a reflection of those who created it


“I’m going to be a feminist this year!”

I understand that it’s natural to want to believe in a supernatural power guiding and protecting (to a certain extent) humanity. It’s comforting and convenient for the ego to believe that when this short life finishes, there is a prospect of more and better – maybe even a reward for good behaviour! I also realise that it’s normal to accept the religious belief we see around us as we’re growing up and it’s difficult to release our thinking patterns from the restraints and booby traps (fear and guilt) that are inherent in successfully evolved religions.

When it comes to most religions I vaguely know about, I can see clearly the easy appeal of all the above. But only for half the world’s population. The monotheistic deity is a marvellous creature beyond our human understanding, yet always characterised as male. The splendid (or odd and brutal, depending on your viewpoint) stories the deity sent to guide humanity feature men in all the leading roles. The rules the deity kindly dictated to guide humanity’s confused moral compass explicitly state that women should keep quiet, be submissive and cover up.

Why would any woman (or indeed man) accept a religion that goes against fundamental modern day understandings of gender equality? A couple of Old Testament books with women leads, or the Catholic Church adoption of virgins as prayable, in no way redresses the huge and horrible sexist imbalance within the monotheistic religions. And it cuts no mustard to talk about cultural, societal or historical contexts. This deity purports to be an all-seeing, all-knowing superpower. It reads like a sometimes patronising, often violent, and generally ignorant human man on a power high … em, perhaps a reflection of those who created it.