11/08/2012 by syrbal
A few years ago, a very dear friend sent me this unique crucifix with the full knowledge that I had shaken the dust of the Catholic Church from my feet. He knew this gift would appeal to me because it portrays one reason why I left the Church: the “crucifixion” of women by the iron-fisted “morality” of a patriarchal church.
When it comes to monotheistic faiths, women are particularly screwed over; they pretty much are all to sit down, shut up, and do only what their fathers, husbands, and of course, their God tells them to do. The stark and bitter nature of this iron-age based code of feminine behavior was on open display this past election cycle as multiple right-wingtard politicians made comments about rape that made feminine blood pressures rise. And the tap-dancing that ensued as they tried to save their campaigns were no comfort, because the Bible actually DOES ensconce such viewpoints.
I read the Bible at age 14 by myself and frankly thought women got a raw deal. I had been forced earlier to study the Book of Mormon, and was certain that was a piece that should have been labeled sci-fi; even as a teen I knew horses had never been ridden to battle in North America<; before the coming of the Spanish to the New World. This small archeological fact was Rosetta Stone enough to think the rest of it was a hoax perpetrated on idiots. In my late teens, I read the Koran and found it lyrical and confusing. But in all, I found the same callous notion that women were just chattel. I was starving for a faith to follow, but one that at least saw women as worthy partners.
I tried to convince myself that the religions had grown up and entered the 20th century and feeling a link to Marian spirituality, I became Catholic. The Vatican II Council had met, after all, and even long -time Catholics were very hopeful and sure that change was on the wind. Alas, someone opened a door and with Pope John Paul II, the wind blew the other way. I left Christianity behind me in 1986, tho’ I didn’t get the courage to inform my family till about 1993. It has been crushingly depressing to enter the 21st century seeing Christian faiths in retrograde motion.
It is as if fear plods through male ecclesiastical minds and whispers that all will be well if the damned women will simply mind their place and stop insisting on acting like real people. Much like aging white males in America seem to hold the opinion that if that damned black man in the White House would just shut up and do as he is told, their little palaces of unreality could soar skyward again. It is ALL psychological bullshit dressed in religious drag!
Mind you, I think spirituality has gifts for human-kind. But used as a whip and truncheon? Not a good idea, nothing uplifting and enlightening about being beaten down. Christianity offers no good ideals of femininity that are not subservient doormats, for instance. The property model is unacceptable, as the Emancipation Proclaimation should have made clear in the 19th century. If black slaves deserved freedom and self-determination, why wouldn’t women be so entitled?
Sad to say, some of the Bronze Age religions (not monotheist, btw) offer better models of a range of feminine behaviors than the Iron Age of male domination. So, hey, if the current crop of religious sorts want to sell me a religion, they are going to have to go a LOT further back….to some real “OLD-tyme religion!” But hey, they lose
facial color interest when I discuss the psychological value of worshiping Dionysus and being a wild maenad in the woods. Where did their courage go?