Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fundamentalist Women: Lower than...

Just About Everybody Else

As an observer of religion I can honestly say that I wasn't as shocked about the Eldorado situation* as many people were. The size of it did make me angry, though: it was a way of saying that religious people will always give some leeway to anything that has the name of Jesus Christ in its title. Let's face it, a lot of people must have known what was happening. And not just "regular" Mormons. And while this blog alludes to the mental inadequacies of the Religious Right, they can't all be complete morons (yes, you read that right...ssshhh!). To be sure, there will be articles and speeches given about the heinousness of the Eldorado compound, but it will be difficult to separate the righteous from the self-righteous. The latter will be oozing out of the woodwork for a long time.

So I still have to ask: why was it a 16 year-old escapee who had to blow the whistle? Couldn't some upstanding adult "Christian" have done it long ago? Carolyn Jessop did, but why wasn't her book given a more substantial readership? Of course, now it will soar to the top of the bestseller lists - the secular ones - and make Carolyn Jessop look like either a martyr or an opportunist (I don't think she would want either role).

"I was outraged to find that child abuse and child marriage is allowed to go largely unpunished in the US and Canada. The communities claim that polygamy is a religious matter, whereas escapees have a different story - tales of institutionalzed child abuse, rape, incest, beatings, lack of education and brainwashing. Women, once married (most likely to a man considerably older who they have not chosen), are expected to bear one child a year. The husbands rarely earn enough to support their large families, so they depend on welfare because the mothers are not legally married, and therefore qualify as "single mothers." They believe that using the government's funds - or "bleeding the beast" as they call it - is a divine duty of theirs.Needless to say, I jumped for joy when Warren Jeffs was arrested! Also, I recently saw a documentary called "Banking On Heaven", that said the Mormon Church's official law firm was the same used by the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, who practice the child marriage and polygamy the Mormon hierarchy claim they oppose." Note: Jessop obviously knows that opposing something and looking the other way are two very different things - but their lawyers pretend not to know that. (Ephasis and red lettering my own)

"Bleeding the Beast" sounds strangely sexual. I wonder what Tony Perkins is going to say about it? Family Research Council will have to do some amazing tightrope work: "Freedom of religion and bilking taxpayers - hurry! we have to sew them together somehow!"

And everywhere the plight of women will be questioned.

Yes, we should question it, but wasn't that already done - some 30-40 years ago? Essentially fundamentalist groups like the Southern Baptist Convention are still in the process of coming out from beneath their rocks and allowing women to have a (small) voice within their societies. Not one of the have a "too little too late" attitude either. Instead, they wait for groups like the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or FLDS) to insult what little progress has been made by and for women. "But look how wonderful we are, ah, in comparison to them!!" It doesn't dawn on them that the words they will use - "small sect" and "cult"- might be traced back to them because every one of them could be subjectively called a sect since it is primarily is tangental: it goes off on its own because of some doctrinal discrepancy. Taken as a whole, all 30,000 denominations make Christianity look quite stupid: a sect's chief feature being that everyone within the sect must feel that they and they alone possess the Truth. Righteous arrogance abounds. Belief is NOT relative in any way. This stance puts their (especially American) noses so far up into the air that they are in danger of colliding with satellites.

And the plight of women will be buried in the details.

Thirty thousand denominations. OMG! With that many groups do you think one just might have it right? Nah, because according to each one, the other 29,999 are wrong.

So how are the women in these pictures different?

*I call it a "situation" because there is no apt way of describing it.

What Fundamentalists REALLY See!

Under Those Pioneer Dowdies and Burkas

Happy Birthday Hef!

While most fundamentalists can't even conceive of a woman being a Playboy Bunny (at least they aren't suppoed to) they'll bemoan women being used as sex objects. But what if the woman pictured was a virgin (gasp!), liked what she was doing (gasp! gasp!) was doing it while she was getting her masters in elementary education (gasp!gasp!gasp!) and was supporting her (not as supportive but oh so Christian) boyfriend (GASP!! to infinity and beyyoooonnnd!).

Of course, pre-judging is what fundamentalists do best. If they're not in Hypocrisy Land, they're saving up for tickets and dreaming about it...