Grace Ji-Sun Kim: Women rise up

RNS asked some of the country’s top faith leaders, scholars and activists to consider what changes the religion landscape will see in 2018. Find all their predictions here.

(RNS) — 2017 began with the worldwide Women’s March to protest the need for women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion and workers' rights. It gathered women and men from all backgrounds in a world-wide phenomenon that kicked off the "10 Actions for the First 100 Days" campaign.

The women’s movement continued throughout the year with the Women’s Convention, held in October in Detroit. This helped lead  to the #MeToo social campaign, which protested sexual harassment which ended the careers prominent male figures in film and television such as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose. Then TIME magazine announced their Person of the Year as "The Silence Breakers," the women and men who spoke out about sexual harassment and assault.

Women have had an incredible year of influence in the society at large. As we now enter 2018, my prediction is that women will continue to be influential in the wider society as well as in the churches. The hashtag #ChurchToo began in the fall to address that the church is not void of violence against women. At the end of 2017, the #SilenceIsNotSpiritual campaign began targeting the silence around sexual assault and harassment in the church. 

As all these movements go into 2018, I believe that they will become prophetic voices in the Church. The Catholic Church went through a reformation 500 years ago in 1517; the church today will need to enter a second reformation to fight for women’s voices, women’s equality and the end to violence set against women. New teachings of women’s equality in the church will transform the Church and reform the patriarchal leaders in the Church. Not only is this going to try to dismantle patriarchy, but also white supremacy, which is so embedded in our churches.

The other side of the coin is that white supremacy movements will become more vitriolic in response to advances by the woman’s movements, and these tendencies will continue to be soto voce encouraged by the White House. Thus, the danger of incidents such as we saw in Charlottesville, Va., may become more common against women’s groups, churches, and universities.

The women’s movement is not a white women’s movement, but a movement which includes all women of different gender, ethnicity sexuality, and socio-economic status.  All women will create a shift, a reformation, in how the Church is structured and lived out. It is important to listen to the wise women’s voices which will reformed the Church once again and make a paradigm shift for gender equality. Since so many women of color are involved in this movement, we can also expect a movement towards racial equality. Therefore, 2018 will be the year of women leaders who will create a reformation that will guide the Church into a new existence.

(Grace Ji-Sun Kim is an associate professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion and the author of "Embracing the Other." The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)


  1. For 2018, some reality about Islam and religion in general will be in the forefront. Let us begin with the reality of Islam:

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi————–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    “1. Belief in Allah”

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    “2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gi-b G-nab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “crea-tionist”.

    “3. To believe in the existence of angels.”

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and “tin–ker be-lls”. Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    “5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone.”

    Mohammed spent thirty days “fasting” (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the “two-minute” cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

  2. Uddin overlooked the Trump/DeVos/Pence/GOP war on our public schools, their endless campaign to force all taxpayers to support divisive sectarian private schools through vouchers and tax credits, a serious attack on the core of religious liberty. — Edd Doerr

  3. … deep disagreements on questions of sexual morality. As Professor Doug Laycock explains, “On abortion, contraception, gay rights, and same-sex marriage, conservative religious leaders condemn as grave evils what many other Americans view as fundamental human rights.”

    No, it’s more like whether the Free Exercise Clause can somehow outweigh other provisions, starting with the Establishment Clause and ending up with the 14th Amendment. If someone can be denied equal protection of the law, say, because someone else has religious objections, then it makes the Constitution self-contradictory, and imbalanced. It’s already a problem raised in Hobby Lobby, where, as RBG pointed out in dissent, it empowers businesses, which are not a faith community, to apply religious beliefs to third parties, i.e., employees, customers, tenants, clients, et al.

    There are many who consider as an injury to themselves any conduct which they have a distaste for, and resent it as an outrage to their feelings; as a religious bigot, when charged with disregarding the religious feelings of others, has been known to retort that they disregard his feelings by persisting in their abominable worship or creed. But there is no parity between the feeling of a person for his own opinion and the feeling of another who is offended at his holding it, no more than between the desire of a thief to take a purse and the desire of the right owner to keep it.
    —On Liberty, J.S. Mill

  4. And now for some 2018 reality:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  5. ok, I am a 65 year old woman who had to come into “womanhood” in the 70’s so I know a little bit about it, but not much when it comes to societal mores: I am married for 48 years but it hasn’t been sunshine and muffins and struggled to encourage my two children, one male and one female, to grow in the world from that time till now: After a completely transforming spiritual experience in 1992 that literally turned my whole world view upside down or rather right side up, I have a few comments to make that may help others who are trying to find their WHOLENESS in a world that lives in divisions and dichotomies:

    People are born with a tendency towards a more feminine or masculine world view and behave more heavily towards one side of their brain: The work here is to BALANCE BOTH SIDES which is the whole point of religion: I noticed in the past 25 years since my experience that religion doesn’t want to balance both sides of the brain and come back into a UNITY of wholeness but they want to jump on the same bandwagons the world does, and the world is ruled by opposites that are struggling AGAINST this balance in every conceivable way possible. IT IS NOBODYS FAULT but it is everbody’s responsibilty to fix that problem and this is the YEAR TO DO IT: We can be balanced and STILL be happy (the fear of the ego is that there is no way to be happy if we can’t fight for something more to gain from life): The SOUL on the other hand gets to realize that we not only were made for this happiness and wholeness but it finds such pleasure in helping to bring that balance that it chomps at the bit to do so once it is truly liberated: SO WHAT WE NEED is not cultural or sexual or political liberation but we need a SOUL LIBERATION FROM OUR OWN EGOISM that is doomed and always ready to destroy both us and the earth: Not its fault but it doesn’t matter anymore: Its time to rise up above our own lower nature and FIND true FREEDOM.

    my youtubes:

    my creation (TIL movement) A SELF HELP GROUP to raise our soul above our ego: Start a meeting in your area and help each other thrive 🙂

  6. Those of us who know and love our LORD, Jesus Christ, say unto thee, Lucifer, GET THEE BEHIND US. We are “One nation under GOD” and HE, the LORD, is returning SOON to the earth to destroy all wickedness, and bring PEACE and LOVE to all who remain.

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