26 January 2009

Brilliance, copied

There was a very interesting post and discussion over at Canadian Cynic's blog about the Christians who believe women should be subservient to men, and that abuse is often brought on by women who aren't submitting properly. Of course, I am completely appalled by those so-called Christians. But I could not have put my thoughts better than Scotian did. I'm quoting it here in full, because it is just too good not to:

Several years ago I coined the word Talibangelists to make this exact point. I inherently distrust any zealot/extremist/fundamentalist, especially a religious zealot/extremist/fundamentalist because not only do they have totally rigid definitions of right/wrong as defined by whatever their focus is but their inability to accept any flaw within that focus makes them extremely dangerous to any society that recognizes the worth of the individual and the value of diversity. Especially since they see it as their God demanded/required mission to impose those definitions and requirements on everyone else regardless of how anyone may feel about it using the most coercive tools they feel needed, espcially those of government. The way women are treated by many as second class (if that well) by some sects of so called mainstream evangelism really is disturbing, and the stuff that LuLu cited in this post is on a par with advocating rape as a healthy sexual expression for men and that women should be grateful God placed them in the position to receive it.

People do not want to accept it but misogyny is still the most prevalent prejudice in our society today, and the most widely practiced I would argue too. Despite it needing to go underground in many respects in the mainstream especially in terms of language and blatant sexual harassment I still see far too many signs that for all the lip service many give equality of the sexes the reality is for too many even in the mainstream there is still something lesser about the rights and roles of women in our society, especially in the area of sexual freedom and control over their bodies.

To this day women are paid significantly less than their male counterparts in the workforce (if not as less as it once was) despite all the "progress" on this issue, we see many men that complain about the feminazis and feminization of our culture/society, and we see too often even in this day and age a tendency to say a woman that was raped may have encouraged it somehow that it is not always totally the fault/responsibility of the rapist because they still cannot grasp that rape is all about control using sex as the tool. I wish it were otherwise, but reality is what it is.

Just because something is not as obvious, not as extensive as it once was does not mean it has been corrected/fixed. One of the absolute worst offenders for keeping women down in NA is alas religion, specifically two of the Abrahamic ones (Islam and Christianity), as shown in what LuLu cited. Worse, while what LuLu cited was more extreme than some are willing to go in public the underlying sentiment that women are subservient to men (Man is the head of woMan for example is alas a core belief for many Christians of many sects from hard core fundamentalist to mainstream in my experience) runs rampant through the various sects and flavours of NA Christianity. To think otherwise is to blind/fool oneself IMHO, and it is a real shame and something that needs to be monitored and responded to as much as is possible.

Absolutely, that is true. There is a lot of misogyny within Christianity. One of the reasons I left the Roman Catholic church is because of the way they treat women. There were definitely a lot of reasons, but that was certainly one of them. I remember realizing just how stupid it was that a cloister of nuns (a cloister, remember, is a group that has removed themselves from the world outside to focus on spiritual matters) need a man, a priest, to come in and give them communion. For some reason, despite devoting their lives to God to the point where they'd taken themselves out of the world, they still weren't good enough to consecrate the hosts themselves. Utterly ridiculous.

But it does NOT have to be that way. And it is not within the United Church of Canada, which I must remind you is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada. I am so grateful for that. Women are valued as equals within our church. It is what Jesus taught, after all. He befriended prostitutes, saved a woman from a legal execution by stoning, taught that women have just as much of a place learning from the Rabbis as men. Is that a man who would say, "Woman, if you're getting beaten, it's your own fault!"

Scotian, if you're reading, I'd love it if you'd repost your next comment here as well. It was also fantastic. Oh, and I'm definitely going to add you to my blogroll. Thank you for the thought-provoking comments!

1 comment:

Scotian said...

Here are the other two comments in full after the one you quoted from. You are lucky, I wasn't going to be home until late Sat, but something came up that required me to come back in this afternoon, and I decided to see whether you had copied the original work and what you had to say about it (this sort of copying doesn't happen to my work very often, so I was quite curious).

Scotian said...

So long as my work is attributed to me I never object to such. I tend to take the pov that once I write a comment somewhere it is in full public view, and so long as it isn't stolen or misrepresented anyone is free to do with them as they wish. I thank you for the courtesy of asking though. I do wonder though, why should your writing a Christian feminist blog be a problem for me needing you to disclose it? I am not anti-Faith or anti-religion, I am anti-extremist and anti-zealotry. My parents are both good RCs and my views came as much from both of them as they do fro other sources and my own observations in life.

I do find it ironic though that according to my folks I lead a better Christian life in how I practice my day to day life than so many self described Christians since I left the faith a quarter century or so ago (not just RC but Christianity itself). I did so because I could not accept the premise that there is only one path the enlightenment and God(s)/Goddess/higher power(s) and all others are wrong/flawed somehow.

So yes, go right ahead. One thing I am very firmly dedicated to is the notion that we are all human beings first and foremost and that while the genders have fundamental differences they are inherently equal nonetheless in terms of human rights. After all, if human rights are not applied/practiced equally then they have no real meaning do they? The idea that difference must mean/equate to inferiority/superiority automatically is a concept I have never been able to understand.
9:41 PM

Scotian said...

Pretty much. I when asked describe myself as a pantheist when it comes to matters of faith, but I have no religion. Needless to say that really messes up fundies, the idea of faith without religion for some reason seems to short circuit their brains (although I suppose one could argue the religion does that for them, in part by removing their need to think critically and accept that context/perspective is at least as important to understanding/comprehension as the basic definition of a word/concept).

I can well understand why some people are as anti-religion/faith as they have become, religion and faith have not exactly been covering themselves in glory much over human history, and all too often is used as a convenient excuse to commit the worst kinds of barbarism upon fellow human beings. Religious wars tend to be the worst for atrocities in no small part because one believes that whatever one does in the name/service of God is by definition moral and right even/especially when in any other context the same person would recoil in horror and disgust at such. Of course those that simply believe it is appropriate to use coercion through tools of government to enforce their religious beliefs upon others for the same reason are also serious problems, and there are more of those around in our society than those that go to the most violent extremes in the name of their "Faith/God/Religion".

Take abortion as one example, personally I am quite opposed to it, but I am ardently pro-choice politically because it is not a decision I feel I can make for another person, to do so is wrong in my books both from a secular rights perspective AND in terms of making moral decisions for another human being. The woman after all is the one dealing with all the risks, the responsibility of carrying to term, and potential health ramifications for the rest of her life. She must be the one to decide what happens with her body, to not do so allows the State to have a superseding claim on a human being's body and I find that concept quite repugnant. If we do not have final authority over our own bodies then what rights do we have at all? As to the moral definition, what right do I have to determine another's right to make such decisions for themselves and live with whatever consequences that comes from it in this life and the next? We were given free will for a reason by God according to Christianity, to interfere with that strikes me as acting as if that gift from God is one to be spurned or worse, rejected because someone feels they know God's mind better than God did when God created/enable free will in the first place. It never ceases to amaze me how many so called Christians fail to understand that if God gave man free will than to interfere with its exercise in his name is to act against the will of God.

Me, I am fine with people believing what they wish so long as they only try to convert by their own example, and not by any form of coercion. Faith for all its negatives in our history has also helped bring out the best in humans too, and that can not be overlooked IMHO.

One of the things that most offends me about Talibangelists for example is how frequently in the name of the God of Love (Jesus) they resort to citing things from the Old Testament to justify their claims that their faith demands it be opposed/vilified/rejected as unChristian, this despite the fact Jesus came to bring the New Testament to reform/update from the ways of the Old Testament. Yet these so called Christians completely fail to see this, one of the best examples is how they use Leviticus to justify homophobia. For me, I figure if the God of Jesus actually exists it will be whether I followed the spirit of the teachings rather than the letter which will matter (and if God/Jesus is so vain that it is required to worship only Him in his specific name to be recognized as a good/moral person then I have to say that is a God I can not respect) in determining the fate of my soul.

Anyway, I think we have taken this post of LuLu's far enough off topic that we should wind it up. If I should write other comments here, elsewhere, or at my own blog of Saundrie that you want to link to/copy for your own use feel free. As I said so long as I am credited for the work and the work is not misrepresented I am fine with it no matter who is doing so. After all, if I didn't want my thoughts to be known publicly why would I write them in such a public medium as online? After all once you write something online it exists forever after all, something too many people thinking they are anonymous for the moment tend to forget, and things can be traced back to sources without all that much effort, a fact I think more than a few hatemongers will come to realize only when it comes back to haunt them down the road.

Me, nothing I write online is something I would not be afraid to take credit under my birth name, I just prefer not to expose my family (wife, sibling, parents) to potential repercussions from some of those I anger with my opinions, given that more than a few of them belong to the same socon movement that produces violent acts in the name of God (especially the pro-birthers, I call them that because while they care about life pre-birth their compassion for the needs of the child drop sharply once born if there is any need for social infrastructure spending to care for the child). Or those that think I am a terrorist sympathizer because I don't automatically agree with their views/actions supporting torture, preemptive war, Israel, etc. Too many zealots/fanatics/nutcases in the world as it is, why make it any easier for them than I have to?
11:24 PM

P.S. Here are two links dealing with some thoughts of mine on the wider issue of religious extremism's (Talibangelists) influence in NA politics, primarily American, in case you are interested. I am no good at creating links in comments so I apologize for not making them straightforward links.