Religion lies about women

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/religion-lies-about-women/2011/04/13/AFDS9mXD_blog.html

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!

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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

God’s will shall be done.

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Whenever I hear some religious leader telling his or her flock that god wants this, and he doesn’t like that, it reminds me of the time I grew up during the apartheid era in South Africa. The vicars/priests all preached that what the Afrikaner people were doing to the people of color in SA was right. It was all god’s will, and he had a plan for them. The Afrikaner people were all god’s chosen people, and what they were doing to the other people in the country was fine, because they had it coming. Now they have swept that duzy nicely under the carpet, and nobody talks about it anymore.

Those fucking fundie wankers keeps blaming the devil for everything that is wrong in their lives and the world. They are so fucking superstitious, that it is quite an embarrassment to call them my fellow Afrikaners. It’s always god this and god that, god’s will, it’s all part of his plan, etc etc etc. Quite tiresome.

But they, as all fundamentalists, believe that what ever they want, is their god given right. Still today, these wankers are forcing their religion down other peoples children’s necks in the public schools, and they are going to fight for what they “believe” is their right to keep doing this.

The poor buggers. Like all fundies, they fight for their right to remain ignorant and just plain fucking stupid. Quite astonishing. Talk about a self inflicted wound!

The thing I have a huge problem with, is that they try to inflict this wound of being a fucking ignorant dumbass on other peoples children. There has to be a line drawn. Oh, wait, there is a pretty clear line. It is called the South African Constitution. But try and explain this to a gorilla. The gorilla would have a better chance of understanding this than a fucking fundie.

Yes, good luck to you dumb fuckers out there. Fall on your knees and pray all you like. Your god is nothing but wishful thinking. Wishful thinking never solved anything. The longer you fuckers believe some fairytale creature is going to help you to do this and do that and cure this and sort that one out, the longer you are going to be seen as a big fucking joke.

One thing I can tell you, yes you bastards who believe you are all doing this for your fucking god, is that none of your problems are going to go away because you believe, have faith, or pray. All those things that bothers you, will still be there staring you in the face tomorrow morning when you wake up. You have to do better than just pray or believe or have faith.

One last thing, when a scientist invents something new that changes your life for the better, don’t be so fucking arrogant as to give the credit to your god. Your god is only a figment of your imagination. It had nothing to do with what a scientist invented somewhere else.

And for fuck’s sake, if I have to sit next to another fucking wanker on a plane who fucking prays before takeoff and before landing, and after landing, and during turbulence, to some fucking god to please keep the plane in the air, then I am really going to start laughing my arse off. You people are fucking pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shame on you all!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!