The Foundations of Sexism
The foundation for all the doctrines in the New Testament are built upon the roots of Judaism contained in the Old Testament. The manner of thought and the ideas that Jesus and Paul expressed were taken directly from the scrolls of the Torah and the Prophets, so if we want to truly understand the mindset behind what is written in the New Testament part of the Bible we must look to the Old. If we take the Bible as having historical value, then we see at a certain point in its history when the patriarchs entered the picture that the belief in a pantheon of gods gave way to the one god Yahweh…it was then that a giant step was taken in mans progress of understanding the oneness of the cosmos. Prior to this time peoples understanding of the cosmos was composed of a pantheon of created gods who were constantly warring with one another and with people, creating factions and shattering the unity of the whole. Then the concept of one god emerged who had no beginning, and no piers…the creation of the heavens and earth were solely attributed to him. Now, people could begin to think about God as one divine being – a united whole – instead of many divided fighting gods vying for power. With this new found god-unity the Hebrews could focus on a common purpose for mankind, that of serving one god who himself had no beginning and who was responsible for all that existed, the purpose of their lives and of governing the cosmos.
This understanding of the oneness of the cosmos came at a great cost…in perceiving the unity of one masculine god, the feminine goddess was stripped away leaving the whole impoverished and without balance. The cosmic dance of spirit/male and body/female was lost when goddess/matter was deemed fleshly and sinful, and god/spirit became masculine and holy. Little by little everything associated with the feminine was degraded and made impure, while the masculine was exalted and made holy. The mother/goddess was no longer needed to bring forth life because the father/god could create life with his mere words, and the sensual qualities of the woman became something to be suppressed and hidden. With no goddess to balance the god, the whole became less then the half…for without the feminine, the anima in the male had no voice, or expression.
From the very beginnings of Judeo Christian history, everything and anything to do with the feminine/goddess began to be eroded away and destroyed. Starting with the story of Adam and Eve, it is clear to see where the loss of the sacred feminine started. Woman was made as an after thought from the man, when Adam could not find a mate from amongst all the animals. Then it was the woman who enticed the man to eat of the forbidden fruit of wisdom (ironically when Solomon asked for wisdom from Yahweh he was given it in great abundance), thus bringing down the curse upon herself and all mankind. The sensual feminine body was deemed bad, because it enticed the male to leave the worship of his masculine god (that was missing the goddess), causing him to go running after the sexual pleasure found in the woman. Creation yearns for balance, male/female, spirit/body, earth/heaven…duality yearns for marriage to become one. When the part cannot become united with the whole one feels cut off and separate from their origins, thus causing imbalance and lack of growth. It is time to give balance and harmony to our Christian roots by acknowledging its impoverished condition, caused by its patriarchal imbalance due to being stripped of the sacred feminine.
The whole of the earth has suffered because of this male/female imbalance. The biblical idea of a male warrior god which was brought forth from the minds of Bronze Age men, written by their hands, implementing rules favoring male dominance, and the suppression of the feminine has indeed exacerbated the imbalance of male/female to a large degree. This imbalance has greatly tipped the scales toward the more aggressive masculine qualities being manifested culturally, without the tempering affects of the feminine qualities of nurturing and comforting. This is why when one looks back through patriarchal history, the abundance of wars and aggressive dominance color the landscape.
Only by incorporating the sacred feminine (the missing half) into our worldview can we ever hope to return to a balanced condition and raise the consciousness level of humanity. As it stands now Christianity is frozen in the 1st century, because the Bible has locked the understanding of “God” to that which was received by the male apostles of the 1st century and the prophets before that. Without the freedom to go beyond a rigid perspective of “God” promoted by those who penned the Scriptures, Christians will be forever trapped in a cage made by those who at one point were enlightened for the time period in which they lived, but have since in many ways become archaic. Our minds need to be free to grow and expand with the wisdom that has been denied those locked in bondage to dogma; only with the restoration of the missing half of the sacred feminine can humanity walk in wholeness.
The mentality of Bronze Age men was one of viewing women as property, and this is precisely what one sees reflected in the pages of Scripture. Starting from the Bible’s very first pages the idea of male ruler-ship over women, promoted as a decree from its god Yahweh is obvious. This very same law of male authority is carried over into the New Testament and quoted by the Apostle Paul, where he tells women they are to be in submission to man, because Eve was the one first deceived by the serpent and in the transgression.
As the story goes, Yahweh planted a tree in the center of the paradisiacal garden and forbade Adam to eat from its fruit lest he die. Things were not so grand in this utopian garden at first, because of all the animals in the Garden (which Adam was told to name), Adam was the only one without a mate. To solve this problem, Yahweh decided to snatch one of Adams ribs while he was sleeping and form from it a woman whom he named Eve. After that things go from bad to worse for the woman, not only does she get the whole human race convicted of sin, but she gets cursed with male ruler-ship.
Gen.2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen.3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
One of the worst aspects of the faith that the Bible teaches is in promoting the idea that one group of people (men) have the god given right to deny the other group (women) the same freedom of human equality that they enjoy. To be able to live up to ones full potential as a human is a right that all people should share regardless of gender, or race. We all share this planet equally, and all should partake in its abundance, the male gender has not been given exclusive rights to ruler-ship over the female gender as biblical teaching promotes. Unfortunately, for the believer the baggage that the Bible carries with it can never be discarded, because it is built into its patriarchal structure, which begins with a sole male god as creator. Biblical doctrines originating in Genesis place the male as the leader, with ruler-ship over the female given as a foundational decree, declaring that “Woman was made for the man”; this doctrine is then reiterated in the New Testament.
Gen.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.
1Cor.11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1Cor.11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
These teachings are fundamental to the biblical story, beginning with the original transgression (caused by Eve) which according to the Bible introduced sin into the human picture. Usually the more fundamental branches of Christianity adhere more strongly to the biblical teaching of the subjugation of women, which in many cases leads to women being denied their equal human rights. It’s quite ironic that it took laws specifically created by humans in our modern age, to give back to women what was taken from them by biblical rules supposedly from god.
In the New Testament the apostle Paul’s interpretation of the Garden story is used to justify the second class status of women, declaring that woman was the cause of the fall of humankind and that this was the reason she was placed under the headship of the man. There is no amount of justification that can erase what is clearly stated in Scripture, it remains forever locked into its pages.
1Tim.2:11-14 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.
It’s time to wake up and see the Bible for what it is…a book written by men, about a male god who decrees that women are to be denied equal human rights, because the first woman Eve (a myth created by men) was responsible for humankind’s fall into sin. And for that original transgression, all women are to be placed in subjugation to men and stripped of their equality. The Bible is a book about authority, obedience and ruler-ship…simple as that. The masculine warrior god Yahweh, rules over men and demands obedience while the men rule over the women with the authority given them by Yahweh (the god they created) and demand subjugation…that is the order of the kingdom of god, given us in the Bible with its main focus on…AUTHORITY, OBEDIENCE and RULER-SHIP.
In the story of the Garden, Adam and Eve’s innocence as to the knowing of “Good and Evil” is established by the fact that Yahweh forbid them to eat of the fruit of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” lest they die. Every other desire they had was supposedly granted fulfillment if they wished, there would have been no guilt for enjoying any pleasure imaginable within their framework of desire. Obviously one of the desires innate within Eve was for wisdom – knowledge – that is why the serpent could tempt her with the “fruit of knowledge”. The forbidden tree manifested all the innate desires already present within her such as “good for food”, “pleasant to the eyes”, and “wisdom”, which immediately evokes the question: Why would Yahweh place a desire for wisdom in Eve, if it was something innately bad?
Why create humans with a desire for something that will ultimately cause their demise?
Gen.3:4-6 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
The woman’s eyes were not yet “opened” when the serpent tempted her, but she still saw that the tree was desirable to make her wise, which again seems to imply that the desire for wisdom was innate within her…otherwise it would not have been there. Eve could not have known what wisdom was unless the knowledge of it was already present within her, and she could not have known “good” unless she also knew its counterpart “bad”. Yahweh himself introduced the first couple to the idea of “good” saying that every tree in the Garden was good for food…he even told Adam that it was not good (bad) for man to be alone, so the concepts of good and bad were not foreign to them, which is why it seems odd that Yahweh would forbid the knowledge of good and evil when they already were aware of its presence. This of course exposes once again that the stories contained in the Bible are no more than ideas from primitive male minds trying to make sense of the world around them by positing a god who gives them answers.
Another point to note concerning wisdom is that according to the Bible wisdom is something to be desired. It was the one quality that King Solomon asked for so he could discern between good and bad. Solomon requested this of God and it was granted him in abundance. This is of course is directly contradictory to the Garden story, where the woman’s desire for wisdom was what caused the fall of mankind into sin, which shows another example of the male bias inherent in Scripture…what is good for the male is not necessarily good for the female.
Gen.3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
1Kings 3:9-12 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
Before leaving this chapter I would like to bring the readers attention to one last set of verses found in Genesis. This enigmatic passage brings to light not only more male bias, but also the mythological origins of the Bible. A common theme in many ancient myths is the idea of the gods mingling with mortal man…here we see that the focus is on the females as the mortals who produced the offspring that brought forth wickedness in abundance to earth. What we have is heavenly male divine beings mingling with earthly females to produce mighty men who imagined and carried out great wickedness, consequently Yahweh devises a plan to destroy the humans he has created.
Gen.6:1-4 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.