Alright. Going all in, here. Christianity gets some of the blame for irrational thought and misogyny being commonplace in the West. And “some” is generous on my part, as it has been a perpetual tool in the consolidation of power. The Bible has not helped with regard to racism, prejudice against the LGBT+ community, and other forms of division either, but this is going to be a long post as it is. Christianity has many forms, granted, though many use the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy and call any sect that is not their own an example of a religion that isn’t “true Christianity”. And to be fair, some sects are based on more open, accepting tenets. But the basic text, the Bible, is baseless, hateful and cruel. Where “no corroborating evidence” is to be used as an argument, its only equals in that regard are other myths.
A text from the age of mythology that is somehow (miraculously!) not mythology. This is a text with a history we can clearly follow from poor translations to the confiscation of texts and the persecution of their owners, but to point that out is to be an “elitist intellectual” rather than an informed individual. Jewish people were condemned by Christians, even though Christ was the “King of the Jews”, and hatred towards them reached a fever pitch thousands of years later during WWII and continues in many places today. Believed to be responsible for the mythical Christ’s death, they were condemned in the earliest days of Christianity under Tiberius and from there forward suffered regular persecution. Some of the greatest American icons. . . white men from Walt Disney to Henry Ford. . . appear to have been anti-Semitic. And where anti-Semitism is concerned, Ford’s portrait literally hung in one of Hitler’s offices in Munich. The Gnostics had also already been condemned, despite being part of a massive religion founded on similar texts. Gnosticism, beyond a few sects in the Middle East and some recent resurgence, is largely unknown today as a religion. It once held considerable sway. Gnostic texts mark humans as divine entities trapped in mortal vessels by an evil god. . . their Garden of Eden shows a benevolent god helping humans by giving them knowledge in the form of a snake. No surprise why that had to be suppressed. And the Nicene Creed resulted only after a pseudo-theological political convention that involved hitting other people in the face and making many holy books illegal. Gnostic texts. The Gospel of Thomas.
The Jewish Book of Enoch. And many, many others. There is no more proof for the Bible as an inspired word of God than there is for any god in the first place. No wonder we live in a world of “alternate facts” where the free press can be called the “enemy of the people” by the president — too many of us are willing to laugh at the idea of Santa and yet dress up on Sunday to worship a being with an equal lack of evidence in its favor. At least Santa can be traced back to a real human being in Nicholas of Myra. Christ is questionable even as a person that actually existed (even the authorship of the gospels themselves is unknown and unattributed beyond the given names we know the books by), and Christ’s supposed divinity has even less going for it. So. Sexism.
The Bible is replete with it, all the way back to Eve. She is the one who disobeyed and tempted poor Adam. We have been taught not to trust women back to the earliest example. Delilah is not a much better example. And Lot’s wife didn’t even get a name. . . she just disobeyed and paid quite a price for it. Most of the “good” women of the Bible are good only because they obey their husbands and believe they are subordinate to him and then to God. “If a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. “
“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. / And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. “
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. “
The list goes on seemingly endlessly. Multiple wives. Virgin daughters given away as political gifts. Women persecuted for their own rape. How Christian apologists manage to get through all of it is beyond me. Look, believe whatever you want. But if those beliefs are affecting legislation. . . and they are and have been for thousands of years. . . we have a problem. Christianity (and, to be fair, most organized religion) has a foundation only in faith. That’s the same sort of faith that must be called upon to believe a commander-in-chief who has literally told you not to believe what you see and read. Believe only him and what his puppets tell you. Likewise, believe only the church and what its puppets tell you. Nevermind history. Nevermind proof. “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening. ” — Donald Trump, speaking to veterans earlier this year.
Sexism and racism and hate, in general, have a long and sordid history based in tribalism and division, and religion is just a part of that. But make no mistake — it is a part of that. The sooner we learn to care about each other without relying on divisive texts that purportedly tell us the truth without offering any evidence, the better. And hey. . . if you are a Christian and a friend or family member, I still love you. I don’t need a sacred text to love people. What I do not love is organized religion and, particularly in the West, Christianity. And I am not sorry about that at all.
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