Why can’t GOP politicians trumpet their religious credentials without assaulting women? Because fundamentalist religion of all stripes has degradation of women at its core.
Progressive Christians believe that the Bible is a human document, a record of humanity’s multi-millennial struggle to understand what is good and what is God and how to live in moral community with each other. But fundamentalists believe that the Bible is the literally perfect word of the Almighty, essentially dictated by God to the writers. To believe that the Bible is the perfect word of God is to believe that women are tainted seductresses who must be controlled by men.
Listen to early Church Father Tertullian: “You [woman] are the devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert—that is, death—even the Son of God had to die.”
Or take it from reformer John Calvin: “Woman is more guilty than man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading to all perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame.”
Both Tertullian, a respected Catholic theologian, and Calvin, a leader of the Protestant Reformation, took their cues on this matter straight from the book of Genesis:
To the woman [God] said, I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. -Genesis 3:16
No matter how outrageous Santorum and Gingrich may seem to secularists and moderate people of faith, they are right on target for an intended audience of Bible believing fundamentalists. If you have any doubt, check out these fifteen Bible passages.*
- A wife is a man’s property: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17
- Daughters can be bought and sold: If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. Exodus 21:7
- A raped daughter can be sold to her rapist: 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. Deuteronomy 22:28-29
- Collecting wives and sex slaves is a sign of status: He [Solomon] had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 1 Kings 11:3
- Used brides deserve death: If, however the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. Deuteronomy 22:20-21.
- Women, but only virgins, are to be taken as spoils of war: Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. Numbers 31:17-18
- Menstruating women are spiritually unclean: 19 “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. 20 “‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 22 Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, . . . 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the LORD for the uncleanness of her discharge. 31 “‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place,[a] which is among them.’” Leviticus 15: 19-31
- A woman is twice as unclean after giving birth to girl as to a boy: A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. ‘ 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. 6 ” ‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. Leviticus 12: 1-8
- A woman’s promise is binding only if her father or husband agrees: 2 When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. 3 “When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the LORD or obligates herself by a pledge 4 and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. 5 But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the LORD will release her because her father has forbidden her. . . . . A woman’s vow is meaningless unless approved by her husband or father. But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will release her. 13 Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. Numbers 30:1-16
- Women should be seen not heard: Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 1 Corinthians 14:34
- Wives should submit to their husband’s instructions and desires: Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Colossians 3:18
- In case you missed that submission thing . . . : Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24.
- More submission – and childbearing as a form of atonement: A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. 1 Timothy 2: 11-15
- Women were created for men: For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. 7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 1 Corinthians 11:2-10
- Sleeping with women is dirty: No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as first-fruits to God and the Lamb. Revelation 14:3-4
This list is just a sampling of the Bible verses that either instruct or illustrate proper relationships between men and women. In context, they often are mixed among passages that teach proper relationships with children, slaves and foreigners. The Bible doesn’t forbid either contraception or abortion, but it is easy to see why Bible believing fundamentalists might have negative feelings about both.
As futurist Sara Robinson has pointed out, traditional rules that govern male-female relationships are grounded more in property rights than civil rights. Men essentially have ownership of women, whose lives are scripted to serve an end—bearing offspring. It is very important to men that they know whose progeny they are raising, so sexual morality has focused primarily on controlling women’s sex activity and maintaining their “purity” and value as assets. Traditional gender roles and rules evolved on the presumption that women don’t have control over their fertility. In other words, modern contraception radically changed a social compact that had existed for literally thousands of years.
Some people don’t welcome change. Since the beginnings of the 20th Century, fundamentalist Christians have been engaged in what they see as spiritual warfare against secularists and modernist Christians. Both of their foes have embraced discoveries in fields such as linguistics, archeology, psychology, biology and physics – all of which call into question the heart of conservative religion and culture. Biblical scholars now challenge such “fundamentals” as a historical Adam, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection and the special status that Abraham’s God gave to straight males. Fundamentalists are fighting desperately to hang on to certainties and privileges they once saw as an Abrahamic birthright. If they can’t keep women in line; it’s all over. The future ends up in the hands of cultural creatives, scientists, artists, inquiring minds, and girls. It’s horrifying.
*All verses are quoted the New International Version of the Bible, a favorite of evangelicals.
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Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org. Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.
Great article — and a good reminder.
Even in my lifetime, I’ve seen in working with title documents all the trouble there was when a widow tried to sell of her estate. Like suffrage, women’s civil rights are fairly new — even in the U.S. — because of religion.
I like to see a man try to stone me I won’t hesitate to shoot the bastard
Every religion treats women this way and women accept it .
Tibetan Buddhist women of the 19th century commonly had up to five husbands, and were closer to the ‘head’ of the household than any man. Countless African cultures are Matriarchal in nature. It’s not All religion, and all religions at their heart have a Divine Feminine (Judaism: Shekhinah; Christianity: Virgin Mary; Islam: Miryam (Mary) or Fatimah; Hinduism: Shakti, goddess of Fertility; Tibetan Tantra: Queen of the Diamond Realm (Divine Feminine in the Heart of all beings)). It’s a tragedy that these are the less-popular elements of the more familiar “Western” faiths. :)
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My family actually incorporates some of that … I will say as a woman I’m very content as are my family members. Sadly, it does throw some people off and seriously confuses them. Missionaries are apt to spend a lot of time trying to “fix” us and our “godless, heathen ideas”. We have encountered some aggressive individuals, and a lot of the defensive responses we get seem to be based in insecurity more than anything else. Most simply accept it, and on getting to know us many seem to feel our behavior and everyday moral practices are far more important than oddities of family makeup. I’m a humanitarian relief worker, adopting as an offer to an alternative to a woman who felt she had no real options (we are pro-choice), we commonly house and feed the poor and homeless, rehabilitate animals…. we love our lives. Apparently this work is somehow in conflict with our family ideas in some people’s eyes, people who actually try to convince us only Christians are capable of living such a life so we need to convert and shift to a “normal, male dominated family” and the “true religion”. Makes life interesting lol.
What authority does your wife have over you! I’m sorry but what? Well if you believe in the Bible your in luck. Silence that whore and make her take a shower.She is dirty from having sex with you. Don’t worry you are clean automatically because you’re a man. Just kidding Lol! If your sick of the gender divide then treat you’re wife with the same respect as you give to her. Treat her as an equal not a servant. And both help each other out as partners. Forget gender roles. If you love yourself you will know how to love your wife.
Great article from great city. Yes. Quite a number of religions are anti-women. Yet women love religion even though religions do not love them.
I’m a woman and I openly despise religion (aka superstition) because it has hindered the advancement of our species by keeping us from solving our myriad problems: Overpopulation, wars, famine, etc. Religions are cultural inventions of the human mind (mostly male) and ALL gods exist only in the minds of the people who believe in them, not in the natural world. The only reality that governs all existence (including people) is physical reality, the Laws of Physics, the laws that govern the interaction of energy and matter. There is no reason to believe otherwise, certainly not with the wishful thinking called religion. We can discover and understand these laws through their language, mathematics. There is no way to understand religion/faith because it has no objective reality, so everyone’s religion is as false or true as anyone else’s.
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and yet…how many “christian” american men find what islamic fundamentalists do to women disgusting? perhaps it is because they see themselves in the mirror and are repulsed?
very good article.
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Nonsense. CONTEXT is that the book was written by Iron age humans–men specifically–and that it has human handprints all over it. CONTEXT is that similar ideas have been promulgated by many humans in varied cultures who mistook their own ideas for those of divinity.
Reblogged this on Still, I am learning and commented:
15 Biblical texts that “justify” the views currently espoused by the Republican Party.
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Great blog title. It’s the most any of us can hope for–to keep learning.
Thank you! When I am no longer learning, I figure I’ll just waste away.
Wow. I am bookmarking this and using as future reference. Great piece. Thank you.
glad it’s useful! I just want people to know that they can’t count on the Bible as a moral guide.
Maybe you should send your questions straight to God rather than eroding other people’s faith by posting online. The Bible is specifically written so that only those who truly want to know God CAN know God, but there are plenty of red herrings for the devil to use to lead people like you astray.
Do you have any idea how arrogant this sounds? Only people like you truly want to know God. All of the people who used to believe and now don’t never really wanted to know God in the first place.
I don’t think men should use the Bible to make excuses for not respecting women. I wonder what Jesus would have to say for all of those who do?
Valerie – I wonder what Jesus’ position was on women. He was very forgiving of the woman who committed adultery but why did he say’ Go and sin no more’? Jesus walked with fallen women too. How come the fundamentalists and the evangelicals don’t dwell deeper into what Jesus thought of women? They go by the OT and the writings of Paul, the misogynist. I like this article. I would also like you to share your views on faith. What is faith and how many people are duped by evangelical preachers as they tell them to have deeper faith.
May I suggest a couple of documentaries on this subject: “The God Who Wasn’t There,” and “Marjoe.” I believe both are on Netflix and can be eyeopeners for evangelicals.
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Belatedly, a friend sent this very-nice article along, hoping I might find it interesting. I wrote back to him: “I did find it interesting, not least because, like similar articles, it questions a particular and repugnant point of view without addressing the issue of whether so-called male/female ‘roles’ are appropriate/useful/necessary in any context, spiritual context or otherwise … a sticky wicket indeed.”
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Reblogged this on steve67wynott's Blog.
And then along came Mary…
“Ladies and gents, meet Mary Magdalene, the first apostle of the resurrection. Jesus sends her off to proclaim it to those still entombed in the culture of death. The shame his culture heaps on women is no deterrent to Jesus. He grants her honor now of liberating the entombed.” – John Dear in his book “Lazarus, Come Forth!”
But then around the 4th century the leadership of the “followers” of Jesus were sold out to the Romans among evils – and the church starting building empires…
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If you believe in the old testament, than you are not a true Christian. Christ left the Jewish faith for a reason. The torah is not what Jesus was preaching. Jesus was teaching love and tolerance, not ‘an eye for an eye’. So, please don’t call yourself a Christian if you can not ‘turn the other cheek’.
Actually, Jesus never left the Jewish faith. Now, he should have, but that’s another thing. In fact, if he had left explicit instructions to end all religions, he might have really made a difference!
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Jesus never “left” Judaism; he was born, lived and died a Jew. During his life, he tried to enlighten Jews and even said he had come for the people of Israel (Christianity didn’t exist until after his death when Paul (Saul of Tarsus) couldn’t get the Jews to accept Jesus as the messiah and turned to the pagans for support (Acts II). Jews believe the messiah will be fully human, and whether he believed he was the messiah or not, he knew he was fully human. The Torah, Bible and Quran are unreliable history books, written in pre-enlightenment and pre-science eras. The men who wrote them weren’t stupid, just ignorant.
Wow, this is unbelievable. My family, who are good-intentioned people, want me to raise my daughter in a “Christian” manner. What does that really mean? The bible, koran, et al were written by male pigs who ruled the world, for male pigs who continue to rule the world. Sorry, there’s just no denying it. And as far as references, I checked the King James version and it was 99.9% the same. This is appalling and sickening. Maybe instead of not teaching this to my daughter, I will send her to Sunday school equipped with the truth and a backpack full of tough questions for the teacher.
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If we question the bible, then we still lack faith..we doubt ourselves every time someone says other. We’re still human and perfection is not even close. You said to equiped with the truth, and what would that be? Male pigs?.. Uh that’s funny. God did things with reasons. Inorder to understand, you first must believe that the word of God is not the word of man. It lives
Ah, so we should simply accept what the Bible says without questioning, no matter how horrible it is.
Having faith means to believe without evidence, as opposed to reason, which requires evidence. I realize reasoning things out takes time and energy, but isn’t the reward of actually knowing things, rather than merely pretending to know them, worth the effort?
But why send her to Sunday school at all?
Pardon me but I don’t see how number 3 speaks or RAPE? It is merely speaking of intercourse outside of wedlock. And number for, may I also point out that Solomon did not COLLECT wives for status, he tried to marry to build allies with all kingdoms. If you also look more into the time and circumstances in which women were refused a voice in the church for your number 10, you may also find that there were logical reasons based on the times and what was happening in regards to trade during services. Love you blog though
Women were to be silent so couldn’t say No! And trying to justify Solomon having so many wives for what ever reason he did is sickening. How come it’s okay for a man to be whore but stone the women who gets raped?
I’m sure if you looked into the historic contexts, these were all inserted into the bible by the fathers of the church and weren’t from the gospels themselves.
Just like we are to be baptised by the spirit only and not by water. The fathers put the words ‘and water’ in there something like 8 times so that people would go to the church and pay the stipend to have the water splashed on their heads.
At the very least, 4, 7, 8, 13 and without doubt 15 are Pure Allegory. 4 is multi-faceted, 7, 8 and 13 are mainly Astrological, while 15 is predominantly Trigonometry.
Just discovered this very provocative blog and author via today’s article in AlterNet. Kudos to you, Valerie. If one goes back even further in history, when god was a woman, and study archeology and even modern anthropology, we see that for tens of thousands of years women were the divine beings, because:
Miracle 1: she could bleed AND NOT DIE
Miracle 2: when she decided to hold in her menstrual blood she thus created a baby human (before sex was known to be connected to having a fetus. She could have sex and not get pregnant sometimes, so it must be “when she decided”.) After all , we all know who the mother is.
Miracle 3: she could feed this new human with her own blood.
All of this went on for around 35 -40 THOUSAND years before the agricultural age. Perhaps by sharing calendars of the moon’s phases or other factors, men and women figured out that intercourse at certain times of the month brought about the pregnancy, and, more importantly for patriarchy, the father’s “seed” created the new human. “Why then, you (woman) are just the CARRIER for my seed!” Imagine how helpful that knowledge was for inventing stories of Abraham, or Zeus, or any of the other gods in cultures around the world.
Here we are in 2014. Time to grow up now. Any true biblical scholar will admit that the whole Virgin Birth – Jesus fantasy story is just that. The new testament was written to seal lies told in the Old one. All other “holy books” Baghvad Gita, Qu´ran, Book of Mormon, any of them, were written by child-like male brains of quasi Neanderthals hoping to authorize their male god to advance their own desires of ownership. How would we know for sure who is the true father otherwise?
Anyway, that’s my opinion based on my investigations on mythology, archeology and common sense. I appreciate your writings, Valerie, and thank you for your brave writings.
Greetings from Olmué, Chile
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Thank you, Ann. What a fascinating history!
While I agree with the majority of this statement, I must make one correction. The Bhagvad Gita is not the “holy book”of the Hindus. Traditionally, there is no such concept. The closest one gets to “holy books” in Hinduism, are the Vedas, which however are no less sexist than the Bible.
* The Bhagvad Gita is not the one and only “holy book” of the Hindus, being a part of the much larger epic, the “Mahabharata”
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And calling sperm “seed” is erroneous; it’s “half” a seed. The human “seed” is the zygote, the fertilized egg containing DNR from both sexes. DNR wasn’t discovered until 1953, in my own lifetime when I was 11. I remember watching the announcement on black-and-white tv and thinking, “So THAT’S how evolution works.” Biblical scriptures are Bronze and Iron Age myths, and it’s long past time to call them that as we do with ancient Greek myths.
Ugh. The Bible is truly a deplorable book, then.
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Women should be in subjection to man. That is her natural role. But certainly a more mercyful attitude to women is developed in the New Testament revelation and women should be thankful for that.
Do you also believe it is the natural role for black people to be in subjection to white people?
Damned good question, Mark. Let’s see what it dredges up…
Pay good attention to what I am saying; “her natural role”. So do I believe it is the natural role of the Black people to be subjection to the White. Seems like it would be denial of history, to say “no”. White man has always pawned the Black man in warfare and social structures-
I am puzzled by your use of the term “natural” regarding women being subjected to man and “black” people being subjected to “white” people. What is NATURAL about that? Since I was old enough to develop a sense of conscience and looked at these sort of behaviours among Earthian, I didn’t see it as any sort of natural “position” or role, but called it what it is: injustice. Your argument could also include poor versus rich as being their natural position which both group should accept as being the natural way of things. Yet your own Bible has quite a bit to say about that being a gross error. Justice calls it the product or result of forces skewed to benefit one tiny majority of power holders at the expense of a large majority. Do you have any understanding of the concepts of fairness; of equality under law?
Let me try this on you: If some development among people was entirely natural – truly natural, as in, a result of natural evolution, wouldn’t that negate any sort of argument? For example, a woman is naturally designed to bear children, a man is not. “Naturally” this does not constitute a sense of injustice for either men or women: it’s how it is by nature and it is not questioned as either right or wrong. The same can be argued for blond or dark hair or blue or brown eye colour: these are not things we question simply because it’s how it is and in the natural sense no one suffers unjustly for having one over the other. The moment the right or wrong question arises, that is the moment any intelligent person knows the concept being questioned is not a natural development but something manipulated by some power group for personal gain. If GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) were natural developments we would not question them but accept them as… natural. But they are not natural and they are being seriously questioned. As was/is the concept of women being subject to men (servants of men in permanent inequality under law) and certain races being subject to certain other races, as “natural” slaves of others without recourse to the law to gain equality of status. It would be good to remember this was a major belief within the ranks of the Nazi party; was the modus operandi of Apartheid in South Africa and is a belief policy of Zionism today in its treatment of Palestinians. And where did these “natural” ideas come from? In the Western world, from the bible. Are we to take the bible as a naturally evolved document, the same as a pine tree, a mountain, a river? Whatever anyone says about the bible or what it claims for itself it remains a man-made artifice with nothing whatsoever natural about it. Yes, it is meant “to serve man” but properly translated it reveals its true purpose: “it’s a cook book!” (Ref: short 1950 sci-fi story by Damon Knight, also Twilight Zone episode)
Your post would be easier to read if broken into digestible paragraphs.
It’s been my experience that bigotry is seldom limited to a single group. I suspect it’s common for misogynists to also be racist. I’m curious as to whether that’s true in joenbjerregaard’s case.
You made some good points (each of which deserved its own paragraph). Injustice is built into the concept of “subjection,” provided one is born into this status, rather than acquiring it by bad conduct, for example, by committing a serious enough crime.
It would be silly to resent others for natural traits, such as skin color, height, or ability to bear children. (I passed a kidney stone once. If that’s any kind of indication of what childbirth is like, you women are welcome to it.)
Minor point: Women were not “designed” to bear children. This resulted from evolution, not design (which would require a designer).
Regarding genetically modified organisms, I’m highly skeptical legitimate scientific studies exist establishing hazards. I’m willing to examine the issue more deeply, but the criticism I’ve seen of GMOs to date has come from the sort of people who think vaccines cause autism.
Excellent point about Zionists and Palestinians. This systematic oppression is made possible by U.S. taxpayers. Without the staggering amount of foreign aid Israel has received, they would be unable to commit these atrocities.
I remember that Twilight Zone episode from my youth. Rod Serling did a marvelous job with that series, considering when those episodes were made.
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Sorry about the long paragraphs – every time I hit “tab” I was thrown out of my response! So I tried just typing spaces. That was going to be a one sentence response but. I think you missed the point of my argument re: GMO. Doesn’t matter whether one is leery of science prostituted to the corporate agenda or not in this case, it’s the fact that people do question it, therefore it isn’t “natural” in scope. Probably I did not present my argument clearly – I apologize for that. Yes and no about natural “design”.
But, since you brought it up… I don’t freak out if someone says nature designs as I’m not afraid of confronting intelligence outside the little box called earth, in fact I fully expect it. To say there’s no intelligence in “nature” or what passes for nature is another form of faith, or fundamentalism. Why should there be intelligence – and design, since men design things – only on earth? I thought we were intelligent enough to have gotten past the flat earth belief and discussing whether women have souls?
I don’t know if vaccines cause autism, but something does and that too isn’t “natural” at all. I’ve had quite a bit of contact with that particular problem and seen many “autistic” children get back a somewhat more normal life once weaned from psychiatric prescription drugs – that being another aspect of prostituted science. Lots of trustworthy info available on the damage done by prescription drugs and vaccines. The reason they are pushed so hard by the powers that be who have no interest in health, are simple: one, lots of $$$ profits; two, experimental control of minds to prep people for the globalist agenda.
A simple test: what would happen if a woman suddenly discovered she had the gift of healing and went about the planet, in hospitals, doctors’ offices, drug stores, on the streets, healing all and sundry. Would she instantly be hailed hero of the “health care industry”? I truth, she wouldn’t last a month. Says much about “care” doesn’t it.
Enjoyed the discussion, now back to work eh?
I understand you’re saying women “should” be considered inferior to men. My question was whether or not you think black people “should” be considered inferior to white people?
History offers slavery as an example of spectacularly bad treatment of black people in this country. Being a libertarian, I embrace equal rights, which is why I reject slavery as morally repugnant.
What I was interested in knowing is whether people such as yourself, who reject the principle of equal rights, believe black people should not have rights white people possess. I understand that historically black people have tended to get the short end of the stick in this country, but does that mean inferiority is their “natural role?”
I believe you should give your Blacks equal rights. Just think of the civil war you would have if not. But do I believe it was a wise thing or a morally good to import the Blacks and wipe out the Indians? No of cause not.
To me natural Means what nature does, like the strong usually beat the weak. Nature recorded in history teaches us the subjection of women and also the subjection of the African continent. But maybe when you say natural, you speak from an ideal World where all are the same, equal, essentially good and so on. An utopiia like the pre-fallen World of ancient science or the World of ideals of Plato. To me that is just another religion and the problem with this one is that it clouds your understanding of history.
Atlantis was a myth. There was no “pre-fallen world of ancient science.” It never existed.
As societies become less primitive, people realize “subjection of women” is a monstrous evil.
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Nor did a world exist where everything is fair and good ☺. Do you consider the hardships women undergo in childbearing an monstrous evil? I consider it natural and the sufferings a natural evil.
I see difference between traits evolving over millions of years (over which humans have no control) and desire to oppress women. Unlike physical characteristics, our attitude is completely under our control.
I agree that throughout history women have been treated badly, but disagree that oppression of women is a good thing. (Obviously, this is what “women should be in subjection” means.)
You support women having fewer rights than men; I support equal rights, so we’re at an impasse.
agree re: rights.
one is intrigued by Joen’s comment re: the pain of childbirth. “monstrous”? “evil”? “natural evil”? since i cannot have children i cannot comment on the amount of pain so monstrous may apply. but evil/natural evil?
Quote: “one is intrigued by Joen’s comment re: the pain of childbirth. “monstrous”? “evil”? “natural evil”?” An interesting observation. Is “pain” natural and thus bearable until it is perceived as emanating from, and imposed by, a superior and evil force? Since Joen argues from a Biblical perspective, I think it fair to use the bible to look at his comments Genesis 3:16 quotes The Lord God Jehovah as saying: “To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” The point being made here is that childbearing pain was instituted by God as a punishment to the woman, as was her subjection to man.
From this I can only conclude that God is the author and introducer of evil on this world; evil being the psychological aspect of pain. The problem is not the pain, per se, but the psychological aspect of divine and perpetual punishment attached to it that greatly increases it. In this instance, God instituted the concept and use of physical and mental torture as legitimate. Consider: how many women have died in child-bearing labour, compared to non-human child-bearing mammals.
“White man has always pawned the Black man in warfare and social structures”
Racist, misogynist, and historical revisionist. Wonderful.
Your understanding of Nature is laughable not in accord with factual reality. It’s not uncommon in the Natural world for females to lead or have the advantage. In a few of many examples, elephant herds are lead by Matriarchs – the males in the group are subservient to HER. Bonobo ape females form bonds with each other effectively preventing the physically larger, often bullying males from abusing everyone else. The social structure of a bee hive is that of a matriarchal family headed by a queen.
If you’re a Christian believing women’s lower status to men is “Biblically sanctioned”, then you are to be pitied. The Bible is a collection of myths; talking snakes and shrubs are not part of factual reality. But that you “believe” otherwise says a lot about you and your opinions of women.
Well as you show, the case for female apes leading is weak. Women today only feel more independent because the Marxists have succeeded destroying too many White families.
I’ll be honest. From a male perspective this makes one feel that their ‘purpose’ in the mundane is important. To have these laws means to never be questioned, and empowers a man.
This however is akin to evil. To subject another person, to only allow women to learn from their ‘masters’ and to have this kind of power would be ludicrous. Equality should mean equality and needs to be recognized. This also needs to omit the social ‘role’ a male must be as the provider, or to be the one to do the ‘guy’ jobs. I see feminists scream about equality yet want to be treated as the victim, delicate flower. Equality means provide for yourself, do for yourself, and society, personal responsibilities, etc are to be expected of both genders equally.
Feminism only teaches victim hood. It says nothing about personal responsibility.
That very much depends on your definition of feminism. That is certainly now how it operates in my family and not what I taught my daughters.
Please don’t say feminist are women playing the victim. When you don’t have the basic rights as males. And are told your the weaker sex and have your whole existence Is to be mans companion. To be submissive and to basically do everything not for yourself but for your husband. Women have been fighting for decades to be treated equally and still are fighting for basic human rights. To say they are playing the victims. Says the “MAN” that has no idea what it is like to be a women. So sorry that you feel women are playing victims. To be a victim you need unjustifiable actions done to you first. So what’s a “MANS” reason for treating women as property and reasoning on silencing her?
I am often asked, have you actually read the Bible? The answer i always give is yes, indeed i have read it in its entirety. Many Christians claim that they have also read the text in it’s entirety, but often reply “what book is that from.” when i mention such references like the ones above. Which brings me to my point, if Christians read the bible, much like i had, prior to actually reading the bible, i realized that almost every person in a leadership role in the church, often dictates what scriptures or studies will be the focus for a sermon. If i were in a leadership role, i would certainly not choose many of the verses or portions of stories, as listed above. It would make me leave church, feeling really dirty and depressed. In most of my experience of church, stories in the bible are usually shared to reinforce moral principle, biblical text is rarely read, in the entirety of it’s context. Because of this, i wasn’t actually aware of many of these happenings, until my early twenties. Most christians, do not take the bible in it’s entirety, rather they use them to reinforce moral principles. This is the difference between fundamentalism and most christians, jews, muslims, etc. The modern faith based individual, does not worship the God, in their texts. God, is a very personal experience, and those with similar experiences, create in groups. My question is, do you know God? Do you know my God? It really does come down to humans continual search for someone or something to make sense of it all. Many attack religion as a whole, based on what i said above, it should come as no surprise that it meets resistance. Your questioning the texts literally, but as i discussed above, most modern believers, cherry pick, and it defines who they are. Your questioning, who they are.
I would say that the OT is the attempt to rationalize and justify actions/consequences of one group of Semites in the midst of other Semites. Using deity allows for enormous latitude in action. In point of opinion it removes responsibility by shifting it to that which cannot be disputed. The NT is a collection of often conflicting legends/word of mouth tradition and letters written to put forth variations on theology to again call deity into play. Statements such as building a church upon this rock are interesting in that the Christ spoke Aramaic and not Greek yet church derives from Greek. So little of what was allegedly said by the Christ actually ended up in Christianity. This is not surprising as he was a Jew and stated (allegedly) that his purpose was to fulfill the law and nothing in the law was to be negated. Yet those who came after found it necessary to not only negate but abandon the Jewishness of the Christ.
As for fundamentalism it is fanaticism on steroids where god’s will, whatever that means, again removes personal responsibility for violent political actions
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It seems that nobody here understand Christianity. It is not about oppression, but rather about love. It is not about power, but rather about service. it is not about control, but rather about humility. It teaches us that we have all fallen short, that our sins are forgiven by the death and resurrection of Jesus, and that (because of Jesus) we are to grow in love and mercy for others.
The Bible is about both. It’s a contradictory text.
Hi I’m looking for a talking snake. If you have heard or seen the talking snake please let me know. Thank you!
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Oh! oh! My turn to add some to the list!
1. Women should be seen not heard: Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 1 Corinthians 14:34
2. Daughters can be bought and sold: If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. Exodus 21:7
3. A wife is a man’s property: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17
4. A raped daughter can be sold to her rapist: 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. Deuteronomy 22:28-29
5. Collecting wives and sex slaves is a sign of status: He [Solomon] had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 1 Kings 11:3
6. Used brides deserve death: If, however the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. Deuteronomy 22:20-21.
7. Menstruating women are spiritually unclean: 19 “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. 20 “‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Leviticus 15: 19-31
8. A woman’s promise is binding only if her father or husband agrees: . . A woman’s vow is meaningless unless approved by her husband or father. But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Numbers 30:1-16
9. Wives should submit to their husband’s instructions and desires: Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Colossians 3:18
10. Women were created for men: For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. 7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 1 Corinthians 11:2-10
I feel so liberated now…Do you?
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I have struggled with this in my life. How much authority does my wife have over me. I saw my mother go to work at a time when women were not supposed to work. I believe men and women are equal and in many fundamental ways the same. Each individual has good and bad traits. I think it is wrong to prejudge based on gender. I also believe every word of the bible and it is hard to hear the verses you cite. I am sure there is more to the stories though and ‘cherry picking’ is not the way to find out. Come to Jesus if you really want to know about how He treats women. I think he treats them with the utmost respect and concern. He appeared to a woman first when he resurrected. Her name was Mary and she called Him ‘teacher.’ He was born to a woman – not a man. He respects the witness of women and sees much lovable in all of humanity. Enough said. I don’t proclaim to justify the GOP or to claim to know or recommend how you should view God. I just want to say that Jesus is worth looking into despite the apparent text there are often contexts and commentaries which explain in greater detail the meaning and application of verses. There are a lot of Old testament rules which Christians are not bound to keep such as circumcision. In closing, I am intrigued and inspired by your article. It is relevant to me and our society as a whole. I am tired of the division between men and women and think it is artificial.
You are correct. All of the scriptures referred to by Valerie Tarisco & Melina are taken out of context. Exodus, Deuteronomy, 1 Kings, Leviticus, and Numbers are in the Old Testament which Christians are not obliged to follow. Epistle to the Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 are instructions to wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives as Christ has loved them. A family must have a leader, not 2 people butting heads. 1 Corinthians 14 women are not to be preachers and 1 Timothy 2 women are not to be teachers in the church. Woman was the first sinner. Perhaps Adam followed Eve’s example to keep from being separated from her. 1 Corinthians is all about how a woman is to cover her head when praying or prophesying and a man is to do the same with his head uncovered. It also covers the fact that women should keep her hair long and a man is to have short hair. Those were the customs in those days and we have departed from that. As for the claim that having sex with a woman is dirty in the Revelation 14 quote, I do not pretend to understand much about that particular book of the Holy Bible. I think there are not many who do. I do know that Jesus encouraged his apostles to remain celibate. He did not demand it, and he never hinted that having sex with their wives was dirty.
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Hi Billy –
Yes, they are taken out of context. The even broader context is that these texts reflect Iron Age culture in the Ancient Near East. They draw from preceding and surrounding religions, reflect local superstitions, and reinforce Iron Age social hierarchies and scripts. They also reflect some very human psychological patterns, and if we look carefully we see human handprints all over texts that are attributed to God.
Actually I would say that the so-called Mosaic law was not to be ignored by the disciples. The Christ did not come to abolish mosaic law by any stretch of the imagination. Paul or the writings alleged to be by Paul did shift from the Mosaic law. Imo, the Christ expected Mosaic law to be followed. That being said it is intriguing to see the quote from Psalms that God doesn’t like sacrifice but the Mosaic law is littered with required sacrifices. And of course the Christ is sacrificed. Far too much internal contradiction. This is an inherent problem imo when writers attempt to use deity to justify or rationalize actions and consequences. The concept of “God’s plan”, “God’s will” or inshallah has been used for centuries to justify brutal violence.
Sorry Billie. it seems you do not believe in partnerships. If a man is the one who overrules his wife than you have a hierarchy not a partnership or marriage. Women want a man that respects and loves her as an equal partner. When one gender is given all the power there is abuse of power. History proves that to be true.
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Valerie firstly thank you for your article, I’ve been “learning” the Bible for 12 months & have been increasingly ill at ease with its contents. Although I’m a novice I asked my teachers (females) quite early on why females don’t seem to have names & a voice in the Bible, the response was silence. I continued to learn and in doing so have found it extraordinarily oppressive. I don’t find it at all uplifting & I’m completly stumped why it is such a powerful book. I can only assume that the majority don’t actually read it. I’m not a radical female looking for holes in the text but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not for me. As one of my sons pointed out if we were born & lived in a different part of the world we would be taught something else entirely so what makes the Bible correct or accurate. I’m certain we’re meant to embrace all of life & love life and I felt with the Bible lessons I was slowly being boxed up & put squarely into a pigeon hole where I was never going to fit. So so glad I stumbled across your article. Thankyou again.
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You wrote: As one of my sons pointed out if we were born & lived in a different part of the world we would be taught something else entirely. I invite you to visit my blog and click on the page (at the top) entitled “Dear Believer.” I think you will enjoy it.
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I believe in a higher power or that there is someone or thing watching over me. But I knew from the age of 6-7 years old that I thought differently about gender roles. I have 2 older brothers and I am the baby girl of my family. Always trying to play with my brothers I learned quickly that I had to out smart them One because they were older and two because
There were two of them and only one of me. It didn’t matter that they were boys and me a girl.
And I certainly didn’t know that me being a female that I was deemed the weaker sex. I used to make my brother (middle child) cry from hitting him sometimes for nothing but most the time in self defense. My oldest brother well I couldn’t beat him physically he was much older then me so I learned to beat him mentally. Put those 2 together and i see why my brothers will tell you I was a tank. I was strong physically and mentally. So I never really realized sexism until my early 20’s but when I would hear women’s place was in the kitchen I was like not mine I’m going to marry a chef and he will cook for me. Lol now that I’m 34 no children and not married I’m paying attention to women’s rights and equality. Also what have these men these horrible views on women. I have been reading women rights and human rights. And I still didn’t get were men get it from then a light bulb went off Church. So now I’m reading women roles in the Bible. I couldn’t feel more sadness in my heart. How could something as popular as the Bible have such demoralizing inhuman thoughts on women. And be regarded as moral and religious guide. Why we still consider this right? How could any women believe in something that doesn’t even see you as a person but as a mans property. What in the hell!!! I thank my parents for not making me go to church and to be taught all these lies. My parents didn’t go to church when they were kids they did. Maybe they both believed that the church and bible is trash. I believe that the Bible was written by men to control women and children and the community and the money was the motivation.
What I’m not understanding is Adam & Eve whole story. So Eve came from Adams rib? Impossible! if that were true then men would have babies. You mean to tell me that Eve being a women of that time convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. And from what the Bible states later on is women are not to teach or have any leadership roles but yet she convinced simple minded Adam. And then blame the whole thing on Eve because she was deceived by a snake who could have very well been sent there by God to let her know it’s okay to eat the fruit. God punished Eve because she was deceived by a snake and punished Adam because he was deceived by Eve. How can Eve deceive Adam if she was deceived by the snake. Wouldn’t it be the snakes fault. And the punishment Eve has painful child birth. I’m pretty sure giving birth no matter what is painful. And when god punished Adam he has to eat a bunch of stuff and men don’t from what I see get any real punishment ? Call me crazy but story was made up to blame and control women.
I have a talking horse and it told me that this story is a bunch of horse poo!
Snake has never been found or seen again to get his side of the story. Some of his close relatives have been spoke about in the Harry Potter series. Please contact Professor Albus
Dumbledore headmaster of the wizarding school Hogwarts for more information.
I am a Christian and a Woman. God was literally the first feminist. All over history, women were being treated like crap but Jesus came in and literally did the culturally unacceptable because he created man and woman to be equal. A lot of these verses are taken way out of context. Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This verse proves that every believer is one in Christ and because of Faith we are not divided due to our gender. God is love and he did not create women to be submissive to a man. I am not an expert on this but there is an amazing book called “Why Not Women?” by Loren Cunningham and David Hamilton. It really clarifies how God created men and women and how God was the ultimate feminist. I do not blame you for thinking that men and women in the church are seen as unequal because some members of the church do believe that…. but they are wrong and they misinterpret the bible
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