Religion lies about women


Religion lies about women

“The discrimination against women on a global basis is very often attributable to the declaration by religious leaders in Christianity, Islam, and other religions that women are inferior in the eyes of God,” former President Jimmy Carter said last week. Many traditions teach that while both men and women are equal in value, God has ordained specific roles for men and women. Those distinct duties often keep women out of leadership positions in their religious communities. What is religion’s role in gender discrimination?

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

Here, in Ephesians 5, attributed to St Paul, we have in a nutshell the church’s attitude to the respective positions of man and woman. The man’s role is to be the head, the woman’s to submit to him. The meaning is crystal clear, unmistakable; and yet, despite the fundamentalists who firmly believe such Iron Age prejudices still apply today, there are many liberal Christians who have the decency to cringe at the primitiveness of such instructions and who therefore bend over backwards to pretend they’re not as bad as they quite patently are. “Ah yes,” they say, “but Paul goes on to say that husbands must love their wives. And not just love them, but love them as they love themselves. So clearly this is a reciprocal arrangement, equal in value, imposing constraints of equal weight on both man and wife. All is well with the world and we can continue to pretend that Christianity is the friend of women.” But no. All is not well with the world, and only the deluded or the disingenuous could claim to see equality where there is only subservience.

It is interesting to note the context in which this infamous passage occurs: immediately following the commandment to women to submit to their husbands we find the commandment to children to obey their parents, and to slaves to obey their owners. No amount of instruction to the husbands, parents and owners in question not to ruthlessly exploit their positions of power can alter the fact that women are classed with children and slaves when it comes to their social standing, freedom and self-determination and, like them, are called on to embrace their inferior status with cheerfulness and enthusiasm. In this same sequence of instructions slave-owners are exhorted not to threaten their slaves. Does this make slavery acceptable? Of course not. Only religion could attempt to present such a loathsome idea as though it were not a blot on the dignity of humankind, and the requirement for women always to submit to their menfolk is no less repugnant.

The truth is that the Abrahamic religions fear women and therefore go to extraordinary and sometimes brutal lengths to control them, constrain them, and repress them in every way. Show me a non-religious society that feels so threatened by the thought of female sexuality that it will slice off the clitoris of a young girl to ensure she can never experience sexual pleasure. Show me a non-religious society that feels the need to cloak women from head to toe and force them to experience the outside world through a slit of a few square inches. All three Abrahamic religions share the myth of Adam and Eve, the myth that it was through woman that evil was let loose in the world. They share the heritage of Leviticus, which declared a menstruating woman unclean, to be set aside, untouched, a revulsion that remains even today among some orthodox Jews, who will refuse to shake a woman’s hand for fear she may be menstruating. What kind of lunacy is this? It is the lunacy of a Bronze Age mindset fossilized by the reactionary forces of religion.

And perish the thought that these religions – in their alleged equal valuing of women – should permit them actually to control their own bodies! Women exist for the purposes of reproduction! So let them reproduce! Let them reproduce, whether they wish it or not. Woe unto the woman who dares to engage in sex without being willing to conceive as a result! Woe unto the woman who uses contraception to control her fertility and manage the size of her family! And a hundred times woe unto the woman who actually dares to terminate a pregnancy she does not want! The question of abortion illustrates perfectly the role of women so far as the church is concerned. A woman’s reproductive organs are not her own, and she may not be permitted to decide what happens to them. The Catholic Church would forbid abortion, even when the mother’s life is at risk if she continues with the pregnancy. It would forbid it, even if she has been raped and is carrying the child of her violator. How much clearer could it be that the woman has value only as the carrier of a man’s child and has in herself no intrinsic worth whatsoever?

In the eyes of the Abrahamic religions, the archetypal woman is Eve: disobedient, unreliable, easily led astray, and a seductive temptress of man – man being more noble, yet easy prey to the wiles and seductions of his weaker mate. Woman is the source of danger, the one who corrupts him, the conduit for all that is evil in the world. She is dangerous … yet irresistible; and this very irresistibility makes her more dangerous still. But you will notice that the dangers of sexual temptation are not to be faced equally by men and women: no, religion demands that it is the woman who bears the burden. Solomon, we are told, had 700 wives and 300 concubines, and David had a more modest yet still energy-sapping five wives and 10 concubines, yet neither of these has become a by-word for male insatiability. Jezebel, on the other hand, has become synonymous with sexual excess, despite this not being among the vices attributed to her in the bible story. Fundamentalist Islam, far from requiring its male followers to control their lusts and take responsibility for them, conceals its women in hideous, sexless sacks, depriving them of their beauty and their individuality, literally even their ability to breathe freely – and still permits polygamy, though only for men, of course. And have you ever stopped to wonder what became of the male lover of the woman taken in adultery in the Gospel of John? Why wasn’t he threatened with execution by stoning and hauled before Jesus?

The New Testament is woefully short of significant female characters, and a brief look at those who do make it to the hall of fame will suffice to tell us exactly how they were perceived. On the one hand we have Mary Magdalene – the prostitute. And on the other we have Mary the mother of Jesus – the virgin. To paraphrase the late Dorothy Parker, the New Testament’s view of women runs the full gamut from A to B. Prostitute or virgin: take your pick, ladies. The woman who engages in sex with multiple men is held up as the epitome of fallenness, brokenness, wickedness; as one so corrupt that Jesus’s willingness to forgive her is seen as bordering on the miraculous. And at the same time we are offered as our ideal, our aspiration, our role-model – the eternal virgin: sexless, locked forever in a childlike state; devoid of sexual passion or sensuality; obedient, self-sacrificing, selfless: a woman, in other words, from whom all that would make her fully human, let alone fully woman, has been stripped. Here, finally, is the woman that religion need not fear. This is the highest ideal to which a Christian woman may aspire: a cardboard cut-out of womanhood, a mere handmaid, silent, submissive, a vessel for the production of babies, passively and gratefully accepting her fate.

Religion is one lie after another: the lie of original sin, the lie of eternal life, the lie of hell, the lie of answered prayer, the lie that life can have no meaning without religion, the lie that religion is the source of morality, the lie of creationism, the lie of a spy-in-the-sky who hears your every word and reads your every thought. And to this list we must add the lie that it views men and women as equal. It has got away for so long with the kind of lunatic word-games that allow death-by-torture to be presented as an act of love, and eternal torment in the flames of hell to be seen as a necessary act of justice, that we should perhaps not be surprised that it has also managed to dupe its followers into seeing the systematic suppression and silencing of women as an act of liberation and equality. Nevertheless, it is a lie, like all the others: a cynical and wicked lie. It is time women everywhere woke up to it.

Paula Kirby  | Apr 13, 2011 3:58 PM


Pre-marital sex ‘end of church’ – And another bat-shit crazy loon of a cunt!


Pre-marital sex ‘end of church’

2009-12-10 08:42Mia Willemse

Pretoria – “If the Dutch Reformed Church has decided to justify living together and sex before marriage, it will most certainly mean the final collapse of the church.”

This is the opinion of Gretha Wiid, presenter of the Worthy Women Conference (WWC), amid debates regarding the possibility that the Dutch Reformed Church (NG Kerk) will revise its policy regarding unmarried couples living together and sex beyond the confines of marriage.

“I don’t care what the pope, the church or anyone else says. My husband, Francois, and I believe that marriage is sacred, and that sex before marriage can only be harmful,” she told Beeld on Wednesday.

According to Wiid, sex is not just about a relationship between two people, but rather about a covenant between them and God.

Drastic moral decay

“If these decisions are confirmed, we’ll see even more drastic moral decay among our youth. We’ll see hurt and damaged adults in the world.

“The church is handing pain and brokenness on a silver platter to those who’ve given sex before marriage some thought,” said Wiid.

Wiid says that as long as people continue to adjust God’s word to fit in with their own lifestyle, they will just behave more rebelliously.

“Before you know it, we, the Christians, will be revising God.”

“It’s terrifying and yet also exciting, because it just goes to show that we’re living in the last days,” said Wiid.

Wiid is a relationship counsellor and motivational speaker who has been active with youth ministry in schools over the past eight years, and for the past four years she’s been presenting women’s get-togethers each Saturday. On Wednesday she said that she’s planning to launch her own talk show, possibly even as soon as March next year.

“We’ve been keeping our faith in the Lord for this opportunity for many years.”

Wiid plans to focus “deeply on family relationships” in the current affairs programme.

Thieves within a marriage

“There are many thieves within a marriage. Everything from the television to working overtime. The employer no longer understands that his employee has a family who’s waiting for him or her in the evenings.

“If marriage became important to the employer, marriage would also be elevated. I want to facilitate topical conversations among family members,” Wiid said excitedly. She did not want to elaborate further on this topic.

After many rumours that the WWC had only been a quick money-making scheme for the Wiids, she says she’s been in the ministry for many years already, and that the WWC happened to be the first conference to receive so much exposure.

“What most people don’t know is that I’ve done three other women’s conferences this year, each attended by nearly 1 000 women. But WWC just received much more exposure.

“And Francois and I did not go to Mauritius after the WWC,” Wiid joked.

“We believe in our hearts that, if marriages are healthy in all aspects, a generation of emotionally healthy children will be born. The people who are going to be deciding about living together and premarital sex should know that they will have to account for their decisions one day. And they will.”

– Beeld

Shame on you all!!!!!!!!!!!!


Shame on you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, all of you people who believe in some sort of fairytale, and who then try to force your fairytale’s rules on others.

Shame on all of you who try to pass laws that rapes other people’s basic human rights.

Shame on all of you who try to teach our children the same fucked up doctrine that you are brainwashed in.

Shame on all of you who try to lie about the findings of science because it exposes your fairytale for what it really is: a fairytale.

Shame on all of you who are willing to use violence when your doctrine gets the treatment it deserves when you try to force it upon others: namely lots of laughter and ridicule.

Shame on all of you who will lie and use deceit in the name of your fairytale master, for your own selfish purposes.

Shame on all of you who withhold basic medical treatment to people because of some bullshit written in your ancient fairytale book.

Shame on all of you who maim your children because some fairytale creature demands it.

Shame on all of you who piss on my childrens’ right to get a proper education without your fairytale creature’s doctrine in our schools.

Shame on all of you who believe you are doing good, while you are actually making the world a much worst place than it has to be, because of your bat-shit crazy beliefs.

Shame on all of you who are actually supporting doctrines that are responsible for the manslaughter of millions of innocent people, all because you don’t believe in condoms or birth control. And a big: “Go fuck yourself” if you believe that condoms and birth control is wrong, and that it is right for your bat-shit crazy church to tell poor people it is wrong, while you and your spouse are using it yourself. You should be really fucking ashamed of yourself.

Shame on you all who give money to religious organizations who protect their own pedophile employees and actually assist them in raping more children in other unsuspecting communities all over the world.

Shame on all of you who pretend that your fairytale creature is a force for good in other people’s lives.

Shame on all of you who bow down on your knees and pray for the salvation of others, whom you actually despise, but feel inclined to because your fairytale creature is all about the “love”.

Shame on all of you who choose to remain ignorant about the world around you, and believe that intolerance is your god given right and duty.

Shame on all of you who followed your religious organization blindly while they were brutally killing people who were different than you, because they told you your god says it is the right thing to do.

Shame on all of you who refuse to listen to reason.

Shame on all of you who believe you can do anything at all, no matter how wrong, and then get the slate wiped clean by a prayer and a ritual, and then start all over again.

Shame on all of you who leave reason and accountability to others who will decide for you what is right and what is wrong, and what you can and cannot do.

Shame on all of you who give your children a crutch and believe it is the right thing to do for them, because your fairytale creature will look after them when you can’t.

Shame on all of you who are so fucking ignorant that you truly believe a prayer to your fairytale creature will keep the plane you are about to take of in stay in the air.

Shame on you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Denial of the right to die is sheer religious primitivism


Denial of the right to die is sheer religious primitivism

In years to come, those who argue against this most personal, and final, freedom will be seen as not just illiberal, but cruel.

The Crown Prosecution Service is considering, yet again, whether to prosecute and possibly imprison otherwise law-abiding Britons for helping their loved ones to die. The parents of Daniel James, a 23-year-old rugby player crippled in a training accident, last month accompanied him to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal. In all hundred such cases so far, the director of public prosecutions has declined to act. The law is clearly unfit for purpose.

This is not regarded by parliament as a sufficient reason for changing the law. Social reform in Britain occurs not when legislators feel it appropriate but when a heart-rending case achieves mass publicity and good people launch a campaign for change. Such has been the case with laws on homosexuality, prostitution, abortion and self-defence – and perhaps one day will apply to recreational drugs. Westminster inertia always holds sway until it is overcome by an infuriated public.

This depends on maintaining a sufficient level of fury. The James case streaked across the media horizon at the weekend, but is fading already. The CPS will probably leave it alone and another opportunity for reform will have passed. Parliament will heave a sigh of relief and return to its fascination with Corfu yachts.

There cannot be a human freedom so personal as ordering the circumstances of one’s death. Yet Britain is instinctively collectivist, enveloped in prejudice, religion, taboo and prohibition. We are told how to die by the state, with no consideration for individual choice. The 1961 Suicide Act decriminalised the act of suicide, an inherently absurd diktat, but criminalised any assistance to suicide, thus making it illegal to help somebody do something legal.

The law of death is a shambles. A leading authority on euthanasia, Professor Emily Jackson of the LSE, began a recent lecture on the subject with the sensational question: “What is the most common cause of death in Britain?” Her answer was “death by killing”. And who does the killing? “Doctors.” One third of all registered deaths are by deliberate morphine overdose and one third by the removal of life support, premeditated acts by medical staff.

All over Britain, families gather every day of the week in hospitals and discuss with doctors how to bring a dignified death to a loved one, often in a turmoil of grief, indecision, exhaustion and shame. The near universal desire “to be allowed to die in my own home” is wilfully disregarded. Parliament’s one contribution to this supreme crisis in life’s journey is to threaten one and all with suits ranging from negligence to manslaughter.

Now judges are in a position to help. Since they cannot realistically prosecute two thirds of the medical profession, nor it seems the few desperate individuals who take their relatives to Switzerland, judges are on the verge of rewriting the law. The stream of visitors to Dignitas may be breaking the law, yet the CPS has not prosecuted one.

This state of affairs is being tested in the high court by a 45-year-old MS sufferer Debbie Purdy, who has asked that the DPP reveal the criteria on which he exercises his discretion over whether to prosecute, which he refuses to do. She understandably wants to know if her husband is likely to be imprisoned for taking her to Switzerland to die. Can she regard the 1961 act, as it appears, to be akin to the treason and other archaic acts, and defunct in practice?

Purdy is inviting the judicial system to do what parliament has declined to do, which is to define the reasons under which euthanasia will be allowed, if not yet regulated. In this she is supported by a YouGov poll putting support for assisted euthanasia at 86%. A poll for Dignity in Dying records 76% support, and a BMA survey of doctors 56%.

The basis on which the authorities in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Oregon allow assisted dying varies. All require evidence of free will on the part of the dying but differ in such preconditions as the possibility of recovery, the extent of pain and the imminence of death.

None has led to an epidemic of “killings”. The safeguards seem robust (compared with those governing hospitals). In more than a decade, Oregon has seen just 431 assisted deaths.

The James case, now also under judicial consideration, breaks new ground. The young man’s condition was certainly not terminal and his mental state was clear. After a number of failed attempts at suicide, he expressed his wish to escape from “the prison” of his crippled body. He did not want to continue “what he felt was a second-class existence … in fear and loathing”.

He asserted his desire to do something perfectly legal, to take his own life, but was impeded by his disability from doing so. His parents freed him from that impediment. To prosecute them would be an outrage.

Only the most warped collectivist could argue that individuals must be kept alive against their will. One anti-euthanasia lobby last week even insisted that assisted suicide “would deprive the disabled of the benefit of suicide prevention”. To honour this spurious benefit, those wishing to die – and their relatives – must endure unbearable suffering at the bidding of others “for the good of society as a whole”.

I wonder what kind of society that is. Perhaps it is one that used to ban pain relief in childbirth, banned abortion, and held homosexuality a sin. That this should be supported by such prominent churchmen as the archbishop of Canterbury, the archbishop of Westminster and the chief rabbi is astonishing. In years to come, their attitude will seem not just illiberal but cruel.

I might do everything I can to persuade the victim of a mortal illness or crippling injury to squeeze the last shred from whatever life still has to offer them. I might plead the example of those who have gone that extra mile and enhanced the lives of others thereby. What cannot be right is for me to deny those whose unfettered judgment has reached a wish to die, the freedom of this, the last of life’s great dignities.

It is specious to claim that no safeguards can be put in place to protect against abuse. We have safeguards aplenty to regulate such risky social activities as drinking, driving, matrimony and procreation. We can draw up rules to govern the process of dying. This hangover of religious primitivism must surely end. Yet again we must turn to judges rather than members of parliament to uphold a modern liberty.

Grubby Christian fingerprints all over failed euthanasia bill


A FEW weeks back, veteran British writer and social commentator Kathleen Whitehorn, a guest  on Radio 4’s A Point of View, spoke in support of voluntary euthanasia. I have posted a recording here.

She concluded a powerful argument by saying:

I used to have a sort of Hollywood vision of my deathbed. I would lie on my pillows, pale but brave, and forgive my enemies on the grounds that nothing would infuriate them more. I know now that I am more likely to be half-senile in hospital, hung about with tubes and drips, confused and hurting. It may be very difficult to form a law that would give me an easy death, but I just hope they manage it before it’s my time to go.

Whitehorn, 80, I imagine, is as furious as I am that proposed legislation giving terminally ill people the right to die with the help of a doctor has just been rejected in Australia.

Last week the upper house of the Victorian Parliament voted down a private member’s bill — 25 votes to 13 — following months of passionate and emotional debate from MPs.

According to The Age, the euthanasia legislation, which was co-sponsored by Greens MP Colleen Hartland and Liberal MP Ken Smith, won the support of the Greens as well as Environment Minister Gavin Jennings and former Liberal upper house leader Philip Davis.

After the vote, Ms Hartland expressed disappointment at the bill’s defeat, saying euthanasia was happening all the time, with doctors assisting people to die.

All MPs had a conscience vote on the Medical Treatment (Physician Assisted Dying) Bill, which would have given mentally competent adults suffering from terminal illnesses the right to ask a doctor to help them die. Liberal Philip Davis backed the bill, saying if fits in with the fundamental belief in “the right of a human being to make their own choices before their own God”.

From the moment the bill was first proposed, Christian organisations across Australia mobilised against it, trotting out the same old tired nonsense that  only God has the right to decide when a life should end.”
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomed the defeat of the bill as:

A victory for those who value life.

The group’s director Rob Ward said:

The Victorian upper house politicians who voted against this bill should be proud of the role they have played in safeguarding our state from the travesty of turning doctors from carers into killers.

“Faith groups to be key policy advisers” – I wish this was a joke, but it is not.


Faith groups to be key policy advisers

Faith groups are to be given a central role in shaping government policies, a senior minister has vowed.

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, religious affairs correspondent
Published: 9:45PM GMT 14 Nov 2009

John Denham, the communities secretary, said the values of Christians, Muslims and other religions were essential in building a “progressive society”.

He attacked secularists who have called for religion to be kept out of public life.

Mr Denham revealed that a new panel of religious experts has been set up to advise the Government on making public policy decisions.

The move has been criticised by secularists who warned that it represented a worrying development.

However, Mr Denham argued that Christians and Muslims can contribute significant insights on key issues, such as the economy, parenting and tackling climate change.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, he admitted that the Government had failed to listen to these voices in the past, but is now determined to include them in the decision-making process.

“Anyone wanting to build a more progressive society would ignore the powerful role of faith at their peril,” he said.

“We should continually seek ways of encouraging and enhancing the contribution faith communities make on the central issues of our time.

“Faith is a strong and powerful source of honesty, solidarity, generosity – the very values which are essential to politics, to our economy and our society.”

The minister said that the Government needed to be educated by faith groups on “how to inform the rest of society about these issues”.

Last year, the Church of England was highly critical of Labour, with bishops questioning the morality of its policies and accusing it of giving preferential treatment to the Muslim community.

Mr Denham said it was wrong to give special status to minority faiths, such as Islam, and stressed that faiths should not be free from criticism.

“I don’t think you should have special treatment or special favours for any particular faith. I think the treatment, in terms of the ability to have robust debate or criticism of it, should be equal.”

He added that he was sympathetic with religious leaders, such as Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had complained of the rise of aggressive secularism in Britain.

“I don’t like the strand of secularism that says that faith is inherently a bad thing to have and should be kept out of public life,” Mr Denham said.

The religious panel is being launched this week to coincide with a series of interfaith initiatives designed to increase social cohesion.

It is being headed up by Francis Davis, a fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University, who is a prominent figure in the Catholic Church.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, criticised the Government’s move.

“It’s totally wrong to have faith groups as consultants,” he said.

“It’s not right that they should have this privileged position to promote their dogmas, many of which are unacceptable.

“We shouldn’t have unelected people influencing decision making.”

Denham’s misplaced ‘faith group’ faith


Denham’s misplaced ‘faith group’ faith

John Denham pours scorn on secularists with his plans for an advisory body which represents less than 10% of the population

John Denham, our government’s minister for communities, is going to have an advisory body made up of representatives of “faith” groups, further eroding the de facto secularism that has kept our society relatively stable and collegial, at least until recently. He pours scorn on secularists, which means the majority of the population who, whatever their faith or lack of it, are secularist in the sense that they do not wish religion, still less any one particular religion, to be in the driving seat of policymaking in this country.

Apart from the fact that the “faith groups” represent less than 10% of the population – namely, the less-than-10% who go to church, mosque, temple or synagogue regularly each week, and therefore represent no one but themselves and a tiny minority – what does Denham think he is going to learn from them? Are their points of view not extremely well-known and entirely predictable?

Evidently, Denham does not know enough about this. Let us therefore ask him a few questions about what he expects to hear from the faith groups on such matters as community cohesion, discrimination, the rule of law, the treatment of gay people, the rights of women – on all of which, of course, the faith groups have spectacularly marvellous attitudes calculated to maximise peace and inclusion across society.

So, Mr Denham, on community cohesion: do you take into account the fact that the major faiths officially blaspheme one another? For Christians, Muslims are followers of false prophets, and for Muslims, Christians repudiate the teachings of the Prophet. They once went to war with one another repeatedly and bloodily for centuries over these differences. Now – for the time being – they sit at the government’s table side by side, their hands eagerly stretched out for our tax money for their faith-based schools and their “community initiatives”.

And on the question of faith schools, Mr Denham, this oh-so-intelligent policy of government funding for division and ghettoisation of children into more entrenched versions of their communities, following the glowing example of Northern Ireland where this exact-same policy fostered mutual hostility and even murder. Is community cohesion to be achieved by separating children and teaching them fundamentally different outlooks on the world, in which all other communities are wrong and misguided in their metaphysical and ethical outlooks, needing conversion at least – or something worse if they refuse?

And what, Mr Denham, of the rule of law as this will be viewed by your faith advisers? Is each citizen of this country equal before the same law for all, or will injustice and discrimination thrive behind the closed doors of faith-based courts? Are each of the faiths to be allowed exceptions and exemptions – for example, so that any faith school can exclude well-qualified teachers because they do not share the ancient superstition with which a particular school seeks to brainwash small children’s minds?

Also Mr Denham, why is your policy so discriminatory in itself? What of the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, the Mother Goddess worshippers? What of the Druids, the White Witches, the Pagans, the astrologers, the Satanists? Are these not “faith groups” whose outlooks have precisely as much credibility and evidence-base as the Christians and Muslims? Are you going to include them and give them some of our tax money too? Can I start an “I Believe in Fairies” church and can I come to your meetings and get some government hand-outs too? If not, why not?

What is the difference, in your mature, rational, evidence-based and carefully thought-out view, between utterly spurious claims about the existence of supernatural entities requiring their votaries to indulge in irrational, discriminatory, divisive and sometimes violent behaviour, and those that putatively are not? Have you got an answer?

Somehow, Mr Denham, I doubt that you have an answer, because if you did, your actions would not be prompting these questions.