Monday, September 6, 2010

The fall of woman

Genesis describes a "paradise" that was created by god. First for Adam (the man he created from dirt) and then for his "helpmeet" Eve (who was created from one of Adam's ribs). They did not wear clothing and they had everything that they needed and walked with god daily. God put a tree of fruit in the middle of the garden that was "forbidden" for Adam and Eve to eat for the fruit possessed a power that would allow them to know "good and evil". One day, Satan, in the form of a serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit "so she would be like god" and then she gave the fruit to Adam to eat. Once they ate the fruit they realized that they were naked and they hid from god in shame. God found them and killed an animal and made clothes for them and kicked them out of the garden after he cursed them by making them work for their food. He cursed Eve by making childbirth painful. The other part of the curse was for Eve to "desire" Adam, but for Adam to rule over Eve. The fall of Adam and Eve made Eve a "lesser" human to be dominated and subjugated. The "fall of man" gave Adam dominance over Eve even though she would "desire" to be equal and for the relationship to once again be one of love and companionship.

The fall of mankind sets up a culture of "patriarchy" where man is dominate as the family and tribal authority. Any woman who has ever gardened knows that she is subjected to toil and sweat to make food come out of the ground, and Adam's "curse" is her curse. The lost paradise is forever Eve's fault and she is thereafter judged to be a weaker and less trustworthy creature. Sex is changed to one of "desire" that is not met as she is seen as one who exists to bring forth children in pain. Love and tenderness and equality is now out of the equation as angry domination on the part of Adam takes over. This story unfairly blames Eve, and thereafter all women for the pain in childbirth and the inequality in male/female relationships. The fall of mankind sets up a pattern of patriarchy that has been followed for 4,000 years. The western cultures have evolved into more or less secular humanistic cultures where reason and logic can sometimes ascend above ancient tribal folklore myths, but the muslims are still deeply entrenched in the myth with cultures that are a mirror the effects of the curse. For christians to know what life was like 4.000 years ago for women and children, they need to look no further than taliban ruled villages in Afghanistan.

I discuss the "fall of womankind" in order to point out that without the myth we do not need a "savior". If Eve's failure to obey a command by her creator never happened, we have nothing to be saved "from".
It is all just "make believe" told by ancient sheepherders to give them authority in their affairs and help them understand their plight and shape their tribes as they see fit. Once the mind rejects the story, one rejects the need for a god as a "savior", for one no longer needs to be saved.
Once the myth of the fall of womankind is rejected, men and women are free to create a society where women are equal and have a voice in the affairs of the culture. Christians everywhere would wish that the muslims would throw off the myth of male dominance that causes so much female suffering as a result of their belief in the fall of mankind. Christians are blinded by "faith" in the bible and unable to see the same mirror image in their own beliefs and their own culture. It is only fair that if we expect the muslims to discard the myth of the fall of mankinnd that christians would too. Celebrate logic and reason today and envision a future where we do not teach our children 4,000 year old stories of how the world began and how mankind came about when science tells us differently. Encourage a culture of justice based on reason and logic and celebrate equality today! It does not make sense to teach a creation story written by men who had no knowledge of the earth, the solar system or the universe, but created a myth that served their purposes and filled their "knowledge" void.

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