WATERTOWN, N.Y. Aug 21, 2006 (AP)— The minister of a church that dismissed a female Sunday School teacher after adopting what it called a literal interpretation of the Bible says a woman can perform any job outside of the church.
The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert on Aug. 9 with a letter explaining that the church had adopted an interpretation that prohibits women from teaching men. She had taught there for 54 years.
The letter quoted the first epistle to Timothy: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."
The Rev. Timothy LaBouf, who also serves on the Watertown City Council, issued a statement saying his stance against women teaching men in Sunday school would not affect his decisions as a city leader in Watertown, where all five members of the council are men but the city manager who runs the city's day-to-day operations is a woman.
"I believe that a woman can perform any job and fulfill any responsibility that she desires to" outside of the church, LaBouf wrote Saturday.
Mayor Jeffrey Graham, however, was bothered by the reasons given Lambert's dismissal.
"If what's said in that letter reflects the councilman's views, those are disturbing remarks in this day and age," Graham said. "Maybe they wouldn't have been disturbing 500 years ago, but they are now."
Lambert has publicly criticized the decision, but the church did not publicly address the matter until Saturday, a day after its board met.
In a statement, the board said other issues were behind Lambert's dismissal, but it did not say what they were.
ok ladies, when are you going to get it. they dont like you. the bible (which was written and edited by men) is against you. all the christians want is for you to donate money and bake a cake when the bake sale comes along. you cant be a priest but you can work that booth at festival time. this is ridiculous. how did this guy get to be a councilman. i understand that woman make up 51% of the population but i guarantee that this asswipe will get elected again. some women will vote for this clown because he has "good christian values" thereby throwing all other women under the bus. quit going to the church and start raising your daughters differently and you will be doing them a great favor. i think of all the dogma and guilt laid on me during eight years of catholic school (where incidentally, i got my ass kicked for questioning everything....suprise) and i wont have that done to my kids. religious training is the worst training a child can get.
sorry i had to vent like this but it just pisses me off. i hope this woman sues this church for all its worth. i guess it took 54 years to find this passage.