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Why Do Major Religions Discriminate Against Women?


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Initial post: Oct 21, 2011 11:41:54 PM PDT
ChimChim says:
I came across this article and it really surprised me that this kind of thing has been going on in the good ol' USA.

http://www.thenewyorkworld.com/2011/10/19/city-human-rights-commission-to-examine-sex-segregated-bus-line/

What's the purpose? Or, better yet, why is this kind of thing still tolerated? I really don't get it.

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 2:03:28 PM PDT
Religion-- all religion, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or whatever other form of collective delusion-- has always treated women like dog-crap, because in more general terms religion has always been about power: the specious ability of some groups of people to exert power (in the name of one or another fictitious god) over other groups of people. Men have dominated women quite easily in these terms, because to argue with them is to argue against "God." It's all nonsense of course, but history is riddled with the tragic results of it.

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 2:27:00 PM PDT
D. Mulhollen says:
I think with Christianity it's because most priests have tiny holy water sprinklers.

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 2:39:24 PM PDT
In Christianity, women are not discriminated against at all. As a matter of fact, men are called to love their wives as Christ loves the church, which means he would die for her. It calls for men to serve their wives and put their wives' needs and best interests first. Jesus showed respect toward women as he spoke to them, and the first person to see Jesus after His death and resurrection was a woman. The Bible does talk about women respecting their husbands, but the meaning of that is so far from what people normally think. Men need to feel respected by their wives because then they feel loved. Women need to feel loved by their husbands because then they feel respected. Ultimately it is not Christianity that treats women badly, it's people, people who don't understand the Bible and, quite frankly, men who use the verse about wives respecting their husbands as a way of controlling their wives and being selfish and cruel. Notice the verse does not say "men love your wives only if they respect you". He is to love her and honor her, and as a servant leader he is to lead his family in the right direction selflessly. If both men and women would actually read the Bible and not take verses out of context they would all understand what it's talking about. Jesus addressed women during a time when it was frowned upon to speak to a woman in public. Instead of condemning the adulteress, He leads her to a new life ("neither do I condemn you, now go forth and sin no more"). Even in the Old Testament in the book of Genesis it says the God created "man (mankind) in His own image, male and female He created them). I can't speak for other religions, but I do know this-as a Christiam woman I am free and I feel valuable, and most of all I feel loved by God who created me.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 2:51:47 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
Book Club Mon, there are many variants of Christianity, and while it is true that in some of them women take leadership roles and even serve as ministers another church officials, there are important, very large branches of Christianity in which women are expected to be subordinate, stay in their place, and are not allowed leadership roles.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 2:53:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2011 2:54:02 PM PDT
Book Club Mom: In Christianity, women are not discriminated against at all.

Really?!? Then you won't have a bit of trouble with this little fun quiz about the role of women in the Christian Church. The objective is simple: determine the correct answers to each question using the ultimate source of Truth (The Bible) as your guide. When you are finished, get the scriptures that back up each answer at the very end.

1. What is a woman's role in the church?

A. A woman's role in the church is the same as a man's -- to spread the good news of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
B. A woman should preach in church only when given permission by her husband.
C. A woman should minister in church only to other women and to children.
D. A woman is never to open her mouth in church. She has nothing valuable to say and should limit her participation to asking her husband to explain things to her.

2. What is a woman's role in the educational process?

A. Whatever role she chooses.
B. To serve however she can. Women's employment outside the home should be limited to teaching because that is what women do best.
C. Women should never be teachers because they are easily deceived.
D. A and B.

3. Is a wife permitted to follow her own conscience?

A. Of course. Every human being is autonomous, free to make her or his own choices.
B. A woman is obliged always to listen to her husband, though she is free to reject his advice when she knows it is wrong.
C. A woman must obey her husband in all matters at all times.
D. There are no Bible verses addressing a wife's deference to her husband.

4. In God's eyes, who is worth more between women and men?

A. Neither. God loves all His children equally and places differential value on no one.
B. God expressly says men are worth more, and actually provides dollar amounts proving this.
C. Women are worth more because they can bear and feed children.
D. None of the above. The Bible is silent on this subject.

5. What is the role of a widow?

A. Her role is no different than any other person's role.
B. She should be depressed and pray day and night.
C. While she should be saddened by her husband's death and pray frequently, if she does find pleasure, she is fortunate.
D. B and C.

6. How long is a woman unclean after the messy act of childbirth?

A. She is not unclean at all for childbirth is a perfectly natural and quite beautiful act.
B. The woman is unclean until the baby's umbilical cord is cut and the woman and baby are fully cleansed with soap and water.
C. The woman is unclean for seven days for any child she has.
D. The woman is unclean for seven days if the child is a boy, but she is unclean for twice as long if the child is a girl.

7. What are the requirements for a woman's physical appearance?

A. None. The Bible does not discuss such superficial matters as a person's appearance.
B. A woman must dress modestly and refrain from wearing expensive jewelry.
C. A woman should wear her hair long.
D. B and C.

8. Can you trust a woman's promises or guarantees?

A. Yes, because there is no difference between the trustworthiness of the genders.
B. No, because women are deceitful and manipulative.
C. No, because a woman's promise is null and void if her husband disapproves of it.
D. B and C.

9. Under what circumstances are we to spare the life of a married or engaged woman who has been raped?

A. Always. A woman is never culpable in rape, thus killing her would be a gross injustice.
B. When the woman is raped in the country as opposed to the city.
C. When the woman is a slave girl.
D. B and C.

10. In times of war, what is God's plight for women in the captured areas?

A. While the men are to be killed, the women are to be taken as slaves.
B. Pretty women are to become the wives of conquering men who find them attractive.
C. Women in places the Lord gives His chosen people as an inheritance are to be killed along with every other living thing.
D. All of the above.

http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0301/roleofwomen.html

Answer Key (No Peeking!)

Answers To "Role of Women" Bible Quiz"
1. What is a woman's role in the church?

Correct answer: D. (A woman is never to open her mouth in church. She has nothing valuable to say and should limit her participation to asking her husband to explain things to her) "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church" (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).


2. What is a woman's role in the educational process?

Correct answer: C. (Women should never be teachers because they are easily deceived) "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 Timothy 2:11-14).


3. Is a wife permitted to follow her own conscience?

Correct answer: C. (A woman must obey her husband in all matters at all times) "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in every thing" (Ephesians 5:22-24). "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3). "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord" (Colossians 3:18).


4. In God's eyes, who is worth more between women and men?

Correct answer: B. (God expressly says men are worth more, and actually provides dollar amounts proving this) "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation. And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. And if it be from sixty years old and above, if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female, ten shekels" (Leviticus 27:1-7)


5. What is the role of a widow?

Correct answer: B. (She should be depressed and pray day and night) Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth" (1 Timothy 5:5-6).


6. How long is a woman unclean after the messy act of childbirth?

Correct answer: D. (The woman is unclean for seven days if the child is a boy, but she is unclean for twice as long if the child is a girl) "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days . . . But if she bare a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks" (Leviticus 12:1-5).


7. What are the requirements for a woman's physical appearance?

Correct answer: D. (A woman must dress modestly and refrain from wearing expensive jewelry and a woman should wear her hair long) "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array" (1 Timothy 2:9). "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering" (1 Corinthians 11:15).


8. Can you trust a woman's promises or guarantees?

Correct answer: D. (No, because women are deceitful and manipulative and because a woman's promise is null and void if her husband disapproves of it) "And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her" (Ecclesiastes 7:26). "But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the Lord shall forgive her" (Numbers 30:12).


9. Under what circumstances are we to spare the life of a married or engaged woman who has been raped?

Correct Answer: D. (When the woman is raped in the country as opposed to the city or when the woman is a slave girl) "If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out onto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city . . . But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die . . . For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her" (Deuteronomy 22:23-27). And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free" (Leviticus 19:20).


10. In times of war, what is God's plight for women in the captured areas?

Correct Answer: D. (While the men are to be killed, the women are to be taken as slaves. Pretty women are to become the wives of conquering men who find them attractive. Women in places the Lord gives His chosen people as an inheritance are to be killed along with every other living thing) "And when the Lord thy God hath delivered [a city] into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones . . . shalt thou take unto thyself . . . But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth" (Deuteronomy 20:13-16). "When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies . . . And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house . . . thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife" (Deuteronomy 21:10-13).

http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0301/answers.html

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 3:27:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2011 3:29:10 PM PDT
Blu Boy says:
R3-

Wow. Quite a list. I grew up in a large family with five sisters and unfortunately my experiences with Chrisitianity towards women was almost always repulsive.

My oldest sister was raped in high school, horrible. She went to the local clergy member and he told her that it was her fault for having worn "immodest clothing." Having spoken about this to quite a few people I have heard many stories that echo this double standard. Men need only look out for what might tempt them into "sinning" whereas women need to watch out for themselves and must keep themselves clean so as not to "tempt men."

I agree with the earlier poster about religion and power. Women have the ability, the power, to bring life into this world (the most Godlike quality I can think of).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 3:38:50 PM PDT
This is true. I suppose my experience has been different than many. Please understand that I am talking about understanding the entire Bible and what Christianity is supposed to look like, not what individual churches do. My understanding of the Bible is that in the church itself pastors and elders are men, deacons and all other leaders can be male or female. I have no problem with that. I don't feel discriminated against. Anyone, especially women, who think they have to "keep their place" are dead wrong, or they are attending the wrong church. I would not attend a church where I was not encouraged to use my gifts and talents (Biblically everyone should be using their gifts and talents to glorify God), and if I have leadership abilities there are plenty of places to use those abilities. Yes, there are variants in Christianity, so that is why people need to be discerning in choosing a church to attend. Churches that are not Biblically-based only survive because people keep attending their services. The bottom line for me is that no church, just like every other institution, is perfect, but we should not throw out the baby with the bath water. If I tried to find the perfect church I would wind up never having a place to go and worship, to join with others in service. Let's not reject God, the creator of the universe, because we don't agree with everything that churches do or don't do.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 3:44:03 PM PDT
I truly respect the time and effort you have put into this topic. I would always caution against taking verses out of context.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 3:48:37 PM PDT
Yes. Christians always seem to make rape the woman's fault. It comes back to the savagely repulsive attitudes toward women, especially in the OT. The NT isn't much better. Most Protestant sects (I started as a Baptist and finished as a Presbyterian, with a scary interlude in a Pentacostal church, full of screaming, crying, and snakes!) seem to favor Pauline thought over Jesus' own teachings, with the resultant contradictory attitudes toward women.

My best friend was raped in our church youth group one evening when I was sick. While waiting in the ER to be reviolated by the rape kit, she was visited by our minister, who told her the rape was "God's will." Can you stand it? More than any other single event, that callous statement began my questioning of my faith.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 3:49:01 PM PDT
Blu Boy says:
BCM-

Of all of the Biblical verses quoted, which would you say were misconstrued by being taken out of context?

Frankly, the Bible was written in a very different time. I am all for people still reading it/getting faith from it, but some stuff really needs to go. I say it's time for an edit.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 3:49:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2011 3:51:42 PM PDT
Amon says:
Because woman have to be held down. If they don't men will quickly lose the "power" that they have had for so long. Religion is based on "tradition" and if anyone challenges tradition then all hell brakes loose. I say this all as a guy.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 3:50:10 PM PDT
The verses are not out of context, as they accurately reflect the anti-woman attitudes given as "teachings" in the Bible. Feel free to double check, since all the sources are there.

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 3:50:57 PM PDT
It is hard to find a religion that has ever really challenged the culture of its birth.

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 3:51:32 PM PDT
Blu Boy says:
R3-

Interestingly enough the same is true with me. After seeing how badly hurt my sister was I was very taken aback by how she was treated by a system that (I thought) was about building self esteem and giving hope during difficult times. To tell someone who has been abused that somehow it is their fault is, to me, inexcusable.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 3:54:51 PM PDT
You are so right. I appreciate your enlightened attitude and wish more men shared it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 4:10:36 PM PDT
Blu Boy says:
Thank you, I also appreciate your comments on this forum. I often find my beliefs challenged when I come across intelligent comments that differ from my own. I am now non-theistic but it took a long time and intelligent rebuttals to get where I am today.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 4:25:40 PM PDT
Thank you for the nice words. It took me many years to finally discard all the groundless assertions which had anchored me to ancient fables and superstitions. But believers seem to think that unbelievers somehow shed all that indoctrination overnight. Recently, I reminded a believer on another forum, "Finally, I would also urge you not to assume that I came to my unbelief casually or frivolously, unless that is how you came to your own belief."

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 4:34:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2011 4:38:17 PM PDT
Blu Boy says:
I have many times encountered people who are dismayed by my disbelief in their belief. My beliefs require no one but me to believe them but I somehow get the feeling from time to time that their beliefs hinge on others accepting them as well.

I think one of the greatest challenges about discussing belief with those who are theists and atheists alike is often times I feel like both groups tend to feel the other's beliefs are groundless. There is no even ground of acceptance of differences.

I know that my beliefs were hurtful to others (women, those of different sexualities, different races, etc) and I was uncomfortable with that and my beliefs, my morality, changed. But I understand that those with faith are not callous or meanspirited and often feel wrongfully attacked when others say their religion is corrupt or racist, etc.

I try and accept everyone's beliefs and I am hopeful that the vast majority of people are not trying to hurt one another, they are merely ignorant of how they affect others.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 4:55:23 PM PDT
There is a cult mentality with many religions, isn't there? My husband is a big Star Trek fan (bear with me for a moment). He notices that many religions need the mass quantities of members, like the episode where the inhabitants of this planet are mind controlled by a computer and they can tell if you are "not of the body." His friend is a fan of the movie "They Live," which I still haven't seen. They tell me that there are these screwball sunglasses that allow people to see these ugly aliens. "We've got one who can see," is the tag line here. I'm laughing thinking about how this hive mentality is best described in science fiction terms.

Let me correct you about one thing. I don't have a belief in a god, thus I lack a belief. I went over this with MommaMia the other day. A lack of belief is not a belief. As far as I am concerned, anyone can believe in anything they want, up to the point where they tell me that their beliefs are truths and that they are demanding that those beliefs/truths be made part of public policy.

I try not to assume facts about people based on their professed beliefs. I've met some lovely Christians as well as some obnoxious ones. People are people and they all are individuals. Christians have no more claim to exceptional behavior than anyone else. Many talk the talk but can't walk the walk.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 5:07:31 PM PDT
Blu Boy says:
Certainly I agree with you on the belief/non-belief theist/atheist remarks. However, there are times I cannot back up all of my moral claims without non-objective beliefs. For example, I do strongly believe in the importance of showing others respect and empathy. I could claim that there are non-subjective reasons for this but alas non would be universally compelling. I should therefore trace what my real argument is from:

The moral beliefs of theists and atheists alike. I apologise for not making that more clear and again, as someone who has no basis for "belief" in anything supernatural I accept what you have said.

(I also am a Trekkie and a big fan of the classic John Carpenter film, They Live.)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 5:14:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2011 5:15:23 PM PDT
I appreciate the clarification. I wasn't taking you to task, it's important to be precise to avoid misunderstandings. Such was the case with MM last week. As I mentioned with the moral issue, it is enough for me to teach my daughter the Golden Rule. It has served us both well and there was never any need for God. But the claim that religion is inherently more moral than an atheistic viewpoint fails when one examines the book from which this morality supposedly derives. The Bible is vehemently anti-woman, as I have noted, but it also promotes and advocates such horrors as genocide, infanticide, and slavery. To me, it is difficult to reconcile an assertion of morality when confronted with the reality of the events in the Bible.

Apparently I need to have a rite of passage of "They Live." I'll keep you posted.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 5:26:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2011 5:27:12 PM PDT
Blu Boy says:
Agreed. After many painful years of struggling to mentally reconcile the supposed moral risings of my faith and the lack of empiracle evidences supporting (or, as you have pointed out, many evidences in which the moral claim is completely undermined by the Bible) I left my faith behind and have been much happier in my life. It worked well for me, perhaps not others.

I do feel that faith can blindly propogate these horrors on the world and for true faith to survive there is much to be excised from it in the future.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 6:07:10 PM PDT
I agree that what works for us wouldn't necessarily work for others. Maybe one day...

I'm not one of those who blames all the bad in the world on religion, but it certainly does contribute. Many people use it as an excuse, as in "God told me to..." Unfortunately, there will always be a lunatic fringe.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2011 6:15:46 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Oh, please, women are not discriminated against in Christianity? What!!??

In the Catholic church women cannot be priests, in many fundamentalist groups, including the Mormons, women are seen as not much more than baby factories.

I'm delighted that you seem to have had a better experience, Mom, but please don't think it's typical of Christianity.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
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Initial post:  Oct 21, 2011
Latest post:  Aug 27, 2012

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