Over a year ago, I first read about the former porn/adult entertainer Melissa Scott turned preacher through the blog Mothrust. Recently at the gym, I succumbed to Marie Claire, one of those magazines that tell women how to be beautiful on the outside. Like Playboy, sometimes one can be pleasantly surprised at the sorta in-depth articles… slightly juicy, fairly educational, occasionally well-written.
In this month’s Marie Claire one can read all about the former porn-star turned born-again multi-millionaire preacher. I’ve avoided writing about Pastor Melissa Scott for over a year, partly because … I don’t know why… too good to be true?
So this one’s for the guys out there…. Look at what you’re missing by not going to church. Melissa Scott plays right into the mythology of hot female nymphomaniacs crowding the pews of repressive churches. Though I appreciate the desire to deride her, and for some the desire to ride her, I can’t help but secretly cheer for her.
She broke into one of the most difficult good-old-boys clubs out there… the Christian pulpit. So what if she is making millions? So what if she qualifies as a spiritual con-artist? So what if she once posed naked?
Scott’s found a way to head a church in a religion that really dislikes women behind the pulpit. Who cares if she slept and married her way to the top? Who cares if it is a result of nepotism? What money-making machine isn’t a result of inappropriate mostly-male-dominated nepotism?
How can I be so lenient with her, as one who gets sick to her stomach reading about corrupt, money-grubbing Bakker-esque spiritual/Christian empires? It sickens me that her fellow prosperity-doctrined motivational speaker/preacher colleague Joel Osteen is about to visit Minneapolis and pack the Target Center like a bloated rock-star.
Neither have any formal seminary training.
Maybe I like to see the born-again Fundies squirm. According to Paul, women should NOT be the head of the church. Of course we all know Jesus doesn’t say anything about this, so you’ll find some left-handed Christian churches with female and gay pastors. But female pastors are still very much a minority… and seldom, if ever, in the evangelical fundie circles.
A couple years ago I dressed up as Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann for Halloween. I coined the phrase, “A vote for me is a vote for Jesus.” Combine it with a firm handshake, and introducing myself as Michele Bachmann, and I found an easy way to make enemies in Minneapolis.
Michele found a way to circumvent the prevailing fundie/evangelical philosophy that women should not work outside of the home and rarely should be in roles of power over men by letting us all know that she and her hubbie had prayed about it and that her husband not only allowed her to run for the office, but that God spoke to them and said it was okay.
Wildly popular, that Halloween I was invited to appear as candidate Bachmann at a party, where I found an assassin hired to kill me. People spewed so much anger and hatred and hexes at her/me that it got me thinking. Sure, we all love to make fun of the "crazy" Fundies and conservatives (you have to be a little crazy to run for office), but in all the poking fun, I noticed a serious inability to take these people seriously... while blinded by fear and hatred towards them.
Even conservative Christian MILFs are capable of ruling and ruining the world. Look at Germany. Or don't. Not here to debate the hotness of Angela Merkel.
Bachmann not only won the election after that Halloween, but was RE-ELECTED two years later. And she’s giving it another go in 2010.
BTW, I do have pictures of "Michelle Bachmann" in a series of politically compromising poses. Pictures of her with the male stripper are unavailable, but there were several reliable witnesses.
Likewise, his-herstory repeats itself with Melissa Scott. In the 1920-30s, infamous tabloid-friendly female pentacostal evangelical Aimee Semple McPherson started an evangelical church movement that has tendrils all over the world… the Foursquare Churches.
For those Christians who are okay with women behind the pulpit, Melissa Scott’s story is as legit as any other charismatic male sheep-herder. For those Christians who aren’t okay with women behind the pulpit… it’s a shame. Women are hardwired, either by nature or nurture, to not be ashamed of their spirituality… whether bullshit spirituality or less-bullshit spirituality.
(I really dislike that word “spirituality” which imo is better defined as mind-body wisdom.)
The sexual and the spiritual are twins, not identical, but twins. Currently as Cain and Abel, one tries to off the other.
It’s a shame that men still hold a monopoly on telling people how to run their spiritual and sexual lives. It’s a shame that women are still demonized for how they do or don’t express their spiritual and sexual lives.
Sure, Scott may have shown her tits and twat to strangers, but that is no reason to blow her off as a pastor. After all, as hypocritical as it is for mega churches to pay mega dollars to mega pastors, she still has as much right to the claim of “Christian” as Palin, Bachmann, Billy Graham or Obama.
The Marie Claire article tries to follow the money and tells a fairly straight story. I don’t like how the author uses loaded words to describe Scott: she coos, licks the tips of her fingers to turn bible pages, flings her endless chestnut locks, is doe-eyed, smacks her berry-stained lips, flashes a smile.
I dare you to sit through any male-led church service and NOT notice the not-so-subtle machismo going on behind the pulpit. I’d prefer Melissa Scott’s story to be a reason for Christians to debate the doctrine of whether or not to allow women to lead a church. I’d rather not see her story as a round-about way to demonize female sexuality… just as I get tired of all the attention paid to the fashion sense of female politicians.
I need to be careful what I ask for. Scott may be just as easily used to teach the virtues of a reformed born-again life as Bristol Palin is tapped to be a spokeswoman for teenage abstinence. Also shows the conservative penchant for mixing re-virginization with born-again status.
As long as we cast women like Palin and Bachmann into the MILF category and don’t take them seriously as leaders capable of (mis)shaping public policy, why should women look at male politicians as anything but overweight, insecure breeders mishandling and misinterpreting power they take for granted? The saddest part of this story being that Bachmann had to get permission from her husband and a male-characterized god to run for the position.
Same goes for pastors. In the end I may have Melissa Scott’s back in the quest to shake up the doctrine of male-dominated pulpits, but I have to take her seriously as someone capable of misusing her power in the spiritual department (ie, the prosperity doctrine).
In the end I can’t turn a blind eye to her ability to not only lead a congregation, but to mislead. The saddest part of this story being that Scott feels as though she NEEDS to be forgiven for her sexually explicit past.
Related Articles and Sites:
Connecting the Dots: The Link Between Gay Marriage and Mass Murders
(this gem also describes the sexual revolution, which i define as women claiming reproductive and sexual rights, as another reason behind this spring's mass murders)
xxxchurch.com (a place to get over sex addictions... pre/extra-marital lust is a bitch)
The Global Campaign to Stop Stoning and Killing Women!
Evangelist Joel Osteen Coming to Minneapolis (learn how to love God AND your money)
Teen Mom Bristol Palin: The New Face of Abstinence
Women in Ministry (a man's interpretation of scripture regarding women's place in the church)
Women in Ministry (a woman's blog dedicated to discussing doctrine of women behind the pulpit)