Paula Kirby has written an article you should read, its important. I point you towards it, not just to marvel at how well it is written (it is), and to skim it for all of thirty seconds, then promptly wipe it from memory, but instead suggest you seriously digest it and give it some thought.
It very much relates to half the human population on this planet being deemed to be inferior.
“The discrimination against women on a global basis is very often attributable to the declaration by religious leaders in Christianity, Islam, and other religions that women are inferior in the eyes of God,” former President Jimmy Carter said last week. Many traditions teach that while both men and women are equal in value, God has ordained specific roles for men and women. Those distinct duties often keep women out of leadership positions in their religious communities. What is religion’s role in gender discrimination?
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Here, in Ephesians 5, attributed to St Paul, we have in a nutshell the church’s attitude to the respective positions of man and woman. The man’s role is to be the head, the woman’s to submit to him. The meaning is crystal clear, unmistakable; and yet, despite the fundamentalists who firmly believe such Iron Age prejudices still apply today, there are many liberal Christians who have the decency to cringe at the primitiveness of such instructions and who therefore bend over backwards to pretend they’re not as bad as they quite patently are. “Ah yes,” they say, “but Paul goes on to say that husbands must love their wives. And not just love them, but love them as they love themselves. So clearly this is a reciprocal arrangement, equal in value, imposing constraints of equal weight on both man and wife. All is well with the world and we can continue to pretend that Christianity is the friend of women.” But no. All is not well with the world, and only the deluded or the disingenuous could claim to see equality where there is only subservience.
It is interesting to note the context in which this infamous passage occurs: immediately following the commandment to women to submit to their husbands we find the commandment to children to obey their parents, and to slaves to obey their owners. No amount of instruction to the husbands, parents and owners in question not to ruthlessly exploit their positions of power can alter the fact that women are classed with children and slaves
I encourage you to please read it all. The link that takes you to the original article in the Washington Post is here.
Having once been a believer, I’ve had the misfortune to pass through various communities that do indeed embrace such beliefs, and can confirm the reality of this mindset.
Today we can look back and see how truly repugnant the concept of slavery was, yet we still tolerate the enslavement of our own minds by permitting a specific set of religious ideas to bind us …
Religion is one lie after another: the lie of original sin, the lie of eternal life, the lie of hell, the lie of answered prayer, the lie that life can have no meaning without religion, the lie that religion is the source of morality, the lie of creationism, the lie of a spy-in-the-sky who hears your every word and reads your every thought. And to this list we must add the lie that it views men and women as equal. It has got away for so long with the kind of lunatic word-games that allow death-by-torture to be presented as an act of love, and eternal torment in the flames of hell to be seen as a necessary act of justice, that we should perhaps not be surprised that it has also managed to dupe its followers into seeing the systematic suppression and silencing of women as an act of liberation and equality.
If you are a believer then you are faced with a stark choice. Either you continue to permit religion to cast its psychological spell upon you and bind your mind with chains woven together with strands of lies and deceit,or you can begin to take steps to break free.
Many embrace religion because they desire to do what is right and to be good decent honorable people, and so fear that the alternative is a step into immorality. The tragedy here is that it is religion itself that poisons the human heart motivating good people to treat others in the most appalling manner in the belief that they are doing good.
It need not be this way, you can indeed by free. I am fully aware of the gospel, I know all about being baptised in the spirit, and can assure you that none of it is real. The first step to freedom is to begin by being honest with yourself and to start asking yourself questions about what is really going on. You might truly believe that Jesus has made you a better person, but if you could just begin to appreciate that you have simply fooled yourself, then you can take a step forward towards being an even better human.