Hey religion, your misogyny is showing
Kate Kelly and Meriam Ibrahim have both been found guilty of apostasy by all-male councils.
June 25th, 2014
11:29 AM ET

Hey religion, your misogyny is showing

Opinion by Randal Maurice Jelks, special to CNN

(CNN) - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate from South Africa, called one of his books “God is Not a Christian.”

He might have added a subtitle, “God is not a man, either!”

One of the great problems in our world is patriarchy. The late James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, put best in song, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.”

Patriarchy assumes that men are made to lead and women are simply cooperative and reproductive subordinates.

These assumptions come to light in all kinds of ways, but especially through religion — the various faiths that treat women as though they are not equal to men.

We read it in the Quran and the Bible. We see it in iconic imagery, and religious taboos about sexuality, particularly women’s sexuality. And we see that around the world these days, from Salt Lake City to Sudan.

Men continue to dominate religious institutions, and use them to judge whether women can be in religious leadership or change faiths.

There is a direct link between Kate Kelly, a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter day-Saints, who was excommunicated on charges of apostasy, and Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her supposed apostasy.

And the link is deeper than the charge of abandoning one's faith.

Patriarchy comes in all forms, but religious patriarchy seems particularly pernicious because it assumes that male rule is constituent of God or the gods.

In other words, God or the gods behave like men — wrathful, scornful, jealous, and imperious.

Released Sudanese Christian woman faces 2 new charges

However, this is not why so many people — women and men alike — are religious.

Religious faith at its best is an attempt to define the meaningfulness of life and give life ultimate nobility in facing death.

Religious faith also provide many communities moral rules and grammar for all types of relationships—marriage, neighborliness, sisterhood, brotherhood, and governance.

And religious faiths often inspire individuals and communities to transcend their limitations in acts of reconciliation and justice through human rights campaigns and acts of mercy.

Nevertheless, the goodness of religion can be mired in ideologies of exclusion that can lead to bigotry on many levels, especially toward women.

Mormon feminist excommunicated for apostasy

In one sense of the word, Kelly and Ibrahim are apostates.

One dared to say that women could exercise religious authority where men are the “elders” and keepers of the Kingdom.

The other, standing before an all-male court, refused to renounce her faith.

In both cases, men were the judges and held the keys to life and death - literally, in Ibrahim’s case.

It would be utter silliness to argue that these two faith traditions are more sexist than Roman Catholics or Protestant Evangelicals or Japanese Shintoism. The practice of male dominance of spiritual authority is not peculiar to Mormons or Muslims.

In America, the pattern of male dominance began early, with the 1692 Salem Witch Trials and Anne Hutchinson, the Puritan woman who was tried for insisting that God’s grace was freely given to everyone.

Hutchinson, a mother of 15 children, dared to challenge the male Calvinist clergy about whether they were being true to their theological convictions on questions of grace.

The case hinged on Hutchinson’s claim to spiritual authority, and this is always where the rubber meets the road.

Whenever women challenge the spiritual authority of men, whether by claiming a new faith or interpreting the orthodoxies of establish faith, their views have been seen as a political challenge to male dominance.

And the response has consistently been to either shut them up through shunning or eliminating them as enemies of the state.

For centuries, women have been stoned, burned at the stake, murdered in honor killings and more for spiritual daring.

Historically, women have displayed enormous piety and faith in all religions. Nevertheless, male religious authorities have tried to keep women’s faith expressions tame.

They note the Virgin in the Roman Catholic tradition or how there was a rough equality between the Prophet Muhammad and his first wife Khadīja al-Kubra or the great perseverance Mormon women as they trekked to Utah.

And all those examples hold some truth.

However, history demonstrates that patriarchy often rules.

What Kate Kelly and Meriam Ibrahim have done is what all religious people must do: challenge the patriarchal assumptions of institutional religion and governments alike.

Their bravery demonstrates that the province of faith does not belong to a male bishop or a political state.

The good news here is that these two brave women stand in a long tradition of women who have challenged male religious and political authority in the name of freedom.

For religious believers, agnostics, and atheists alike, the one thing we can all agree on is that the freedom to believe - or not to believe – can’t be based on gender.

After all, God is not a man.

Randal Maurice Jelks is a professor of American and African-American studies at the University of Kansas and co-editor of the blog The Black Bottom. The views expressed in this column belong to Jelks.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Bible • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Culture wars • Discrimination • Faith • gender issues • Islam • Islamic law • Mormonism • Opinion • Persecution • Prejudice • Religious liberty • Sharia • Women

soundoff (1,323 Responses)
  1. fiftypercenthollow

    Everyone's got an personal agenda. The media and politics like to say that religion has caused the world's problems. Christians believe Jesus has saved us from religion. Your views whether secular or non are your own. Religion comes in many forms not just in what atheist see when they look at us. We are either bound by law or saved by grace. We can't force you to change your mind. We can only tell who saved us from the insanity and how. This is God's agenda and we would honor it, everyone else honors other things that can't possibly give them what they are preaching.

    June 25, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
    • igaftr

      "god's" agenda according to men.
      Men said god said. Men said god did. Nowhere does god speak for himself, and no one has ever shown any gods to exist, let alone your specific god. No one can show any gods had anything to do with the bible...or anything else for that matter.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
      • fiftypercenthollow

        I can show you only what you want to see and that's about it. You've made up your mind based on what you've heard about God, I've made up my mind on what God has shown me.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • igaftr

          You have convinced yourself that what you "see" is god.
          How do you know it isn't satan tricking you, or self delusion, or Zeus or coincidence or the matrix?
          You want it to be god, so declared it to be so. People do the same sort of thing with Nessy.

          I know I do not know, but to date no one has ever shown any credible evidence, verifiable evidence of any "gods". There is a great deal of evidence showing men love to create gods...thousands of them.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • fiftypercenthollow

          You've placed so much of your energy waiting for evidence that I'm afraid that you may have missed some important opportunities in life. I have my faith but it's nothing without faith in God. Your beliefs about everything needing to be proven to you before you can trust is not just a problem with relationships but it is also demanding towards everyone. You say there is evidence of men loving to create gods and your right. What does this have to do with you and I?

          June 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • igaftr

          Oh...now you know me? How do you know how much "energy I have spent waiting for evidence"? Or missed opportunities. Belief in god would not change the opportunities I have had, and I have taken advantage of nearly every opportunity that I have wanted to.
          Nice try creating a strawman of my life...fail.
          I have never seen the slightest indication of any "gods".
          You cannot have a relationship with something that cannot be shown to be anything but imaginary. You imagine a god, and imagine a relationship. Each believer has in their mind what they imagine god is. No two will be exactly alike. As far as any can show, ALL gods exist in the imagination. There may actually be a god or gods...but there is no evidence whatsoever of any of them.
          My relationships are with ACTUAL PEOPLE...not something I want to exist, hope exists.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • fiftypercenthollow

          Relationships are indicative of wanting to know someone. I didn't create a strawman of your life's examples on purpose but what I was trying to say was that relationships are based on wanting to know what someone thinks. Therefore you aren't interested in a relationship with me, only forcing your thoughts upon me, saying that I believe in an imaginary being. I think your perceptions of me and other christians are your basis for what you believe about God, stop me if I'm wrong..

          June 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • igaftr

          Which god?
          You are assuming there is a god again.
          that was the problem with your OP. You first assumed a god, then said what this god wanted, his agenda. Pure imagination.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • fiftypercenthollow

          Assumed? If I'm assuming there is a God as you so pointedly say, than you are assuming there isn't one. It doesn't negate my belief that your relationship with someone is where you get agendas not yourself.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • igaftr

          incorrect again.
          I do not know if there are any gods or not. The chances that your god is exactly what you imagine is one in infinity.
          Hardly a solid foundation.
          The likelyhood that the bible was written by men...100%, and there is no indication that their belief was any better than one in infinity as well.

          June 26, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • fiftypercenthollow

          Incorrect? As I remember you where the one commenting on my thread not the other way around. Your throwing out all this information and it's pointless. You say you don't believe in the Christian God because you say all other religion's gods can't be proven. Your telling me what to believe with your limited understanding, you are already decided on what you believe, I get that but don't tell me you know something for a fact if your unwilling to understand someone else's views.

          June 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
  2. truthfollower01

    What does the skeptic make of women instead of men finding the tomb empty?

    June 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
    • observer


      June 25, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Do you refute this claim or accept it?

        June 25, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • observer


          Unimportant who is credited with that story.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          There is nothing to "refute'. As he explained in "The Trouble With Resurrection", Christian seminary Professor of New Testament, Dr. BB Scott, explained that the Greek language in Paul, concerning the resurrection is passive, and means "exalted", not "resurrected". The first gospel, Mark, ended, (originally), with an empty (allegorical) tomb, no resurrection. Dead Jews were thought to be/have "shades" and everything about the Easter/post Easter sightings is consistent with a "shade", not a physical body having been raised. Matthew says many others rose, yet NO ONE was ever doc'umented, nor was any empty tomb found, nor did the authorities try to find him again, (after they went to all the trouble (supposedly) to kill him. NOt one Jewish histoian said the temple curtain was torn, (a monumental event for them if it had happened). In short, it's all mythical, allegorical, and they made it up. At the very end of Matthew it says they saw him, but they (all) doubted but they worshiped. No one seeing a live body "doubts" anything.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          “”there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus’ real but glorified body raised from the dead.”
          – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia (“Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)”) on YouTube.

          I'm curious, what is a "shade"?

          June 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          That's exactly what I thought. You know nothing about that which you pretend to discuss.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          ”there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus’ real but glorified body raised from the dead.”

          I could care less what Licona says. He's a complete idiot. Many scholars do not agree with Ehrman, including the one I quoted.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          The facts only represent the what the majority of scholars studying the subject at the time of the debate believe.

          Ehrman is the critic's darling.

          How do you account for the facts?

          Also, what is a “shade”? I must admit, I've never heard of this and am curious as you didn't answer me earlier.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          I am interested to see how well the "shade" concept you speak of explains the post resurrection appearances of Jesus to individuals, at different times and in different locations, some in group settings while others individually. Jesus also appeared to both believers and unbelievers.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:28 am |
        • igaftr

          What you quote Erhman as saying as there was no doubt he BELIEVED he saw...not that he did see. Don't misrepresent what you posted as some fact of the story, when it was a BELIEF, not a fact. Note the difference. Still no evidence anywhere of any resurrection at all. Nowhere.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          What do you postulate as the best explanation to explain the data?

          June 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • igaftr

          What "data"?
          You have a story. An unconfirmed story. You do not even know if the "witnesses" actually existed, and there are far too many other possible explainations as to the cause of the things that can be verified ( which is very little).

          Is the story of Huck Finn "data" since some of the story comes from Sam's true life? or is it just a story based loosely around actual events?

          June 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          Sorry. I thought the below data had already been posted.

          In a debate between Bart Ehrman and Michael Licona, 3 facts are given pertaining to Jesus's fate and what occurred afterward that nearly 100% of all scholars studying this subject at the time of the debate accepted. This includes Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists.

          1. Jesus' death by crucifixion.

          "One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate." – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

          2. Appearances to the Disciples

          This is short for saying that shortly after Jesus's death, a number of Jesus's followers had experiences both individually and in group settings that they perceived were of the risen Jesus who appeared to them.

          "Why, then, did some of the disciples claim to see Jesus alive after his resurrection? I don't doubt at all that some disciples claimed this. We don't have any of their written testimony, but Paul, writing about twenty-five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and I don't think he is making it up. And he knew at least a couple of them, whom he met just three years after the event Galatians 1:18-19)." – from Bart Ehrman's book, Jesus Interrupted

          3. Appearance to Paul

          Short for saying that Paul had an experience that he perceived was of the risen Jesus appearing to him.

          ""there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus' real but glorified body raised from the dead."
          – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
    • colin31714

      Funny you should ask. The many contradictions of this part of the mythology surrounding Jesus clearly point to the story being a fabrication. I spent the time one Saturday morning to read the four versions in sequence and set out the contradictions between the three original and one later forged version (the version in Mark) of the story. Here they are.

      Who went to the tomb?

      Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – 3 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome.
      Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – 2 women – Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”
      Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – at least 5 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and other, unnamed women. At least five women.
      John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – Only 1 woman – Mary Magdalene.

      What did they find there?

      Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – the stone has been rolled back from the entrance to the tomb. There is no mention of any guards. A young man in a long, white robe is inside. His identi.ty is not revealed. He tells the two Marys and Salome to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and has gone to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them.

      Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone has NOT been rolled back from the tomb. There is a great earthquake and an angel from heaven appears, rolls back the stone, sits on it and stares at them a face like lightning. There are guards posted, who freeze with fear. The angel takes the two women and shows them that the tomb is empty and tells them Jesus has risen and will meet the disciples in Galilee.

      Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. No earthquake, no angels, no young man in robe, no guards. Instead, two men are there in shining garments. They tell the group of (at least five) women that Jesus has risen as he foretold. No direction is given for the disciples to go to Galilee.

      John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. Mary Magdalene, who is alone, simply finds an empty tomb and flees. No angels, earthquakes, men in shining uniforms or guards are mentioned. She gets Peter and one other, unnamed disciple and they return. They find Jesus’ robes discarded on the floor, but the garment from his head neatly folded. Peter and the other disciple leave, but Mary Magdalene stays, weeping. She looks back in to the tomb and sees two angels and Jesus appears. She thinks he is the gardener until he reveals himself. He gives no direction about Galilee but simply tells her to tell the others he is ascending to the Father.

      What happens next?

      Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – Nothing. The original Gospel according to Mark ends with the women leaving the tomb frightened and saying nothing to anybody about what they saw.

      However, in the forged last 12 verses that were added to the end of the Gospel according to Mark a couple of hundred years later, Christ appears first to Mary Magdalene “out of whom he had cast seven demons.” She tells the others who do not believe her, but Jesus then appears to two (unnamed) disciples as they are walking in the countryside. They tell the others, who still don’t believe, but Jesus later appears to all 11 apostles (Judas is persona non grata at this point and/or dead) and rebukes them for not believing Mary Magdalene and the first two apostles who saw him earlier.

      He then famously tells them to go out and preach the gospel to every creature and that he who believes and is baptized will be saved and he who does not will be condemned. Those who believe will speak in tongues and be unaffected by poisons and will be able to handle snakes and heal the sick by the mere laying of their hands.

      This forged passage above is, by the way, where the evangelical tradition of “speaking in tongues,” the Appalachian tradition of snake handling and the Christian Science tradition of healing through “laying of hands” all come from – and it’s a complete forgery. Oh, the irony is rich!

      Having told them this, Jesus zaps up to heaven and sits at the right hand of God.

      Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – The two women meet Jesus and worship at his feet. He tells them to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Meanwhile, the guards relate their story to the elders and the chief priests who bribe them to lie and say that the disciples took Jesus’ body away. Eventually the 11 apostles see Jesus in Galilee, some still doubting. Jesus tells them to go out and baptize people of all nations and that he will always be with them.

      Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – Peter runs to the tomb and finds it empty with Jesus’ clothes discarded. Jesus does not appear to him, but does to two disciples who are walking in the countryside. They do not recognize him and he feigns ignorance as they recount the story of his death and of women encountering angels in the tomb. Jesus walks with them some more, rebuking them and then spends the night with them, breaking bread at which point they realize who he is and he vanishes.

      They tell the 11 apostles what happens and then Jesus appears to them. He explains the scriptures to them and that it was necessary that he die and be resurrected. He then leads them to Bethany and is carried up to heaven.

      John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – This is the longest post mortem account of the four. Mary Magdalene recounts her story to the apostles. He appears to them that night when they are assembled, hiding from the Jews. He shows his wounds to them. Thomas was not there and when they tell him, there is the famous “doubting Thomas” scene. This scene does not appear in any other gospel.

      Jesus later appears to some apostles while they are fishing. They do not recognize him at first. They catch nothing, but Jesus tells them throw the nets out of the other side of the boat and they catch many fish. Then they know it is Jesus. Jesus eats a breakfast of fish with them and has a strange conversation with Peter. The Gospel ends with the comment that Jesus did many other things that the author did not mention as doing so would be too great a task. No mention is made of Jesus’ ultimate departure.

      This part of John's gospel (the bit about Jesus helping the Apostles fish) is also widely regarded as a forged ending to John. It is pretty obvious to even a casual reader that John ends the chapter before and then abruptly restarts with this story, only to immediately end again. Ift was likely added about 100 years after the original author of John died.

      June 25, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        The opening few statements I hope are not an indication of the remainder of the post. Concerning the women at the tomb, which Gospel says that ONLY these women were present? Is it not possible that the author was conveying who he wanted to? If you and a friend went to a store this afternoon, would you be incorrect if you told someone, "I went to the store this afternoon" without mentioning that your friend went to?

        June 25, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • mrsinned

          I'm still trying to figure out why you asked this question in the context of this article. Is your point that because some scenes in the Bible discuss only women, the Bible therefore treats women as equals to men? There seems to be a lot of contrary scripture.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • colin31714

          When it comes to who went to the tomb, your point has some merit. It boxes you in though, because you are now stuck with Luke's version though, because it claims the greatest number, right?

          June 25, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          It was not a question related directly to the article, merely a conversation starter.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          Why would it box me in with Luke? Why is it contradictory for Luke to list some, Matthew to list some, etc. in the manner they list them?

          June 25, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        • colin31714

          TF, because if it was any less, Luke must be wrong, but if it was five or more, all 4 versions can, by your logic, be read, consistently. I don't agree w/ your logic for broader reasons, but if your claim is that some of the authors may have reported on only some of the attendees, and taht non of them were wrong, there must have been at least 5 people there. If any less, Luke is wrong.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          There is no contradiction concerning the women who were there.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
      • observer


        Colin has posted just SOME of the errors and contradictions in the Bible.

        Since there is such inconsistency, your question is irrelevant.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Going a little further,

        "the stone has NOT been rolled back from the tomb."

        Are you asserting that the stone hadn't been rolled back while the women were there at the tomb? Please show how this is the case.

        You need to do some research on all of this.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • colin31714

          When you say "research" I presume you mean reading and accepting apologist claims around the story actually being true. Had 12 years of that and I never found it convincing.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          “the stone has NOT been rolled back from the tomb.”

          Are you asserting that the stone hadn’t been rolled back while the women were there at the tomb? Please show how this is the case.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • colin31714

          According to Matthew, an angel appears and rolls it back.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
          2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
          3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
          4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          But were the women there when this happened?

          June 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


          Matthew doesn't say:

          1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb, but before they got to the tomb
          2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • colin31714

          TF- yes, according to Matthew:

          "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men."

          June 25, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The primary point is that for the synoptic Gospels, on such an important chapter as the resurrection, you'd think there would be more consistency in the inerrant word of God, particularly when the three synoptic Gospels likely derived either from each other or similar source material.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Colin, according to verses you quoted, it does not. It says they went to look at the tomb. Why couldn't the stone be rolled away while they were on the way?

          June 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
        • colin31714

          TF- because the story is told chronologically. And if the angel rolled back the stone before they arrived and they never saw it, how would we know that's what happened?

          June 25, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          We have independent accounts in the Bible of what happened.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Are you asserting that the women relayed the events of what happened and that some of the authors reported it wrong while Matthew reported it correctly?

          June 25, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Women were the first people to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

      A person who hated Jesus, Paul, was later chosen to proclaim the good news. And he supported a woman leading a church. And supported women teaching men. And used them as good examples to follow.

      I've met many devoted followers of Jesus who are women. Strong women. Strong women like Rosa Parks who won't take a seat at the back of the bus because a white racist society tells her to. She knows God made us all equal. That is self-evident to believers in God.

      June 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        "I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people. " Rosa Parks

        June 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
      • observer


        "God made us all equal. That is self-evident to believers in God."

        You might tell that to the mostly-Christians who collected TENS of MILLIONS of dollars to deny equal rights to gays.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No kidding. Some people say they follow Jesus, but don't' actually demonstrate what he asks. Kind of like some people say they are logical and reasonable, but act illogical and unreasonable.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Dalahast, umm.. must have missed that. are you referring to Lydia, Euodia, Syntyche of Philippi, or Timothy's mother Eunice? or are you referring to Aquila's wife Priscilla? I'm lost here so help me out please. who did Paul support in leading the church? please give the book and verse.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Paul left Lydia, a rich woman who sold purple cloth, as the leader of a house-church in Philippi (Acts 16:14, 40)

          Priscilla, another woman, “took Apollos [a man] aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately” (Acts 18:2, 18, 26).

          June 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. -Acts 16:14, NKJV
          So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed. Acts 16:40, NKJV

          – nothing about being an elder, bishop, or leader of a church. apparently there was no synagogue in Philippi, but Paul and his companions heard that some Jewish people gathered on the Sabbath outside the city by the riverside. reaching the spot, they found a group of women praying, including one named Lydia. she was probably a convert to Judaism. she was a prominent merchant who sold purple dyed cloth. this is why she is mentioned prominently and also the fact that she had a large home.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them – Acts 18:2, NKJV
          So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow. Acts 18:18, NKJV
          So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. – Acts 18:26, NKJV

          Aquila and Priscilla were a husband and wife ministry team and not the elders of a church. They were just like Paul tentmakers. Paul first met them on his 3rd missionary journey while in Corinth. If my memory serves me correctly they had fled Rome due to the then Caesar's edict expelling Jews from Rome.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          They gathered in Lydia's home. And they mention no one else who could be thought of as a leader. I think the text suggests they baptized her first, and the others followed her lead.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          ok, well have a good night friend.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • observer


          Why not read a Bible before bed so you will finally have a CLUE what it actually says?

          June 25, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        oh and Dalahast, on a side note; it was Saul of Tarsus who hated Christ. Paul never hated Christ.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
    • mrsinned

      Not sure how the author is a "skeptic." Are you suggesting he's not a believer? The author's biographical information suggests he is a believer. WRT the substance of your comment, what is your point? Are you saying that because the Bible says women found the tomb empty and not men that that is evidence that the Bible treats women equal to men? If so, what about all of the contrary scripture quoted throughout the comments below?

      June 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Good question. I have a few myself.

      How many women found it?

      What did they find when they got there?

      What did they do after they found it?

      Since they found it and it was so gosh darn important where exactly is the tomb they found?

      June 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "What does the skeptic make of women instead of men finding the tomb empty?"
      Arguably it reinforces the biblical inferiority of women.

      The message is that they were sent off to the tomb to perform the menial and unpleasant ask of anointing the body with spi.ces while the apostles sat around because that particular job was beneath them.

      June 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
  3. colin31714

    The pervasive misogyny of the various biblical writings is one of the many reasons it is obvious that the Judeo-Christian god is a pure figure of literature. The late Bronze Age Jews developed this figure (probably from an earlier Canaanite deity) and ascribed to him a personality consistent with their prevailing social norms. Consistent with the time and the region, this culture was war-like, misogynist and supported slavery. Hence the god of the Bible is, by and large, war-like, misogynist and, at a minimum, nonchalant toward slavery.

    Fast forward 2,500 odd years and the Judeo-Christian god is, in most people's eyes, multi-cultural, abhors slavery, supports se.xual equality and even, to many, is ok with hom.o$exuality and even gay marriage. That is to say, his personality changes in lock-step with the prevailing social norms of his believers.

    In other words, we mold him in our image and not vice-versa. The Judeo-Christian god would have a little credibility if he opposed slavery, supported gay marriage or was all for se.xual equality 1,000 years ago, well ahead of the curve.

    That's the problem with a make believe god, he can never lead by example.

    June 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      mi·sog·y·nist [mi-soj-uh-nist, mahy‐] noun a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women.
      where is the empirical evidence that the bible teaches or condones misogyny? please provide examples.

      June 25, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
      • observer


        The Bible says a man can SELL his young daughter to a complete stranger for his USE as a slave, but never says that a woman can SELL her young daughter the same way.

        June 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          no it doesn't and you have a sick and twisted mind.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
        • observer


          Yes it does. You are LYING again. God doesn't like LIARS, but you either don't read the Bible or are just another HYPOCRITE who doesn't follow it.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Observer, where are the other dogs you run with, unregenerate and wicked b1tch return to your vomit.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
        • observer


          You are LYING again. God doesn't like LIARS.

          (Ex. 21:7-8) ““WHEN A MAN SELLS HIS DAUGHTER AS A SLAVE, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.” [God]

          OOOOOOOOOOPS! Liar.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. and if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. Exodus 21:8-9, NKJV

          'who has betrothed her to himself,' and 'and if he has betrothed her to his son' shut your mouth unregenerate heathen

          June 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
        • observer


          "If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself",

          NO LIMIT on how YOUNG she was when he BOUGHT HER and she didn't PLEASE HIM. Not ONE WORD if SHE wanted to marry him, just HIM wanting to marry her. NOT ONE word about THEM wanting to marry each other.

          OOOOOOPS again. You just continue to make a FOOL of YOURSELF.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          yeah, of course you're right, Hebrew fathers and mothers couldn't wait to turn their reluctant and pleading daughters over to se.xu.al tyrants and sad .ists, what was i thinking!

          June 26, 2014 at 12:02 am |
        • observer


          If you read a Bible, you'd know that the people of Jerusalem were WORSE than the people of Sodom that you use as an example of bad people.

          OOOOOOOPS again.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:07 am |
      • awanderingscot

        what you are referring to are rules and customs for betrothal. only in your sick and twisted mind is it an immoral arrangement.

        June 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      so what your friends here are saying Akira is that the creator of woman is a misogynist. that somehow he has contempt, dislike, and an ingrained prejudice for the woman. do you also realize how sick and twisted this notion is? do you understand how evil and wicked is this utterance?

      June 25, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." – John 2:3-5, NKJV

        – Our Lord, here as Son of Man made it quite clear that His concerns had ascendancy over hers. Was He being disrespectful in calling His mother "woman"? absolutely not, and he was also making clear His deity in calling her "woman". in addition to His then present concerns with His disciples. He was not there to get drunk and neither were His disciples, but this is a story for another time.

        June 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        yeah i read your question, including the condition that i don't use other parts of the bible in my answer. did you read my answer?

        June 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
  4. truthfollower01

    I found this quote I read today interesting.

    "Today we buy information, we sell it, we regarded it as a commodity, we value it, we send it down wires and bounce it off satellites-and we know it invariably comes from intelligent agents. So what do we make of the fact that there's information in life? What do we make of the fact that DNA stores far more information in a smaller space than the most advanced supercomputer on the planet?"

    – Stephen C. Meyer

    June 25, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
    • mrsinned

      The logical leap occurs when he states without support "and we know [information] invariably comes from intelligent agents." Why is that premise necessarily true? He picks examples of man-made information and then tries to equate that to ATGC of DNA. Why isn't it just as likely that information can be either man-made or naturally-occuring (e.g., byproduct of evolution)? If that's true, then DNA is not necessarily evidence of intelligent design.

      June 25, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Let's go back to the beginning of life. If you believe in evolution, where do you believe the DNA information came from before the Darwinian mechanisms of natural selection working off random mutations could take effect?

        June 25, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
    • Athy

      And your point, if any?

      June 25, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        DNA information is evidence of intelligence.

        June 25, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • Athy

          No, it isn't. It's evidence of excessive complexity due to many millions of years of evolution. An intelligent designer would have made DNA much simpler.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          You are missing the point. You have to explain the DNA information BEFORE the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution can take effect. The DNA information is there BEFORE the replication can start so the mutations can happen and natural selection can work.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • Athy

          Yeah, you're right, TF. There had to be an intelligent designer. How could I have been so misled all these years by my logic and common sense? And there's no need to explain the origin of the designer, he was just always there, right? It all makes so much sense now. Thank you so much for setting me straight.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          You cannot have an infinite regress. The Christian asserts that everything that begins to exist has a cause. God exists eternally and has no cause.

          "How could I have been so misled all these years by my logic and common sense?"

          Proverbs 14:12

          12 There is a way which seems right to a man,
          But its end is the way of death.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
        • observer


          "The Christian asserts that everything that begins to exist has a cause."

          If God exists, what CAUSED God or doesn't God EXIST?

          June 25, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          "If God exists, what CAUSED God or doesn’t God EXIST?"

          You need to reread my post to Athy and think on it. You cannot have an infinite regress. Nothing caused God. He never BEGAN to exist. He has never not existed. He has eternally existed.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • truthfollower01


          I believe the evidence indicates that Darwinian evolution should be rejected.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • observer


          Yes. You claim you can't have an infinite regression but can have an infinite existence.

          That is your logic failure.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • redzoa

          "You need to reread my post to Athy and think on it. You cannot have an infinite regress. Nothing caused God. He never BEGAN to exist. He has never not existed. He has eternally existed."

          This is special pleading via definitional fiat to escape the premise "everything that begins to exist must have a cause." Regarding the "impossibility" of an infinite regress and Craig's reference to Hilbert's Hotel, I don't believe you ever offered an answer to the question: At what # of events is a prior event necessarily precluded?

          DNA "information" is not evidence of "intelligence" because we have clear examples of such "information" being added to genomes via purely natural mechanisms, e.g. Lenski's E. coli and their novel functionality (i.e. aerobic citrate metabolism) is the result of adding more DNA via gene duplication and the refinement of this additional DNA via subsequent mutation/selection.

          Regarding Abiogenesis, there is no and likely may never be a definitive answer; however, what we do know is that various biomolecules can and do self assemble (as do non-biological molecules, e.g. crystals) in ordered fashion. This is simple chemistry. Some biomolecules, once assembled, provide a template upon which further copies may be assembled. Functionality of biomolecules can arise from the sequence order of monomers (primary structure), local folding (secondary structure), combinations of local folding (tertiary structure), and combinations of distinct molecules into unique 3D structures (quaternary structure). Selection may act at any or all of these levels of structure, via a filtering for sequences and structures which have some functionality. Because any biomolecular polymer will necessarily adopt some degree of structure regardless of its primary sequence, there is always an opportunity for some functionality. We know that RNA is capable of adopting all of these structural levels and in addition, RNA can act as an "information carrier" within the primary sequence, but may further act as a catalytic molecule capable of a broad variety of enzymatic reactions, including facilitating replication of RNA itself. The proof of principle is in ribozyme molecules and RNA aptamers. Both of these molecules have been artificially evolved using the basic Darwinian processes of random sequences applied to selection filtering for some functionality. Suffice it to say, evolution is itself a "designer" of functional molecules and it does not require an inherent "intelligence." Again, we may never know exactly how life arose, but the available evidence indicates chemical evolution is both sufficiently possible and probable.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:13 am |
        • truthfollower01


          I plan on responding to your post tomorrow. Goodnight all.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:34 am |
        • truthfollower01


          “everything that begins to exist must have a cause.”

          That is a true statement. What would be an incorrect statement would be, "everything has a cause". Huge difference.

          "I don’t believe you ever offered an answer to the question: At what # of events is a prior event necessarily precluded?"

          This is the first time I'm seeing this question so if you have asked in the past, I apologize. I'm not quite sure I understand your question. Are you asking how many events can we keep going back before it becomes impossible to go back any further?

          Concerning the DNA information, you need to be able to explain where the info came from BEFORE the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution (namely natural selection acting on random mutations) could work. This would be prior to replication.

          "what we do know is that various biomolecules can and do self assemble (as do non-biological molecules, e.g. crystals) in ordered fashion. This is simple chemistry."

          Let's take a look at this and I'll use a salt crystal as an example. Chemical forces of attraction cause the ions to bond to form highly ordered patterns. What you get is a sequence of Na (sodium) and Cl (chloride) repeating over and over again.

          Now consider:

          1. Amino acids do not demonstrate these binding affinities as Stephen C. Meyer indicates.

          2. Information theorist Hubert Yockey and chemist Michael Polanyi raise this huge issue: "What would happen if we could explain the sequencing in DNA and proteins as a result of self organization properties? Wouldn't we end up with something like a crystal of salt, where there's merely a repet-itive sequence?"

          Stephen C. Meyer indicates: "consider the genetic information in DNA, which is spelled out by the chemical letters A, C, G, and T. Imagine every time you had A, it would automatically attract a G. You'd have a repet-itive sequence:A-G-A-G-A-G-A-G. Would that give you a gene that would produce a protein? Absolutely not. Self-organization wouldn't yield a genetic message, only a repeti-tive mantra."

          Meyer also said, "To convey information, you need irregularity in sequencing. Open any book; you won't see the word 'the' repeating over and over and over. Instead you have an irregular sequencing of letters. They convey information because they conform to a certain known independent pattern-that is, the rules of vocabulary and grammar. That's what enables us to communicate-and that's what needs to be explained in DNA."

          The above info, whether quoted or paraphrased, concerning the salt crystal comes from the book The Case for a Creator.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • redzoa

          "This is the first time I'm seeing this question so if you have asked in the past, I apologize. I'm not quite sure I understand your question. Are you asking how many events can we keep going back before it becomes impossible to go back any further?"

          I have asked that question multiple times, pretty much every time you've presented this argument. In response to the counter argument of an infinite non-supernatural past, you've referenced Craig's use of the Hilbert's Hotel paradox. While it is a paradox, neither Craig nor yourself can point to some # of events which necessarily precludes a preceding event.

          I would add that you did not attempt to address the fact that you are simply choosing to define God as infinite (definitional fiat), with zero support for this claim, to escape the underlying premise; this line of argument is special pleading.

          "Now consider:"

          1) The early replicators are not thought to have been polypeptides
          2) Neither are they thought to have been the complex DNA or proteins we recognize today

          Meyer knows this, and like Behe's references to irreducible complexity, he attempts to misdirect a lay audience by focusing on present complex biomolecules rather than those naturally-forming pre-cursor molecules abiogenesis researchers are actually investigating. If one wants to understand the history of manned flight, they don't look to a state-of-the-art jet engine and conclude it's simply too complex to have had any functional precursors.

          What we know is that RNA chains can spontaneously form in the presence of certain abiotic substrates and their primary sequence is not simply repet-itive (although even here, at this stage, a repet-itive sequence with functionality is perfectly ok). As soon as a random pool of RNA polymers arises, so too does the opportunity for selection of functional traits (i.e. some might form faster, some might have catalytic activity, some might have unique binding properties, etc). Again, this is the underlying rationale and demonstrable capability of RNA evidenced in RNA aptamers. The identification of "information" content is a post-hoc determination for those initially random sequences which inherently possess some potentially useful functionality.

          Again, Lenski's E. coli demonstrate the ability of purely natural processes to add "information" to a genome, i.e. genes are duplicated (additional DNA), they are rearranged in their order relative to other genes, and random mutations both initiated and refined the ultimate production of a novel functionality. In other words, the resulting functionality of this evolutionary process yielded "information"; but the process did not begin with this particular "information" nor was it guided towards producing this particular "information."

          June 27, 2014 at 12:56 am |
        • truthfollower01


          I apologize for the delayed response.

          I honestly don't remember ever using Hilbert's Hotel as a proof for the absurdity of an actual material infinite. In my past conversations concerning, say for example, the possibility of the initial singularity existing eternally in the past, I will ask a question such as, "If the singularity existed forever in the past, why didn't our universe come into existence and go out of existence forever ago?" Surely you see how illogical this is.

          Concerning God being infinite, you act as though I came up with this attribute. This is the Christian concept of God. In addition, an infinite regress is illogical. Are you able to show that an actual material infinite is logical?

          A Lee Strobel's statement from The Case for a Creator:
          ""But," I protested, "the first cell was probably a lot more primitive than even the simplest single cell organism today.""
          Jonathan Well's response:
          ""Granted," he said. "But my point remains the same-the problem of assembling the right parts in the right way at the right time and at the right place,while keeping out the wrong material, is simply insurmountable.""

          Concerning Behe's irreducible complexity, the famous example of comparison is a mousetrap. You may try and argue that each component of the trap can have a distinct function in amongst itself, but how does the mousetrap become assembled correctly? As Behe says, "if you just had the components themselves without the ability to bring the other pieces into position, you'd be far from having a functioning mousetrap."

          "If one wants to understand the history of manned flight, they don’t look to a state-of-the-art jet engine and conclude it’s simply too complex to have had any functional precursors."
          Let's say we go all the way back to the Wright Brother's plane, a precursor. How does it become assembled? Intelligence.

          Jonathan Wells indicates, "one popular theory was that RNA, a close relative of DNA, could have been a molecular cradle from which early cells developed. This 'RNA world' hypothesis was heralded as a great possibility for a while. But nobody could demonstrate how RNA could have formed before living cells were around to make it, or how it could have survived under the conditions on the early earth.

          "Gerald Joyce, a biochemist at the Scripps Research Insti-tute, ruled out the RNA-first theory very colorfully by saying, 'You have to build straw man upon straw man to get to the point where RNA is a viable first biomolecule.' (As quoted from The Case for a Creator)

          As taken from a transcript of William Lane Craig's: "Richard Lenski and his colleagues recently released their data on studies of E. coli in which they did research on 40,000 generations of E. coli grown in the laboratory. They discovered that while there were a couple score of beneficial mutations (and this speaks to an earlier question) that occurred in these E. coli bacteria; nevertheless, these mutations were degradative, or degenerative, in nature. That is to say they involved the loss of genetic information or the loss of protein function. They were beneficial, but they resulted in the loss of genetic information. So there is no indication that these bacteria were on their way toward building new complex systems. Lenski’s work lines up very well with the results of malarial and HIV findings. In huge numbers of tries, one sees minor changes, mostly degradative, but no new complex systems evolve."

          July 1, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • redzoa

          @TF – My memory is not perfect, but I’m reasonably confident that you’ve referenced Hilbert’s Hotel, particularly in light of your repeated reliance on Craig’s positions and his use of this specific argument. In response to your question which you have indeed asked before, I responded that what we are experiencing could be part of some purely natural eternal cycle. This is no more illogical than imparting, by definitional fiat alone (whether by yourself or by historical convention), an infinite existence on a preferred deity. But whereas I simply suggest an infinite, you declare a necessary infinite. Obviously, I cannot show an actual infinite material universe; however, at the very least, there is current empirical physical evidence that the universe exists which is more than can be said for your preferred deity. Again, in response to your claim that an infinite regress is illogical, you cannot show some # of events which necessarily precludes a prior event. Although Hilbert’s Hotel presents an absurdity, it is certainly no less illogical than an infinite supernatural deity. As to why the universe didn't "begin" at some time in the "past" or latter in the "future," an infinite cycle suggests that it always has and always will and that we are simply experiencing one in an infinite cycle of beginnings and re-begininngs.

          I’ve read Strobel’s book and it is rife with misrepresentations of the relevant science. Well’s response again jumps to a latter stage, looks at a more complete proto-cell, and concludes that functional pre-cursors must be impossible. It’s nothing more than an argument of incredulity based in an argument of ignorance. In addition to developments in the RNA-world hypothesis and the empirical evidence in support, Szostak’s lab is currently looking at a number of purely natural mechanisms which provide “compartmentalization,” i.e. various means to isolate and exclude the “wrong material.” As I noted above, all of the requisite functional requirements for a primitive replicator are present in RNA. And again, all of this evidence is empirical physical evidence. ID/creationism is premised on an untestable supernatural mechanism with zero support. Explanations which cannot possibly be falsified can be invoked to explain any and every possible observation, and thereby effectively explain nothing.

          Regarding Behe’s mousetrap, you should review his definition of IR and his testimony at the Kitzmiller trial (transcripts are freely available online), and then further review Ken Miller’s responses. All of Behe’s actual examples have been soundly rebutted, and when presented with a literal stack of relevant research refuting his claims on the stand, he simply dismissed them out of hand. Behe’s testimony played a significant role in the case which held that ID is a non-scientific religious proposition without any supporting positive evidence, only negative arguments of incredulity targeting evolution (based largely on misrepresentation of the facts). With respect to assembly, again Lenski’s E. coli shows how such assembly is possible via purely natural random mutation, that is, exaptation is a common feature of the tinkering aspect of evolution

          You miss the point of the manned flight analogy, i.e. that complex latter forms can and do arise from the refinement of pre-cursors. Contrary to the ID/IR suggestion that all the parts must be present and assembled at once, even the Wright Brothers’ contributions (and all aeronautical advances before and after) were the process of trial and error, experimentation, and routine failure; inherent in tinkering is chance, i.e. some modifications will work and some won’t. Those that work are selected, those that don’t are discarded (or potentially preserved as neutral vestiges). The history of manned flight is not one of wholesale functional epiphany. Tinkering is the hallmark of evolution and is clearly evident both at the molecular and anatomical levels (e.g. the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the human defunct gene for egg-yolk protein, male nip-ples, etc). The “intelligence” you allude to is simply a filter to select for functionality from an otherwise trial and error process. RNA aptamers, SELEX, and a host of lab and field experiments clearly show that environments possess this same degree of “intelligence” in their ability to select for functional traits from the variation (produced via random mutation) within populations. Wells and Joyce fail to represent the body of literature which does, in fact, demonstrate purely natural means to yield RNA. I don’t expect you to know this, but your reliance solely on apologetics invariably misrepresents the actual science.
          Craig is a gifted debater, but he knows jack about molecular biology and apparently less about what Lenski’s research demonstrated. You could have attempted to actually read Lenski’s papers, or even looked them up on Wiki; either effort would have shown that Craig’s ill-informed summary is incorrect. As I stated before, “information” is a post-hoc attribution to genetic material. The novel functionality in Lenski’s E. coli (and the reason the experiments are so powerful) is traceable through the generations, i.e. Lenski’s group would pull an aliquot and cryopreserve samples along the way. When the aerobic citrate metabolism was observed, they were then able to retrace the progression of mutations which produced this trait. In very basic terms, the first step was a mutation which potentiated further mutations (although this mutation wasn’t always required). The second was the duplication of particular genes (i.e. additional DNA) and their reinsertion in different areas of the genome. This second step is important because, not only does it add DNA to the “sandbox” for evolution to play with, the initial gene remains present and continues on to perform its original function (i.e. no loss of function). The last steps involved further random mutations within these genes which refined and improved upon the novel functionality (again, no loss of function, rather an improvement of function). The initial potentiating mutations did negatively impact protein functionality; however, the duplications and the refining mutations did not result in a loss of protein function.

          Some mutations do “degrade,” some are instantly beneficial (which alone is sufficient to refute the notion that “information” must be present beforehand), and some are simply neutral having no direct benefit or disadvantage. Like claims of “information” content, claims of benefit, disadvantage, or neutrality, are also post-hoc determinations. Lenski’s E. coli provide an informative example here as well. Some cultures demonstrated a general hyper-mutability, whereas others did not. When examining various cultures over the many, many generations, what they saw was that random mutations both induced this general hyper-mutability, but frequently, latter random mutations would revert the bacteria to a wild type phenotype. What we know is that molecular evolution can provide “scaffolding” to allow the assembly of complex structures, and then evolution will latter remove this “scaffolding.” This “scaffolding” may take the form of complementing structural or functional proteins which are then removed later or, as here, might simply be adjusting the rate of mutation where a higher mutation rate provides greater variation for selection to act upon and still later specific mutations dial back down the overall rate of mutation.

          What is disadvantageous in one environment may latter become beneficial in another. The classic example here is antibiotic resistance. Generally, when a mutant arises which provides resistance to an antibiotic, it grows less well than the wild type; however, in the presence of the relevant antibiotic, the mutant survives and the wild type dies. ID/creationists will invariably say, “see, this is a loss of ‘information’ when compared to the wild type.” But they ignore the fact, that functionality is the metric, not some post-hoc argument of what comprises “information.” The mutant’s ability to resist antibiotics based on the genetic change is the gain of “information,” i.e. that “information” which allows continued survival in the antibiotic’s presence; “information” which is not present in the wild type and where the absence of this “information” results in the wild type dying off. Regardless, however, of whether a given mutation initially advances, detracts, or has no appreciable impact, Lenski’s E. coli demonstrated that random mutations did, in fact, yield a novel functionality; they yielded novel genetic “information” which was not present in the E. coli prior to the random mutations. Furthermore, it’s difficult to argue this novel pathway was not “complex” given the numerous components which were randomly pulled together (i.e. the citrate transporter, the aerobically-activated promoter, etc). Lastly, I would add that aerobic citrate metabolism is a phenotypic marker used to distinguish E. coli (Cit-) from other bacteria (Cit+) and although relatively simple when compared to eukaryotic distinctions, in light of the incredible diversity of bacterial forms, this change is akin to a change in bacterial “kind”; that is, while we still call these bugs E. coli, if we found them in the wild, they would not be classified as such.

          July 2, 2014 at 1:13 am |
  5. bostontola

    1 Timothy 2:11-15

    11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    Speaks for itself.

    June 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      It may be he was writing a personal letter to a new religious movement with a base in Ephesus, a place where people worshiped a female deity? Females ran the show. He was offering suggestions – not laws.

      Maybe he was trying to tell them they are all equal in Christ? Something that wasn't be taught before.

      What if he was saying this?:

      "So this is what I want: the men should pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, with no anger or disputing. 9In the same way the women, too, should clothe themselves in an appropriate manner, modestly and sensibly. They should not go in for elaborate hair-styles, or gold, or pearls, or expensive clothes; 10instead, as is appropriate for women who profess to be godly, they should adorn themselves with good works. 11They must be allowed to study undisturbed, in full submission to God. 12I’m not saying that women should teach men, or try to dictate to them; they should be left undisturbed. 13Adam was created first, you see, and then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived, and fell into trespass. 15She will, however, be kept safe through the process of childbirth, if she continues in faith, love and holiness with prudence."

      June 25, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
      • bostontola

        Maybe, possibly, etc. might be credible if this were the lone mysogynist passage in the bibles.

        3:3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

        June 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Women do seem to have it tougher than men.

          Is nature a misogynist for giving them birth pains and making them vulnerable to risks that come from carrying a human being inside themselves for 9 months?

          Or is that story describing a consequence from what happened due to the shifting of blame, dishonesty and shame they felt? Or because of disobedience she needed to go through those things?

          June 25, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Or what this woman says. Who claims her first reading at a young age was similar to my reaction. But then something changed.

          "It wasn’t until college that I read this passage in a completely different light. I read it, not as condemnation from God, punishing naive Eve for her naive actions, but as a prophecy: my second-class status as a woman is a natural consequence of sin. The societal relationship between men and women has been one of a struggle for domination, with men clearly winning."

          "If we see the relationship between men and women, namely Adam and Eve, before the fall, we see a harmonious and symbiotic relationship. “Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh!” he calls her. She is esteemed. She is revered."

          "After the fall, we see one that is parasitic with men profiting from the labor of women without giving them due credit. Once Adam voluntarily partook of that apple, he started playing the “blame game.”"

          "So basically, I don’t think God was punishing Eve when he said those words to her. He was just stating the inevitable reality that was to follow her and Adam’s choice to do without God. Men fight for domination. They don’t like it when women fight back. We treat each other as objects. We do not treat each other as beings that matter."


          June 25, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          Is nature a misogynist for giving them birth pains and making them vulnerable to risks that come from carrying a human being inside themselves for 9 months?
          => No. There is no evidence that nature has any intent.

          Or is that story describing a consequence from what happened due to the shifting of blame, dishonesty and shame they felt?
          => This is expressing the word of God. The last phrase is unambiguous.

          Or because of disobedience she needed to go through those things?
          => Even if true, that merely explains the rationale for mysogeny. If you buy that, you simply are saying that mysogeny is justified. This is not out of character for God, he punishes all women for the crime of 1. God can do as he pleases, he's God. I would prefer a God that sets a good example. Who am I to tell God how he should be? I'm nobody. I don't believe in God so any nobody can criticize it.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It may not be punishment, but a warning of what is to come. That nature will do those things to the human beings. And they have chosen to allow that. It is the consequence of being created good, but not perfect.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • bostontola

          You speak in terms of imperfect humans. I couldn't agree more. If the bible spoke in those terms, i.e. Humans vs men and women differently, this topic would not exist. The issue is the bible seems to define women as more imperfect than men.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Which is weird because I don't feel that way. And I belong to a community that doesn't feel that way. What Jesus teaches doesn't demonstrate misogyny. Christianity was definitely born into a misogynist culture. Scripture says God created man and women both is God's image. There are examples of people in Christian history that didn't believe this.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          I think a very small percentage of Christians are mysogynist. Just like very few own slaves. Modern culture has advanced in the last 2000 years. We do get better with time.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
    • colin31714

      Actually, in fairness to Paul of Tarsus, this verse is one of the "smoking guns" that make biblical scholars pretty confident that Paul did not write 1 Timothy. Paul was actually ok with women being in leadership positions in the early church, whereas the author of 1 Timothy obviously sought obsequious devotion from his female colleagues. This, along with references in 1 Timothy to developments in the nascent Christian church that post-dated Paul's death by many years, betray the fraudulent authorship of the letter. Paul's name has been hijacked by an early Christian fraudster.

      Of course, none of this defends the Bible as a whole. The letter and its underlying approach to women is still in there. Further, the fact that forged writings (1 Timothy ifs not the only falsely attributed biblical writing) found their way into the Bible significantly undermines any claim of a God inspired Bible.

      June 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
  6. realbuckyball

    Aquinas' Compendium of Theology : "The reason the serpent chose to approach Eve first about eating the apple was that the 'light of reason shone less brightly in her' ". - Christianity has been misogenistic ever since the early church tried to paint Mary Magdalene as a wh'ore, as the men were jealous and threatened by her.
    "Created in the image of god", except when it's not convenient.

    June 25, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
    • bostontola

      Spot on.

      June 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
    • Salero21

      Psst... your ignorance of Scripture is showing for the www to see!

      June 25, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
      • colin31714

        Actually, RealBuckyBall appears to be one of the best read and informative of the regular posters on this blog when it comes to the early development of the Judeo-Christian faith.

        June 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Except you forgot to say how.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        It was Cyrus the Great who issued the Edict of Restoration, not Artexerxes.

        "Thus saith Cyrus the king: Since God Almighty hath appointed me to be king of the habitable earth, I believe that he is that God which the nation of the Israelites worship; for indeed he foretold my name by the prophets, and that I should build him a house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea." This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies; for this prophet said that God had spoken thus to him in a secret vision: "My will is, that Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be king over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my temple." This was foretold by Isaiah one hundred and forty years before the temple was demolished. Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the Divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written; so he called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said to them, that he gave them leave to go back to their own country, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem, and the temple of God, for that he would be their assistant, and that he would write to the rulers and governors that were in the neighborhood of their country of Judea, that they should contribute to them gold and silver for the building of the temple, and besides that, beasts for their sacrifices. – Josephus, 1rst century historian.

        June 26, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • otoh2


          " That from Surim was the land of As.syria denominated; and that from the other two (Apher and J.apbran) the country of Africa took its name, because these men were auxiliaries to Hercules, when he fought against Libya and Antaeus; and that Hercules married Aphra's daughter, and of her he begat a son, Diodorus; and that Sophon was his son, from whom that barbarous people called Sophacians were denominated." –Josephus '1rst century historian'.


          June 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
  7. pandeist

    But note that these misogynist views are only reflected in monotheistic faiths built on the deeply flawed writings of deeply flawed men. The revolutionary theological theory of Pandeism evinces no such bigotry for it fully accounts for and supersedes the book-burdened faiths in ways that their proponents are simply unable to rationally answer. Blessings!!

    June 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
    • bostontola

      And I bet your religion doesn't condone owning another person as property either. That is good, but it would be fallacious to use lack of being wrong on obvious points as evidence of being right on anything else, including pandeism.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
      • pandeist

        The specific proposition of Pandeism is that the life-giving physics and structure of our Universe logically suggests a Creator having wholly become our Universe in order for life evolving therein to provide to it the experiences of existence. The logical takeaway of this proposition is that we are all equally part of our Creator, and every harm, oppression, or indignity that any of us causes to any other, we are causing our Creator to experience (and so, ultimately, bringing upon ourselves). So, enslaving our fellows would be most exceptionally condemnable.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:18 am |
  8. jls639

    Everything Jelks wrote is true.

    June 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, it's a very good article. One of the very best we've seen here.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
    • Salero21

      Nope... sorry it's NOT! He lied in his pretense that the Bible and the Quran say the same thing about women being treated as though they are not equal to men. He lied he failed.

      June 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Oh yes, Prof. Jenks is such a "liar":

        Leviticus 27 (NIV)
        1 The Lord said to Moses,
        2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value,
        3 set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel ;
        4 for a female, set her value at thirty shekels

        No different biblical treatment of men an women there.

        (Now posted in the right place)

        June 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • Salero21

          Psst... your ignorance is showing, maybe even your Misandry is showing, maybe your preference for a Matriarchy is showing.

          Differences does not equal being considered lesser. In the Law those values were different because men were and are still today, physically stronger for the tasks required by certain Vows, and were the ones to go to war as soldiers. Vows were not required of women, women were protected and not expose to certain requirements of the Law eg Military service. Which is being done now, not because of a belief in equality but because there aren't enough men to fill the ranks since the repeal of the Draft. Too many chicken-hawks! I'm sure you know what I mean by that! wink, wink.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Differences does not equal being considered lesser.
          Yeah, right.

          50 = 30
          20 = 10
          5 = 3
          15 = 10

          It's Salero math.

          According to Leviticus women = three fifths of a man's literal value in silver, (or at best two thirds) except as children when they are only worth half.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          these were standards set for VOLUNTARY vows and it was according to the amount of work in the temple assisting the priests that could be performed by the age groups, had nothing to do with a persons worth as a human. Why can't you see this? in your rush to judgment you seem bent on taking everything out of context. trying actually reading and meditating on what the bible says next time.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
  9. Salero21

    In the first sentence of the 6th paragraph he states that the Bible like the Quran, says the same, about women being treated as though they are not equal to men. That's a very Malicious distortion of the Truth, not in the Bible the way he says it. He failed to show where in the Bible says it like that. This man has a corrupt and perverted Agenda, not from the Bible, not from the Gospel or our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    He is in line with groups that among other would rather send a woman to combat than go themselves. And that's just to begin with.

    He lied he failed as simple as that. If you lie you fail.

    June 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Wrong. The OT is full of countless examples of the misogyny of Yahweh, and how men get to have power over women. Just more proof it just reflects the culture of the day, and contains nothing exceptional.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
      • Salero21

        Care to show at least, and no less than 12 verses/texts from the Bible, that could prove beyond a reasonable doubt your point? Please include the CONTEXT in which the verse is, not just an isolated, taken out of the CONTEXT verse. A reasonable CONTEXT could/would be, sort of like, the previous 10 verses and the subsequent 10.

        Also maybe, 2 or 3 other pas*sages akin with the first, then comparative pas*sages from both the OT and the NT. Don't forget to take into account other very important CONTEXTS to the texts/verses. Such as Audience, Speaker, Era Times or Epoch, OT or NT, the Law or Grace, Locale or Locations, Situations eg War, Peace, Times of duress, the Exodus etc. Do you understand? Do you know what I mean? Good Luck in the Endeavor if you decide to take it.

        Because if a verse/text is out of CONTEXT is nothing more than PRETEXT. Psst your IGNORANCE of the Scriptures is showing.

        June 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The full passage since you want 12 verses:

          Leviticus 27
          1 The Lord said to Moses,
          2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value,
          3 set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel ;
          4 for a female, set her value at thirty shekels ;
          5 for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels ;
          6 for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver;
          7 for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels.

          Plus there's 1 Timothy 2:11-15 above.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • mrsinned

          Not sure where you get these very specific and off the wall parameters but are a few. What about 1 Timothy 2:12, which states "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." Or from 1 Corinthians 14:34 from the King James Bible: "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." And 1 Corinthians 14:35 states: "If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." I'm sure I'll enjoy your logical/scriptural contortions that are bound to follow.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Numbers 1

          1 The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said:
          2 “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.
          3 You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army.
          4 One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you.

          So ... just the men? The women don't count in the census?

          June 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Numbers 5

          11 Then the Lord said to Moses,
          12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him
          13 so that another man has se.xual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act),
          14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure—
          15 then he is to take his wife to the priest.

          If a man *suspects* his wife, off to the priest with her. What if a woman suspects her husband? Not in this chapter.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Leviticus 19,

          20 “ ‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed.

          Cos' you know she's a slave. Nothing about not sleeping with slaves or servants in Leviticus 18 (presumably that's OK).

          June 25, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "Also maybe, 2 or 3 other pas*sages akin with the first, then comparative pas*sages from both the OT and the NT. Don't forget to take into account other very important CONTEXTS to the texts/verses. Such as Audience, Speaker, Era Times or Epoch, OT or NT, the Law or Grace, Locale or Locations, Situations eg War, Peace, Times of duress, the Exodus etc. Do you understand? Do you know what I mean? Good Luck in the Endeavor if you decide to take it."

          So much for "absolute moral values". Thank you !!

          June 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          'You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army.'

          women did not serve in the army, you would want them to? you must be a misogynist.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        men having "power of women" is not in the definition of misogyny. please consult the dictionary for the proper meaning of the word. or just shut up

        June 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  10. bostontola

    These religions emerged from male dominated groups. The religions reflect the social structure of that time. Religion didn't cause male dominance, it preserved it. Dogmatic religions freeze human development. Mysogeny isn't the only immoral structure preserved by religions.

    June 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Religion is a human construct to preserve a particular status quo for it's inventors.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
    • Salero21

      Psst... your ignorance of History is showing!

      June 25, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
      • bostontola

        Why did you capitalize history?

        Sally, you are always good for a laugh.

        June 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Oh yes, Prof. Jenks is such a "liar":

      Leviticus 27 (NIV)
      1 The Lord said to Moses,
      2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value,
      3 set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel ;
      4 for a female, set her value at thirty shekels

      No different biblical treatment of men an women there.

      June 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      misogyny = abuse of women, secular men want women slaving in the workplace and not at home taking care of children. warehouse the children = child abuse.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
      • igaftr

        I am a secular man ( so is everyone else since nothing can be shown to exist outside of the secular), and I want women to do what makes them content. Some women prefer to saty at home and raise kids, some like to work, etc. etc. etc.
        Life liberty and the pursuit of whatever the heck you want.
        Basically, the same as men. I only know of a few rolls that are exclusive to women, and they deal with the physical differences only, childbirth, breast feeding, etc.. I only know one thing that is exclusive to men and that is sperm donor.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        there are fewer and fewer families where both husband and wife don't need to work in order to make ends meet and therefore the choice is really not there for women to stay at home to nurture children.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • igaftr

          Stay on target.
          This reply is a far cry from your original post.
          You first tried to claim what men want, and something ridiculous about child abuse, then you back off to financial necessity.

          What are you trying to say? and please show us only one face at a time.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
  11. blvicente

    Oh, my goodness! Did he really compare a woman who was excommunicated from a church for advocating that they change their doctrine, to a woman who was SENTENCED TO DEATH?


    Intellectual dishonesty like I haven't seen in many years. What a shill.

    June 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
    • Salero21

      Yeah, what's with that? I agree with your statement! Not only that; he lied in the first sentence of the 6th paragraph, when alleges that the Bible, like the Quran says what he says it says. He lied he failed! Not a good article at all, but seems to be in line with most of CNN's lately.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
    • mrsinned

      It's a shame that that is what you took from the article. And, actually, I think you're incorrect. As far as I can tell, the author stated in relevant part "There is a direct link between Kate Kelly, a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter day-Saints, who was excommunicated on charges of apostasy, and Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her supposed apostasy." So the author did not equate the two at all–his point is that there is a link between each: Patriarchy. And I agree with one comparison made by the author: both of these women are incredibly brave. It is abhorent that two women who deserve nothing but our admiration are met with misogynistic condemnation.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
      • Salero21

        So then you are against Patriarchy; does it means that you're all for Matriarchy? Then you're so against misogyny which we all can certainly are, but; does it means that you're in favor of Misandry? Just asking!

        June 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • mrsinned

          You'll need to do better than that Salero21. You're posing a false dilemma. My position is simple, I pick the third option of not being in favor of any of those extremes. I pick equality, plain and simple.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          he's a misandrist.

          June 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
    • jayalv

      As a Mormon feminist, it's clear to me that this author's understanding of the situation is extremely shallow. As in, "Hey I read some biased NYT articles and now I feel like an expert" shallow.

      Has no one noticed the shocking lack of interviews/quotes/perspectives from other LDS feminists in the media these days? Guess what: Most of them strongly disagree with the way Kelly has gone about things, and believe she has done great damage at the discussion table.

      Kate Kelly was not excommunicated because she had questions or disagreements about gender issues. Thousands of LDS women do, and they are not summarily excommunicated. Kelly was excommunicated because she interpreted doctrine her own way, actively proselyted her interpretation, said that anything less than full agreement with her was (and I quote) "insufficient." She has also been grossly misrepresenting several publicly available facts in interviews with the press.

      In the LDS Church, there's nothing wrong with discussion and asking for further revelation to be sought. Thousands have done that for decades. There is something wrong with saying you're unequivocally right, proselyting your own viewpoint when its flaws have been pointed out to you, refusing to listen to fellow feminists who ask you to go about this in an actual productive way, then accusing everyone of abuse when people do not do what you tell them to. Moreover, LDS people believe that doctrine can be changed, but that it must come via a prophet. We don't get to decide what God wants. And discerning God's will may take time. In the meantime, we're charged with charity for one another and working to build up the kingdom.

      By the way – in the LDS tradition, excommunication is not casting someone out of the congregation. People who have been excommunicated routinely attend church, and are often indistinguishable from other members unless you literally track their every move. So much misunderstanding in the press. So much co-opting these events and using them to further unrelated agendas.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        "Kelly was excommunicated because she interpreted doctrine her own way, actively proselyted her interpretation"

        Right, just like the men in the congregation before her who interpret doctrine in their own way and actively proselytize their interpretations. How is this different again? Oh, that's right, one of the mens interpretations says that women shouldn't be allowed to interpret...

        June 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I got as far as "As a Mormon feminist" and figured everything after that would be moronic... my assessment was correct.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      i know, it's stupid isn't it.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
  12. hazerrazor

    Christianity is a tribal religion. It is an offshoot of Judaism which is also patriarchal so of course it is Misogynistic. The heart of all fundamentalist religions is fear, anger and violence. Anyone who raises objections is a conveniently branded a heretic, atheist or infidel. That's how this silliness has gone of for centuries.

    June 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Religion is a construct made by men that put men in control and tried to cement that power structure by claiming that's what "God" wants. As history shows no matter what religion or region you grew up in odds were that you lived in a patriarchical society so it was just another status que that went mostly unchallenged for thousands of years. That is why religion is so mysogynistic.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
    • Salero21

      Psst! Your ignorance is showing!

      June 25, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      oh it is not. you're just another one in that crowd that wants to emasculate men. you probably think all little boys should play with dolls.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
  13. Reality

    Interesting commentary until I did a background check on the author:

    "Jelks is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BA in History), McCormick Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity) and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in History); he is also an ordained clergy person in the Presbyterian Church (USA). "

    Being a supporter of "Saint" Paul eliminates Jelks as someone to listen to as Paul is one of the major reasons Christian males consider women to be second class citizens:

    "He (Paul) feared the turn-on of women's voices as much as the sight of their hair and skin..... At one point he even suggests that the sight of female hair might distract any "pretty wingie talking fictional thingies" in church attendance (1 Cor. 11:10). Simply add Paul's thinking about women to the list of flaws in the foundations of Christianity.

    June 25, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • nychsa

      That's a very interesting point! I'm not a Christian, so I'm not that familiar with some of the nuances of Paul's commentaries. There are many instances where men experience attraction to a female and then blame the female for their own lustful thinking.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
      • workingcopy12

        Nychsa...here's another interesting point...Realty is wrong. Why don't you read Paul's letters for yourself (they're pretty short). If you don't understand anything he is saying, why don't you research the issue for yourself. What you might find (and the reason Reality is wrong) is that Paul's concerns about women in church had nothing to do with whether they were a distraction in church (although they could have been–read on), but rather to bless them with the truth that the pagan rituals they had become accustomed to (i.e., dressing and acting like temple prost.itutes in the Pagan temples they were previously attending) need not be part of their tradition any more. In short, Paul's telling the former se.x slaves (de jure or de factO is irrelevant) that they were free from THAT misogyny.

        June 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • Reality

          Other anti-female comments in Paul's epistles.

          ( Timothy 2: 8-15 KJV)"

          8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
          9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
          10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
          11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
          12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
          13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
          14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
          15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

          “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)"

          June 26, 2014 at 12:40 am |
    • Salero21

      Psst... you're lying is showing as well as your ignorance and pretense to know other peoples mind.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
      • mrsinned

        How about using your comments to advance the conversation instead of calling names.

        June 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • Salero21

          You lied again, therefore you failed.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • mrsinned

          Reply to Salero21's comment below (b/c there's no option to reply to that last comment). Please point out the lie in my comment. I made one affirmative representation–that you called Reality a liar, ignorant and pretentious instead of presenting a position that advances the conversation. Your subsequent post then calls me a liar, which both proves my point and makes you into the liar.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
  14. totalrecall9

    If you looked further than past your nose, you would see that girls raised in a biological two-parent, Christian homes are the most loved and treated the best. It's you liberals and feminists that want to degrade women and treat them like hoes! It's you liberals and feminists that want to take fathers out of the homes! All you liberals know how to do is propagandize lies to further your immoral desires!

    June 25, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Absolute crap!!!
      It is the good Christian girls that have the highest rate of teenage pregnancy because these poor innocent children are taught that sex is a bad thing and like all teens they're aching to find out what's so bad.
      You get good and bad parents either side of the coin. Raising a child on ones own takes a tremendous amount of courage and not all can do it, yet many do.
      I raised my daughter without a set of beliefs...her father is Wiccan, I was Christian and for that division alone we decided to let her figure it out. She doesn't drink...she doesn't smoke...she doesn't do drugs...she will head back to college in the fall. So please don't try to claim that religion makes for better children.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I can't help but laugh at these people. It just amazes me that people really haven't come out of their caves.

        June 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Oh dude, you aren't even a good troll. Go find another site. We already have our quota of trolls on this one.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Prove it. Show us the peer reviewed studies.

      June 25, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
  15. kenman14

    Hey CNN, your hatred of Christianity is showing!

    Don't dare to criticize the cult of Islam that is responsible for daily terrorism, kidnapping and raping and murdering young girls and women, generally treating them like animals all across the Middle East and anywhere else their Sharia Law is in force!

    BUT, offer your blanket condemnation for every OTHER religion, and on your "Belief" blog at that! What hypocritical and bitter atheists you are!

    June 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Your persecution complex is showing.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • totalrecall9

      I agree, kenman14. Liberal CNN is nothing but an immoral, atheistic cesspool now!

      June 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Isn't this article written by a Christian?

      June 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Apparently an ordained Presbyterian clergy (person).

        June 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I started listening to one of his speeches. I don't think he is part of a conspiracy to destroy Christianity.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Certainly not from this Op Ed piece.

          Just more confirmation bias. People see and hear what they want to see and hear.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Maybe the first line threw him off: “God is not a Christian.” Or maybe he totally disagrees with Desmond Tutu, who I know definitely is a Christian. And a good example of one I believe.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Maybe he thinks Presbyterians are infidels.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
    • nychsa

      So, simply attacking the author rather than addressing the issue he raises is the best way to make your point? I think I'm missing something LOL!

      I believe the matter is rather simple. On a very primal level, men have had a need to secure their dynasties. They can't do that unless they control the woman who has bears their children. Using religion to do that is an effective way to violently subjugate 1/2 of the human population (roughly 1/2).

      June 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Oh my, that's too funny! You poor persecuted Christian...I feel so bad for you-NOT. Give it a rest...society still bends to your ilk-tax breaks of approximately $79 billion; holidays specifically designated towards your belief...you're so persecuted...you poor baby! (grow up)

      June 25, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
    • igaftr

      Hey kenman14, your hatred of Islam is showing!

      Ironic you chastise CNN for the same thing you are doing.

      June 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
  16. nychsa

    When the ancient Celts encountered the monotheistic patriarchal religions, the Celts found these traditions to confused. How did men believe they were the sole keepers of life when nothing in nature came even close to confirming that belief? In addition, the Celts found the patriarchal unbalanced. The war like nature of men, without the balance of the feminine was a recipe for on-going war. Lastly, they felt the Earth its self demonstrated this unbalance – barren earth, life subjugated by the wrath and fire of the male warrior temperament. How is this belief any more unusual than the belief that a single male deity, in the image of a human male no less, is responsible for the entire universe? Sounds fairly hubristic!

    June 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Christianity sounds exactly like what it is: a belief system created by a patriarchal culture. Gods always have the same morals and laws as the society that creates them. That's how we know that gods are man-made.

      June 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      well now since the ancient Celts didn't do a lot of writing of any sort i guess you feel especially qualified to speak up for them. sadly it's all conjecture. and it is highly unlikely the ancient Celts would have appreciated any effort to emasculate the men in their culture. but i do get where you are coming from, that is all members of a patriarchal religion or society are misogynists, gotcha.

      June 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
  17. kottmyer

    The author was WAY to kind to the Roman Catholics - the most corrupt and misogynistic organization on the planet. Radical muslims give them a run for their money, but Catholics still have more influence around the world, so they take the prize for sheer idiocy where women are concerned.

    I was a Catholic once. But I know when I'm not wanted, so I left and never looked back.

    June 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
  18. 00fireball

    God did take on human nature in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. That last line of the article is nothing more than old-fashioned Gnostic heresy-and that was put to rest more than a thousand years ago. Nice try though.

    June 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Really ? Is that why the divinity is different in each gospel, and why it took so much arguing in the councils to cook up the trinity ? The idea that Jew would be equal to Yahweh is utterly preposterous, and Jesus never claimed he was. If he had, he would have been stoned on the spot. In Hebrew culture therer were many divine beings. None of the heavenly host were equal to Yahweh.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "The idea that Jew would be equal to Yahweh is utterly preposterous, and Jesus never claimed he was"

        nope, you are wrong on both accounts, and the Jews did try stoning Him many times. have you actually ever read the bible or do you just go around parroting what people who claim to have read the bible say?

        June 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
    • kottmyer

      Well, if God is going to be born as a human, it's either male or female. How could anybody born female in the Roman Empire be taken seriously enough to get any message out? God being born as a male was logical for that time, but not required.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
    • toleranceofall

      Jesus did claim to be God. John 10:30 "I and the Father are one.” also Matthew 16:16-17 "16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven."

      Jesus clearly states that He is divine.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Wrong. The gospels were claims made ABOUT him, and you have no proof he ever said that. God had many "sons". At that time it just meant a "righteous man". It was a ti'tle given to many general, politicians and heroes. Words placed by an author in Peter's mouth, in no way says he ever said that. Clearly, you, as most people here, have never studied the culture of the time. John was written at LEAST a century later. How on earth would someone know what he said a hundred years later. They made it all up. Why is John SO different, and contradict the other gospels ? You can't possibly think it's anything other than a faith story written by believers for believers about what they already believed. It's TOTALLY unreliable. And no one has explained why the divinity is different in each gospel, as any scholar knows, and how that fits with the Hebrew concept.

        June 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Clearly the claim is made ABOUT him. You have no proof he even existed.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        • toleranceofall

          Ok, so it's obvious you don't believe it. If so, why so vehement about it?

          June 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          oh that is so ignorant. according to your logic then we could not believe ANYTHING written concerning history. yet you believe EVERYTHING any man states or writes as long as it is anti-theist or atheistic.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          you've very obviously have never actually sat down and read the bible, this would account for your ignorant claims about what the bible teaches. you're the same guy who remonstrated that Cyrus the Great did not give the Edict for Restoration to the captive Jews in Babylon; because you read somewhere that Artexerxes had this plan to allow the Jews to rebuild the temple and restore their culture in order to provide a buffer between Greece and Persia. Alexander the Great wasn't even on the scene yet at the time Cyrus ruled. try backing up your rebuttals to the bible with real facts and not anti-theist rhetoric.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
  19. orcahawk

    Religion has a lot more problems going for it than just misogyny –

    June 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
  20. kp10012

    I think this author needs to stop Wikipedia big words for his article and actually know what he is writing about. It is obvious Mr. Jelks is either an agnostic or atheist trying to fit religion in his box. His statement "Religious faith at its best is an attempt to define the meaningfulness of life and give life ultimate nobility in facing death" is just a fancy way of saying I don't know what the definition of religion is. Each religion is different with each having its own meaning. Mr. Jelks definition might fit the Islamic murderer who kills innocent people in the name of Allah, but religion is much more than that. It is having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to believe he came down and died on the cross to wipe our sins away and was risen three days in triumph over the grave. It is the belief that there is a better place waiting those who believe in God and his son Jesus. That is much more than religion is attempt at meaning in life and nobility in death...

    June 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • gracerebeccamiller

      The Atonement and Christian Heaven are exactly what the author is talking about. Believing that you can have a relationship with Christ and your sins can be forgiven gives this life meaning, and believing that you might go to a better place lends nobility

      June 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
    • freefromtheism

      You just redefined "religion" to mean "Christianity". Well, clearly that's not what religion is; that might be what Christianity is, but the two are not interchangeable, as Christianity is one type of religion.
      Either way, how would your specific example show that his claims about how religion is patriarchal and misogynistic are false?

      June 25, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
    • daphnerp

      I actually agree with the author in his definition of religion. All religions attempt to answer people's questions around mortality...why there is life and death.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Mr. Jelks is either an agnostic or atheist trying to fit religion in his box."
      Why? Because anyone who criticizes religiosity automatically *has* to be an atheist?

      June 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I find it amusing that some schmoe who can barely write a coherent sentence, thinks that a Professor from the Univ of KS needs to resort to Wikipedia to use 'big words.' LOL.

      June 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • kenman14

      Totally agree with you. Thank God!

      June 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Of course you agree, dear. You are yet another who can't bear any criticism of your religion. That says more about you than it does the critic.

        June 25, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      "Mr. Jelks is either an agnostic or atheist ..."

      Google is your friend.

      From Prof. Jelk's website:

      "Randal Maurice Jelks is an Associate Professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies. He is co-editor of the journal American Studies and a co-founder and editor of the Michigan based blog theblackbottom.com.

      Jelks is a graduate of South Shore High School (Chicago), the University of Michigan (BA in History), McCormick Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity) and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in Comparative Black Histories); he is also an ordained clergy person in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

      Some atheist!

      June 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        ooops – " Jelks' "

        June 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        so what, i have access to all the books as well. you seem to be under the impression that all learned men come from academia. you are wrong. cognitive skills can be developed anywhere. this article is proof that stupidity also can originate in academia. beyond the subject matter of religion, how in the world are there any similarities in these two experiences? there are none, but this guy makes an unconvincing case that there are. in fact it might even be postulated that this excommunicated Mormon is a closet misandrist and the only reason she is doing this is to 'expose' the elders and doctrine of this church, a rebel of sorts looking for revenge. her actions in no way resemble the non-actions of the Christian woman in Sudan but this guy tries hard to make it so and does a poor job at it.

        June 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • igaftr

          So by your reasoning, the Freedom Riders weren't standing up for their rights, they did it because they hated white people?
          Nice job in pushing the blame back to the oppressed.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.