Having read a biography of John Calvin last year, I learned that the French spelling of his name is Jean Chauvin. Come to think of it, I don’t believe I ever finished that book. Well, I’m sure I’ll get around to it someday. Anyway, as that last name bounced around in my head for a few months, at some point, the word, “chauvinist” came up, up there, too.
Knowing that Calvinism isn’t all that popular in the world, I began to wonder if the epithet, “chauvinist,” was some sort of derogatory association between Calvinists and some alleged disrespect for women. The world loves to impugn general Christianity with such a fault, even though those of us in the know are aware that Christianity is the source of liberation for women in the home, the church and society.
Is to be a Calvinist to also be a chauvinist?
I finally just got around to checking the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary to see what I could see in regard to the etymology of the word “chauvinism.” Here’s what I learned:
Etymology: French chauvinisme, from Nicolas Chauvin, character noted for his excessive patriotism and devotion to Napoleon in Théodore and Hippolyte Cogniard’s play La Cocarde tricolore (1831).
Boy, was I relieved! It’s not referring to John, but Nicolas!
Whew! As if there weren’t enough bad associations with my theological persuasion! God is gracious!!!
illustration by www.ReformationArt.com.
In case any of you missed it, go back up and click on the link that reads, “the source of liberation for women.” It’s incredibly awesome! I just have to point it out because it’s even more awesome than this silly post in which the link was included!