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Author Topic: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)  (Read 2099 times)

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Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2011, 01:13:59 PM »
The Quran also denies the divinity of Jesus, claiming that he was just a man like Moses or Muhammad - a prophet, a wise teacher.  And in the words of CS Lewis: "Let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

And by Christianity's system, you can be a virtuous person, but it doesn't matter how virtuous if you don't believe Jesus is who he said he was.

Now we're creeping into doctrine of the various faiths. Judaism doesn't acknowledge the divinity of Christ either. It's unfair to hold it against Islam without pointing that out. Islam does recognize him as a teacher and a Prophet of the faith.

Offline VuurMeester

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2011, 01:16:43 PM »
The Quran also denies the divinity of Jesus, claiming that he was just a man like Moses or Muhammad - a prophet, a wise teacher.  And in the words of CS Lewis: "Let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Denying the divinity of Jesus only makes you sexist or more likely to be a terrorist if you postulate that not being Christian makes you such. I thought we were debating about the supposed sexism of Islam, not about whether or not Christ was Divine.

And by Christianity's system, you can be a virtuous person, but it doesn't matter how virtuous if you don't believe Jesus is who he said he was.

In fact, one of your core beliefs seems to be that you have to be Christian in order to be virtuous. That is the kind of view that no Christian should have.

After all, Christ teaches us to love unconditionally. Our love is not limited by the borders of sex, race, level of sin. Nor is it limited by the borders of faith.

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Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2011, 01:51:20 PM »
Now we're creeping into doctrine of the various faiths. Judaism doesn't acknowledge the divinity of Christ either. It's unfair to hold it against Islam without pointing that out. Islam does recognize him as a teacher and a Prophet of the faith.

Judaism is different than Islam in the fact that while it doesn't acknowledge Christ as God, they still believe that the Messiah has yet to come, and therefore one can convince Jews that no, Jesus was the Messiah.  Islam says nope, Christ was just a man, not God.

I know it may not seem different, but it's a difference to me.

You do not have to be Christian to be virtuous.  There are plenty of Jews and non-Christians out there who are.  But by their belief system, you do have to be Christian to have salvation.

And yes, this is about sexism in religion - not Islam alone, though it is the most major modern-day offender - but I wanted to state that just because the Quran espouses many of the same ideas as the Bible does not make it the Bible.

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Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2011, 02:03:43 PM »
"After all, Christ teaches us to love unconditionally. Our love is not limited by the borders of sex, race, level of sin. Nor is it limited by the borders of faith."
agreed with that, dude gave his life for us, that Ain't love I don't know what is.
anyway from what I've seen people can be sexist, if proved false they dive to their faith's quotes and take them out of context to bail out their argument or better yet try and justify it.

one of the biggest problems I've noticed with the Koran is that culturally, while most christians believe their book penned and edited by men, divinely inspired and illuminated men yes, but still men and therefore not infallible (with the exception of good ol J.C. duh), Islamic culture holds the koran dictated ver-batum by the angel to muhammid, and therefore unalterable, infalable, dispite being actually having been edited by various Caliphs and such. what this means is once somthing goes in, no matter how foul or biased, it's impossable to remove or ignore.

I've seen more tolerant muslims but honestly I'm no theologian and I'm not going to insult my book and theirs by derdging up quotes out of context, leave that to people who've studied the darn things. most priests I meet are intelligent, clam, rational, and understanding

three other things

Have you ever noticed the more extremeist churches draw on the old testiment a lot?
When I look at the middle east I notice they've lived with islam guiding their laws so long they have a hard time approaching secular government styles, with the exception of turkey.
I've also noticed that monotheist faiths are the only sexist ones, I've run into a few pagan feminists who go on and on about the "mother godess" of earth and how men should serve her. diffrent gender, diffrent holy symbol, same jackass sexisim.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2011, 02:07:27 PM »
Judaism is different than Islam in the fact that while it doesn't acknowledge Christ as God, they still believe that the Messiah has yet to come, and therefore one can convince Jews that no, Jesus was the Messiah.  Islam says nope, Christ was just a man, not God.

I know it may not seem different, but it's a difference to me.

You do not have to be Christian to be virtuous.  There are plenty of Jews and non-Christians out there who are.  But by their belief system, you do have to be Christian to have salvation.

And yes, this is about sexism in religion - not Islam alone, though it is the most major modern-day offender - but I wanted to state that just because the Quran espouses many of the same ideas as the Bible does not make it the Bible.

Let me introduce you to my first practicing Muslim I met.

Ahmed. I met him in A-school, and he was a black guy from the Sub-Sahara and about 5 years older than me. He was one of THREE foreign nationals who naturalized to be eligible for the school we were in. He and I were years older than most of the students and naturally we talked a bit.

He was a fairly laid back guy, occasionally worrying over the presence of pork in food prep at the galley (we were in Millington TN), politely turned down drinks at the pool hall we played at and most of the way was a normal guy. He was a bit upset that he couldn't participate in Ramadan while on deployment as he thought he should.

He backed me up on Shore patrol, wasn't judgmental of the guys who drank to excess in Thailand (He told me that we all have to find a guiding path and that there were many roads to the truth).  We did tours in Bangkok and he told me that it was impressive to see that the Thai people were looking for ways to better themselves. He appreciated that I didn't drink while with him on the tours, we joked around and were generally a pair of guys on tour.

Good guy.

The folks I met in Dubai and Jebel Ali were just as nice and considerate. They were helpful and polite, and delighted that I asked about things they did and their culture.

Treat folks the way you want them to treat you. We both felt that was the way to get on.

Today, I wonder how gets on. I lost track of him after I transferred to the East coast and out of the squadron I served on the Nimitz with. I know he'd face the fear and hate with a shake of his head but I hope he is doing well.

 

Offline Serephino

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2011, 04:47:21 PM »
No, you can't convince Jews Jesus was the messiah.  That would be like shoving your beliefs down their throats, and I don't think they would respond positively to that.  Most people usually don't.  And you do realize there are people here on E from all religions, right?  There are also Atheists and Agnostics who don't even believe in God.  Are they not virtuous?       

 

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Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2011, 05:13:20 PM »
It's easier to do than to convince, say, a life-long Buddhist of it.  There's an advantage in that books of the New Testament were meant and directed specifically at the Jews (Matthew's Gospel, the book of Hebrews) to convince them of that belief.

Yes, I realize there are people on here from all religions.  I'm not stupid.

No, I never said that being virtuous was for Christians alone.  Ever.  Point me to where I said that.

What I said was that in Christianity, how virtuous you are is irrelevant to your own salvation.  You can be Mother Theresa the Agnostic, but in Christianity, you're condemned because you don't believe Jesus is God.

People, stop for a moment and read what I say.

Offline meikle

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2011, 05:30:23 PM »
No, you can't convince Jews Jesus was the messiah.

Paul (and Jesus) seemed to do a pretty good job of it.

On the other hand, talking about "In Christianity..." is silly; you'll have to be more specific than that.  There are definitely Christian sects that disagree that you can be saved without being virtuous.  James certainly thought so; Paul probably did as well.

Shakers didn't think there was anything that a person could do to gain or lose Grace; they were either predestined to it or they weren't, for example.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 05:35:32 PM by meikle »

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Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2011, 05:35:52 PM »
James said that virtue and good works are an outward expression of the fact that the Christian has accepted Christ and that he has been really changed.  Paul was the one who pioneered the phrase 'by grace through faith you have been saved.'  His idea that grace, not works, is the salvation of men is the whole of the basis for Luther and his rebellion against the Catholic church.

Offline meikle

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2011, 05:59:38 PM »
When Paul discusses works, however, he is talking about works of the Law -- ie, the Jewish Laws in the Old Testament.  That is not the same as the good works that James discusses, and they aren't contradictory.  Paul certainly never says that Christians should abstain from good deeds, but the contrary:

Quote from: Romans 12
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Similarly, James didn't say that "good works are an outward expression...", but that they are necessary:
Quote from: James 2:24, 26
"You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone... For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead."

And in James' case, these are good deeds, not the works of the Law.  Paul and James do not use 'works' and 'faith' to mean the same things.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 06:04:42 PM by meikle »

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Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2011, 06:18:44 PM »
The distinction between Paul & James is to be expected.  Paul was taught by the religious leaders of the Torah, given their permission to persecute Christians.  When Paul went on his journeys, one thing he always did was speak in synagogues.  Paul spoke in terms of the Law because it was what he knew.  James was speaking to all Christians everywhere, some who had no preconceptions of Judaism, so he didn't want to muddy things up by introducing more new ideas.

And I never said that Paul says Christians should abstain from being good.  I said that Paul said the basis of our salvation is not any deed or deeds we can do, but our justification through faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul exhorts his fellow believers to do good in many circumstances.

Yes, necessary as proof of our faith, and not more.

James 2:21, 22: Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

Emphasis mine.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2011, 10:18:32 PM »
And Judaism denies Jesusí divinity as well. As does a lot of other religions. Your point is? Thatís the beauty of different religions, they all have their own beliefs. Just because they are different does not mean they should be hated and certainly does not mean you should hate those that follow those beliefs.

Christianity is just another religion in a whole host of religions on this planet and itís beliefs is not the one and only way to live. Those that refuse to accept that everyone has a differing opinion and a right to choose what works for them is part of the problem with this world. Stop nitpicking at small things and just love each other.

Addendum:

Why do I get the distinct impression that what you want to do Reiji is prove that your beliefs are right and everyone else's is wrong? You've talked about changing people's minds of their religious beliefs as if that is not the least bit offensive to whoever you are talking to. You are not discussing sexism in religion, you are preaching to convert to what you view as the one and only way.

I am sorry but I am of the belief that there is no one, true way. We are all different, we all think differently and thus we all have to decide what fits into our worldview. Our personal beliefs is not something that should be shoved down our throats by other people - they should be something that we do soul searching to find. I do not go out and try to convert people to my belief system because Asatru hold the belief that each person has to find what works for them and I really love it when other people do not try to convert me. I am, and always will be, one who says 'you follow your God(s) and I will follow mine.' A philosophy that would do an untold number of 'miracles' for this planet if everyone adopted it.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 10:29:34 PM by Iniquitous Opheliac »

Offline Serephino

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2011, 10:35:09 PM »
I'm getting the same impression Opheliac.  Reading this thread makes me feel like I'm back in church.     

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2011, 11:26:17 PM »
Judaism is different than Islam in the fact that while it doesn't acknowledge Christ as God, they still believe that the Messiah has yet to come, and therefore one can convince Jews that no, Jesus was the Messiah.  Islam says nope, Christ was just a man, not God.

I know it may not seem different, but it's a difference to me.

So, you are saying that it is a meaningful difference between two religions that one of them is easier to subvert to your personal religion? And I take from context that you think that would be a good thing to do. Now that is an offensive and antiquated idea untenable for the modern world.

I find the notion of someone thinking their religion is superior to mine or that I need to convert no less abhorrent than someone thinking that their sex or gender is somehow superior to mine and that I need to conform. Bigotry is bigotry.

Offline Jude

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2011, 04:23:30 AM »
Even if those groups don't respect the rights of others?  Don't respect the law of the land that they're living in?  As the saying goes, your (though I don't mean you specifically, Callie) right to practice what you believe ends an inch in front of my nose.
Of course not.  Any Muslim that lives in the United States is subject to its laws and thereby required to respect the rights of others here.  Those outside of the United States that refuse to respect the rights of Americans face military retaliation.  I don't think you'll find anyone who advocates letting them do whatever they want to us.
You want to believe that men are superior to women?  Fine.  I can work with that.  But A: I don't believe that that belief will stand the test of time here in America, and B: you are not allowed to push your beliefs on me.  And part of these groups, all of them, is that (IMO) that's part and parcel of their whole deal.
It's funny how men in America, especially conservative minded types, will attack Islam for believing women are inferior while echoing that same belief in their behavior.  Perhaps they don't do it to the same extent, but how many men do you personally know who refer to having the pleasure of sex with a woman as "getting ass" -- or another equally as crude term.

That may not always reflect latent sexism, vocabulary can sometimes simply be a matter of verbal conventions, but I'd say it often does.  We have all sorts of sexist notions in this country:  women rely on intuition, men on logic.  Women can't do math, but they're good at cooking.  Women can't be argued with, but men are so reasonable and much easier to deal with.  I actually think Islam's views on social issues would fit right in with those of conservative Christians.  They could hate gays together while keeping their wives secluded to the kitchen.
In my own experience, people do not generally use things like terrorism and bombing and violence to get people to believe things that are reasonable sounding.  They use terrorism and bombing and violence because they themselves know that most people are not going to willingly subscribe to their beliefs, so they must use force to get them through.
The tactic can either speak to the ridiculousness of the belief or the dire situation in which they find themselves.  You see Muslims engaging in suicide bombings not because their desires are always absurd -- sometimes they are quite reasonable, remember that not every Muslim wants the same thing -- but because their situation is degrading and deplorable in many areas in the Middle East.  Desperate people do desperate things:  like kill themselves to strike out against the people who they believe are responsible for their dire situation.
What modern American woman, an intelligent and educated one, do you know who would willingly sign up for what Islam says about women?
Lets rephrase this a few times.

"What modern American woman, an intelligent and educated one, do you know who would willingly sign up to live in a country that has an income gap between the sexes?"  All of them.

"What modern American woman, an intelligent and educated one, do you know who would willingly sign up to be a part of a religion that denies them any administrative influence in their religion?"  All of the Catholics, most of the Protestants.

I could keep going, but you get the point.  Yes, we're better than Islam when it comes to women's rights, but we haven't been there long and we still have a ways to go.  Being arrogant about our supposedly "wonderful" track record on women's rights in comparison to other peoples misses the evident hypocrisy of such a position.

I'm not saying we shouldn't pressure the Muslim world through subtle, non-violent means to better itself.  I just think the confidence with which you berate them is unjustified.

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Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2011, 09:27:19 AM »
@ Opheliac:  The difference between Judaism, Islam, and the other religions of the world (such as Hinduism, Shinto, or Buddhism) is that Judaism and Islam are at least based on the Judeo-Christian ethic.  The others aren't.  Every religion in the world except Christianity denies the divinity of Jesus. I make special mention of Judaism because of its similarity to Christianity.

And this is not about my trying to prove that "I'm right and you're wrong."  This is supposed to be about the nature of religion as a whole, including its sexist parts.

It just seems like to me whenever I try and state what I've learned through my own experience, everyone is quick to jump on me for being intolerant.

Preaching to convert?  Religion, by its very nature, needs converts. I include kids of believers in a specific religion as converts in that definition.  Without converts and adherents to its beliefs, religion cannot sustain itself.  Forgive the analogy, but it's like smoking - the tobacco companies need to 'convert' people to smoking because people who smoke are dying every day, and without 'converts' the industry will disappear.

@ DarklingAlice: So, if I follow your logic, if two people - Person A and Person B - of equal IQ and ability, but differing achievement levels, with Person A achieving more, his exhortation for Person B to apply themselves to achieve more is bigoted?  Or have I lost something in translation?

@ Jude:  How many men do I know?  None.  I don't make it a habit to hang out with people who believe that someone is unequal just because of their gender.

I would say that people can get a bad rap and find themselves in a situation not of their own making, but the former can feed into the latter.  People with ridiculous beliefs can get themselves into dire straits because of those ridiculous beliefs, and that's nobody's fault but theirs.


...why do I get the feeling this is the 'Reiji vs...' thread?

Offline Sophronius

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2011, 09:32:45 AM »
Oh, and if we're going there.... Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials.  Oh, no, Christians aren't violent at all...


With the possible exception of the third of your examples (about which I know little beyond what every American knows) the first two examples have a number of causes that spread far beyond religion.  For example, the Crusades were not the sole work of the church.  It is not as though Christians just decided to retake the Levant for the purpose of their faith.  If it was solely based on religion, then why did it take over 300 years for the Latin Christians to care about Jerusalem being controlled by Muslims?  Instead, the changing power dynamics between the Byzantines and the newly arrived Seljuk Turks played a large role in the Crusades, since the Byzantine-Arab (I say Arab rather than list caliphates needlessly) border had more or less settled at the edge of Anatolia for quite some time before that, with occasional temporary shifts.  Also, the recent arrival of the Normans in the West played a large role in the Crusades, especially when one looks at the prominence of Norman Crusaders.  Beyond that, economic conditions among nobles in the West played a significant part in the Crusades as the number of inter-Christian wars decreased and the opportunities for the warrior-elite to enrich themselvs simultaneously decreased.

Another examples comes when one looks at, for example, the German Crusade (which took place just before/was an early part of the First Crusade).  The departure of many German crusaders was accompanied by large scale violence against Jews.  Religoius violence, right?  Not at all.  Throughout the lands where this occurred, bishops told the people not to kill Jews and many even accepted the Jewish population into their cathedrals for protection and the populace actually stormed cathedrals to attack Jews.  The reason was economic, that these nobles, burghers, and peasants had recently become endebted to Jews in order to engage on Crusade and wanted to sort of wipe out their debt before leaving.

The Inquisition is also rather interesting, but it was largely a venture by the Spanish Crown to cement its power, not a religoius affair (hence why it was organized by the Spanish monarchy, not the Roman church).  In Iberia, this largely took the form of oppression against the newly conquered peoples of the region who were largely Muslim and Jewish, but in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Spanish Inquisition was just as harsh attacking Christians (mostly Protestant in the Netherlands, but also Catholics).  One must also remember that it was the political doctrine that evolved in this period was that the religion of the prince was the religion of his state - holding a different religion was viewed as a sort of sedition, especially in the case of converts.  This is a failing of religious officials not to combat this, but it was part of political doctrine, not church doctrine.

I am sure that this could be applied to actions carried out by Musliims.  What is important is to remember that not every action by a religious person is a reflection of doctrine or dogma, even if they believe it is.  I feel that saying "the Crusades" or "Inquisition" or what have you was caused by religion is like saying that the American Civil War was caused by slavery - slavery played its part, but like Apu tries saying when taking a citizenship test, "A number of factors both social and economical lead to..."

Kind of off-topic but since the Bible is supposedly inspired and guided by the will of God and God's morality should then flow in it like water to be clearly seen and the ebbs and flows of it wouldn't it then be the true intent of God's morality and superior to all man has come to understand?

If so God is a monsterous thing the OT and Revelation are ripe with the horrors He encouraged in his name through his agents then I ask why are you worshipping this thing?

If not then why use the Bible as truth its not true if God can change his mind about morality and clearly that is the arguement being made by some people, well its different now its not then. Sorry if God is God his morality would be better than those we tried at Nuremburg for horrible actions. Yet he did order his people through prophets and judges to do horrible acts and did those acts himself?

The problem is with literal interpretation of the Bible.  It is startling to see how Protestantism has caused such an upgrowth in literal readings of the Bible in the past 500 years, but Catholic doctrine, Eastern Orthodox doctrine, and most Jewish schools of thought read what a Christian would call the Old Testament allegorically, to put it simply.  There are actually many layers through which one can read the Bible - literally, morally, allegorically, and mystically, with the last holding the highest level of truth in it and the first generally being avoided.  It is only once the common man (i.e. one not trained in theology) was encouraged to interpret the Bible for himself that we begin to see a large scale move to literalism.  Personally, I see this as a flaw of Protestantism, though even most mainstream Protestants now do chose to read most of the Bible allegorically.

There is also the flaw, which I believe has been pointed out, that Christians only believe in divine inspiration, not that the text is exactly as God intended.  This allows for Biblical criticism to be undertaken and allows for errors and imperfections in the text.  Of course, some Christians hold more fanatical views (I'm thinking of KJV only people), but this is the Catholic doctrine on the issue, as well as, I believe, the mainstream Protestant one.

IMO, while Catholicism and Protestantism are both Christianity, it's not the same thing.  For one thing, Protestants don't have a Pope (who is supposedly infallible, despite him being born a man), nor do we have a bunch of old traditions that are, by the Bible's reckoning, entirely unnecessary.

You've already been called out on the infallibility thing, so I see no reason to criticize again.  However, what "old traditions" are unnecessary and what "by the Bible's reckoning" makes them unnecessary?  And how don't Protestants have old traditions?  They have just as many old traditions, it's only they trace their tradition back to whenever their branch was founded whereas Catholics trace their traditions (wrongly or rightly) back to the early church.  Personally, I'd rather trace my tradition back to the apostles than to Martin Luther, John Calvin, Henry VIII of England, Wesley, etc.

one of the biggest problems I've noticed with the Koran is that culturally, while most christians believe their book penned and edited by men, divinely inspired and illuminated men yes, but still men and therefore not infallible (with the exception of good ol J.C. duh), Islamic culture holds the koran dictated ver-batum by the angel to muhammid, and therefore unalterable, infalable, dispite being actually having been edited by various Caliphs and such. what this means is once somthing goes in, no matter how foul or biased, it's impossable to remove or ignore.

...

three other things

Have you ever noticed the more extremeist churches draw on the old testiment a lot?
When I look at the middle east I notice they've lived with islam guiding their laws so long they have a hard time approaching secular government styles, with the exception of turkey.
I've also noticed that monotheist faiths are the only sexist ones, I've run into a few pagan feminists who go on and on about the "mother godess" of earth and how men should serve her. diffrent gender, diffrent holy symbol, same jackass sexisim.

I agree with your statement on the Koran, that doctrine is among my largest misgivings about Islamic theology.  Though, some Christians, like KJV only people, do hold that view about the Bible, it is just that they are in the minority.

I'm not sure your depiction of Turkey is 100% fair - they have a lot of problems with their secular government, especially when it clashes with the faith of their people.  Occasionally, this even takes on a form similar to religious oppresion - i.e. the banning of headscarves on women in political office.  I believe Indonesia during the last 12 years might be a better example of a secular majority-Muslim state.

And as to monotheism being more sexist than non-monotheists, I am not sure this is true, but I do not know enough about other faiths to dispute it.  India, for example, is a sexist state with a Hindu majority and from what little I know, Hinduism seems to re-enforce this situation.  The same is also true of Japan, with Shinto (and/or Buddhism) replacing Hinduism.  And in Africa, I doubt the native religions do much to aid in sexism.  Though, whether these are societal sexism with a neutral religion or a sexist religion alongside a sexist societ is up for debate.  Of course, since religion was more or less indistinguishable from these societies (until relatively recently), I doubt there can be much of a distinction, unlike with Christianity and Islam, where many societies and polities held the same religion, here we see something akin to each society having its own faith.

Offline Sabre

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2011, 09:57:29 AM »
Koran, 4:34.

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard.

Emphasis mine.  I can't help but read that and have alarms of sexism go off in my head.  Isn't one of the tenets of equality that anything you can do, I can do too?  But this makes it sound like men are inherently better than women.

You don't find this in Judaism.  You don't find it in Christianity.  Nor in any other major recognized religion in the world (Shinto, Buddhism, Animism) to name a few.  Islam is the only religion I know of that does.

Ephesians 5:21

But in all three religions what is being written is not the nature of a man or a woman, and which is superior as people, but about the reality of the patriarchal household that is present during the birth of all three Abrahamic faiths.  I suggest a more thorough parsing of Surah 4 and seeing that the verses pertain to the question of the household.  The man in both cases has already been made superior - specifically the husband over the wife - and that the language being used, 'He has made,' which is seen throughout the Quran and other texts, is a pointing out of existing realities.  Patriarchy, slavery, the existence of other tribes, languages, and religions, belief and unbelief, etc, are all existing realities (of the time) that is being alluded to here.  And the 'superior' position of the man over the woman is not because the man is seen as better in regards to his faith or spirituality but in regards to that existing reality.  He is superior because, in Middle Eastern societies of the age, he is culturally mandated to use his inheritance that he receives (mentioned in the previous verse) and pay for his wife and sisters who themselves are not obligated to spend their own inheritance on the man.  It is sexism, yes, but as so many miss these days it is sexist against both men and women. 

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But wait, there's more!

In Islam, Muslim women are not allowed to marry anyone but a Muslim man.  Period.  Muslim men, however, are allowed to marry Muslim women, and women of the 'People of the Book' (ie Jews and Christians), as long as the man doesn't place himself in an inferior position to that woman.

This was a mutual understanding among Halacha and Canon Law for centuries.  Building off the point previously mentioned, the patriarch of the household is considered the superior of the family due to his responsibility.  Thus neither priest nor rabbi nor imam could sanction a marriage between a believing woman and a non-believing man throughout history, and this has changed only in the more liberal churches and for everyone else almost always happens in a civic marriage under the state.  To sanction such a marriage would be, historically understood, to relegate the religion of the household to the inferior position underneath the patriarch.  The One True Faith (tm) cannot theoretically be made to submit with the tacit acceptance of its guardians, and so such marriages between different faiths has always been the man of the dominant culture being permitted to marry a woman of the dominated culture.  It's a certain attitude that is fairly universal, and one can even see it in the question of racial miscegenation where laws were very strict about a white woman marrying anyone other than a white man but white men were not as restricted to marry whoever, as long as the white race was not being made subservient in a household.

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Even after marriage, an Islamic court can rule a marriage dissolved if the woman is unfaithful.  Case in point: in India in 2005, a woman turned to an Islamic court, alleging that her father-in-law raped her.  The verdict?  No punishment for the father-in-law, and the woman's marriage to her husband was dissolved.  End of story.  No prison, no fine, no punishment whatsoever known.

You are likely referring to the Imrana rape case.  This is a perfect example to study what is really going on and not let ourselves fall into simplistic moralizing while looking for easy answers that don't actually answer anything.  The issue was not, as it would be in a Western state, a matter between the wife and the father-in-law but the village as a whole where it occured.  That is why it was not Imrana who went to an Islamic court, it was a village council that did.  They took over the proceedings and came to the above verdict not because there is an instinctual hatred of women in either religion or culture (though there is an instilled level of sexism being a rural village in India in the first place), but because the village follows the very simple rule: look out for number one.  As a matter of shame, the village wanted to preserve a patriarch - the father-in-law - by ostracizing the woman.  The assumption in the quick reading above is that the victim (rather than the village) approached a Muslim cleric and told him she was raped by her father-in-law (rather than the village asking what happens if a wife has sex with her father-in-law and leaving rape out of it).  The village wants only one thing, as all Indian rural villages do: to protect its image as a respectable community that others can trade and marry with.  When the village elders found out about the incident their first priority was to keep quiet about everything, and that is the reason rape would not have ever been mentioned when asking an imam (otherwise, the imam would also point out the legal Shari'ah ruling on rape) to keep things a secret.  So they forced her to divorce and tried to hide the incident by saying it was Imrana being licentious, and that the father-in-law as one of the older men of the village and thus a pillar of their community is still honorable.

In fact, had they gone full Taliban like they should have if they were just that, the father-in-law and Imrana would have been punished equally.  That they left out the question that this was an actual case of adultery, which has its own ruling in Shari'ah, is indicative of a need to protect the father-in-law at all costs.  Protect him, and you protect your village, and he won't be able to shame you all with his crime.  Luckily (for Imrana) the Indian Police got involved and put an end to the coverup.  In summary, there was no Islamic court.  There was sexism, and plenty of it, but purposefully selective for a single and commonly overlooked purpose.

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And this is not radicalism, in my opinion.  This is what every Muslim believes, whether active or passive.  Even if you don't actively believe it and practice the more distasteful parts yourself, by claiming faith in this religion, you state that you support the ideas and tenets inherent in it.

Allow me to repeat my statement: I do not believe that traditional Islam, as written in the Koran, can long survive contact with the American culture, because of its inherent sexism.  Either American culture will change, or Islam will, or one will be removed from the other.

Nothing traditional can survive outside its traditional setting.  This was the entire purpose of the Maliki school of religious fiqh forming in the very first centuries that Islam existed.  It is also why it ceases to exist in either America or Europe, or has never existed at all (the same is true of the idea of 'traditional Christianity/Judaism').  What exists instead is either civil Islam, that is Islam that has taken the same form that much of Christianity and Judaism has in a secularized state with powerful institutions and an inclusive civic culture, or a new and strange form of Islamism that has begun to spread mostly in Europe since 2000.  It cannot survive as it was created for a certain generation, much like many policies instituted by the baby boomers of America, but it will remain a problem for a long time even after its eventual collapse.  It promises answers that it cannot ultimately provide.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2011, 01:30:11 AM »
Preaching to convert?  Religion, by its very nature, needs converts. I include kids of believers in a specific religion as converts in that definition.  Without converts and adherents to its beliefs, religion cannot sustain itself.  Forgive the analogy, but it's like smoking - the tobacco companies need to 'convert' people to smoking because people who smoke are dying every day, and without 'converts' the industry will disappear.

Very wrong and possibly a little telling... Tobacco companies need to 'convert' people because that's how they make profit. Religion has no such dependence. And HaShem (or any other god I am aware of) certainly doesn't have such a dependence, and he seems to discourage it in his worshippers (not that many of them listen). The church might, but that is distinct from the religion itself (nor is it true in all circumstances). Certain individual people definitely do need converts to help them personally profit, but I think that is again separate from the religion (and at times quite contrary to its supposed principles).

@ DarklingAlice: So, if I follow your logic, if two people - Person A and Person B - of equal IQ and ability, but differing achievement levels, with Person A achieving more, his exhortation for Person B to apply themselves to achieve more is bigoted?  Or have I lost something in translation?

You would have a point if you had just as charitable an attitude about a Muslim  (or any other religion) converting Christians away from their belief in Christ. I may be mistaken, but it doesn't seem like you do. In your analogy the Christian is 'achieving more' while the other religions (and atheists) 'achieve less'. This inherently divides the world into two classes of people: those who 'achieve more' and those who don't; 'saved'/'believers' vs. 'unsaved'/'heathens'; better and worse. It's a zero sum game. And since this division is made on subjective belief/creed rather than an objective rational basis it is literally the definition of bigotry. It is directly analogous to holding the belief that your sex/gender is better than the other sex/genders, your race is better than the other races, and all those other things that we hoped we were moving past back in 1964 (and really why did it take us that long to get there?).

The fact that you are trying to frame it in terms of converting people for their own good smacks a little too close to a line used by religion far too often to justify blatantly immoral and shameful acts (just ask my ancestors who were on the receiving end of the American Christian drive to 'civilize the savage').

Offline Scribbles

Re: Debate about the sexism inherent in religion (was in the NDAA thread)
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2011, 04:16:31 AM »
I'm not sure I care if a religion is sexist so long as people reserve the right to choose, especially without fear of prejudice from their own government. My aunt's an Islamic convert and she seems perfectly happy and I've yet to meet a male Muslim who has behaved sexist, or even rudely, in any way. I also find it difficult to completely write-off an entire book or religion just because some fuddy-duddy of a bygone era wrote a sexist line or two. I'm a strong skeptic of Catholicism and even I can't deny that there's a lot of decent advice attached to that specific branch of Christianity.