My dreams were full of feminist theologian scholars musing about Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It is clear the bible was written by men, for men. Look at the 10 commandments; “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.” At best, the perspectives of women were simply overlooked. At worst, the status of women in the bible was intentionally buried over the centuries.
In the best light biblical women are portrayed as meek, submissive, obedient, and pure. At worst they are portrayed as unclean, seductive whores. Not much of a middle ground. There aren’t really any heroines in the bible who take action and git ‘er done. Not like the men do anyway.
In contemporary times, there has been a movement afoot to uncover role models that modern women can relate to. It turns out that the Torah in its original language is loaded with positive stories of women. Even God is referred to as both male and female at various times. The Christian gospel shows Jesus to be very progressive towards the status of women. The Qur’an is probably the most progressive of all religious texts towards the status of women.
In all cases, it has been social/political traditions that has altered or cast the meanings of these writings towards a patriarchal slant. Tradition is a motherfucker to overcome however. While some of these feminist theologians advocate for a fresh look at these texts, others have abandoned them altogether. Even the patriarchs within these religions can’t agree on the interpretations of the readings.
So what do we have? A mass of humanity working for and against itself searching for ‘the ultimate truth’. Add enough scholars and theologians to the mix and you can twist meanings out of anything to suit your point of view until it all becomes a completely meaningless Wal-Mart of theology. Go shopping for whatever you need to support your point of view, to bring hope to the hopeless, to find meaning in the mysteries, to inspire the faithless, to begin wars, to murder innocents, and to marginalize the powerless.
We turned God into a war criminal… and a saviour… and I just can’t make sense of any of it.