Mothers Day

A few thoughts for Mother's Day...

This mother's day, please take time to remember the historical record, the prejudices and autrocities that continue to this day around the world against women:
"[The Israelites] warred against the Midianites [...] And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones [...] And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? [...] Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."
(Numbers 31:7-18, KJV)

What an uncivilized people they were.

On Wed, 10 May 2006 wrote:
As we prepare to celebrate Mother's Day, I would like to let you know that our campaign demanding the Guatemalan authorities investigate the brutal murders of over 1,900 women - mothers, daughters and sisters - is taking off.

In the 3 days since my last message, over 11,000 people like you have taken action demanding justice for those killed and protection for the women living in fear in Guatemala. Thank you.

And with your help, we're making sure the Guatemalan government doesn't forget the violence they've condoned. Here's what we plan to do:

1. In memory of the women brutally killed, we plan to deliver 300 roses and carnations to the Guatemalan embassy in Washington, DC. Carnations traditionally symbolize mourning in Guatemala.

2. Amnesty activists will take action against this violence by demanding improved investigative procedures and prosecutions, proper documentation of gender-related crimes and improved access to legal aid for victims' relatives.

3. Amnesty International USA will lobby the Guatemalan Congress to enact legislative measures that promote and protect women's rights.

This Mother's Day, with your help, we can commemorate the lives of the 1,900 daughters, sisters, mothers and friends who have been killed. And we can give hope to the remaining Guatemalan women - hope that the institutional discrimination and violence will end and that no more lives will be needlessly taken.


Larry Cox
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Mohammed's commendation of the sword by word and deed found a ready response in the hearts of his followers. Under the double impulse of a fresh religious zeal and military ambition, they sallied forth to the work of conquest. And where these two motives failed, a third came in to urge on the halting, -- the love of plunder, so strongly rooted in the Arabs of that as of other ages. To use the graphic description of Sir William Muir: "The marauding spirit of the Bedouin was in unison with the militant spirit of Islam. The cry of plunder and of conquest reverberated throughout the land, and was answered eagerly. The movement began naturally with the tribes in the North, which had been first reclaimed from their apostasy, and whose restless spirit led them over the frontier. Later on, in the second year of the Caliphate, the exodus spread to the people of the South. At first the Caliph forbade that help should be taken from such as had backslidden. But step by step, as new spheres opened out, and the cry ran through the land for fresh levies to fill up the martyr gaps, the ban was put aside, and all were welcome. Warrior after warrior, column after column, whole tribes in endless succession, with their women and children, issued forth to battle, and ever, at the marvelous tales of cities conquered, of booty rich beyond compute, of fair captives distributed on the field, --'to every man a damsel or two,' -- and, above all, at the sight of the royal fifth of spoil and slaves sent to Medina, fresh tribes arose and went. Onward and still onward, like swarms from the hive, one after another they poured forth, pressed first to the north, and spread thence in great masses to the east and west." 1 Annals of the Early Caliphate.

The Koran embodied not only a religion, but a social system. In respect to the latter, it no doubt introduced much improvement upon the previous customs of the Arabians. At the same time it built enormous barriers against future progress. By giving the sanction of religion to the cardinal vices of Eastern civilization,- polygamy, unlimited license in concubinage, and slavery, -- it mortgaged unnumbered generations to degradation.
-Henry C. Sheldon, Boston University, 1895
"History of the Christian Church"
Limitation Of Christian Territories By Mohammedanism

Saint Jerome:
"I am aware that some have laid it down that virgins of Christ must not bathe with eunuchs or married women, because the former still have the minds of men and the latter may present the ugly spectacle of swollen [pregnant] bellies. For my part I say that mature girls must not bathe at all, because they ought to blush to see themselves naked."

"God's sentence hangs over the female sex, and His punishment weighs down on you. You are the devil's gateway. You first violated the forbidden tree and violated God's Law. You shattered God's image in man. And because you merited death, God's Son had to die."

"How can woman be the image of God? ... Woman, compared to other creatures, is the image of God, for she bears dominion over them. But compared unto man, she may not be called the image of God, for she bears not rule and lordship over man, but ought to obey him."

Thomas Aquinas:
"Woman is defective and misbegotten. For the active power in the male seed produces a perfect male likeness. A female comes from a defect in the male seed, or some indisposition, such as the south wind being too moist."

John Knox:
"Women are weak, they are frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish. They are inconstant, they are cruel, and lacking of spirit, and counsel. Woman in her greatest perfection was made only to serve, and obey men."

Martin Luther:
"Men have broad shoulders and narrow hips, so they have intelligence. Women have narrow shoulders, and broad hips to sit upon, so they ought to stay home, keep the house, and raise children. The woman differs from the man. She is weaker in body, in honour, in intellect, and in dignity."


"Take women away from their house-wifery, and they are good for nothing. If they get tired, and die from bearing children, that is no problem. They are made for that."

"Just throw your wife and children away"
... notice Ezra makes no mention of the Hebrew woman who took a strange husbands. Such women were surely "lost" from her people, not even considered part of the Hebrew. mere property of a foreigner. . . Ezra calls only to the men.
3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. 10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.
17 And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.
18 And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
19 And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.

Holy Superstitions
Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christianity: Sexual mutilation of accused witches was not uncommon. With the orthodox understanding that divinity had little or nothing to do with the physical world, sexual desire was perceived to be ungodly. When the men persecuting the accused witches found themselves sexually aroused, they assumed that such desires emanated, not from themselves, but from the woman. They attacked breasts and genitals with pincers, pliers and red-hot irons. Some rules condoned sexual abuse by allowing men deemed "zealous Catholics" to visit female prisoners in solitary confinement while never allowing female visitors. From earlier post.

"The Works of Philo" (Complete and unabridged edition), page 152, "On The Giants", I,
(4) "And no unjust man at any time implants a masculine generation in the soul, but such, being unmanly, and broken, and effeminate in their minds, do naturally become the parents of female children; having planted no tree of virtue, the fruit of which must of necessity have been beautiful and salutary, but only trees of wickedness and of the passions, the shoots of which are womanlike.

(5) On account of which fact these men are said to have become the fathers of daughters, and that no one of them is said to have a begotten a son; for since the just Noah had male children, as being a man who followed reason, perfect, and upright, and masculine, so by this very fact the injustice of the multitude is proved to be altogether the parent of female children. For it is impossible that the same things should be born of opposite parents; but they must necessarily have an opposite offspring."

Revelation 14:4 "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." (KJV)

by Edward T. Babinski

I think the majority of human male primates on this planet are muscle bound testosterone driven brutes who commonly seek either psychological or physical domination over other males, females, and children. Males continue to fill our prisons more than women do. Just google up all the major horror stories reported by the news any day of the year and males continue to make bold verbal threats and murder and wage wars. Males continue to murder males galore even in their own coutries in gang warfare, organized crime, family disputes, robberies, and of course rape, torture and murder of females and children as well.

And holy books continue to contain verses about females being there to "serve and obey" males, which is also the message of the apes of the secular world as well. Even Hinduism preaches that being reincarnated as a female is not equal to being reincarnated as a male. Actually, I suspect the reverse is nearer the truth and that being reincarnated as a female is something more Hindu males ought to aspire to. I also suspect that more Muslim and Christian male ought to listen to females and make plans together with them rather than continue to inculcate in the female mind the necessity of "serving and obeying" them.

"In the name and by the authority of the ghosts, men enslaved their fellowmen; they trampled upon the rights of women and children. In the name and by the authority of ghosts, they bought and sold each other. They filled heaven with tyrants and the earth with slaves. They filled the present with intolerance and the future with horror. In the name and by the authority of the ghosts, they declared superstition to be the real religion. In the name and by the authority of the ghosts, they imprisoned the human mind; they polluted the conscience; they subverted justice, and they sainted hypocrisy. I have endeavored in some degree to show you what has been and always will be when men are governed by superstition."
-Robert G. Ingersoll, Ghosts

Does the Bible give woman her rights? Is this Bible humane? Does it treat woman as she ought to be treated, or is it barbarian? Let us see.

"Let women learn in silence with all subjection." (I Tim. II, 11)

"If a woman would know anything let her ask her husband. Imagine the ignorance of a lady who had only that source of information. (Laughter.)

"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (Why, magnificent reason.)

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression. (Splendid.)

But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." That is to say, there is as much difference between the woman and man as there is between Christ and man. There is liberty of woman.

"For the man is not of the woman, but the woman is of the man." It was the man's cutlet till that was taken, not the woman's. "Neither was the man created for the woman." Well, what was the man created for? "But the woman was created for the man. Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord." (There's liberty!)

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."

Good again! Even the Savior didn't put man and woman upon any equality. The man could divorce the wife, but the wife could not divorce the husband, and according to the Old Testament, the mother had to ask forgiveness for being the mother of babes. Splendid!

Here is something from the Old Testament:
"When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and they Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou has taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldst have her to wife, Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails." (Deut. XXI., 10,11,12.)

That is in self-defense, I suppose! (Cheers and laughter.)

This sacred book, this foundation of human liberty, or morality, does it teach concubinage and polygamy? Read the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, read the twenty-first chapter of Deuteronomy, read the blessed lives of Abraham, of David or of Solomon, and then tell me that the sacred Scripture does not teach polygamy and concubinage? All the language of the world is not sufficient to express the infamy of polygamy; it makes man a beast and woman a stone. It destroys the fireside and makes virtue an outcast. And yet it is the doctrine of the Bible. The doctrine defended by Luther and Melanthon! It takes from our language those sweetest words father, husband, wife, and mother, and takes us back to barbarism and fills our hearts with the crawling, slimy serpents of loathsome lust.
-Robert G. Ingersoll, Hell

© by Diana E. H. Russell
Professor Emerita of Sociology
Mills College, Oakland, California, U.S.A.

"Male sexual privilege is what drives the [AIDS] epidemic."
-- Mark Schoofs, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, December 7, 1999, p. 68

"In this country [South Africa], rape is not just a devastating act of violence. It can be a death sentence."
-- Kelly St. John, 2000, p. A1

According to Jeannie Relly, the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago reported that seven out of eight people infected with HIV/AIDS between the ages of 10 and 19 are female (February 2000, p. A15). The Health Minister attributed the spread of AIDS to "the irresponsible sexual behavior of our men" (p. A15). Peggy McEvoy, AIDS policy team leader for a Caribbean program, explained that "married women face high risks because their partners are unfaithful and will not use condoms" (Relly, 2000, p. A15). If the women insisted that their husbands use condoms, "Their husbands would kick them out," McEvoy explained (Relly, 2000, p. A15). "Many women are also unaware that their husbands are having extramarital affairs," McEvoy added.

The dowry and the shallow graves of female infantcide
Chinese Cultural Studies: Women in China: Past and Present
... her baby girl in a shallow, unmarked grave next to a small stream. ... In other cases, the family cannot afford the dowry that would eventually be ... Female infanticide and sex-selective abortion are not unique to India - Grim motives behind infant killings - Jul. 7, 2003
In India each year, parents kill thousands of female babies because they believe ... Police, however, are still finding the shallow graves of babies and say more than a hundred female children here are killed by their parents every year.

Orwell's Grave: July 2005
In some countries there are culture-specific forms of violence against women like female genital mutilation, and, in India, for instance, dowry murder.

by Edward T. Babinski

On June 10, 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention, for the first time, amended the 1963 Southern Baptist statement of faith known as the Baptist Faith And Message, adding a brand new section (XVIII) entitled the “Family Amendment” that states in part, “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him [spiritually], has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation [in the societal realm].” [Comments in brackets by E.T.B.]

Of course, Southern Baptists believe their amendment concerning the necessity of wifely “submission” and the wife’s duty to “respect, serve and help” her husband, is what the Holy Scriptures demand. But Southern Baptist slaveowners once believed the same thing regarding the “submission” of slaves and the slave’s duty to “respect, serve and help” their masters. Here’s the story. In 1844, the national Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions refused to license slaveowning missionaries. One year later, that refusal led to the split between the northern and southern Baptists. The southern Baptists were absolutely convinced that the Bible taught that God had divinely sanctioned slavery. As early as 1823, Richard Furman, a leader of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, a slaveholder, and for whom Furman University is named, stated in a famous address to the Governor of South Carolina, "The right of holding slaves is clearly established by the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." [See Exposition of The Views of the Baptists, Relative To The Coloured Population In The United States]. The next year, in 1845, those firmly convicted defenders of slavery formed their own separate Baptist denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.

Baptists at the 1998 Convention should go back and read the pro-slavery sermons, tracts and treatises of the founders of their denomination. Their Biblical expositions of Negro inferiority were based on Noah's curse of slavery upon Canaan, son of Ham, who was presumed to be the ancestor of the Black race; and also based on the patriarchal and Mosaic acceptance of slavery, and, also based on the New Testament commands of Peter and Paul regarding slave-master relationships. Rev. Furman stated, "For though they are slaves, they are also men; and are with ourselves accountable creatures; having immortal souls, and being destined to future eternal reward." The Southern Baptist view was that slaves were better off under the loving, tender, compassionate care of Christian slaveowners, and the institution of slavery was to be "a blessing both to master and slave." [Just like today’s Southern Baptists who preach that the “submission” of women to men is the only “blessed” norm.--E.T.B.] In fact it would little rewording of the 1998 “Family Amendment” to make it fit the 1845 Southern Baptist view toward slaves: “A slave/wife is to submit themselves graciously to the servant leadership of their master/husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. Slaves/females, being in the image of God as is their master/husband and thus equal to them [spiritually], has the God-given responsibility to respect their master/husband and to serve as their helper in picking cotton/managing the household and nurturing the next generation [in the societal realm].”

One hundred and fifty-five years later, after a Civil War that left six hundred thousand dead and one million wounded, we recognize that our Southern Baptist forefathers and foremothers were on the wrong side of history and Biblical interpretation… But if the slave subordination and submission passages are no longer binding upon the church, then why are the female subordination and submission passages?