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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

God and Christian faith can you really prove its misogynistic?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (22131 points ) October 2nd, 2010

I had heard of the Christian belief as being misogynistic because of scripture like Gen 2:18, 20–22; Eph: 5, 22–24 (but is should be noted that v. 25–33 should be accounted for to get the full context, a fact many fail to see); Col: 3,18; 1Tim: 11–14; etc. Misogynic is a rather harsh word and a misnomer isn’t it? God hates women? God put women here to be a helper and mate to Adam not his slave. Can anyone point me to any scripture where God says he hated or hates women? I have not been able to find it. Surely with any organization or group you will have a pecking order, someone has to be in charge and accountable. Just because God made the person on top man because he was created 1st proves God hates women? You not have a stronger charge than just that?

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70 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

God creates the man first and the woman only after the man gets bored boning the animals.
The woman is responsible for original sin and getting thrown out of paradise.
The woman is made subservient to the man.
She is not allowed to be in a position of authority or teaching to a man.
Women are considered and treated as property of men.

mammal's avatar

It’s probably more the horrendous patriarchy that is the problem, misogyny is only an issue if the biblically instilled patriarchy is challenged.

The bible isn’t overtly misogynist, God actually adores women who do as they are told, and conform to male decreed expectations of dutiful womanhood. i don’t need to prove that the bible is misogynistic, the Patriarchal agenda is open and undeniable, that’s the overriding concern. The latent and potential misogyny is a secondary issue.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Its obviously not so bad in modern times. while some christians still do try and use scripture to justify their sexism, they are mostly looked down on. but make no mistake, 2000 years ago, women where seen as inferior is the vast majority of the world, by almost every culture on earth.

So, is Christianity misogynistic? kind of but not really, but it certainly was written by misogynistic men.

So, looking at it in context. it was misogynistic in a time when being misogynistic was the norm, and no longer is. the bible does say to kill those who work on the sabbath, but no one actually does kill anyone for it in todays world. so saying Christianity is misogynistic and using scripture to back it up (with or without v. 25–33 ) is kind of like saying Christians kill those who work on the sabbath.

At best, you can argue that it was misogynistic, and that it has the potential to perhaps some day be misogynistic again. (subject to interpretation and cultural trends)

ratboy's avatar

If God doesn’t hate women, why did He inflict the curse on them?

BoBo1946's avatar

Genesis 2:18
18) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

God doesn’t hate any human being. When He sent his only Son to die for us, that is a pretty strong case about his love for men and women.

kess's avatar

Both the christian and their opposers have an incorrect view of women in life and scripture.
Women have a very specific nature which from the very beginning is being used to achieve the works of God.

When you understand all things, you would then know that the Male is greater than the female because the female is within the male.

Nevertheless they both are one and when ever they are divided into two is to achieve a good purpose.

Winters's avatar

People need to remember that initially, the Roman Catholic church edited and wrote the bible until they saw it fit as to their own needs/wants, which included putting women on a level nearly equal to sub-human.

mammal's avatar

@kess you would then know that the Male is greater than the female because the female is within the male….

that statement so, casually delivered, is quite outrageous, to anyone who exists outside the spell of Medieval Religious Dogma, and actually is precisely what turns people, intelligent people, toward a militant Anti-Theism that is not only indifferent to the bloody Western invasions of Islamic regions, but actively supports the idea as a means of progressing the so called Enlightenment movement.

nicobanks's avatar

Hmm…

You talk about “Christian faith” as a singular thing, but no such thing exists. There’s many Christian faiths, and each of them approach, interpret, discuss, and apply the scriptures differently. On top of that, more than half of the Christian scriptures are also the Jewish scriptures, and again there’s many different Jewish faiths and they each see the Bible differently. So what are you talking about, exactly? All Abrahamic faiths (which includes Islam)? All faiths in the Judeo-Christian tradition? A particular Christian faith?

Or are you really talking about the Bible, and whether or not it’s inherently misogynist? I’m going to assume that’s what you mean.

All the examples you cite (and by “1Tim 11–14” I assume you mean 1 Tim 2:11–14?) are about deference and submission, and they’re phrased rather placidly. I agree with you: these aren’t inherently misogynist. Of course, they could be used by a misogynist to defend his misogyny, but that’s neither here nor there.

While not misogynist, your defence of these verses is sexist and patriarchal, as the verses are themselves. If one believes, as I believe, that men and women are equal – spiritually, socially, intellectually, emotionally, etc. – then the belief that women should defer to men is a sexist one. I agree that any organization or group needs a pecking order, but to determine that pecking order based on sex, and not on individual merit, is prejudiced and sexist: it assumes women are inferior to men. The versus you cite often point, as you did, to the fact that men were created first; well, in any given family, is the oldest sibling always the superior one? Of course not! That logic is full of holes.

And it’s not just those or any other individual verses: the whole Bible has a sexist bent. Eve is created second, and she is responsible for the fall; rarely are women’s stories told, and rarely do the women who appear in the Bible appear in a good light.

As for misogyny, you’re being a little simplistic. Of course there’s no verse that says “God hates women,” just as human misogynists don’t go around saying “I hate women.” Misogyny is about hatred for woman-things; hatred for woman-ness.

If I wanted to argue inherent misogyny in the Bible I wouldn’t point to the submission theme necessarily, but to the way women’s bodies and bodily processes are treated. I found a link that talks about this in detail and provides many citations. I’m not saying I agree with all of it, but it shows what I mean. It talks about the “contempt for women’s bodies and natural functions,” and provides examples of how the menstrual cycle makes women unclean, the virginity double-standard, their singular role as child-bearers always to be blamed for sterility (never is the man blamed for sterility), the polygamy double-standard, etc. http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/articles/women-bible

jerv's avatar

Without actually knowing the guy personally, I can’t really say what God really thinks, and unlike many theists, I am not egotistical enough to claim that I can.

As for Christianity, I think that the proof of their misogyny is pretty obvious to anybody who knows anything about history. Of course, many other religions who never even heard of Jesus have similar issues with women, so I am inclined to believe that it is more of a cultural issue made by Man than anything inherent in religion, Christian or otherwise. It’s just that many Christians (and followers of other religions) quote scripture that they claim is The Unquestionable Word of God/Allah/Bob to justify their actions.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know if God hates women and I don’t care…but there have been plenty of people who have interpreted the Bible in support of their patriarchy…besides, God made Lillith first so he wanted to be egalitarian but Adam was such a wuss about it that God had to pacify this crybaby and give him an object made out of his rib – I have often heard Christian men say that God is the head of the world like the pastor the head of the church and the man the head of his household – the woman is below, regardless.

crazyivan's avatar

I think the question is framed wrong. I don’t think anyone claims that God is misogynistic, but rather that the modern Christian Church is misogynistic. There have been some great responses already that speak to the inherent sexism of the bible, but that’s hard to fault as it clearly just reflects the prevailing attitudes of the day.

While some denominations are more progressive and some less, the very fact that woman are excluded from many (if not most) of the important roles within the church is a powerful argument toward at the least sexism and at the most misogyny.

fundevogel's avatar

I don’t know that I would call it misogynistic (woman hating), but the Bible is definitely sexist.

Here are the examples of sexist expectations and attitudes toward women in just Genesis. Actually I haven’t finished the whole book yet, the moral destitution makes it hard to read, as does my copious note taking.

Women are most frequently mentioned only as something to marry, screw and have children:

Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of [g] bronze and iron. 4:19–22

The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. 11:29–30

When Esau was forty years old he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite; and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah. 26:34

“There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her.” 38:2

Tamar, a widow, is nearly burned to death for having sex:

“About three months later Judah was told, ‘Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of her whoredom.’

And Judah said, ‘Bring her out, and let her be burned.’

As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, ‘It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.” And she said, “Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.’” 37:24–25

(In case you were wondering it was Judah who unknowingly knocked up Tamar. He doesn’t burn her after all when Tamar’s got him by the balls with that.)

Rachel and Leah seem to think having babies, and lots of them, is the only way to gain love and status:

When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now. 29:31–32

When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” 30:1

And female slaves are used sexually by their masters.

The she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, that she may bare upon my knees and that I too may have children through her.” 30:3

Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali. 30:7–8

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad. 30:9–1

And Sarai said to Abram, “You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I obtain children by her.” 16:2

Woman is considered subordinate to man:

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain shall you bear forth children, yet your desire will be for you husband, and he shall rule over you. 3:16

Second creation story has inequal creation of man and woman, first does not:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 1:26–27

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 2:20–23

Wives are bought from their fathers:

After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”

Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. 29:14–20

Father exploiting daughter’s sexuality for personal gain:

But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant. When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”

Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.“29:23–27

Husbands exploit wife’s sexuality for personal safety:

‘I know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘this is his wife’; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say that you are my sister, so that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account.’

When the officials of Pharoh saw her, they praised her so to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaohs house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female slaves, female donkeys and camels. 12:9–16

From there Abraham journeyed toward the region of the Negeb and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While residing in Gerar as an alien, Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” And King Abimelech of Gerar took Sarah. 20:1–2

“When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister”; for he was afraid to say, “My wife,” thinking, “or else the men of the place might kill me for the sake of Rebekah, because she is attractive in appearance.” 26:7–8

Lot went out of the door to the men and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Look, have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 19:6-

God-approved abandonment of offspring and babymama:

But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” 21:9–10

But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you.” 21:12

God punishes woman for curiosity:

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 19:24–26

crazyivan's avatar

@fundevogel And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we love Fluther. Spectacular answer. I learned a lot about something I thought I knew about.

rooeytoo's avatar

Christianity lost me when it got into the “love, honor and obey business. Don’t think that necessarily makes it mysogynistic but comes too damned close for my taste.

fundevogel's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Lilith isn’t in the Bible. The first account of Adam and Lillth didn’t appear until the 10th century in a Jewish text. It reappeared in Kabbala. Source

@crazyivan Thanks, one day I’m actually going to able to do that for the whole Bible, but its a big job taking notes and indexing and I only do it when I feel like it.

everephebe's avatar

@fundevogel, this is a perfect answer:

“I don’t know that I would call it misogynistic (woman hating), but the Bible is definitely sexist.”

You probably can’t prove that God or the Christian faith are truly misogynistic, but sexist? Um, yep.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@fundevogel I know, but Christians know the story.

Trillian's avatar

@fundevogel Lot’s wife was not punished for curiosity, but for disobedience. They had all been warned not to look back. It’s funny, but it seems like when I was a kid, I nderstood completely what happened to Lot’s wife with the whole pillar of salt thing. Now I can’t imagine what could have happened in scientific terms, or what my explanation was back then.

fundevogel's avatar

@Trillian “Lot’s wife was not punished for curiosity, but for disobedience.”

Are you making a distinction or justifying it? Because I don’t see how this is any better. Especially when the command is completely arbitrary to begin with. There is no reason for her not to look except that she was told not to. It is a command that is given for no reason except to be broken.

It’s classic prohibition/violation setup. Just like with the apple in the garden, Cupid and Psyche and Pandora’s Box. Its a literary convention, there is no surer way to know a character will do something than forbidding that very thing .

everephebe's avatar

I think you mean Eros @fundevogel, but yeah agreed.

everephebe's avatar

Cupid is the Roman one, and Eros the Greek. I thought Psyche was just Greek, this is in fact my mistake.

Trillian's avatar

@fundevogel Just clarifying. Why would you think I was justifying anything? I grew up in a pentecostal home, I know the stories. I was under the impression that the command was given as a safety precaution…as in; keep moving, don’t look back and trip yourself up or be too horrified by the wanton destruction that you see behind you to move…
Did you not read my whole post?
I never try to justify the Christian faith or any other. I do try to understand where others are coming from. I was taught that all Catholics were gong to burn in hell as a child.
I believe differently now, but I don’t hold the beliefs of others against them or think that people are stupid for believing in a God that they accept on faith. People and their belief systems are far too complex for a casual, one line explanaton that results in a dismissal. Or at least, that’s what I believe.

eden2eve's avatar

@fundevogel “there is no surer way to know a character will do something than forbidding that very thing .”
So are you saying that there should be no rules (or laws) made, because people will surely break them?
Rediculous! So we should not teach our children to stay out of streets, because they may just defy us and run in front of cars?

@Trillian “he command was given as a safety precaution…as in; keep moving, don’t look back ”
Thank you! I think that is a big part of the reason. What happened to her may have been simply a scientific result of her choice, due to the action on her body of whatever caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Also, I think that the text was suggesting that Lot’s wife was not accepting of the commandment to leave the city, and wanted to return, being unwilling to leave her home and belongings.

fundevogel's avatar

@Trillian Just clarifying. Why would you think I was justifying anything?

I couldn’t tell, it’s tricky in written words sometimes.

@Trillian I was under the impression that the command was given as a safety precaution…as in; keep moving, don’t look back and trip yourself up or be too horrified by the wanton destruction that you see behind you to move…

@eden2eve I think that is a big part of the reason. What happened to her may have been simply a scientific result of her choice, due to the action on her body of whatever caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

If that were the case the warning would be to prevent harm coming to her. But she is not harmed by looking back or tripping, but by being turned to salt. Since turning into salt is not something that happens as a result any natural phenomena, let alone turning around and looking at something, I have to assume this was an act of God. And if he was concerned with her well being turning her to salt wasn’t the way to go.

@eden2eve So are you saying that there should be no rules (or laws) made, because people will surely break them?

No, my dear strawman, look again at the quote you refer to:

“there is no surer way to know a character will do something than forbidding that very thing.”

Now look at the whole sentence:

“Its a literary convention, there is no surer way to know a character will do something than forbidding that very thing.”

I’m speaking of literary conventions, I never mentioned the law. This should be clear since I referred to a “character”, explicitly said it was a literary convention and cited examples from mythology, not the legal system.

Trillian's avatar

On the other hand… Being punished immediately for disobeying god seems to negate free will. It’s something that I used to argue with my mother anout all the time. Why would I submit to a god who is going to hold me down until I say “uncle”? Then again, this is Old Testament. And according to the story she stops, looks back and payas the price. Call it an act of god, or chance. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the pyroclastic show was going on. Bottom line, she should have been hoofin’ it, not wondering if she turned the stove off…

fundevogel's avatar

@Trillian And according to the story she stops, looks back and payas the price. Call it an act of god, or chance. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the pyroclastic show was going on. Bottom line, she should have been hoofin’ it, not wondering if she turned the stove off…

This sounds an awful lot like, “it’s her fault for not doing what she was told.”

But that is probably the whole point of her death. Its a dramatic way of telling people “do what God says or else.” That or they’re getting her out of the way for the end of the story where her daughters get Lot drunk and sleep with him which leads to the incestuous roots of the Ammonites and Moabites. That story provides a degrading origin story for the early Jews’ rivals giving justification for their presumed superiority to two entire cultures.

The death of Lot’s wife does play an important role in perpetuating fear in God and defaming rivals. Her death serves these ends, but I think it’s safe to say that the death penalty, regardless of it’s religious and ethnocentric utility in the story, is a gratuitous and malevolent reaction to stealing a glance as your home burns to the ground.

eden2eve's avatar

@fundevogel
I believe that the phrase “looked back” was an idiomatic way of saying “she turned back” or “returned to Sodom.”
When warning the disciples of the destruction which was going to come upon Jerusalem, the Savior warned them to flee without delay, not even going into the house to get their possessions. Jesus said, “And he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife” – Luke 17:31–32
Most scholars agree that the most probable site of Sodom is now covered by the southern part of the Dead Sea, a body of water with a high salt content. If Lot’s wife returned to Sodom, she would have been caught in the destruction. Her becoming a pillar of salt could be a figurative way of expressing this outcome.

Regarding “literary conventions”, I have no idea of how your “strawman” argument might apply. My example was completely applicable, as we were discussing admonishing someone to avoid certain behavior based upon the lack of safety of said behavior. You are refusing to back up your own statements. Can you not reason authentically?

fundevogel's avatar

@eden2eve “I believe that the phrase “looked back” was an idiomatic way of saying “she turned back” or “returned to Sodom.”

I’m not in the habit of twisting myself in knots to to make my readings of the Bible more favorable to God. And somehow I put more stock in the professional translators’ conclusions than what you “believe” a phrase in an ancient tongue you haven’t studied means. So lets just stick with what the Bible says.

When they had brought them outside, they [the angels] said,
“Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the hills, or else you will beconsumed.” Gen 19:17

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Gen 19:26

@eden2eve When warning the disciples of the destruction which was going to come upon Jerusalem, the Savior warned them to flee without delay, not even going into the house to get their possessions. Jesus said, “And he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife” – Luke 17:31–32

I have no reason to assume that because Jesus interpreted the story one way it must be true. I can’t even know for sure if Jesus said that. Or if the man ever existed. You see my problem?

@eden2eve Regarding “literary conventions”, I have no idea of how your “strawman” argument might apply. My example was completely applicable, as we were discussing admonishing someone to avoid certain behavior based upon the lack of safety of said behavior. You are refusing to back up your own statements. Can you not reason authentically?

I said:

“It’s classic prohibition/violation setup. Just like with the apple in the garden, Cupid and Psyche and Pandora’s Box. Its a literary convention, there is no surer way to know a character will do something than forbidding that very thing .”

To which you replied:

“So are you saying that there should be no rules (or laws) made, because people will surely break them?”

But I was explicitly referring to characters, not people. Characters are subject to the whims of their authors and to literary conventions. I don’t really think God exists and turned a woman to salt. I think she, and God are characters in a story and thus share similarities with other characters and stories employing the same literary device. I gave examples of this. People, however, are not ruled by literary devices or governed by authors so your suggestion that I was suggesting law itself was pointless was ludicrous.

The only reason characters always violate a prohibition is because the author makes them do it to prove a point or move the plot along.

eden2eve's avatar

@fundevogel
You state that you are working on the assumption that the Bible is a literary construct. I state that I am not. So we can not hope to concur. You can’t use that argument and expect me to accept it.

You evidently believe that treating the Bible as a work of fiction allows you any amount of latitude, which you do not afford to those who take it more literally. Much of what’s written must be understood based upon the culture of the time, of which you clearly have little understanding. I base much of my understanding of the Scriptures upon what I’m taught by close acquaintances who have advanced academic credentials involving both language/translation and knowledge of the ancient cultures. Weather or not you accept these scriptures as “divinely inspired” and true, we may at least concur that they were written by individuals not of our time.

When you have a similar knowledge-base, then perhaps we may be working on a more level playing field. Until that time, you are just tilting at windmills.

fundevogel's avatar

@eden2eve “You state that you are working on the assumption that the Bible is a literary construct. I state that I am not. So we can not hope to concur. You can’t use that argument and expect me to accept it.”

I can’t explain and defend my position and expect people to consider it based on it’s validity if they don’t already agree with me? How could anyone ever change anyone’s mind about anything if no argument can ever sway an opposing opinion? Do you really think people just shouldn’t talk about things they don’t agree on?

Any ways I wasn’t trying to convince you of anything with that particular comment. I was just pointing out the presence a literary construct. It was a tangent and not particularly relevant to the whether or not a woman ought to be turned into salt. We don’t really need to agree about if this really happened to judge the morality of the situation.

“You evidently believe that treating the Bible as a work of fiction allows you any amount of latitude, which you do not afford to those who take it more literally.”

No, I think every idea is open for criticism and nothing is sacred. However your criticism of me was based on attributing intent to my words that wasn’t there. If you claim that my thoughts on literary conventions apply to the real world that’s either just plain silly or a gross mischaracterization of my views. I’m sorry if the fact that I won’t let you twist my words makes me a meanie. No I’m not.

“When you have a similar knowledge-base, then perhaps we may be working on a more level playing field. Until that time, you are just tilting at windmills.”

I see. I disagree so I must be ignorant. Would you tell me what I need to do to reach your level of knowledge? I’ll tell you about my current studies so you can figure where I could stand some improvement. I’m slowly reading through the Bible with a fine tooth comb, writing chapter by chapter commentaries and cross referencing my studies. I’ve also read books on the textual criticism of Bart Erhman and Elliot Friedman and am working on expanding my knowledge of the region’s history by reading up on Mesopotamian history, culture and religion. I’m currently reading A Short History a Christian Theophagy which, I’ll be the first to admit, seems to lean rather heavily on The Golden Bough. In all fairness I haven’t gotten to the Golden Bough yet, but that’s mostly because it’s hard to track down a copy that wasn’t heavily abridged.

I really put I a lot of time and energy into subjects that interest me as much as this. Frankly, it will be difficult for me to step up my studies any more. But do let me know what it is I need to do so that you and I can share “a more level playing field.” I love to learn.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ragingloli God creates the man first and the woman only after the man gets bored boning the animals. Nah, God doesn’t allow human and beast sex.

The woman is responsible for original sin and getting thrown out of paradise. That is a fact, she did commit the 1st sin, but God doesn’t hate women for that anymore than he hate man for following her. Jesus died for men and women, so………..

She is not allowed to be in a position of authority or teaching to a man. She had the position once and she blew it, guess that is why she was not suppose to have a second bite at that cherry.

@mammal God actually adores women who do as they are told, and conform to male decreed expectations of dutiful womanhood. Humans are humans, things get distorted just as men distorts governments and such. The rules concerning women came from God not man, men just twisted some to their benefit and I am sure they will be punished for it if it were not Godly.

@poisonedantidote So, is Christianity misogynistic? kind of but not really, but it certainly was written by misogynistic men The actual writing might have been carried out by men but no more than what a court stenographer would have done. They did not get to make things up. The most important collection of text God wants His people to have and you think He is powerless to keep His message straight?

@ratboy If God doesn’t hate women, why did He inflict the curse on them? If we are talking about the pain of birthing a child it was a penalty Eve bestowed on women because she sinned. She did that to women not God. Same as if I decided I want to drive my car 60mph in a zone clearly marked 35mph, I made the choice not to follow the posted speed limit so if I get busted I can’t bitch about the ticket. God did not do that to women because he hates them, Eve did it because she was stiff necked and could not follow rules.

@Winters People need to remember that initially, the Roman Catholic church edited and wrote the bible until they saw it fit as to their own needs/wants, which included putting women on a level nearly equal to sub-human. Again, I say it is God we are talking about. To say He could not keep quality control over the most important volume of writings for His people when any major corporation could do it, really?

@nicobanks While not misogynist, your defence of these verses is sexist and patriarchal, as the verses are themselves. If one believes, as I believe, that men and women are equal – spiritually, socially, intellectually, emotionally, etc. – then the belief that women should defer to men is a sexist one. I agree that any organization or group needs a pecking order, but to determine that pecking order based on sex, and not on individual merit, is prejudiced and sexist: it assumes women are inferior to men. Part of that was close and others a big stretch. God did not make woman to be sub-human, he made women to complement man. If you believe the Bible and if you don’t like what it says then you cherry pick the parts you like while rejecting the rest, the same accusations made of the church fathers and others who interpret the Bible, 1:Cor 7–9 pretty much points it out. Now, many Christians and certainly many non-Christians who really don’t believe in the Bible anyhow want to believe parts about greed or misinterpret money to be evil and eye for an eye mean the death penalty is a go, but want to shuck these parts of the Bible because it don’t fit them. I guess because the CEO is usually richer than the line worker and the janitor he is superior? Someone has to be the head, to organize things. Because you tell your kids what to do and have authority over them does it make your children inferior to you, make them sub-human? It is just you have the greater role of authority, they have their place in the family but not a leadership role, but they are still important and very human.

@jerv Of course, many other religions who never even heard of Jesus have similar issues with women, so I am inclined to believe that it is more of a cultural issue made by Man than anything inherent in religion, Christian or otherwise. That is pretty much it, the way many men applied it, they might have applied it with the slant on putting women under foot but that is wrong and not of God. For God as commanded men to treat his wife as he would his own flesh, and I don’t know any man who would treat his flesh as sub-human. EPH:28 & 29.

@fundevogel All of those accounts were the doings of men here not of God inflicting women If God hated women Jesus would have let that one woman caught in the act of adultery be rocked like she never was before literally.

ragingloli's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
.That is a fact, she did commit the 1st sin, but God doesn’t hate women for that anymore than he hate man for following her.
Considering that they set them up so that she would be the one to do it (being omniscient, he knew it would happen, knowing the future requires a deterministic reality, being the creator of everything means he set up the conditions that would lead to Eva “sinning”, PLUS the fact that it was them that put the tree and the serpent in the garden), and then gave her the much harder punishment (having to work hard in the field can not even come close to compare to unbearable pain during childbirth), I have to disagree.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ragingloli Considering that they set them up so that she would be the one to do it (being omniscient, he knew it would happen, knowing the future requires a deterministic reality, being the creator of everything means he set up the conditions that would lead to Eva “sinning”, PLUS the fact that it was them that put the tree and the serpent in the garden), That would be like saying cops or the government set people up to drunk drive and rob banks because they put bars and cars; banks and gun shops in the same city, they know someone will do a crime with it. Eve had the choice not to sin even if the serpent and the tree was there. Maybe God should have not afforded her free will and had Adam bind her and lead her around like oxen then she could not have sinned because she would not have had the freedom to, that would have been better?

ragingloli's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
That would be like saying cops or the government set people up to drunk drive and rob banks because they put bars and cars
No, it is not.
Neither the government or police are omnicient, or the creators of all reality. They can only make probability assessments of the future, not predictions with absolute accuracy. They are not the ones who set up the universe including the biochemistry or neural net activity that would lead to certain behaviours.
Yet these are all the things that “God” did (within the fictional reality that is described in the Bible).
Being omniscient, “God” knew Eva would do it. Since they knew, it already had to be predetermined and thus Eva never had a choice in doing anything. It was already set in stone.
Let me put it this way: Let us assume, you are one a timeline and come to a crossroad where either A or B could happen. Would reality not already be predetermined, the probability for either A or B happening would be 0.5, and any statement you make, regardless of whether you are God or not, would only have a probability to be true of 0.5.
However, if the statement you make has a probability to be true of 1, then it invariably means that one of the options A and B has a probability of 1 and the other 0, meaning one of them must happen, the other never can, no matter how many times you repeat it. Only in a deterministic reality can omniscience ever be part of.
In a deterministic reality, things happen for a reason (reason being used here as a synonym for cause), and controlled by certain parameters that also derive from earlier states. And who stand at the beginning of all that? “God”. Being the creators of everything, they were the one who set up the initial causes and the initial parameters from which the entire history of the universe would unfold. Quantum by Quantum. And because God are omniscient, they knew, before they even created anything, how the unfolding would occur. Quantum by Quantum.
God created Eva in the specific way that would inevitably make her be tempted by the serpent, fully knowing that it was going to happen. God created the serpent in the specific way that he/she would tempt Eva, fully knowing that it was going to happen. God created the serpent with accurate knowledge about the Tree, which they planted in the Garden, fully knowing that it was going to happen. And then they let it all play out, like a render movie, everything happening as it was expected, intended and set up.

Maybe God should have not afforded her free will
Just in case it is not already painfully obvious, “Free Will” is an impossibility in a deterministic universe, with a history predetermined by omniscient deities.

fundevogel's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “All of those accounts were the doings of men here not of God inflicting women If God hated women Jesus would have let that one woman caught in the act of adultery be rocked like she never was before literally.”

Not True. God gave Abraham the go ahead to abandon Ishmael and Hagar in the desert and he was an accomplice with Abraham when he told everyone Sarai was just his sister. You see God cursed the Pharaoh and King Abimelech even though there was no way they could have known Sarai was already married. And God wouldn’t remove the curses until the King/Pharaoh begged Abraham to intercede on his behalf, sometimes with bribes. King Abimelech actually gets this trick pulled on him again, but after that last time he picks it up quick.

It is God that decides that all women should be subordinate to men because of the apple and God that decides to strike Lot’s wife dead for looking back. I wouldn’t necessarily say that was sexism except God lets the men get away with a hell of a lot more than looking back without punishment, let alone death. Unless they’re Ham. Poor Ham.

The rest of the stuff, like buying wives and women’s worth boiling down to their childbearing prowess and the master’s power to have his way with slaves is presented as a matter of fact. It is not commented on by God or men because it is seen as in step with the way the world should be. Either that’s how the world should be according to the bronze age men that wrote it, or it’s in keeping with what the unchanging all wise god told them to write. Take you pick. But if you think an all powerful all knowing God would let backwards sheepherders screw up his one and only holy book with their archaic bigotry you must have a very low opinion of the ability of that all knowing all powerful all loving God to simply get his message to people without screwing it up along the way.

Is it really so much to expect an all knowing and all loving god to fit in a condemnation of slavery and sexism in his only book? That would have been good advice to give people. A lot better than that nonsense about shrimp and cooking a goat in it’s mother milk. That was just weird. And frankly I don’t think it would have killed him to avoid putting his stamp of approval on Abraham abandoning his son and baby-mama in the desert just because he had a spare. I mean seriously, God said:

“Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you.” Gen 21:12

That’s some messed up shit.

mattbrowne's avatar

Religions evolve. And it’s easy to prove that all forms of modern religions ordaining women are not misogynistic.

crazyivan's avatar

@mattbrowne The very fact that they ordain women is certainly not proof that they aren’t misogynistic. Did you have some other evidence to offer or do you consider that the one definitely follows the other? I should note that, for example, Penthouse Magazine hires women editors…

mattbrowne's avatar

@crazyivan – Well, I think the burden of proof is the exact opposite in both cases. So give me a proof that

1) modern religions ordaining women are misogynistic
2) Penthouse Magazine is misogynistic

fundevogel's avatar

@mattbrowne That’s why I stick with sexism. It’s easy to demonstrate inequality in action, it’s a lot harder to prove it is the result of hatred. Especially when prejudice, entitlement or ignorance will do.

crazyivan's avatar

@mattbrowne if you need proof beyond the magazine itself that penthouse is misogynistic, I don’t think I can help you…

mattbrowne's avatar

@crazyivan – You mean women competing with thousands of other women to get into their magazine are being degraded or mistreated? I always thought there’s consent between the magazines and their models? Same for magazines displaying naked men. If people like to be perceived as sex objects by some folks in our society, to me this isn’t a proof of misogynistic conduct. Now if male porn stars earned more than female porn stars, that would seem like discrimination and a sign of misogyny.

And it seems you can’t come up with a single example of modern religions ordaining women being guilty of misogyny.

crazyivan's avatar

@mattbrowne I think fundevogal’s litany of examples is pretty inclusive. I am arguing with the notion that the very fact that they ordain woman being offered as proof that they are not mysoginistic. I think the very fact that they use the bible as the base text of their faith is more than enough evidence of mysogyny. The fact that you don’t except it doesn’t mean it is invalid.

And let me drop Penthouse in favor of a different example since you’re busy looking at the analogy rather than the point. Would you then make the argument that pimps aren’t mysogynistic as long as they pay their whores a decent wage?

mattbrowne's avatar

@crazyivan – Is the very fact that modern democracies are based on the ancient Greek model more than enough evidence of mysogyny implemented by the current US administration? The Greek even had slaves and women did not have the right to vote. Some anti-religious fundamentalists, as well as religious fundamentalists, seem to think that dogmas and traditions and interpretation of holy texts are forever frozen and cannot evolve. What a ridiculous notion.

Yes, pimps are mysogynistic.

crazyivan's avatar

Except that I’m not talking about anything that Christian faiths used to do. I’m arguing from my present day interactions with them. Are all Christians mysogynistic? Of course not? Is the faith itself inherently mysogynistic and sexist? Well, until they adopt an amendment process to the bible, I would say the answer is a resounding yes.

fundevogel's avatar

Jefferson put together a “good parts” version of the New Testament, but despite the tendency of Christians to ignore the bad parts they can’t bring themselves to actually get rid of them and adopt Jefferson’s Bible or do their own edit.

fundevogel's avatar

@mattbrowne None of these alter, supersede or hold equal standing with the Bible as the basis of Christianity. It isn’t really amendment if the Bible stays the same and the amending document isn’t given equal stand as a sacred text. This isn’t anything more than ‘authorizing’ a particular interpretation (except the last link which is just a study method). A literary critic could write a thesis in how the only right way to interpret X work of literature was Y. But that doesn’t change a word of the original work.

I did just think of two examples of major and inarguable revision of sacred religious text. The first was the New Testament and the second the Book of Mormon. However neither of these amendments represent a revision in the sense either of us were talking about. No bad material is excised nor is the added material dedicated to including new developments in thought and philosophy. Instead the focus is on revelation and fulfillment on prophesy.

More importantly these revisions were not accepted as canonical by the religion they attempted to revise. They were considered heretical. The addition of the New Testament did not open a new chapter of Judaism nor did the Book of Mormon alter Christianity at large. The addition of new sacred material was not accepted into the canon of Jewish sacred text or Christian sacred text. They spawned entirely new religions. Clearly if these alterations did not affect their parent texts in the context of the original religion they didn’t revise the original religions at all, they only spawned new religions.

mattbrowne's avatar

@fundevogel – Well, it seems that some anti-religious and religious fundamentalists seem to agree on one thing: that religions don’t evolve. What a narrow-minded view.

crazyivan's avatar

@mattbrowne I don’t think anyone questions the evolution of religion, but the holy books do not evolve and the religions are still based on those…

fundevogel's avatar

^ agreed.

mattbrowne's avatar

The interpretation of holy books does evolve and this is what matters most. The context today is different from the time all these texts were written and revised.

Having 10 commandments as such and writing them down was an important milestone in human history, but the choice of topics and the demands as such reflect the thinking and traditions of an ancient society/societies.

Can we translate the 10 commandments into present day thinking of our modern world? I think we can. I tried to do this a while ago. This was my result (useful for atheists and believers):

1. Do not be greedy. Do not worship any material goods more than the ethical principles that work for the good of all. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. If you are a believer, worship God as the motivating force behind all ethical actions.

2. Everyone should maintain vigilance and reject any cult of personality. If you are a believer, do not make idols or images in the form of God. An idol can be anything or anyone you worship by giving it more importance than God.

3. Everyone should respect our environment and all life on our planet. If you are a believer, keep in mind that to respect God is to respect nature. Do not treat God’s name lightly or with disrespect.

4. Dedicate or set aside a regular day each week for rest to slow down, ponder, contemplate and absorb wisdom to create a life of significance. If you are a believer, worship the Lord on your day of rest.

5. Give honor to your loving father and loving mother by treating them with respect.

6. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Do not deliberately murder a fellow human being.

7. Do not have sexual relations with anyone other than your spouse or partner, unless you have agreed to live in an open relationship.

8. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Do not steal or take anything that doesn’t belong to you, unless you have been given permission to do so.

9. Be honest. Do not tell a lie unless you need to avoid offense or you are in emergency situations to protect yourself or others. Do not bring a false accusation against another person.

10. Do not desire anything or anyone that does not belong to you. Comparing yourself to others and longing to have what they have leads to jealousy, envy and other sins. If you are a believer, be content by focusing on the blessings God has given you and not what he has not given you.

fundevogel's avatar

@mattbrowne While I’m glad that few people follow the Bible proper, I really don’t understand the reasoning behind following a revised religion. If you revise religion you take it further away from the version supposed to have been dictated by God. You may not be able to determine that the original thing was true, but it should be obvious that it if people revise it then it can only become less and less reflective of God’s original message. And if at best it’s only partly God’s message, how can it be believed and why should it be revered? Especially when a more authentic source of God’s message is easily available?

It seems to me revised religions only serve people that are shopping for religion rather than truly searching for the most authentic teachings of God.

crazyivan's avatar

@mattbrowne While I do agree that you’re 10 commandments are vastly superior to the existing list, I feel the need to point out that:

(a) the vast majority of Abrahamic followers would reject them and
(b) they are still misguided. While (most) of them are good moral virtues, I don’t think they are the 10 most important virtues to live your life by. No mention of rape, for example. No mention of child abuse… also, I think #2, #5 and #7 are hugely subjective and not really indicative of good moral values.

mattbrowne's avatar

@fundevogel – Modern believers don’t think the Bible was dictated by God. Modern believers value critical thinking. Modern believers are truly searching for a form religion that benefit the people who live in the year 2010 and who will live in the year 2050. Modern forms of religions are about the present and the future while keeping all the traditions and ancient wisdom that still make sense. An “authentic” teaching of God is considered an anachronism, because we can’t really know about this. We can only believe. God is far beyond our limited human imagination.

Modern Christians can believe how God wants us to behave so that get along with each other. They no longer believe that there’s only one true faith for everyone. They believe that different belief systems are able to co-exist.

Your way might not be my way. What works for you might not work for me.

And my way might not be your way. What works for me might not work for you.

This is the reason why modern Christians have learned to respect and appreciate all benevolent faiths and world views, including atheism.

I wonder when the majority of modern atheists will be able to respect and appreciate benevolent Christians and move beyond their anger, for which the root cause is religious fundamentalism. I say, it’s about time.

mattbrowne's avatar

@crazyivan – The vast majority in in the US perhaps. And in the Arab world.

Still misguided? I never claimed that they were complete.

I’m very puzzled by all this negativity and harsh criticism. How about you come up with 20 relevant commandments?

fundevogel's avatar

@mattbrowne
1. I don’t know how Christianity is in Europe, other than on the decline, but your explanation of what modern Christians think is super liberal relative to most Christians in a America. I don’t think even half of them think that way. If you said something like that in any of the churches I’ve ever attended they would kindly and gently tell you, “no the Bible is the word of God,” and so on and so forth.

2. If the Bible was not dictated by God and thus not a trustworthy source of information about God and his teachings why would anyone who knew that use it and its framework if knowing God and his teachings were their objective? That’s like consciously choosing to believe in Lamarckian genetics because you like the philosophy, despite the fact that it’s clear that the theory is wrong. If you really cared about knowing genetics (or god) the logical thing to do would be to discard sources that have poor content on the matter in favor of uncompromised methods and sources.

“This is the reason why modern Christians have learned to respect and appreciate all benevolent faiths and world views, including atheism.”

You’re talking to a girl that was raised in a Christian household where she was taught if she said something bad about someone the devil would steal her words and make it come true. If she doubted the existence of demons her defense against them would be compromised and might get possessed. And atheists? Well, they don’t know it, but by being atheists they become tools of the devil. I think it’s safe to say your rosy version of liberal Christianity isn’t so widespread as you think.

Earlier this year I spent 6 weeks talking with Jehova’s Wittnesses that wanted to convert me. Believe me, they hardcore believe the Bible (and the Watchtower). They terminated the discussion when I showed them why I thought genealogies in Genesis were compromised because sequences and pairs of names pop up in multiple places on the family tree as if the writers had filled in gaps in the family with sections from other parts of the genealogy. I drew a chart and pointed out the repeated grouping and they refused to even consider the possibility that when three names popped up twice in sequence it might be because they had been recopied wrong.

In this context I resent you comment:

“I wonder when the majority of modern atheists will be able to respect and appreciate benevolent Christians and move beyond their anger, for which the root cause is religious fundamentalism. I say, it’s about time.”

Atheists haven’t even been safe to voice their opinions without social consequences for even 100 years because of religious intolerance and some how now that they’ve found their voice it’s religion that’s the tolerant one? That’s not cool. The last president of my country (Bush) publicly admitted he thought “Atheists Neither Citizens Nor Patriots.” If a president can still say things like that then the population at large isn’t very concerned tolerating about them. The fact is until 2008 atheists were the least trusted minority group in America. We are now slightly better regarded than Scientologists.

mattbrowne's avatar

I can understand why you are so upset. But the situation in most countries in Europe is different. There are a few exceptions such as Poland.

Keep in mind that the US is only a small part of the whole world. The mindsets of people like Bush are stuck in the year 1300 CE. Bush is an intellectual dwarf. His nonsense should not get so much attention, now that he is no longer president. These zealots do not speak for all Christians or all religions globally. Here’s just one example how liberal Christians, liberal Jews, liberal Muslims and spiritual atheists are working together to build a better future.

http://www.weltethos.org/dat-english/03-declaration.htm

I think forward-looking atheists are making a big mistake when they keep attacking moderate believers.

I also think forward-looking atheists make a mistake if they remain unable to move beyond being angry. Negativity, bashing, and so forth, accomplishes very little. Repeating problems accomplishes little. Thinking about solutions is the way to go. What’s your solution?

crazyivan's avatar

If you want to get from Thesis to Synthesis, you don’t start off demanding Syntheisis, you start with Antithesis.

I think it’s funny how you selectively attribute “modern believers” all of the “good” parts of the religion and deny all the “bad” parts as the actions of a minority. The religion has to be taken as a whole and when you defend it, you have to defend the whole thing or nothing. At least atheists have a consistency in their argument.

mattbrowne's avatar

How exactly do you define religion “as a whole”? The literal understanding of a holy text? If yes, how can there be a common perceived semantics of it? Every human brain is an individual language processing system based on the history of this brain.

When I write

TREE

the thinking of @crazyivan will be different from the thinking of @fundevogel

as you are processing these 4 letters.

It will be even more different when we look at entire sentences or paragraphs, let alone a whole book (which in addition is highly inconsistent).

This concept of one true meaning is inherently flawed, because it’s simply not possible. At least until Ray Kurzweil succeeds in reverse engineering and copying a brain.

crazyivan's avatar

And yet somehow we can agree on the definition of a tree. When I say “religion as a whole”, I mean exactly that. The very notion of categorization is the idea that similar concepts can be gathered as a whole. We can speak of “Americans as a whole” despite the fact that we obviously aren’t homgenous. I’m not referring to “true meaning” or any such ecclesiastical vagary, I’m talking about the whole institution of a specific religion.

If you have issues with this semantic then all language is inapplicable in this argument. The very term ‘argument’ would have to be thrown out since there are multiple things people disagree on. The term people would have to be similarly disallowed. So would the term ‘term’.

And by the way, I define religion as a whole as: (a) Belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and/or ruler(s) of the universe… Webster’s New World Dictionary agrees with me.

mattbrowne's avatar

@crazyivan – I strongly disagree with Webster’s “obeying” part. Not everything in holy books is a command. Plus there are even contradictions. Which one to obey? This is the reason we need interpretations. We need to make sense of it and ask ourselves what it means for our lives. That’s a challenging thing to do. Therefore some people become theologians. But these theologians don’t agree. There are many different opinions. So unlike math, one religion “as a whole” with exactly one meaning, is just an unrealistic ideal.

Thanks for sharing your insights, @crazyivan . I always enjoy these kinds of debates.

crazyivan's avatar

@mattbrowne But if you have a book that is self-contradicting and you are unable to reconcile your adherence to it in light of the definition of the word religion, would it not be best to do away with that book altogether?

I’ve often wondered why Christians are so married to the Bible anyway. Muchof the stuff they preach isn’t in there (the antichrist, Christ being God’s only son, the devil being the master of Hell, Transubstantiation, the Trinity) and many of the political issues that they rally behind aren’t mentioned (gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research), so why not start over? Use the words of Christ and divorce them from the Bronze Age mysticism?

I suppose that would be unpopular, but it seems like the only way of truly differentiating the modern Christian (who would be burned as a heretic a few centuries ago) from the modern fundamentalist evangelical.

mattbrowne's avatar

@crazyivan – Yes, you are right, starting over is one options. Evolving is another. The Protestant Church in Europe has given up the concept of the devil, for example, and transubstantiation has a symbolic, not a scientific meaning (any chemistry lab will tell us that the content of the drink is wine and not the blood of Christ).

GracieT's avatar

Actually, transubstantiation is not the belief of any other faith than the Roman Catholics. (Please correct me if I am wrong any Orthodox Christians!) In Protestant churches we believe that the bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood that Christ shed for our sins.

mattbrowne's avatar

@GracieT – You are right, transubstantiation is a Catholic term. Thanks for pointing that out!

nicobanks's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Your response to my post doesn’t make much sense to me: I never suggested anything about anyone being “sub-human,” I don’t know how you can accuse me of “cherry-picking,” and I already said I agree with you that every group needs an authority figure.

My problem is with the assumption that men should be that authority figure; that women should defer to men. This assumption is present in the verses mentioned in your original question. This is a sexist assumption.

The reason children should defer to adults is because children do not have the intellectual, emotional, physical, or spiritual ability to be authority figures. Because they are children, they need someone to lead them and care for them – to be authoritative over them. Because they are children.

You can’t reasonably say the same thing for women. Women are adults, just like men. There’s no reason – aside from individuality – that any given woman would be less intelligent, emotionally mature, physically able, and closer to God than any given man. Women and men are equal and deserve equal opportunities, which means they should be judged as individuals – just like men should be.

Yes, society needs leaders, authority figures. Some people are simply better suited to this role than others. To decide who should fill this role based on anything other than individual merit (on reasons of race or sex, for instance) is prejudiced and discriminatory, plain and simple.

fundevogel's avatar

@GracieT & @mattbrowne Transubstantiation is a Catholic term, but Catholics were not the first to believe in it. Various mystery cults predating Chriastianity practiced ritual communion, either with bread and wine or with actual flesh and blood and some of them did see it as literally god flesh and god blood.

Source: “Praeparatio Evangelica” in the book A Short History of Christian Theophagy [1]. That chapter is very interesting and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in comparative religion and the practice of theopaghy (god-eating) in various religions.

GracieT's avatar

@fundevogel, thank you for the reference! Now I have something to look up! (I actually enjoy research, so thank you! :0p )

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