A Feminist’s Problem with Christianity

Before sharing my thoughts on this issue, I think it’s important for my readers to know my background as it pertains to religion. I was raised in the Presbyterian Church, baptized as an infant, and confirmed as an official member in seventh grade. A christian lifestyle was all I ever knew–God and Jesus were an essential, unquestionable part of life. I was never exposed to other theories and philosophies, and especially not the depths of evolutionary science until reaching college.

Boy, was I in for a reality check once I hit college. Suddenly I was immersed in a culture composed of people not only across the country, but across the globe with countless cultures, ideologies, and religions. I just felt extremely naive coming from my hometown made up of a large majority of white christians.

As the year began I never doubted my faith. But come second semester I took a class on biological anthropology, learning about human evolution dating back to seven million years ago. At first I was in pure shock. My professor was telling me science proved that there were things walking this earth that looked like humans 7 million years ago??? No way. This blew my mind compared to what I’d learned in my science classes growing up. Yeah, the idea of evolution was mentioned down in the bible belt along with a definition but I had no idea the extensive scientific proof of evolution. It was in this class I began to doubt the faith I’d grown up with. How could the Bible so blatantly oppose evolution? The Bible only dates back about 2000 years– what happened in the other 7 million? In comparison to the extensive human record, it began to seem strange to me that a large majority of modern humans have based life off this one book. Why?

As I began to question the Bible more because of bio anthropology,  feminist philosophies appeared in my other classes and my interest sparked in this area. I quickly became uncomfortable with the way book that laid the foundation for my religion portrays women. In my opinion the Bible created a culture that depicts men in a superior light as compared to women. It all started in Genesis when Eve was made from Adam’s rib, setting a standard that woman is nothing without man. It preaches for women to submit to their husbands. It claims a woman should have to ask permission from her husband to speak in a Church. A woman is deemed “unclean” while on her period, an inevitable function of being a woman. The Bible is downright sexist. I understand these were the “norms” for the time period that was written, but there have been extreme long term effects on society because of sexist principles found within the book.

This Bible calls for Christians to spread the gospel, and many Christians interpreted that to mean traveling to unfamiliar lands to starting new societies bringing the word of God to unfamiliar peoples.  The Bible guided a great deal of human expansion and as christians colonized, the sexism spread too. All Christians today are still using this book as their guiding philosophy and although most modern churches do not view woman as inferior, one cannot read the Bible without also reading the sexist passages within it.

Point Blank- the Bible is not a progressive book. It is outdated and we acknowledge that culture has evolved extensively since the period it was written. We must recognize that this book created and promoted sexism inadvertently. I would like to believe it wasn’t God’s intention to portray women in an inferior light, but the authors of the Bible did just that. Yes it holds a number of invaluable moral lessons, but we need to leave its sexist ideologies in the past.

As for where I stand on my personal religion, I’m not entirely sure right now. I strongly disagree with many aspects of the Bible, not just the sexist parts. Most importantly I feel as if Christianity has betrayed me. I was roped in from birth and the Church never told me the other side of the story. I believe in something. I do think some sort of god type figure exists. It is just going to take me a while to mentally sort it out.

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11 thoughts on “A Feminist’s Problem with Christianity

    1. We have developed morals as our cognitive functioning evolved placing us greatly above other animals. Sexism has is no way benefitted the human race and since it has decreased in recent years human population has increased exponentially so it does not seem like a feature beneficial to greater fitness.

      Also to clarify are you claiming to deny all evidence of evolution according to the scientific record? Not even some combination of intelligent design?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I find that these days, complementarianism has destroyed equality and replaced unity with authority. The Bible was progressive in it’s time and culture to some degree, but using it now is like using a 1st century anchor on a 21st century vessel – our powerful engine might not even slow down all that much but it still gets dragged along wherever we go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I appreciate your honesty.

    College is a culture shock, and I would tell Christian parents without any hesitation that sheltering their children from the world only adds to the shock. It’s much more fair to students that they are at least somewhat aware of other cultures and beliefs, including those that fly in the face of Christianity. That way, at least their resulting beliefs are informed by their heart and intellect, rather than the shock.

    I notice you object to God’s treatment of menstruation. May I offer a great story from Matthew 9?

    “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.”

    It may not have been menstruation, but whatever was causing the woman’s bleeding, it kept her in a constant state of uncleanliness for twelve years. The story doesn’t explicitly make that point, but it was compelled by Mosaic law. She must have been a pariah in Israel; she would have legally defiled Jesus by touching him, as well as anyone else in that crowd. Yet Jesus did not condemn her – he treated her with great tenderness.

    Liked by 1 person

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