On the Cross Much?


11/08/2012 by syrbal-labrys

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?


6 thoughts on “On the Cross Much?

  1. coconutspeak says:

    I hear what your saying and I respect it as a fellow feminist. That said , I want to share my reasons for being Christian and please note I’m not trying to convert you. Man, not God, is flawed. Man wrote, edited and interpreted the Bible to suit his own agendas. The definition of apostle is ‘One who has seen the risen Christ’. Mary Magdalene was the first apostle, because she was the first to see Christ after his death and she was the only companion to recieve special instruction and teachings from Jesus prior to his death. Women were the drivers and ministers of the the early Christian church (before the catholic church). I don’t buy everything in the Bible as factual because books from the Dead Sea scrolls have be omitted by men. bear in mind King James was not a fan of women. Religion is not important. Morality is important. Our suffering comes from us, not God.

    • syrbal says:

      I agree that we are largely the cause of our own misery. That argument kept me attempting Christianity for longer than I myself would have believed. And yes, I’ve read the Gnostic gospels and know about 4th century suppression as the Bible was formalized, and all that. I both studied and taught some basic theology as a college tutor.

      Unfortunately, Christian churches, by and large, do not clean out their own stables of ignorance, hatred, and misogyny…they continue to ENABLE those attitudes in the world.
      I mean, women in the third world are LIED to about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing AIDS and birth….BY Christians who should minister to their suffering difficult lives.

      I don’t believe MOST of what is in the Bible is factual, and not merely because they left out certain writings. I believe it was written to justify any sort of behavior by people who wanted to feel they were entitled to do whatever they felt necessary to achieve supremacy over their neighbors. Unfortunately, that book is STILL used to justify similar actions in the world.

      I cannot speak of the motives of Divinities…but my personal belief is that they would like us to grow the hell UP and stop acting like it is all on ‘someone else’…including the gods. Religion is not just a “crutch” these days…it is a cudgel used to beat anyone who tries to find rational solutions to enable ALL the humans of earth equally.

      • coconutspeak says:

        I agree. Religion is a crutch and has been for a long time. I stopped going to my church when former drug addicts and prostitutes where not welcomed there. Politics played too much into congregation speak. I have witnessed many miracles in my life. My sister died for several minutes and came back. My husband saved my life by marrying me. At the age of 13, I asked to be baptized and felt a divine touch come to me. Today, I don’t go to any church, but I believe in God and don’t judge those that don’t.

      • syrbal says:

        It is not belief in the Divine that I have issue with, it is the practice of backing miserable human behavior with fictitious holy “history”…I was, in my own days of Catholic practice, considered a mystic touched by God. The God whose touch I felt does not resemble the one loudly called upon in a lot of cultish buildings that call themselves churches.

        I hope any and all gods (yes, I am a nominal polytheist) have a lot better things to do than worry about where people are on a Sunday morning. I also tend to think they gave us this world and are waiting for us to seriously take charge instead of crying for them to send Jesus back to save us. Were I Jesus? Considering the treatment on the last purported time on earth? I’d skip that curtain call!

  2. syrbal says:

    I am glad the country woke up enough to roar an electoral “fuck you” at these morally retarded sorts…..but damn, the stuff is insidious and hangs in too many male mental corners.

  3. julesagray says:

    Great post. The nice thing is, all of the rapey republican twats and choads ain’t going to washington thanks to the TRUTH being said and people paid attention this time. So glad that a local fella, Joe Walsh, will be able to spend so much more time now with his family–you know the one he has failed to support financially in the past. So much for family values.

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The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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