This blog features my essay submission to Duke University Seminary, and Chicago Theological Seminary. I was admitted to both universities, however CTS won me over with the commitment to social justice, and broadening the "Public Square." I continue to contemplate and evaluate my work in the area of Pardon Eve. My experiment is based on the evolution of women as we remove the lies, myths, and the unacceptable requirement to live by the laws of man instead of the God of Universal Truth. The essay was written to start my thesis and I continue to build on it:
2017 years plus millions more mark the time lapse between the first cardinal sin and the condition of womanhood today. The story of Adam and Eve happened before the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. According to Genesis and the mythological systems, the seminal event happened to the first two people in the entire human family. We could say it took place on the day the Creator decided it was not good for man to be lonely—during the first seven days of humanity’s existence! Yet, this very story has guided human history, and thinking, in a multitude of ways and continues to do so as if it happened yesterday. Eve’s sin was cardinal, but only the first of innumerable others committed by all of mankind for the greater part of the balance of human history, the slave trade, the Holocaust, and Hiroshima, to name a few catastrophic events. All Eve did was bite an apple, look at what we have done.
The Good News arrived 2,017 years ago and it showed up forgiving prostitutes and murderers, liars and thieves, felons and apple biters. Does the Good news apply to a lady in a garden who was tempted to bite an apple or not? His reconciliation should be retroactive and as such, extended to the forgiveness of Eve!
Jesus of Nazareth is the new way and therein lies the revolutionary impact of his arrival. He is "The Way" whose life was proactive and retroactive. I believe the God would be willing to pardon Eve.
Nevertheless, Eve continues to lie in wait for relief from her eternal sentence of disrespect and second class citizenship.
Much of the deception in the reckoning of Eve is in the telling of the story and more so, it’s recitation and recantation, in relationship to the recount of the coming of The Christ. In many ways the forgiveness of Eve has been lost in translation—misguided by logistics. Without dispute, the most common source of the story of Eve’s deadly transgression is the Bible. The account is told as a part of the book of Genesis, but what is never noted and always ignored is that by the time her conviction is overturned by the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, 2017 Christmas seasons ago, she had suffered, the balance of human history and negative human thinking.
The balance of human history is not clearly represented in the five-hundred pages or 39 books that it takes to move from Genesis to the Book of Matthew because our minds don’t make the mental or mathematical leap.
The life of Jesus of Nazareth, as the line of demarcation between a felonized Eve and a free one, seems fuzzy to the point of elusiveness. However, the line is the same monumental strait, that when crossed, allows the redeemed drug dealer to leave the prison gates and lead the community’s youth onto a path of self-respect and productivity or a murderer to walk out and protect the weak and wanting. Actually, the line is not fuzzy, at all. The path of redemption is clear; It’s the math that’s fuzzy. Eve’s equality is stifled by our minds because we fail to compute that Jesus professed forgiveness on behalf of Eve, too! No follower of Jesus can continue to fail to acknowledge this fact. On Sunday morning, its perpetuation , is most evident by who is allowed in and out of pulpits. Ecclesiastical authorities read the Bible, but they don't do the math.
Now , the great news about the "good news" is that the United States of America is founded upon a system of theology dedicated to the proposition that Eve is equal. It is hard to imagine, that out of the whole of human history, millions of years, trapped by mythology, that women have only had the right to fight for equality, in this country in particular, for 250 years. In spite of the despicable truth of human history, that Eve suffers persistent scorn, in it’s truest form, our country is predicated upon her right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By this symbiotic truth—the redemption of Jesus of Nazareth, plus the US Constitution, Eve's descendants possess the ways and means to demand their equality. And, as a matter of historical immanence, it must be given.
Before Jesus of Nazareth women were cursed by Genesis for all time. After Jesus of Nazareth, all people are forgiven, including women, and they have choices over their lives and over their bodies. Choices denied to them by the overwhelming balance of human history. Ecclesiastical authorities, who are not doing the math fail to understand and see this.
Eve deserves a pardon from all of us! Temptation to eat from the tree of good and evil was too great. She was convinced against guidance, that the serpent’s assurances were true. Eve accepted his gift and then she also gave it to Adam; he ate the fruit as well. And yet her crime is prosecuted and persecuted for all time.
God, in knowing their deeds, had mercy on them and gave them skins of clothing. He sent them out of the Garden of Eden and into the world forever. Eve’s actions resulted in a life outside of happiness.
Though Adam did not protest taking the fruit, the greater burden of transgression fell on the shoulders of Eve. She had taken the first bite. Nevertheless, they would suffer the cost of their actions together.
Ultimately they were given mercy to live, but it would be outside the protected environment they had always known as they were forced to go into a world where they were responsible for making difficult choices.
Eve received her sanction: she would suffer in childbearing and would desire after her husband, even as he would "rule over her existence—" hers would become the role of an underling.
As for Adam, in his exile, he was sentenced to working the very ground from which he had been formed.
Eve carried Shame, Blame, and Guilt over the pain and suffering her actions caused her family. She had been created as “a good thing” and brought forward to help Adam; she forfeited the glory of her role. Instead, she became the excuse of his suffering, abuse, disrespect, and objectification. Before the first bite were they companions? Did they see each other?
Women have made great strides, created wondrous movements and supported those suffering through the ages. Women have carried babies, and upheld families— immediate and extended, created change in opportunities, education, and our environment. It is time Eve receives a pardon from the mental limitations placed on us by old mythology.
How many birthing pains per child, per generation before Eve, our grandmothers, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters can mark Eve's time served and be granted forgiveness by us? Did that one action damn her to a sentence of life, upon life…upon life…upon life? No matter her giving, nourishing, nurturing or sustaining of humanity, her punishment seems to be embedded in our thinking with an eternal sense of inadequacy and self-loathing. Her monumental strides and innovative contributions fall beneath the shadow cast upon her. Must she accept less for equal or greater work than the Adams of the world? Must she pretend to be unaware? Must she feign ignorance and substandard intellect to receive support from the Adams of the world? Must she first work her body to introduce her mind? Must she cover her authentic self, makeup, hair and eyelashes, tucks and silicone in order to be accepted as beautiful? Must she cast her eyes away and pretend she alone is the apple of Adam’s eye? Even though it was he, who was once her companion, and he who saw only her…before the bite.
Eve needs relief from the shame, blame, and guilt that settled upon her for eating the forbidden fruit. She is now a tainted fruit herself—the untouchable. She is denied substance, access, and acceptance.
The story of Eve is every Woman’s story. The Eve experience is cross-cultural.
Do you think a president, as leader of the free world established in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, will one day give Eve a fresh start? Eve, of our mindset, wants to re-enter the land of opportunity with full freedom to go and sin no more. She can make greater strides, open newer spaces, and re-claim her honor to carry and mother children in wholeness. Eve, can pray and usher the world into peace. She can support Adam out of a deep-seated, loving desire wrapped in the fabric of choice.
We live in a society that needs to seek a pardon for Eve. Our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters are all descendants of Eve. We must all grant this forgiveness so that she can take her rightful place beside men. We have a purpose to help them, we have a mission to create new life. Let’s raise our voices to support the release of Eve back to her rightful place. She has been left uncovered far too long in a mean world. Give her the right to go and sin no more to start anew.
April L. Smith believes in the power of women rising. "We are the other energy of humanity. We are necessary to make humanity whole. We are joyfully and wonderfully made. We are In united agreement with all masculine energy that dreams of a better society." This blog is a facet of my authentic self. #PardonEve