Posts Tagged ‘‘honour killings’

Being an atheist from a Christian background, people automatically assume I’m angry with God and dead against the church. For me, I’m indifferent to the whole “God exists or not” debate. While I don’t think Christ was God, I do like him for being a radical in his times. I like him because

a)he didn’t act holier-than-thou & goody-goody like the Pharesees & Sadducees

Remember, the prostitute (or in these politically correct times, I must call them commercial sex workers (CSW))? Jesus didn’t judge her. He didn’t want her stoned to death like the patriarchs of those days & today (name change: In the Middle-East countries & Pakistan they now call it “honour killings”). Of course, whether she was a CSW or an adulteress is debatable, because different versions of the Bible seem to give different accounts. Anyway, when she was brought up before him, Jesus said, “Let he, who is without sin cast the first stone.” A direct reference to men and their own state of sinfulness and also a veiled reference to the fact that all of those present had lusted after her and might have also slept with her. That means, he held the men responsible for adultery also, not just the women, who in most cases are only victims of the system.

b)He wanted women to participate in theological debates & not be mired down by the traditional responsibilities of women like housework.

Jesus says, “Mary has chosen the better part and it shall not be taken away from her.” Mary’s sister Martha is busy cooking dishes in the kitchen for all the men present, while Mary sits with Jesus and talks about spiritual things. When Martha overburdened with the housework wants Mary to help, Jesus gives this reply.

I don’t know if any of my readers have attended Christian religious meetings. But the prayer meetings always used to end with the serving of tea and refreshments. So my grandmother and myself (our house used to be the centre for such church-oriented activities) always had to miss out on what the pastor said and start heating the tea and laying out the refreshments like homemade sandwiches & vada. And the womenfolk also had a lot of cleaning up to do afterwords. If only a few menfolk in my family had pitched in, the women needn’t miss out on the meeting. But then the men had more important things to do like debate about theology. Even in church functions it was the same story.

I feel a lot of blame for this state of affairs, should be laid at Apostle Paul’s feet, who said, “Women should be silent in church, they should not cover their head, etc, etc…”

c) He was a radical. Though by birth a Jew, he made friends with Roman tax collectors, fishermen, Samaritans, prostitutes & lepers

Samaritans in those days were discriminated against and did not occupy the upper elechons of power. In his parable, “The Good Samaritan” Jesus tried to criticise the inhumaneness of the religion some religious heads practise and set a Samaritan’s actions in good light. Roman tax collectors like the tax collectors of today did not win any awards for popularity. But Jesus befriends Romans too. And not being class-conscious, he befriends fisher-folk & lepers.

I remember my English lecturer in MCC, who was a Gandhian, drew a diagram in class to explain Christ’s exemplary behaviour in embracing all communities & people from all religious backgrounds. He asked what was the centre of power in those days. We replied “Ceasar and his Roman empire.” What comes next? “The Roman Senate & powerful noblemen.” Next in the circle? “Roman citizens, tradesmen.” Next? “Jews (the occupied race)” And finally at the bottom of the social structure, you have all of Jesus’s friends: “Fishermen, Samaritans, prostitutes & lepers.”

d) He didn’t like churches minting money in God’s name

How about if someone came to your church, broke all the stalls selling CDs, self-improvement Godly books, drove out all the salesmen manning the stalls and declared that “pastors must not turn God’s house into a money-making enterprise.” Would you not be angry with him? Yet, this is what Jesus did 2,000 years ago, when he saw that the Jews had converted the synagogue into a market. He overturned all the pigeons cages, drove out all the vendors and sellers and declared “Don’t turn my father’s house into a den of thieves.”

e) “Forgive them father for they know not what they do.”

People are nailing him to the cross, after stripping him naked, mocking at him and whipping him mercilessly. And he instead of railing at them angrily, asks for their forgiveness. Truly, a great man! That’s why I guess, people started worshipping him as God. He is the one person, who truly followed his teaching of “Turning the other cheek.”

As Friedrich Nietzsche said and quoted often by Karl Marx, the last Christian died on the cross”

Rachel Chitra

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FLDS women are in the news! Even since Texas authorities rounded up 460 children from a polygamist camp, we have been seeing more and more photos of polygamist women in their pastel-coloured long frocks and poofed-up hair.

Fashion, according to the FLDS and LDS women is wearing  oversized puffed up garments. Reminds me of the hand-me-down frocks, kids get from older siblings to wear on Sundays.

Seeing them, I felt like I was transported back to the 18th century.And they don’t look too happy either. But neither would I be if I had to wear a pink-coloured frock for a 70-year-old man, who was my husband, and six layers of clothing underneath in the blistering heat of Arizona and Utah.

They also never cut their hair, because they’ll need it in heaven. Didn’t understand? Well, remember the story of how one woman out of love for Jesus washed his feet with her tears and dried it with her hair. So these women,  need their hair, if they want to have the privilege of wiping Christ’s feet in heaven. And did not Paul, say that a hair is a woman’s crowing glory? So there you have it! Crowning glory!  

But they are not the only suppressed, brow-beaten, conservative women wearing such goody-goody clothes.

All conservatives seem to have dress codes:

1) For instance take women from the Pentecostal Mission, they have to wear white, unseemly dresses and cover themselves from head to toe. This is so that they do not entice any man to sin by lusting after them. Similar to the Mormon women they also wear their hair long and do not cut it. Pentecostal women don’t wear pants. Because if you wear pants, you have a gender identity disorder and you will behave like a man, so most pentecostal women in conformity with the general church wear “feminine clothes.”

2) Next come the Muslim conservative women. But I guess the way they dress is really not their fault. In many cases its the government, society, their husband and incidents like ‘honour killings,’ which dictate the way they dress.

But they should draw the line somewhere, when it comes to dressing infants. Why should infants be clothed from head to toe? Beats me! Anyway 10 bonus points for you if you can spot the similarities and differences between these two pictures:

3) Another late manifestation is the desire for many women to jump onto the time machine and wear something that’s about two centuries old. You can see it among many traditional, conservative Christian women.  Whether in the US or in India

In the US:

These women are dressed this way because they believe Christ told them to do so. If you don’t believe me read here.

In India:

A pic of Pentecostal women in their uniform white & white. Black is forbidden in church as it represents the Devil. I wonder what colour suits the bridegrooms wear on their wedding day? In India, there are lots of pastors telling the woman folk that they have to submit to their husbands and Christ….so the veil worn in churches is to….er denote their submissiveness. I think the practise originates from when, Paul said, “Women should cover their heads in church; they must be silent in church; they most love and obey their husbands, etc.”

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