Posts tagged ‘women’
In a hard-hitting article in The Guardian, Theo Hobson takes the Church of England to task for its ‘wet clerics’ and their failure to carry through a reformation of the church in relation women. He laments the fact that division and injustice are being perpetuated because of liberal woolly-mindedness.
In 1992, the Anglican church finally agreed to ordain women but allowed those who disagreed and who wished to teach against this to keep their jobs. In 2005, the church agreed that women could, in theory, become bishops and finally break through one glass ceiling so firmly trodden on by men. However, in a recent report, the church is still arguing that the toleration of dissent should still be encouraged. As Hobson argues:
Imagine if Parliament had voted for female suffrage, but also allowed conservatives who disagreed with the development to form a parallel parliament untainted by women’s votes.
Either it is right to remove the cultural abuse of women by denying them an equal voice and opportunities, or it is not. If it is right to do so, why continue to fudge the issue and promote abuse and the teaching of abuse?
I find myself angry about this failure to reform for at least three reasons. First, as a humanist it grieves me that women in the church are clearly being disenfranchised in some way…
The fallacy that we all abide by one paradigm (or at least that we should) has led many Christians, both those of the conservative typology as well of the “floundering liberal” (Falwell’s words, not mine), to believe that non-believers have no ultimate purpose or meaning in life. Yet they do not realize that this unfair accusation is no different than the atheist who would also unfairly place his or her paradigm on the Christian and proclaim that a worship of an imaginary being and the subsequent false hope for a life after this one is foolishly nihilistic and deters the “believer” from living a purposeful life.
In my previous post I expressed my wariness with the so-called meaningful Christian purpose. I stopped short, however, of offering my own “secular” meaning of life. The conservative pundit I quoted in the previous part recognized, more or less, that a non-believer is fully capable of living of meaningful life. This meaning, however, is limited to the ontological realm. The pundit could not see an ultimate, or teleological meaning for a secularist’s life. To many Christians, the atheist’s view is that we are born, we live for ourselves, we die by ourselves. Finito. Apparently, if their god is added to the equation, even if the only purpose is to bow before him, at least it is something. I believe that this has led Christians to adhere to a false dualism that is so present in gnostic paradigms: the material is empty, the spirit is where life is found. Yet everything in observable reality tells us otherwise. The lack of evidence for either a god or heaven leads one to wonder how it is that a theist can have such a pessimistic view of the material realm…
Where should the finger point when blame is being distributed for the subjection of women? Surely there is someone to hold culpable for such an archaic view against half of the world’s population.
Do we blame the men who hold to these views? Yes, of course. However, the truth is that they are only acting on what they have been socialised to consider acceptable since there are aspects of society which continues to promote the second-class position of women.
Should we blame hip-hop music, which objectifies women? Last week I heard a radio interview with a Georgetown University Professor and author, Michael Eric Dyson, who spoke on this subject…
There is a new phenomenon often associated with evangelical Christian churches that is very disturbing. I am talking about the latest trend called Purity Balls.
A Purity Ball has all the ingredients of any nicely prepared formal ball. There are flowing gowns and black tuxes, practiced dancing to lively music and white candles sparkling throughout the ballroom. This is all very lovely.
Those attending a Purity Ball are young women with their fathers as their dates, and as they swirl about on the dance floor, it is no doubt a sight that would warm even the coldest of hearts. At first glance, it would appear that this event is simply an opportunity for dads to have some quality time with their little girls and perhaps get to know them a little better.
However, it is what happens toward the end of the event that causes me to lose that warm fuzzy feeling.
I thought I would share what finally broke me entirely from Christianity. I was reading a book entitled, “When god was a woman,” by Merlin Stone in which the author assembles some very strong evidence to show that early humans in the near and middle east worshiped female deities, lived in matriarchal societies and used a matrilineal line for determining family descendency and inheritance.
That in itself is very interesting. However, I then found out that the northern patriarchal tribes invaded these lands they brutally wiped out all goddess worship and replaced it with their warrior god. Thus, the beginnings of Judaism.
In fact, when you read in the Old Testament about the many cities destroyed by the Israelites at the behest of their god, those cities often worshipped female deities. The Israelites were supposedly told to kill everyone in the city as they conquered the lands because they worshiped pagan gods.
The truth, however, is that these were the goddesses who were worshipped in the near and middle east for thousands of years – longer than christianity has been around today, according to the author of this book…
In a recent post here HeIsSailing offered this wonderful glimpse into his soul:
But I want to believe. I want to believe that there is hope for us here on earth, comfort for the sick and needy, help for the helpless and love for the unloved. I want to believe in assurance for abundant life here on earth, and everlasting life in the hereafter. I want to believe that I will spend all eternity with my wife, the woman that I love. I want to believe there is hope in the future, there is relief when I get older, and there is confidence of my eternity.
Oh, how I can believe this! I have coined a similar type of feeling that I fall into, much like HeIsSailing. I call it spiritual depression. To me, and this is ONLY my definition and no one else’s, spiritual depression is that limbo of the gray area surrounding cognitive dissonance where you want to believe one thing, but your mind tells you something else. It’s the heart/mind dichotomy. Now depending on which viewpoint you take on the extreme spectrum of believer to atheist, there are different reasons for this depression and different cures for it. Neither view solves the dilemma and leaves one even more spiritual depressed…
Humanity as a whole has struggled with the issue of gender equity in the modern era. Combined with the teachings of the majority of the holy scriptures of today’s major religions, progress is slow in coming. Of course, there are nations classed as non-religious or secular nations where women are also viewed as second class citizens. However, I should point out that it is not their lack of religious beliefs driving this belief but more the views and traditions of that particular culture.
Similarly, theism itself does not classes women as second class citizens but the beliefs of specific theist religions. In fact, one can be a theist and believe in gender equity just as one can be an atheist and believe the opposite.
A core value of this blog is that we: