Why women need freedom from religion

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Chacala_Nayarit, Oct 29, 2006.

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  1. Chacala_Nayarit macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

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    #1
    Nontract #10
    Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

    Why Women Need Freedom From Religion

    Organized religion always has been and remains the greatest enemy of women's rights. In the Christian-dominated Western world, two bible verses in particular sum up the position of women:

    "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."--Genesis 3:16

    By this third chapter of Genesis, woman lost her rights, her standing--even her identity, and motherhood became a God-inflicted curse degrading her status in the world.

    In the New Testament, the bible decrees:

    "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."--1 Tim. 2:11-14

    One bible verse alone, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus 22:18) is responsible for the death of tens of thousands, if not millions, of women. Do women and those who care about them need further evidence of the great harm of Christianity, predicated as it has been on these and similar teachings about women?

    Church writer Tertullian said "each of you women is an Eve . . . You are the gate of Hell, you are the temptress of the forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law."

    Martin Luther decreed: "If a woman grows weary and at last dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing, she is there to do it."

    Such teachings prompted 19th-century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to write: "The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of woman's emancipation."

    The various Christian churches fought tooth and nail against the advancement of women, opposing everything from women's right to speak in public, to the use of anesthesia in childbirth (since the bible says women must suffer in childbirth) and woman's suffrage. Today the most organized and formidable opponent of women's social, economic and sexual rights remains organized religion. Religionists defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. Religious fanatics and bullies are currently engaged in an outright war of terrorism and harassment against women who have abortions and the medical staff which serves them. Those seeking to challenge inequities and advance the status of women today are fighting a massive coalition of fundamentalist Protestant and Catholic churches and religious groups mobilized to fight women's rights, gay rights, and secular government.

    Why do women remain second-class citizens? Why is there a religion-fostered war against women's rights? Because the bible is a handbook for the subjugation of women. The bible establishes woman's inferior status, her "uncleanliness," her transgressions, and God-ordained master/servant relationship to man. Biblical women are possessions: fathers own them, sell them into bondage, even sacrifice them. The bible sanctions rape during wartime and in other contexts. Wives are subject to Mosaic-law sanctioned "bedchecks" as brides, and male jealousy fits and no-notice divorce as wives. The most typical biblical labels of women are "harlot" and "whore." They are described as having evil, even satanic powers of allurement. Contempt for women's bodies and reproductive capacity is a bedrock of the bible. The few role models offered are stereotyped, conventional and inadequate, with bible heroines admired for obedience and battle spirit. Jesus scorns his own mother, refusing to bless her, and issues dire warnings about the fate of pregnant and nursing women.

    There are more than 200 bible verses that specifically belittle and demean women. Here are just a few:

    (See Woe To The Women: The Bible Tells Me So for a more comprehensive list)
    Genesis 2:22 Woman created from Adam's rib
    3:16 Woman cursed: maternity a sin, marriage a bondage
    19:1-8 Rape virgins instead of male angels

    Exodus 20:17 Insulting Tenth Commandment, considering a wife to be property
    21:7-11 Unfair rules for female servants, may be sex slaves
    22:18 "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"
    38:8 Women may not enter tabernacle they must support

    Leviticus 12:1-14 Women who have sons are unclean 7 days
    12:4-7 Women who have daughters are unclean 14 days
    15:19-23 Menstrual periods are unclean
    19:20-22 If master has sex with engaged woman, she shall be scourged

    Numbers 1:2 Poll of people only includes men
    5:13-31 Barbaric adulteress test
    31:16-35 "Virgins" listed as war booty

    Deuteronomy 21:11-14 Rape manual
    22:5 Abomination for women to wear men's garments, vice-versa
    22:13-21 Barbaric virgin test
    22:23-24 Woman raped in city, she & her rapist both stoned to death
    22:28-29 Woman must marry her rapist
    24:1 Men can divorce woman for "uncleanness," not vice-versa
    25:11-12 If woman touches foe's penis, her hand shall be cut off

    Judges 11:30-40 Jephthah's nameless daughter sacrificed
    19:22-29 Concubine sacrificed to rapist crowd to save man

    I Kings 11:1-4 King Solomon had 700 wives & 300 concubines

    Job 14:1-4 "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one . . ."

    Proverbs 7:9-27 Evil women seduce men, send them to hell
    11:22 One of numerous Proverbial putdowns

    Isaiah 3:16-17 God scourges, rapes haughty women

    Ezekiel 16:45 One of numerous obscene denunciations

    Matthew 24:19 "[woe] to them that are with child"

    Luke 2:22 Mary is unclean after birth of Jesus

    I Corinthians 11:3-15 Man is head of woman; only man in God's image
    14:34-35 Women keep in silence, learn only from husbands

    Ephesians 5:22-33 "Wives, submit . . ."

    Colossians 3:18 More "wives submit"

    I Timothy 2:9 Women adorn selves in shamefacedness
    2:11-14 Women learn in silence in all subjection; Eve was sinful, Adam blameless

    Why should women--and the men who honor women--respect and support religions which preach women's submission, which make women's subjugation a cornerstone of their theology?

    When attempts are made to base laws on the bible, women must beware. The constitutional principle of separation between church and state is the only sure barrier standing between women and the bible.

    For more information about the treatment of women in the bible, read the books Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So by Annie Laurie Gaylor and The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible by Ruth Hurmence Green.
     
  2. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #2
    Since Christians and Muslims both believe in the same god, its like god has two branches of follower who attack each other, hardly sounds a good god to me.
     
  3. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #3
    I dispise narrow minded, narcissistic, inherently prejudiced spin when it applies to

    an otherwise excellent point.

    (Look out.... I've been in serious need of a RANT... and this just set me off)

    Organized religion is the enemy of every free thinking human on earth. Religion is beurocracy of the soul. Priests don't talk about ethics, they talk about morals. They don't talk about compassion and decency they talk about sin and sacrifice. Whether or not women get a fair deal is missing the larger point, it's like complaining that the tank treads are crushing your daisies while ignoring the fact that you've got a goddamn Abrams on your front lawn lining up on "toothpicking" your house.

    Religion is what happened when the Weasels got a few unlucky Shamans drunk off their asses and had them codify what was better left to individual conscience. When we had one or two humans per village being the metaphysical equivalent of the entire medical and mental health apparatus things had to be more pragmatic.

    It wasn't efficient or practical to have people dragging their sorry, self absorbed neuroses, post traumatic stress and penis envy along to a weekly pay-to-play self-flagellation applointment when the whole group had to work together or get crushed by the sheer weight of survival. The approach wasn't to bilk, cheat, mindwarp, rob, frighten, or otherwise victimize an already vulnerable person. You actually had to provide personalized service to FIX THE PROBLEM.

    Organized religions are devoid of useful remedial action. They focus on crime and punnishment, not on behavioural correction. Sound familliar?

    Utter and complete ethical laziness. Why think when we can react from a moral script? Why exert the mental energy to really come up with a compassionate solution to someone's problems? After all, when they're desperate for approval, ignorant and just slightly perverted it's much more proffitable to feed their inner parisites and feed them meaningless feel-good lies that keep them coming back. Why sell Aspirin when you can sell @#%*ing Morphene?

    Grrrrrrrr.......

    To take a HUGE societal issue that we're just beginning to realize we're better off without and reduce it to one group's suffering is so myopic it qualifies for a swift kick in the nuts.

    *(paces around and looks for someone to be generally belligerent and violent to... )*

    Organized religion, Cocaine, BDSM and a few other forms of addictive cultural excreta are all signs of a stagnant and decadent culture that's gotten entirely too far from the fire-hardened point of life. We spend so much time in our heads finding new ways to be "bad" simply because we CAN!!!

    If we still had to think about making sure we had a good selection of long, pointy objects handy to stick our next large meal with so it'd hold still long enough to be set on fire we'd all be a whole lot less concerned about this otherwise meaningless esoteric fart-lighting contest we call religion.

    Which leads me to the subject of food and sex. Ever wonder how the only water-friendly ape got so obsessed with stabbing, clubbing or otherwise mutillating some of the world's most annoying animals?

    Personally, I think it was a combination of good equipment and the fact that when you get a whole lot of women together in one place their cycles synchronize. Think about it. You've got a whole bunch of men who're feeling seriously messed with at the end of the month with sharp, pointy objects, a desire to stab something to death and the newfound talent for lighting things on fire. They love their wives so something else gets to die... What's a good excuse? Security! Name a critter that can be a menace for it's sheer capacity for violence coupled with a total lack of respect for any other critter: Pigs. So these cranky, murderous men go out and stab a pig to death, light it on fire, realize they'd all pissed off their wives enough that none of them had food packed and discover two things simultaniously:

    Guilt for having murdered their wives in effigy.

    and

    Barbecued Ribs.

    There's the seeds of religion right there now that I think about it. Left unchecked, the internalized rationalizations for that kind of thing would make for traditions that would both eventually repress women and facilitate ritualized violence both as pennance and as release.

    Screw it, Hug a Shaman, have some ribs, love your wife.;)

    That's what I get for starting a rant sober and staying that way throughout. Dammit. Oh well.... back to your discussions.... seizure over...:rolleyes:
     
  4. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #4
    Did you make that up yourself? I... like it! :)
     
  5. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #5
    This is an interesting thread. I'm a rather religious person and my belief in God is a regular and critical part of who I am. And I take offense at someone claiming that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. I think that Karl Marx was right however when he said that religion is the opium of the masses.

    The problem with organized religion is that the followers become apathetic about their faith and allow the church to start thinking for them because they are too fracking lazy to pull out their holy book and read it now and then. That's why despite his sinful moments (hey, the man was German, he loved his beer) I love Martin Luther's style. He refused to be brainwashed. He pulled out a Bible, and came to his own conclusions.

    I haven't got it all figured out yet, and I don't imagine I ever will. I'll tell you this though, the journey is a lot more fun when you pick your own path with God (or whatever your higher power is) rather than let some organized group of possibly corrupt individuals guide you.

    And enough with the Biblical one liners already! The Bible can be twisted to support any agenda if placed in the proper context to suit. I believe that it's words are wholesome to the soul, and the inspired word of God, and I'll chime back in after I get a chance to pull out my copy and address the multitude of verses presented by the OP, and add a couple verses of my own that define my belief on the topic of man/woman relationships.
     
  6. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #6
    OK! Here we go. I too will quote scripture in rebuttal, but only passages and not verses so that there is no questioning their context.

    For starters, I have removed all the Old Testament verse because they all fit into one of two categories:

    1) They are Old Testament law. The Old Testament given by God is the Ten Commandments, and all 600+ laws in Leviticus and such were given because the Israelites got bored in the desert (for 40 years), and the only way they could be entertained was by being given so many insignificant little laws that they were to preoccupied with catching each other sin that they didn't have time to invent new ways of being perverse and evil. Jesus' life/death/resurrection abolished these rules.

    Mark 12:28-34: In this story, a teacher of the law asks Jesus which of the laws is the 'most important'. Jesus answers that they are to love their God with all their heart, and second to love their neighbor. The answer is given with such authority and finality on the subject that the teacher of the law declares him wise, and shuts up.

    At the death of Jesus (Matthew 27:45-55) there are several miraculous signs, but of interest is that the curtain in the temple that separated the holy places was split in two. This is symbolic showing that Jesus by his death had abolished the old order of laws and had set all people free from sin.

    Jesus also talks of a new covenant that He is establishing which removes the need for the old covenant/laws.

    2) That's the way society was back then. This may come as a shock, but people did things differently 2000-6000 (Bible times) years ago. Society has progressed towards equality a great deal since then. Just because men disrespected women then and treated them as property doesn't mean we still have to today. As recent as 60 years ago, women were taught in school that is was their job to be a good housewife. Things change, and that's one reason that organized religion is bad, because religious leaders become 'Keepers of the Ancient Ways' even if those ways don't fit with society.



    On to the New Testament verses.

    This is Jesus talking about the 'end times' when the Earth is undergoing a period of violent destruction. He is sympathizing with pregnant and nursing women for they will also have to look out for a new-born baby during the apocalypse. Hardly an attack on woman's rights.

    See what I mean about context!!

    This is obedience to obsolete Old Testament law. See above.

    After the Gospels, most of the new Testament books are letters from Paul to the early churches. He is writing the them to help them resolve their struggles and focus on worship and spreading Jesus' message of love. In this passage it looks like someone wrote to Paul: "Dear Paul, this chick was wearing a hat to church. That bugs me. What should I do?" Look closely at verses 11-16 where Paul basically says:

    "Look ya'll, neither man nor woman can exist without the other. Woman was created of man, but all men were born of women. If you can't worship with men wearing hats or with women not wearing hats then put the man hats on the women and just stinking WORSHIP already! If you want to make this a big deal, fine, but get over it and get back to what matters."

    This is an example of Paul instructing the church to follow society. At the time this was standard, women did not speak out in public, the husband was the vocal head of the house. This is no longer the case in society, therefore it should no longer be the case in church.

    I love it when bigots use this passage! Read it carefully.

    The whole passage.


    Without selective perception that cuts out the important verses (25-28).

    This passage is about the behavior of a man and woman together in a loving relationship, I'll quote vv 25-28 for those of you that don't have a Bible handy.

    I think that about sums that up.

    More selective perception? Yep. Read verse 19: Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

    This verse falls in a passage about church worship. Basically it says that it's inappropriate for women to flaunt their bodies in church in a sexual way. If I go to church and find myself more interested if the chick across the way is going to pop out of her blouse, I'm not really meditating on my own journey with God now am I. If she wants to dress like that at the grocery store or at the park or wherever else, that's cool. Just like their are dress codes in school, the uncovered human body can distract from other pursuits.

    See note on I Corinthians 14:34-35 rebuttal.

    Actually, the women haters included the Ephesians verse about the husband surrendering his needs to his wife's, and therefore made my argument for women's rights for me.
     
  7. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #7
    Alright, just one more quickie and I'm off to sleep.

    The thread title should probably be "Why women need freedom from organized religion"

    Hey kids, spoil your dinner!

    Bigger kids, go have a beer, or a smoke, or whatever calms you down, and stop tryin' to beat people up all the time. Let's have a civil discussion about civilization and leave that anger and violence nonsense out of here.
     
  8. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #8
    I don't accept that argument. How do you decide which parts of the new testament are obsolete because society has changed.

    The passage is still demeaning, discriminatory and just plain sucks. Women should submit but men should just love their women, they still decide everything in the relationship.

    Women don't even have to love their men. I guess it doesn't matter because they should just submit.
     
  9. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #9
    am i wrong to think Muslims and Christians worship the same god?
     
  10. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #10
    Sort of, Christianity, Islam and Judaism are all Abrahamic religions. That is, they all have common figures in the early stages of the religion.

    Whether or not it's the same god is a matter of contention. Judaism and Christianity - yeah, same god but different interpretation and beliefs about jesus etc. Whether or not allah and the judeo-christian god is the same is arguable.
     
  11. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #11
    LOL WOW! They ARE the same arent they! Its all clear to me now. Thank you.
     
  12. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #12
    the koran and the bible share the book Genesis. Abraham Sleeps with a servant girl and they have a son Ismail (sp). The mother and son a banished to the desert and God said he would be the father of a great nation. THen Abraham's wife finally gets pregnant and has Issac.
     
  13. Queso macrumors G4

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    #13
    I've always wondered whether the whole God being a He and Man In His Image was simply a big old put down for all the Earth Goddess pagan religions back when Judaism first formed into a codified religion. IIRC this was after the fall of the Kingdom of Israel, but before the fall of Judah. There's also the argument that all Abrahamic religions stem from Sun worship in Ancient Egypt, which was subsequently taken by the Israelites into Canaan, although why the Sun is male is anyone's guess.

    The Earth is always thought of as female though, so I suppose it works. We needed both to create life.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    I heard that Jehovah started out on his career as a female mountain goddess in Syria...
     
  15. Queso macrumors G4

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    #15
    But did she wear a veil? I think it's important that we know :p
     
  16. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #16
    Passages regarding public behavior and modesty.

    Then we interpret to passage differently. My interpretation is this: in a marriage, if both man and wife make decisions, then they are likely to disagree and it will unnecessary put stress on the marriage. Like much of the Bible, its advice only works it a perfect world devoid of sin. In a perfect world, the women submits to her husband in decisions, but it's a moot point because the husband is to completely surrender his needs and wants to hers and put her first in EVERY decision and always do what is best for her. Unfortunately, we don't live in the perfect world, and the husband is likely to slip and be selfish, and once the husband has broken his commitment, the wife is no longer compelled to submit.

    In short, she submits in decision making, but he submits his will and makes all decisions with her first.

    When I read what the Bible has to say on personal relationships, I read that they are about giving. A perfect world would be socialist. Basically, if you completely give up your time and resources and I completely give up my time and resources and we all look out for each other, everything will work out.
     
  17. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #17
    [​IMG]
    in wiki, alot of entries about 'GOD', and to be honesty, I didn't see why he is different in Muslims than Chrirtians or Jews, maybe they argue about his way of existence, but there seems no dispute he is the same one. Anyone has some research documents?
    these are some links:
    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_10_121/ai_n6159171
    ans yes, there are different opinions inside both christians and muslims, but again, they are much more related with each other than with Buddhism.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    Where's the quote for that?
    That was quite a contortion.
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    It's hardly a matter of contention that the Christians, Muslims and Jews believe the same fairy story.
     
  20. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #20
    LOL, its like: her submission is guaranteed by system, while his submission is all by his will. This is fundamentally unfair.
     
  21. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #21
    Maybe Christians and Muslims do worship the same god, but maybe I don't worship the same God as Christians even though I go to the same house of worship and participate in the same worship service. Many Muslims worship a god that rewards them for dying in the process of killing unbelievers. Many Christians worship a god that would have them discriminate and hate fellow humans. I worship the one true God that would have me love my neighbor to the point of surrendering all my possessions, love my spouse to the point of surrendering my will to hers, and who sent His only Son to live a perfect life and to suffer death on my part to save me from suffering for the times when I replace my love with selfishness.
     
  22. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #22
    there shouldn't be a problem, its those who want to make this a problem make this world full of killing.
     
  23. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #23
    What part of "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" aren't you getting?

    The Bible says that when a man marries, he gives his needs, EVEN HIS LIFE, as willing sacrifice to protect his wife and uphold her honor. If you want to misinterpret the Bible to further your hate of the church I can't stop you, but it hurts me to see my holy book used as reasoning to spread hate.
     
  24. dsnort macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Amen brother, amen!

    Just a note on this, IMHO God is not fair. He does not deal in fairness. He never said he did. Fairness says that everyone gets a roughly equivalent outcome, regardless of input. It fails because everyones perception of what's fair is different.

    Fairness is mans poor substitute for Gods perfect justice. God has layed the foundation, and left it to us to choose. As we choose, so will we receive. Without justice, there cannot be mercy.
     
  25. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #25
    How can you not see this is unfair? Even though the man, according to this passage, is supposed to make decisions that favours his wife because he's supposed to love her, it's still he that makes the decisions. You can't deny the roles for a man and a woman is different here. Even if I should accept a difference, which I don't, it's still a terrible deal for the woman. Not only does she risk having a selfish husband. She also always has to trust the final decision on her husband even in cases where she's more competent than the man. Who cares if the man wants your best if he disagrees with you. And if you're in disagreement, you, as a wife, have to submit.

    I wouldn't accept that deal.
     
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