Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Does Christianity Hate Women?

Somewhere along the timeline on this blog I stated something like I was looking for a new definition of God.

In a way God is not obsolete but our many perceptions of him, her, it is obsolete. My dilemma has to find comfort in being a Humanist and follower of the basic Jesus ideas without the bullshit and trimmings added layer upon layer over the centuries. I try to follow “the Way” of early spiritual travelers inspired by Jesus. The Christian word had yet to be invented.

I distain the word Christian right now. There seems to be more negative attached to it over the centuries than anything balanced in the good. This is an observation and a matter for debate. There is no definite scientific measure of a question like this yet.

I do not think that the word Christian has any value. The way it is thrown around and abused in cash politics by the tax free church parties is just a tip of an iceberg of disgust for this ancient and extinct religious classification.

I started with the title and question - does Christianity hate women? I think it is a valid question to ask. Most women don’t bother to ask the question in as severe a manner as I have framed it. I am encouraged that there are legitimately ordained Catholic Women Priests out there who only have the trolls in the Vatican to deny their legitimacy.

I have spoken for the equal rights amendment. I think that women, many women have taken on the role of self-hating women. The term "self-hating" I have heard to describe Jews who are in agreement with aspects of anti-Semitism. That it would take many generations and an Equal Rights Amendment to unto centuries of damage to the female ego from society and religion.

Do self-hating women exist? Yes. And Christianity and Judaism and Islam contribute to a negative view of the potential role of women in society. Basically a good woman in the monotheistic world just shuts up, has babies, and tends house. Nothing wrong with that role if freely chosen.

But there is a potential view that a large percentage of women are capable to sustaining a role outside the tradition stay at home model. In this God forsaken economy, women are being pushed economically to the wall like everybody else and more so in a single parent household.

I ran into this article about how it is a woman’s fault for getting raped based on her clothing.

Blame the victim: Religious leaflet claims ‘ungodly’ dressed women provoke rape
“You may have been given this leaflet because of the way you are dressed,” it begins.

“Have you thought about standing before the true and living God to be judged?”

It continues with one essential theme: The sins of men are, in part, the fault of women, specifically women in tight-fitting clothing. Yates was annoyed. Then she got to a section on page two:

“Scripture tells us that when a man looks on a woman to lust for her he has already committed adultery in his heart. If you are dressed in a way that tempts a men to do this secret (or not so secret) sin, you are a participant in the sin,” the leaflet states. “By the way, some rape victims would not have been raped if they had dressed properly. So can we really say they were innocent victims?”

The hand-out is signed “anonymous.”
It is amazing how sexual bigotry can be spread around on anonymous Xeroxed propaganda sheets and quoting “Scripture”.

I ran into that article above by chance. I also ran into the above image of sculpture entitled “Christa” by British artist Edwina Sandys. It caused a bit of a stir when it was first exhibited in the liberal Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC back in the early eighties. It now is in the Feminist’s Art Section of the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

I am not suggesting that Jesus was a woman. But what if the anointed one of God and the savior as sometimes described turned out to be a woman. Or that God was more than half female in nature in direct opposition to the all male patriarchal monotheistic religions. Or that God to balance the whole thing out sends back the Logos as a woman. Just a thought.

If decency is to survive in the new global world of tomorrow, so much baggage, bigotry and self hating has to go out the door with the past. A fresh and open way of looking at all things will make all things possible within a new outlook and a new definition for God and humankind’s relationship with that new reality of the future.


Thesauros said...

Clearly the greater a person's self-esteem and self-love, the more disappointment there will be if abilities and performance are not comparable. No one hates herself, but she may hate her circumstances or appearance or lack of ability. The very fact that we dislike our appearance or lament our inability or become upset when people or circumstances cause us pain is proof that we love and esteem ourselves. For if we did not esteem ourselves we should not care, and if we hated ourselves we should be glad when things go against us.

Dave said...

There are cracks in the patriarchy of the Bible and if we read between the lines there are some great women on the edges of the greatest story ever told. It's still a man's world but women have also sat on the thrones of the worlds most powerful countries.

William D. Lindsey said...

Excellent analysis, Mike. I also see you had found a photo of that "Christa" sculpture long before I did. It was interesting to learn from you that Edwina Sandys has a connection to Churchill.