Letter: Religion and gender conditioning
In the study of comparative religions, the Abrahamic religions consist mainly of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. From the various self-styled scriptures their unifying characteristics and common beliefs accept and teach that Abraham's god revealed himself to Abraham alone. The tradition grew among his descendants that the god of the patriarch Abraham transcended material knowledge and that the will of the god of Abraham is beyond the grasp of the human mind.
Moreover, tradition has it in the folklore of Abraham, both oral and written, that Abraham's god not only created the world, he created man in his "own" image, and, that Abraham's god is all-powerful and regularly intervenes in the affairs of the world and mankind. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
In a historical and cultural sense Christianity and Islam are fundamentally religious "sects" of Judaism. So when Rick Kenyon, wonders in his letter, "You got it all wrong." ("The Book of Genesis insults women," Nov. 10). He asks if I knew that "Christianity and Muslims and Judaism function quite different from each other." My answer is, yes, but, parenthetically; it's not the superficial differences I'm worried about, it is their similarities.
It's ironic that Mr. Kenyon believes that a Jewish "Christos" who was given the Greek name, Jesus, died, as he writes, "... on the cross for us, for our sins." How terrible it is then, when, you find in Genesis that a woman, and, by extension, all women, are the perpetrators of that alleged "original sin."
So if you really believe what you read, no matter how much Mr. Kenyon tries to put women on a pedestal, with "Yes, Dear," when examined more closely you'll see that the mothers and sisters of our children's children are always blacklisted with an unwarranted and unwanted stain, generation after generation.
Lead researcher Miguel Farias, a lecturer and director of studies in psychology at the University of Oxford, reported recently that, "Belief is most likely rooted in human culture rather than in some primitive gut intuition. It is probably about time psychologists reconsider their understanding of belief as 'natural' or 'intuitive,' and, instead focus on cultural and social learning factors that give rise to supernatural ideas."
In that sense, it is not a lack of belief that contributes, as Mr. Kenyan suggests, "more to the violence against women and the discrimination towards people today." Instead, it is the cultural hand-me-downs of parental and community beliefs which propagated the greatest holocaust known to man — female gendercide.
What most people don't get is that both genders are conditioned to it after all these years and it is a normative belief that justifies the behavior of the serial inhumanity of man against women as recorded in Genesis and continuing to this day. And, no amount of interpretive overstepping the original intent of my letter can change that.
Brattleboro, Dec. 4
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