A Catholic men’s organization invited Dan Barker to debate a Catholic theologian on the topic “Do The Gospels Give Us The Real Jesus?” and he was publicizing it along with them. But then he spotted something he hadn’t noticed before.
On January 29, as I was updating FFRF’s Events page, I went to the AOTM website for details. (http://www.aotmclub.com) I spotted this note at the bottom of the page announcing my event:
“$12 at the door (The total cost for the night) You will get great appetizers and beverages, hear one of the best inspirational stories you have ever heard about manhood and faith. Do all this while you listen and enjoy a fabulous “Manly Meal”. Men of all creeds and ages are welcome to join in the good humor, food, and fellowship. Priests and seminarians get in free but will not be shown partiality in debate. Fathers are encouraged to bring their minor sons.”
I almost glanced over that paragraph, but the last line caught my eye: “Fathers are encouraged to bring their minor sons.” What?! What about daughters? What about mothers? It was only then that I realized this event was not just organized by men, but it was for men. For men exclusively. (What exactly is a “Manly Meal”?)
So he asked the organizer about it, and the organizer confirmed that it’s men only, and Dan said can you change it for this event and the organizer said no.
So he decided not to do it.
There was no good reason to exclude women from that event. Although I am sure the AOTM club, a private religious organization that meets in a Catholic church, would deny they are causing any harm, it seems clear to me that they are perpetuating the same Old Boys Club mentality espoused by the Pope, their church leaders, and their bible, which demeans women and tells them to “keep silent” in the church that is run by “men only.” I can’t change their minds, but I am sure not going to play along with such bronze-age discrimination.
All that and the Old Boys Club also makes rules that women are (religiously speaking) required to obey, despite having no role in making them.
Good job Dan Barker.