An Open Apology

Dear Ladies,

I'm reading a book that you may have heard of, possibly you've already read it. It's called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Suffice to say, the book is excellent, and I'd like to write a future post on it. However, it's forced me to think about something that can often be easily overlooked or avoided altogether- RESPONSIBILITY, one word that has a profound effect on the way we navigate through life.

Now, I always intended to tackle the subject of misogyny in the Bible. Since Christianity still dominates the world's religions at nearly one-third of the population, it's pretty important to know what the Bible has to say about women and girls. Unsurprisingly, it's not good. Here's my top five most offensive verses in the Bible (ESV translation) regarding the treatment of women and girls. Why is it that I always have to narrow down the list?

1. Deuteronomy 22:28-29  28 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.

**Raped by a man? You won't have to go it alone. In fact, you won't be allowed to because you'll be forced to marry your rapist, never to be divorced.

2. Numbers 31:17-18 

17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.

**That's right. The virgins were to be taken as the spoils of war.

3. Leviticus 15:19-24 

19 “When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. 20 And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. 21 And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 22 And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. 24 And if any man lies with her and her menstrual impurity comes upon him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

**Okay, I get it! The menstrual cycle that God created has made me spiritually unclean. Better sacrifice something!

4. Colossians 3:18  18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

**Submit...I've really grown to dislike that word.

5. 1 Timothy 2:11-15  11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

**Ugh! There's that word again, and this time I need to keep my mouth shut, too.

So, you may be wondering what this has to do with responsibility. Basically, it involves me (at one time) actively participating in and promoting an ideology in which women are demeaned and treated as second class citizens. For that, ladies, I am truly sorry. I have to take responsibility for promulgating a religion in which misogyny is condoned. Just as the Bible thwarted the abolition of slavery, we once again find ourselves in a similar predicament, an inequality of the sexes rather than of the races. And while Christianity is certainly not the cause of misogyny or inequality, it is a clear stumbling block to progress as a society. How do women move forward when women continue to embrace this ideology? Moreover, how does society move forward when one-third of the population embraces this dogma, as well? I wish the answer was truly as simple as this, but here it is in a nutshell. When you find that your moral standards have evolved beyond that of your holy book, perhaps it is time to move on. Better yet, move forward!

Thank you for reading this, ladies. If you've suffered abuse at the hands of Christianity, I am sorry.

Sincerely,

Janet

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