Religion is the root of all evil.

GOD AND COUNTRY

There’s a wealth of snark here, from students who think “their beloved” GWB doesn’t lie to the biology professor who teaches that “the earth was created in a week” — but I’m going to focus on the subjugation of women.

Keep in mind, these quotes refer to university students:

Brobst was wearing a cherry-red suit, Ross a peacock-blue one, with stockings and pumps�the uniform of Washington wives in waiting.

Power suits? Stockings? Pumps? Hello? Makes me want to say go west, young women, to the land of Birkenstocks, fleece, and year-round shorts.

Referring to du M�e, he said, �Maybe one day he�ll be the one standing before the Supreme Court, arguing to overturn Roe v. Wade.�

Oy. You know it’s one thing when a 60+ person holds certain, ah, “values” I disagree with. I think, okay, well, maybe their small-mindedness was due to the times they grew up, etc. I think they’re wrong, but I can see where/how their opinions developed. OTOH, I always find myself startled when I realize the person going all ballistic over “One Dad, Two Dads” is closer to my age than my parents’. I think, WTF? It’s like we grew up on different planets. That there are twenty-somethings who also hold such views is both perplexing and disturbing.

Ross would look for a job, but only to pay back loans. Eventually, [Ross & du Mee] want to adjust to living on one salary so that she can homeschool their kids.

In theory, homeschooling may have its merits. In reality, homeschoolers = crazy people. The fact that the students in this article were homeschooled in part explains how they can hold views the views they do. Public school is terribly flawed. However, it has the advantage of exposing you to people who are not the same as you and who don’t share your parents’ views/values. IMO, this compensates for a lot.

Ben Adams … sent out a nine-page e-mail to the entire student body before the spring formal reminding the girls to dress modestly. �Lust is sin,� it said. �It is sin for you to tempt us. It is . . . unloving. Unsisterly. Un-Christlike.�

Asshat. Blame the girl. It’s all the girl’s fault. Women are evil. etc. etc. etc. Hate that. This is why I couldn’t get past page 1 of the Bible (I did try to read it once, for its literary merits). Step up, Asshat! Take responsibility for your own actions. Also, the shame/guilt element here is disturbing. No one should feel that bad about sex–which, after all, is a natural biological function, while “sex only w/i marriage” is a mere social convention.

Girls talk about not �stumbling� a guy, the equivalent of tempting him, and resident advisers keep a close eye on them to make sure they don�t wear shirts that show any bra. If they do, they�ll get a friendly e-mail��I think I saw you in dress code violation,� followed by a smiley emoticon.

Phony niceness. Yeah, that’s a good value to encourage. I guess this is “hate the sin, love the sinner” again. Hate that message too. Anyhow, what I notice is that these “values” encourage people to be shallow, to focus on the external. It’s all about appearances, looking “good” to others. Bleh.

Matthew du M�e, who was an R.A., told me that if he saw a boy and girl sitting too close for too long he would pull the boy aside and tell him to stop, because �the guy is supposed to be the leader in the relationship.�

I’ve heard this one before. Newsflash: 21st Century. Speaking of which…

Even the most ambitious [girls], those who wake up at 3 a.m. to study, told me without reservation that as soon as they had children they would quit their jobs to raise them.

Elisa believes the Bible dictates that �there are different roles for men and women�; … But the expectation of most of the guys she knows at Patrick Henry�that wives should just �fade out,� that she should instantly take on the identity of a wife and mother �and consider it a blessing��is not something that she�s comfortable with.

This is simply sad. Honestly, people still believe this shit in 2005? Really? I mean, really, truly, deep inside, without the slightest bit of hypocrisy, they believe this? Doubtful. More likely the guys selfishly want it (who wouldn’t want their very own personal assistant who works for free?) and the girls delude themselves into accepting it in their eagerness to please everyone around them who is expecting them to be perfect. Ugh.

*

Soldiers of Christ II

In the parking lot outside the center, I come across a pickup truck with large hand-painted panels bearing anti-gay slogans and a round red circle with a line through the center superimposed on the faces of two men kissing. STOP THE INSANITY, it says across the top. I pick up one of the pamphlets in a metal box on the side of the truck: �Protect Your Family & Friends from the Dangers of . . . Homosexuality: The Truth!�

The truth. Riiiight.

Wright promises the audience that as the new president of NRB he will fight to block the passage of hate-crime legislation, something many Christian broadcasters fear might be used to halt their attacks on gays and lesbians.

�If we had to give equal time to every opposing viewpoint, there would be no time to proclaim the truth that we have been commanded to proclaim,� he says. �We will fight the Fairness Doctrine, tooth and nail. It could be the end of Christian broadcasting as we know it if we do not.�

Oh, darn. The end of hate-filled broadcasting. I weep.

I can�t help but recall the words of my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, Dr. James Luther Adams, who told us that when we were his age, and he was then close to eighty, we would all be fighting the �Christian fascists.�

…fascism, Adams warned, would not return wearing swastikas and brown shirts. Its ideological inheritors would cloak themselves in the language of the Bible; they would come carrying crosses and chanting the Pledge of Allegiance.

…too many liberals failed to understand the power and allure of evil, and when the radical Christians came, these people would undoubtedly play by the old, polite rules of democracy long after those in power had begun to dismantle the democratic state. …

Adams told us to watch closely the Christian right�s persecution of homosexuals and lesbians. Hitler, he reminded us, promised to restore moral values not long after he took power in 1933, then imposed a ban on all homosexual and lesbian organizations and publications. Then came raids on the places where homosexuals gathered, culminating on May 6, 1933, with the ransacking of the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin. Twelve thousand volumes from the institute�s library were tossed into a public bonfire. Homosexuals and lesbians, Adams said, would be the first �deviants� singled out by the Christian right. We would be the next.

In all seriousness, though, this is scary shit. I strongly believe that organized religion just gives people an excuse to hate. Organized religion imposes a set of manmade “values” on its followers, which they must follow blindly or else they aren’t a good whatever and risk punishment (in some cases, the heaping on of guilt, in others, the heaping on of stones). It doesn’t encourage people to think for themselves; in fact, it does the opposite. It encourages people to be submissive, to let those who “know better” take charge and tell them what to do. People are exploited and hurt in order to feed the ambitions of the religion’s hierarchy. It’s all about power & money for the people at the top.

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