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 and girls 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 in patriarchal societies 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, oppression 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.
Fathers that do not teach their sons and men who do not stand up for the rights of women are guilty by default. It is those who remain silent that allow human rights violations to continue to propagate. If every man who believed in the equality of women stood up and spoke out I dare say women would gain their equal rights overnight. Here is one man who is standing up and speaking out…thank you Patrick Stewart. It is incumbent upon every rational person to stand up and expose the oppression of women wherever it is found, especially in many religions.