Monday, March 17, 2014

Religion can be both a shield and a bludgeon. Used to protect those who seek safety beneath its banner, and then used to shatter the bodies of those deemed unworthy of such protection.

"It is the church and not the state, to which the teaching of woman’s inferiority is due ; it is the church which primally commanded the obedience of woman to man. It is the church which stamps with religious authority the political and domestic degradation of woman. It is the church which has placed itself in opposition to all efforts looking towards her enfranchisement and it has done this under professed divine authority, and wherever we find laws of the state bearing with greater hardship upon woman than upon man, we shall ever find them due to the teachings of the church."  (Source)

The other day somebody commented on the Bill Maher thread that people should simply respect each person's faith and leave it unchallenged.

The answer to that of course it NO.

At least not as long as their belief system is the sole reason cited by those who want to oppress or judge others, and keep them from accessing the life, liberty, and happiness promised to us all in the Declaration of Independence.

If your religion seeks to gain dominance over those who do not agree with its tenets, then it ceases to be a personal choice and instead becomes an overarching threat which must be met with suspicion, investigation, and perhaps even aggression.


  1. The other day somebody commented on the Bill Maher thread that people should simply respect each person's faith and leave it unchallenged.

    Religious logic is strange. If you say "I believe this on the grounds of logic and evidence", then that deserves no special status, but if you say "I believe this because a book of ancient desert folk tales says a giant invisible sky fairy said it", then that belief has special status and should not be challenged.

  2. Sally in MI3:19 AM

    Isn't Catholicism guilty of seeking to "Gain dominance over those who do not agree with its tenets?" We know the dominionists are all about gaining dominance over not just people, but governments....look at what Bachmann, Cruz, Perry et al want to happen to America. I do think we are seeing more suspicion of these people, and even some investigation. More must happen, though, as they creep closer and closer to making the US a theocracy. Anyone GOP who cannot see that one of their main goals is the subjugation of women (yes, Sarah, there IS a war on WOMEN and your party is leading it!) is either ignorant or compliant. As far as aggression, the Democrats are just not going to take up arms against these people...we still see all of us as Americans, and I suppose that's what they are counting on. We have to beat them at the ballot box...we must!

  3. Leland5:36 AM

    "....and keep them accessing the life...."

    Gryphen, you may wish to insert the word "from" in that sentence right before the word "accessing".

    As to the posting above? Ms. Gage hit the nail on the head. Been true for many thousands of years, ever since males got jealous of the power women had and came up with religion.

    What power? In those days, the power to bring a new life into the world was considered major magic and they were (as far as anthropologists can determine) honored for it. We don't have to go that far, but surely we can do our best to reverse the crap so extant in the trio of middle eastern monotheist religions! (They're the biggest pushers of that crap, after all.)

    1. Thanks Leland, you are right and that has been rectified.

    2. Anonymous8:36 AM

      Leland, I disagree with part of your statement in that I believe women do need to be honored again for being able to give life, because I believe that is a major part of the problem. If women who give life are honored then their offspring will be more honored and cared for by all of society than they now are, and perhaps it would carry over to other "life givers" and include our caring more for Mother Earth.

    3. Leland9:21 AM

      Anonymous 8:36.

      Perhaps I should have used the word revered. That is the intent of my message. They were almost worshipped merely because the people had NO clue where kids came from in the early history of Man.

      I apologize to any and all women if it appeared I was discounting their role in creating children.

      But the honor I was speaking of is different from the honor you mention. We were talking early religion and the role they chose for women, after all.

  4. Boscoe7:19 AM

    Respecting each person's faith and leaving it unchallenged would be fine if religion was capable of being content with that. But history shows us again and again that it can't. Religion ultimately seeks to validate itself through subjugation.

    The most extremist proponents of the religion always ultimately take control of it and the inevitable last step is becoming the Taliban.

    The funny thing is that Christians tell themselves it could never happen with them, because everything they believe is about love and goodness, yet Christianity has already been just like the Taliban.

    And when "good Christians" are sending death threats and launching smear and terror campaigns against a young girl who just wants a chance to form a high school club for those with different beliefs, you see exactly who would take control in the event of a state run by religion.

    And at this moment, if you have any functioning brain matter at all, the inherent beauty of the First Amendment becomes obvious. A secular government ruled by law protecting everyone's freedom to adhere to their personal faith, and protecting the rest of us from having that faith forced upon us by rule of law.

  5. Anonymous7:37 AM

    Speaking of religion:

    1. Terrific. The judge threw the book at the school district. The comments are pretty good, also, too.

    2. Leland9:29 AM

      WOWSER!!!!!!! She didn't just throw the book at them, she SLAMMED them - hard! She even left no stone unturned about their responsibilities concerning religion and the 1st Amendment!

      And then to REQUIRE all of them to go through what is effectively legal AND sensitivity training? FANTASTIC!

      WE need MORE and MORE like that. In fact we need it every time there is even a hint of it. Then maybe the Fundamentalist state legislatures will begin to THINK about what they are trying to do. It might take 30 years since they are so ignorant, but it would be nice to see.

    3. "She also ordered that all members of the school board, as well as all faculty — both current and incoming — be trained by an attorney approved by the ACLU and the ACLU of Louisiana as to their responsibilities with respect to the First Amendment." Approved by the ACLU ! !

      Too delicious for words!

  6. Matilda Gage for President ! ! !

  7. No nun or priest through my Catholic schooling, grades 1 to 6, ever said to me, "But people of other religions feel theirs is the 'one true' religion also, and we must respect that." They don't dare teach that: to do so is to plant a fatal question inside the presumed and proclaimed infallibility of the religion you're shilling.

    Lincoln noted during the Civil War, that not even God can be both for and against the same thing at the same time. Yet in any war throughout history, the two or more combatants are always convinced they've got "God" on their side.

    1. Boscoe4:40 PM

      That's actually why they invented Satan; originally god was responsible for everything, good or bad. That turned out to be too confusing and the church was having trouble maintaining control over its flock, so they invented Satan to simplify things. True story.

  8. Anonymous2:14 PM

    I had a conversation with my mother this past weekend and told her I will always remember my 2nd grade teacher. I went to parochial school from kindergarten through 8th grade. ( I am 62 years young now). I told her what I remembered with regard to having a dunce cap placed on my head, sitting in the corner in the back of the room and since my last name began with an "S", I sat in the back of the room alphabetically. (They had me tested and I was rated above 2nd and found out I needed glasses). My mother mentioned that my 2nd grade teacher was replaced because she was picking on another student who 's parents complained. I did not complain to my parents because I was taught to RESPECT authority ie teachers, etc. When I went to public high school, that all changed.

  9. Anita Winecooler5:59 PM

    I remember years ago, visiting a museum with my first daughter, and there was an illustration of "where babies come from" and the reproductive systems. Women were merely incubators. There was a drawing of a sperm with a fully formed fetus inside it. She was in high school and I remember her shaking her head at some of the things humans "thought" they knew.
    Respect for both sexes as equals was something that was brave of Mrs Gage to speak of, especially with all this misinformation. I'm not sure, but willing to bet that religion was somehow involved in twisting facts or presenting things that, at the time, science couldn't prove.
    I don't go around picking fights with people over religion, but if they bring it to me, then I feel a need to defend my right not to believe.


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