logo Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
2022-10-07 08:16:27 CoV Wiki
Learn more about the Church of Virus
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Everyone into the pool! Now online... the VirusWiki.

  Church of Virus BBS
  General
  Philosophy & Religion

  Losing My Religion for Equality...
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
   Author  Topic: Losing My Religion for Equality...  (Read 804 times)
Mermaid
Archon
****

Posts: 770
Reputation: 8.48
Rate Mermaid



Bite me!

View Profile
Losing My Religion for Equality...
« on: 2009-08-10 13:43:18 »
Reply with quote

I suppose this comes under ethics

http://www.ruthgroup.org/2009/07/24/losing-my-religion-for-equality-by-jimmy-carter/


JC

After several years of trying to bring about change from the inside, Jimmy Carter has announced that he’s severing his ties with the Southern Baptist church over its treatment of women. As I post this news, I find myself thinking of what Greenpeace activitists had to say recently, in a totally different context: “America Honors Leaders, not Politicians.” Jimmy Carter used to be a politician. Since leaving office, he’s become a leader. At our present moment, we can only hope that leaving office is not a prequisite for becoming a leader.

    Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

    I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

    This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

    At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.


The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices – as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy – and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place – and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence – than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.
Report to moderator   Logged
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4267
Reputation: 8.94
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Losing My Religion for Equality...
« Reply #1 on: 2009-08-11 11:01:00 »
Reply with quote

To be able to change something so emotionally fundamental because of an intellectual conclusion is always extraordinary, at his age doubly so. I find him increasingly impressive.
« Last Edit: 2009-08-11 13:57:52 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Blunderov
Archon
*****

Gender: Male
Posts: 3160
Reputation: 8.90
Rate Blunderov



"We think in generalities, we live in details"

View Profile WWW E-Mail
Re:Losing My Religion for Equality...
« Reply #2 on: 2009-08-11 13:13:11 »
Reply with quote

[Blunderov] I think that St. Paul was more of a misogynist than Jimmy Carter supposes. That said, well done!

This from Austin Cline

atheism.about.com

What Happens when the Catholic Church Get Its Way? Women Die
Monday August 10, 2009

What would happen to America if anti-choice activists got their way and abortion were criminalized? What would happen if the Catholic dogma that all abortions are illicit were transformed into law? Women would die, that' what would happen, and we need only look to Nicaragua for evidence. In Nicaragua all abortion is illegal, even if the life of the mother is at risk, and the Catholic Church was a principle force behind this. "Now you can't even teach about abortion because it would be dangerous. You need to be very careful because the law says you can be put in jail if someone says you are promoting abortion," [Dr Andres Herrera Rodriguez of the University of Leon in Nicaragua.] says. "We need to be able to deal with people who have been sexually abused," he says. "If a woman's life is at risk you need to do something to make sure she doesn't die. Our back is to the wall, I would say."

Most Nicaraguans are Catholics and the Roman Catholic Church was a key backer of the ban - arguing that abortion meant murder, even when mothers' wellbeing was in jeopardy. And the Church and practically every parliamentarian agreed that the term "therapeutic" was being over-used to cover a wide range of terminations that were not actually medically justified.

...Amnesty maintains that the total ban has "a chilling effect on the ability of medical professionals and health workers to provide medically indicated treatment". One woman told us about her sister's ectopic pregnancy - discovered three weeks after the ban went into effect. "We were very afraid. But she was able to have an abortion. Fortunately some doctors still act on medical principles." ...

Maria Lourdes [director of the Ixchen women's centre in Managua], says the total ban on abortion is a big problem and she sees it as an expression of the weakness in the human rights system in Nicaragua. "Women have no right to decide for themselves," she says.

"The lives of women are secondary."

Source: BBC [emphasis added]
Where women's basic equality and humanity are not respected, of course their lives won't be respected either. The Nicaraguan government, with active prodding and support from the Catholic Church, is sacrificing the lives of women to the demands of a primitive religious ideology. Adherent of this ideology see no problem with this because their ideology teaches them that they must obey commands of an alleged god no matter what and that the value of this life pales in comparison to what their god offers true believers and the obedient faithful. The deaths of women on the altar of Catholic dogma is a small price to pay, especially for men who have nothing to personally fear from the effects of their laws.

Actions speak louder than words and no amount of words can serve to counter-balance the actions taken in Nicaragua. No matter how strongly Catholic leaders protest that they don't view women as inferior and that their religion does not teach that women are less valuable, the actions in Nicaragua demonstrate unequivocally that women do indeed have less value in the context of Catholic dogma — at least once they are born, that is. When still a fetus they appear to have lots of value. I wonder how much of that is because, as a fetus, they can't talk back to the old men making decisions for them.
Report to moderator   Logged
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4267
Reputation: 8.94
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Losing My Religion for Equality...
« Reply #3 on: 2009-08-11 14:06:48 »
Reply with quote

[Blunderov] I think that St. Paul was more of a misogynist than Jimmy Carter supposes. That said, well done!

[Hermit] Of course the idea that St Paul, better known to "The Church in Jerusalem" as "The Wicked Liar", had anything to do with "The Community of the Poor" - other than as a fierce opponent - is also utterly unsupported, but as these protoChristians were indubitably  "Zealots for the law" and the law was the law of Moses - which is fiercely anti-women, it probably doesn't really matter. All of the Abrahamic religions and their churches seem to share this nasty bias, any differences are of degree, not principle.

Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Pages: [1] Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
Jump to:


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Church of Virus BBS | Powered by YaBB SE
© 2001-2002, YaBB SE Dev Team. All Rights Reserved.

Please support the CoV.
Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS! RSS feed