The Male Mindset
Once a person opens their eyes it becomes totally obvious that the perspective from which the Bible was written is male…what is missing is the feminine voice. Everything that is penned in it is done so from a masculine point of view, right down to the way women are described and treated. The words of Scripture are composed as a man would write when speaking of and describing the actions of women from a masculine perspective, when it should be composed in a totally neutral way if it were truly from a god who is neither male nor female. As you will see it is the masculine ego that has shaped and formed the image of Yahweh. The Bible is centered on and revolves around the male, from its foundational words to the conquering Christ of Revelation…declaring all that is Bible is male.
Six anti-woman claims that the Bible promotes:
- Women are considered the property of the man.
- Women are ruled over by men solely based on their gender.
- Women do not share equal human rights with men.
- Women are considered of less value than men.
- Progeny is claimed to be carried through the loins of the male.
- The Biblegod is exclusively portrayed with “male” attributes.
Being born female at any point in history has always been an extreme disadvantage, but especially so during biblical times when the Hebrew god declared woman to be created from man and for man, endowing her with the status of “Property”. This title was forever engraved in stone in the 10th Commandment, where a man’s wife is numbered second among the possessions of ones neighbor that should not be coveted.
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house (PROPERTY), thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife (PROPERTY), nor his manservant (PROPERTY), nor his maidservant (PROPERTY), nor his ox (PROPERTY), nor his ass (PROPERTY), nor any thing (PROPERTY) that is thy neighbour’s.
A common theme that runs through most of the worlds’ major religions devised by men is the MISTREATMENT, and INEQUALITY of women. What one finds is endless squabbling between men and their gods about things like how many wives a man can have, if he can divorce his wife, who’s property a woman is and how much she is worth, what rights does she have concerning inheritance, is a woman impure longer after she has a female baby than after she has a male baby, if a man claims a woman is not a virgin what punishments are inflicted upon her, or if he accuses her of adultery because he is jealous what must she suffer? Sometimes a man can have a pagan wife (Ruth was a Moabite), other times he cannot, sometimes it is okay to keep the pagan virgin women, other times they must all be killed. Should women cover only their heads, or their entire faces, can they cut their hair or speak in church, or must she be silent, will a woman be saved by childbirth, or not, must a woman submit to a man as her head, or not? Bottom line: does a woman have any rights aside from those given her by a man? The list could go on and on, but I think my point has been made…it looks man made.
The one thing above all else that should reveal the Bible as being entirely of human construction is its viewpoint on women and that it is totally centered on the male. No creator of the magnitude and intelligence it would take to form the heaven and earth, with all of its fine tuning would stoop to such pettiness, and perversion, as to create a species called the human animal that must obey a set of such blatantly skewed and gender biased laws and rules (that no one can, or should keep),as those portrayed in the Bible…where half the population is kept from realizing their full potential in perpetuity. The irony is that the Bible like many other religious texts creates the very problems it sets out to solve.
We have recorded history as an example of how men have felt about women down through the ages…the Bible just exemplifies and reinforces those feelings, and attributes them to a god. Men have always used their physical strength and power to promote their superiority and suppress those who are weaker, but those who adhere to the Bible justify it by declaring god made the laws! The same holds true for many of the other major religions of the world and their various laws. The male mindset has remained fairly consistent throughout history, men show their prowess and potency by their sexuality and how many women they can dominate; whereas women are considered to be whores and defiled if they show their sexuality. The double standards are everywhere one looks, inside and outside of religion, which is why it is so obvious to see how the Bible reflects the mindset of men worldwide.
In many places in the Old Testament women are considered the property of the man, and are little more than sex slaves at the beck and call of their male masters, all of this is condoned by the god of man’s making. A woman did not even have control over her own body to say if she wished to marry or not, or bear children or not. This is by no means exclusive to the Bible, ancient and modern cultures alike are riddled with such examples, but the sad thing being is that in the majority of the cases the reason for the inequality is attributed to a teaching of a particular religion’s god or gods.
The huge gaping wound created by the Old Testament’s promotion of the abuse of women has only become a festering, infected sore, with the advent of the New Testament and continues to ooze its infection into modern times. As my vision becomes clearer, and clearer, I see there is absolutely no way a book such as the Bible that shares a common theme of abuse, and inequality of women with most of the worlds major religions, can ever again hold any credence as being the word of god… that is not to say that the Bible in and of itself is not a wonderful treasure of ancient literature that reflects the human experience of “God”. But the very fact that the Bible diminishes a woman place to the status of property should in and of itself be a clue to its man made nature. The only way any system can truly prosper is if it is based on equality which the Bible most certainly does not.
If one looks closely at the layout of many passages in the Bible it quickly becomes evident how strongly the male mindset of the time period it was written in is mapped onto its pages. The one passage I want to focus on in this section comes from the book of Zechariah. We read in this prophecy that when the day of the Lord comes he will gather the nations against Jerusalem and in so doing will allow the women of the city to be raped, half the city to be taken captive, and the rest of the people to be cut off from the city. The prophecy then goes on to say after Yahweh causes this invasion to take place, he then goes to fight against the very nations he used to punish his people with in the first place.
Zech 14:1-2 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
The first observation I would like to take note of is the raping of the women of the city, this act of violence is specifically targeted against women and is something that happens quite frequently (even in modern times) in the “wars of men” to prove their masculinity and to dominate women. So, why is it that we see Yahweh acting in ways that exactly match the ways of men? If Yahweh is so concerned with punishing his people for their transgressions, why is it that he allows the women to be singled out for extra punishment that is specifically based on their gender? It seems pretty obvious that this passage was written from a totally male mindset, recounting what actually goes on when men go to battle of their own accord, but one would not expect the creator of the universe to act in the same manner. The raping of women by government forces in war is something that we still see happening today in many countries, the U.N. has called sexual violence in war “history’s oldest and least condemned crime”, so it is definitely ingrained in the mindset of the cult of masculinity that the Bible so clearly reveals. Let us not be fooled that the male mindset of domination that created the biblical god was any different two or three thousand years ago then it is today, which is why it is so readily accepted by many patriarchal societies.
The second observation is concerning the notion of the Lord gathering all the nations and using them to as a tool to battle against Jerusalem, only to turn around when the battle is finished and go forth to fight against the very nations he used to begin with…seems more like something devised in the minds of men then coming from the divine source of all creation. Just one more reason to take a second look at a book that is espoused by many to be the “Word of God”, but looks more and more man made all the time.
Another manifestation of bias in the Bible is its integrity. For something to have integrity it must show a unity of structure, a framework of coherent intent that binds the whole together; biblical morality has neither. From its first pages, a patriarchal order is established that is unbalance and biased; therefore unity is lacking at the most basic, fundamental level. What seems to start out as an integral whole in the first chapter of Genesis – with male and female made in god’s image – quickly erodes away. Beginning in chapter two, rules are set up based on obedience instead of morality and decrees are meted out which are neither moral, nor just. The ultimate judge of what is moral is found in the flourishing and well being of the individual, and the community, both of which are not consistently found in biblical decrees. When the well being of a person is compromised because of unjust treatment and bias, the integrity of the whole begins to disintegrate resulting in a loss of unity. This can be seen clearly in the decrees and commands of the biblical god, beginning with the curses of Adam and Eve.
Gen.3:16-17 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. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Purposely cursing humanity with sorrow and pain does not cause flourishing and well being, thus moral integrity is sorely lacking in the biblical narrative of god’s interaction with the first humans. Well being of an individual or community is always the optimal state of existence and its lack is the driving force behind progressing forward to balance the inequity. Sickness and disease continually push humans forward to find cures; hardship and struggle elicit ideas to lessen burdens, all with the goal of well being in mind. Flourishing is the intent of life and anything with moral integrity contributes to that end. Sadly this is not found in the curses and decrees of Genesis where the biblical god chooses to arbitrarily inflict pain, sorrow and hardship upon humanity for the sin of disobedience. There is nothing even remotely close to moral integrity in the edict of grievous labor, and suffering placed upon the first couple, which seems to be a common theme throughout the discourse of the Bible. The woman especially suffers under these curses, explicitly showing the biased nature of the biblical god.
A false connection between the biblical god and moral integrity has been unwittingly propagated by Christians for centuries, because of misguided and erroneous teachings. The immoral statutes of Genesis are only the tip of a very large iceberg which hides under the banner proclaiming “God is Love”. It is only through opening ones eyes and viewing the Bible from an objective perspective can the truth be clearly seen. Another good example of the lack of ethical behavior is found in Exodus.
Exo.20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo. 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
According to the biblical standard of morality it is perfectly acceptable for punishment to be inflicted by Yahweh upon children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father. How anyone could think that this kind of action promotes the well being of a people is beyond me? Yet, this is what is found throughout the biblical text, revealing that moral integrity is sorely lacking. The flourishing of human well being is the quintessential definition and sign of moral integrity; it is the true test of knowing whether or not an action is beneficial to an individual causing them to thrive. It is obvious from many passages in Scripture that domination and oppression are elevated biblical concepts and ones attributed to and sanctioned by its god, as is exemplified in the verse below.
Psalm 144:1-2 Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
Teaching people to go to war, and fight while subduing others under their rule is not something that promotes the flourishing and well being of humanity as a whole. Yet, this is exactly what the Bible is full of; its pages are literally overflowing with one battle after another, most directed by Yahweh for the purposes of conquering, subduing and killing people. During many of these battles little concern is given for the human rights of the conquered, especially the women who are often times taken as “war booty” to be “sex slaves” for the men, all of which is explicitly condoned and sanctioned by Yahweh. Anything that takes away from the well being of an individual and denies their human rights is immoral and this is especially evident in the treatment of women as property.
Judge 21:11-12 And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
Deut. 20:13-14 And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.
Deuteronomy 21:10-12 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 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;
Num.31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying…17) Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
These examples that I have given are by no means rare, in fact quite the contrary is true, they are more plentiful than the verses that speak of god’s love, which in and of itself shows a complete lack of integrity in the area of biblical morality. The accusation of “cherry picking” is many times used as an attack on those who point out questionable passages, but the mere presence of these immoral verses should tell the reader something about the author’s moral and ethical standards. If one were to take upon themselves a project of great magnitude, which would include copying only those passages in the Bible that truly reflect 21st century morals on human rights, I would dare say it would be a scant book indeed. Much of the Old Testament would be removed and a good portion of the New. For anything to have moral integrity, it MUST promote wholeness and the ultimate well being of the individual and the human community at large, which is not true of much of the Bible. That is why any religious text, purported to be given by a god MUST pass this test of moral integrity, otherwise it should remain classified among the works of men. Below is one example of many from the Bible that would NOT pass the test for moral integrity, as it does not promote the well being or flourishing of the human community.
Deut.6:10-11 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
Deut 7:2-3 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
The lack of ethical, gender and moral integrity in the Bible is obvious from just the sampling of verses that I have presented, because they all have one thing in common – an absence of concern for the well being and flourishing of the human community – this disqualifies and thus invalidates much of the Bible, showing it cannot be used as an ethical judge or moral guide.
The Value of Well Being
Anything that helps to alleviate suffering in this world, no matter how small is considered a good thing; whatever unnecessarily adds to suffering is considered bad. This is the value of well-being. As can be clearly seen from examples in the Bible, unnecessary suffering caused by a tyrannical deity that demands worship and praise at the expense of well being, and metes out punishment when it is not received, does nothing to promote human flourishing or alleviate suffering. What good parent ever causes their children to suffer needlessly, or inflicts cruel punishment upon them because they do not praise or honor them, yet this is what the Bible teaches as acceptable, with its deity being portrayed as a father who instructs his children in this manner. The parenting lessons one learns from biblical instruction are at best unjust and unfair with rules being meted out according to ones gender or status. A good example is that of David being excused of the crime of murder because of his status as king, and Bathsheba being punished by having her firstborn son stricken with sickness and dying because of David’s sin. If a high value is not placed on human well-being and fairness, moral integrity begins to decline.
Morality based on religious edicts is what allows people to treat others in a way that compromises their well-being and integrity, because the responsibility lies at the feet of the deity who decreed the edicts. Merely because a religious book contains a deity who commands a certain set of values that believers feel must be obeyed no matter how biased the decree, is a skewed reason to accept it as valid. The full meaning of the term human rights is explicitly contained within itself…namely the rights of humans. At the most fundamental level all people are humans and have ownership of their own being with its intrinsic value. The well-being of each individual shares a commonality requiring only a basic understanding of what it means to be human. In order to survive one ought to feed and take care of their body this is the only way one can continue to flourish.
It’s always good to take care of children and it is never good to cause them harm, yet this is exactly what one sees in the Bible. Any book that corrupts one’s thinking to such a degree as to make them believe a just punishment for a crime could involve the well being of a child being purposely compromised, should be classified as immoral literature. It is unconscionable to think that there could be any justice in afflicting a child with sickness and making them suffer in agony for days on end till they die. The consequences of such an action does nothing to promote the flourishing or well being, there is no value in the purposeful suffering and death of an innocent child.
2Sam.12:13-17 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died…
A common test for the existence of objective morality is the argument that “it is always wrong to torture a child for fun”…there is no sane person on the planet who would say otherwise, yet what we see in the above biblical verses is exactly that. On every count the above verses fail to promote the well being of the child and actively encourage its demise. The sickness that the child is purposely afflicted with for the sins of his father causes him to suffer for seven days till he ultimately dies because of it…this is on par with torturing a child for fun, with fun being the suffering which is arbitrarily desired by the afflicter, which in this case is Yahweh. What is so incredibly disturbing about passages like these is the fact that they are attributed to the deity who billions of people hold to be the merciful, moral law giver…this jealous god who says that the sins of the father shall be passed onto the children.
Exo.20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Should not any intelligent, reasonable person begin to question the validity of their faith when they are compelled to justify an immoral act based solely on the whim of a deity? The first step is to acknowledge the corruptive influence of believing a text that goes against our innate moral intuitions and realizing it is destructive to coherent thought? To be put in a position of having to justify a universally held immoral action, decreed by a deity only serves to diminish the integrity of the individual doing the justifying and is not conducive to well being. My hope is that people will open their minds to the idea of letting their judgments be based on the value of the well-being of sentient life, not on the teachings of an archaic religious text written by men who shaped and formed their god to fit with their primitive mindset still in its infancy.