Christianity and the Role of the Female

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by wellwisher, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Christianity is unique among the modern religions, because of the major role position of women. Mary, the Mother of Jesus was the bride of God. The first person who sees Jesus, when he rises for his rebirth, was another Mary, Mary Magdalene. This departs from the old Testament where the female is suspect due to Eve, and the role of the female is more subservient.

    In Genesis, Adam appears first and then Eve forms from his rib. With Jesus, Mary is first and Jesus forms from her biology. Mary Magdalene begins like Eve or as a temple priestess; knowledge of good and evil. She leaves that life for an uncertain life based on love and faith. The slate is Eve was made clean through the mirror of the two Mary's. After that the female gets a better role.
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  3. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    I think that's pretty much the end of gender equality in Christianity. There are definitely some cults of Christianity that view women in a more equitable position -some even allow female priests, chaplains, and other cult leader positions.

    But the larger percentage of Christian population fall into cults that still see a subservient, submissive, or otherwise oppressed role for women:

    1 Timothy 2:12 (NIV)
    I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet.

    Ephesians 5:22-24
    Wives, 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.

    Leviticus Chapter 12:2
    A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period.

    Exodus 22:18
    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live

    These and other passages in the bible have made it exceedingly difficult for women to advance and find equality in the past 2,000 years in Western society. Make no mistake, these passages and others like them are directly to blame. The practice of wife-beating was allowed under English Common Law during the period in which Christianity was at it's peak -husbands who beat the shit out of their wives were exempted from prosecution. Around the same time and shortly after English Common Law was established and being followed, witch hunts began.

    On 7-Dec-1484, Pope Innocent VIII put into motion the Summis Desiderantes, a bull decree by the Pope himself which prefaced Heinrich Kramer's Malleus Maleficarum and, together, the two may have been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000-60,000 people in the Middle Ages. 75-80% of them women accused of being witches.

    Female participation in Christian church leadership is only a recent advance of the 20th century. And many, if not the majority, of the various cults of Christianity still severely limit the role of women within the church.

    And today, women's health is constantly under attack by Christian cults that somehow think being anti-abortion is the same as being pro-life (they couldn't be more wrong). These same Christians not only want to interfere with a woman's right to choose her fate post-pregnancy, they also seek to affect that right pre-pregnancy through active campaigns to limit contraceptive use, spreading harmful disinformation about contraceptives and sex, and obstructing efforts to educate the public in these areas.

    Women, most assuredly, play a major role in Christianity. It's the role of oppression.
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  5. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense. Women are the ones who keep most churches afloat. Without them, many husbands and children would not attend, so maybe Christianity offers them something they desire. Most likely an assertive leadership rather than oppression.
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  7. arauca Banned Banned


    I agree women are the dynamic force in the churches and the upbringing of the society.
  8. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Women seem to have a major role among lay churchgoers. However most sects, particularly Catholics, have little room for women in the ministery.
  9. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    Care to back these claims up with statistical data? Particularly the claim that they coerce males to attend? I'd like to see what data exist to support the notion that women in particular "keep most churches afloat." And I don't mean that desire in a condescending way. I'm genuinely interested.

    That aside, oppression is still possible with the consent of the oppressed. Female genital mutilation in some developing nations has for generations been a form of oppression against females that has the consent of the gender in general. This is but one example, but I chose one outside of western, Christian culture as an example that still demonstrates that oppression need not be opposed by the oppressed. This is because of cultural and social pressures to conform which are greater than the instinct to deviate from the norm.

    In recent news, the Bristol University Christian Union came under fire for refusing to let women speak at their public events unless they were accompanied by their husbands. And the Church of England voted against allowing women to become bishops. The Christian Union eventually changed their decision after pressure from secular protests and reasoned arguments of discrimintaiton, but this shows just the value that women have to Christianity. Their roles are bought into by the women within the culture.

    I don't deny that there are special women mentioned in Christian mythology. I also admit that women are likewise made second class in other religions as well (Islam for instance).
  10. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I will have to assume you have never been to a Christian church to need statistics, but they are readily available.
    Just as younger people are under-represented in the life of the churches, so too are men. Only 39% of attenders are male.

    The gender imbalance can partly be attributed to the fact that some churches have an older age profile and women on average live longer than men. However, although differing life expectancies do play a part, they are not the only reason for the gender skew. In every denomination, in every age grouping, women outnumber men.

    Alas, the only evidence of women coercing (not my word) husbands to attend is anecdotal, although readily available. Just google "get husband to go to church". Again, if you ever attended a church these would probably be quite apparent.

    True enough, but it is also well-known that women prefer assertive men, and that nature could easily contribute to their prevalence in an environment that is assertive in the face of any opposition.
  11. arauca Banned Banned


    You have chosen a very bad example " England " for comparison . England is falling apart as a society to take example . Look into Latin America, USA the influence in the church
  12. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    I can't be blamed for your bigotry, arauca. I chose a singular example. How many examples from what geographical location would suffice in you agreeing with my statements?
  13. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    Syne, wellwisher, arauca, since you are clearly attempting to promote your particular cult (Christianity), would you please respond to the relevant points made by SkinWalker? In particular, I would appreciate your thoughts on the biblical passages he quoted.

    Thanks. Look forward to reading your explanations for this apparent conflict.
  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Mary didn't have much of a role in the early church. She was in fact a public relations ploy. She is identical to Isis in her symbolism.

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  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    • Eve: God, it's a little dull down here.
    • God: How can that be? I created this planet in preparation for your grand entrance. It's full of interesting plants, animals and geological features, and exciting things happen all the time, such as rain, snow, sunrise, sunset, rain, snow, sunrise, sunset...
    • Eve: [Interrupting] Well don't get me wrong, Your Infinite Loftiness. I'm not ungrateful for all this. But still, there's something missing. Life could be more fun.
    • God: "Fun," an interesting concept. You're full of surprises. Go on.
    • Eve: Well, Your Holiness, you've been really busy with all this creation, so perhaps you haven't noticed that I am the only creature like me.
    • God: I see. Yes, you're right.
    • Eve: Indeed. Now mind you, Your Infiniteness, I'm quite happy with what you've provided for me. That little talking snake, in particular, is just adorable. But I see that there are quite a few birds, a lot of trees, more rocks than I can count, and (if you'll pardon my saying so) a really, really, in fact an almost unnecessarily large number of insects. But I am the only... well, the only "me."
    • God: Good... well, Good Me. You're right. I've been thinking about that and obviously it's time to do something about it.
    • Eve: [holds her breath in anticipation, trying not to blow the deal]
    • God: Yes, I believe it's time to create another one of you. Well not exactly a duplicate, mind you...
    • Eve: [exhaling] What a clever idea! You really are the most wonderful deity in the universe. Oh wait, that's probably because you're the only deity... oh I'd just better shut up now.
    • God: [not really paying attention] Yes, I think I'll create a man.
    • Eve: What is a "man," your exquisiteness?
    • God: A man is a lot like you, but also not like you at all.
    • Eve: That's really helpful.
    • God: What was that?
    • Eve: [louder this time] I said you're so helpful that I am prostrate with gratitude.
    • God: Ah yes. As I was saying, this "man" will look superficially like you, but with a lot of differences. He will be less patient, more arrogant, inclined to violence, ungrateful, selfish... and not altogether too bad in the sack.
    • Eve: Gosh, your wonderfulness, I'm overcome with gratitude. By the way, what exactly is a "sack"?
    • God: That's what I mean. You have that wonderful intellect, you enjoy sarcasm. This "man" will be considerably more simpleminded and won't have any of that. Oh, what did you say about the sack?
    • Eve: Nothing, my Lord. [now being considerably more obsequious] I'm looking forward to meeting this "man."
    • God: I promise you that you will enjoy his company. There's just one thing you have to agree to, or I won't be able to do this.
    • Eve: [at this point willing to try anything] What exactly would that be, Great God Almighty?
    • God: Well, I told you that he'll be arrogant and selfish. You'll have to let him believe that I created him first.
  16. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    Now that was good. Lol.
  17. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Not a Christian, hence not promoting. Care to make any other hasty generalizations?
  18. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    My bad. :bugeye:
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Well, it does seem that the bible has buried the very first woman for the very reason that she disobeyed Adam. This hardly seems a case of equality. Instead Lilith was portrayed as a harlot and demon.
    In fact it is woman who is blamed for "original sin" as Eve supposedly seduced Adam in committing his first act sinful act by eating from the forbidden fruit.

    Being as there were no witnesses to these events it seems rather prejudicial to lay these major spiritual crimes at the feet of women. Oddly enough, is mostly men who explored the world and sciences while women tended to crops and children.
    Perhaps the story of Hypatia may show how profound and pervasive prejudice towards women have been through the ages, which were mostly dominated by religions.

    Perhaps there are matriarchal religions, but in all patriarchal religions the women are cast in a subservient role. Even Mary had to be a virgin to be noble enough to bear the son of god. Of course if Mary had been a virgin, Jesus would have been female and a clone of Mary.

    In the recent political discussions about abortion and reproductive control, it is men who made decisions for women, often without the presence and testimony of women.

    Anyone who is fooled by sweet religious talk into believing that women are equal in the bible is either ignorant or bearing false witness.
  20. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The role of women was promoted by the symbolism of Christianity. The image of Mary(s), was love and faith. History seems to indicate that not enough women lived up to the Mary ideal, so they were downgraded again back to Eve.

    If you look at American culture, modern women's liberation, parallels the break up of the nuclear family. The men did not want to change, until pushed by the women. The women had a chance to lead and now there are more women and children living in poverty today, needing a larger and larger social mops to clean up the messes.

    The pattern of Eve repeated itself. As the story goes, Eve was conned by Satan (liberalism) who promises her power; be like a god; control and nanny state. She eats this up, not for love or faith, but for her own power. She is drunk with power and does not think long term and does not anticipate that more children will be in poverty a decade down the line. Now we need a huge social mop to clean up after Eve.

    The church lasted as long as it did, because the Eve style women was not given power. The church would have given it to the Mary style. But it did not take long for Mary to decline and for Eve to rise, again. The New Testament lifted up the Mary style female. This female would be the loving glue that keeps many things together; family, church and culture.

    A good question to ask is, what would modern women do if they suddenly had top level power in the church? Would they introduce unnatural?
  21. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    The US began a war on poverty during the 1960s that contributed to it's dramatic decline, which has only risen in recent years for reasons completely unrelated to the role of women in society. Would you care to explain how having two incomes is less than one?
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    US poverty rate, 1959: 22%
    US poverty rate, 1983: 15.2%
    US poverty rate, 2011: 14.3%

    Looks like increases in women's rights have helped everyone.

    Ah, so you oppose women and liberals. Anyone else you oppose in the remaining 25% of the US?

    What does "introduce unnatural" mean?

    I have a feeling there would be fewer priests sodomizing little boys if women were in charge - if that's what you mean.
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

    Don't listen to him. He's a Christian. He argues on their behalf in every thread he participates in, and does so dishonestly. If he didn't have a horse in the race, he'd have no need to lie. And yet...

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