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. Alias

    This seems to be just another case of subjective morality.
    Things that are moral for one person are immoral for another – based on gender.

    June 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      But I've heard athesits on this site argue until they were blue in the fingers that morality IS relative. So if indeed that's the case, what's the problem?

      June 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • Alias

        No problem.
        Just pointing out the obvious fact that morality is subjective in the bible.

        June 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          In order to do that, you would have to cite examples of how anything that God did was not in accordance to His character and attributes.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • Alias

          wrong theo
          The things people did in the past were moral at the time, but they would be immoral now.
          Killing everyone except the virgins and turning them into slaves, for example.
          Moral when it happened in the past, but not moral now.
          Eating pork. Immoral then, but ok now.
          The rules for what is moral have changed and could change again. They are subjective.

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

          And In order to do that, you would have to prove your God exists so that we could accept his subjectivity. Until then the only subjects our subjective morality really cares about are ourselves and there is no such thing as objective morality.

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

          The word for a God who has one set of rules for some people and another set of rules for other people, is "azzhole".

          June 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          You are confusing the moral, civil, and ceremonial laws. The Civil Laws are gone because we are not Israelites living in Israel in that time period, the Ceremonial Laws are gone because we have the Lamb slain once for all time (Jesus – as a part of this, the dietary laws are gone – see Acts 11). The Moral Law (10 Commandments) ARE STILL applicable to the New Testament church today, except the Sabbath Law, the 4th Commandment. This is gone because under the New Covenant, we have a rest in Christ.

          Furthermore, you seem to be taking the depictions of the conquest of Canaan as if it were a mandate for all people today.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "In order to do that, you would have to cite examples of how anything that God did was not in accordance to His character and attributes."

          That argument is invalid. You would have demonstrate (not just assert) god exists. Then you would have to demonstrate (not just assert) what attributes and characteristcs god has.

          Of course no behavior is inconsistent with the character and attributes of the bible because that god has done all sorts of actions that would be immoral for any other being to do. The argument then breaks down to god can do what he wants BECAUSE he is god....special pleading. "Do as I say, not as I do." Awful stuff.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Alias

          You can catagorize, define, and babble about lambs all you want to.
          If something was moral at one time, but is no longer moral, then that morality is subjective.
          If something was immoral in the past but moral today, then that norality is subjective.
          Or do you have another twist on how to define 'subjective morality'?

          June 26, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Well, first off, eating pork was never immoral. It was a civil mandate. Driving your car on the sidewalk isn't immoral, but it IS illegal. Making it legal to drive on the sidewalk doesn't mean that you've "changed your morality."

          June 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Alias

          Slavery was moral. Today it is immoral.
          Especially selling your daughter into slavery.
          Morality changed.

          It would be nice if you would occasionally display some integrity.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "In order to do that, you would have to cite examples of how anything that God did was not in accordance to His character and attributes."

          No. That's not the problem. The problem is Euthyphro's Dilemma. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro
          YOU cannot answer it. No theist can.

          The problem is, IF your god is, and always was "good" then where did the definition of "good" come from, and it can't have been your god, IF the definition ALWAYS applied, and made any sense, then Reality always encompassed something other than your god, which you are unable to explain, (even while you no doubt maintain your deity is the Creator of Reality).

          June 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
      • bostontola

        "Blue in the fingers" Good one.

        June 26, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Vic

      I believe there is "Objective Morality" that is ONLY from God, and that our human ability to apply it is very subjective, hence the need for Salvation.

      John 3:16
      Romans 3:10
      Ephesians 2:8,9

      June 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • tallulah131

        You are free to believe as you wish. Personally, I believe that religions and gods reflect the societal roles and morals of the culture that invented them. If those religions do not adapt (evolve if you will) to the changes in roles and morals within their society, then those religions will eventually be made obsolete as members are increasingly dissatisfied with the limits.

        June 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • Keith

          That is a clear explanation of how religions die.

          June 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
      • dandintac


        If morality is some sort of mysterious object that only God can provide, then it seriously calls into question our ability to understand and apply any sort of moral judgement outside the moral pronouncements provided in the Bible. There is no SYSTEM of morality outlined in the Bible–just your assurance that it comes from God.

        Furthermore, is God making this morality up as he goes along? If so, then morality cannot possibly be objective. It's fundamentally, ontologically subjective, not objective. It is god's idea–ideas being subjective by definition. What is moral merely beccomes God's whim, and by your definition, it could change anytime it suits him. This is not an example of "objective". Indeed, we already see that God's supposed morality changes. Slavery was condoned by God and indeed regulated, now, Christians almost uniformly acknowledge that it's bad (although the Bible never says this).

        So if morality is objective, why did God change it? Why is he a waffler with regards to slavery?

        Finally, before you claim that morality is objective and comes from God, you need to prove God exists. Or if you want to use objective morality to prove God exists, then you need to prove this objective morality exists first. You cannot use unproven assertion A to prove unproven assertion B and vice-versa.

        June 26, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
  2. Theo Phileo

    You know... just thinking... Where are people speaking out about the objectification and denegration of women in "adult" magazines, advertising, the music industry, hollywood...

    What about a discussion about how modern media destroys the nobility of women merely to sell a product or a fictional lifestyle by showing them in "non-functional" clothing and zero body fat that tells young girls that they HAVE to fit a mold created by someone else just so that they can be accepted? What about a discussion about how modern media contributes to teenage pr.egn.ancy, r.a.pe, eating disorders, etc...

    Christianity elevates women, modern media breaks them down. But do we hear about this? Very rarely...

    June 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "modern media breaks them down. But do we hear about this? Very rarely...
      Clearly you've never heard a feminist speak, ever.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Good point. Don't forget s.ex slavery. I know Christians and others in Brazil for the World Cup right now with the intention of reaching out to those enslaved and trying to free them. Secular society isn't that great at times, either.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Miley Cyrus is Christian... I assumed twerking was a Christian thing, like 'speaking in tongues' and hillbilly snake wrangling

      June 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        That is why I always told my kids to stay away from those strange Christians and their evil cult gatherings

        June 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Miley Cyrus is a Christian in the same way that I can stand in a garage and be a car.

        By their fruits you shall know them, and she bears NO fruit in keeping with repentance.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Regardless of your lack of resemblance to an automobile... she is a Christian

          June 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          she is a Christian
          By using the Bible, look at her life, and prove to me that she is a Christian. (knowing that "believing in Jesus" isn't what saves you, for even the demons believe and they tremble, but are not saved)

          June 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Wikipedia: "She was raised Christian and was baptized in a Southern Baptist church prior to moving to Hollywood in 2005. She attended church regularly while growing up and wore a purity ring" ... Cyrus has a Christian faith, and was baptized in a Southern Baptist church in 2005.

          "“My faith is very important to me,” she says. “But I don’t necessarily define my faith by going to church every Sunday. Because now when I go to church, I feel like it’s a show. There are always cameras outside. I am very spiritual in my own way. Let me make it clear, though—I am a Christian. Jesus is who saved me. He’s what keeps me full and whole. But everyone is ent.itled to what they believe and what keeps them full. Hopefully, I can influence people and help them follow the same path I am on, but it is not my job to tell people what they are doing wrong.”


          June 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Anyone can call themselves a Christian.

          Just like anyone can call themselves logical. Or rational. Or intelligent.

          Anyone can call themselves a Humanist. Or a scientist.

          Demonstrating such things is another story.

          June 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Justin Bieber is also a Christian... and almost as bad... he is also a Canadian

          June 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          This is not the direction that I wanted this discussion to go, but, to prove that she isn't a Christian...

          1 John 3:4-10 – Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

          In the passage above, John refers to sin in the present tense, indicating continuous, habitual action. In other words, John is not referring to occasional acts of sin, but to established and continual patterns of sinful behavior. Believers will sometimes sin (Romans 7:14-25)—even willfully—but they will not and cannot sin habitually and persistently as a way of life (cf. Romans 6:4-14; Galatians 5:24; Ephesians 2:10).

          June 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "This is not the direction that I wanted this discussion to go"
          It's the direction you chose to take.

          "Judgmentalism" – giving sanctimonious holy rollers the jollies for thousands of years

          June 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Theo & Dala: You don't get to decide who is a christian or not. You are just not that important.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "This is not the direction that I wanted this discussion to go" I claim Mission Success!! HOOAH!

          June 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Theo & Dala: You don't get to decide who is a christian or not. You are just not that important.
          I know that, I don't. But God does reserve that right, and for ministerial purposes, He has shown us that by examining their fruit, we can tell who is and who is not in the Kingdom. She does not bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          GOP'er: "It's the direction you chose to take.

          "Judgmentalism" – giving sanctimonious holy rollers the jollies for thousands of years." This made my day, as did LET's "Mission Success!" Complet. the mission. LET, you did that.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Then you win the distraction trophy award of the day. It's a red herring travelling on a rabbit trail.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst


          What are you talking about? I never said she was not a Christian.

          I really don't know her that well.

          How about this: Ken Hamm is a scientist. He calls himself one.

          Does that mean he represents all scientists?

          June 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          On behalf of the people of Canada, I would like to sincerely apologize for Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Nickelback.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • tallulah131

          So are you calling yourself god, Theo? Because you are making judgements that you claim are reserved for god. Do you really think that your arrogance is any more christian than the childish antics of a girl who grew up in the spotlight?

          June 26, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Doc, Thanks for Mike Myers, but can you please take Ted Cruz back?

          June 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Løki ist erfreut

          June 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          So are you calling yourself god, Theo? Because you are making judgements that you claim are reserved for god.
          I'm not making any judgments. She stands in judgment apart from anything that I have to say. All I did was to proclaim what her lifestyle announces about her lack of salvation.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Dala: To put it at it's simplest, to be called a scientist one must follow the scientific method. Ken Hamm does not, therefore he is not a scientist, not matter what he calls himself.

          On the other hand, christianity has over 30,000 denominations and every one of those people have the right to be called a christian as long as they have accepted Christ as their savior. So as far as I can tell from her own words, Miley Cyrus is just as much a christian as Theo, you or any other christian poster on this blog.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • tallulah131

          "All I did was to proclaim what her lifestyle announces about her lack of salvation."

          That was a judgement, Theo, so you are just as boldly announcing your own lack of salvation.

          Matthew 7:1-5 ESV

          “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Doc, I pretty much love everything about Canada, but I have to say that your music has really let me down. But the comedy makes up for it (heck, Kids in the Hall alone..), so your apology is accepted.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."

          Did some State pass a law against twerking? When did that happen? Religion wants to be the moral police and make laws about how fast you can shake your booty and where, but they are a bunch of morons so I don't care what they think and will use my vote to thwart their theocracy every time they try to legislate their morality.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

          Ken Hamm is a scientist ... like Theo is a funny looking garage-kept automobile

          June 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

          @tallulah – RUSH makes up a lot for Nickelback... Love those Canadians...

          June 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Never got into Rush. I'm a punk rock girl at heart.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A lot of our best music never makes it south of the border.
          Chixdiggit, Big Sugar, Broken Social Social Scene, F-ed Up, DOA, Captain Tractor, Danko Jones, Gob, Moxy Fruvous, Propagandhi, Skinny Puppy, SNFU, Thrush Hermit and so many more tend to stay here with no notice from America.
          When you guys pick up on stuff like Shania Twain and the Barenaked Ladies your northern neighbours shake our heads.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Well, Mountie Bob he chased me, he was always at my throat
          He followed on the shoreline cause he didn't own a boat
          But cutbacks were a'coming and the Mountie lost his job
          So now he's sailing with us, and we call him Salty Bob!

          A swingin' sword, a skull and bones and pleasant company
          I never pay my income tax and screw the GST (SCREW IT!!)
          Sailin down to Saskatoon, the terror of the seas
          If you wanna reach the co-op, boy, you gotta get by me!"

          – Captain Tractor, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate

          June 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Obviously Matthew 7:1-16 is not a passage against judging in general, since you can’t obey the command “not to give holy things to dogs,” and “do not throw pearls before swine” unless you DO make a judgment of who are the dogs and who are the pigs...

          Rather, this is a passage against hypocrisy. Don’t judge others’ lives until you have first judged your own. Don’t have a haughty, snotty, arrogant atti.tude that condescends and judges someone in a nitpicky way. Pointing out sin for the purpose of ministry and repentance is required. Just look at Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:3, and 6:1-3

          Jesus goes on to say that we are to MAKE SURE that we judge false teaching, because if someone believes something other than the gospel of Jesus taught in the scripture, they are wrong and will end up in hell on Judgment Day.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Fly by night, away from here
          Change my life again
          Fly by night goodbye my dear
          Theos' ship isn't coming and he just can't pretend...
          Oh, no, wait, maybe he's better at pretending than expected...

          June 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Excuses, excuses Theo. If your god is real, you'll get your chance to explain why you think you are more qualified to judge than him.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I have no doubt that the best music in Canada never makes it here. The music industry isn't geared for the good stuff, only the most marketable stuff.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "The music industry isn't geared for the good stuff, only the most marketable stuff."
          Growing up shagging to Carolina Beach music, I completely agree with that statement. There's just not enough good stuff in 6/8 meter!!! King Tyrone, The Showmen, the Subdudes, Joe Simon, Boz Scaggs, The Platters... Stuff like that. It may be an Eastern Carolina thing, I dunno.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Finally something we can agree on, Theo!

          June 26, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst


          I never said Miley Cyrus wasn't a Christian, though. I don't know that much about her. She is welcome to come to my church. We let people like her in.

          Just like there are certain things a scientist must demonstrate, Jesus made clear He has certain things his followers must demonstrate.

          One can be a Christian, yet not follow what Jesus asks. I'm guilty of that.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You might dig Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (best known for doing the Kids in The Hall theme)

          June 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Finally something we can agree on, Theo
          I grew up in Morehead City, NC, home of the NC Seafood festival, and we used to have SO MANY bands like that come and play. Three days of fun in the sun, great music and shagging, and all the seafood you could eat! Now I'm stuck in North Georgia where the only salt water anywhere nearby is the brine for my tomatoes. Good night I'm homesick now.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "Justin Bieber is also a Christian... and almost as bad... he is also a Canadian"

          Can we please forget he is Canadian? We have had some terrific musicians come out of this country, he is not one of them. Sadly the blame for him goes on the mighty dollar.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Ever heard of "Off Kilter?" They're a GREAT Canadian band. Kindof like "7 Nations" where they combine electric guitars and bagpipes. Sounds strange, but you've got to youtube them before you judge them.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          " Sadly the blame for him goes on the mighty dollar."

          I blame Usher for training him in the ways of Pop stardom.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I forgot about Shadowy Men! Also the Zambonis. I you can't love hockey-rock, you cannot love.

          June 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • Keith

          Theo, you are one if you say you are one.

          June 26, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        On this oh so vital topic, is 'speaking in tongues' and hillbilly snake wrangling also unChristian?

        Chapter and verse please.

        June 26, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Keith

          Hillbilly snake wrangling is the most Christian you can get, speaking in tongues happens every time the preacher keep folks away from dinner too long, low blood sugar will do that.

          June 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Here, on CNN right now:


      June 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
    • Alias

      Media, movies, TV, and our culture may sexualize women, but that doesn't change the fact that the bible traps them in a subordinate role.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Roles for men and women are found in the order of creation. (1 Timothy 2:13) Eve was created as his Ezer Kenegdo (Genesis 2:18).

        June 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Alias

          How does that disputr the relevant point?
          Women are not treated as equals in the christian religions.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Women are not treated as equals in the christian religions."
          Men are equal to women in the Bible in every way. They just have different roles.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Alias

          The subordinate role is not equal.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Jesus was subordinate to God the Father, but they are both equal. Subordination has nothing to do with equality – it speaks only to roles.

          Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

          Both men and women are equal in the eyes of God, but they are to fulfill different roles and have different responsibilities (See: Ephesians 5)

          Deuteronomy 22:5 – A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.

          This isn't speaking JUST about clothing, but rather, anything that confuses the se.xes (including their God-given roles) is an abomination to the LORD.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Alias

          It does not matter if you think god gave them the roles.
          The roles are not equal and based entirely on gender. That is the problem.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Jesus was subordinate to God the Father, but they are both equal."

          "33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." John 4:33,34

          They are totally equal, it's just one of them gets to make all the decisions... Just like husbands and wives...

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

      It's all employment, modern servitude, we are all subject to it. I've seen naked women with Cross pendants on their chests by choice!

      Objectification is wrong by all standards, whether Christian, secular, what have you, whether male or female. It's just human doctrines are often conflated with true Belief/Faith in God, which Professor Randal Maurice Jelks addressed in this article.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        I've seen naked women with Cross pendants on their chests by choice!
        Your choice Vic?

        June 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • Vic

          I take it you mean women.

          Of course women are my choice, w/o being hypocritical by bringing it up when defending Justice and Equal Rights. I am naturally sexually inclined to women and only women, always have, always will.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It was just a play on grammar Vic. I wasn't asking a serious question.

          Was it your choice that the na.ked women were wearing crosses?
          Was it your choice to look at na.ked women because they were wearing crosses?


          June 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Vic

          "I've seen naked women with Cross pendants on their chests by "their own" choice!"

          The point is that whatever those women go through in life, they choose to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that sin, which a believer is forgiven for, does not prevent Salvation.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
    • tallulah131

      It's not actually that simplistic Theo. Just because the media does not always elevate women it does not automatically follow that christianity does. This article is full of examples of how religions, including christianity, treat women as second class members. Your attempts at diversion do not change those examples or make them go away.

      When discussing the media, you did miss one salient point: There are more influential women in the media than there are in religion. By far. There is a woman who has her own network. There are respected female reporters and newscasters. We have a viable female candidate for president. But as long as the male leadership has their way, there will never be a woman pope, or female LDS leader.

      June 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
  3. rogerdpack

    If you lookup and read the letter from her bishop, it answers a lot of questions about why this happened. FWIw.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
  4. Dalahäst

    Michael Scott: Okay, so what I want to engage us in today, is a ha.rdcore discussion about women's problems.
    And it's use and situation.
    Magazines and TV shows and movies portray women as skinny tall goddesses.
    Well, look around.
    Are women like that? No, no, they are not.
    Even the hot ones aren't really that skinny.
    So what does that say? That says that you women are up against it.
    And it is criminal.
    Society doesn't care.
    Society sucks.
    I don't even consider myself a part of society.

    Karen Filippelli: What you're saying is extremely misogynistic.

    Michael Scott: Yes. Thank you. That was not necessary, but I appreciated it. And it proves my point. Women can do anything.

    Karen Filippelli: I'm saying that you're being se.xist.

    Michael Scott: No. I'm being misogynistic. That is insane. I am not being se.xist.

    Karen Filippelli: That's the same thing.

    Phyllis Lapin: Michael.

    Michael Scott: Yes.

    Phyllis Lapin: When I got my hair cut short, you asked me if I was a lesbian.

    Michael Scott: Because... That was one possible explanation as to why you got that haircut.

    Angela: And when we get mad, you always ask us if we're on our periods.

    Michael Scott: I have to know whether you're serious or not.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  5. igaftr

    What is wrong with mysogeny.
    My lady and I give each other mysoges all the time. They are very relaxing.
    She might even become a mysoge therapist.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Salero21

      Do you mean Myogenic?

      June 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • igaftr

        No...meant as a pun...damn auto correct in by brain malfunctioned.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
  6. subfuzion

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

    Hmm, Randal Maurice Jelks ... your misandry is showing.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Salero21

      Yup! It looks like he is a Misandry and "feminism" advocate in the best case scenario. It could be funny if it wasn't such a phony.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • Salero21

        OMG, OMG... I'm beginning to think that he may be a Misogamist!

        June 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Alias


          Posting OMG is a SIN!

          You may want to review those 10 commandment thingies.
          Or are they part of the OT that ACTS says don't apply anymore?

          June 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • Salero21

          OMG, OMG, OMG. alias is a legalistic evil doer. So sorry but if you're an atheist, you can't turn around and pretend to use the same Word of God, that you have previously rejected. Not allowed! Either you believe or you don't. Otherwise in your attempt to do so your Extreme Hypocrisy is showing... yet again!

          June 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Alias

          Either you believe or you don't
          You answer to your god, not to me.
          Hypocritical sinner! Back under your bridge fool!

          June 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
  7. Raymond

    This issue is not about "equality"when it comes to the Mormon woman.

    The issue with the Mormon woman is more to do with her seeking power.Men and women are different , they have different strengths and weaknesses. A man and a woman should not try to compete with each other they are created to complement one another. There are many strong women in the world who have sacrificed their lot for the sake of bettering humanity, that is the goal of a religious person – a man or a woman.

    A Mormon woman who has read the Bible needs to understand that in Genesis, it clearly states that Eve's desire for all her life will be to her husband and that he will rule over her. That is scriptural. You can't change that, if you have a problem with the Bible, then why do you still remain in the faith? Leave your faith and go some place else where your femininity is worshipped.

    The statement, "I will stay and fight" is unscriptural and is not a valid argument and this Mormon woman is actually going against the doctrine.

    Mother Teresa never sought a position of power or fame, yet, she's will be one of the most admired woman for ages past and ages to come. There are strong women like Mother Teresa and then there are loud women like this one, who contribute zero, nada, zilch to humanity or its causes, yet feel they are doing their bit for the cause of women?! Really???

    June 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      It all went downhill after they were allowed suffrage...

      June 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Raymond

      The Sudanese woman was not imprisoned based on her gender, she was imprisoned for her faith. Regardless of whether she was a woman or not, she would have been imprisoned. According to them, a charge of "apostasy" that is prosecutable can be raised against either gender and not just women.

      Incorrect comparison and poorly written!

      June 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "The Sudanese woman was not imprisoned based on her gender, she was imprisoned for her faith."
        More likely she was imprisoned because she has money and her brother wants it. She was only imprisoned because she was a woman. If she were male, this probably wouldn't have happened at all.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      So all that just to say you think women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?? That's what that just came across as! Thankfully men do not have control over their wives/partners and thankfully there are laws to prevent it happening. She has every right that you have. And you're right, she should leave...if I were I would have, there are Secular organizations that would welcome her with open hearts and minds without selling her a very messed up story about how by following them she'll get some grand reward in the after world. We all contribute to this world in one way or another, gender has little to do with it.
      Kudos to her for standing for the betterment of humanity...you should try it!

      June 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Salero21

      Psst... your ignorance of the Bible continues to show for the WWW to see. wink.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Eve's desire for all her life will be to her husband and that he will rule over her."
      That and dangerous, painful childbirth are part of God's punishment unto all womankind because Eve listened to the talking snake and ate the forbidden, magic fruit.
      That the "desire for her husband" is lumped in with childbirth implies that this was considered to be the natural order of things – it's ancient people trying to explain what they though were innate characteristics of all women.

      Saying that women must forever remain subservient to men because it is God's decree is like saying that women shouldn't be allowed epidurals during childbirth since lessening the pain of birth countermands God's will.

      But since Adam and Eve aren't real and women did not originate as divinely cloned bits of man chest, one can safely dismiss Genesis as a guide for gender relations.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And yet when in a position of power and fame, what did she do?
      She certainly didn't upgrade the Houses for the Dying – nope, those remained bare boned, unsanitary places with military cots and dirt floors where those while pustulent, maggot infested wound were treated without pain killers (because horrible pain is "the kiss of Christ" according to Mother Theresa) and those few medicines that were administered were given with old, blunt needles.
      She took in billions of dollars in donations from people all over the world – and used the money to build a handful of convents instead of increasing charity output or upgrading the existing operations.
      When given a global forum when she won the Nobel Prize, she used her moment to declare abortion "the greatest enemy of peace" on the planet.

      June 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Jane says
    Have you seen my wig around?
    I feel naked without it
    She knows
    They all want her to go
    But that's O.K. man
    She don't like them anyway
    Jane says
    She's goin' away to Spain
    When she gets her money saved
    I'm gonna start tomor</brow
    I'm gonna kick tomor
    Gonna kick tomor

    June 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  9. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Jane says
    Have you seen my wig around?
    I feel naked without it
    She knows
    They all want her to go
    But that's O.K. man
    She don't like them anyway
    Jane says
    She's goin' away to Spain
    When she gets her money saved
    I'm gonna start tomorrow
    I'm gonna kick tomorrow
    Gonna kick tomorrow

    June 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      One of my all time favorite songs... "Nothing's Shocking" was my personal soundtrack through all of Desert Storm...

      June 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  10. Salero21

    "We read it in the Quran and the Bible."— Randall Maurice Jelks (first sentence 6th paragraph)

    Simply NOT TRUE therefore he lied if he lied he failed because when you lie you fail. The Bible doesn't say the same things the Quran say, neither uses the same language. The Bible, both the OT & NT precedes the Quran by Centuries. The doctrines, the teachings, languages, styles are NOT THE SAME. Quite different they are! Psst... his ignorance and lying showed. At least to me is quite clear that this man IS NOT a real believer in the Bible or he's confused o trying to confuse others. Who of course are too lazy and naive to believe what he said without verifying by themselves.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • Athy

      Psst, your psst is showing!

      June 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • Salero21

        Psst... yours is too. 😀

        June 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • Salero21

        OMG the use of emoticons causes your post to be place in moderation, ridiculous.

        June 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • Salero21

      Psst ... your ignorance of the Bible and your poor reading skills are showing for the WWW to see. wink.
      I miss the emoticons, please WordPress bring them back!

      June 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • Salero21

        Psst... akira get closer you may learn something. Your ignorance of the Bible is showing all over the Blog for the WWW to see.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        Sally-O suffer from a severe case of cranial/rectal inversion, giving him a schitty outlook on life. This is why he spouts the schitt he does. He gets it "first hand."

        June 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      This is why I don't know why you guys still respond to the Salero moron

      June 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
      • Salero21

        Psst... your baseless is showing for the WWW to see.

        June 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Put the crack pipe of religion down Sally...you're sounding more delusional today than usual.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  11. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name
    But what's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game

    June 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
  12. Alias

    A point this article touches on, but doesn't expand is the extant that this will drive people away from these religions. Of course, there are other good reasons to leave religion behind, but today's youth will not accept being told what their role is like they did in the past. As soon as the girls start rejecting religion the boys will follow.

    June 26, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Some religions teach that men and women are to be treated as equals halves. My religion teaches we were created to be equal, in harmony and complimenting each other. But we have failed to live up to that ideal. In scripture I see this being described. But that doesn't mean we are to accept it.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • Alias

        The scripture clearly defines different roles for men and women.
        This is not compatable with American youth culture. The will not be told what their duties are based on gender.

        June 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It describes the different roles. Followers of Christ, women and men, will also not be told what their duties are based on gender. History proves that.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Salero21

          What the corrupt and perverted american youth "sub-culture" has to show, is Completely and Totally Irrelevant to the Believer of Scriptures. The Scriptures are quite clear in this matters. The american so called "culture" is Substandard, their morals are in downward spiral, the conduct and behavior leaves is not worth to be imitated by the Christian. The US is resembling more and more Sodom and Gomorrah, just as Jesus said it was going to be in the last days.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          "The will not be told"
          =>Get the message yet? They will not be told what to do..............this is the nature of the Chosen Ones in the Old Testament. Even though they were chosen to carry the truth to be the light onto the world they would not be told what to do. In the words of the day they were called a stiff necked people. God puts up with such prideful arrogance and wickedness until it reaches its fullness and then we see what such attitude of the heart brings upon a people. Beginning with Adam and Eve such wickedness grew until the flood and only Noah remained. Beginning with Noah it rose to the Tower of Babble and the people were scattered. Beginning with Abraham to the bondage in Egypt,. From Moses into captivity by Babylon. From Danial to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. From Jesus to the End of Days where it will be like the days of Noah which we see around us this day in those who will not be told what to do.
          Not rocket science just a simple cycle that begins with man reflecting the image of God and ends with man reflecting his own image. The cycle is and continues regardless of your belief or non belief.

          June 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Alias

          christians have been threatening us with 'god's wrath' for a long time, but he hasn't really deliverd yet.
          By your logic, several countries ahould have been divinely destroyed a long time ago because they worshipprd the wrong gods, but nothing seems to have happened.
          I wonder why.

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

          It is not a threat it is the natural course of mankind and a cycle that cannot be denied regardless of the level of non belief. The picture presented in the Bible is also observed in non biblical history. Should we ever socially evolve as the anti theists claim is the natural way then we would reach a utopia of civilization that mimics the relationship between peoples and nations which God would approve. We don't and can't which is why we need a savior.
          As to those wicked places you mention I said God allows the evil in mens hearts to rich it fullness. This was so with the Amalekites and many other nations as it was with the chosen nation of Israel.

          June 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Alias

          "a cycle that cannot be denied regardless of the level of non belief"
          Actually .... since I don't believe the flood happened, Adam and ever never existed, and the tower of Babble was just a story – I don't see your pattern.

          June 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • believerfred

          The fall of Egypt, Babylon, Rome are historic events. Other nations not mentioned in the Bible also follow the pattern of rise and fall.

          June 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Alias

          those events happened, but history offer absolutely no reason to think your god was involved in any way.

          June 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Other nations not mentioned in the Bible also follow the pattern of rise and fall."


          ALL nations rise and fall. Somehow relating that fact to the bible is just as ridiculous as relating the fact that the weather changes to the bible.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed Cheesemaker
          I was relating the rise and fall of nations to the Bible only to show Alias, who rejects all things with the letter G, that those events did happen and the patter is same regardless of anti theistic bias.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • believerfred

          "those events happened, but history offer absolutely no reason to think your god was involved in any way."
          =>It is just another example of the Bible getting things right.
          =>You have no reason to think god was involved in anything because that is your bias. Take for example you thoughts about why you exist and you have no reason to think god was involved yet you have no evidence for this, it is just your predisposition.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
  13. bostontola

    You can get as many opinions on men/women comparisons as people you ask. What science has been done? Bottom line, men and women are different, duh. Our brains are wired differently, controlled experiments show women are better at handling multiple simultaneous tasks, men can boil a complex situation down to a simple picture better.

    Depending on the situation, one set of tendencies will likely be better than the other. Recognizing what a situation requires and putting the right person in to lead is best, i.e. we need to partner. Relegating women to compliance limits us as a society.

    June 26, 2014 at 10:23 am |
    • Salero21

      Surprisingly I find myself agreeing with you in this wholeheartedly. Differences of course Created by God are there for a reason and a purpose. Different DOES NOT MEANS Inferiority for the woman. Both men and women have a lot to bring to the table, both Compliment each other, each has it's own set of abilities, virtues and of course vices. The Fact that man role leads him to lead and also to be held more accountable in the beginning for the Fall of mankind DOES NOT MEANS the woman is lesser or inferior. But someone has to lead and be held accountable/responsible, that's every where, all the time, it's a Fact of Life.

      June 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        I won't speak for @Bostonola, but by this statement:

        "The Fact that man role leads him to lead

        I don't think you and he are in complete agreement and I do not agree with you. That men and women have different abilities does not determine that only men are fit to lead. It is certainly not a fact. It is your opinion, and a poorly formed one at that.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          Thanks notGOPer, my second paragraph state my opinion on this and it differs from Sal's. There are many situations where the female tendencies are better suited to lead than the male. Interestingly, it may be a male with those general tendencies that is best. Likewise, I've know females with very male characteristics, and some people have interesting blends. There are so many unique situations that we face, that having this diversity is an advantage. If we squander it, and blindly place a man in charge all the time, we limit ourselves.

          June 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
  14. joeyy1


    June 26, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • igaftr

      Daniel Burke. Please make this spam stop. Thank you.

      June 26, 2014 at 10:27 am |
      • bostontola

        I think a policy against video posting should be applied uniformly. Even the perception of bias is unwelcome.

        June 26, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • igaftr

          It makes it worse when someone posts a video that is pertinent, that gets deleted, but this spam stays. It isn't even a good cover..

          June 26, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Alias

          I'll bet if I post a spam video it will get deleted and I would get threatened with banishment.

          June 26, 2014 at 11:42 am |
  15. ragansteve1

    Many contemporary scholars are wrong. They are wrong about many things. But in this case, Paul would be the first to condemn them for saying so. His writings are nothing if not replete with efforts to point the way to Jesus Christ.

    But to the larger point, I am not defender of Paul. He speaks for himself. And indeed many of his writings give advice to men and children on how to conduct themselves so that they bring glory to God and not to themselves. Having said that, I also find Paul's writing somewhat offensive as they relate to women. But then I have to recall that I am from a different time and culture than Paul's. So, I cut him a little slack. Perhaps he was trying to help women, or protect them, in a time when in every culture they were little more than property to be dealt with as men pleased. I don't know his motives, but I am pretty sure they do not apply in America today, although there may still be some value in not being immodest to the extent that many of both genders are today.

    June 26, 2014 at 9:01 am |
    • bostontola

      Does that mean you don't regard the bibles as having literal absolute morality defined in them?

      June 26, 2014 at 9:20 am |
      • Keith

        The real question is do you regard the bible are the unerring word of God? Is it literal or metaphorical?

        June 26, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • ragansteve1

          In principle it is inerrant. It is inspired, and neither literal or metaphorical.

          June 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • Keith

          Well, that is the best non answer I have ever seen.

          The whole reason there are 30 thousand Christian religions is the answer to those questions I posed.

          June 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Well, it may not answer your question to your satisfaction. I suspect no answer will do that unless someone says the Bible is fiction. I won't do that.

          The Bible is a book that is part history, part poetry, part prophecy and part law. You asked if it is inerrant. Well, in the main it is. But is every word in the New International version exactly what God wrote I.e., literal)? No. God did not write the Bible. Men wrote the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Strike part of that. God did write the ten commandments.

          Therefore, to partially repeat myself but in more detail, the Bible is inerrant in that it is a perfect guide for living,and it provides all the necessary information for salvation (which is its main purpose). Since the Bible has been translated several times, it would be foolish to assume that every word is exactly as it was in Hebrew, Greek and whatever other languages were involved in parts of the books of the Bible.

          I hope that helps. I meant to be concise, not to be evasive.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • Keith

          So, if it is everything, it is nothing. You gave the stock non answer that I realize makes sense to you because I was raised in a church. It will not stand up to logic and questioning.

          I am glad you have something that works for you, but it will not work for me.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Tthat is not a "stock answer." You may have heard a similar one before, but that is my answer to your questions. If you don't like it, as I said before, fine. But your just saying that it is a non-answer does not make it so. A written doc ument can be accurate and "true" in general principle, but also not applicable in certain circu mstances. If you can't see that, then you are simply blinded by your antagonistic bigotry.

          June 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Keith

          I may be antagonistic but I am not a bigot. Bigotry infers distain or hatred without knowledge. I know more about Christianity than I ever wanted to know.

          June 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • observer

          "the Bible is inerrant in that it is a perfect guide for living"

          So slavery and discriminations against women, gays and the handicapped is "the perfect guide for living".

          You need to seriously think about your morals.

          June 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Keith

          I agree with you observer. Ragan has explained the unexplainable just the same way I have hear it from believers all my life, that is why I left Christianity.

          June 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NO discrimination against women...you need to seriously study the bIble and get the context

          July 1, 2014 at 2:19 am |
        • ragansteve1

          It's a bit ann oying to have to provide defi nitions for everyone who thinks they are well-educated and smarter than everyone else. But, once again, here it is from Merriam-Webster.

          Definition: Big ot
          noun \ˈbi-gət\

          : a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

          It does not say anything about knowledge of the group.

          June 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          To observer, I have explained ad nau seum my inte nt in saying that the Bible is iner ra nt. Read the posts above and if you are still not sati sfied then i am afraid I can't help you. I do not believe in sla very, and it was a Christian mov ement in England and later in America that remo ved that sco urge. as an inst tutionalized practice, from the western world. It is still widely practiced in some other cultures even though it is conde mned by nearly every nation and the UN.

          I do not believe in discri minating against gay people, but I do think their choices are not the best for them or our so ciety. But then, that goes for a lot of choices people make, including some I have made. So, I am not going to throw stones at anyone.

          And finally, I have spent my entire ca reer supp orting and helping people with disabilities. So, at least there I think I get a pass on the mor ality issue.

          June 29, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Finally, I would reco mme nd you spend a bit of time looking at the New Testament and particularly the red-letter parts. I don't think you will find any support for sla very, discrimination, or mea nness toward people with disabilities there. In fact, what you will find, if you open your eyes and stop being sarc astic for a few minutes, is a lot of love and understanding. And even though it is not so appa rent in the Old Testament, it is there also.

          June 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Keith

          I have no problem with the Bible or God, I probably would not have a problem with Christians if they followed their own advice and left other folks alone.

          June 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Then I clearly do not understand your position, not that my understanding is required, because you said "I left Christianity." Unless you moved to Judaism there must be some problem with God or the Bible. The problem with Christians is that they are human and clearly far from perfect. Many have disappointed me over the years. But not Jesus Himself.

          Just to be clear, I would have left you alone if you hadn't asked me a question.

          July 1, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Keith

          ragan, You do not have to leave me alone, I am here for the discussions. Your "god" is not the same god of the Jews. You have a three in one god called the "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" the Jews so not recognize a god like that at all. When Moses took the children of Israel out of Egypt he changed their God from the "God of Abraham" to Yahweh a Phoenician-Canaanite god who is a "War God" represented by the moon. The God of Abraham was probably the same one followed by Zarathustra, one of the first Mono-theistic religions. Most probably since Abraham was from the same area.

          I had a problem with Religion, I believe that organized religion is one of the most destructive forces in human history. I had a lot of problems with the people in the Fundamentalist Christian church that I was raised in. I have a god in my life and I am quite sure I do not need Jesus in order to spend eternity in the presence of a loving god.

          July 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Jews so not recognize a god like that at all. <-the very first converts WERE JEWS! thus your statement is FALSE..yo may say SOME Jews didn't accept that....that wold be a more correct answer

          July 2, 2014 at 2:38 am |
        • Keith

          At the time of the very first converts there was no claim of the divinity of Christ. The three in one god was not invented until the Council of Niece with the founding of the Catholic church by Constantine in Rome. All Protestant churches also claim that the Christ was God incarnate . So, the Christians today are asking their members to believe things that the first Christians didn't believe. What is more amazing to me is that Christians from 400 years ago wouldn't recognize what most Fundamentalist churches call Christianity today.

          July 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          OMG are you so ignorant of history!!! The Trinity was NOT invent4ed by the council..in FA it was ALREADY taught and the councils were CONFIRMING the teachings agnist the heretical Gnostics!! You sir need to go back and actually learn some of the church history! The divinity of Jesus was already taught..John says in the very first chapter that Jesus is GOD! Jesus says in John 8:58 "Before Abraham was I am" Mark chapter 2 Jesus forgives SINS...and the JEWS in BOTH cases recognized this clearly and wanted to kill him for blasphemy! and those were just TWo of the examples of many in the Gospels!

          July 3, 2014 at 1:55 am |
        • Keith

          You are a believer but you are poorly educated about the book you call the Bible and how it all came to be.

          July 3, 2014 at 8:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          You are the ignorant one here! You do NOT know the history of the Bible and the church..it is evident in your posts...the council of Nicea did NOT invent Trinity CONCEPT! It was already being taught...thy did not vote to make it up or such....you got NO facts whatsoever about the council of Nicea and church history

          July 3, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • Keith

          I have studied it for years, if you aren't able to deal with the truth you shouldn't post to my comments.

          July 3, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Sorry.but you don't show any evidence of having studied it for years...what I see is you skimming accounts of such things ..you don't show any truth...you show utter ignorance of church and Bible history

          July 3, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • Keith

          I do not care for the church at all, I certainly know more about the bible than you do if you have never found any contradictions.

          July 3, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • kermit4jc

          sir..I studied the Bible and teach it over 25 years..I seen all the so called contradictions and frankly, they are pretty much due to the reader not knowing the context..and/or the reader approaching the Bible as if originally written by modern day AMericans in the English language

          July 3, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Keith

          I studied it for 21 years in order to recover from being raised by Fundamentalist Christians. I guess our differences in opinion result from our different reasons for studying.

          July 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          what is MT amazing is your TOTAL ignorance of the church history!

          July 3, 2014 at 1:55 am |
        • Keith

          What is really amazing is how Christians can justify anything no matter the facts. Your whole religion depends of ignoring the contradictions in your belief system.

          July 3, 2014 at 8:50 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and that is a false statement..ignoring contradictions, there are none

          July 3, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • Keith

          Any one who has ever read the "bible" know that there are thousand of contradictions. You must suffer from a lack of reading comprehension. Don't talk to me if you do not want to know the truth.

          July 3, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • kermit4jc

          NO..I don't read the Bible only..I STUDY itand there are really no contradictions...its you who has lack of reading comprehension...you need to use context..and not rip things out of the Bible and mmake up silly things like that....go ahead...pick two "contradictions" and lets discuss them....

          July 3, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Well then, blessing be upon you. Walk in peace.

          July 2, 2014 at 12:47 am |
        • observer


          "NO discrimination against women...you need to seriously study the bIble and get the context"

          Get serious. Women are to be KILLED if they are not virgins on their wedding night.

          SAME for men, right? lol.

          July 2, 2014 at 12:59 am |
        • observer


          "And finally, I have spent my entire ca reer supp orting and helping people with disabilities. So, at least there I think I get a pass on the mor ality issue."

          You do get a pass. Kudos. It's God's treatment of handicapped people that I find disgusting.

          July 2, 2014 at 1:03 am |
        • ragansteve1

          So, Jesus healing the blind, causing the lame to walk again and defying the Jewish leaders by healing the man's withered hand even on the Sabbath doesn't get Him a pass? I think you perhaps know less about God than you think. But that's just my observation from your writings.

          July 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Keith

          I do not know who you are talking to, I have no problem with Jesus. I believe he is who he said he was, I just don't believe he is who people who came later says he is .

          July 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • observer


          I'm not saying Jesus did it, but those were common stunts by phony faith-healers.

          Please try again.

          July 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          show me how he faked his death and ressurection...

          July 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • Keith

          Faith Healers were all the rage at the time of Jesus and there were hundreds of them like carnivals traveling through the countryside. They were the rock stars of their day.

          It seems that in some parts of American society faith healers are still quite popular.

          July 2, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Keith, Sorry, I neglected to label the intended recipient.

          Kermit, Look, if you don't believe in God and you don't accept the Bible as accurate then we are wasting our time discussing it. I am not a masochist and so I don't enjoy sarcasm and ridicule. Thus, unless you have a serious issue to discuss in a respectful way, have a nice day.

          July 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • Keith

          no problem, I thought that might be the case.

          July 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          are you sure you go9t right person? I believe in God and accept the Bible..who says I don't?

          July 3, 2014 at 1:57 am |
      • ragansteve1

        I think that we have to think every day. The Bible is an excellent guide for thinking. God gave us a brain for a reason.

        I think also that we need to recognize that American society today is not like the Roman world 2000+ years ago. So, while the general principles still hold, they need to be applied within the context of the culture we are in. The general principles are that a family is better off if the father sticks around and takes his responsibility seriously. It is better if he loves his wife and does not anger his children–both admonitions given men by Paul.

        While I said what I meant to say in that we need to do much better in treating women fairly, we also need to recognize that women have many more opportunities in America today than they did in the Roman world of the first century. Thus, I have no problem with women taking leadership positions where ever they choose.

        June 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      it's not a cultural thing. when asked by Rebekah who the man was coming towards them, the servant replied that it was his master Isaac. Rebekah then covered her head to acknowledge Isaac's headship. She could not have perceived him as a misogynist because she had never met him before.

      June 26, 2014 at 9:24 am |
    • awanderingscot

      Paul in his letter to the Corinthians (chapter 11) was speaking to a mix of Jews and Greeks and the Greeks had no such custom for head coverings so Paul needed to explain what it symbolized. This wasn't some arbitrary teaching he made up. head. ship in the worship assembly.

      June 26, 2014 at 9:25 am |
      • Alias

        Once again, morals are relative in the bible.

        June 26, 2014 at 11:44 am |
    • Keith

      Why would you follow the writings of someone that never met the "Christ"

      June 26, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • ragansteve1

        I've read this thread several times and I am not able to tell whether you mean Paul or recent scholars never met Christ. I would appreciate clarification because while it is accurate to say modern scholars have not met Him in person, Paul very clearly did. So, I just want to understand what you mean.

        June 26, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Keith

          Paul of Tarsus never met the Christ and was not one of his followers while Jesus was alive.

          June 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Paul did indeed meet Jesus on the road to Damascus. He saw a great light that blinded him. And he heard Jesus' voice call out to him, ask a question and give him directions. That;s a pretty clear meeting. The effects on Paul's life are undeniable and significant.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
    • Vic

      Apostle Paul was dealing with special circumstances that involved cultural constraints in certain Jewish & Gentile communities (e.g. Ephesus) at the expense of delivering the "Good News" of the Lord Jesus Christ. There was anger and disputing between men and women in Church services that had Apostle Paul address them accordingly to maintain order and get the message across. Those special circumstances and instructions were not doctrinal nor were they concerning gender differences.

      We don't have those circumstances and constraints in church today, and there is no such disputing between genders in the church anymore to require such measures.

      Concerning equality, Apostle Paul made it clear that all are one in Christ.

      Galatians 3:28

      June 26, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • Salero21

        Psst...your ignorance of the Scriptures is showing for the WWW to see!

        June 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Sorry Akira, but I have to disagree.

        The "word of god" changes constantly based specifically on who is saying it.

        June 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • Salero21

        akira, you didn't quote because you can't, you can't because you will not find Biblical/Scriptural support/base for what you're saying. If you knew Scriptures you wouldn't have said that. Therefore again your ignorance of the Bible is showing for the WWW to see.

        June 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
  16. zhilla1980wasp

    i would love to know how something without reproductive organs can be labeled "male or female".

    it's a thing, it's not human.

    only obvious reason why the 3 in 1 god are all men, men ran the early church and had no value of women.
    makes you wonder how their mothers felt about them devalueing them?

    June 26, 2014 at 7:52 am |
    • bostontola

      It's another of the many give aways that the biblical God was created by man, not the other way around. This God acts like a man that has fantasy powers. It is very apparent to anyone not indoctrinated.

      Like you said, why would a unique, eternal, non-biological being need anything resembling gender or se.x? Some may say God revealed himself in a way that the human leaders, men, would understand. I say, why? If God revealed itself, it would be obvious and powerful, a little mystery wouldn't take away from it. The biblical God demanded obedience, it said humans were incapable of understanding it, it didn't need a gender to assert its dominion.

      June 26, 2014 at 8:19 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        'Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. '
        – Robert Heinlein

        June 26, 2014 at 8:26 am |
        • awanderingscot

          most gods are in fact not gods at all, they are demons.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You tell Odin that He's a demon and see if He lets you into Valhalla for bottomless mead and endless bacon!

          June 26, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • bostontola

          mmm, mead and bacon...

          June 26, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • Athy

          Throw in a good single malt for after dinner and you've got me.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:48 am |
  17. portlandtony

    Yes men are the bad guys: but the two cases cited are apples and oranges. One woman, the Morman, is questioning her own religion, which normally sets the guidelines for members rights. Whereas the other, the Christian, is questioning the Muslim tenet that children must assume the religion of their fathers. Her case is unique in that she lived with her mother and practiced Christianity her entire life, which, by most Muslim scholars in most Muslim societies is ok.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:41 am |
  18. ragansteve1

    The general point of the article/opinion piece is on point. God is not a man, and when He was a man He treated women with much respect and parity. While Christian tradition includes 12 core apostles, all men, there were many of His disciples in the larger following who were women. And those women were strong women like Mary who sat and learned as the other disciples did. And like the woman at the well who became a figure of importance in her village because of what Jesus asked of her. And like the woman who had sinned, and Jesus refused to condemn her even as the religious leaders did. And later on, like Lydia who supported and worked with Paul to spread the Gospel.

    Nonetheless, it is entirely true that women have been treated as less than equal by the church. There is no excuse given the model set by Jesus and the role that women played in the early church. But it is also true that it is not just religion that has been unfair to women. While religion bears an especially large burden because it is ostensibly the bearer of morality, the larger society in also just as guilty. There are few places in the world, in or out of religion, where women are treated as equals. Nowhere is that more apparent than in business and government the world over.

    The only saving grace for America, and to some extent for Christians, is that the degree of discrimination is significantly less. After all, the threat of 100 lashes and death is more significant by orders of magnitude than excommunication. But we must, nonetheless, do much better.

    June 25, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
    • Reality

      As noted previously:

      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.

      ( 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)"

      And don't forget Paul was chosen by his god to lead the way and if you believe many contemporary NT scholars, Paul is the true founder of Christianity.

      June 26, 2014 at 8:00 am |
      • Reality

        And how can we do better? Give up Christianity because of its flawed theology and history. Details previously presented.

        June 26, 2014 at 8:03 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Sorry, my response did not end up where I intended. Please see above.


          June 26, 2014 at 9:02 am |
      • awanderingscot

        "Paul is one of the major reasons Christian males consider women to be second class citizens" this is your improper eisegesis of scripture and not at all what Paul taught. when Paul stated that women should not speak and should be silent he was referring to teaching the congregation, it was not the role of a woman to have headship in the worship assembly. it was not meant to be taken that a woman was literally prohibited from speaking. one of the roles women in the church was to teach and explain to children the things of God. Paul explains God's order of headship perfectly in his first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 11 where he states that man is the head of woman, Christ is the head of man, and God is the head of Christ. male headship both in the family and the worship assembly is a God-given decree, it is not man's.

        June 26, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        • Keith

          You just made their point for them, Paul didn't like women. He was a Zealot that never even met the Christ, why do you base your church on that man. His words are not the inspired word of god.

          June 26, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "male headship both in the family and the worship assembly is a God-given decree, it is not man's."

          So said a man...

          June 26, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • ragansteve1

        Please see above. My response did not end up where I intended it.

        June 26, 2014 at 9:06 am |
    • awanderingscot

      "God is not a man" – well yeah, He is God. every time i hear this argument i think to myself about the similarities and the differences between man and woman. i think to myself that man is no better than woman, and woman is no better than man. but you cannot deny that there are differences between the two, biological, emotional, and intellectual. while i would agree with you that women have been treated less than equal, are you not also aware that misandry also exists amongst women? isn't it intellectually dishonest to say that misapplied male headship makes male headship wrong? it is a natural fact that all social units need a leader and the family unit is no exception. how is it then that women should fulfill the role that naturally belongs to men in terms of biology, emotional makeup, and intellect when it's just not there in most cases? and how is it then that men should fulfill the role of women in terms of biology, emotional makeup, and intellect when they just don't have the capacity or it's just not there? can men have babies? are men supposed to cry when they receive flowers? or perhaps we should field a team of less than gifted athletes just because it's "fair"? the argument you put forth is specious, men will be men and women will be women. let's not deny who we are and let us work on treating women and men with respect and love recognizing there are differences. creating a straw man does no one any good.

      June 26, 2014 at 8:45 am |
      • bostontola

        Humans have a broad range for their many characteristics. Those male/female distributions overlap to a great degree. I know many men that are poor leaders and many women that are great leaders. You have cause and effect reversed. Culture can set expectations.

        I agree with you that men and women have differences, that is directly observable. Politics and businesses are showing that women are just as suited for leadership as men. As the world gets more complex, women may have an edge on men in general. That doesn't rule out any individual from rising to the top. The bible arbitrarily declares men the leader. That may have worked in small tribes, but it is no longer appropriate if want all individuals to reach their potential and contribute most to our societies.

        June 26, 2014 at 8:59 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        This kind of thinking is what kept women out of the military until recently.
        War is a man's game – women just don't have the emotional, physical or intellectual forti/tude to play properly.
        What's a platoon in the field going to do when their Sergeant starts menstruating all over the battlefield?

        Thanks to women like Major Lauren Edwards, those stereotypes are fading.
        She led more than 150 Marines, including a vehicle convoy, in combat during the Iraq war.
        Incidentally, she also runs a perfect male physical fitness test.
        In 2010, the US Army's Soldier of the Year was Sgt. Sherri Gallagher. To win, she beat out all her male competi/tors in hand-to-hand combat, urban maneuvers, detainee operations, casualty evaluation, weapons familiarization, and night firing.

        On a personal note, I'm very happy living in an egalitarian household.
        Both my partner and I have careers, so we split things pretty evenly.
        I hate laundry and she hates bathroom cleaning, so we do it for each other.
        I do the majority of the cooking, she does most of the vacuuming and dusting.
        I help our kid with language homework, she's better with math.
        I teach music, she teaches art. I take the kid to dance class, she takes her to karate.
        Financial decisions are mutual – we share chequing and savings but maintain separate credit cards.

        Culturally, we are no longer in a place where the man is the hunter/fighter/breadwinner and the women is the homemaker/baby machine. Cooperation, compromise and leveraging each other's personal strengths and weaknesses works better, and is more natural for us, than would be a hierarchical family structure.
        We are equal partners who love and respect each other enough to offer mutual support and compromise.

        June 26, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • awanderingscot

          thanks for the wonderful testimony D0C and i am heartened to hear of the love and respect that exists in your marriage. as it should be.
          however, the very few exceptions you highlight for women in the military are extreme exception and not the norm. i know this because i was in the military. you're pushing a huge boulder uphill when you claim women are on a par with men in combat, most do not have the physical or psychological makeup to compete with men at war.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • igaftr

          If you look at the many other countries that have women in combat, you will find that your "most" is simply false. Think of the Amazons...strong tough feared warriors. The chinese have been using female combat troops for some time, and reports from men that faced them said they were far more viscious in combat, and you did NOT wnat to get captured by them, The stories of what the female squads would do to prinsoners is chilling.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • awanderingscot

          have you ever been in the military?

          June 26, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          We've been happily un-married for 10 years now. No rings or ceremonies of any kind.
          I grew up in a military household (father a medic/airborne/SARTech), attended Royal Roads in Victoria and spent my early 20s working with the Signals Batallion. I found the women who were in the combat arms trades to be just as skilled as their male counterparts.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • igaftr

          USAF. Served among other countries military where women were far morre accepted than the US. I have seen that the women had different abilities, but then so did every individual, and the biggest issue with women in OUR military was the at!tude of those serving, no the abilities of the individuals. Similar to the people that have an issue with gay people in the military...biggest issue is the perception, not the abilities. I served with many women that I would gladly serve with again, and many that were useless...same as the men.

          June 26, 2014 at 11:03 am |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I have a list of things God is not. It starts with "real".

    June 25, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
  20. colin31714

    As many of you may know, Yale has put many of its courses on line. You tube has many of them. There is a good introductory series of 24 lectures on the Old Testament by Professor Christine Hayes. Just FYIs

    June 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
    • tallulah131

      It would be cooler if it were lectures by Chrissie Hynde.

      June 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
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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.