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Tuesday: Losing my religion

I’m about to say something offensive.  I usually don’t give warnings when I do this but in this case, it may be necessary.  For any of you out there who are Catholic or fundagelical, you may want to cover your ears.  No, I take that back.  You need to hear this.

It’s time we stopped allowing the Catholic church and other churches from dictating what the natural order of things is supposed to be.  We need to reject it as a legitimate voice in the public sphere. When it says, “Jump!”, we say, “STFU”.

Now, I will admit that the church has done a lot of good things and it serves a purpose at the community level and provides comfort and guidance to people.  But throughout its history, it has also been coercive, manipulative, hard hearted and wrong.  It took 400 years to get around to pardoning Gallileo.  Women may look at that example and think it means that there is hope.  Maybe it will take another 400 years to validate women as human beings with souls but they’ll get around to it someday.  I would like to disabuse you of that notion.  The Catholic church is an entity that is run by men, ruled by men and whose hierarchy does not EVER let a woman in even on the ground floor.  They claim this is dictated by the New Testament itself and it will never change.  Think about that for a moment.  As far as the Catholic church is concerned, the interpretation of Christianity according to Jesus, Paul and the other apostles excludes women from the ranks of power and equality for eternity.  It is absolute.  

Now, I don’t know about you but I’ve always believed, based on my own rejection of an equally fundagelical religion imposed on me at a young age, that God or Goddess can use all of the help she can get.  Ok, to go further than that, I do not accept the traditional concept of a supreme being.  Put me in the Providence, creator, nebulous cosmic energy force category.  My creator does not have a gender and therefore has no reason to discriminate.  My Jesus never put women on a plane lower than men.  My creator is too busy with the universe to be worried about what two men do in the privacy of their bedroom.  And if this is what I believe, why should I ever buy into the anachronistic, unevolved, “women are second class citizens?  How conveeeenient” notions of some organized gang of guys in the Vatican treehouse?

The next time someone brings up the need to cater to the religious crowd, I’m going to say, “And what does that have to do with me?  I don’t care two figs for the religious crowd.  If they want to worship the ultimate employer in gender based discrimination, let them do it on their own dime.”

What I’m saying, people, is that if we want to put women on an equal footing, we have to attack the problem of discrimination at its root- religion.  And the first thing that needs to happen is church and state need to be completely separate.  Completely.  That means no more Office of Faith Based Initiatives, no more Rick Warrens at invocations.   If you want to pray, do it privately.  If you want to get up every morning and praise Yaweh that you were not born a woman, make sure you leave it in your bedroom before you step out that door. 

And if we want Obama to take us seriously, we need to pressure him to distance himself from the church.  Effective immediately.  The church is not my ultimate authority and it doesn’t represent MY values.  I am both offended that it has been allowed to dictate policy with permission of *two* administrations and insistent that it stops using my tax dollars to get even more of a foothold to practice discrimination with the help of government and I want it to stop.  If the stimulus bill has funds allocated to faith based initiatives, I want them stripped out. 

Lather, rinse, repeat until they are gone, baby, gone.

“[I]t is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties….Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?”

-James Madison, From the “Memorial and Remonstrance,” 1785

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191 Responses

  1. I’ll take the religion of Confluence. Truth, Liberty, and Happiness!

  2. Amen to that! Separation of church and state is one of the most fundamental principles of the Constitution – the reason this country was founded. W chipped at it ferociously, we needed restoration of the wall, not further escalations.
    Unfortunately, from the Proposition 8 and the numbers of those who voted and especially those who didn’t – it’s clear that a alliance was formed and the same interests are firm in place. The Saddlebreak debate was a circus – the real show went on behind the curtains.
    On a brighter side, the videos from Hillary’s confirmation – Biden stand-up alert
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/hillarys-confirmation/

  3. Nailed it again, RD.

    ….”notions of some organized gang of guys in the Vatican treehouse?”

    Classic

  4. SLAM DUNK, RD. Separation of Church and state is one of the reasons why this country was founded.

    And I’m curious – if we let this crap slide and continue to fund these asses who prey on women – is this going to be a 21st Century Inquisition panel? Or an Evangelical version of Sharia Court?

    This is where the A-list Feminists let us down.

    They kept arguing about whether wearing lipstick and heels is capitulating to the patriarchy – while the Neo-Connization of the Democratic Party was well under way.

    Obama sold our rights to the Evangelicals in exchange for votes in red states, just like Bush did.

    And we saw it coming – but they chose to look the other way.

  5. I’m with you Riverdaughter; the Office of “Faith Based” anything is bullshi^! How about the Office of Faith Based Giveaways to All The President’s Men Friends, better known as Obama’s Stimulating Package. I’m afraid, however, that you may have momentarily slipped into a parallel universe with: “if we want Obama to take us seriously we need to pressure him . . .”. –you migth wanna rethink the odds of that ever happening.

  6. All of our founding fathers (with the exception of Thomas Jefferson who was probably agnostic, but could have been an atheist) were deeply religious men. But they were wise enough to see the importance of the separation of Church & State. I just don’t understand how we have allowed “Faith Based Initiatives” to happen in this country & I certainly don’t understand the pass, nay, the praise, Obama is receiving for continuing this affront to the very foundation of our country.

  7. I was raised Catholic and I am not offended at all. The truth is the truth.

    Most people prefer a “warm and fuzzy” feeling by injecting their self righteous ideology into the political dialogue because it validates their own sense of being. How does one argue with “god’s will”? There may be lessons to be gleaned from the bible but the context is more in establishing how to live together not in threatening eternal damnation if we don’t face the East 5 times a day or for eating meat on Friday or not covering our heads when entering a “holy site”.

    Narrow mindedness has led us to the most egregious events throughout history and all perpetrated by those following “the will of God”. Excluding women from the arena is another way to ensure that male supremacy endures. How many women, mothers and wives, would see war as the final solution if queried? Very few I would guess.

    As long as the “common good” and the “will of the people” is replaced with religion few women will advance beyond their secondary role. Worship what and whom you choose but keep it out of my life and the public arena unless you area willing to become a theocracy, dictated by superstition and directed by male supremacy. It could happen.

  8. AMEN, sister!!!!!!!!!

  9. Pat, Bingo!

  10. This is an important and gutsy post, RD. When people start complaining that many people do good things motivated by their religions, let us all point out that you noted this. But your objection to the institutions, especially their patriarchical worldviews, remains valid and sound. In the comments so far, people are emphasizing SEPARATION of church and state. State sponsored patriarchy via support for religious institutions is literally unconstitutional.

  11. Look who’s going to run Obama’s God Office. ANother 26 year old is going to be the new Torquemada.

    Story is from ABC news – I’d do a link but Spammy will eat it:

    Josh Dubois, the 26 year-old who ran religious outreach for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, has been tapped by the new president to head the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a White House aide tells ABC News.

    Dubois, who previously worked as an associate pastor for a small Pentecostal church in Massachusetts, was drawn to Obama in 2004 when he heard the future president tell the Democratic National Convention that, “We worship an awesome God in the Blue States.”

    After hearing that line, DuBois tried to work on Obama’s US Senate campaign but was rejected. Following Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate from Illinois, DuBois kept pushing for a job and got hired as a Senate aide.

    Part of his job was focused on building relationships with religious leaders, especially evangelical Christians who were dissatisfied with the GOP’s approach to economic justice, the use of force, and environmental protection.

    The progressive religious community, which has worked closely with DuBois, learned about the pick a few days ago. Initially, the president’s staff was declining to comment but the White House is now confirming the selection.

    One key question DuBois will have to help Obama address is whether the new administration should rescind a legal memorandum from the Bush administration which allows religious organizations that receive public funds to hire only those who share their faith.

    During his presidential run, Obama said that those receiving government funds should not proselytize the people they help nor should they discriminate in hiring practices on the basis of religion.

    Where there are state or local laws prohibiting hiring decisions from being made on the basis of sexual orientation, Obama has said he would support those laws being applied to the federally funded portion of the faith-based programs.

    DuBois, whose stepfather is a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, has lived in several places including Maine, where he was born, Massachusetts, where he spent his first few years, Tennessee, which he considers his home, and Ohio, where he attended high school.

    He earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University and his master’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He was enrolled in law school at Georgetown University’s Law Center when he left to work for Obama in his Senate office.

    As detailed in a Boston Globe profile of DuBois which ran this past summer, his social and religious activism was sparked as a 17-year old freshman at BU when a New York jury acquitted four police officers whose 41 bullets had killed an unarmed immigrant named Amadou Diallo.

    DuBois wrote “NO MORE” on a placard and stood in front of a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr., in Massachusetts, for 41 hours to draw attention to the 41 shots which were fired.

  12. At a young age, I argued in my high school social studies class (in the heart of the Bible belt, no less) that one could not use the Bible as a basis for an argument, unless that argument involved the Bible. Not everyone believes in God, and by arguing biblical teachings, you automatically discriminate against others.

    Needless to say, everyone was speechless…especially since everyone knew my father was a Southern Baptist minister.

    Sisters in faith…the faith of sisterhood, that is.

  13. George W. Bush patted the “fundagelicals” on the head and laughed behind their backs. It looks like Obama is going to take them seriously.

  14. This was the reason why Bush was dangerous. He wore his religious beliefs on his sleeve. He was merely following “God’s will” if one paid attention from the beginning. No one argues with God. If he bible is to be followed then the following passage, “thy will be done”, must be heeded.

    Obama is not quite within that category. His “religiosity” is based more on attracting the status quo through votes. I see him less as a fanatic than as a craven politician who will stoop to any level to maintain his ascendency. If that means kissing the asses of the likes of a Rick Warren, he is willing to do so.

    One reason why I have difficulty embracing Sarah Palin is that she too comes out of that fundamental intellect. In admitting that the Iraq War was a result of “God’s will” we parted company. That way of thinking helps to establish the mindset much like those who are braced to see us as “infidels” and must be vanquished in the name of all that is holy as directed from the Koran.

    Superstition based on absolute adherence to an unseen deity who may or may not exist.

  15. angienc2, on February 3rd, 2009 at 8:30 am Said:
    Just a footnote – the founders were Protestants who tended to be highly Deist – they mistrusted organized, institutionalized religion, not only as an influence in government but in their own private lives (none were members the Church of England, as I recall, nor Catholics). The reason I am mentioning this – and I may just be repeating what you meant – is to point out that the distinction between believing in a deity and endorsing large-scale religious bodies even in private life has a quite distinctive pedigree in this country.

  16. OT, but someone at the NYT suddenly noticed that Obama is a hypocrite about his “ethical rules” for lobbyists.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/us/politics/03lobby.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

  17. Fundamentalist orthodoxy is about controlling people especially women and children. President Obama is about control in the political and social sense and is as religious as I am which is zero. This is just more of his manipulation and control using someone or really everyone else’s money. These approaches have been developed into an art form in Chicago as well as fundamentalist megachurchs. Bush knew this from his time in Texas which is home to some of the meanest and nastiest “Christians” and Obama learned it in Chicago which seems to be very similar. Religion is a tool to manipulate. Faith, morality, spiritualism has nothing to do with it.

  18. Pat J – enjoying your comments.

    SM77 – Dubois = scary.

  19. Like Pat, I was raised a Catholic and do not find your post offensive. The male hierarchy of the Catholic Church is not going to change in our lifetimes, and likely not even after that.

    Regardless, religion has no place in government. The ease with which Obama uses religion to garner votes should have set off screeching alarms to true liberals back in the spring, when he sent out that mailer in Kentucky. I’m pretty sure Katiebird did a post on it. As with everything with Obama, the warning signs were there long ago, but the so-called progressives preferred to put their hands over their ears and say “La-la-la, I can’t hear you.”

  20. Heidi Li:

    EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!

    26 yr old Pentecostal Minister??????

    WHAT?????

  21. at some point i will weigh in as the resident scary evangelical (who just happens to have some pentecostal street cred), but for now I’m just lurking and reading

  22. BB: Rachel Maddow brought it up in her show a few days & now she’s being attacked by the Blogger Boiz.

  23. Brava to all here! This may be a controversial post at other sites, but not here. I am proud to be part of a group that truly believes in allowing everyone the right to live as they chose.

    I am so sick of people looking at me as though as I need to join a leper colony because I do not worship at the feet of anyone. I have always felt that, as Pat said, there are some good practices in the bible, but to me it rings more like Aesop’s fable, there is a moral to the story, but it is ultimately up to you to do the right things.

  24. Personally, I do not care who or what one worships. If a “sacred cow” does it for you, be my guest. But please do not admonish me if I refuse to go along.

    There are plenty of temples, mosques, churches, in which to proclaim your faith. But that is not enough for some. Insisting that “prayer” become a daily part of school life and they will not settle for less. And anyone adhering to the suggestion that teaching evolution and creationism side by side is a good idea needs to be run out of town on a rail. If this becomes the norm, do we then begin to study and embrace the teachings of Warren Jeffs as an example of tolerance?

    Bush allowed his narrow minded thinking to seep into the role of government because it is really an essential part of who he was and is. This is why I must digress from accepting Palin as the end all, as a future leader. Living those words on a daily basis, and blindly following the tenets, has to seep into the conscience and dictate actions after awhile. Isn’t that the whole purpose?

    I just don’t trust it. Let’s see how Obama chooses the next SC Justice and what litmus test he holds up as qualifications. Then we will know just how steeped he is in his commitment to the fundies.

  25. I am Catholic and I’m not offended. The Church is intensely patriarchal. And I completely agree about Separation of Church and State.
    I’m disturbed at Church they’re currently lobbying against FOCA.

  26. Many in our Methodist class rejected the Rick Warren book as legitimate Christian instruction years ago when it was shoved down our throats. It caused several, including us, to leave that particular church. And having him give the invocation basically inaugurated the Bush third term.

    No nothing, do nothing Obama is no liberal and is not a Democrat nor public servant, but a DNC elevated small time political hustler who is truly ignorant of our ways.

  27. I am spiritual but not religious. I am not offended.

  28. Could my comment at 9:01 be rescued and this one deleted? Thanks.

  29. Elderj:

    How you doing! Hope you are well.

    Ok, here’s my story on Pentecostals:

    One of my brothers is a born-again Christian & attends a Pentecostal church in Orlando.

    When he “came to the Lord” he ignited many furious accusations towards me, I mean full on assault on my divorce, my daughter not being raised in a Christian way since I’m not forcing her to go to a church, my lack of religious structure, my immorality because I’m a believer of birth control etc.

    It was like my brother, who was always a happy go lucky guy, was eaten up and possessed by something else.

    We got almost, and this is the truth, almost got into a physical fight. Ok, I slapped him for disrespecting me. I told him to take his bible & shove it up his ass and to NEVER come back to my house again. He wanted to hit me back, but held his restraint and left. I didn’t care at that point. I was so mad – it’s like we became kids again and I wanted to kick his ass across the room.

    We did not speak for more than a year. My mom would beg & try to get us to speak. When he called to talk to me, I hung up the phone. I did not need this crap from someone I babysat since he was born & cleaned up after because being the “only girl” – it was my duty. After a year came and went, everyone got the point that I wasn’t kidding.

    After skilled ambassadorship from my mom, he calmed down & apologized to me. He told me he was overzealous and he will never speak about religion again. I agreed and that was about 3 yrs ago.

    Today, we call each other up & spend time together as a family and have a great time like we used to.

    Separation of Church and State worked in my family, it worked for the foundation of this nation – so we need to keep it that way.

  30. In some religion, a woman is put to death for having been raped because she has brought “dishonor” onto the family. Of course the family is headed by men. Do we honor this tradition because it is based on some corrupt teaching masked as “religion”?

    A pre pubescent girl is married off to an old man because of some “religious” belief. Do we honor that because it is part of a religion? A woman is brought to an open field and stoned to death because she was accused of adultery. Do we honor that because it is part of a religion? A child dies because the parents refuse medical treatment as part of their religion. Do we honor that as well?

    When this archaic and unenlightened thinking becomes encased in law we have reached the end of civilization. The moral compass has been suspended in favor of some half assed supposition that the “will of God” has been enforced. The leap is not that difficult to imagine.

  31. Heidi Li — yes, I meant that — which is why I said deeply religious men. I’ve read a lot of letters written by John Adams & Thomas Jefferson to each other concerning faith. I think there is no denying that Adams had a deep faith & belief in God. However, he saw clearly how dangerous mixing of the Church & State would be — as did Madison, Jefferson, et al. The reason I mention this is because a lot of the fundies argument that these types of “faith based initiatives” are ok is because “we are a Christian nation” and “our founding father’s were Godly men.” I’m say: yes, they were religious men (and, sorry to be judgmental, but probably purer of faith that Rick Warren, et al) and they CHOSE to keep church & state separate. If we want to follow their example we should too.

  32. I believe that there is something out there that I have no idea how to explain. But I do not believe that there is some being hovering in the sky with a book on his lap keeping track of the time back in 1972 when I crammed a piece of baloney into my face on a Friday instead of tuna fish. Or that I raised my voice to one of my kids who was bouncing off the couch. Or that I was daydreaming about Bobby Sherman back in grammar school when I should have been listening to a reading from “The Book of the Saints”.

  33. This is a great post, great discussion, and the picture of Rev. Wright up there made me so angry. How could Bill Moyers interview this guy and give him credibility after Wright’s sexist bs from the pulpit about how Hillary “ain’t never been called no (n word)” and Hillary has never experienced being a second class citizen. How come Moyers never asked Wright about that?

    But what I really have to say is to the “The commenter formerly known as Elderj” : I like your new name! lol

    the poster formerly known as (TPFKA) nycblue
    okay, i’m back to work and lurking

  34. Oh, Bobby Sherman, so my idol in 4th grade. I was going to have his babies.

  35. Kim: lol

  36. SM is so right in her outrage. How dare someone come into her home and accuse of her anything, brother or not. If he wishes to embrace those theories, fine. But to attempt to force his thinking onto another person is ludicrous and should not be tolerated.

    But to think that way one must live that way as well. This is why the “religious” scare me. They are bent on carrying their beliefs far beyond the scope of tolerance.

  37. That’s what I don’t understand — the need to force one’s religion on others.

  38. My grandmother was pentecostal and a few of my co-workers have been also. The few I have know well, were not like that at all. I have had admiration and respect for them because they lived their beliefs. Not at all hypocritical like some of the other religions down he’ah in tha deep south.

  39. Pat
    Frankly, I don’t think there is any difference between Jr and Jr.jr when it comes to religion. They both are using it as a political device, I never bought W’s faith any more than I buy B0’s. It was disturbing the degree he was using religion as justification for executive decisions – I think Obama’s handlers will make sure Jr.jr is more subtle in backing those groups and interests.
    On a brighter note – a bit of schadenfreude at the expense of Bloomberg – now with headline and video
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/groundhog-revisited-si-chuck-gets-a-headline/

  40. I have never had them try to push anything on me.

  41. I have no issues with anyone who is religious. My issues are with the people who knock on my door on Saturday morning, or who judge me for my actions. When they start deriding me for my lack of faith, I have no problem telling them to kiss my @ss and call it a revelation.

  42. Hal-a-lool-ya! About time this got to the front of the line.

    Mary Daly must be estatic. She wrote “Beyond God, the Father” published in 1978 and that book shook many of us loose from the propaganda we’d been fed all our lives.

    Thank you, Riverdaughter for what hopefully will be a rebirth of women’s conviction of their humanity. And for the nay sayers, if women left all the churches they would all go to ruin – women are the workers, the driving force but seldom in leadership.

  43. Wonderful and courageous post, RD.

    I had no idea who Obama was when he was already
    touted as a the second coming at the 2004 convention.
    My first clues were the line about worshipping
    an awesome God in the blue states. The other was that
    there are no red states or blue states, something that’s
    obviously not true. It was already pandering, and a
    big red flag.

    It proves what Bill Clinton said is true. Politicians running
    for office tell you exactly what they are about. (He had to be
    talking about Obama).

    But you have to be listening. Most people weren’t. And
    still are not.

    And sm, did the blogger boyz really attack Maddow
    for pointing this out?
    Amazing. Proves Obama is so past the point of complete
    brainwashing of those who would be fighting this outrageous
    takeover.

  44. SOD: Thanks. I’m lurking and very, very annoyed. By one comment in particular, but I’m holding my tongue.

  45. I’ve been an atheist since before I knew what the word meant, and I believe that the only laws that rule the universe are the laws of physics. However, I live in a small town, and a lot of the good things that get done are done by local religious organizations. Although I only step into church to attend weddings and funerals, I have often donated my time and money to the good works that they do. But when the phone rang Sunday night asking for my help with something, I heard myself declining. I didn’t plan on it., but I found myself saying that since they were now a government agency, they could get some of the thousands of dollars I had paid in taxes last year. Since they already had my help, I was saving my charitable donations for a different cause. The person calling said she hoped that other “non-members” of her church would feel the need to connect with God enough to continue to donate. I wasn’t “connecting with God” when I helped out at the food pantry. I was helping to feed my neighbors so I guess I’ll just leave food in the collection box at the grocery store. Last I checked Stop and Shop had no direct line to heaven.

  46. Interesting also that fundamentalist factions
    of all religions, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim,
    Hindu, even the liberal Buddhist, share patriarchal
    basis.
    And if you trace their development as a reaction
    or takeover, to the early matriarchal religions, where
    women were in charge, it all makes sense.

    And why do men support the patriarchy? Why not?
    It puts them on top, instead of bottom.
    And I do love men, believe they can be feminists,
    want them in our movement, and appreciate those who
    are willing to fight for our cause.
    It just has to be part of everyone’s awareness that
    there are these tendencies, and to be on the lookout.

    Isn’t that what we have to do with everything, become
    aware of unconscious assumptions and unintended
    consequences of our belief systems, and evaluate them
    and revise them as we learn. Isn’t that what blogging is
    supposed to be about?

  47. One reason why I have difficulty embracing Sarah Palin is that she too comes out of that fundamental intellect. In admitting that the Iraq War was a result of “God’s will” we parted company.

    I’m not pushing support of Palin, but that is not in fact what she said. Anyone who was as blindly religious as you describe wouldn’t have vetoed the attempt to strip gay partners of their benefits.

    Palin is a devout evangelical Protestant, Kerry is a devout Catholic. Both sects have done far too much meddling in public affairs over the last 30 years. Both Palin and Kerry stated that, while they hold firm religious convictions, they wouldn’t support imposing them by law on others. You either believe their assurances or you don’t.

  48. I think the purpose of the post was to illustrate how religious institutions, largely run by men, have kept women in a secondary role. And by Obama rushing to the side of the Religious Right only magnifies the sense that he too is more than willing to continue that practice by updating the role of “Faith Based Initiatives”. It is a strong signal that he does not stand with women but out of political expediency is willing to support those pastors and religious beliefs that place women in an untenable position.

    I separate spirituality from organized religion. What I fear is the blending of religious doctrine into the public sphere. And by repeating Bush’s actions he is putting us once again on the road to intolerance which has the ability to seep into the laws of the land and further erode the role women will play in the future.

    I see it as an argument of the blending of religious practice into the political landscape not an attack on personal spirituality. Sorry if my words led to that assumption.

  49. PJ – I think many people don’t mind religious practice being blended into the political landscape if its religious practice they agree with

  50. sister of ye: My intent was in pointing out that when I hear the words “God’s will” peppered throughout I back away. Whether it be Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Evangelical, Muslim, it all boils down to the same for me.

    Adhering to that tenet merely offers license to gloss over the role of commonsense when it enters the political arena.

  51. Pat J — exactly right. I am so lucky to have the mother I have — she told us from a very young age there was a difference between God & the Church — the Church was made by man & man could and did make mistakes. So, we need to go to Church to take party in a community of worship for God but to keep our logic “on” while there so we could detect the difference between “God’s law” and “man’s law” and not to fall for the man made rules that had nothing to do with God.

  52. The problem with using “God’s will” in an argument is that far too often people are really following their own will & calling it God’s.

  53. angie: You made my point.

  54. btw — if we are tearing down patriarchy structures like the church, we should start tearing down the government as well. 🙂

  55. Following the devastation of Iraq, those entrusted to recruit and send people over there to help with the rebuilding set standards. Those applying had to pass a litmus test before they were accepted. One being that they had voted for Bush, the other that they were against abortion.

    What either one had to do with the expertise need to rebuild that country escaped me then as it does now. But we are steadily watching the cult of Obama take shape and with that the possibility that the only way to live and work in this nation may be based solely on how we voted and what religion we practice.

    It is a very slippery slope.

  56. In my experience most “feminist” men were only feminists when they wanted me to split or pay for our meal.

  57. The inherent purpose of organized religion is to influence
    and control. It’s mostly organized propoganda, teaching
    people that “their” way is the right way.
    The only other purpose is for community, which is
    a good thing.
    So the only hope I see for peace and understanding
    is for the separate communities, or religious groups, to
    begin meeting together, for purposes of sharing and
    understanding, with mutual respect for differences and
    similarities, instead of vested interest in being right.

    They can share ideas, but also music, food, dances,
    art, customs. They can even literally try the other’s shoes,
    or clothes. (not really shoes – yich). Food and music are
    joyous ways to reach souls.
    I know this is very idealistic but – so what?
    The good news is that there are some interfaith groups
    set up for this purpose. The bad news is that there are very
    few.

    I think that may be a direction Hillary will be following.
    And of course, bringing together the women.
    I agree, for Obama, it’s only about the votes.
    As we’ve seen, he’d sell his grandmother for a vote.

  58. Great post, you won’t get any arguments here. I prefer my government programs to be grounded in reality. I also am not much for discrimination and funding a particular unprovable belief set is discriminatory(we won’t even get into THEIR hiring practices). Personally, if they are that darned interested in helping the poor and downtrodden- Why not make it the Office of the Poor and Downtrodden? Do we get some sort of cosmic cookie if we mention God (as if those that believe might forget they believe if He is not mentioned) 50 times a day? It’s complete overkill.

  59. afrocity — LOL!

  60. One of the biggest problems we had when counseling victims of domestic violence was the abuser finding the lord. So many churches attempt to get involved in programs they know nothing about. I have never had a church tell a woman get out, leave and never come back. Churches usually believe that a husband and wife should stay together forever and ever, and the woman should serve her husband. They think that, with faith, and the husband turning his life over to God, he will stop abusing his wife. DOES NOT HAPPEN.

    Soup kitchens, I am fine with, assisting low income, again – no problem; getting involved in issues that are better reserved for professionals, big problem and just may get the woman killed.

  61. speaktruth: But he is not the only one to do so. Therein lies the problem. Future candidates will find themselves sitting every 4 years with the likes of Rick Warren, explaining their own beliefs and hoping against hope that they come off more religious than the speaker scheduled before or after them on the roster. This will become the norm. A precedent has been set, as we have seen, and the Warren’s of this world have been rewarded.

    Give me a candidate who comes out and says, NO! Then I will be paying closer attention. But pitting one candidate against the other in a move to prove who has a better link to the Almighty is about as low as one can get on the totem poll of acting on behalf of the common good.

  62. True, afrocity. lol.

    Yet you don’t really want to get rid of myiq, or elderj, or the
    rest of the cool men here, do you? Or your husband?

    So what are they then?

  63. The faith based initiative and expansion therof is one of the things that truly frightened me about shrub and bo . how in the hell ” a constitutional attorney ” can justify any of this is beyond me … other than the most obvious motives of money funneling to churches of chouce, and pandering to the evangelical community for votes .
    Even more frightening is that everyone is afraid to question it ; which is exactly WHY we must , to avoid that kind of instillation of fear that comes of religious discrimination .
    Everyone except the most courageous are afraid to question this .. RD I thank you from the bottom of my pagan heart …

  64. I’d like to stand in solidarity with RD on this so if she gets hammered, hammer me too. Here’s my take on pandering to iron age mythologies:

    http://tinyurl.com/b5rzy6

    I wrote it about the so-called values forum on 8/17. The Roman Catholic church justifies its treatment of women by holding up something it WROTE for the purpose of keeping women, children and slaves as property and under control. And there’s tons of mythology now surrounding the lie that the US is a “christian state” or now a “judeo christian state”

    my article links to many quotes from the founders saying exactly the opposite.

    The first continental dollars had the motto on them ” Mind your Business” in the flying spagehtti monster we trust was added AFTER the civil war during the Victorian age. The silly pledge didn’t even exist and the “God” thing was added during the Eisenhower years. The oath of office taken by the President and required by the constitution did not and should not include so help my god per the constitution itself.

    It’s time to free ourselves from history’s biggest persecution –that of institutional religion–like the founders of this country intended this country to do.

  65. I am in moderation. Perhaps this is time for me to just STFU!

  66. angie,
    What did you mean at 10:18? Was it a joke, or what?
    Please explain.

  67. “…And the first thing that needs to happen is church and state need to be completely separate. Completely. That means no more Office of Faith Based Initiatives, no more Rick Warrens at invocations. If you want to pray, do it privately…”

    You said it RD.

  68. Angie, I like your mother.

  69. dakinikat: My comment, currently in moderation limbo, is a reflection of that post.

  70. Angie

    There is nothing wrong with having a belief set IMO. What’s wrong is inflicting your belief set on others without regard for them and their right to a different belief set. The statute of religious freedom was meant to prevent a state sponsored religion. I cringe everytime I hear someone say what marriage is and isn’t and use the “word of God” as their basis. Until God comes down and personally tells me he is for discriminating against the very people he created I’m gonna have to go with believing it is man’s interpretation of the word of God. Same thing with that subservient thing…..

  71. Most (and I say most, because there are exceptions) of what
    institutional religion is, is a means of FOOLING the people
    to get them to fall in line. Is it inherent in organized religion?
    Maybe not. Probably not if it’s small and female
    powered.
    It’s not inherent in government, though. And what our
    founding fathers were trying to guard against.

  72. Obama is so busy attempting to channel Abe Lincoln that the Obots have overlooked the amazing fact that he is no “progressive” but merely a DINO. Raymond Massie did a far better job imitating Lincoln and someone needs to yank “The Team of Rivals” out of Obama’s hands and direct him to the 21st century.

  73. just read it Pat and I agree with you … can’t let it out though, hopefully katiebird will be on soon or bb, some one with mod authority. you’re in good company out there though … with two other regs 🙂

  74. SOD: And miracle of miracles, today CWaltz and I are on the same page! Yesterday, not so much. But differing views have a way of uniting or separating and hopefully no one’s feelings are hurt since this is never my intent. Unless it is ABG of course but then he is fair game all the time.

  75. DJ — thank you — I like her too!

    speakstruth — it is kind of a joke, but it is also a fact: the church and the government are both structures steeped in the patriarchy. I’m not against criticizing the church for its b.s., but it isn’t the only institution with major problems when it comes to women.

  76. I go to a great episcopalian church. But it’s totally progressive. Our last priest was gay and from the theater. He was fantastic. Our new priest is in his early 30’s and married to a practicing Muslim. Not all churches are the same.

    But faith based initiatives is just a boondoggle. It’s a way to buy votes. First for Bush now for Obama.

  77. twandx- And for the nay sayers, if women left all the churches they would all go to ruin – women are the workers, the driving force but seldom in leadership.

    Over here at least 90% of the Catholic congregation attending church services are women (of all ages).
    Those who don’t attend call them “the bigots” -In Italian-“le bigotte”. (I asked a co-worker about this yesterday.)

  78. When going through some difficult times with my spouse I sought the advice of a priest who advised me to “go home and cook him a nice breakfast”. Dr. Phil he was not.

  79. ABG has been happy BG recently. He must be back on his meds.

  80. ABG is “adorable” in his wide eyed, mouth drooling, Kool Aid happy induced state. Nothing can puncture that pea sized brain beyond Obama worship.

  81. PJ
    that’s great advice
    testicle omelets are usually great conversation starters

  82. catarina: The advice and the spouse were soon shortly out the door. Morons!

  83. Before I say anything: I attend church. The Pastor is a woman and it is a “Reconciling in Christ” congregation, that means we are welcoming to GLTB members and believe they are blessed children of God – nothing to change or reform.

    I have always found it hard to believe anyone could say they are Christian and then function the way top church leaders, President of US, Congress, etc…

    I completely agree with RD on the ingrained descriminiation. I would NEVER give my time, money or attention to an organization that treated me as a 2nd class citizen.

  84. OT: The newly nominated “Performance Officer” bNancy Kiellfer has wothdrawn from consideration due to failure to pay unemployment compensation for her nanny. Funny how nannies and taxes will undo female nominees every time.

  85. Good for you, Pat.
    A priest told a friend of mine whose husband was cheating to go home and service him.
    They are so clueless and out of touch.

  86. Pat J — that sounds about right! My church (Greek Orthodox) is fine with birth control but my mom’s sister married a Roman Catholic. Four kids later she decided she didn’t want anymore kids, but the husband refused to discuss birth control (sin) so she said “Fine. No more sex.” He took her to the priest to discuss all this & the priest, of course, backed him up — she couldn’t use birth control because the purpose of sex was procreation & she couldn’t deny her husband sex, blah blah blah. My aunt got so disgusted she told the priest: if your so concerned with my husband not being denied, then you have sex with him & walked out.
    I don’t know what happened in the bedroom between the 2 of them after that, but I can tell you they didn’t have anymore kids.

  87. It’s not about a church being liberal or woman friendly or gay friendly or anything else.

    It’s about the constitutional separation of church and state.

    It’s about the Constitution of the United States being slowly (or not-so-slowly) eroded.

  88. I don’t personally believe in Hell but on days that I read about young women and their children dying because the church has told them that condoms are a sin I personally hope I am wrong and they get their own corner for perpetrating such misery.

    PatJ

    No worries, I have pretty thick skin and you were quite polite yesterday IMO. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with having my own belief system questioned. I think its a good idea to take what you believe and examine it every once in a while so I enjoyed our exchange. 🙂

  89. catarina, Said:

    “They are so clueless and out of touch.”

    But they sure know how to blame women and attempt to control them.

  90. Hi,

    I love this blog and have decided to post for the first time. My husband and I talk about religion alot and he posed a very interesting question: why is being a “believer” the status quo in the US? Knowledge grounded in science should be the default and not religion. I understand the reluctance by atheists to be more outspoken out of fear of becoming a church de-facto but the religious onslaught is suffocating.

  91. Pat
    sarah Palin never said that teh Iraq war was God’s will
    Wat she did say, is that “we should pray thatw e are doing god’s will in Iraq”
    different thing

  92. angie: Your aunt is a riot! That must have shut the priest and hubby up when she came out with that comment.

    My ex was a non Catholic and had no concerns one way or the other which made it easy for me in that regard. After 4 kids in 5 1/2 yrs by the age of 27 I decided to call it quits on the pro creation crapola. A hubby having to work two jobs to pay a mortgage, feed the family, heat the house, and all the other expenses involved, put a strain on our relationship which may or may not have ended the marriage. Who knows.

    But had I kept it up, being a Fertile Myrtle that I was, we could have ended up like that idiot in CA, having a kid every year to satisfy the Church. Baloney!

  93. miau: you get hammered when you’re an atheist by the proselytizing fantantic that feel its their duty to save you… and it gets fierce because they take it personally that you reject their views of the world … that’s why I stay in safe circles. I never try to question believers, so I certainly don’t expect them to bring me into their own personal spanish inquisition

  94. The priest story I loved was from my plumber.

    He said that in their premarital counseling the priest
    told the plumber (a guy), that the secret to a happy
    marriage (for him) was two words: Yes, dear.

    I loved the story and also the enlightened priest.
    Of course, the plumber had some trouble with it. He’s
    now divorced. (I think it was drug problems).

  95. dakinikat, on February 3rd, 2009 at 10:33 am Said:
    I’d like to stand in solidarity with RD on this so if she gets hammered, hammer me too. Here’s my take on pandering to iron age mythologies:
    ***********
    Bronze age mythologies?

  96. CWaltz: XXOO

  97. those too SHV

  98. although, I still kinda have a weakness for Athena as well as Sarwaswati

  99. Man does more harm in God”s name the he ever does good.
    Religion is used as an excuse for intolerance, murder, war,poverty, some refuse medical help in God’s name.
    I remember someone saying years ago religious countries are two class countries keeping most of the population in poverty and in low paying jobs with very little futures.

    I am going to ask a question that may seem silly. Does anyone notice that backtrack always seems to surround himself with young men. They are not old enough to have gained the wisdom needed to give good advise. Most 48 year old men do not have the same interests as middle twenties men. I am not saying that you should not have the ability to listen to younger people but to surround yourself with them is weird.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, EQUALISTS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  100. I gave Sarah a little slack because her son was heading over for Iraq. It’s hard as a parent to admit you are powerless over what is going to occur. We nurture for 18 years and all we can do is have “faith” that it isn’t wasn’t in vain.

    It’s hard to judge what Sarah would have done had she gotten into office in regards to her belief set. She was able to put it aside to treat same sex couples equitably so I think her record is a mixed bag.

  101. Off to the grocery store. I would hate to think for one minute that I was ever deliberately rude to anyone on this blog, or any other for that matter (with the exception of ABG and the like).

    Differences can be thrown out there and hopefully no one is abused as a result. I would die if for one moment I felt that I was hurting someone else’s feelings.

    What is offered here is mostly “food for thought” and it is very interesting to witness the differences and the commonalities that arise from these discussions.

  102. “Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment” is a book that looks at secular societies like Scandinavia and comparing them to religious societies, like the US.
    Here is a “snip” from the “Christianity Today” book review:

    “Their horizon of concern is too narrow. They were made for more. What does it profit a society if, as this book’s jacket notes, it gains “excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer,” but loses its soul? Can a country build strong social systems and keep its soul?”

    I love free health care, bike paths and great beer, maybe the fundies will exile me to Scandinavia.

  103. Any religion ( RC ) that flat out excommunicates any women or anyone that helps a woman attempting to become a priest ; which is what the pope did …. is not really going to be open to hearing about womens rights …
    I believe that the origins and tracing the development of modern catholic and christian ideas really helps dispel the “sacred shroud” surrounding so many of the declarations and imprimaturs of the churches along with other religious pomposities, and shrinks them down to their naked beginnings; and in so doing gives invaluable perspective to women., and helps fight institutionalised patriarchy.

    An extremely interesting book about womens rights , marriage and inheritance … is

    THE KNIGHT THE LADY AND THE PRIEST

    http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Lady-Priest-Marriage-Medieval/dp/0226167682

  104. i know SHV: i’m so motivated to learn norwegian and move there … denmark, sweden … healthy economies, incredibly high life styles … how can any one take issue with that?

  105. dakinikat, on February 3rd, 2009 at 11:20 am Said:

    i know SHV: i’m so motivated to learn norwegian and move there … denmark, sweden … healthy economies, incredibly high life styles … how can any one take issue with that?
    *********
    But..but..they really can’t be happy..THEY ARE ATHEISTS!!!!

  106. As a still recovering Catholic I am so glad you wrote this piece RD. I agree with every word you wrote.

    Religion is one of the weapons used by the patriarchy to keep women subservient. And no one does it better than the Patriarchy of the Catholic Church.

    I don’t care what other people believe. I like that our country was founded on religious freedom. Now that has been perverted to mean that we don’t have any freedom from religion.

    We need to insist long, loud and often that only those that believe in the Constitution, i.e. the separation of church and state, will get our time, money and vote. And we need to let them know. Now.

  107. laurie
    “le bigotte” is not in Italian 😛

  108. I support and have no disagreement with anything in the post RD. I believe some of the political issues with faith based initiatives deserve to be challenged. I also appreciate Heidi’s edification upthread. Someone last night posited that by virtue of the patriarchy (i read church) all men are natsis, real feminists the French resistance, and all other women, collaborators. I’m a lapsed Protestant myself, but if this site is primarily a referendum on the Catholic church, I sympathize, but that’s a narrow mandate for PUMA/TC. That’s unless one believes the Pope and his patriarchy are the origin of all evil and misogyny in the world. That too is a parochial worldview imo.

  109. SoD

    You have mail 🙂
    Hey everyone sending love and hugs
    I am off work today ..it is snowing here and I AM NOT CLEANING , and am overindulging in coffee woohoo and blissfully enjoyiing my new religion Conflucianism heeehhee

  110. Oh dakinikat I like Sarasvati too. And Parvati, who I like to picture as a snowboarder. 😀

    I was raised catholic but left the church shortly after being confirmed. There was a convergence of forces. I expected full membership and for the church to engage with me. We had a serious misogynist priest in charge of the youth group, who was later discovered to be buying alcohol and pot for the altar boys (my classmates). There was probably more to that scandal as well, but it was never divulged. The upshot was that it dawned on me that I absolutely had to withdraw my support, attention, participation, acquiescence and free work from such an organization.

    Events this past year within the democratic party have often reminded me of when I left the church. Being a freethinker suits me anyway.

    I think that spirituality has no need to control and has nothing to do with control, power, doctrine, subjugation, or any strip of earthly power or spoils.

  111. Congratulations New Hampshire. It’s a girl

    Report: Bonnie Newman (R-NH)To Replace Gregg In Senate.

  112. Um, that ought to be “any stripe of earthly power or spoils”

  113. Very courageous post, RD. I entirely agree.

    I was raised in a Catholic community and saw first hand the cold-hearted horror that community was willing to inflict on the women in their families in the name of religion.

    Just as an example, any local doctor who was willing to save a woman’s sanity and health, and possibly also her life, by removing her uterus was regarded as a friend by the women in this community. Mutilating her body and bringing on early menopause was the only way a woman could prevent being helplessly kept pregnant for most of her adult life. The teaching of the Catholic Church was then and is now that men have a right to rape their wives, so women were not even allowed to resist being made pregnant.

    It wasn’t a matter of the individual woman’s faith; the whole community enforced this by shame and ostracism. If a woman divorced her husband, she also divorced her family and her entire community. By the time a woman realized how inhuman the church’s teachings really were, chances were very good she already had several children to support. She faced the choice of raising those children, alone, in extreme poverty, with all the lasting damage that was likely to do, or staying married to the only type of wage earner paid enough to raise children.

    This kind of thing can only be done and considered harmless to those without a voice in their own government. Some religions have overcome their centuries of woman hatred and allowed women such a voice. The Episcopal, Jewish and many Protestant and Evangelical religions do. The ones the media have been pushing as the only authentic moral voices do not.

  114. kenoshaMarge, on February 3rd, 2009 at 11:23 am Said:

    Religion is one of the weapons used by the patriarchy to keep women subservient.
    ************
    Interesting thought….I have always considered religion and patriarchy independent but interconnected. Humans seem to be “wired” for religion. I can’t think of any evidence of any historical society that was without religion. But what evolutionary benefit does “religion” provide? If religion is a control mechanism of patriarchy…..hmmmm

  115. And I want to add that, imo, spirituality is a font of inspiration and may inspire aspiration to live better lives to higher ideals, to expand our vision to something more and better than just Hobbesian nasty, brutish and short grubbing about in Darwinian mud. Whereas organized religions, which at best are communities who can share appreciation for the spiritual, at worst actually are just big tyrants.

    Interesting news from NH, afrocity, thanks!

  116. “Recovering Catholic,” I feel like that too, kenoshaMarge. My mum converted to Catholicism when I was 8, so we kids went from not even a mention of church to living with a born-again type. Nightmare!

    Consequently, I’m raising my kids without any religious guidance. I’m an atheist and not afraid to say it, but it does seem to alarm others.

    The thing is, I have a secret fear that denying my kids religion will somehow make them turn into Bible-thumpers as soon as they leave home. I’m having visions of ending my days wheelchair bound in an old folks home and the kids wheeling me out to church once a week. Okay, I guess there is a Hell after all!!!

  117. afrocity, on February 3rd, 2009 at 11:28 am Said:

    Congratulations New Hampshire. It’s a girl

    Report: Bonnie Newman (R-NH)To Replace Gregg In Senate.
    ***************
    I guess she was announced before Gregg was confirmed and resigned as part of the deal not to change the seat to Dem.

  118. Sarasvati is one of my favorite Goddesses ,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saraswati
    A prayer to Her
    “May Goddess Saraswati, who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon, and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops; who is adorned in radiant white attire, on whose beautiful arm rests the veena, and whose throne is a white lotus; who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me. May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”
    Goddess of Truth and Wisdom

    A white swan is often located next to her feet. The sacred swan, if offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk alone. The swan thus symbolizes discrimination between the good and the bad or the eternal and the evanescent. Due to her association with the swan, Goddess Saraswati is also referred to as Hamsa-vahini, which means “she who has a swan as her vehicle”.

    The study of Goddesses make fantastic teaching vessels for children ….opens ideas and worlds unknown and repressed by modern religions .

  119. Religion is not the cause of the oppression of women although it sometimes is used to justify it.

    Men oppress women for one simple reason: we can. That is the sociological answer. The theological one (from a Christian perspective) is that we can and we’re bent towards a sin which expresses itself in dominance, not love.

    The much maligned teaching of st. Paul focuses far too much on the very brief instructions he gives towards wives (submit to your husbands) and far too little on the much longer instructions he gives to husbands (love your wives like Christ loved the church, etc.) What Paul said and taught was remarkably innovative since no one ever made it a religious principle that men had an obligation to love their wives, or even treat them as persons at all.

    Je-sus’ own teaching on divorce (basically don’t do it) was likewise remarkable since prior to that men divorced / abandoned their wives for any cause leaving them without means of support and socially stigmatized forever.

  120. Woohoo! We’re up to 18 now. I think I’m going to see what we can find out about our newest Senator.

  121. elder j i have to strongly disagree
    it doesnt matter what paul said to the husbands after he told the wives to submit .. and ultimately paul was greek and a misogynist and bringing his own social and cultural influences to bear on his own brand of religion so much so that some people call christianity from the time of his influence onward “paulism” …. and religions that teach misogyny and sexism and insist on it from their followers , men and women alike absolutely bear the responsibility for it .

  122. cwaltz: I think you have something there. I am not religious at all, but I totally respect people who are as long as they don’t tell me I am going to hell.

    When my son left for Iraq, I gave him my grammy’s cross, I wear the chain and he has the cross on his dog tags. I remember him saying something to the effect of it being a little archaic, but I told him it may not help, but it sure as heck wouldn’t hurt either. When your baby is going to a war zone, you do anything to keep them safe.

  123. SHV, I can only talk about what I felt and saw from within the Catholic Church. And religion definitely was the weapon used to keep us female critters subservient.

    Our subservience was mandated by the bible so how on earth does a girl child, struggling with herself as a person fight that? So you are told it’s you little female child vs. the word of God. God wins every time.

    Funny thing, to this day when I hear the word brainwashing the first thing I think of is the church. Can’t help myself. And I opted our nearly 40 years ago.

    By the way, the incident that sent me over the edge was when a friend of my mothers went to her priest after her drunken bum of a husband had beaten the crap out of her for the umpteenth time. The priest wanted to know “what she had done to make him so mad?” I’ve never been inside a church except for Weddings or Funerals since then. I won’t attend baptisms. More brainwashing to my mind.

  124. Amen Riverdaughter. I just discovered Maurice Nicoll, The New Man. Anyone who has found religion wanting, might find some answers in this book. Google books has limited viewing.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=vqI9AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0

  125. And for all you Conflucians who gave me strength and friendship when he left for the sandbox – He is doing fine over there. He gets his first leave in April and instead of coming home and making himself sick when he has to go back; he is taking a military hop to Italy and is doing a two-week mini european tour.

  126. Laurie, on February 3rd, 2009 at 10:48 am Said:
    twandx- And for the nay sayers, if women left all the churches they would all go to ruin – women are the workers, the driving force but seldom in leadership
    ——————————
    I think the Catholic Church in particular is working against its own interests when it refuses to allow women priests. It seems they’d rather close churches and lose parishioners that let go of their ancient prejudices. They ares so far off that they can’t even let priests be married which might partially solve much of the vocation problem.
    I am a disdaffected Catholic also, At one time, when I was a parochial school student, I wanted to be a priest. At no time did I ever consider being a nun. Even as a child, I noticed there was a difference!
    I am offended by people who come to my door with their arrogant idea that they can save me. I despise even having to listen to some minister giving invocations at public events. I remember feeling this like this way back in high school.
    However, in some ways, it is still difficult for me to throw off all of my Catholic upbringing, even though I resent the Church itself. Part of me is still devoted to the Blessed Mother, but maybe that’s my feministic side looking for a godess, Har! Har!
    I distrust Obama and anyone else who tries to tell me that I am less because men are more. At the moment I fear faith based initiatives as just another way to move money into Obama’s neighborhood, people control operations. The expansion of such, with ACORN thrown in to boot, is scary.
    What else is scary is the spread of Islam in many parts of the world. I don’t know how to put this in any politically correct manner, but Sharia courts, honor killings, cruelty and shameful acts against women should not be allowed to grow in this country. Obama, with his New World Order meme (if that is the word)is not going to be doing anything to stop the growth of Islasm

  127. as for me … I am a live and let live person, if whatever you do , think, or believe ,brings you peace in your heart and lights your life , then I am happy for you .. but do not preach to me or condescend to tell me what I believe and brings peace to my heart is not sufficient for any cause or for what ever reason shove your religion at me … or infuse my civil government with your religion, whether out of good intentions or ignorance . I dont go to “church” .. the whole world and existence is my church . I never leave …..

    check this really cool bathmat … I so want one LOL

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4424781/Mat-made-of-moss-stays-alive-with-the-help-of-bath-water.html

  128. “if your so concerned with my husband not being denied, then you have sex with him & walked out.”

    Hahahahahaha!

  129. SoD I sent it let me try again or just try the feedback thingy at the station or swannieATcygnusradio.com

  130. swanspirit – Paul was not greek; he was jewish. and it matters a great deal what he said to both wives and husbands. context matters as does content.

    for all the vaunted “civilization” of the greco-roman world into which christianity was first cast, it was culturally horribly misogynist. women had no rights whatsoever. the radical approach of christianity was that men & women were accepted on an equal basis before G-d as were people of any culture. the prayer of the jewish man (thank G-d you didn’t make me a woman or a dog i.e. gentile) was out the window. men were told that failure to treat their wives with respect would mean that their prayers would be hindered.
    women were told that their husbands could no longer abandon them just because she burned the dinner. suddenly what had been a definite brutalizing dominance of the patriarchal household became a place of mutual obligation.

    absolutely it matters what he said — the totality of it.

    just like je-sus, who said much more about money and about hell than most people care to think about. everyone likes the meek & mild jesus; the “pluck your eye out of your head” jesus, not so much

  131. Laurie, on February 3rd, 2009 at 10:48 am Said:
    twandx- And for the nay sayers, if women left all the churches they would all go to ruin – women are the workers, the driving force but seldom in leadership
    ——————————
    I think the Catholic Church in particular is working against its own interests when it refuses to allow women priests. It seems they’d rather close churches and lose parishioners that let go of their ancient prejudices. They ares so far off that they can’t even let priests be married which might partially solve much of the vocation problem.
    I am a disdaffected Catholic also, At one time, when I was a parochial school student, I wanted to be a priest. At no time did I ever consider being a nun. Even as a child, I noticed there was a difference!
    I am offended by people who come to my door with their arrogant idea that they can save me. I despise even having to listen to some minister giving invocations at public events. I remember feeling this like this way back in high school.
    However, in some ways, it is still difficult for me to throw off all of my Catholic upbringing, even though I resent the Church itself. Part of me is still devoted to the Blessed Mother, but maybe that’s my feministic side looking for a godess, Har! Har!
    I distrust Obama and anyone else who tries to tell me that I am less because men are more. At the moment I fear faith based initiatives as just another way to move money into Obama’s neighborhood, people control operations. The expansion of such, with ACORN thrown in to boot, is scary.
    What else is scary is the spread of Islam in many parts of the world. I don’t know how to put this in any politically correct manner, but Sharia courts, honor killings, cruelty and shameful acts against women should not be allowed to grow in this country. Obama, with his New World Order meme (if that is the word)is not going to be doing anything to stop the growth of Islam. In fact he told us he plans to stand with them.

  132. PJ31: My mother’s family was/is Irish Catholic. One of her uncles, a jesuit, ventured a guess that veneration of the BVM was the church’s was of making inroads with the pagan celts. He had a bunch of analagous deities:saints; e.g. Brownwen=Bridgit, etc.

  133. Many females have had bad experiences with religion. Many with the Catholic Church.
    I remember a priest refusing my mother the last rites because she was divorced.
    The foster care system definitely makes non believers in the goodness of man.
    When I had a hysterectomy the priest wanted to know if I had it for birth control purposes. Since I was sick as a dog and not in the mood to put up with foolishness I told him no but when I had my tubes cut and tied I did.
    That the church did not care if i was a prostitute on the corner as long as I could pay the fee for my kids to go to catholic school. When he left I am not sure if he was saying God bless me or God damn me.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS , EQUALISTS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  134. ok… i’m going away for a while, lest i cause offense

  135. Off topic- Our newest Senator

    http://www.unh.edu/president/jbonnienewman/bio.htm

    She seems pretty accomplished. She endorsed someone from a different party affiliation for governor when she felt it was in the best interest of the state. Seems like an outstanding pick.

    Congrats NH

  136. Good point, soopermouse, re Palin’s real words.

    And to prove how easy it is to propogandize by lying,
    I remember when that lie was spread, and then later hearing
    her real words, via the direct quote, which was quite
    different. And when Pat mentioned the other line today
    I’d already forgotten.

    And definitely not to imply that it was your lie, Pat, I know
    it wasn’t. And I agree with everything you’ve written here
    today, including sharing doubts about Palin’s views.
    But you must have read the distorted quote, too, and
    without hearing her real words, believed what you read in
    some supposedly credible source, funded by Obama.

    It’s all so insidious, so dangerous. It’s not possible to
    check out every single source. It’s how they continue to
    fool us, and the rest of the country.

  137. My personal religion consists solely of Separation of Church And State Without Exception. Tom Jefferson would’ve backed me up on this one, for sure.

  138. The Catholic bashing is getting a little tiresome for me. You can all congratulate yourselves for managing to “escape” that “horrible organization” that also happens to be the largest charity in the world. You can discount everything that I do for my community through my church b/c I’m just an enabler of patriarchy, esp. since I am actually a weekly Mass attender and I actually converted to Catholicism and chose to be a part of the Church.

    For the record, my experience has been nothing even remotely similar to your experiences with the church. I was raised Mennonite. I saw more patriarchy in the Mennonite church than I have ever seen in the Catholic Church. My parish has 4 openly gay men on the Parish Council, which also includes women. You ever seen a gay Mennonite? No, you haven’t and you never will. You can be gay or Mennonite. Not both.

    At my church, we have lively debate and discussion about all of the issues you raise, esp. regarding the role of Paul and of men in roles of authority in the Church. Its not like we are all forced to be there, so blinded by our faith that we don’t question or disagree with the Church’s positions.

    Have you seen the size of a Catholic family lately? Do you think the Catholics aren’t having sex? Aren’t using birth control? Aren’t exercising responsible family planning? What, you think they are all getting hysterectomies clandestinely? Why do I talk to my priest freely and openly about alternative reproductive therapies, without him condemning me to hell.

    All you do is talk about how it “used” to be and how glad you are that you left and you have no idea what its like now, except for when you get your hate on when the Pope makes a statement you don’t like. And how fabulously advanced you are for rejecting organized religion and becoming atheists so you can have some feminist cred.

    You don’t give anyone who is actively religious any credit for having a brain, and you take away all of the good they do by telling them (me) it doesn’t count.

  139. elderj , nothing paul said matters the least to me 😉
    because I live in this century ;
    and you are absolutely correst in saying that he was a product of and influenced by his time ..
    but being a jew does not preclude him from being greek .. or a roman citizen… which he also was …

  140. New Hampshire is our “poster state” for 51Percent:

    http://www.eagletribune.com/punewsnh/local_story_311085137.html

    Published: November 06, 2008
    N.H. first state with female majority in Senate
    By Terry Date
    tdate@eagletribune.com

    New Hampshire women made history Tuesday, too.

    For the first time in U.S. history, they make up a majority of the state Senate.

    Three more women were propelled to seats in the 24-member state Senate in voting Tuesday, boosting their numbers from 10 to 13.

  141. hey, are you me?…only more clever?

  142. ((((elderj)))))

    I hope this isn’t too difficult for you. I recognize that faith plays an important part in peoples lives and I hope that we aren’t offending you by challenging your belief set.

    I think there is both good and bad in religion and just about anything man touches. My biggest problem with Paul’s words are they attributed to God. Paul wasn’t God. Paul may have had the best of intentions but what he said has been twisted on down the centuries to place women in the role of subservient and submissive. It shouldbe pretty apparent why many of us would resent that when OUR belief system is that men and women are equals.

  143. President Precious is the democratic Dubya in many ways, his half pandering to the religious conservative and half belief in himself as chosen by God is creepily familiar.

  144. TheRealKim, on February 3rd, 2009 at 9:24 am Said:
    Oh, Bobby Sherman, so my idol in 4th grade. I was going to have his babies.
    ————————————————–

    You knew about having babies in 4th grade! Wow.

  145. SoD Got it !!Thanks ……….

    My daughter is a practising catholic and sends her children to parochial school ,
    I dont “hate ” anyones religion but I absolutely reserve the right to call any institution on interfering with government and the welfare of women , or the abuse of children , and to tell the truth about their history . If all any of them did was to reserve their actions to the good works they do , we would not be having this discussion….but they insistn on having power and control , and money ..
    MY TAX DOLLARS are going to someones CHURCH and that is against the LAW …

  146. purplefinn, on February 3rd, 2009 at 12:17 pm Said:
    New Hampshire is our “poster state” for 51Percent:

    http://www.eagletribune.com/punewsnh/local_story_311085137.html

    Published: November 06, 2008
    N.H. first state with female majority in Senate
    By Terry Date
    tdate@eagletribune.com

    New Hampshire women made history Tuesday, too.

    For the first time in U.S. history, they make up a majority of the state Senate.

    Three more women were propelled to seats in the 24-member state Senate in voting Tuesday, boosting their numbers from 10 to 13.
    ——————————————————
    Guess we’ll have to try harder, 49 more to go. Maybe I’ll move there.
    It’s time to shout this out to everyone.

  147. Yes, RD!!

    Get religiosity OUT of of our government, OUT of any government.

    F**k the church, the mosque, the temple and any other group of men who dares to tell me how to be. How many bloody years, centuries do we need to put up with this spiritual meddling and societal control?

    Thank you all for your rational, clear-headed commentary. At least I know some are paying attention and are not hypnotized by the creepy hope/change
    delusion.

    Now back to lurking

    on the prowl,
    Madazhel

  148. That is fantastic news about New Hampshire !!!! thank you so much for sharing …..

  149. swanspirit for prez!

  150. chatblu, on February 3rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm Said:

    PJ31: My mother’s family was/is Irish Catholic. One of her uncles, a jesuit, ventured a guess that veneration of the BVM was the church’s was of making inroads with the pagan celts.
    ***************
    By tradition, Mary moved to Ephesus where she eventually died. Ephesus is where the temple of Artemis is located, Mary replaced Artemis (Diana) in the Pantheon. Early Christianity didn’t replace Greco/Roman religion, it co-opted it.

  151. Your hard earned tax dollars will be going to churches in the “faith based and neighborhood programs” that do not share your belief system , that promote birth control and view abortion as legal .. including muslim churches too because I am sure we will be sharing ……..”equally” thank about that ……..

  152. Paul wrote some of the most beautiful passages in the bible however he is a man not God and he has been wildly misinterpreted over the centuries by men.

    PS… I am not Catholic and from living in NE PA, I find that the RCC has intentionally made people ignorant about science that is what bothers me the most.

  153. Micki@12:11p
    I am glad for you that you find comfort in the Catholic Church.
    For me it was pure hell. I saw the worse of many so-called good Catholics including the priests and nuns.
    They taught one thing and practiced another.
    I will not belittle the things that you do for the church, but please try to understand what many of us went through in the name of religion.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, EQUALISTS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  154. roflmao Hahaha bwaaahhhaa caterina …

  155. swan
    I was not kidding-I’d campaign my butt off for ya!
    you’d uphold the constitution and we’d have great tunes, too..

  156. well if we can have the music too that would be ok … I wouldnt mind being secretary of independent music in a Hillary Administration …. 😉 I am so flattered woohoo women in office and good music too

  157. SHV & dak — my first husband was from Oslo, Norway (great guy we were just too young when we married). They aren’t exactly very religious there, but they aren’t atheists either — they are Luthern.
    And Norway is unbelievably beautiful but it doesn’t get above 70 in the middle of summer.
    Food’s no great shakes either.

  158. bbl I have to eat .. all this coffee is making me type funny 😉

    hey any excuse will do

  159. ((((Micki)))) Sounds like you know how to separate the good (or God) part of the church from the bad (or “man’s rules”) part of the church like I do — and like my mommy taught me. Like I said, I don’t care how superior intellectually anyone feels to me because I’m a church goer (although, I admit, not every week lol). So what? I know I’m right! 😉

  160. Micki

    I would never imply someone didn’t have a brain because I disagree with them or their belief set.

    As I said to elderj I recognize faith as a source of hope and optimism even as I recognize organized religion as a mixed bag.

    Angie pointed out in another thread that there are various branches of Catholicism and that the Greek Orthodox she is a part of believed in birth control and accepted alternative lifestyles as not being a sin. I think alot of Catholicism is judged by what comes out of Rome.

    I don’t think people and I know that I don’t have a problem with faith. My problem lies instead with the mixing of a belief set that is unproven(which is what faith is)with government. It is completely unfair for religious groups to tell people who God thinks it is acceptable for them to love, when they should and shouldn’t have children, when they should or shouldn’t end relationships, who should and shouldn’t be subservient and the idea that these groups will be funded to spread their belief system with tax dollars is abherrant.

  161. I know, Angie, but I get really upset about it b/c we go through the Catholic bashing all the time, whenever abortion is discussed or who women are abused and oppressed and that is just not my experience with the church. I love my church and I love the people there and I will defend myself and them.

    And I could tell you wonderful stories about the Mennonites and the Amish. Everyone shoots the biggest target and feels wonderful about themselves, but the stuff under the radar is even more insidious and indicative of pure religion applied in a closed setting, and the way it can be manipulated b/c no woman can ever even question it.

    At least in the Catholic church, I have a voice, no matter what anyone around here thinks. At least the Catholic church is constantly pressured to change its positions on things and there is a constant dialogue–and there is–about where the church is going and what it wants to stand for. None of that is discussed in certain religions, religions that contribute nothing to the world. The Catholic church gave assistance to over 7 million people in 2005, and I’m sure the number for 2008 was even higher than that. Catholic hospitals treated 87.5 million people in 2005. Catholic schools are often the most affordable private options in this country. I’m sick of being writing it off b/c of the abortion issue and some idiots applying a Victorian model of social welfare way longer than they should have.

  162. i don’t feel superior intellectually to any churchgoer angienc any more than I feel intellectually superior to some one who needs diabetes medicine … it’s just that the person with diabetes doesn’t try to give it to me, take away things I own, or persecute me

    everyone has things they need to get them through their life–medicines or gods, no difference to me

  163. I am Catholic and I agree with you. But generally speaking I think it is good to leave the established religions to men as it seems to satisfy their need for power (remember they can’t create life like God and women) and it keeps them busy. But we do need to offer a solid spiritual alternative to folks. Just like we need to offer a real definition of sex to counter men’s porno definition and we need to offer a real women’s media to counter the corporate men’s definition of “women’s media content” I don’t know when we are going to find time to do all this but when we stop trying to reform the corrupt institutions men create we should have a lot of time freed up to create true institutions.

  164. ot: Tom Daschle asks President Obama to withdraw his nomination for health and human services secretary.

  165. And, for the record, I don’t believe in Faith Based Initiatives and I strongly believe in Separation of Church and State and why I’m pro-choice.

    I’m simply articulating a position in response to the notion that good works toady do not matter, or may be discounted or rendered meaningless, b/c the church has such an enormous social debt to pay. Even accepting that this position is true, it doesn’t change the fact that the Church does legitimate good in the world. And that I’m a better person and that I do more good b/c of the opportunities afforded to me by my parish.

  166. I’m sorry, Dak. What did the church take away from you that you own? And when were you persecuted — legitimately persecuted — for being an atheist?

  167. Micki, on February 3rd, 2009 at 12:11 pm Said:
    ———————————–
    Micki,
    I, for one, do not tell anyone what to believe or believe in.
    I’ve seen studies that say that religious people are happier, and although I may think that is partially “opiate of the people”, I truly wish I had me that . As I said above, I still have some religious leanings but I resent the Establishment , one that prevents me from being equal and tells me how to manage my life/marriage/children.
    Even more so, I resent my government using religion to gain more power and using my money to keep me in line with whatever it is they are trying to foist upon me.

  168. dakinikat, on February 3rd, 2009 at 1:02 pm Said:

    ot: Tom Daschle………

    **********
    “sigh of relief”

  169. I can’t believe BO gave up on Dascle. There’s a minor miracle. That’s two withdrawals today.

  170. Daschle, that is

  171. I hope this isn’t too difficult for you. I recognize that faith plays an important part in peoples lives and I hope that we aren’t offending you by challenging your belief set.

    I am not easily offended, though I agree with Micki that “the church” and “institutional religion” gets blamed for a lot of stuff that just doesn’t need to be laid at its feet.

    Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto & Confucian societies / cultures are far more oppressive of women than Christianity ever has been and yet do not receive nearly the critique.

    The socialist dictatorship of Lenin & Stalin was far more egalitarian than the Russian autocracy that preceded it.

    It is not Islam that is to be credited with eliminating concubinage or polygamy as standard ways of treating women.

    It is fair to discuss our concerns about public policy, or even to critique the actions of religious people or even religious dogmas. What isn’t right is to re-write and to distort history in order to paint a picture of nothing overweening brutalizing non-stop misogyny and oppression.

  172. Micki: when I ran for office as a pro-choice candidate … you wouldn’t believe what happened to me, and most of it came from the pulpits of baptist, nondenominational evangelical and catholic churches .. they stalked my children and would call me nightly with where they were, leave messages on the my answering machine that the cops couldn’t trace … I had property destroyed, i had catholic priests speak out against me in the pulpit that wouldn’t even meet with me to discuss issues that we could agree on …

    you have know idea what the 2 months of hell i went through when a catholic antichoice woman and her cronies stirred up the churches against me

    i had neighbors that I knew for YEARS as a kid, that wouldn’t talk to me as a result, I was scared of coming out of my house for all the death threats i got from christians and catholics … I had folks slam the door in my face saying we know what SHE represents, when it was in fact me that was the she … they didn’t even recognize me,

    I also have seen in NEPAL the results of missionaries, etc. what they do and what they tell the flocks to get money are two different things, also, i have friends that suffered sexual abuse at the hands of priests that were protected by the catholic church…ever hear of the Magadalen Laundries and our sisters of charity?

    hardly good work that!

  173. Micki: i have a huge list for you waiting in moderation … believe me … i have a HUGE list

  174. “I’m sorry, Dak. What did the church take away from you that you own? ”

    Micki, I can answer that:

    My body, for one. When I go to a public hospital the Catholic Church has taken over, that hospital will refuse me services to which I am legally entitled, specifically because they interfere with the doctrine formulated by the men of the Catholic Church. In many communities, and disproportionately for women who do not have access to an adequate income, the Catholic hospital is the only one there is. When the men who govern the Catholic Church are legally allowed to force my body into doing their will rather than mine, they own it more than I do. The same goes for the pharmacist who refuses me Plan B or contraception based on his religion. The same also goes for the forced childbearing recently enacted into law by the five-man Catholic majority on the Supreme Court.

    And what other bigotry than that against women is excused by what good a religion might do for anyone else? Religions that once used this excuse for racism have since recanted and apologized. I’ve heard the “other good” excuse for the sexism of the Mormon as well as the Catholic religion, incidentally, and from a woman who was outspoken against racism all her life. She somehow had no problem supporting the pressure on the Mormon religion to end their doctrinal racism, which they did a couple of decades ago, but fiercely defended sexist religions for the good she claimed they did, which was in any case mostly cleaning up after the damage caused by forced pregnancies and enforced female poverty.

    That woman’s view of herself as an autonomous human being was inextricably tied to denying that women were in any way limited, a view that made her anti-racism ultimately patronizing. It is much more difficult to fight an overwhelming injustice when you must admit it probably limits your own life.

    I loved Thurgood Marshall’s exacting justice once he was in a position to do so from the University of Maryland, which had denied him admission to its law school on the basis of race. For that he had to admit he had suffered from racism, even with his middle class upbringing But then he never exempted himself from the injustice his race suffered because of his own relative distance from the worst of it.

  175. Yes. Considering the state religion is in, thanks to many men’s manipulation of it, we would be well to have it out of politics.
    Sad thing is, seems Jesus actually had it right. That is, the real Jesus. After much research, I have come to believe that Jesus was actually the Davidic Priest-King. Mary Magdalene was his Queen, and together they fulfilled the masculine-feminine nature of God. For hundreds of years, the true Holy Grail, the Bloodline, led Europe. And that was the way it was supposed to be.
    Unfortunately, men who were totally unrelated to the Holy Family co-opted the Church. And the Divine Feminine was removed from the whole idea of religion.
    HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL got a few minor facts wrong, but it is mostly correct. Check out Sambloodroyal.com
    When humankind gets the Divine Feminine back, we will all have better lives.

  176. Thanks for your excellent post on this important issue. It’s much appreciated. And look at all the enlightening comments it has precipitated.

  177. and what Vtrucs said, my last pregnancy nearly killed me … i worked hard to ensure I wouldn’t have that child or any pregnancy care NEAR a catholic hospital because i knew my personal body, my personal decisions would be overridden by some male-invented doctrine back in the 3rd century that’s been perpetuated from the dark ages forward … any woman with a working uterus that steps NEAR a catholic hospital should fear for her life, imho. and now they’ve got pharmacists in the act …

    my daughter had a nurse refuse to even witness her put an iud in for a middle aged mother of 4 kids …
    she also so a resident refuse to clean up the residuals of an abortion that would’ve killed the patient had they not be removed …

    THIS is the result of a patriarchal religion with the need to control women and children as property

  178. I’m in complete agreement. No Office of Faith-based Initiatives; churches get enough help because they don’t have to pay taxes, and like hospitals which are increasingly for profit, we have to wonder why both are still allowed this special privilege of not paying property taxes.

    But since the Office was already formed, and the fact that it is seen as a much greater insult to remove it because it is now a govt entity, let’s just form our own religion to get some of them dollars. How about calling ourselves FEMINIST THEOLOGISTS.

  179. Since most religions have God creating humans you would think that men would show more respect to God’s creation woman. Clearly women are one of Gods favorite creations since he makes more of us than he makes men. You would think it would scare the hell out of religious men that they are going to be meeting God someday and they are going to have to answer for their treatment of women within the religious institutions men created. They better be damn sure of the female inferiority they preach.

  180. A little late as usual, but one needs have a life outside the blog.

    I would love to write on this subject at length—for I must claim that I am a “church lady” (though currently abstaining) and it is my belief that the Absolute, god, goddess, (your choice) is quite as alarmed with institutionalized religion and has been trying to disband it for years. Fundamentalism in any faith can easily be co-opted into fanaticism, as we see daily.

  181. What scares me is when religions are put above criticism. Either socially, as they are here, or by law as in Malaysia, France and now even Singapore.

    But the social taboo is just a strong. Outside of a very few countries, religion, like politics, is a choice. And to ban criticism, even by cultural norms, is to allow one choice of belief to run utterly unchecked. How many of you would publicly criticize a major religion in your home town or in a way an employer might recognize? Could anyone who had done so get elected to office?

    There should be no difference in how religious and political opinions are treated — otherwise you can hide any hideous political belief under the guise of religion.

  182. I am an ex-Catholic and now I am a Pagan and a Witch — I say this proudly — But that’s my personal belief and don’t believe that it’s anyone business nor is it my business what their religion is.

    I believe in a complete separation between church and state, and invocations at government events are not something I want to see even if a member of my religion is represented.

    The notion that faith based programs can do something better than the government because they are more far reaching that the government is bullshit. Pure and simple. The director of the program has already stated who they would give money to, and there are certainly no pagan, wiccan groups on that list, the majority of the money is going to Christian groups. Sorry but that to me is supporting a state religion. Sorry again, I don’t believe that a Christian group isn’t going to try to convert a non-believer — I have been apart of those groups in my younger life, and they all started with an invite to a bible reading or a religious get together. It happens and the Obama administration is blinded by his own rise to power in the church community of Chicago. IMHO these prgrams are pay back to the church community for their support.

    So no, I am not happy about this.

  183. Putting the blame on the Catholic Church is a red herring. The Philippines is a country so steeped in the religion that the experience would probably blow you away. But the country has had two women presidents, including the current one. Women have central roles in both family and government. There are probably other examples out there. It’s not the church, it’s the society. To put your efforts into bashing the Catholic Church would be a waste.

  184. Those students of women’s history in the U.S. know that Elizabeth Cady Stanton re-wrote the Christian Bible and marked out all the portions that discriminated against women (written by men, of course). I cherish my copy of that book.

    We need to start a strong campaign against the White House allowing anything called “faith based” – we are not a theocracy (yet, anyway) and have the right to yell loudly about that. Let’s get started.

  185. Dak: Yes, yes, yes. We all know how much you hate the horrible, satanic Catholic church. Its your m.o. You call embryos and fetuses protohumans. You put up posts on the Magdalen laundries. You have an obvious agenda to annihilate the Catholic church.

    But, guess what, Dak? Its not going away and neither am I.

    So, you can gouge away as the Pixies sing.

    gouge away
    you can gouge away
    stay all day
    if you want to

    But you CAN’T BEAT MY RELIGION OUT OF ME. And you will NOT make ME responsible for YOUR hardship because I BELONG TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. I am not guilty by association. I am not an instrument in your oppression or your bad life experiences.

    And what I do for the greater good matters, even if I do it for the glory of God the Father.

  186. If you don’t like the fact that women are not part of the leadership of the church – don’t become a catholic.

    I happen to love my Catholic Faith and my relationship with God is bigger than it’s structure.

  187. To “commentator formerly known as elderj” –(In case you come back) It’s another day and I had time to read more of these comments, and was struck by your commentary on Paul. I have always felt that the part about “Husbands love your wives even as Christ loves the church” was overlooked. To me it was impossible, so I took that as my reason not “to submit to my husband.” (chuckle) I love that you show the change it made to the community of that day so the rest of us can see how radical these ideas were. I’m impressed with your knowledge and your reasoning.

  188. Micki
    delurking because I was taken aback by your comment.
    I’ve been lurking here since the site started. I’ve seen commenters come and go for various reasons.
    One thing I have always seen here is an internal unspoken or unwritten agreement to allow everyone to have their own opinion within reason, meaning that one does not personally attack another commenter for their comments or positions.
    There are many people of the Catholic faith who comment on this site, as I’ve learned over the past year. You are the only one that has attacked Dakinikat in a personal way. Why is that? I would suggest that you step back and calm down. Many of the commenters have had very personal, very troubling experiences with religion. I’m glad that your religious experiences have been solid and that you are comfortable with your beliefs, but didn’t the bible say something about turning the other cheek?
    I don’t always agree with what everyone says, but I certainly don’t delurk to attack them, and you are a semi regular commenter so your attack was very eyepopping. Step back, calm down, and wasn’t the basic reason for the separation of church and state position to avoid just this situation?

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