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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 01:20 AM
Original message
Status of Women in Christianity and Islam
and Buddhism and Hinduism and Judaism.

Status of Women in Christianity & Islam (Book Notes: No God but God)
A common criticism of Islam is its treatment of women; at the same time, though, Christianity does not have a very good track record with its treatment of women, either. The reasons do not appear to be the same in both religions, though...

http://atheism.about.com/b/a/190972.htm


A Sad Scenario
Every religion existing today discriminates in some way against women. The scriptures of all religions degrade and denigrate women, put them down and designate women as being inferior to men. This may or may not be the fault of the original prophet who created that particular scripture. But, it is for sure the fault of the men who later on over the years, after the departure of the original prophet, revised the text of those scriptures.

Let us take each one of the major religions and first look at its scripture, and decide by reading the scripture what status it has given to women. Second, we have to look at the society in which that particular religion abounds, look at the status of women, and then try to analyze what impact the scripture has had on the status of women in practical life. Suppose we look at the worlds five major religions Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.
http://www.proutworld.prout.org/features/status.htm



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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. I have few heroes. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is one of them.
Edited on Tue Feb-07-06 01:35 AM by beam me up scottie
The Woman's Bible
The Complete Text in Two Volumes
by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Other Members of the Revising Committee as Named with Their Comments al.

http://www.undelete.org/library/library0041.html
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McKenzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 03:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. women were written out of Christianity
around the time of the First Council of Nicea - 325 a.d. I think.

When Jesus Christ was alive - and yes, it appears he was a historical figure - the faith he followed was the Nazarene tradition which rendered both men and women as equal. Apparently, women were community leaders and often held priestly office under the Nazarene Church. The Roman Church changed all of that by effectively creating the whore or madonna paradigm.

It is interesting to note that the whore or madonna paradigm rests upon the myth of a virgin birth. The early versions of the bible, however, were translated from ancient Greek, and then into Latin. The Latin term used to describe Jesus' mother, Mary was virgo which simply translates as "young woman". Were she to have been written about as a virgin the Latin would have been virgo intacta or "woman intact" but the term used is virgo if the scholars are to be believed. This is where the Christian tradition moved towards patriarchalism (if such a word exists) according to some scholars.

It is also interesting to look at how the followers of Islam refer to followers of Christ in The Koran. They use the term "Nazara" (might be spelt wrong) or "followers of the Nazarene tradition". The term Christianity is absent from the Koran as far as I have read. Christianity seems to be something entirely different to the equality of the sexes approach taken by the faith that Jesus Christ actually practiced, and he thus drew the ire of the established, patriarchal authorities.

If the Nazarene tradition had prevailed things might have turned out rather differently as far as equality of the sexes in the established church is concerned.
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unschooler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. "Holy books" of all kinds were generally written centuries ago, and they
reflect the culture of their time. Some religions simply disregard their own scriptures to a greater degree than others, mostly because their cultures have advanced sufficiently that, deep down, people recognize the archaic nonsense contained in their "holy" books and choose to ignore them.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. Two fantastic books.
Edited on Tue Feb-07-06 08:26 AM by trotsky
Woe to the Women The Bible Tells Me So: The Bible, Female Sexuality and the Law
http://www.ffrf.org/shop/books/details.php?cat=fbooks&I...

Women Without Superstition: "No Gods - No Masters"
http://www.ffrf.org/shop/books/details.php?cat=fbooks&I...

The first written by, the second edited by, Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Why are Grey1 threads always atheist talking to atheist - in the Religion
forum.

Do you guys want to get a room?

:-)
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Because atheists are welcome in the Religion/Theology forum, too.
Read the rules, papau.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Heck - atheist are welcome anywhere - but they seem to need God so
they hang out in religion.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Whatever you say, papau.
Whatever you say.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Mocking and smug - I like it! - and back at you - whatever :-)
:-)
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I just have to know...
did an atheist pee in your cornflakes this morning or something?

You seem unusually insulting and combative today.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Little one - at my age it is bran and oatmeal - perhaps I hit on
a bad morning med -

it happens -

The 6 pm doses should make me mellow by 8 - and If I'm awake then I get back to you!

Meanwhile the amount of misinformation (must not say lies) being thrown around - about the most minor of points - and then used to proclaim the rightness of atheism is really high today.

Indeed I see that after a few comments about atheist's making up definitions, the rest of the Christian crowd has retired from the field - and old grey1 has put me on ignore - :-).

This Religion and Theology forum really needs to be rename the atheists playground - but then we'd get more such posts in GD and science as the atheists would avoid R/T d/b/a A/P , so perhaps it serves a purpose.

Till the next discussion that coincides with my having a blast of energy.

:-)

:toast:
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. The title of this forum is Religion/Theology
theology, n.
1. The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.
2. A system or school of opinions concerning God and religious questions: Protestant theology; Jewish theology.
3. A course of specialized religious study usually at a college or seminary.

I don't see anything in definition #1 that would preclude atheists from posting in a forum about theology, do you?

rational inquiry into religious questions

This thread in particular is a perfect example - an inquiry into the status of women in various religions. Many atheists have studied religion, in particular those of us who used to be religious.

Why do you think we shouldn't be posting in here?
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. If the goal was a discussion -no problem - but the goal is to mock
the spin covers up any point being made beyond religion is bad.

Indeed the near exclusive use of about:atheism and such sites shows the point of view that is being pushed.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. How do you know what the op's motive was?
It sounds like your intolerance of non-christians is getting the best of you.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-08-06 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. Perhaps- it is hard to tell tone - but that is my read of the gestalt. n/t
n/t
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. I think your read...
just might reveal more about yourself then about the o/p.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-08-06 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Please identify which posts in this thread are mocking.
I will alert on them with you.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-08-06 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. No need - I do not think that after a few days you will be seeing my
threads answering any atheist thread.

Time to move on.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-07-06 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. So, papau, how come I haven't seen you in the Science Forum lately?
The place just isn't the same without your portrayal of science as "atheistic".
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-08-06 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Hi Scottie - I am banned from Science because I objected to an atheist
posting that began with a dump on the religious before moving on to a science topic.

I foolishly suggested that I would act like an atheist and preface all posts with something stupid - but pro-atheist - in my case of course I'd be pro-religion - so that my message on religion could be in every forum.

The thread is now locked and I can no longer post in Science,

To be fair what I said was stupid - and to be fair the atheist that made the science post that was so annoying has refrained from using atheist prologues in all his subsequent postings.

But the view that science is headed in the direction of atheism believers only will not have any rebuttals from me in the science forum
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
20. This is a chicken and egg thing
Is it religion causing poor treatment of women, or has religion been shaped by a societal preference for poor treatment of women?

If we look at scriptures, used for guidance by these major religions, then we have to ask who, exactly wrote those? And in what context?

I think it's far too simplistic to say that any of these major religions discriminate against women and leave it at that. The religions grew in atmospheres content to discriminate. In some cases, the religious teachings at their core do not support such discrimination, but tradition and cultural imperatives have allowed them to do so.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. religion allows these prejudices to continue
Sure, when the books of the Christian bible were written, discrimination against women was standard practice.

The problem with the anti-woman passages of these texts is that religion allows ancient practices to be elevated to the level of God's Word, making it much harder for secular society to move ahead. People would have forgotten about Paul's misogyny if it hadn't been included in the Christian holy book.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Insightful.
I think your observation is very accurate. I don't think it's just limited to the anti-woman passages either, nor do I think it's just a matter of forgetting - they provide a socially acceptable channel for hatred and prejudice.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-13-06 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Yes, it is that.
Edited on Mon Feb-13-06 11:24 PM by beam me up scottie
I posted this in the Atheist Social Structure thread but it applies here as well.

This was in response to the question: "What would America look like if there was no religion at all when it was founded? "

Women would know true equality.

GLBT people would be recognized as normal.

There would be very little, if any, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases because sex would be considered a normal healthy activity, and children would be properly educated.


I'm not saying there would be no intolerance, but without their handy little misogynistic, homophobic and puritanical do-it-yourself manual, men would have to try a lot harder to come up with reasons to justify their prejudice.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. Or they remain entirely comfortable with their bigotry
and interpret the bible to support that...

I do agree, it's been used through the centuries to that purpose. I don't hold the religion at fault, though. I think it's a tool used by people who feel a need to discriminate, and who would probably just find another "compelling" reason to do so absent their particular biblical interpretations.

I don't think we're disagreeing so much. But I do think it misplaces the responsibility to blame religion instead of the bigots, you know?

And not all religious people share those beliefs, or interpretations.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
26. In many early religions, women were more holy than men.
Creating life and all that, you know.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Which, I suspect, is at the bottom of this, not
religion, per se.

I believe that it comes down to a nearly primitive, bedrock fear of the power of creation, and men's iffy (before science, perhaps) connection to the final product. The only way to insure that your progeny were, in fact, your progeny, was to control your women. Especially their reproduction. I think there's this sort of deep-down thing going on here. Religions have reflected it, cultural norms have reflected it. I think we're slowing realizing it and slowing coming around on it.

I think the whole fear of homosexuality is similarly bred into our cultures. I'm not sure why, though... It doesn't seem to hold so much for lesbianism as for male homosexuality. Probably plenty to analyze there, but I'm not qualified to do it!
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
28. Part of that statement is outright false...
Edited on Tue Feb-14-06 11:36 AM by Solon
This one in the second cite:
A Sad Scenario
Every religion existing today discriminates in some way against women. The scriptures of all religions degrade and denigrate women, put them down and designate women as being inferior to men.


That's the problem with generalizations, they are usually wrong, plain and simple there. I'm Wiccan, and more importantly, a Male Wiccan, that means that I'm not only a minority(30%) of a somewhat small religion, but also that the religion itself has EXPLICIT theology for the basis of sex equality, that includes for Homosexuals and Heterosexuals as well as between males and females. The only exception to that I can think of are the Dianics, though calling them Wiccans at all is somewhat controversial within the community. They are a women only, and focuses on the female aspect for divinity almost exclusively.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Good catch, however
the article isn't anti-religion and lumping all religions together, it's anti-patriarchal salvationist religion, and to that extent I'd bet the author would agree with you.
Nevertheless, being 60 or so years old, Wicca isn't considered one of the 5 major World Religions by the author, and there is no "official" Wiccan scripture to parse. Other Neo-Pagan sects and Unitarian Universalists were also overlooked, I suppose for a similar reason, even though the majority of UU clergy are women.
Plus, an argument could be made that the shadows of reverse sexism and technical discrimination in Wicca are no ultimately enlightened destination for a truly gender- and sex-equal religion.

Still, it's a good point you've brought up. :)
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Language matters, that's the problem...
If the author specified it with just one qualifier, like "Major" or using "5 Major World Religions" then we would know what he is talking about(Judiasm, Islam, Christianity, Hindu, Buddhism). Also considering he is talking about throughout history is even more important, he discounted the Shakers, which were a group of nominal Christians in the US whose major contention with other demoninations was the sexual inequality. To be honest, it could be considered splitting hairs, but there are plenty of religions that have little or no sexual inequality like Wicca, for exampe the Baha'i World Faith, though, as you said, there is some "reverse sexism" present as I said, more or less its strictly defined within the Dianist's Tradition. Though, even then, there are many religions that probably have members outnumbering Judiasm in numbers alone, specifically Animists, Shamanists, and various Indigenious religions in Africa, the Americas, and in the Pacific and Caribean Islands that are also, in some cases, less discriminatory.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. You're right, he should have put the qualifier in the immediate sentence
instead of just the headline and the subsequent text.
I think it's also quite possible that the author was unknowingly showing his cultural bias toward the "major" religions.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Actually, I see that a lot, on this board and in publications...
I think its just either willful ignorance, or cultural bias at large. The problem is that people think "religion" means that it is the whole shebang of Church/Priest/Mass when it couldn't be further from the truth. I break down almost all religions into general categories based on their religious proclavities if not specific beliefs. I'll give the list here:

"Strong" Monotheistic Religions
Orthodox Judiasm
Islam
Unitarian Christians
Fundlementalists Christians
Deists
Sikhs
Some Animist/Shamanist religions(Indigenious)

"Weak" Monotheistic Religions
Most Christian Denominations(Catholism, Protestants, Orthodox)
Hinduism(varies by sect)/Brahmaism
Santeria/Vodun
Some Animist/Shamanist religions(Indigenious)
Some Universalists/Pantheists
Baha'i World Faith
Temple of Set
Reform Judaism

Nontheistic religions(belief in supernatural, diety either doesn't exist, or doesn't matter)
Buddhism(again varies by sect)
Some Animist/Shamanist religions(Indigenious)
Spiritualists
Satanism

Polytheistic/Henotheistic/Pluralistic Religions
Wicca
Asatru
Reconstructionists, i.e. Celtic, Hellenistic, Roman, Kemetic(Egyptian)/Nubian
Some Animist/Shamanist religions(Indigenious)
Hindu(varies by sect)
Zoasterism

As you can see, even using such general categories actually makes it very hard to categorize these religions, namely with Hindu, a religion that has over thousands of years, evolved quite a bit, some sects are almost strong Monotheists(No God but Brahma, all others are aspects of Him), to being very polytheistic(separate Gods, separate Personalities), to being Pantheistic as well. Hard to pin down, but that is why I separated the two Monotheisms. Also, I had difficulty with Buddhism as well, technically, there is no belief in a God under Buddhism, but that varies by region and sect, as such, I simply put it in a Nontheistic category, where the commonality of the rituals and general beliefs in self-enlightenment are what matters, not necessarily the supernatural beliefs.

Also, Indigenious religions are very hard to pin down in any one category, part of the reason the labels are actually quite inadequet. For example, Native Americans, depending on tribe, are very Monotheistic in outlook, The Great Spirit as many Shamans call Him. However, some of the South American tribes can be quite Polytheistic, having Gods governing almost everything to do with life and nature. Christianity isn't necessarily unique, but the Trinity, what many Christians consider a bedrock of belief, is almost polytheistic in nature, not to mention Lucifer/Satan(the Prosecutor of God/the Adversary) the Evil Demi/Semi Deity that is also a bedrock of their Faith.

I split Monotheistic religions into two sections for a reason, Strong Monotheistic Faiths have 2 things in common, the first is a belief in One God, and the second is the belief that all other Gods are completely false. In more extreme forms, this includes even saying that such Gods are demons or devils, though not necessarily. Also, even though they have these beliefs, some take dramatically different attitudes to how they regard those of other faiths. Deists simply don't care, and since the God they believe does nothing to influence human affairs, neither do they, in regards to human belief.

Weak Monotheistic faiths are sometimes more pluralistic in outlook, God has many aspects showing Himself/Itself as different beings to different people. Its either that, or they simply don't have strong Unitarian Monotheistic beliefs, as the Christian Trinity, or the use of others as intermediataries between God and humans, Saints are used that way in Catholism and Santeria/Vodun.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-14-06 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. I think the difference

Is that all the religions listed in the post are relatively old, while Wicca is firmly a product of the 20th century.

I don't think there's anything inherent in the nature of religion that promotes the oppression of women, or many of the other things atheists tend to condemn "religion" in general for.

What religions *do* do is codify the prevailing morality of the time and place they evolve in - they set it down on tablets of stone for all to see, meaning that it changes much more slowly than it would otherwise.

To take an example Christianity (my apologies to Christians - I know you pick up far more than your fair share of flak on this forum, but it's the only religion I know much about), both the good things Christians claim for it - that it makes believers act in a more moral fashion, and that it provides comfort - and the accusations non-Christians level - e.g. that it promotes repression of women and homosexuals - are the vices and virtues of the past, when Doing One's Duty was regarded as more important, and no-one doubted that women were genetically inferior to men.

The key difference between religious and secular ethics is not that the former is partially derived from supernatural/spiritual sources and the latter isn't, but that the former arose in most cases a long time ago and has been inherently resistant to change, while the latter are being modified from day to day. Wicca hasn't been around long enough (in its current form, at any rate) for that to become noticable yet.
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