The secret weapon of the church

Even though it was a decade ago, I’ve always remembered these remarks by Jennie Chancey:

If a woman is called to singlehood (no desire to marry and bear children), she does not have a lesser role in the church or the community. Indeed, she has a vital role. Single women truly should be the “secret weapon” of the church.

While this next reference was for something from 100 years ago—and while it likely involved married as well as single women—it made me think of the secret weapon reference straight away:

These women were motivated by religious conviction. They wrote to editors of newspapers on the issue [a referendum to allow religious instruction and Bible reading in government schools]. Underlining the religious belief that motivated many supporters of the Bible in State Schools League, ‘H. S. W.’ drew on passages from the Bible to urge women to action in 1906.

Women of Queensland, we are fighting for God’s cause. Come to the front, delay is dangerous. Be not among those women who are at ease in Zion (Isaiah xxxii. 11)’ she urged…

[T]he Vice-president of the Women’s League, A. Maria Cole, also drew on the Bible in her letter arguing for the passing of the Referendum. She concluded by a rallying cry. ‘[V]ote “Yes” for the sake of the children of the country we love, and the Master whom we serve,’ she urged readers of The Brisbane Courier [newspaper].

The Women’s League made their views known in a flyer in which they stated emphatically that the Bible was the source of morality. ‘No other teaching than the Bible can make our children grow up pure, loving, truthful and honest’, they stated….

The Brisbane Courier noted that ‘a feature of the referendum on the question of Bible reading in State schools was the large number of devoted ladies who volunteered to assist at the various booths.’

Quote sources

  1. Chancey, J. (2004). “Are Single Women Not Needed at LAF?”. Ladies Against Feminism. Available http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/Comments_and_Letters_23/Are_Single_Women_Not_Needed_at_LAF_12521001252.shtml. Last accessed 25th Apr 2016.
  2. Perkins, Y, (2010). Queensland’s Bible in State Schools Referendum 1910: A Case Study of Democracy. [BA thesis, University of Sydney], pp. 23-24, 51
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