My latest column has just been posted on AlterNet, Right-Wing Religions of the World Unite to Oppress Women and Gays More Ruthlessly. In it, I write about the strange phenomenon of churches that were once bitter historical enemies now working hand-in-hand to fight the expansion of human rights, and demand the continued oppression of women, GLBT people, atheists, and other groups that are increasingly claiming the equality long denied them in the name of religion. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:
When you hear the word “interfaith,” you might think of people from different religions working together to do charitable deeds: running a soup kitchen, for example, or collecting clothes for the poor. But there’s a darker side to interfaith as well. Whatever good that religion does in the world has to be balanced against the harm it has caused in so many other ways: sanctioning slavery, sowing xenophobia and division, excusing inequality, propping up oppressive power structures of class, race and caste.
Over the past few years, a new kind of harm is becoming more common: even religions that have little or nothing in common theologically have been increasingly willing to cooperate for the continued oppression of those groups that have historically been the targets of their persecution: women, GLBT people and non-believers in particular.