Time to call out misogynist religions - and name names

Too many preach misogyny and teach victimhood. Tolerance for religious toxicity ENDS NOW.

Image by Pilar Molina from Pixabay

A sexually twisted white Atlanta churchgoer murdered Asian employees at spas targeted repeatedly by police for prostitution stings. The accused, claiming to have a sex addiction, frequented two of the places before his deadly attack. Racism may well have played a role, but largely overlooked is the Christian evangelical obsession with unauthorized sexual pleasure. It’s about the worst sin anyone can commit, and the one evangelicals struggle with the most.

The shooter was a Baptist, a notoriously misogynist and sexually repressed religious ‘brand’, and himself a member of a particular church so lacking in Christian compassion they’ve expelled him. Because nothing says ‘Christian’ like hating the sinner, right?

Which bothers them more? That he killed alleged prostitutes, or that he may have fornicated with some of them?

Women: Can’t live with ’em, but you can kill ‘em.

Especially if you can’t keep your dick out of them. After all, it’s our fault for tempting them with our faces and bodies. Men have been passing the buck to women since Adam blamed Eve.

Why do we tolerate these toxic human constructs? If we condemn what incels and men’s-righters spew in their frustrated forums, why do we fall silent and look the other way when some guy in a collar or a funny cap spews similar dehumanizing nonsense against women?

It’s not just certain Christian faiths. Many other religions could do with less tolerance from us unwashed, heathen, apostate and feminist masses.

Especially from us Jezebels, Rahabs, Liliths and Magdalenes.

If we’re serious about wanting to end patriarchy’s female abuse and victimization, we’ve got to woman up and call out the source: Patriarchy’s religions. And now we name names.

Growing up spiritual…and rational

I’ve written much about women’s empowerment, encouraging us to claim our power, take it back, not give it away in the first place. I encourage women to be more, stand up more, speak out more, no matter what they say about or to us. It’s hard; I know. Me too. I took an online assertiveness class last fall even though I’m no shrinking violet. I give away my power too, for a multiplicity of reasons.

Fortunately, I can’t blame childhood toxic religious indoctrination.

I might have suffered the horror of a repressed, misogynist Catholic upbringing but my future Pépé left the Church in nineteenth-century France after witnessing ‘things’ as an altarboy. You can guess.

Dad and his siblings grew up non-religious. When he married my mother, they agreed she could raise the children Lutheran but not to look down on or judge Dad for not going to church.

So, my mainstream religious upbringing was boring, in fine staid German Lutheran tradition, but it didn’t teach me to ‘know my proper place’ and prime me for abuse.

After the last four years of Trumpy hell and his fake Christian supporters, it’s time to cap tolerance for toxic faith-based constructs. Everyone has a right to their beliefs, but we needn’t tolerate those which denigrate and degrade our tribe and others’. The problem with bad ideas is they spread and mutate, like a killer virus.

Creative Commons 2.0 image by Mark Dixon on Wikimedia Commons

Politics and religion: Where anti-intellectualism meets and metastasizes

Unchallenged religious anti-intellectualism has allowed secular agenda-oriented groups to adopt, consciously or not, the Christian evangelical framework. QAnon’s complex crazy-sounding Satanism and pedophilia conspiracy theories borrow older evangelical hysterics about alleged networks of child-abusing Satanists in late 20th-century America.

The mental framework remains the same: Apocalyptic thinking, for predicting the ‘end times’ seeded by ‘drops’ (‘Q’s’ anonymous posts) for the faithful with clues. Secular believers can ‘connect the dots’ the way evangelicals have long combed the Bible looking for prophecies connected to current events. ‘Q’ is presumed to be closer to The Truth, like a religious leader, and followers must put their faith in him (it must be a him).

The human mind finds patterns anywhere, from clouds and sacred grilled cheese sandwiches to pizza pedophiles. Anti-intellectual religion trains human brains to ignore facts and the evidence, or lack thereof, of their own lying eyes. How hard is it, then, to train these primed gullibles to believe increasingly outrageous, unverifiable ‘data’?

Similarities to the Christian evangelical model have been observed by others in the current antiracism movement. Black intellectual John McWhorter finds a religious element in some corners of ‘Third Wave’ civil rights. It includes ‘original sin’ (white skin = white supremacy), a hazy futuristic ‘Judgment Day’ (‘Coming to terms about race’), ‘witch hunts’ against ‘heretics’, and excommunication thereof (‘Cancel culture’), including the medieval vicious mob and no court of appeal nor any forgiveness for sincere repentance. Not to mention religion’s most cherished requirement: Suspension of disbelief. Or as the Queen of Hearts said to Alice, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

McWhorter lists ten impossible, or at least highly contradictory things one is required to believe in some quarters of antiracism. Not unlike a certain highly contradictory holy book.

One finds almost exactly McWhorter’s same list in critical gender theory feminism, beginning with penile ‘original sin’.