Sunday, February 15, 2015

Judeo-Christian Sharia Law Taking Over America

Why Do Americans Ignore Judeo-Christian Sharia Law?

The basic definition of Sharia Law is any law based on a prophetic religion. Both Judiasm and Christianity are prophetic religions, just like Islam. While many American conservatives want you to believe that Sharia Law only exists in Islamic countries, the fact is that America is becoming inundated with Judeo-Christian Sharia Laws, especially those regarding abortion.

If we continue to ignore their religious arguments, Judeo-Christian Sharia Law will completely take over America.

Having been raised in an ultra-conservative Christian church, I have heard their arguments, all of which are flawed. While some people might argue that their beliefs are secular, not religious, many people do not recognize that religious views are often presented to appear as secular arguments. We must recognize that it is the religious ideology that feeds the ultra conservatives' fanatical obsessions against women, especially against allowing women to make our own decisions.

A biblical argument many conservatives use is a quote from the book of Jeremiah, Chapter 1, verse 5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Actually, many quote the first part, and ignore the second, primarily because this phrasing is supposed to be words directly from the Judean god, Yahweh, to Jeremiah to reassure the doubting Jeremiah that he is, indeed, an unusual person—so unusual that god knew him “before…the womb” and so unusual that he was consecrated (made sacred) before birth—all to prove that Jeremiah is, indeed, so unusual that he is destined to be a prophet. The implication in this passage is that Jeremiah is so unique that god “knew him” before he was even conceived, so that this kind of pre-conception consecration by god was only bestowed on Jeremiah—not on every zygote or fetus; otherwise, we would all be prophets, according to Jewish beliefs.

Since so few people, including Christians, read biblical text in context, few doubt this “word of god” as proof that “the unborn is a person” (quoted from an online “bible” source), despite the fact that at least 5 out of every 100 pregnancies ends in miscarriage (and women in some Catholic countries have been arrested and convicted of murder for having had miscarriages). In fact, every single quote about pregnancies in the bible refers specifically to unique people who become prophets, which should indicate to Christians that only those who are destined to be prophets get any sort of godly recognition.

Of course, their counter-argument to such a claim is that we never know when such a prophet-to-be fetus will get such recognition, so we should protect them all, begging the question, and assuming that the god they worship is so unassuming as to allow one of his prophets to be aborted—which does not, of course, display any confidence in their god's abilities to protect his own.

One additional biblical quote used to argue that fetuses should be treated the same way the murder of a breathing human being is treated comes from Exodus 21: 22-25: “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” Of course, many of the people who quote this passage refrain from using the words after “life” because those words obviously point to an adult with teeth, thus to the mother, not to a fetus. If knowledgeable Judeo-Christians read this passage in context, they would realize as much, but, again, too few people read bible passages as part of a whole, believing that taking statements out of context is perfectly acceptable.

It is by resorting to lies and to the purposeful omission and even twisting of biblical wording that these Judeo-Christian fanatics have managed to convince so many people that their beliefs are just cause for creating laws that limit women’s choices, threatening our freedom, and damaging our abilities to care for ourselves, let alone to care for our families.

Until we directly confront these sets of Judeo-Christian Sharia Laws as they are being forced on the American people, many will assume that their views are accurate Judeo-Christian views, thus justifiable law in what a few ultra conservatives see as “a Christian nation.”

Despite the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees that the government cannot create a national religion, ultra conservatives are methodically working their way toward instating Christianity as this county’s national religion.

It is up to us to confront these Judeo-Christian Sharia Laws as what they really are—attempts by masculinist factions using Judeo-Christian wording to deceive the people in order to limit women’s rights in America.

Please push your congressional representatives, both state and national, as well as your governors to Trust Women and to oppose Judeo-Christian Sharia Law in America.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kansas Republican Responses to Plea for Women's Rights

A friend of mine recently sent an email to several of our “representatives,” both at the state level and at the federal level, urging them to respect and honor women’s right to choose to be pregnant.

State Senator Steve Fitzgerald stated in an email reply: “Killing children is wrong. Advocating that mothers should be allowed...and even kill their children is beyond wrong - it is evil.”

To which my friend replied:

Who encourages women to kill their children? Are men like you encouraging men to kill their toddlers--a phenomenon that is a direct result of more young women deciding to give birth when they are not ready?

Your religious views should not determine your actions toward women. Allowing your religious views to determine your actions as a representative of the people means you are advocating for a few, not everyone. This nation is a democracy, not an oligarchy.

Roe vs. Wade ensured that women should have access to legal, safe abortions. Surely you agree that it is better to terminate a pregnancy than it is to murder a living, breathing child! Don't you? Child abuse and neglect is NOT an better alternative to allowing women control of our own bodies.

Considering the fact that natural abortions occur quite often, are we women who have had them murderers? Are you going to start arresting those of us who have miscarriages because you assume we're baby killers?

Your duty as an elected individual is represent everyone, not a select few. Your duty also includes thinking through the entire ramifications of making a law, as well. Do you desire to fill prisons with women who have had abortions--natural or otherwise?

Ask yourself: why do you fear allowing women to make their own choices? 

Senator Jerry Moran sent my friend an email stating: “Science demonstrates that life begins at conception, and I support legislation that protects the rights of unborn children.”

His remarks make me wonder whether he has ever studied science, since his sperm are just as alive as any zygote that results from conception, but I don’t see him advocating for laws against male masturbation.

Representative Lynn Jenkins, who has yet to enter the 21st century, wrote my friend a letter using her congressional funds on postage—apparently in an earnest effort to keep the post office afloat, states in her reply that we should be pleased to learn (I am not) that she supports an act, HR 1179, “The Respect for the Rights of Conscience Act of 2011,” which has yet to see the House floor, that allows a health provider to ignore medical science and provide services based on “the provider’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.” 

So much for the Hippocratic Oath. This bill, if ever made law, would mean a physician who is a practicing Jain would not have to administer life-saving antibiotics because s/he feels that all life is sacred, including microbial life. Or allow a physician who is a Jehovah’s Witness not to have to provide a life-saving blood transfusion. Even if a physician orders these treatments, a Jain nurse or Jehovah’s Witness phlebotomist would be allowed—by law—not to follow the physician’s orders.

The goal for all these “representatives” is, of course, to limit women’s freedoms, and they are seeking any method of doing so, even at the cost of writing laws that will create more problems.

It is not a secret that all these politicians are Kansans who classify themselves as Republicans, but who are actually fundamentalists as extreme as the Taliban. In fact, they do not do much to hide the fact that they are fundamentalists on a rampage to take America and women’s rights back 50 years. 

Why do they feel justified in limiting women’s rights by not supporting Roe vs. Wade and ensuring that all women have access to medical abortions, instead of having to have backstreet abortions—which kills hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women and sterilized or even crippled hundreds of thousands of others prior to Roe vs. Wade?

This article, “A Plutocracy Ruled by Self-Centered Jerks?” relates information discovered by two university studies regarding why congressional representatives follow the dictates of wealthy citizens, such as the Wichita’s own Koch brothers, instead of seeing to the needs and concerns of their less wealthy constituents: .

We can safely assume that these “representatives” do not truly represent most Kansans’ views on abortion rights, since poll after poll has demonstrated that more than 60% of the people favor allowing a woman to make this important decision—to be a mother or not to be a mother—on her own…even in the last trimester of pregnancy!

The simple fact remains: not allowing women to exercise our rights to make our own decisions about our own bodies strips us of the fundamental rights promised to us in both the U.S. Constitution and in the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” And by “everyone” they mean: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” 

The rights of the Born should be held sacrosanct. The unborn have yet to prove their viability, after all, since as much as 10% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion.

I demand my rights and the right of all women to choose what happens to and in their own bodies! 

Do you?

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

When the Drummers Were Women by Lane Redmond

Layne Redmond has done some incredible research, uncovering images of ancient women and goddesses playing the frame drum, which was an imitation, according to Redmond, of the first sound we hear after birth--our mothers' heartbeats. I can remember resting my head on my mother's soft "pillows" while I listened to her heartbeat. American Indians refer to the drums that play at powwows as the heartbeat of Mother Earth, so Redmond's connection is quite reasonable.

Hear her ideas, and see some of the images she uncovered, through this video: When the Drummers Were Women.

Why Some Men Want to Control Women's Wombs

Why Some Men Want to Control Women’s Wombs

               With over seven billion people on the planet, why should a small group of conservative men worry so much and spend so much money to influence people and to change state laws in order to control whether women can decide to be pregnant or not?
               I have a strong feeling that the women who support limiting women’s access to medical abortions have no idea about their gender’s history or why our culture still projects a bias in favor of all things masculine, and still views women as less valuable, so needing to be controlled, than men.
               Originally, early humans had no real understanding that sexual intercourse created pregnancy.[i] Ample evidence, such as the fact that there are more female figurines from pre-history that exhibit amplified sexual parts than there are male ones, suggests that early humans found child birth magical, so that they probably believed women were also magical, or at least more highly spiritually connected to Mother Earth (who also regularly gave birth). Great arguments have been made that the first divine “creator” believed in by humanity had direct ties to this magical quality of giving birth—of creating life out of seemingly nothingness. Human beings understood the importance of the mother, extending that role to their divinities in various forms of Mother Goddesses. We still reference Mother Earth or Mother Nature, which also reflects our ancestral religious beliefs.
               While often suppressed or outright denied, ample anthropological and archeological evidence supports the fact that most early clans were matriarchal. Even at the time period often called “contact,” the Iroquois Confederacy was run by the clan mothers, who selected the men who traveled to the confederacy council meetings to protect each clan’s interests in the overall confederacy. Women owned the land, and lived communally in long houses, which daughters inherited to pass on to their own children. The only thing men owned were their weapons and their clothes. The Cherokee, who had female sachem or chiefs long before Wilma Mankiller took on that role, report that their ancestors laughed when some of the first Europeans asked to meet with their leader because, when the Europeans were taken to their leader—a woman—they refused to meet with her, insisting on meeting with the “head man.” The Cherokee laughed because the Europeans were too daft to recognize a leader when they saw one.
               Many scholars argue for the existence of a Mother Goddess and the supposed divinity of women by analyzing myths from various cultures. Donna Rosenberg, in her World Mythology, points out that, in the myth of the Enuma Elish[ii], the god Marduk’s victory over his mother, Tiamat, “represents that of a new male-dominated patriarchal religion over a female-dominated matriarchal religion in which Tiamat was the Great Goddess or Mother Goddess” (4). In order to justify this matricide, the creators of this new masculine-oriented myth had to make Tiamat seem evil. Like Shiva, the Hindu god of creation, Tiamat’s ability to destroy that which she had made was inflated in the new patriarchal views, to justify the supreme male god’s dominance. Readers should note, however, that Tiamat’s original role as “the deep”[iii] salt waters had enabled her to work with her husband, Apsu, who personified the sweet (fresh) waters to create the heavens and the earth. In Marduk’s mythologer’s revision, however, Marduk splits his mother in half, using half of her body to create the stars, and turning “the other half…into the earth” (Rosenberg 10)--Mother Earth.
               Classics scholar, Sarah B. Pomeroy examines similar “divine evolution,” as Hesiod apparently thought of it, although probably not in those terms, (2) in Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. For Hesiod, who was already living in a patriarchally dominated culture, “the divine progression from female-dominated generations, characterized by natural, earthy emotional qualities, to the superior and rational monarchy of Olympian Zeus” was a natural course of events (Pomeroy 2). As Pomeroy notes, Zeus is the Greek god who “denies power to females, even taking away their sole claim to consideration as bearers of children when he gives birth to Athena through his head and to Dionysus from his thigh” (2). In fact, Greek goddesses were various levels of incompletely realized women, in order to make them less dominant than the male gods, who are allowed every freedom possible, especially sexually. All we have to do is note the number of goddesses on Olympus who remain “virgins”:
Three of the five Olympian goddesses are virgins. Athena is warrior, judge, and giver of wisdom, but she is masculinized and denied sexual activity and motherhood. Artemis is huntress and warrior, but also a virgin. Hestia is respected as an old maid. The two nonvirginal goddesses come off no better: Aphrodite is pure sexual love, exercised with a pronounced irresponsibility. Hera is wife, mother, and powerful queen, but she must remain faithful and suffer the promiscuity of her husband. (Pomeroy 8)
Pomeroy points out that these idealized goddesses were a way for Greek men to control real women’s behavior[iv] because “a fully realized female tends to engender anxiety in the insecure male” (8). Can you imagine a woman who is a warrior, judge, huntress, mother, wife, midwife, sex kitten? Sounds exciting, doesn’t she? Every woman on the planet has the ability to be all those things, if she wants to.
                So why do some people want to limit women’s rights? Why are they afraid of recognizing that we are equal to men?
               According to Evelyn Reed in Woman’s Evolution, the Romans followed the Greeks in their misogyny, but pushed the practice even further by deciding that women did not have a role in the creation of children at all. Just as Zeus took over the power of procreation, the men of Rome believed they were inserting homunculi—miniature adults who just had to grow--into their sex partners (Reed 430). Reed very carefully documents the changes in our understanding of family units from the earliest matriarchal clans, where children and property both descended through the mother’s line[v], through changes in perception so that gifts to a woman’s family prior to marriage shifted from being seen as outright “gifts” to being perceived as a “bride price,” with which a man paid a woman to bear his children. Whereas originally men were only on the periphery of the family unit, seen as a visitor, but not as a blood relative of the children, after human beings learned that men, too, participated in begetting children, men sought to “own” those children and the woman or women producing them, so women were forcefully transformed over the millennia from being the heads of households and whole clans to being chattel and mere vessels for men’s progeny (Reed 430-432).
               Do American men still see children as their property? Do Americans view women as less than equal to men in order to justify controlling women's bodies?
               When it has been convenient for the men, such as during slavery when they did not want the children they fathered on their slaves to compete with their “legitimate” children for inheritance, men have seen children as belonging solely to their mothers. From the Roman era to the Victorian era, however, if a woman wanted a divorce, the husband automatically obtained the right to keep the children.
               Slowly over the last century, more women have won the right to keep their children in divorce courts, so much so that many men complain that divorce laws are now skewed in favor of the mothers.
               Could it be that these same men want to force the women they impregnate to bear their offspring, whether the woman is ready, willing, or able to do so, so that they push for anti-abortion laws so vehemently?
               If that is the case, some will argue, then why are there so many “deadbeat” dads who refuse to pony up the money necessary to ensure their children are healthy, well-fed, and well-educated?
               Perhaps there is a larger social agenda that we cannot quite make out yet pushing the conservative males (and females who support them) to funnel so much time, energy, and money into opposing a woman’s right to choose whether or not to be pregnant.
               But we still have to ask why so many religious conservatives dare to use their religious views to dictate to the rest of us how to live? We live in a democracy--at least that's what we tell the rest of the world--but how can that be when so many seek so stridently to control women's rights?
               Could it be that these ultra conservative men and women, like ancient Greek men, still fear fully realized women who are capable of making their own decisions and of living life the way they choose?

Works Cited

Pomeroy, Sarah B. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. New York: Schocken Books, 1975. Print.
Reed, Evelyn. Woman’s Evolution: from Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family. New York: Pathfinder Press, 1975. Print.
Rosenberg, Donna. World Mythology, 3rd ed. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publishing Group. 1999. Print

[i] Think about it. Would you know sex caused pregnancy, if someone had not told you?
[ii] The Enuma Elish is one of the earliest known written myths about creation, and probably dates back to at least 1900 BCE (Rosenberg 3).
[iii] Tiamat was originally the goddess of the deep salt waters, but later is envisioned as a terrifying dragon or serpent. Both of her images appear in the Christian Bible in the book of Genesis: the Judeo-Christian god “moves across the face of the deep,” which exists before he becomes conscious, and it is a serpent, long associated with women because of the fact that when they shed their skins they appear to give birth to themselves, who convinces Eve to take from and eat of the forbidden fruit. Tiamat, it would seem, symbolized both the mysteries of creation and of the evils of temptation, but we should note the clearly sexual act alluded to in the first reference which enables the Christian god to create the earth, and the fear of sex (snakes are also phallic symbols) initiated by women in the latter reference.
[iv] Such stereotypical behavior surely engendered what is now considered the “Madonna/Whore” syndrome—where people view women as either mothers, prostitutes, or naïve virgins.
[v] Even ancient Egyptians still followed this matriarchal practice. In the First Egyptian Dynasty, approximately 3150 BCE to 2900 BCE, two of the pharaohs were clearly women, Djer/Djet and Merneith. Most people abuse the term "pharoah," implying it means "king," but like many American Indian terms for "chief," no gender is implied. The tradition of only allowing pharaohs to rule who were related to or were royal females lasted for several dynasties, and all pharaohs claimed to be blessed by or a beloved of Ma’at, the original Mother Goddess for the Egyptians.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No Blood Sacrifice

I cannot worship, let alone believe in, a divinity that requires a blood sacrifice to be appeased. Therefore, I chose to stop believing in the Christian god decades ago.

When people stop and think about the foundational ideas of Christianity--that a father should be willing to sacrifice his son to appease the divinity demanding such a sacrifice--they should immediately realize how evil that divinity really is.

How could a loving god ask his followers to sacrifice anyone, let alone their own children, to make him happy?

Why would a loving god require his son to die an agonizing death to make up for the "sins" of humanity, if he was not just some sadistic maniac?

According to Evelyn Reed in her important and insightful book, Woman's Evolution, men in the earliest cultures killed other humans because they could not or would not differentiate them from animals. Realizing men, in their blood frenzy from hunting, could easily decide to kill them and their children, women ostracized the men from the original matriarchal clans until they had cleansed themselves of the blood and the blood frenzy from hunting.

Yet the biblical god prefers blood--eschewing Cain's gifts of grains and fruits of the earth in preference for Abel's dead animals. Repeatedly, stories of the bible demonstrate a blood-lusting god who prefers men's offerings over women's--blood over Mother Earth's bounty.

But I believe men have long envied women's ability to bleed for three to five days every month and not die--as magical an act as giving birth, so that some cultures include rituals for men that imitate menstruation or childbirth.

Perhaps, because women gave a monthly "blood sacrifice," men thought they needed to do so, as well, which led to the human sacrifices so common in so many cultures--from Judaic to Mayan cultures.

Isn't it about time we human beings grew up, even if we feel an association with the divine, to acknowledge that we do not have to obey a "god" that demands total obedience and a blood sacrifice to be accepted by him?

Why don't more people realize that, by accepting a blood sacrifice as their pact between the Christian god and themselves, they demonstrate a cold-blooded willingness to sacrifice others for their own selfish ends?

Aren't most Christians who oppose abortion hypocrites, then, willing to allow someone to die for their sins, but not willing to sacrifice a fetus to improve a woman's life?

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