by D.M. Murdock
July 24, 2009
D.M. Murdock, also known
as Acharya S, is an independent scholar of comparative
religion and mythology from a "freethinking"
She is the author of
The Christ Conspiracy,
Suns of God, Who was Jesus? and Christ in Egypt. Her
work was featured in the movie Zeitgeist and Bill
Her main website is
Last week, former U.S. President
Jimmy Carter released a widely disseminated statement concerning
the global mistreatment of women based on religious texts and
Former U.S. President
Mr. Carter was so disturbed by the
sexism within his own church that he left it after 60 years.
In his commentary, Carter quoted the
"Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and the Bible (Gal 3:28) to
demonstrate his own integrity as concerns race, religion and gender.
He then remarked:
"This view that women are somehow
inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief.
It is widespread. Women are prevented from playing a full and
equal role in many faiths... The male interpretation of
religious texts and the way they interact with, and reinforce,
traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive,
persistent, flagrant and damaging examples of human rights
Carter is to be commended for having the
daring - a sad statement in itself that it is "daring" to speak out
on behalf of women - to take on the religious tyranny that has ruled
this planet for too long. As he says, he is in a later stage of his
life and as part of a mysterious group of "Elders" he has been
selected to publicize this very enlightened view concerning women
Further displaying this vital courage,
"The justification of discrimination
against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as
if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."
We wholeheartedly agree, and we thank
Mr. Carter and the Elders for taking this sorely overdue step - let
us hope that others will follow suit and that those individuals
still engaging in misogyny and sexism, religiously based or
otherwise, will feel ashamed of themselves.
Scriptures" themselves are sexist
Exhorting His Followers (Numbers 21)
Unfortunately, Carter's closing
contention concerning the traditional establishers of the three
Abrahamic religions, Christ, Paul, Moses and
Muhammad, all calling for "proper and equitable treatment of all
the children of God" stumbles, for, while it is diplomatic, it is
certainly not true.
According to the Bible, Moses was
responsible for an atrocious amount of genocide, such as at Numbers
31:15-18, where, after his Israelites slaughter thousands of
Midianites, Moses asks,
"Have you let all the women live?"
The great jewish prophet next
gives an ethnocentric reason to murder them all and then remarks:
"Now therefore, kill every male
among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by
lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man
by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."
What this last line means, naturally, is
that the Israelite warriors get to kidnap the young virgin girls and
use them as sex slaves.
In the meantime, the "Prince of Peace" Jesus Christ stated he
was not here to bring peace but a sword (Mt 10:34), and made other
remarks that create enmity:
For nation shall rise against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be
earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and
troubles: these [are] the beginnings of sorrows."
If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and
mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and
even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."
Paul, of course, repeatedly made
derogatory remarks about women, such as:
But I want you to understand that
the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is
her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
(1 Cor 11:3)
Sounding very proto-Islamic Paul
follows this sexist commentary with a diatribe against women's hair
and an exhortation for women praying or prophesying to cover their
heads. (1 Cor 11:5ff) After these comments, Paul says that
men were not created for women, but women were made for men. (1 Cor
There's more woman-dominating speech at Ephesians 5:22-24:
"Wives, be subject to your husbands,
as to the lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as
Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself
its savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let
wives also be subject in everything to their husbands."
At 1 Timothy 2:11-15, Paul goes
on a rant that women should be quiet and submissive, because Eve
ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the
Garden of Eden, dictating that all women - who are by their
mere gender guilty by association - can redeem themselves by
bearing children and being modest:
"Let a woman learn in silence with
all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have
authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed
first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was
deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved
through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and
holiness, with modesty."
And there's more in the "Good Book" that
contradicts Carter's euphoric and hopeful interpretation, such as
Paul repeatedly exhorting slaves to obey their masters, as at
"Bid slaves to be submissive to
their masters and give satisfaction in every respect."
The pro-slavery and pro-government
biblical rhetoric can also be found 1 Peter 2:13-18:
"Be subject for the Lord's sake to
every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as
supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do
wrong and to praise those who do right. For it is God's
will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance
of foolish men. Live as free men, yet without using your freedom
as a pretext of evil; but live as servants of God. Honor
all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor."
"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not
only to the kind and gentle but also to the overbearing."
How can we "honor all men" and then
allow some to be slaves to overbearing masters? There would seem to
be (at least) two voices here, including a propagandist for the
Nor does the Koran, attributed to Muhammad, speak out against
slavery - indeed, fervent followers of Islam often label themselves
"slaves of Allah."
While Surah 2:256 says there is "no
compulsion in religion," this passage is abrogated by later ones
"The only true faith in God's site
"He that chooses a religion over Islam, it will not be accepted
from him and in the world to come he will be one of the lost."
"It is not for true believers men or women to take their choice
in the affairs if God and his apostle decree otherwise. He that
disobeys God and his apostle strays far indeed."
Unbelievers in Allah, the Koran and
Muhammad are threatened with the hideous punishment of eternal
hellfire, as at Surah 2:92-6:
"God's curse be upon the infidels!
Evil is that for which they have bartered away their souls. To
deny God's own revelation [the Koran], grudging that he should
reveal his bounty to whom he chooses from among his servants!
They have incurred God's most inexorable wrath. An ignominious
punishment awaits the unbelievers."
Islamic Hell torturing women (edited)
There exist centuries-old Islamic images
of Muhammad in Hell watching a demon torture women for uncovering
their hair. There is nothing "equitable" about the treatment of
women as ordained in the Koran:
Men have authority over women
because God has made the one superior to the other, and because
they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are
Concerning a man's right to marry a
woman, the Koran (4:24) remarks:
"Also, [forbidden to you are]
married women, except those whom you own as slaves."
If these slave women are married, there
must have been husbands somewhere, and one may presume that they are
no longer alive, having been murdered by those who have enslaved
As we can see, there is a serious problem with Mr. Carter's
heartfelt commentary, but we can overlook his current sunny
perspective, so long as it increasingly becomes understood that the
religions and their scriptures themselves are hardly devoid of
sexist speech that is merely being "misinterpreted" by men in order
to hold sway over women.
Indeed, contrary to Carter's conclusions, the rampant misogyny and
sexism found within religion are readily traceable to the attitudes
of the alleged founders of organized faiths. We need to get at the
heart of the issue, which is that humans possess a strange
megalomaniacal quirk causing them to think that the God of
the cosmos is writing books especially for them - books full of
atrocity, hatred, oppression, enslavement, terror, warfare and
That's the real problem, because books
serve as brainwashing propaganda - it does no good at all to talk
about "erroneous interpretation" when in fact there is no other way
to interpret calls to hegemony, oppression, domination, bigotry,
cruelty, discrimination and violence.
What the world really needs are new and improved writings revered
for their enlightened content, not for their purported supernatural
Dark Age and Stone Age texts
will never lead to an evolved and peaceful world, no matter how hard
we try to find seeds of goodness in them. Instead of desperately
searching for seeds in bloated bags of intellectual refuse, let us
obtain fresh sacks of seeds!
And then let us plant these seeds of
true human enlightenment with all due haste for our future