Woman Lives Out Bible Literally for Year, Writes Book, Gets Scorned for Use of Word ‘Vagina’

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An Evangelical blogger's attempt to "live Biblically" has caused some controversy in Evangelical circles.

Rachel Held Evans was raised Evangelical Christian. She often speaks at Christian universities and her father is a professor at a faith-based college in Tennessee. Evans' Biblical background got her thinking about the Bible's rules for women, so she set out to abide by them for a year -- literally.

Evans embarked on a 12-month experiment and wrote about it on her blog. Her husband, Dan (and college sweetheart), fully supported her project until some of her stunts "freaked him out." He was a bit taken back when Evans praised him with a sign outside the city gates as instructed in the Old Testament (Proverbs 31:23).

When Evans complained, nagged or gossiped, she put a penny in a jar of contention. Within the first couple of days Evans said she already had 26 pennies. As penance, she sat for one minute on her roof -- as instructed Proverbs 21:9. According to the scripture, "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than to share a house with a contentious woman."

Evans blogged about living life as a Biblical woman and said the response was overwhelmingly postive. But Evans said there has been some criticism and admitted she was surprised at how harsh her critics were, who claimed she was mocking the Bible. While she acknowledged she pulled a lot of crazy stunts, she said was not poking fun at scriptures. Instead, Evans said she was trying to honor the Bible by having more honest conversations about how people interpret and apply it.

In addition to blogging about her experience, Evans has written a book called, "A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Hair, and Calling Her Husband 'Master.'" However, that too, has stirred up some controversy.

In her book, Evans uses the word "vagina." This, apparently, doesn't sit well with Christian bookstores. Evans wrote in her blog that her publisher asked her to take the word out. Her readers were outraged -- so outraged in fact they took action. They started an Amazon petition, they coined the term "vaginagate," they created "Team Vagina" T-shirts, they called a number of Christian bookstores and pleaded with Evans to not succomb to censorship. Afterall, vagina is the anatomically correct term to describe the female anatomy.

So Evans did. She went back to her editor and asked for the word "vagina" to be put back in its context. They complied. Evans said she's not sure how this will affect purchases from Christian bookstores, but Evans wrote on her blog, "it doesn't really matter to me anymore. You guys have reminded me that we have more power than we think, that writers in this industry need not accept the status qo, especially when their readers really care about their work."

Evans' bookwill be released at the end of October.



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