Organized religion has always been and remains the greatest threat to the rights of women. Here in the Christian dominated west two bible verses particularly show the position of women:
To the woman he said, Ã¢â‚¬ËœI will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
It was with these verses that justified many laws and customs that stripped women of their humanity. These verses justify the ongoing war to strip of us what humanity we have recovered. One verse alone, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You shall not permit a female sorcerer to liveÃ¢â‚¬Â, is accountable for the deaths of thousands, if not millions, of women.
Christianity has fought the advancement of women in all matters. It opposed women speaking in public, the use of anesthesia during birth, the right of our own property, our children and the right to have a voice in our own government amongst other things. Taken all together, Christianity has opposed anything that would recognize women as anything but the property of our male relatives.
The ongoing war against reproductive freedom is no different. Christianity has opposed access to material about birth control and birth control itself. It has continued this war by encouraging pharmacists to justify their refusal to fill birth control prescriptions with their faith. Religious fanatics and bullies across the country are terrorizing women who seek abortions and those who provide reproductive services.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not an aberration of Christianity. The utter hatred of women is a bedrock belief of Christianity. Tertullian, writing in the second century, stated:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Each you women is an EveÃ¢â‚¬Â¦You are the Gate of Hell, you are the temptress of the forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the divine lawÃ¢â‚¬Â
Martin Luther would later write, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If a woman grows weary and at last dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing, she is there to do it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Why is this so? It is so because the Bible is a handbook for the subjugation of women. This book establishes us as inferior to men. One version of the biblical creation story clearly depicts women as the last thing created and only because our male counterparts were Ã¢â‚¬ËœlonelyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
The Bible establishes the menstrual cycle as something unclean and potentially hazardous to males. The process of giving birth was also unclean, with a girl child being especially unclean. Biblical women were possessions that male relatives sold and sacrificed. Rape was a sanctioned wartime activity. Rape victims could be executed or forced into marriage with their rapists. Married women had to prove their virginity, were subjected to tests to prove their fidelity and divorce with no notice.
Contempt for our bodies and its reproductive functions is foundational belief of the biblical texts. The few women who are presented are conventional stereotypes heralded more for their obedience to the men and the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s god than any redeeming quality they might have themselves.
Bible verses that specifically deride and humiliate women:
- Genesis 2:22 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ WomanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s creation as inferior servant
- Genesis 3:16 – Labor a curse, marriage bondage
- Genesis 19:1-8 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ More acceptable to rape women
- Exodus 21:7-11 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Female slaves may be used as sex slaves
- Exodus 22:18 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Execute female sorcerers
- Exodus 38:8 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Women banned from entering holy space
- Leviticus 12:1-4 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Bearing sons means 7 days of being Ã¢â‚¬ËœuncleanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
- Leviticus 12:4-7 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Bearing daughters means 14 days of being Ã¢â‚¬ËœuncleanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
- Leviticus 15:19-23 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Menstrual periods are Ã¢â‚¬ËœuncleanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
- Leviticus 19:20-22 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Raped women to be beaten bloody
- Numbers 1:2 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Women excluded from census
- Numbers 5:13-31 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Women forced to prove fidelity
- Numbers 31:16-35 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Women taken as war prizes
- Deuteronomy 21:11-14 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ How To for Rapists
- Deuteronomy 22:13-21 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Prove virginity or die
- Deuteronomy 22:23-24 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Execution of rape victim
- Deuteronomy 22:28-29 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Forced marriage to rapist
- Deuteronomy 24:1 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t-Like-Your-Nose escape clause (men only)
- Judges 11:30-40 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Nameless young woman sacrificed
- Judges 19:22-29 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Woman sex-slave gang raped to death
- Isaiah 3:16-17 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Haughty women scourged, raped
- Ezekiel 16:45 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ One of many insults using female terms
- I Corinthians 11:3-15 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Man rules woman, Man in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬ËœimageÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
- I Corinthians 14:34-35 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Women remain silent, learn from husbands
- Ephesians 5:22-23 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Wives submit to husbands
- Colossians 3:18 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ More orders to submit
- I Timothy 2:9 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Women ordered to appear shameful
- I Timothy 2:11-14 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Women to learn in silence, Woman guilty Ã¢â‚¬â€œ man innocent
These are just some of the applicable verses. Estimates put the number at around 200 hundred verses.
Women, and the men who profess to think women are something other than their property, should not respect this religion (or its cousins). A cornerstone of Christianity is the subjugation of women. The gains we have made, and continue to fight for, have been at the expense of Christianity.
Religion is not the friend it has made itself out to be in these modern times. It is the enemy. It has always been the enemy. It always will be the enemy.
The Woman’s Bible
Woe to the Women
Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible