In ‚ÄúOn Faith: A Conversation on Religion and Politics with Sally Quinn,‚ÄĚ a forum that currently runs in The Washington Post
, a highly provocative opinion piece came out last April 13 about the role of religion in gender discrimination. The article, ‚ÄúReligion lies about women,‚ÄĚ was contributed by Paula Kirby, a Scotland-based former Christian who is a now a freethinker serving as a consultant to secular organizations.
Kirby contends that the ruthless discrimination against women in many of the world‚Äôs societies is largely due to the age-old dogma of Christianity, Islam, and other major religions that women are inferior in the eyes of God. She says that organized religion‚Äôs attitude to the respective positions of man and woman is captured in a nutshell by this invocation in Ephesians 5, which is attributed to St Paul: ‚ÄúWives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.‚ÄĚ Because of this strongly lopsided invocation, Kirby argues, ‚ÄúAll is not well with the world, and only the deluded or the disingenuous could claim to see equality where there is only subservience.‚ÄĚ
She observes that that the Abrahamic religions in particular fear female sexuality so much that they go to extraordinary and sometimes brutal lengths to control, constrain, and repress women in every way, like slicing off the clitoris of a young girl to ensure she can never experience sexual pleasure, cloaking women from head to toe to severely curtail their experience of the outside world, and forbidding abortion even when pregnancy puts the mother‚Äôs life at risk or even if the woman has been raped and is carrying the child of the rapist. These, she says, are stark manifestations of ‚Äúthe lunacy of a Bronze Age mindset fossilized by the reactionary forces of religion.‚ÄĚRead Paula Kirby‚Äôs ‚ÄúReligion lies about women‚ÄĚ in The Washington Post now!