by Kelly Pelton (written18 Dec 2020)

It's like telling black people, "you can't preach"
if there were a verse that seemed to forbid
a person of color from pastoring,
and you took it literally, getting rid

of the principle of "God's not partial"
to exclude them from your church leadership
and assign them separate roles. Janitors
and secretaries are vital; "headship"

is reserved for white folk. All are equal,
you'd say, and essential; subordinate
does not mean less than, and why question God's
design? He wasn't black when incarnate,

after all, and neither were the twelve.
Blacks who want to lead are ambitious, such
an unChristian trait to have in the church,
you'd say. Let them teach other blacks; this much

is allowed by scripture. They'll be content
when to God's will for their lives they submit;
separate roles from whites but equal value
is our story, and we're sticking to it.

Substitute "black people" for "the women"
in your arguments to subordinate
and find yourself in the company of
people who treat others as second-rate.