That Monstrous Regiment

(Note: This post was written for Blog Against Sexism Day.)

One of the greatest enemies of the feminist movement is and has always been religion. Regardless of when or how this tendency originated, the monotheistic tradition that gave rise to Judaism, Christianity and Islam has historically stood in vehement opposition to the simple and obvious truth that women are human beings with the same rights, abilities and privileges as men.

Consider, for example, the flagrant and revolting sexism in one of the most famous English-language epics, John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Throughout his text, Milton repeatedly describes Eve as the inferior of Adam, made only to be his servant. For example, on one occasion he puts these words in her mouth as an address to him:

My Author and Disposer, what thou biddest
Unargu’d I obey; so God ordains,
God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more
Is woman’s happiest knowledge and her praise.

But Milton is not even the most extreme misogynist in the Christian tradition. That dubious honor must surely go to John Knox, an influential figure behind the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, who in 1558 published The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. This book is an extended polemic against women ruling over men, primarily targeted at the queens of Knox’s day, but more generally attacking any woman who would presume to place herself in a position of authority above any male. In its pages can be found some of the most loathsome, vindictive anti-woman rhetoric that has ever been written. The authors of the Muslim sharia code would find much in common with Knox. Some examples:

To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature; contumely to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice.

First, I say, that woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man, not to rule and command him… woman in her greatest perfection should have known that man was lord above her; and therefore that she should never have pretended any kind of superiority above him, no more than do the angels above God the Creator, or above Christ their head.

As [though] God should say, “Forasmuch as you have abused your former condition, and because your free will has brought yourself and mankind into the bondage of Satan, I therefore will bring you in bondage to man. For where before your obedience should have been voluntary, now it shall be by constraint and by necessity; and that because you have deceived your man, you shall therefore be no longer mistress over your own appetites, over your own will or desires. For in you there is neither reason nor discretion which are able to moderate your affections, and therefore they shall be subject to the desire of your man. He shall be lord and governor, not only over your body, but even over your appetites and will.”

And first, where I affirm the empire of a woman to be a thing repugnant to nature, I mean not only that God, by the order of his creation, has spoiled woman of authority and dominion, but also that man has seen, proved, and pronounced just causes why it should be. Man, I say, in many other cases, does in this behalf see very clearly. For the causes are so manifest, that they cannot be hid. For who can deny but it is repugnant to nature, that the blind shall be appointed to lead and conduct such as do see? That the weak, the sick, and impotent persons shall nourish and keep the whole and strong? And finally, that the foolish, mad, and frenetic shall govern the discreet, and give counsel to such as be sober of mind? And such be all women, compared unto man in bearing of authority.

Lest anyone mistake him, Knox also says that for women to reign over men is “monstrous”, “abominable, odious, and detestable”, “repugnant to nature”, “a thing most odious in the presence of God”, a sin “more heinous than can be expressed by words” and “treason and conspiracy committed against God”. He also compares it to “that possession whereunto thieves, murderers, tyrants and oppressors do attain by theft, murder, tyranny, violence, deceit, and oppression” and says that “amongst all enormities that this day do abound upon the face of the whole earth”, it is “[the] most detestable and damnable”. He writes that women are “weak, frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish; and experience has declared them to be inconstant, variable, cruel, lacking the spirit of counsel and regiment” and that “as for woman, it is no more possible that she, being set aloft in authority above man, shall resist the motions of pride, than it is able to the weak reed, or to the turning weathercock, not to bow or turn at the vehemence of the inconstant wind”.

Lest anyone think that this bloodcurdling sexism is merely Knox’s personal opinion, he hastens to assure us that it is solidly grounded in Christian scripture and tradition – which it is. First, he helpfully cites the biblical verses that establish the oppression of women:

Genesis 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.”

1 Corinthians 14:34
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.”

1 Corinthians 11:8-9
“For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

Ephesians 5:22-24
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

1 Timothy 2:12
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

Next, he cites several of the most prominent and influential doctors and theologians of the early church, including Tertullian (who says to women, “You are the port and gate of the devil. You are the first transgressor of God’s law”), Augustine (who writes that women who seek power should be “repressed and bridled”), Jerome (“Adam was deceived by Eve, and not Eve by Adam, and therefore it is just, that woman receive and acknowledge him for governor whom she called to sin, lest that again she slide and fall by womanly facility”), Ambrose (“Woman ought not only to have simple arrayment, but all authority is to be denied unto her. For she must be in subjection to man…as well in habit as in service”), and John Chrysostom, whose name literally means “golden-mouthed” and who, according to the New Advent Catholic encyclopedia, was “the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit”. This famous preacher writes that women “ought at all times to have the punishment which was given to Eve sounding in [their] ears” and that “in the nature of all women lurks such vices as in good governors are not tolerable”.

As Knox puts it, the oppression of women has been carried out with “the uniform consent of the most part of godly writers since the time of the apostles”. And in case anyone is deceived as to how seriously he takes this matter, he writes that people who disagree with him or advocate female equality should be executed:

First, they ought to remove from honour and authority that monster in nature: so I call a woman clad in the habit of a man, yea, a woman against nature reigning above man. Secondarily, if any presume to defend that impiety, they ought not to fear, first to pronounce, and then after to execute against them the sentence of death.

The Christian legacy of sexism that Knox and others like him defended persists even today. To name some of the most obvious examples, the Catholic church still denies women entrance into the priesthood, and numerous Protestant and evangelical groups such as the Southern Baptists still demand that women submit to and obey their husbands. The Presbyterian church still names church buildings and ministry centers after Knox with no sign of embarrassment. Some Christians even believe that women should be denied the right to vote. And then, of course, there is South Dakota’s recent abortion ban, the horrible theocratic law that denies women the right to control their own bodies.

Even when it comes to the denominations that no longer officially discriminate against women, their repudiation of historical figures like Knox has been tepid at best and nonexistent at worst. And even the most liberal and progressive Christian churches still own Bibles that contain these immoral passages intact. This is unacceptable. No woman – and for that matter, no man – should follow this religion until these reprehensible misogynist laws are ripped from its pages.

I, on the other hand, am a humanist. I believe in the equal dignity and worth of all human beings, without exception. And I believe in following the evidence, which shows without any shadow of doubt that women are absolutely equal to men in every positive quality required for leadership. It is not surprising that sexism has been so long propped up by religion, which more than any other system of thought excels at sustaining beliefs that are not supported by a shred of evidence. Only by joining the battle against religious fundamentalism, and all the sinister falsehoods and harmful superstitions it entails, can we as a people ever hope to see these vile dogmas finally overcome, and the full equality of men and women recognized in fact as well as in law at last.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • andrea

    ah, Knox. Such a font of bile. Of course, he’s one of those who seems to ignore the first story of Genesis that has man and woman being created at the same time. Nothing like salad-bar theology even that early.

    This is why I really can’t understand why any intelligent woman would ever be a Christian (same as why any homosexual person would be). The Bible is a misogynistic text. It states that to be “saved” a woman must have children, amongst the rest of the nonsense listed above. As for the idiots in South Dakota, I’d love to know how many of them have adopted as many children as they possibly could and who have voted to increase social spending to support these children that they are forcing women to have.

    And btw, the website is looking cut off at the left on my monitor.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    That problem with the text being cut off is an Internet Explorer bug. IE also doesn’t handle the site headline properly, I’ve noticed; it tends to disappear when you scroll up and down, probably because IE is incorrectly specifying which elements should overlay which other elements.

    If your circumstances permit it, might I suggest downloading a better browser? There are links on the sidebar to download Firefox and Opera, both of which are free and display this site correctly.

  • Quath

    I heard a Christian woman try to defend the Bible’s treatment of women. She said that God made men and women equal, but He also made the woman submit to the man. The are playing on the concept of “equal” in which they assume that they are equal in worth when really people are talking about equal in power. Ultimately, they are saying that God made woman equal, but not equal to man. Such strange mental gymnastics are needed to accept this.

  • BlackWizardMagus

    I do not support the SD law…however, there is certainly an argument besides sexism that can be employed in it’s defense. I’ve always been in support of first trimester, but no further, because I too see it as murder from that point forward. They see it as murder from conception; it’s not simply trying to limit a woman’s rights, it’s trying to stop murder. In their eyes, it’s no more limiting than denying any of you the right to shoot your neighbor.

  • andrea

    I’m stuck with IE. ah well.

    As for the SD law, it at least would be better if they would give out birth control. Not that stupid people will use it and it isn’t an option in rape and incest, which is the worst part of the law.

    I simply can’t understand why anyone would insist on putting a woman through the trauma of bearing the child of her rapist, be it incestuous or not. Is this mercy? Is a living breathing woman worth less than a fetus that cannot survive outside the womb? Will the state incarcerate the woman to make sure she will not drink or do drugs, engage in any dangerous activiies while pregnant to “protect” the child? Will the state take on the burden of the child if the mother does not want it, especially if it’s not a trophy blonde, blue-eyed white child? All hard questions, which might not have any answers but all valid if women are truly “equal”.

  • Unbeliever

    andrea,

    Great point about birth control. It’s clear that providing birth control and comprehensive sex education would reduce unwanted pregnancies, and therefore abortions. So why don’t Christians support these things? Because this is about sex. Having to carry and bear an unwanted child is punishment for having sex just for fun. There is also some misogyny involved here. Their thinking is often that if women “knew their place” they wouldn’t get pregnant and require an abortion.

    What control could be greater than controlling what someone does with their own body? As with most things regarding religion, this is ultimately about power.

  • http://happy.blogs.com/jayne_says Jayne

    Amen! You’re preaching to the choir, though. . . saw your site on Religion top blog sites or whatever that website is (yours is right next to mine) and enjoy what you have to say. I’m on an anti-fundamentalist reading kick myself (The Battle for God, Freethinkers and The End of Faith) and am happy to see your voice out here. See you around,
    ~Jayne

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Welcome, Jayne! Glad to have you; hope you stick around a while.

    And preaching to the choir is okay. If anything, we nonbelievers are the one choir that doesn’t get preached to nearly often enough, in my opinion. :)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Andrea and others:

    I think I found a fix for the IE bug that was causing text to be cut off on the left side. Does everything look okay now?

  • BlackWizardMagus

    Yes, it seems fixed now.

    Again though, it’s not entirely about power; I am a flat-out atheist, and I oppose some abortions–those where the fetus CAN live outside the womb. Is the women worth less than the fetus? No. But is the fetus worth so much less that we can take a living one, kill it, and trash it? No. The woman’s right to kill the fetus IS unequal to the right of the fetus to live; for a good wording of why, see the 9th ammendment. Again, I feel it should only be allowed in the first 3 months or so. I mean, what is the real difference between a fetus of 8 months and a born child? Really? Should the woman be “forced” to raise the kids she now has? Is infanticide really that much different than a baby that’s an infant in most ways except where it is physically located? That is a very legitimate argument that has nothing to do with power and is founded in real morals; everyone here abhors murder, I’d imagine, so asking if this is murder is a fair question.

    And I think that is part of the reason we have such a battle; the majority of people who get laws passed and media coverage want NO abortion, except MAYBE rape, or want abortion for anyone at anytime. I’m not talking about people here, specifically, or anything, but the general powers that be follow that plan, and neither side ever really sits down, asks the questions, and finds the answers.

  • Archi Medez

    Folks, I’ll try to add some examples of misogyny in Islam. From the Koran and Sunni hadith (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

    Women are unclean. If a man has touched a woman at all before prayer time, he must wash up before doing the prayer. If he can’t find water, he should wash himself with dirt (5:6; 4:43). [Note: Other things that are considered "unclean": Urine, feces, blood, pigs, non-Muslims, etc.]

    A Muslim man who merely “fears disobedience” from his wife must beat/scourge/hit her (4:34). In 4:34, beating is the last in a progression of increasing punishments. A discussion of 4:34 and the word “beat” can be found at http://answering-islam.org/Silas/wife-beating.htm

    “Ayesha said “I have not seen anyone suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” Sahih Bukhari. vol. 7, book 72, no. 715. [The "green" adjective is in reference to the bruising from the beating. In this incident, Ayesha brought to the prophet’s attention a woman who had been badly beaten by her husband in a domestic quarrel. In response, the prophet did not condemn the beating, and “Allah” did not substitute a new verse in place of the 4:34].

    Woman’s testimony is worth half a man’s (2:282).

    Wives who are false (i.e., show the slightest sign of disbelief in Allah) to their husbands are to be killed by Allah (66:10). The wives of disbelievers will also be doomed with their husbands (37:22-31).

    Allah (Mohammad) may replace wives who criticize their husband (66:5).

    Menstruation is an illness/pollution/the menstruating women are unclean/impure (2:222)

    A Muslim man’s wives are a tilth to him, so he can go to his tilth as he wishes (2:223).

    Muslim men may exchange wives (4:20).

    Polygamy is permitted. Muslim men may be married to up to 4 wives (at one time), 4:3, (but women are not permitted to be married to more than one husband at a time).

    A Muslim man cannot treat his wives equally, even if he wanted to (4:129).

    A Muslim male must inherit double what a Muslim female inherits (4:11, 4:176)

    This link gives a ready overview of the problems in the Koran (click on the women icon) http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm

    For a good presentation of the relevant problematic verses and ahadith, see http://debate.domini.org/newton/womeng.html

    Koran allows Muslim men to take non-Muslim female slaves and captives for sex. (23:1-6, 33:50-52, 4:24, 70:30)

    http://www.islam.tc/ask-imam/view.php?q=5482
    Slave girls: [an excerpt from the imam’s extensive discussion].
    “Islam ensured that the slave girl’s duties were not restricted merely to domestic chores but also gave her master permission to copulate with her. This concession created an atmosphere of love and harmony between the slave girl and her master. Islam thereby raised the status of the war captive-maidens close to that of wives. It was a psychological cure to her grief-stricken heart, being deprived of her family and thrown into the hands of a strange society.”

    Rape and Forced Impregnation of non-Muslim female captives

    Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3371 (3371-3388):
    Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa’id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): O Abu Sa’id, did you hear Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-’azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.

    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 137:
    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
    We got female captives in the war booty and we used to do coitus interruptus with them. So we asked Allah’s Apostle about it and he said, “Do you really do that?” repeating the question thrice, “There is no soul that is destined to exist but will come into existence, till the Day of Resurrection.”

    From the early Muslim historian Tabari: Tabari IX:25 (A Muslim soldier said) “By Allah, I did not come to Fight for nothing. I wanted a victory over Ta’if so that I might obtain a slave girl from them and make her pregnant.”

    Marriage to Underage Females

    Koran verse 65:4 describes the rules for divorcing females, including those not old enough to menstruate yet (for Ibn Kathir’s tafsir which explains this verse, http://www.tafsir.com/ and click on Sura 65 and read through verse 4).

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 63:
    Narrated Sahl bin Sad:
    While we were sitting in the company of the Prophet a woman came to him and presented herself (for marriage) to him. The Prophet looked at her, lowering his eyes and raising them, but did not give a reply. One of his companions said, “Marry her to me O Allah’s Apostle!” The Prophet asked (him), “Have you got anything?” He said, “I have got nothing.” The Prophet said, “Not even an iron ring?” He Sad, “Not even an iron ring, but I will tear my garment into two halves and give her one half and keep the other half.” The Prophet; said, “No. Do you know some of the Quran (by heart)?” He said, “Yes.” The Prophet said, “Go, I have agreed to marry her to you with what you know of the Qur’an (as her Mahr).” ‘And for those who have no courses (i.e. they are still immature). (65.4) And the ‘Iddat for the girl before puberty is three months (in the above Verse).

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 81:
    Narrated ‘Uqba:
    The Prophet said: “The stipulations most entitled to be abided by are those with which you are given the right to enjoy the (women’s) private parts (i.e. the stipulations of the marriage contract).”

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

    General Misogyny

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33:
    Narrated Usama bin Zaid:
    The Prophet said, “After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women.”

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 122:
    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    The Prophet said, “If a woman spends the night deserting her husband’s bed (does not sleep with him), then the angels send their curses on her till she comes back (to her husband).”

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:
    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
    Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

  • Unbeliever

    BWMagus,

    I agree with you that a viable fetus should be allowed to live and should be protected. But the mother should still be able to have it removed from her body. Taking a 8-month-old fetus and killing it when it could easily be delivered with a very high chance of survival is murder. But many believe that the same protection should be extended to a clump of cells. And some believe that a woman should be forced to carry a child to term, even against her will. That’s where it’s about control.

  • Quath

    I have a pet peeve about the word “murder” when it applies to abortion. “Murder” is illegal killing. So if abortion is legal, it can not be considered “murder.”

  • Exbeliever

    Legal status should not be a measure of morality. There was a time in this country when African Americans were not recognized as legal citizens.

    I am a woman who claims her rights. But I would not consider a fetus to be “part” of my body–anymore than a houseguest is “part” of my family. (Are the mother and child genetically identical?) The law is all about balancing competing rights. In situations where sex is consensual, I think both the woman and the man have an obligation to consider the needs and rights of the child they created. In cases of incest and rape, the situation is far more complex and disturbing. I don’t know what I think about this. However, I would hope that if I were in that situation, I could open my heart to such a child who, regardless of the circumstances of his/her conception, would still be an innocent.

  • MissCherryPi

    BWM-

    Second and third trimerster abortions do not occur because a woman just wakes up one day and thinks “Gee, I’ve been pregnant more than half a year and you know what? I can’t fit into my bathing suit for beach season. I think I’ll go get one of those dandy abortions I hear so much about.”

    Late term abortions are performed when the health or life of the mother is in danger, when the fetus has such a severe birth defect it would not survive long after birth or if the fetus is already dead. Anyone who tells you differently is creating a strawman. I refer you to this post on pandagon:

    http://pandagon.net/2006/03/06/well-i-posted-on-this-long-ago-but-apparently-it-needs-a-rerun/

  • BlackWizardMagus

    Well, going down the line; first, to unbeliever; there is certainly a degree of control, yes. But it may or may not be ABOUT the control, know what I mean? A cop doesn’t write a ticket to write a ticket (we hope) but for safety; the ticket us just the means to an end. IF it’s murder, THEN it’s understandable.

    Quath; so, what, if we decided that ALL killing was legal, it wouldn’t be murder anymore? Certainly, illegal killing is thwe general definition, but the history of murder is more about unjust killing than illegal.

    MCP; no doubt that you are often correct. However, I can tell you from a second-person POV that that is not always the case. I DO know people who had later abortions just because they realized that, yeah, maybe it’s too big of a hassle. I can certainly understand abortions when the mother is in danger, but that is definately not always the case.

    I’m not trying to make a pro/anti debate here, I’m just trying, in the spirit of fairness, to point out that there is an anti-abortion argument besides religious ones. It is at least a legitimate question to ask “Is a fetus ever a human, and if so, when?”, and that should definately be considered by a congress or a court. I just know that, sometimes, the pro-choice side gets over zealous and starts generalizing the pro-life as a bunch of tyrannical, blind christians.

  • EnigmaOfSteel

    It does seem that a significant number of pro-life folks base their position on supernatural beliefs. I view this as unfortunate, because it allows the issue to be turned into one of religion. While the supernatural underpinnings of some in the pro-life crowd may not stand the test of reason, and they may have other motivations for their actions, such as the afore mentioned control issues, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the ultimate position is wrong. I would contend that a rational person can appose abortion, especially on-demand abortion, without invoking religion. In fact, this is the one area where I have the most disagreement with fellow atheists.

    I think a distinct line can be drawn at conception. Before conception there is just an egg and almost infinite possibilities. But when a particular sperm hits the lottery and combines with the egg, then that train is rolling. Aside from a natural process which might derail it, nine months later there is a baby. Crying, diapers and all that fun stuff. I somehow survived two of them. Not once was I concerned that my wife would deliver a dog or cat baby – I was fairly sure it would be a human baby:) That’s why I view the semantics of naming (zygote, bunch of cells, etc) as irrelevant, and trying to determine when it is human (so that apparently one can destroy it just before it turns human) as disturbing. We all know the biology. If development is halted the result is no baby, no kid, no young adult graduating from college, no Einstein or whatever else that person would have been.

    It is my contention that in the end this really boils down to an argument over supremacy of the individual. Some are willing to offer up others on that alter – I am not. I understand the incredible value of my one and only shot at consciousness for all time, and it logically follows that I likewise value all other’s opportunity at consciousness . So it would not make sense for me to support an individual’s preference over another’s shot at consciousness .

    This perhaps isn’t the thread for a long winded discussion of abortion, but I hope that I have shown that one can have a pro-life position without invoking the supernatural, that is reasonable and consistent with an atheist world view.

  • Archi Medez

    Islam: Most misogynistic ideology in the history of mankind. Here are a few examples that describe how it is ruining women’s lives today.

    Taslima Nasrin’s story
    http://www.secularislam.org/skeptics/taslima.htm

    Destruction of womens’ lives under the Taliban
    http://www.web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/index/ASA110111999

    Iranian mad mullahs execute another young female for alleged sexual impropriety, will execute more.
    http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/GrantSwank60108.htm

    Rape wave in Sweden mostly due to Muslim males and their total disrespect of non-Muslim women
    http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/Fjordman51213.htm

  • Archi Medez

    Here is a brave and brilliant woman who is on a mission to expose Islam.

    Wafa Sultan’s Blunt Criticism of Islam Draws Threats

    By JOHN M. BRODER
    Published: March 11, 2006

    http://islamwatch.forumup.in/viewtopic.php?t=238&start

  • Archi Medez

    ..and speaking of “monstrous regiment” here is what Dr. Sultan is going to call her new book (quoted from the article linked in my previous post):

    “DR. SULTAN is “working on a book that — if it is published — it’s going to turn the Islamic world upside down.”
    “I have reached the point that doesn’t allow any U-turn. I have no choice. I am questioning every single teaching of our holy book.”

    The working title is, “The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster.”

  • Alex

    On the Islam stuff…I vividly remember a friend venting to me a couple months ago about a young man from Egypt who pissed her off on IRC in a number of ways, including positively asserting that the United States faked the 9/11 attacks to discredit Bin Laden and/or Islam in general (and citing a handful of “maybe” and “so it’s possible that” type thought-experiments as “proof”), claiming that the retrodictive power of force-fitting Koran verses into scientific double-entendres was proof of its divine authorship, and–the relevant one–alternately heckling and ignoring her insistences that her reasons for dressing in “provocative” clothing like jeans and fitted t-shirts didn’t consist of wanting to be looked at or deliberately wishing to “corrupt” men. And he billed himself as progressive and a free thinker (in the non-capitalized sense) relative to his general culture…creepy. :/

  • http://robert.thefrenchfamily.org Scrape

    It would seem that the simplest ‘choice’ for a woman to make with respect to her body, if she doesn’t wish a child, is not to have sex. (Rape obviously being a different issue.)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I prefer Robert Ingersoll’s solution:

    Science must make woman the owner, the mistress of herself. Science, the only possible savior of mankind, must put it in the power of woman to decide for herself whether she will or will not become a mother.

    This is the solution of the whole question. This frees woman. The babes that are then born will be welcome. They will be clasped with glad hands to happy breasts. They will fill homes with light and joy.

  • Montu

    “It would seem that the simplest ‘choice’ for a woman to make with respect to her body, if she doesn’t wish a child, is not to have sex. (Rape obviously being a different issue.)”

    You’re obviously a man. I ask you, would it be so simple for you “not to have sex” just because you don’t want a child?

  • Philip Thomas

    Andrea, intelligent women and homosexuals who believe in Christianity do so because they think that it is true: true that God exists, that he sent his only Son to die on the Cross for the sins of mankind, true that Christ rose again on the third day, true that he will come again in judgement on the last day. Now, if you think that is true, it doesn’t stop being true just because some people who agree with you over this one issue are sexists and homophobes.

    Also, one can believe the above and reject large parts of the Bible and other Christian teachings (Indeed, in many cases one logically has to do so, since there are contradictions between them).

  • Philip Thomas

    Scrape: your comment is grotesquely insensitive and profoundly misguided. Firstly, do you not know there are two partners to the sexual act? If Men stopped having sex it would end abortion just as surely as if Women did. Secondly, Sex will continue to happen, no matter how hard we wave our fingers: so we must also consider what results from Sex. If we preach total abstinence, we are teaching people to hate themselves when they “fail” and worse, to hate others. While abstinence has its place in the preventing of unwanted pregnancies and thus abortions, it isn’t the answer to everything.

  • Randall

    “You’re obviously a man. I ask you, would it be so simple for you “not to have sex” just because you don’t want a child?”

    Speaking as a male, yes.

    “If we preach total abstinence, we are teaching people to hate themselves when they
    “fail” and worse, to hate others.”

    “Secondly, Sex will continue to happen, no matter how hard we wave our fingers: so we must also consider what results from Sex.”

    So will murder and rape and theft. Morality calls us to fight these with all our power, knowledge, skill, reason, and technological development; it calls us to do the same with casual, careless, or irresponsible sex.

    “If we preach total abstinence, we are teaching people to hate themselves when they “fail” and worse, to hate others.”

    Non sequitur. Support for this?

    “While abstinence has its place in the preventing of unwanted pregnancies and thus abortions, it isn’t the answer to everything.”

    Practiced abstinence is the only sure way of preventing unwanted pregnancy. It seems like a good answer to me.

  • Alex Weaver

    So will murder and rape and theft. Morality calls us to fight these with all our power, knowledge, skill, reason, and technological development; it calls us to do the same with casual, careless, or irresponsible sex.

    What possible argument would you make in favor of sex you don’t approve of being anything like the same phenomenon as murder, rape, or theft?

  • Judy

    That poor, dumb John Knox. Some woman must have told him “No.”

  • Joffan

    Randall, you are confusing two kinds of abstinence – the plan of abstinence and the outcome of abstinence.

    Abstinence-as-plan is not a particularly effective contraceptive method, as demonstrated by statistics of intention and later outcome.

    Abstinence-as-outcome is a way of generating selctive statistics about abstinence, which do not reflect the reality above, to justify religious-targeted govt spending.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Abstinence only sex education is like “just hold it” potty training.

    Maybe some people want to have sex, and maybe school children need to know more than “Religion doesn’t find it morally right.”

    I always hear the voices of creationism saying “teach both sides of argument” (as if there are even two sides to the argument, which doesn’t actually exist, about whether evolution occured). So why not teach abstience AND alternatives to abstinence, so if people decide to have sex they can avoid disease and unwanted pregnancy.

  • Randall

    “What possible argument would you make in favor of sex you don’t approve of being anything like the same phenomenon as murder, rape, or theft?”

    Those are examples to support my assertion that inability to implement a morally based law (which is to say, most laws) has absolutely no bearing on the morality, not comparisons. If I were pressed to compare them, I would say that casual sex “necessitates” abortions, which I consider somewhere between murder and theft, or creates large numbers of unwanted children, which also leads to theft. These children have been deprived of the sort of life they could have had; society is also forced to pay to support them. Naturally, I oppose rape for far more than its merely sexual aspect.

    Joffan, you are drawing unnecessary distinctions : ) You’d think that abstinence was nothing more than a convenient pretext to gain money for the religious right. But I think that abstinence cannot really be taught, and thus that abstinence-only education is lacking. But I also believe (oh, no, the B-word!!!) that people should know that it is the first and best method of avoiding unwanted pregnancies.

    “Maybe some people want to have sex, and maybe school children need to know more than “Religion doesn’t find it morally right.”

    You could apply the same argument to virtually any crime.

    “I always hear the voices of creationism saying “teach both sides of argument” (as if there are even two sides to the argument, which doesn’t actually exist, about whether evolution occured). So why not teach abstience AND alternatives to abstinence, so if people decide to have sex they can avoid disease and unwanted pregnancy.”

    Who or what are the voices of creationism? What specific alternatives do you recommend be taught?

  • Mrnaglfar

    Randall,

    There are definite destinctiosn between murder and rape and teaching sex ed. I’m sure you can see the difference. What part of sex hurts unwilling partcipants the way murder or rape does? To even compare them is ludicrous.

    As for evolution, there is no viable alternative at the moment and creationsim is religion diguised to be science. I did’t mean there was an alternative.

  • DamienSansBlog

    “Maybe some people want to have sex, and maybe school children need to know more than “Religion doesn’t find it morally right.”

    You could apply the same argument to virtually any crime.

    Beg pardon, Randall, but from where do you hail? I live in a country where consensual sex is not a criminal act; perhaps things are different where you are?

  • DamienSansBlog

    Mr. Naglfar, I think Randall was referring to alternatives to abstinence, not alternatives to creationism.

    Presumably such alternatives would include the use of condoms, birth control pills, and other methods of contraception. You know…methods that work.

  • OMGF

    Randall,
    If you could outlaw abortion, what would be the penalty for women who have abortions?

  • Joffan

    No Randall, the distinction between plan and outcome is essential to understand the objection to teaching abstinence to schoolchildren. You know this at some level, and your acceptance that “abstinence-only education is lacking” implicitly acknowledges the distinction.

    An outcome of abstinence is of course effective contraception (duh!) but this says absolutely nothing about whether this a useful option to recommend to children.

    By contrast, a contraceptive plan of abstinence has been shown to be ineffective. Teaching this plan, especially in isolation, is the worst way to protect and empower our children. If it were an effective plan, I would not object to it forming one aspect of sex education, one option presented to children. But it isn’t effective, and children shouldn’t be encouraged to rely on it.

  • Alex Weaver

    If I were pressed to compare them, I would say that casual sex “necessitates” abortions, which I consider somewhere between murder and theft, or creates large numbers of unwanted children, which also leads to theft. These children have been deprived of the sort of life they could have had; society is also forced to pay to support them. Naturally, I oppose rape for far more than its merely sexual aspect.

    If you consider abortion somewhere between murder and theft, why do you oppose the sex education plans and contraceptive availability programs that the actual Really-Real-World data shows are most effective at reducing it?

    But I also believe (oh, no, the B-word!!!) that people should know that it is the first and best method of avoiding unwanted pregnancies.

    Why are you pretending that every comprehensive sex ed plan ever proposed doesn’t already teach that abstinence is the most reliable way of avoiding unwanted pregnancies?

  • http://elliptica.blogspot.com Lynet

    Randall,

    But I also believe (oh, no, the B-word!!!) that people should know that it [abstinence] is the first and best method of avoiding unwanted pregnancies.

    I can agree with that to some extent. You know that’s what Planned Parenthood teaches, right? I mean, they probably don’t try to push guilt about sex, but they certainly do teach abstinence along with everything else, and they do stress that it’s the only perfect method.

    That said, I wouldn’t push abstinence as much as you would for the simple reason that, when it comes to abortions, “safe, legal, rare and usually early” is fine by me (mostly I just care about staying well clear of the point around 20 weeks where cognitive development suddenly spikes). And the evidence of countries like Norway seems to suggest that you can achieve that just by teaching everyone to use contraceptives well.

    But I think that abstinence cannot really be taught, and thus that abstinence-only education is lacking.

    I think the trouble with abstinence-only classes is that, given that there exist methods of contraception which are more than 99% effective with typical use, “abstinence only” is difficult to justify by anything short of a divine commandment. Since they can’t use divine commandments in public schools, they end up using bad statistics, misinformation, stereotypes and guilt trips. It’s not surprising kids don’t exactly toe the line.

    If you thought that abortion was so bad that risking one in any way at all, even a less than 1% chance per year, was on the level of a crime, then I can understand stressing abstinence unless you’re willing to take the and a safety net. There’s just no good argument in that case.

  • http://elliptica.blogspot.com Lynet

    Whoops, messed up my html there. Meant to say:

    . . . then I can understand stressing abstinence unless you’re willing to take the small chance of having a baby. There are a lot of people, however, who think there’s very little wrong with an abortion as long as it’s early, and for them, you’ve got a really impressive barrier and a safety net. There’s just nor good argument in that case.

  • lpetrich

    I’m disappointed that this abstinence debate does not feature discussion of alternative sex acts, the sort that cannot lead to pregnancy.

    But certain people would likely object to that as helping people get away with their sins, the way that they object to birth control. It’s like how certain people objected to lightning rods because those rods keep God from punishing them by striking them with lightning.

  • Alex Weaver

    Which abstinence debate? There’s no reason we couldn’t bring them up now, though it might be better suited for an open thread or something.

  • Randall

    There’s a lot to catch up on, so forgive me if I miss your post.

    DamianSansBlog: you are correct that I was referring to alternatives to abstinence, not creationism. I have no complaints with evolution. I live in New Jersey and consensual sex is a crime depending on the age of the participants.

    OMGF: I am not sure, because I am not sure that outlawing abortion is the best way to eliminate it, which is, after all, the end goal. I would rather see the elimination of facilities that enable abortion, except in life-threatening cases, than legal punishments. I’d have to think on it, though.

    Alex: “Why are you pretending that every comprehensive sex ed plan ever proposed doesn’t already teach that abstinence is the most reliable way of avoiding unwanted pregnancies?”

    Because, as Joffan’s post evidences, not everyone believes that abstinence is effective at all, hence I have been hesitant to endorse it fully thus far without supporting statistics.

    “If you consider abortion somewhere between murder and theft, why do you oppose the sex education plans and contraceptive availability programs that the actual Really-Real-World data shows are most effective at reducing it?”

    Where did I say that I oppose these plans and programs? I am all for sex education plans, although contraception is another story.

    Joffan: you’re right. I was half-joking, hence the smiley. But only half, since I don’t agree that there is as much division between plan and outcome as your post would have me believe. You cannot entirely isolate the intended outcome from the plan.

    Lynet: I am glad to see that we agree in large part. I think that the area where we disagree is based on a fundamental difference in belief. I don’t think abortion is wrong based solely on cognitive ability, although I do agree that the fetus’ ability to think and feel influences the gravity of the decision to have an abortion. I do believe that abortion is so grave that a 99% chance isn’t good enough, and I do agree that kids aren’t going to rely on abstinence when a 99% chance is available. Still doesn’t make their decision right.

  • Alex Weaver

    Because, as Joffan’s post evidences, not everyone believes that abstinence is effective at all, hence I have been hesitant to endorse it fully thus far without supporting statistics.

    Joffan’s post illustrates that most people have realized that promoting abstinence is largely unsuccessful in producing it.

    And I repeat: why are you against contraception when it has the potential to vastly reduce the number of abortions necessary?

  • OMGF

    OMGF: I am not sure, because I am not sure that outlawing abortion is the best way to eliminate it, which is, after all, the end goal. I would rather see the elimination of facilities that enable abortion, except in life-threatening cases, than legal punishments. I’d have to think on it, though.

    If you believe that abortion is murder, shouldn’t it be outlawed? And, shouldn’t a woman who gets an abortion be tried for murder?

    Because, as Joffan’s post evidences, not everyone believes that abstinence is effective at all, hence I have been hesitant to endorse it fully thus far without supporting statistics.

    Actually, studies show that abstinence only education is far less effective at reducing pregnancy and subsequent abortion than a comprehensive sex ed.

    I do believe that abortion is so grave that a 99% chance isn’t good enough, and I do agree that kids aren’t going to rely on abstinence when a 99% chance is available. Still doesn’t make their decision right.

    Most sexual encounters between people who properly use contraception will not end in abortion. Your comment makes me think that you are more concerned with making sure that people don’t have sex because of the morality of it than with reducing abortions.

  • Randall

    “And I repeat: why are you against contraception when it has the potential to vastly reduce the number of abortions necessary?”

    I wasn’t aware that I had stated any opposition to contraception as yet, other than saying that I am not “all for it.” Did you take that to mean that I oppose contraception, or are you making an assumption?

    To answer that question, though, I oppose contraception because, like abortion, it prevents people from coming into being. (That’s a general statement, I know.)

    “If you believe that abortion is murder, shouldn’t it be outlawed? And, shouldn’t a woman who gets an abortion be tried for murder?”

    Where have I said that “Abortion is murder”?

    “Actually, studies show that abstinence only education is far less effective at reducing pregnancy and subsequent abortion than a comprehensive sex ed.”

    Not surprising. Joffan, as I understood his posts, opposed teaching abstinence as part of a more comprehensive plan; my response was in light of that. If I misunderstood your intentions, Joffan, my apologies.

    “If it were an effective plan, I would not object to it forming one aspect of sex education, one option presented to children. But it isn’t effective, and children shouldn’t be encouraged to rely on it.”

    “Most sexual encounters between people who properly use contraception will not end in abortion. Your comment makes me think that you are more concerned with making sure that people don’t have sex because of the morality of it than with reducing abortions.”

    And yet there are still so many abortions, despite the availability of contraception. What part of my comment causes you to think that?

  • OMGF

    Randall,

    To answer that question, though, I oppose contraception because, like abortion, it prevents people from coming into being. (That’s a general statement, I know.)

    Lots of things prevent people from coming into being, like vasectomies, not masturbating, wearing clothing that is too tight (although this also could help start a pregnancy), or a whole host of other things.

    Where have I said that “Abortion is murder”?

    You haven’t I suppose. Do you think it is murder? If not, then why the opposition? If so, then would you care to venture an answer to my questions?

    Joffan, as I understood his posts, opposed teaching abstinence as part of a more comprehensive plan; my response was in light of that. If I misunderstood your intentions, Joffan, my apologies.

    My reading is that you have misunderstood Joffan.

    What part of my comment causes you to think that?

    When you said, “Still doesn’t make their decision right.” From my reading it seems as though you are making a moral judgement about sex in general. Also, from my knowledge of Catholic teaching, I believe that the Catholic church holds that sex should only be for procreation.

  • Alex Weaver

    I wasn’t aware that I had stated any opposition to contraception as yet, other than saying that I am not “all for it.” Did you take that to mean that I oppose contraception, or are you making an assumption?

    You said you favored sex education but wouldn’t say the same about contraception. It was a reasonable inference, especially from a pattern-recognition standpoint.

    To answer that question, though, I oppose contraception because, like abortion, it prevents people from coming into being. (That’s a general statement, I know.)

    And this is a bad thing why? As I understood it, the stated objection to the legality of abortion was that a fetus was already a person (though anti-choicers’ actual positions are difficult to reconcile with that claim), not that preventing potential people from coming into being was wrong.

    Look at it this way. Every human ejaculation contains hundreds of millions of sperm. The human female body, under normal circumstances, has at most one or two eggs ready to fertilize. Every time one of those eggs is fertilized by a sperm, hundreds of millions of potential people, that might have resulted from the fertilization of the egg by different sperm, are prevented from coming into being. If you’re ok with that result, then why is preventing one more suddenly unacceptable?

    Also, this stated position is inconsistent with either any meaningful grasp of reality or your earlier statements about the birth of unwanted children being a bad thing that should be prevented.

    And yet there are still so many abortions, despite the availability of contraception.

    This is in large part due to the fact that contraceptive education is woefully inadequate, many of the more effect forms are difficult or expensive to obtain, millions of people have been effectively traumatized when it comes to sex by their religious upbringings, such that either they hate and fear their own sexuality enough to keep them from planning for sex (but, being human, not enough to keep them from having it). Contraceptives are useless when people are too ignorant to use them properly or too afraid they’ll burn in hell for using them at all. In countries where these barriers do not exist (I’ve heard various Scandinavian countries named, for instance) abortion is exceptionally rare.

  • Joffan

    I think, Randall, you have understood my argument correctly. I do completely oppose presenting abstinence as a contraceptive plan, based on its observed inefficacy, along with various other degrees of sexual restriction (up to and including coitus interruptus).
    Adolescents should definitely have a sound plan that they understand and can act on for contraception. This frees them to make choices about sex, which in itself may well be a serious discussion but doesn’t then need to be about contraception.

  • Randall

    I think that “murder” is the wrong word to use. As I said before, I consider it somewhere between murder and theft. I oppose abortions for a couple reasons. One of the main ones is that they prevent a person from growing up to experience life. Sperm will not become a baby in the absence of interference, and as such cannot be considered a potential person, but only a component of a potential person. A fetus, if natural processes are allowed to run their course, will develop into a human being. In my eyes, that fetus has the right to life and the right to experience life, with all of its concomitant joys, sorrows, pleasures, pains, and experiences. Cognitive capacity doesn’t play into it.

    Joffan: makes sense; I don’t advocate abstinence-only “education” either. Do you think that abstinence should be considered as part of a comprehensive plan, and if so, to what degree?

    OMGF: I am stating that I don’t think casual sex is moral. And the Church doesn’t teach that sex is only designed for procreation, although that is certainly a major component and one that shouldn’t be ignored. There wouldn’t be much joy in that, would there?

    Alex: reasonable, yes, but I’d still ask you to be careful about reading into my words. Because I don’t fully support contraception doesn’t make me against it; I know many people who fully support sex education who are somewhere in the middle on contraception, usually depending on the circumstances.

    “And this is a bad thing why? As I understood it, the stated objection to the legality of abortion was that a fetus was already a person (though anti-choicers’ actual positions are difficult to reconcile with that claim), not that preventing potential people from coming into being was wrong.”

    Am I not allowed to add extra objections? : ) It’s a bad thing because it deprives potential people of the chance to experience life, and because no one has the right to choose life or non-life for another.

    “Also, this stated position is inconsistent with either any meaningful grasp of reality or your earlier statements about the birth of unwanted children being a bad thing that should be prevented.”

    Hm. Which stated position? Could you clarify?

    Alex: Stats to back your assertion about abortion rates would be welcome, if you have the time or inclination. Meanwhile, abortion would naturally be lower in countries in which contraception was much more widespread and more efficient and easy to use, just as chopping down a tree will prevent it from being struck by lightning.

    I don’t see that giving everyone free, cheap, easy-to-use contraception will solve all the problems I hope to avoid by advocating against abortion. There will still be children born unwanted; presumably people will feel free to have sex whenever and wherever, which causes its own problems; and you will still be forcibly preventing people from experiencing life. I completely agree that no child should be born unwanted; I advocate prevention of this by creating surroundings that are capable of raising and loving these children, not by annihilating the children before they have voices to protest.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Randall,

    consider it somewhere between murder and theft

    So what penalty would you proscribe for a woman who had an abortion?

    Do you think that abstinence should be considered as part of a comprehensive plan, and if so, to what degree?

    It should be mentioned that it’s an option, though seems kind of commen sense that it’s an option.

    I am stating that I don’t think casual sex is moral. And the Church doesn’t teach that sex is only designed for procreation, although that is certainly a major component and one that shouldn’t be ignored. There wouldn’t be much joy in that, would there?

    I suppose that depends which church we’re talking about, as well as what time period. In the not so distant past I recall that the church’s position on the matter was somewhere along those lines of “it’s a sin to spill your seed”.

    But what about casual sex isn’t moral? Certainly if proformed safely it can be almost free from spreading of diseases and unwanted pregnancy. Also on the flip-side, you seem to have a strong stance about potiential people coming into this world, and what fosters that more than lots of sex?

    because no one has the right to choose life or non-life for another.

    Funny you should say that because aren’t you on the side of choosing life for other “potiental people”? At least that’s what all your arguments seem to point to.

    and you will still be forcibly preventing people from experiencing life. I completely agree that no child should be born unwanted

    So the question is which is the more important concern for you? If the options come down to either having an abortion, or going through with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, which would you opt for?

    I don’t see that giving everyone free, cheap, easy-to-use contraception will solve all the problems I hope to avoid by advocating against abortion.

    The problem, as you seem to put it, is that there just aren’t enough people and we need to keep bringing as many of them into the world as possible so they can experience life. However, you also said,

    Sperm will not become a baby in the absence of interference, and as such cannot be considered a potential person, but only a component of a potential person.

    So if sperm aren’t potiental people, and eggs aren’t potiential people, by using contraception to prevent the two from joining you have not stopped any potiental people from coming into being.
    One other interesting question; you say a fetus has rights, but when do the components become a fetus? If it’s the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg, then any woman who’s had a miscarriage (last I knew roughly the case for 1-2/3 of all pregnancy) has committed a crime, even if unwittingly.

    I understand you’re all for creating a supportive, and nuturing environment for children to grow in, and who isn’t? I know I certainly am, but I also know that’s not the only part of the solution. Maybe sex ed should teach children how to have safe sex in good detail so they can avoid abortions and STDs. Maybe it should also teach ways of maintaining relationships, both on an interpersonal and individual level. Maybe it should give them more of a perspective on how much work and money is involved in raising a child. But whatever sex ed teaches, it shouldn’t be that sex is wrong, or a big scare tactic.

  • Alex Weaver

    Additionally, I note that your argument does not even seem to consider the possibility that a married couple might not want to have an indefinite number of children (I, for instance, am happy with one, unenthused about the prospect of two, and expect to be made extremely unhappy with three or more), or even any children at all (I can name a few I know). Are you still opposed to contraception in that case (where the sex involved clearly isn’t ‘casual’)? Or are you flatly assuming that marriage means having babies, lots of babies, and that there’s something wrong with anyone who doesn’t want this?

  • Judy

    On the post’s topic:

    Here in North Texas, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen is on the run after allegedly murdering his two teenaged daughters (both beautiful, intelligent girls, by all accounts), with reports saying that it could be an “honor killing”, that he was enraged because his daughters “shamed” their family by wanting to date non-Egyptian/non-Muslim young men. Also, he allegedly has been abusive to his family, mostly the women, including his wife, for many years.

    This is a tragic, sad example of what happens when backwards, superstitious religion gives people the idea that they may tell another how to live his/her life and the “okay” to punish/hurt people that they don’t think live up to their religious standards. After creating the belief that females are inferior, it’s no surprise that people of limited mental capacity would interpret it the wrong way and take it to further mean that it’s okay to kill the female if she doesn’t obey or live up to the standards.

    Neither gender is superior to the other. Each has its good and its faults. Men and women should complement each other, and work together to make this a good world for everyone. We women don’t want to rule the world; we just want to be treated fairly and not be mistreated. We are not just baby-making machines – we do have brains, hearts, ideas, thoughts, feelings.

  • Alex Weaver

    Judy: first, you’re preaching to the choir on the equality thing.

    Second, what makes you so sure that those who interpret religious doctrine on gender roles as endorsing violence against women are interpreting it “the wrong way” (IE, contrary to the intention of the writer)?

    Neither gender is superior to the other. Each has its good and its faults.

    While I agree with you for the most part, I’m not sure that any gender is cohesive, well-defined, and homogenous enough to make this a meaningful statement.

  • OMGF

    Alex and Mrnaglfar have covered most of my questions for Randall, but I do wish to add one thing. It seems as though Randall is making a category mistake in thinking that knowledge of contraception equals incitement to sex. Giving students knowledge is not a bad thing, nor is it immoral, even if you think that their having sex is immoral. Having a comprehensive sex ed only empowers the students and helps give them what they need to protect themselves. It’s naive to think that teens won’t have sex, and withholding information from them only serves to create bad choices.