Monday, July 26, 2010

Allah causing osteoporosis in muslim women who wear burqas

Medical experts in the West warn that Islamic women wearing these all-encompassing burqas in the northerly climates, which have far less sunshine, suffer much more from osteoporosis due to a lack of Vitamin D.

The garments don't let through enough sunshine. And their newborn babies are prone to getting more seizures for the same reason.

"In Ireland, which is experiencing a large influx of muslim immigrants at the moment, women wearing the burqa, doctors are warning, 'are at increased risk of pelvic fractures during childbirth because of vitamin D deficiency due to a lack of sunlight. "And babies born to women with vitamin D deficiency are also more prone to seizures in their first week of life," according to Dr Miriam Casey, expert in Medicine for the Elderly at the Osteoporosis Unit in St James’s hospital in Dublin. The burqa - an all-enveloping outer garment, does not allow enough sunlight through to give women sufficient vitamin D, she warns.
The above paragraphs are from  an article published on the internet.  The reason I am interested in this dilema for the muslim women is this: on the one hand Allah has created them to need sunlight and has created a religion that requires them to be covered head to toe not allowing them to have enough sunlight and vitamin D for bone health.  Their is clearly a lack of logic and reason in  the religious practice of burqas.  The muslim women believe Allah created them. Allah, being all wise, created them and their babies with a need to be exposed to sunlight to prevent vitamin D defiiciencies, and prevent pelvic fracures and seizures in the infants.  But, Allah, is also telling them to be covered at all times when outdoors with a burqa which prevents them from getting enough sunlight.  Does Allah have it in for these poor women.  He created them to need sunshine and he created Islam which is requiring them to be covered in burqas so that they cannot possibly get sunshine.
Man made religions have it in for women.  Women don't stand a chance when men are in control of "The Book"and the "prophet" and the "rules".  At some point you pick logic and mental and physical health and say "goodbye" to religion and the man made deity that has it in for you!   All these muslim women have to do to protect themselves from osteoporosis and dangerous seizures in their newborns is throw off their burqas and the man made rule that keeps them from getting enough sunlight!  Not easy when you can be stoned and/or whipped for disobedience to the rules. 

God's justice for Rape

"If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." Deuteronomy 22:28-29

I suppose if she is a slave and there was no father the rape was OK...from the man's point of view and from God's point of view.  The woman's point of view is irrelevant in the Old Testament.
What woman would want to marry a man who raped her?  Why could the woman not be paid the fifty pieces of silver to her?
In the Old Testament only the man was allowed to divorce the woman.  The woman was not allowed to divorce the man. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cheerleaders for Allah, Yahweh and Jesus

Without the blind devotion of women,  the 3 middle eastern desert religions would not exist in the strength and power that they exist in the modern world. It is the women of all 3 of these religions  who make excuses for why they have be treated like animals and shoved to the sidelines while their culture and religion marches on without them.  Without women aspiring to birth Yahweh's male messiah or the next prophet of Islam,  or providing male jihad soldiers for our "holy" wars we might actually be able to achieve a world obsessed with peace and not war, beauty and not destruction, and compassion instead of  hatred.  On any given day it is not the men I blame for the poverty of love and beauty in the world, but the masses of women who blindly follow the male dominated religions which have birthed our male dominated cultures that have silenced women's viewpoints.  As women see it,  only male popes and male messiahs and male prophets can absolve them of the sin of being a woman. The teachings of the male prophets and teachers make them a "lesser" human being  while playing mind games claiming love and devotion.   I think it is about time women at least recognized a "male" agenda in their religion.  We have been blind to it  for centuries, and those who were not blind were burned as heretics or "witches".  It has only been with a struggle over 160 years that american women  have arrived at a place of some equality culturally.  Modern day beauty queens and young blonde barbie doll newscasters forget that they are only able to hope for some apparent and visual equal status on TV because of very plain clothed, but outspoken women that began to take up the cause of women in 1850.  A study of the women's movement in american history class is an hour long lecture at best.  The feminist movement is a  historical 160 year "sidenote" linked with the women of the temperance movement like Carrie Nation and women who were ant-feminists  like Beverly LaHaye and Phyllis Shafly who were used by the male dominated "moral majority".  Young american girls get to be very confused about reproductive rights, birth control, virginity and politics thanks to women like Sarah Palin who aspires to be a cheerleader for the pentagon and corporations and big oil, leaving compassionate healthcare as a right for the wealthy and teen pregnancy as an act of a rite of passage for the uneducated and poor single mother's left to wonder how to raise the children they were forced to birth.   Until the women of the world can plan their families, pick a soulmate and believe that they do not need a male pope or male prophet to absolve them of their "sins" we have our work cut out for us.  Encourage another woman today and begin the discipline of looking at  religion as the self serving man-made organization that it is and provide yourself some emotional distance from the abuse.

"She" shall bear a "Son"

"He said, "I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him."

Author: Genesis 18 Verses #: 10

Throughout the Old Testament the stories are replete with women being burdened with producing a "son".  The  importance of birthing a boy was part of the pressure on every jewish maiden so that the messiah could be born, the messiah had to be a manchild.  Women have not only been burdened with the task of birthing and raising children but in that responsibility was the pressure to have a son to carry on the family lineage and name.  In patriarchal cultures such as judaism, islam and christianity a manchild has more worth and importance than a female child.  Of course this is ridiculous and thanks to modern society moving past the mindset of these ancient stories have females been able to be viewed as equal. It has only been in the last generation that a female child has not seen as a lesser human being.  Women can thank science for this as science has proven that it is the male sperm that decides the sex of a fetus and the determination of sex has nothing to do with the female egg.  Women were blamed for 6 millineum for a failure to produce a male offspring until science shed some light on the subject. 
The other point I want to make is that ALL the stories center around men.  On occasion a woman like Eve, or Ruth or Esther get a bit part, but the larger story is about what the men are or are not doing.  The bible is a history book that is completely patriarchal.  Women only have value when they produced a male heir.  The story of Ruth and Mary are prime examples.  Baby boys are what makes the Old Testament continue along it's story line and story path.  Once seeing this, a modern women wonders where she fits it to the religion as a whole. The answer is...on the peripherary...and as a servant making babies for Jesus, Yahweh or Allah.  Women no doubt accompanied Jesus and washed clothes and cooked, but  even the New Testament  is a story of men as seen from a man's point of view.  When women wake up we will have a female pope or no pope at all...a female minister on staff or no women cooking church suppers...and a female islamic leader or no female followers of Allah at all.  The only question remains...when will women wake up and reject the patriarchy?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Billions inherit the "Eve" Curse

Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

In Genesis 3 is the story of the serpent talking Eve into questioning the commandment to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  God promised that eating of the fruit of the tree would bring about death.  The serpent told Eve that it would not cause death, but instead she would be as gods, knowing good and evil.  Eve ate the fruit and gave to Adam and then they realized that they were naked.  As the story goes, God was walking about in the garden looking for Adam and Eve. Everyone starts blaming everyone.  Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent.  God proceeds to curse the serpent and Eve and Adam and eventually kicks them all out of the garden.  The above bible verse is Eve's curse. 

The curse of pain and sorrow in childbirth and the curse of male dominance is transferred to "all" women for all time and sets in motion the last 6,000 years of male domination of women and girls. 
The curse is for women to be treated unequally and dominated.  The male dominance of women in the hebrew culture, the islamic culture and the christian culture has it's roots in this curse.  All of these religions have their roots in the deserts of the middle east.  The west has fully adopted the above story as "sacred truth" and "infallible" words of God and believe every word literally without question.  The catholic church holds fast to it's exclusion of women into the priesthood and uses stories and scripture like the above as validation of the belief women are not to be allowed equal designations of opportunity within the church.  Protestant religions have not been any kinder to women either.  Thankfully, through the feminist movement that began in 1850 and through the competent rule of european queens has this "curse" on women been eased.  Paul was very hard on disallowing women equality in his writings.  It is imperative that women continue to work for safe healthcare delivery systems where women can safely birth children and that women not lose sight of  the progress of the gains of feminists who have gone before us.  We must prove our value and intellect and competence and continue to pave the way of a "curse" free culture for our daughters and granddaughters.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ordination of women priests a "grave crime" according to the vatican.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued new rules and made the “attempted ordination” of women one of the gravest crimes under church law, lumping it in the same category with — wait for it — the clerical sex abuse of minors. Women attempting to be priests and those who ordain them already risk automatic excommunication, but the decree goes further and labels the action “a crime against sacraments.”

My favorite feminist is Mary Daly.  Forced to study  theology in europe because no american catholic university would admit her to a doctoral program she exposed the male dominance of the church.  She helped women to see that the church did not represent them or care about them.  Women were useful only as long as they reproduced faithful offspring brought up to be loyal to the church.  Under such a system, birth control and sterilization are strictly forbidden as not having children would free women up to the pursuit of education, commerce and self expression.  Mary, the mother of Jesus is worshipped for her obedience to God to be willing to have a child for God.  Mary is also worshipped for her virginity.  This is a big guilt trip for a modern woman to uphold.  Mary is by and large a silent participant and no doubt God and the priesthood above all else admire obedient silence from the women that they wish to dominate and control.  The protestant movement also excludes women and prefers obedient silent women as well.  Do all these men really speak for God?  Does God see women as inferior and incapable of leading congregations and worshippers?  I think women have been "had" for thousands and thousands of years by male dominated societies and religions.  Christianity has not furthered the cause of women.  Christianity has hindered it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The curse of the bastard child

A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 23:1-2)
If someone has the misfortune of being born as a result of his mother being raped he is excluded by this edict from worship for 10 generations. This is punishing the child for something that happened between the 2 adults that parented him. It is most probably very likely his mother did not intend to have a child out of wedlock. This bible verse demonizes children out of wedlock. A bastard child does not have the same access to god as a child whose father claims him. I remember that the word bastard carried very heavy shame up to my generation. The shame of birthing and raising a "bastard" has no doubt been the cause of women for centuries risking their own life to resort to self-induced abortions to remove a pregnancy that would result in a stigmatized "bastard" child. Thankfully, the stigma has been lifted in our present culture to the point where now up to 45% of mothers birth babies out of wedlock. To take the bible literally those children would not be allowed to enter a church or a synagogue for 10 generations.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jesus and Slavery

 As for slavery, it appears Jesus  encouraged the beating of slaves:
And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.-Luke 12:47

Note, the word "servant" here means slave. The Biblical Jesus lived in a time when slavery flourished, yet He never spoke or fought against it.

The British abolished slavery 30 years before america, and they did so without a civil war. During the 1800's the harsh reality and  the offensiveness of slavery came to be an affront to many americans.  This controversy split the country and the church.  Slavery has been practiced for thousands of years yet neither the old testament or new testament speaks out against the practice of owning another human being and making them a slave without freedom.  What are we to make of this attitude toward slavery by Jesus who claimed to speak for god, his father?  The roman slaves at least saw that they now had a chance to live in eternity as "equals" with their masters.  This no doubt gave them hope.  The early american slaves were not thought of as human or possessing a soul, as time went on and masters were able to communicate with their slaves they no doubt recognized their humanity, and with time some came to see that "owning" another human being was aggregious.  For various social and religious, political and economic  reasons slavery is now widely rejected, although still practiced in some parts of the world.  Slavery was horrible for men, but unbearable for women.  Female slaves were raped and beaten and overworked and denied any sense of a life of peace .  What do we make of Jesus not speaking out against slavery and the apostle Paul teaching slaves to be submissive, when he could just as easily have told early not own another human?  This is a question that led to 2,000 years slavery before it was rejected by compassionate human thinkers.  I can only ask the questions.  I don't have the answer.  The bible was written at the behest of powerful Kings.  Was it important to placate these Kings or the rich supporters of the church upon which the livelihood of the monks and priests depended?   Who was King James and did he and the bible scholars on which he supported have their own agendas?  I do not know.  All I know is that neither the Old Testament or the New Testament forbid the owning of slaves as a requirement for righteousness. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The one bible chapter "written" by a woman

Proverbs 31: 1-31  The words of King Lemuel that his mother taught him.  This chapter is an uplifting view of a capable woman.  The chapter teaches  that women are valuable, capable and resourceful and make a positive influence on their families and society.  The bible is said to have been written by 39 male authors, even this chapter is inserted into the book of Proverbs at the behest of King Lemuel.  King Lemuel obviously felt that when women are allowed a chance to be contributing members of society their families benefit as does the society as a whole.  He obviously wanted to honor, include and give deference to his mother's teachings.  King Lemuel's mother taught him that women were valuable and should be recognized for their contributions to their families and society.  This chapter has no doubt been a source of encouragement to women trying to assert their rightful place in their male dominated societies over the past 4,000 years.  The chapter encourages women to be industrious and hard working and assumes women are more than capable of buying and selling and creating a market for their talents.  The woman in the chapter has servants which free her up to do many resourceful things.  Modern day females can occasionally afford to hire help in child care and domestic chores and still come out ahead, but for the most part "mothering" has kept women completely preoccupied and unable to get all the education they need to compete in a male dominated world.  I think we need to expand on Proverbs 31 and tell young girls it is OK for you to delay child bearing until they are educated and have traveled and have taken the time to develop. Society and the church needs to start saying it is OK  to choose not to have children at all.  With the world approaching 9 billion choosing to be childless can be an act of conscious and self protection and mercy.   I am very concerned about the trend of modern girls and young women rushing into "marriage" and "child bearing".  It is almost as if we need a new feminist movement.  Young girls are looking for value and affirmation in having children before they can afford to raise a child and they are succumbing to marriages before they know themselves and before their partner has lived a single life too!   These early choices are destroying women's lives and committing them to a lifelong struggle to support children often by themselves in poverty.  Travel, education and living the life of a single person can teach a woman a great deal about herself and allow her to develop her own thoughts and preferences separate from a man.  This is a good thing and should be encouraged.  King Lemuel's mother was a wise woman who encouraged him to consider the value of a women.  What would she tell young women today? 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Death commanded for brides!

We read the Golden Rule and judge it to be a brilliant distillation of many of our ethical impulses. And then we come across another of God’s teachings on morality: if a man discovers on his wedding night that his bride is not a virgin, he must stone her to death on her father’s doorstep (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).[3]

The Old Testament was not kind to women.  Proof of virginity is a not clear cut.  The woman may or may not have been born with  a complete hymen, and if she does possess it it can be torn easily at any point during childhood and a woman may or may not bleed with her first experience with penetration.  The groom had already paid a bride price and the father had already sold his daughter into an arranged marriage in the tribal custom of the ancient hebrews.  If a groom wanted to take displeasure in the bride and claim she was not a virgin the groom was "commanded" to stone her to death on her father's doorstep.  This continues the belief that the virginity and the proof of it was the only value a woman possessed.  Virginity is worshipped in the worship of the virgin Mary and seen in both the muslim and christian  and jewish cultures as the only quality that makes a woman desirable and valuable.  The root of this obsession with virginity no doubt springs from this Old Testament commandment and continues to this day.  Would the god creator write such a commandment? Or was this a teaching from a patriarchal society?  When we go into court we swear on the bible to tell the truth.  Does the bible tell the truth?
For 4,000 years religious men and women have sworn that every word is in fact the "word of God".
Would a just and loving god prescribe such unjust treatment for a young girl because she did not bleed upon penetration on her wedding night?

Is Sarah Palin a christian?

"Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.""

Author: Mark 10 Verses #: 21

In this passage Jesus is asked how a person can acquire eternal life.  The man who was questioning Jesus was a rich man who claimed he had kept the commandments all his life.  Jesus told him that he lacked one thing in order to qualify to receive eternal life.  He was told that he was to sell everything  and give the money to the poor and follow Jesus.  The man became sad because he had great wealth.

How many wealthy female televangelists have given everything to the poor?  How many wealthy christian CEO's have given everything they have to the poor?  Have very public christians like Sarah Palin obeyed the command of selling everything they have in order to acquire eternal life?  Has your pastor?  Who was the last christian you met who sold everything and given the money to the poor?

The rich young ruler in the story asked very clearly how he could inherit eternal life and Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give to the poor.  The verses doesn't say a sell a few things or give 10% to the church or your local pastor, Jesus was very clear about this.  Sell everything you have and give to the poor.  Sarah Palin pays Washington insiders for help from her political action committee, and she certainly is not on record for giving any amount of money to the poor, let alone all of it.  Is Sarah Palin a christian or not?  Who do you know or who have you ever known who follows this teaching of Jesus.  We all like John 3:16 because it just requires "belief" and not a lifestyle of poverty to get into heaven but is that not a "cherry picking" of biblical commands and Jesus' teachings? 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Abolishing Abortion

Sue Engle, who won the republican primary in Nevada is just the latest republican politician who would restrict abortions even in the case of incest and rape.  Her latest comment is that  pregnancy is "God's will" and therefore should not be disrupted.  Scientifically and biologically  a woman becomes pregnant when her egg is fertilized by a sperm, it is not a "spiritual" phenomenon, but a consequence of the forces of nature. Let me say it again, fertilization is a scientific, biologic phenomenon not a spiritual phenomenon.  We have no evidence that everything or anything that happens in our world is "God's will".  The ancient book of Job attritubed both his blessings and calamities to God.  Some modern day believers have adopted Job's theolgy and have come to spiritualize everything in their lives as well as acts of god.  Modern believers are looking to god for complete protection and intervention at every moment of every day.  This is certainly their right, but do they have a right to force that level spiritualization on society as a whole?  If god broke your arm should you attempt to mend it?  If god broke your hip should you intervene or accept it as god's will? If god gave you high blood pressure should you ignore it and "pray" god will take it away or should you see a doctor and take blood pressure medications.  If you are pregnant with a baby that has severe birth defects and you are 45 and cannot afford to raise a child with birth defects should you be forced by political laws to keep the pregnancy?  Difficult issues to be sure.  Does Sue Engle have the right to make that decision for the girls and women in the USA when she comes to power as a politician?  She thinks so and so do her supporters.  Sue Engle did not win the republican primary in a vacum.  Many republican men and women agree with her and are striving to get her elected just so political pressure can be applied to restricting women's rights.  In Brazil, where abortion is illegal thousands of women die from attempts to self induce abortions.  This will soon be the case in america where the pro-life politicians are crafting  state and federal laws that will make abortion obsolete without overturning Roe v. Wade.  Governor Bobby Jindal just signed a law making it illegal for an abortion provider to be sold insurance in the state of Louisiana.  Even the most passionate providers would not risk to liability of performing abortion without insurance coverage.  Every abortion provider is a target for potential assassination by rabid pro-life forces.  To put your very life at risk in order to practice medicine is something only a few brave doctors are willing to subject themselves to.  It is not easy  for women to find an abortion provider now, how many will perform abortions without malpractice insurance?  Let's be honest, Roe v Wade could be overturned.  The surpreme court has a conservative majority that were appointed by republican presidents who promised the public that they would abolish abortion.  Why has it not happened?  Because it is a dangling carrot.  Pro-life forces are the republican party's base and a very secure source of loyalists.  To get rid of Roe v Wade would be shooting themselves in the foot.  Local and state level pro-life politicians will continue to craft laws that will make abortion inaccessible thus eliminating abortion without having to overturn Roe v Wade and the conservative anti-choice female politicians  often times lead the charge to take away a woman's right to decide whether to keep a pregnancy invoking religion.  If the alarming trend of restrictive state laws continue we are not many years away from women having no choice.  Right now, wealthy girls and women can travel and  pay for an abortion.  It is the 6th grade girl in Dumas, Arkansas that does not have the funds or the ability to access a safe legal procedure that would allow her to continue her childhood.  Who is speaking up for the 13 and 14 year old girls?  Certainly not self righteous politicians like Sue Engle, Sara Palin, Michelle Bachman and Tom Coburn and Bobby Jindal.  The pro-choice voices are being silenced by elected officials who ran on a pro-life platform who would punish women with unwanted pregnancies.  1 in 3 female soldiers are raped while serving in the military and yet abortion outlawed on military bases and the military will not pay for an abortion under any circumstance.  Not only are female soldiers intimidated into not reporting their rapes, but they cannot terminate the pregnancy if they get pregnant from the rape.  Dr. Tiller wore a button that said, "Trust Women" but he was silenced for doing so.  Descent into theocracy is never good for women.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Divorce or Die Headline

Today while reading the news I came across an article about a young couple in India who are being told by the tribal elders in their village that a mistake was made in allowing them to marriage as their "castes" do not match up.  The ultimatum, as it has come down from the tribal elders to divorce or be killed by the tribe.  The couple is in the process of trying to figure out how to flee their village.

This situation is interesting to westerners who no doubt feel a sense of superiority that our culture is not ruled by tribal elders, or a caste system or a dowry system.  The article stated that in India thousands of babies are aborted each year because they are girls.  In a male dominated society of male tribal elders male children are being selected and preferred. With a strong dowry system in place young people are not free to choose their lovers and life partners.  The village elders and their parents are the ones in control of their destiny.  Before westerners become so glib,  village "elders" approving who can and cannot marry and society wanting boys as more desirable is part of the history of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.  All of these religions are based on tribal lore with men participating as the central characters.  Men and women have struggled to break free of the ridiculous demands of their religions for thousands of years. I am quite frankly surprised these ancient religions based on the fables of illiterate sheep herders and fishermen still dominates modern day laws and culture and politics. Man made and male dominated religions and traditions are alive and well and thriving would think at least that women would refuse to participate.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gang rape OK with "angels" and Lot

Genesis 19:8
"Behold now, I have two daughters which have no known man; let me I pray bring them out to you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof."

According to this ancient tale about a sheepherder who is living in a city called Sodom, god sends angels to convince Lot to leave the city and travel elsewhere.  Lot is living with his wife and two daughters.  The angels did not protest when Lot offered his daughters to become victims of gang rape.  Lot is revered as a prophet by muslims and jews, but the muslims exclude the part of the story where Lot's daughters get daddy drunk and have sex with him in order to preserve the lineage of the tribe.  In the Old Testament "Thou shalt not Kill" applied only within the tribe and did not apply outside the tribe. In the story we are supposed to believe that God rained fire and brimstone and killed all the inhabitants of the cities and on the plains as his judgement agains their sins.   As Lot's family was  fleeing the city the angels told them to not "look back" (vs 17) and escape to the mountains as God was going to destroy the city. But Lot's  wife looked back and God turned her into a pillar of salt.  Lot's  daughters were terrified and felt like their only hope was to great pregnant by their father in order to preserve the family line.  As the story goes they got their father drunk and he had sex with him.   They got pregnant and they both had son's. 

From a woman's perspective this story details how little Lot thought of his daughter's.  At  a point of conflict with the men of the city the only thing he thought of was to offer his daughter's up to the men of the city for gang rape. As this story has been handed down over thousands of years it points to what little value daughters and women had to these ancient men.  In the story,  Lot is important enough for God to send angel's to deliver him from fire and brimstone and destruction.  He is a prophet.  We are supposed to believe Lot became so drunk that he did not know he was having sex with his own daughter's.  And lastly, the harshness of the  immediate death of Lot's wive for the simple act of looking behind her to see what was going on between God and the city she called home was worthy of instant death.   The women of this story are not protected, are given no mercy, and do not fare well at all.  The women are traumatized, judged and put to death by God.  Lot's wife was not valuable enough to preserve and his daughter's were victims of incest in which they are blamed.

The moral of the story is God's extraordinary measure of sending "angels" to deliver Lot out of an "evil" city.  In ancient times it was imperative that everyone lived in a tribe in order to preserve traditions and beliefs.  The whole moral of the story is that  God has "special" people that he goes to extraordinary measures to take care of and the rest of the world he does not care about.  This is called "exceptionalism".  Being a part of a "preferred" religious group that God approves of gives you an extraordinary measure of God's favor necessary for survival.  Humanity outside the exceptional group is doomed. This ideology is pervasive in modern day christianity, judaism and islam.  Whole groups of people believe their beliefs are exceptional and their group is exceptional and that God views them as special and deserving of favor and deliverance from hell.  This story was no doubt useful for centuries to keep the tribal lineage and tribal lore intact, and has been useful to keep people rigidly in fear of God's judgement and anger against people who disobey in the slightest way. (Lot's wife)  Lot as the patriarch was given a pass.  He was not corrected when he offered his daughters to be raped.  He was not corrected for becoming drunk and impregnating his daughter's.  The women of the story were traumatized and judged.  It is only in the past century that women have won some rights.  Male dominated religions and male dominated cultures have kept women from equality for centuries.  How do you see women as dominated even today by the church and society?  Does the pope care about women's rights? Are male pastors willing to see women as equal?  Why has the equal rights amendment failed to be ratified and obstructed by the "moral majority" and women such as Phyllis Shafly and Beverly LaHaye?  Has Sarah Palin used the feminist movement to her benefit, but denies girls sex education and birth control even within her own family?  The current republican candidate for Senate in Nevada does not believe victims of rape and incest have a right to terminate their pregnancy as the pregnancy is an "act of God's will".  She has obviously not been a victim of rape or incest and forced to carry and deliver and raise a baby from these crimes.  This is fake feminism for it does not value the women's rights.  Fear of God's wrath and fear of certain doom drive our society today.  Michelle Duggar has 19 children because she is afraid not having children is against God's will for her.  She sees herself as useful only as it pertains to bearing children and claims she will not stop even if it means her death.  She is no doubt influenced by Lot's wife and Lot's daughter's who felt they only had value to God by birthing children.  All the above mentioned women work very hard at being "exceptional" and "favored" to the harm to those around them.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The command of silence and childbearing (I Timothy 2 11-15)

I Timothy 2:11-15
"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. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."

Wow....Paul the Apostle has put a lot on women here.  It took two thousand years of world history and over 150 years of  American history to break free from these teachings for women to have a voice in their male dominated cultures. 

First of all, Genesis 1:27 says God created male and female in his own image...all at once...and equally.  At a later point, during a period of patriarchy,  another creation story surfaced about Adam needed a "helper" and God creating Eve as an afterthought from Adam's rib for the benefit of Adam.  For thousands of years men preferred to treat women as little more than a slave for his personal benefit.  Women were "purchased" from the father's for a price.  Women had no power and very few rights, they were born into a man's world dominated by a male religion.  The struggle for equality first surfaced in 1850 in the first wave of the women's liberation movement.  In addition to men, women were some of the most vocal opponents of equality.  Over time the women's movement merged with the prohibition movement and although alcohol was made illegal, women still had not succeeded in securing the right to vote. The history of the women's movement and prohibition is a very interesting study of american history.  A new book called LAST CALL goes into the details of prohibition in america. 

Secondly, Paul the Apostle blames Eve and thus all women for the "fall of mankind" and "disobedience" to God. This is absurd.  This allowed the church to insinuate for years that women just could not be trusted as leaders and the western world was forced into a male dominated and male controlled society that denied women equality, both inside the church and outside the church.   Adam blamed Eve and men have been blaming women for eons.  Paul picks up this rant and uses an old testament fable to insinuate that women are 1. Not equal in intellect or character to men.   2. Women are easily decieved and therefore not qualified to lead and 3.bearing children can somehow save a woman.  Here is why Paul injects something totally new.  Women save themselves  from hell by having children.  Women who are barren, or whose husband's are infertile are given no hope of saving themselves from an everlasting hell by Paul.  This is just ridiculous and a new twist.  The church picked up on this, as have men.  Women have been forced into early motherhood and the burden of motherhood against their will.  Today, the one way to assure a young woman of lifelong poverty is to force her to remain pregnant and bear children at a young age causing her development and educational opportunities to nearly cease. 

Paul states that women can be saved if they have children, continue in "faith" and "give liberally" and remain "sober".  I don't know if that means depressed or free from alcohol or both.  This is quite a  quilt trip on women.  I think women would be well advised to read the teachings of Paul with caution as he is clearly not a fan of women.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear President Bush (a letter off the internet)

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18: 22 clearly states it to be an abomination . . End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25: 44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21: 7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness - Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev. 1: 9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35: 2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11: 10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there degrees of abomination?

7. Lev. 21: 20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11: 6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19: 19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blasphemes a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24: 10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20: 14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, as well, you have a direct line to God so I am confident you can help

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

(post taken from an anonymous source off the internet)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stoning Women to Death

Stoned to Death -- Iranian Woman Faces Barbaric Execution

Women in the bible did not fare any better.  John 8: 1-11 A women was brought to Jesus who was taken in adultery.  They said that Moses said in the law (Dueteronomy 22:22-23) that she should be stoned.  Jesus said, "He who is without sin cast the first stone."  Upon thinking of this statement the men left the woman alone. 

During the time of Jesus the Israelites lived under Roman Law on the Romans were the rulers of the land.  The Romans did not observe the practice of stoning virgins who had broken an engagement vow and women who were accused adulterers. I suspect that the religious temple police could not go about stoning whoever they found to accuse as the romans had set up the government and the courts.  The roman government and their court system may have prevented this practice of stoning women.  At any rate,  in a male dominated culture and religion only the virgins have value and women do not have the right to love whom they choose.  It is only when the whole world moves past man made, male dominated religions that condone barbaric practices can women move forward. It is very important to visualize and embrace the female half of god, as both men and women are made in the image of God.
Numbers 21:13-24
This passage tells the hebrews what is required of the priests. They have to marry a virgin. A priest cannot take a widow or a divorcee or a harlot or a "profane" woman. He has to take a virgin of his own people. He cannot take a virgin outside the tribe.

This passage begins to set up an expectation that only virgins are valuable and worthy of marriage to a priest. A widow, or divorcee simply cannot be considered even though she may have excellent character. The bible is replete with the "worship" of virgins. 2,000 years after the birth of Christ, Mary, the virgin mother is worshipped. Mary had to be a virgin in order for Jesus to be considered worthy of the title of prophet, thus the preoccupation with a virgin birth.

It is not that I am against the practice of abstinence if that is the choice for either a young man or young woman, but to lend to them a "higher" human value because of that choice seems to devalue all humanity. We are either equal and of equal value or we are not. Westerners are troubled by muslims demanding and fantasizing over virgins, and yet our culture and the religions of judaism and christianity are equally preoccupied with attaching worth to virgins and removing worth from people with a different lifechoice or experience. Women have value whether they are a virgin, a divorcee, a widow, a prostitute or a lesbian. Only with this worldview stronly intact can this world progress to a more humane planet.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The feminine side of God. Could God be a she?

Genesis 1:27
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female he created them."

In this verse it states that mankind was created in his own image, male and female. This bible passage does not make the woman an afterthought as in the story of Adam and Eve. Not only are male and female equal, but they are created in God's image. The story of Adam and Eve has God creating Eve FOR Adam as a "helpmeet" (servant). These are conflicting creation stories in the first book of the bible.

We are created in God's image...God has a feminine half at the very least. He created male and female to be equal. This is one reason it is so important to work towards the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment which was fought by the Moral Majority and Phyllis Shafly and Beverly LaHaye. A handful of evangelical leaders were able to defeat this ammendment proclaiming equal rights for women to be evil. The woman's movement needs to finish what it started and work to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Find out if your state ratified it. If not work at putting a group together to fight for it, and start to refering to God as a she!

The Question of Circumcision

Over 4,000 years ago God instructed the Hebrew men and their slaves and men whom they had bought to succumb to the practice of circumcision to identify each other as distinct from other tribes. As time went on the baby boys were to be circumcised on their 8th day of life. Is that practice relevant today for the modern feminist? Should a newborn be forced to undergo a horribly painful surgery without anesthesia and have soreness for days afterward because of a 4,000 year old middle east tribal custom?

As a young nursing student I had to observe several circumcisions. They strapped the baby to a board and without anesthesia cut off his foreskin. The babies screamed blood curdling screams and were sore for days afterward. When they urinated they screamed. It all seemed terribly barbaric. Why is it still done? Largely because insurance pays for it and the doctor gets paid for it. If women had to pay for this extra request out of pocket the practice would cease to exist. If the doctor fee was not be paid the practice would cease to exist, and I promise you circumcision would fall out of practice. Sometimes too much of the foreskin is removed preventing the penis from a complete or painfree erection. Many uncircumcised men claim that the foreskin has nerve endings and sensitivities and they are glad that they are not circumcised. Circumcision can lead to scaring and disfigurement. Why do we treat our infant boys this way based on a 4,000 year old jewish custom that has nothing to do with the modern day? We have no neeed to preserve tribal identifications or adhere to an old testament covenant and yet women blindly sign on the dotted line for a circumcision for their infant.

With this blog I hope to make women think about a lot of issues. As women, we are angry that females are mutilated by islam and african religions, but think nothing of subjecting our boys to an early brutality. I guarantee that if a mom had to watch a circumcision being done on her infant she would never circumcise another one of her son's. The health arguments for circumcision are not valid in a culture where men can wash themselves.

If you are a young woman who is pregnant with a boy I hope this blog has given you the courage to say no to the barbarism of circumcision. If they grow up and want to be circumcised...let them. I doubt very few would choose the procedure for themselves. Why choose it for them at one day old. Let them be the way they were created.