Saturday, October 3, 2015

Oppression of women starts in the Bible

Women are considered evil in the Bible. Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die.
God gets angry with Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Although God punishes both for disobeying his directions, He places the majority of the blame on Eve for tempting her husband. God says to Eve, “thy desire is to be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16). God wanted women to live subservient to man. We see God punishing Eve more in the Genesis . She is made to suffer and bring forth children in pain. And the harsh punishment to Eve is applied to the entire women to come after her. This is unjust and can only be construed as a prejudiced decision of God to oppress the females. 
God permits the sexual violation of women on more than one occasion. See Deuteronomy 22:28-30 "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." The compensation for raping a woman is paying a few shekels to the father of the girl!  God’s idea of justice for the female victim is horrendous indeed. God punishes her again by forcing her to marry the man who savagely attacked her chastity.  This is a disgusting.

If a man rapes an engaged virgin who doesn’t cry loud enough to draw attention, the community should consider the attack consensual if it took place within the city. Then the whore must be stoned to death as per God’s instructions. The man will be stoned to death as well, not because he committed a brutal atrocity against the woman, but only because he violated another man’s wife.” (Deuteronomy 22:24). This passage and the previous one show the shameful contrast in disciplinary action between raping a woman with a husband and raping a woman without a husband. Raping a married woman is punishable by death as he violated another man’s wife. Raping a virgin can be resolved by paying a few pieces of silver. God is so much obsessed with offending a man (husband) that he punishes the rapist, who offends him, with death. Double standard? Yes.

Fathers could sell their daughters as slaves to other men. See Exodus 21:7-8 Girls who engaged in prostitution could be burned! Read Leviticus 21:9 "And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire."
There is no prostitution without the involvement of men but they are not to be touched! If there is an adulteress there is an adulterer too. The adulterer goes scot free and the adulteress is to be burnt. Is this justice? 

The birth of a daughter is less desirable :(Leviticus 12:2-5) if a woman gives birth to a baby boy  she becomes unclean for 7 days. But if she gives birth to a baby girl, then she becomes unclean for 14 days!

Among those who have several wives and/or concubines are Gideon, Elkanah, David, Rehoboam, Abijah, and Solomon. Collecting more wives and sex slaves was a sign of status In the Old Testament books. King Solomon had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, Solomon was a great hero of the Jewish people.

 Women were just like any other possession of men: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17.

Brides, who were not virgins or who did not have their hymen intact (as a sign of virginity) had to be killed.  “If, however the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.” Deuteronomy 22:20-21. But why there is no punishment mentioned for non-virgin men? Women would become non virgins only If men violated their own virginity. But why punish women alone on this account, you silly God?  

After winning a war with the Midianites Moses, as God had instructed him to do, asks to ave for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” Numbers 31:14-18. Even God receives thirty-two virgins as his share of the spoils, but they’re handed over to the priest. The reserved virgins will be raped  of course. Why God permits rape on virgins? The “women children” mentioned are young girls. The barbaric savages capable of killing defenseless women wouldn’t have waited for the children to reach puberty to have sex with them.

A woman’s vow is binding only if her father or husband agrees to them. “. . A woman’s vow is meaningless unless approved by her husband or father. But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will release her. Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. Numbers 30:1-16. Man’s power and superiority over women is blatantly evident here.   
There cannot be any justification for the special status that Abraham’s God gave to males making women their possessions meant for child-bearing and sex gratification. Fundamentalists are still fighting desperately to hang on to the special treatment men had and the privileges they used to enjoy in the Abrahamic faith. The early books of the Bible-all of them-show that God ordained men to rule over women.

  Several atrocities are perpetrated against women in the Bible. See some of them: a woman given away as a prize (Judges 1:12-13); another offered as a sacrifice (Judges 11:29-39); married daughters given to other people (Judges 15:2). In Judges 19:22-30 we read about the rape, murder, and mutilation of women by a mob. There are several instances of abduction of women as in Judges 21:7-23 and purchasing of wives as in (Ruth 4:10 and 1 Samuel 18:25-27).  God allows David’s sons to sleep with his wives and concubines and the poor women later get punished and imprisoned for the adventure of David’s son as per the desire of the Almighty (2 Samuel 12:11-12, 16:22, 20:3). 
There are instances where God torments women in the books of prophecy (from Isaiah through Malachi). In Jeremiah 13:22 we find justification for a woman being raped. Ezekiel 18:6 denounces menstruation; Nahum 3:13 ridicules an army by labeling them women;  Zechariah 11:4 speaks about taking part in a war that concludes with women being raped.

We find in the book of proverbs sayings that reiterate how women can be evil, strange, adulterous, foolish, contentious, and so on. The book concludes that virtuous woman is a rarity. If we find one such woman, she’s worth far more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10). The implication seems to be that men are by far virtuous and good.  

Women oppressed in the New Testament too.

The Old Testament outlook on women continues in the New Testament. St. Paul puts women under men. Peter also agrees with him in that women should submit to their husbands. He can divorce her but she cannot. She has no choice but to comply with her husband’s orders if she is to obey the scripture. The books of Peter also forbid women to wear any type of decorative jewelry to adorn their bodies (1 Peter 3:2-6). He refers to women as the weaker vessel of the couple (1 Peter 3:7). He deems Lot to be a righteous man even though he once offered his daughters as a suitable alternative for his male guests to homosexual rapists surrounding his house (2 Peter 2:8 referring to Genesis 19:4-8). A man with the immoral qualities of Lot cannot be regarded as righteous unless you discount the inherent rights of all people, more specifically, the inherent rights of women.

Paul, the most important figure in shaping, spreading and getting Christianity to where it is today, is unfortunately the most oppressive man you’ll find in the New Testament. Paul is very adamant in his belief that women aren’t useful for much more than sexually satisfying their husbands. He even remarks that it’s good for a man to refrain from touching a woman, but he realizes the need for a man to have sexual contact and permits each to have a wife (1 Corinthians 7:1-2). Paul also tells a story in his letter to the Romans about men “leaving the ‘natural use’ of the woman” to have sexual relations with other men (Romans 1:27). The passage is more or less saying that the natural use of a woman is to function as a derogatory sexual outlet for a man. He continues to spread his bigoted beliefs in a letter to the Corinthians by unambiguously declaring man to be the head of the woman, similar to the way that Jesus is the authority figure for men. Paul also says women are the glory of men and men the glory of Christ and Christ the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 11:3-9). He placed women far below men.

      Paul also establishes a few ground rules before men can bring their women to church. Women are to choose between concealing their heads and having their hair completely shaven. In the epistles of the apostles we read: ‘Women should learn in subjugation and silence. They do not have authority over men and they should not teach. Women must keep silent in Churches. It is shameful for them to open their mouths therein. If they have a question they should ask their husbands before going to church and then their husbands will ask for them in the church. She should always cover her head while praying. If a woman prays with her head uncovered then she must shave her head.’ 1 Corinthians 14:34, Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22-24. Is there anything dirty about the head of a woman? What will befall if women ask their doubts directly?  Paul was a direct representative of the patriarchal society of his time. There is nothing godly in this.  

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. Adam and Eve were not equal. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. He was created in the image and glory of God and Eve in his image. . Adam neither got deceived nor sinned but Eve did both (1 Timothy 2: 11-15). The male chauvinists of the Bible times too degraded women in every possible way.

Early Christian saints see women as devil’s gateway

Listen to early Church Father Tertullian, a renowned Catholic theologian: “You [woman] are the devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert—that is, death—even the Son of God had to die.” 

Saints like St. Augustine said: ‘Woman is a snare, her heart is a trap, and her hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but she will ensnare the sinner.’ While it is possible to find one upright man in every thousand, it is impossible to find even one single upright woman.’ How absurd!

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