Salina: Just a little sweeter.

Salina: So, specifically what I wanted to know is what is the southern baptist convention's current position on women pastors and how much or little have things evolved since 1988 because it felt like something was brewing.

Salina: No?

Salina: Okay.

Salina: But first I want to do a couple of things.

Salina: I want to include a disclaimer about this entire piece and then I think that we need to do a quick primer on some of the terminology and the players, because what's more fun than learning terminology guide?

Salina: So buckle in, guys.

Salina: It's going to be a wild ride.

Salina: So my disclaimer is that today I am going to focus specifically on the Southern Baptist Convention because Charlene is Southern Baptist, but I don't want people to think that we're picking on the SBC specifically.

Salina: Rather I had to focus this discussion or we'd be here for 22 years because there's a lot and there's a lot of difference between different denominations.

Salina: I will, however, link to a 2014 article that names the US.

Salina: Religious groups that generally do and don't allow the ordination of women so that you can see that for yourselves.

Salina: In terms of the terminology, designing Women specifically use the term minister.

Salina: While most of what I read referred to pastors, for the purposes of this segment, either term refers to someone who teaches or preaches to the congregation and or is a leader in the church.

Salina: Nikki, you also gave us some helpful background on different positions in the Southern Baptist Church as well.

Salina: So rewind if you don't remember it's, there also to be ordained.

Salina: I just don't want to take for granted, like, I don't know how much or how little people know.

Salina: I did go to a Southern Baptist church for a while when I was younger, so I know some things, but I certainly don't know everything.

Salina: Not even an 8th of everything.

Salina: But to be ordained means one has gained official status as a priest, minister, or other religious authority through a sanctioned process.

Salina: Through my reading, that process really differs depending on what denomination it is, where you are, what church it is, like, all kinds of different factors.

Salina: So that could look fairly different from place to place.

Salina: But some places are really rigorous, other places are less rigorous.

Nikki: It's a lot.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: What is the Southern Baptist Convention, or SBC, as I will probably be referring to it for my la the rest of my life.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So I would call it a non governing body of the Southern Baptist churches across the country.

Salina: And don't let the Southern part throw you, because SBC is all across the country.

Salina: They refer to themselves as a collection of like minded churches working in cooperation with one another to impact the whole world with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Nikki: Does that mean?

Nikki: There are Southern Baptist churches out west.

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: Like in the Midwest?

Salina: Okay, absolutely.

Nikki: And they call themselves Southern Baptist.

Salina: They're still part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: There are also Baptist churches that are not part of the Southern Baptist.

Nikki: Got it.

Salina: Okay, so the SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the country, and they're guided by what's called the Baptist Faith and Message.

Salina: I'm thinking of it as, like, a constitution specifically for the SBC.

Salina: It's also referred to as the BF and M, which consists of several.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: Just sometimes you got to laugh.

Salina: I don't know.

Nikki: I'm going to have fun with that acronym later.

Salina: Yes, but this consists of several scripture based position statements and this was last revised, like, as a whole in 2000.

Salina: It hasn't been around as long as the SBC itself.

Salina: Okay?

Salina: This constitution, if you will, I'm sure someone will absolutely hate me calling it that, but they are guiding principles.

Salina: They have been around since 1925.

Salina: The convention, on the other hand, was formed in Augusta, Georgia.

Salina: So there's a Georgia connection for you in 1845.

Salina: Here's the thing we can't overlook, okay?

Salina: I'm not saying this is the case today, but let's talk a little bit about how this convention formed in the first place.

Salina: I honestly didn't know this until I looked into this a few months ago.

Salina: I think we've talked about on the show that you and I watched season two a long time ago.

Salina: And so this episode sparked a lot of interest.

Salina: Then I started researching.

Salina: At that time, what I did not know was that it was formed largely over the issue of slavery.

Salina: Southern Baptists disagreed with the antislavery attitudes and activities of Northern Baptists, and about a century later, they would oppose the civil rights movement.

Salina: But in 1995, they denounced racism and they also repudiated their past defense of slavery and their opposition to civil rights.

Salina: And at least at that time, in the 90s, they were one of the most ethnically diverse Protestant denominations in North America.

Nikki: Really?

Salina: It's kind of interesting, right?

Salina: You wouldn't necessarily think so.

Salina: I'm going to tell you, it gets confusing.

Nikki: I was going to say, if it's a numbers game and they're the biggest Protestant denomination sure, I see what you're saying.

Salina: And I couldn't find anything.

Nikki: I'm not going to pressure you on the numbers, Salina.

Nikki: We'll just both agree that we were.

Salina: Both like, you know, I'll crack at the numbers.

Nikki: She started getting tears in her eyes.

Salina: Don't make me count.

Salina: So that's all background for you, and I am both sorry.

Salina: And you're welcome, but I just wanted us to all kind of go in on the same page.

Salina: Let's go back to that main question, though, in case you all forgot where we are, what we're doing here.

Nikki: I am right?

Salina: I just woke Nikki up.

Salina: So what is the Southern Baptist Convention's current position on women pastors?

Salina: That's answered by the BF and M.

Salina: Or again, I like that she laughs the same every time, don't y'all?

Salina: Sounds like a sandwich.

Salina: You know it's sandwiches.

Salina: Again, the BF and M is the Baptist Faith and Message, which states, while both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Salina: So from what I've gathered, this stance is widely followed by those churches who are part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Salina: However, how strictly it's interpreted and followed varies quite a bit.

Salina: So you've got more conservative churches on one end, and they don't allow women to serve in these roles at all.

Salina: And in some cases it's extended to any leadership positions, not just pastor.

Salina: In some churches, women are only allowed to teach or preach other women and children, but not men.

Salina: Some churches allow women to minister, but they're not allowed to be pastors or elders.

Salina: I like a nice glass ceiling in the church, don't you?

Salina: Sure.

Salina: And then more progressive leaning from oh my goodness, that is beautiful.

Salina: More progressive leaning churches allow women to fill any position except that of senior pastor.

Salina: So then last May, things came to a boiling point when Saddleback church this is one of the largest churches in the convention.

Salina: This is in California, by the way.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: They ordain three women as staff pastors, I want to stop real quick and mention something.

Salina: When I say large, you want to take a guess at how many people are there each week?

Salina: 3524 to 28,000.

Nikki: That's like college football size.

Salina: It's crazy, isn't it?

Nikki: Thousand.

Nikki: Where did they go?

Salina: I found, like, different numbers.

Salina: So that's why I said it's one of the largest, because some things that it's like the second largest, the fourth largest in that range of 24 to 20.

Salina: I don't care.

Salina: 24,000.

Nikki: 28,000 of believers in one place.

Salina: That is a lot people rising up and then watching football afterwards.

Nikki: They're all there.

Nikki: It's convenient.

Salina: Can I get an Aven?

Salina: Amen.

Nikki: Amen.

Salina: All right.

Salina: Anyways, so I don't know if this timing for ordaining these women was strategic or not, but the next month was the SBC's annual meeting, so it feels a little strategic.

Nikki: I thought you meant during a pandemic when nobody was paying attention.

Nikki: Bigger problems.

Nikki: Let them be ministers, who cares?

Salina: Oh, no, we'll still have this be a problem, don't you worry.

Salina: Sure, some sizable portion of the world's population is dying, but women in the ministry anyway, so I was really floored by how much their annual meeting was covered in the press by huge news outlets and every stripe in between.

Nikki: Because of this issue.

Salina: Because of a bunch of different issues.

Nikki: Sure, okay.

Salina: But also, I just think these things are widely covered.

Nikki: And I had I think that's true, especially in like, election years.

Salina: I'm glad that you mentioned election years.

Salina: Okay, so first that makes sense.

Salina: And there's obviously some things about the church, some churches are they back different candidates.

Nikki: Whatever.

Salina: The idea that church and state are separate, that's an idea, right?

Salina: It's laughable, but it sure is an idea.

Nikki: Laughable.

Nikki: You cannot convince me of that.

Salina: What was crazy for me is how much these things sounded like news for a congressional race or something doing guys are holding press conferences.

Salina: I mean, it's just like the whole bit, and it's very political.

Salina: There were questions swirling in the lead up to the annual meeting whether Saddleback could be kicked out for this move to ordain these women, but as far as I could tell, they're still part of the convention.

Salina: I mean, I literally just looked up.

Nikki: The membership and they're still pay their money.

Salina: And I don't know how that works.

Salina: I have to admit I didn't look into that part of it because I was like, keep Nikki here five minutes longer.

Salina: Live.

Nikki: I'm not a horrible person, you guys.

Salina: I'm thinking of you.

Salina: But I think that's a very good question.

Salina: Okay, so I did find that the newly elected president, he was just elected last year.

Salina: His name is Ed Litton.

Salina: I hope I'm pronouncing that right.

Salina: It's L-I-T-T-O-N.

Salina: But anyways, I found his reaction to the whole issue interesting, so I would call him probably moderate.

Salina: Based on what I read, he's definitely more progressive than very conservative folks who are part of the SBC, but he still believes and follows the BF and M.

Salina: I'm sorry, Nikki, but he wants the widest interpretation possible.

Salina: Widest?

Salina: Yes.

Salina: That's W-I-D as in dog E-S-T just.

Nikki: Feels important to clarify.

Salina: I think in this case, it absolutely feels really important to clarify.

Salina: So thank you.

Salina: You're welcome.

Salina: So he says in a press conference that the BF and M doesn't specify anything about ordination.

Salina: And he said that the local association should work it out, and then they would quote, unquote, toe the line.

Salina: I'm telling you, this whole thing is a thing.

Nikki: I like being told I can work it out myself.

Salina: That's nice, right?

Salina: I like that that's better than what it could be.

Salina: I'm just saying, like, out of all the interpretations that he could be taking, that is probably better.

Salina: I also wanted to share this one thing that I read that I think gives us some insight into him and where he kind of stands on things.

Salina: He did catch some flak over letting his wife, Kathy, help him teach a sermon series on marriage.

Salina: I share that for two reasons.

Salina: One, to show how he is interpreting women's participation in this world.

Salina: And then two, as an example of how strictly some follow the SBC ground rules.

Salina: It's a marriage series.

Nikki: Get it?

Salina: Kathy, shouldn't you have two voices that there's two people in that marriage?

Salina: But are there really?

Salina: Are there?

Salina: I got so many jokes that I'm.

Nikki: Going to keep myself.

Nikki: I'm trying.

Salina: My question became, how in the world did we get here?

Salina: And around that time that I was asking myself this question, I stumbled upon an article in The Conversation by Susan M.

Salina: Shaw.

Salina: She's a professor at Oregon State University, but she's also an ordained pastor.

Salina: We'll link to this article as well, so folks can read it if they'd like.

Salina: So she highlighted some specific points in recent history that are very relevant to what we're talking about today.

Salina: So I wanted to share those.

Salina: One is that the first woman to be ordained by a Southern Baptist church was Addie Davis in 1964 at the Watt Street Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina.

Salina: Now, I don't have the information about her specifically, but relevant to what we were talking about earlier about, I think, what you could at best call a spotty history with some racial issues and the belief and not being for civil rights and all of this and outwardly proclaiming that Addie Davis, I believe, was a supporter of civil rights.

Salina: So I do think that's an interesting difference.

Salina: This woman who's being ordained in the mid 60s, she is speaking out for people's rights when the church is against them.

Salina: It's just interesting by the 19 get it, Addy?

Salina: By the 1970s, more women are becoming interested in ordainment and more women become attending began attending Southern Baptist Seminaries.

Salina: By 1983, the Women in Ministry SBC was formed, and they held their first meeting the next year.

Salina: In 1984, SBC developed a resolution stating women should be excluded from pastoral leadership and encouraged the service of women in all aspects of church life and work other than pastoral functions and leadership roles entailing ordination.

Salina: My theory is that this time period may be what inspired LBT to write this episode.

Salina: My guess is this is sitting up in her head for a while.

Salina: So Shaw, who wrote this article, she also argued that by the 1990s, women flocking the ministry were met with substantial backlash by fundamentalists who took over some pretty key areas of the SBC.

Salina: Scholars were removed from teaching positions and replaced with those who supported the exclusion of women from ordination.

Salina: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary borrowed women from preaching pastoral care classes.

Salina: I don't know what that means, but you probably weird that you're barring women from doing that.

Salina: Mission Board stopped appointing women to be equal positions with men, and Southern Baptist publications asserted women's submission.

Salina: So it got me thinking too, like, what do the women have to say about this?

Salina: And that sort of ran the gamma as well.

Salina: So I've read about some who've pretty publicly and pretty recently left the SBC, and then others are fine to work within the system.

Salina: They obey the Scripture as interpreted, and they serve where they can.

Salina: The group that started out as women in ministry, SBC goes on to eventually become the Southern Baptist Women in Ministry, breaking completely with the convention.

Salina: So they support and advocate for women in ministry.

Salina: Nearly 2500 Baptist women were ordained as of 2017, and 174 served as pastors in non SBC churches.

Salina: Those non SBC churches, specifically the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the alliance of Baptists, were formed in the years after SBC was dominated by these fundamentalist groups.

Salina: And the former is more moderate, the latter is more progressive, but they both support women's ordination and women in the pastorate.

Salina: So I started to think a little bit about this topic as a whole and how it relates to the show and how it relates to the things that we try and cover and explore here.

Salina: And it seems to me that it's not necessarily that different than other things that we've discussed.

Salina: There are those who like things the way they are, and then there are also those who are trying to change it.

Salina: And then I feel like most people are finding themselves somewhere in between.

Salina: And I feel like so there are some connection points there.

Salina: Me, personally, I don't understand.

Salina: I don't understand what the issue is.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I don't want to be disrespectful, and I don't want to question something I don't know.

Nikki: But I am really, really struggling for the reason I mentioned in the episode, which was Charlene's argument, which was for what possible reason?

Nikki: It doesn't make any sense.

Salina: It's hard to feel excluded in that kind of way, and especially now.

Salina: I haven't thought about these issues in a long time.

Salina: But it's not like I'm not familiar with this concept of women being silenced and relegated to these more subservient roles, including within the church.

Salina: The thing is, I just don't buy it.

Salina: I didn't buy it when I was a little kid.

Salina: That's what I was talking about earlier.

Salina: I didn't buy it when I was a leader in FCA, a Fellowship of Christian athletes, and I didn't buy it when I was a youth leader in my church.

Salina: I don't buy it now, and I don't believe it.

Salina: Because if you feel exactly what you're saying, if you feel called to serve the Lord that way, to bring others along, to teach them, to lead them, I don't see any reason that your sex, your gender, the color of your skin, your sexual orientation, or anything else for that matter, should keep you from that.

Nikki: Amen.

Salina: I mean, it's just very strange to me.

Salina: But here's some things that we do know that I think is also interesting to the current discussion.

Salina: SBC's membership is declining.

Salina: 2020 marked the 14th year of these declines from a peak of about 16 million members in 2006.

Salina: Weekly attendance has also dropped by nearly a third in those same years.

Salina: I'm not at all suggesting it's because they won't let women become pastors, but I can't imagine it's helping and not wholly unrelated.

Salina: And something else that we just have to mention is that the SBC is currently in the midst of an investigation of widespread sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches.

Salina: So they have a big responsibility on their shoulders right now to thoroughly and thoughtfully address these allegations that the executive committee mishandled abuse reports and mistreated survivors.

Salina: One way to start healing these wounds and changing the culture of abuse bring women in, bring them into leadership roles and into decision making.

Salina: No, it won't solve every problem.

Salina: But like Bernice said, just remember, after Christ was crucified on the cross and all his men had gone home, it was women who stayed until the bitter end.

Salina: And it was women who first heralded the news of his resurrection.

Salina: So just put that in your pulpit and smoke it.

Salina: And that's this week's extra sugar.


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