Some Final Words on Bias

Many more examples of male bias could be shown, but I think the idea has been presented with crystal clarity. The Bible is a book written from the minds of men who mapped their male egos onto a deity, they were part of a society that was structured on patriarchy and domination. It was part of their culture to view women as inferior, thus the image of “God” they created would be a superior masculine god, whose rules would be structured on the system of male dominance and female inferiority. The hierarchical order that the Bible displays is exactly what one would expect if the assumption is made from the onset that it was written by men promoting a cult of masculinity. It is only when one assumes that that the Bible was written from men who received inspiration from the one true god that a multitude of conflicting problems arise. Sadly, what biblical teachings have done is to sanction and reinforce man’s natural inclination to control and dominate women. The masculine mindset that says control of a woman’s body is to be put in the hands of men is what we find promoted in the Bible…this needs to be condemned in the strongest language. Every individual is the sole owner of their own body, no deity or person has the right to give that ownership to another individual as are common in the laws given in the Bible. Women and girls are put under the ownership and ruler-ship of men, and have no freewill in determining the use of their own bodies; this is a most egregious abuse of human freedom imaginable and should be soundly condemned. According to biblical standards because women were considered the property of men even the choice of whether or not to have children was determined by the man.

The creator god of the Bible is portrayed as the omnipotent designer of the whole cosmos, which was quite different from the polytheistic belief that was prevalent at the time of the biblical narrative. This concept of one god being the creator of all and having no beginning was a novel idea for the people of that time. The norm was that of a pantheon of gods who were always vying for power, warring with each other, and creating new gods, or parts of the cosmos from a defeated god. When the archetypal idea of one god arose in the minds of the early Hebrews they needed a system to base this concept on. Of course, the first thing is to draw from those customs and beliefs they came out of, and since there was only one god its gender needed to be male, whereas in the pantheon of gods there were male gods and female goddesses. This male god of the Hebrews would then order his creation the way a male perceives the proper system to be structured, thus we have the male hierarchical order of the Bible. Consequently, only men received direct instructions from their god on what the composition of his laws were to be…so, it is no wondered they are skewed towards male dominance.

With all these examples of male bias given the verdict is clear and precise…from its inception the Bible was formed and created from the minds of ancient man, depicting a god whom they created in their male image and after their likeness. My whole premise is grounded on facts that the Bible reveals in a very lucid way. There is no need for speculation or presumptions; the biblical authors are not trying to hide their intent, but rather they promote this inequality as being the true hierarchical order of the cosmos. This of course does not mean that the Bible does not contain wisdom, and truth…which I most certainly think it does, rather it declares the Bible to be amazing work of ancient literature, thus freeing the mind to explore its ideas…instead of trapping the unsuspecting soul in a prison that stifles the imagination.

For far too long women have meekly accepted the male oriented Bible as a given without questioning its foundation, its time to open your eyes and see it for what it is instead of blindly following in the path of men who see no problem with a male biased Bible because they are men. It’s time for the Christian community to recognize that women’s rights are human rights and the Bible is an egregious offender of them!

 

Religion and Violence

Religion is not the only scourge that has propagated violence against women, but it is one of the major players. Violence against women within the parameters of male based religions has flourished throughout history and will only end when those doctrines are either completely overhauled or dumped in the dustbin of history. The first step in attaining equal human rights for women is recognition of the problem, which is what I hope this book in some small way has helped to accomplished. Thomas Paine, who wrote The Age of Reason said: “I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system.” If this saying has any validity it condemns much of the Bible as being a false system of belief. Jesus himself said that anyone who offends a child would be better off with a millstone hung about his neck, yet the Old and New Testaments are full of offensive actions commanded by Yahweh that would shock even the most hardened of adults let alone a child.

Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

The type of patriarchal society that the teachings of the Bible has shaped is one where men think that it is the natural order for them to be the rulers over women and that violence is an acceptable means by which to impose their authority. From cover to cover the Bible is filled with barbaric laws that deny equal human rights to half the population merely because they are female. A cult of masculinity has been developed by men who used their idea of a male deity as supreme law giver who decreed bias as the norm. Throughout the centuries this masculine mindset has been continually reinforced by the religious teachings that support gender bias.

Concluding Syllogism:

1.  The Bible is biased toward the male.
2.  If God inspired the Bible.
3.  Then God is biased toward the male.

Or:

  1. A true god must be just.
  2. The Biblegod is biased.
  3. Therefore the Biblegod is not a true god.

So, if the Bible is biased toward the male, and the god who inspired the Bible is biased toward the male, then the only conclusion I can come to is that the Bible was written by men, and if the Bible was written by men with a male bias why should I believe their description of god to be valid? If I as a mere human can show more compassion, equality and justice than the Biblegod, how does that reflect on his nature?

As I have shown, over and over again the Biblegod not only sanctions sexism, but also ordains it…leading to the inevitable conclusion that the god of the Bible is sexist and therefore a false god constructed in the minds of men and patterned after the male ego.

 

The Shame of Man

In the recorded history of humankind there has never been a society where men or boys were denied an education simply because of their gender, but women throughout history in patriarchal societies have not fared so well, continually struggling to gain human rights denied them by men. Women do not try and take human rights away from others as men have done to them, so why the disparity? It seems like the more power men gain the more they try and rob women of their human rights. Something is deeply wrong with men who think that they should own and control women’s bodies. It is truly a great shame upon the intelligence of men who continue to view the female gender as being inferior to their own. Some of the biggest offenders that have reinforced this erroneous thinking have been those in various religions. The founder of the Christian faith, the apostle Paul is a good example of how readily men follow these unethical and gender biased teachings without using their intelligence to condemn them. No man would ever be elected to any office today in a democratic country that held to the subjugation of women as taught by Paul in the New Testament. It is only fundamentalist religious groups that still adhere to the primitive male idea of dominating and controlling women. Those who hold to the idea of biblical authority are by default accepting all the bias and blatant sexism that the Bible promotes and supports. Jesus, Paul and all the other apostles and church leaders uncritically endorsed the laws of the Old Testament and taught compliance with the god spoken of in its pages…what does this tell us about them? What becomes very obvious is the intelligence level of men like Jesus and Paul, because for anyone to endorse the subjugation of women and deny them equal human rights reveals a serious lack of critical thinking. The mindset that is imported by default when one adheres to biblical teaching is evident in men who believe that ruler-ship over women is their god given right and that the Bible gives them the authority to rape women by saying god ordained it.

 

Here is a sample list showing how some of the leading church fathers of times past have interpreted what the Bible says about women. It is shameful indeed.

Anti woman quotes by Church Fathers

 

Martin Luther  ~ “If women become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth–that is why they are here.”

Martin Luther  ~ “The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes.”

 

Martin Luther  ~ “God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God’s will.’Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error.”

 

Martin Luther ~ “Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children.”

 

Martin Luther  ~”No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise.”

 

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Church Father, Bishop of Hippo Regius, 354 – 430 What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother; it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman… I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.”

Augustine (354-430): “Woman was merely man’s helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God.”

Thomas Aquinas, Saint, Doctor of the Church, 13th century ~ As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence.

St. Albertus Magnus, Dominican theologian and Doctor of the Church, 13th century Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one’s guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. … Thus in evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good.

Tertullian, 2nd-3rd century Churchfather ~

In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die… Woman, you are the gate to hell.

Tertullian (160?-220?): “Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil’s doorway. You led astray one whom the devil would not dare attack directly. It was your fault that the Son of God had to die; you should always go in mourning and rags.”

Clement of Alexandria (150?-215?): “Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.”

Clement of Alexandria excludes…intercourse with a…pregnant, barren, or menopausal wife and for that matter, with one’s wife ‘in the morning,’ ‘in the daytime,’ or ‘after dinner.’ Clement warns, indeed, that ‘not even at night, although in darkness, is it fitting to carry on immodestly or indecently, but with modesty, so that whatever happens, happens in the light of reason…’ for even that union ‘which is legitimate is still dangerous, except in so far as it is engaged in procreation of children. ”

John Wesley (1703-91): “Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born.”

Jerome (345?-420): “If it is good for a man not to touch a woman, then it is bad for him to touch one, for bad, and bad only, is the opposite of good.”

John Chrysostom (349-407): “Amongst all the savage beasts none is found so harmful as woman.”

John Calvin (1509-64): “Thus the woman, who had perversely exceeded her proper bounds, is forced back to her own position. She had, indeed, previously been subject to her husband, but that was a liberal and gentle subjection; now, however, she is cast into servitude.”

 

Seriously now, could any rationally thinking person actually believe the things that these men are saying to be true? Sadly, and much to mans shame many men do. I will say though it can’t all be blamed on religion, I believe the desire to dominate, control and blame women must already be present in the mindset of men that uncritically accept the sexist teachings of these religions. After all it was men who patterned the biblical god Yahweh and every other god after their own male egos. Any man who for one moment stops and uses his brain to think can come to no other conclusion than the fact that intellectually the genders are equal. The obvious fear that men must have who hold to gender bias, and those wishing to control women is a deep seated inferiority complex; thinking that by keeping women in subjugation they will appear superior. Do they not know that half the genes they carry in their bodies come from their mothers? Or do they think that somehow their superiority is contained in the Y-chromosome? Or maybe the problem is that they don’t think rationally and allow their male hormones to dictate their thinking. In every intellectual field of endeavor women have proved themselves to be equal to men. So, any man who still holds to the idea that men are intellectually superior, and have an innate god given authority to rule over women are sadly mistaken and a shame to their gender.

 

Wake up Women

As long as a woman regards the Bible as the charter of her rights, she will be the slave of man. The Bible was not written by a woman. Within its leaves there is nothing but humiliation and shame for her.   ~ Robert Ingersoll

For far too long women have settled for second best when it comes to rights afforded them in the Bible, because they have been deceived by men. The same lame reasoning and tired excuses are used over and over again, such as “The Bible gives women more rights than they had in other cultures of the same time period”, or “God’s natural order is for men to be the leaders”. These and countless other worn out justifications used by men to deny women their equal human rights, need to be rejected and exposed for what they are…constructions made from the minds of men who want to control women. It’s time for the women of the world to know that they are indeed entitled to the same human rights as men and to stand up for those rights, regardless of what an ancient book like the Bible says. The first place to start is by taking a second look at the masculine nature of the biblical god.

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 rights 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.

So, women, 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 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 and demand subjugation…that is the order of the kingdom of god and that is what the Bible is all about…AUTHORITY and RULER-SHIP.

There is not one place on earth where women have gained equal rights with men through religion, in fact quite the opposite has taken place. For as long as civilizations have existed and men have invented religions, human freedoms have been taken away because a supposed deity has decreed it so. Usually it is women and children who fare the worst in these patriarchal religions and never do they fare better. Why is it that in every male dominated culture women must fight for equal human rights? Isn’t it long past time for humanity to wake up and realize what religious indoctrination has and is doing to us? Only when the genders are treated with equal human rights because that is the right and moral thing to do will humanity truly rise to its potential.

All in all the Bible is a wasteland when it comes to women, grief, sorrow and the burdens of man are heaped upon her shoulders with nary a drop of moisture to sooth her thirty lips. The cry of the biblical woman is why was I born for such a painful life of struggle and toil? Has this god called Yahweh no mercy or care for the sorrow of womankind, is his hatred so great because of some ill perceived injustice that woman is cursed forever? It appears so…

The Bible breeds a mentality of gender bias and promotes violence as being the solution to most of humanities problems. The great irony that cannot be overlooked is that most of the biblical solutions for human wickedness are for problems it has created. The biblical writers have invented the idea of sin and in so doing the need for salvation to appease an angry god who wants to punish human disobedience with eternal torment in hell. All these ideas are made up from the minds of primitive men who want to control and deceptively gets “snuck” into human thought under the guise of divine decrees.

In order for a society to function in a balanced and egalitarian manner women must be allowed to participate fully in all areas of its operation, this is something that the Bible is sorely lacking in. Under biblical laws and decrees held to be given from Yahweh women are restricted from participating in, having any decision making authority, or representation whatsoever in many basic areas of life. Until people realize how detrimental to harmonious living the gender bias of the Bible is humanity as a whole will continue to suffer under its oppression.

Men who are raised in a culture where women are viewed as beings with lesser rights because of their gender create a societal mentality where the victim becomes the accused. Fathers propagate this cult of masculinity onto their son’s generation after generation by not instructing there sons on the sanctity of personal ownership of every individuals own body…and then wonder why men violate women. While the Bible is far from being the only culprit of male biased thinking, it remains at the top of the heap because of its privileged place as “God’s Word” in our modern society. This allows for its male biased values to saturate the thinking of people without their explicit knowledge of what’s going on.

I would like to leave my readers with a challenge: if you can, take the Bible and read it through as if it were an unknown book picked up off a library self…take note of what impressions you get from it and if you would ever consider it to be words from a deity that you could live by if you had not already been told so.

We humans do not ask to be born into this life and the best any human can do is to make this life as pleasant and good as possible for ourselves and others and anything that adds to our burdens should be avoided. This is not the case with the doctrines of most religions; their teachings only add to our hardships…especially those of women. All religions have come out of patriarchal societies, including Christianity and all patriarchal religions discriminate against women to one degree or another. A sure sign of a religion and its god being man made is if it lessens or compounds the struggles of life. True compassion and empathy serve to heighten the well-being of conscious life that should be the test of what give life its purpose and meaning. Denying equal human rights to women never promotes well-being, so the fundamental flaw that lies at the heart of all societies and religions that are patriarchal is their bias toward the male at the expense of the female. By its very nature the patriarchal mindset devalues women and restricts their full potential from being realized.

Oppressed in the Name of Religion

It is well known that women are oppressed worldwide and discriminated against for the sole reason of being female…in the majority of those cases the basis for that oppression is religion. Most religions throughout history have emerged out of patriarchal societies, having their origins in the imaginings of the male mind that seeks domination. This includes the three major religions of today…Judaism, Christianity and Islam which directly trace their genesis to the authors of the Old Testament scriptures called the Torah, or the five books of Moses, named after its supposed author. One of the commonalities that these religions share is their overt oppression, discrimination and subjugation of women, supposedly commanded by their male god. The degrees of oppression and subjugation vary, but they all share one common theme…their bias against women that traces back to the Garden story of Adam and Eve…where it says the woman was deceived first. Each patriarchal society that adopted and followed these beliefs subsequently imposed their own interpretations onto it. Why does religion have such an abysmal record when it comes to growth in the areas of human knowledge and  liberty of thought?  The Dark Ages is a good example of a period in history that was caused by religious doctrines and dogmas suffocating the ideas of creative thought.  Anytime a segment of society stifles and suppresses the pursuit of its thinkers to expand and reach for new horizons everyone ends up suffering.  A good definition of patriarchy is given by Allan Johnson in his book The Gender Knot, “A society is patriarchal to the degree that it promotes male privilege by being male dominated, male identified and male centered. It is also organized around an obsession with control and involves as one of its aspects the oppression of women.”

Modern, liberal forms of Christianity have slowly lost much of their bias and oppression toward women, but the idea of submission of women still remains strong in the fundamentalist branches. This is to be expected because the fundamentalists adhere more closely to the teachings found in the Bible. Unless women are comfortable with the idea of a religion whose male god created females as inferior and set up a system of hierarchical rule by men (patriarchy), thus putting them in a position to be oppressed by men, the validity of the Christian religion should be questioned. The tenets of the Christian faith do accurately state that women are to be in submission to men by decree of its god, so one cannot legitimately object to it while claiming to be a faithful fundamentalist Christian. If you are a Christian woman and a Christian man tells you according to the Bible you are forbidden from teaching a man and you are to be in submission to men, he is correct according to those teachings. This is where critical thinking should enter the picture. Does it seem plausible that a creator god would be male and as such only speak his revelations only to men, even those concerning women? And of those revelations given to men we see that many cause men to oppress women and deny them equal rights which only are only benefiting to men.

The deist, who began to prominently diverge from the theist during the Enlightenment period, in many ways has the advantage over the theist by not being chained to a particular religion, or god; rather they are free to use their minds to think critically in an open manner, not fettered by dogma and doctrine. Theistic religions oppress the masses by imposing upon them rigorous disciplines that burden the body with rituals, thus consuming one’s waking moments with fears of not making the mark, they are in a sense man made inventions for control. The misery of religion dulls the imagination and teaches that blind faith is a virtue, but in reality it is wrapped in suffering and pain. When a mind is constrained by doctrines and dogmas it becomes suffocated and stifled and what was free becomes oppressed…this is the plight of the theist whose god is but a set of propositions that must be obeyed. Once eyes are opened and senses cleared from theistic belief life becomes the artist’s pallet on which to paint deliverance from the oppression of religion. The deist and the free thinker is unfettered to draw from her innermost desires and passions without restrictions or restraint. Theists bring division instead of unity because each clan and tribe has their own particular god with their own particular decrees in which punishment is the control method and meted out if not obeyed.

Most theistic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam are patriarchal and develop a “priestcraft” or ruling body that is exclusively men who are the receivers and teachers of the divine decrees, thus keeping the laity at their mercy, especially women. The Bible contains a history of humanities childhood with all the bullying and selfishness of immature minds. Now that humanity has matured why are so many still beholden to follow an immature message given from civilizations infancy? Children are notorious for their merciless cruelty because they lack the full self-awareness that comes with maturity; this seems to be the oppressive manner in which the biblical god is portrayed in much of Old Testament history. In the New Testament, god begins to emerge into adulthood and manifests far different characteristics than what is portrayed in the Old Testament…this is a beginning, but sadly Christianity is now stuck in the first century with all its archaic patriarchal chauvinism against women.

Religions lock morality levels to a past time in humanities infancy instead of allowing moral values to evolve to higher levels as our human race matures. Higher intelligence levels lead to the manifestation of higher morals in society and as our understanding of the world around us rises so does the way we view our fellow man. It is religious doctrines and dogmas that compel otherwise good people who care deeply to deny others their human rights and do harmful acts to them simply because they are taught that god requires it of them. The sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all endorse discriminatory systems like patriarchy, misogyny, slavery, xenophobia, and homophobia that human rights movements have battled against over the centuries…this should tell us something about the oppression of religion. When one looks back through the recorded history of civilization and across cultural boundaries a clear theme of the male domination of women becomes apparent. Comparing that to the fact that all the major religions that oppress women have been started by men it stands to reason that the gods of those religions are also created by men and should be abandoned.

Enlightenment begins with the freedom to think and use one’s mind to its full potential, only then can humanity rise above the encumbrances that weigh them down. Religion by nature oppresses the capacity for free thought in lieu of doctrines that structure mans thinking into strict methods which serve only to burden ones being with propositions that cannot possibly be realized. If on the other hand people are free to follow their integrity in pursuit of happiness and well-being, the good for all humans will be manifest in this life instead of some mythological afterlife that has no bearing on anything in this world. When people are allowed to embrace their humanity letting it unfold to express their true feelings…then the world can be healed and half of its population will stop hurting the other half in the name of religion.

 

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