Too many people whitewash the abominable parts of their religious texts so they can continue worshipping their God in peace without suffering crises of consciences.
Whenever non-believers point out these parts, it’s accompanied by a need to go on the defensive, thus ensuring believers never really confront such passages but just keep on living fully in denial.
Coming from a preacher, though, there’s no doubt it carries at least some weight of legitimacy. It is undoubtedly true that the bible, a document written by men in a highly misogynistic society that treated women as second class citizens, is a highly misogynistic document that treats women as second class citizens.
Women are treated as worse than chattel in the Old Testament, and the Ten Commandments indeed entreats one not to covet your neighbour’s properties, including his wife. Leviticus and Deuteronomy spells out rules that prescribe death for adultery and for being raped. The New Testament, for its part, gives us the gem this jackass pastor uses to make his point – a woman is not supposed to assume any authority over a man.
The bible is not a great document for women – even if women often turn out to be the staunchest Christians.
A pastor in the US has a reason why people should vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, and that is to save civilisation from getting destroyed.
According to Gary Dull, the bible makes it pretty clear that women are not to rule over men, and that when that only happens when a society is spiritually rotten.
He cites Isaiah 3, which indeed states in verse 12 that at a time of great turmoil, ‘women rule over the people’. There’s no doubt it is being used in a derogatory way.
“What we see is that the condition in that nation in that particular period of time was very, very spiritually rotten and whether that was the cause for women leading them or that itself brought on the wickedness within the nation is to be debated, but it certainly does at least imply that maybe women should not be in high political positions.” Dull, head of the far right Pennsylvania Pastor’s Network, said.
He then cited 1 Timothy 2, which states in verses 11 and 12 that…
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
Based on that, Dull said “In God’s line of authority, it seems very clear in the scripture that a woman should not be in authority over men, which would limit a woman from being the president of the United States of America or even a queen of some other particular nation.”
Bam! The punchline, and it’s spelt out clearly right there in the bible. Dull is no doubt a contemptible, small minded bigot who prefers the racist xenophobe Trump to any Democrat, but he’s definitely right on the theology.
The one defence Christians always put up is that Paul was writing this letter to a specific church, and did not intend it as a general edict. That might have been a beautiful cop out, except a lot of biblical edicts are localised but have since been generalised by the faithful (*ten commandments.) But even if you accept that excuse, it shows that in at least one instance, the bible laid out a deeply misogynistic and plainly wrong position, and that is not so great for a divinely inspired document. It also does nothing for the far worse treatment the Old Testament metes out to women.
The Christian bible is simply not a very woman friendly document no matter how you slice it – just as it is not a very gay friendly or slave friendly document. Which is not surprising, considering it was written for a society that held such views as a matter of fact. Humanity has since improved and realised, unprompted by any God, that we ought to treat each other fairly irrespective of gender, race or s*xual orientation – and it is no wonder that in every instance it is the deeply religious who oppose this progress.
When you keep your head buried in a 2,000 year old book, you are bound to develop 2,000 year old morals.