Female moral superiority a dubious basis for reform

Once again, courtesy of the pedophilia crisis in the male-dominated Roman Catholic Church and the financial meltdown caused by Wall … Continued

Once again, courtesy of the pedophilia crisis in the male-dominated Roman Catholic Church and the financial meltdown caused by Wall Street’s masters (not mistresses) of the universe, popular culture is being inundated by stereotypes of women as the morally superior, pragmatically savvier sex. If only women had been running the church and hedge funds, none of this nastiness would have happened. Women would never have allowed children to be abused. Women would never have taken so many risks with other people’s money. Why, women would even make better ambassadors for atheism, because we are so much more considerate of other people’s feelings than mean male atheists, who seem to enjoy offending believers. Oh, poppycock! Balderdash! Codswallop! Only archaic language can capture the intellectual barrenness of this argument, because the notion of intrinsic female goodness (or evil) is rooted in archaic ideas about sex differences and sexuality.

This is not to say that the Catholic Church, international financial institutions, or any other enterprise run by men would not derive immense benefits from the inclusion of more women in positions of power. However, they would benefit not because women are nicer, more inclined to work and play well with others, and more devoted to the common good but because, by excluding half of humanity from the halls of power, you are depriving yourself of the services of half of the capable, smart people in the world.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, at a Women in Finance symposium in Washington, alluded to a recent New York magazine headline, “What If Women Ran Wall Street?” He commented, “It’s an excellent question. But kind of a low bar.” The same thing might be said about the Catholic Church, except that there could be no symposium for powerful Catholic women because there are no women in positions of genuine managerial power in the church. It is indeed hard to imagine women doing a worse job than men who, as part of their religious vocation, have sworn to renounce sexual intimacy with other human beings–and who actually believe that the abdication of adult sexuality makes them better fitted to preach the word of God.

The status of women in Catholicism cannot be compared in any way to the status of women in secular businesses and professions, because the idea of woman as handmaiden is integral to traditional Catholic thought. Lisa Miller, in a cover story in Newsweek, correctly notes that the admission of women to the ministry in mainline Protestant denominations was settled decades ago, as it has also been in Reform Judaism. And Miller is surely right that the presence of more parents–both women and men–would likely have made an enormous difference in the church hierarchy’s handling of child abuse cases. But the question posed on the Newsweek cover, “What Would Mary Do?” misses the point entirely. Miller writes, “Even with a mother, Mary, at the center of the Christian story, the women of today’s church have found themselves marginalized and preached to amid the interminable revelations of the sexual abuse scandals. Their prayers to the Virgin, protector of humanity, have gone unanswered.”

But the orthodox Catholic vision of Mary–especially her status as virgin-mother–explains a good deal about why Catholic women, unlike Protestant women, have been ignored by the hierarchy of their church. Maryolatry is, of course, one important difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. The special position of Mary as an intercessor between Jesus and humans is rejected by most Protestant denominations.

Mary is not, in fact, central to the Christian story in any active way: In Catholicism, she is the passive vehicle without which the Catholic story could not unfold. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to they word (Luke: 1:38)” is what Mary tells the angel who announces that she is about to become pregnant with the Messiah. Some theologians argue that Mary had a choice–she could have said no to the angel–but somehow, I don’t see a young, uneducated girl doing that. An angel comes to you and says that you’re blessed among women, and you tell him no thanks? I don’t think so. Mary is always acted upon, never the actor. Her only affirmative act in the gospels is to point out that the wine is running out at a wedding feast, and that request turns into Jesus’s first miracle at Cana. Moreover, the Catholic insistence on Mary’s eternal virginity is close to an insult to real woman–a statement that there is something less holy, if not dowright dirty, about a woman who has sex and children in the ordinary human way. Again, theologians say, “But this was no ordinary birth. This was the birth of the Son of God.” The church’s insistence on Mary’s virginity boils down to the belief that a vagina entered by a man was not pure enough to serve as the birth passage for the Messiah. And then the church continues its virginity worship by insisting that Mary remained a virgin throughout her life–that it would be a blasphemous insult to the holy family to think that Jesus had brothers and sisters.

Think about it. Mary enters the Gospel story as a girl who becomes pregnant, through no act of her own, in submission to the power of God. She knows, almost from the start, that the child she is bringing into the world is destined to die a horrible death. Her role is to stand at the foot of the cross and watch it all, as a necessary part of the divine plan for the greater good–the redemption of mankind from the sin of the “old Eve.” Is it any wonder that male cardinals, brought up to view this submission as the highest incarnation of womanhood, have little use for Catholic women who insist on the right to be actors rather than the acted upon? These modern Catholic women are the antithesis of Mary: They are saying to the pope and his bishops, “We won’t sacrifice our children for what you represent.” They are doing precisely what Mary did not do.

In the same issue of Newsweek, the conservative Catholic scholar George Weigel upholds the traditionalist view of the role of women in the church. He says that all should recognize “that laywomen, single and married, are usually the teachers who make today’s Catholic schools safe and successful. Moreover, women are the great majority of the volunteers and paid staff who make Catholic parishes both safe and vital. The notion that women don’t have anything to do with how the Catholic Church operates confuses the Catholic Church with the higher altitudes of `the Vatican,’ and ignores how Catholic life is actually lived in America and Europe.” Actually, the women (including nuns) who want the right to be priests and to exercise real power within the church are not confused at all. For men like Wiegel and the pope, the proper role of women in the church is indeed laundering the altar cloths, planning bake sales and other fundraisers, and teaching for the very low salaries paid by Catholic schools. (Oh, for the good old days, when there were so many nuns–whose services were free–and parochial schools didn’t have to hire lay teachers at all.) The real question, if the hierarchy continues to stonewall into the next generation, is how many of those women will be around a few decades from now to play the handmaiden’s role.

This brings us to the interesting, confounding question of why women–not only Catholic women–are more religious than men. Public opinion polls have shown that in every culture, women are more religious–and more religiously observant–than men. The gap is not as great among men and women who are highly educated, but it is still there. For those who are religious, this disparity is cited as one more proof of women’s finer moral sensibilities. The Pew Forum on Religious Life, for example, highlights its findings on the “religion gap” between women and men with the headline, “The Stronger Sex–Spiritually Speaking.”

Seventy-seven percent of American women, but only 64 percent of men, “have absolutely certain belief in God or a universal spirit.” Approximately 44 percent of women, but only 34 percent of men, attend church services once a week. Among Catholics, however, women make up 60 percent of weekly churchgoers. That is a real paradox, given that the Catholic Church absolutely denies women the right to be priests–and both American Catholic men and women favor the admission of married men as well as women to the priesthood.

I do not know why women remain more religious than men and, as an atheist, I can hardly consider this evidence of moral superiority. One explanation may be that even when women are better educated than men, as is now the case with the young in the United States, they are less likely to have a thorough grounding in science–a major challenge to religious belief. It is also true that religious education in the home has traditionally been the responsibility of mothers, and some women may feel a duty in this area even though they are not themselves conventional believers. Finally, one of the most important functions of religious institutions is to provide a sense of community, and women are the keepers of community. Atheism is not a religion and does not offer a concrete community, and that may be one reason why a freethinking woman would choose a liberal church rather than call herself an atheist or an agnostic. But this is all speculation. One thing is certain: religious faith, in women or men, is not necessarily linked with moral or altruistic behavior. If it were, the sexual abuse scandals would never have been covered up by a church hierarchy that presumably regards such acts as mortal sins.

Wherever women are vastly underrepresented–whether in churches, high finance, or the highest levels of science–the argument for opening male preserves to women should not be based in dubious notions of female ethical superiority. The empowerment of women is, above all, a matter both of common sense and justice. It is wrong to deny people power and opportunity because of their sex. And it is simply stupid to underutilize women’s capacities. As to whether more women in power would reform Wall Street or the Catholic Church, we would have to wait and see. I think there will be many more women heads of Fortune 500 companies before we see the Catholic Church agree to a female priesthood. Because for the men who run the church, allowing women to serve as God’s main spokespersons on earth–which is how Catholics regard priests–would be far more upsetting than it was to finally admit that the earth moves around the sun.

The pertinent question is not what Mary would do; it is what women can do when they are not boxed in to the role of either Mary or Eve.

, .

About

Susan Jacoby Susan Jacoby is the author of "Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism"­ and is completing a secular history of religious conversion.
  • YEAL9

    One must always consider the time factor.To wit:Nine months on average taken out to bring each child to full potential. Two years to feed/burp/change/teach per child. Then there are those nasty monthly periods coupled with deciding which way the toilet paper should unwind, what design/color of dress/ slacks/skirt/ blouse/hat/bra/panties to wear, what earbobs and or necklace to suspend, what shampoo/conditioner works during those 30 minute, daily showers along with the three hours it takes to get a nail job, cut and perm every month. Then there is all that leg and underarm hair removal!!And gals wonder why they are not running the world!!! i.e. they simply don’t have the time!!

  • FarnazMansouri

    Like the poor, the morons will always be with us.

  • WmarkW

    Why do women cling to religion more strongly than men? Since they’re also the ones who keep the astrologers, fortune tellers and palm readers in business, it’s probably because they don’t differentiate objective from subjective knowledge as strongly. Same reason men are still dominant in chess, and why women have achieved equality in writing professions but not hard sciences (Lawrence Summers was right).What happens when women get ahold of a major industry? Public education has become female-centric, and hence a turn-off to male students, with politically correct writing assignments, views of history, and discriminatory discipline procedures that interpret male behavior as needing discipline while females need understanding.The great unreported story of the current financial crisis is the role of women consumers in creating it. Women drive both the residential and commercial real estate industries by creating demand for McMansions bigger than anyone needs and shopping malls offering redundant stores to obtain the same items.We used to hear about how women drive 80% of consumer spending decisions; until we found America was OVER-spending, and now nobody talks about it any more except politically incorrect people like Steve Sailer:

  • FarnazMansouri

    Correction/Clarification of Susan’s essayWomen serve as rabbis in both Conservative and Reform Judaism. Of course, they also serve in Reconstructionist synagogues.The Orthodox currently have a position for women identical to that of rabbi, except that they may not lead a congregation. It’s taking the Orthodox a bit longer, but hopefully they’ll catch up one day.They are not “nicer.” Nuns have been involved in brutality, sex abuse, murder, etc. They were active killers in the HOlocaust, including in the infamous T4 program. Of course, they did not “serve” in the same numbers as their male clerical counterparts.

  • Rongoklunk

    Yes I think that women should have a greater role in religious affairs; generally they are more nurturing and less hung up on sex than man are. But then I remember the horrors of the Magdalene Sisters who brutalized children in their “care” in the asylums and laundries in Ireland throughout the twentieth century. They were every bit as brutal as the S.S. Maybe power does this to people, regardless of gender or religion.

  • Susan_Jacoby

    Thanks, Farnaz, for the information about Conservative Jewish congregations. I’ve rarely met a Conservative woman rabbi, so I wasn’t aware of the change.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Susan,You’re welcome! Women have been admitted to the Conservative rabbinate since 1983.

  • bruce18

    Susan,

  • Alcyone

    The destruction evident within male dominated institutions results from far more than exclusion of 1/2 the intelligence available, but an exclusion of a type of intelligence that is inherently female. This does not make ‘Feminine Wisdom’ the exclusive domain of those with female bodies, but — those in the form of the goddess are more wired for such a consciousness. It is this TYPE of intelligence that will enable an authentic, healthy reform in all domains, from instittutional to environmental. The centrality of Jesus’ mother to the New Testament story – while marginalized grossly within canonical literature – is nothing compared to the almost total obfuscation of the legitimate successor and true ‘rock’ upon whose legacy Christianity grew; the ‘apostle to the apostles,’ called, ‘The Magdalene.’

  • gibsonpolk

    If Catholicism hangs on long enough (and “long enough” is the operative statistical term here), someday there will surely be a female “pope.” But what will we call her holiness, since the word “pope”, clearly has a patriarchal etymology.

  • agapn9

    FarnazMansouriI just read about the T4 (the killing of mentally defective children/teenagers)program on the Wiki and they take a different view of the catholic church than you do. They talk about catholics fighting against it while others just passively accepted it.Where do get your information on it?

  • ZZim

    “Among Catholics, however, women make up 60 percent of weekly churchgoers. That is a real paradox, given that the Catholic Church absolutely denies women the right to be priests”=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Maybe it’s not a paradox, Susan. Maybe it’s just not an important issue to Catholic women. Attending weekly mass is a choice, a free choice. Given the dramatic disparity between genders of weekly customers, it absolutely MUST be a fact that the Church’s product is of more utility to women than to men. There really is no other reasonable explanation. You know, Occam’s Razor and all that.Perform the following thought experiment: Suppose you walked into a random storefront one day. You note that most of the cashiers are female and that the manager is a man. You do not peruse the shelves, you simply walk back out. Then you stand outside and watch customers enter the store. You notice that 60% of them are women. Women often enter the store alone. Women arrive with other women. Women often enter the store with their kids. Women often enter the store with her boyfriend or husband (and kids if they have them). You don’t see any men enter alone. You don’t see any men-only groups arrive, except perhaps on shift change.Now, if that were your ENTIRE knowledge of this establishment, what would you say about that store. Try it on a group of your friends. See what they say about this store. See what they guess as to who finds this store’s products most useful. You may be enlightened.There are world views other than your own and these other world views are entirely legitimate ones.PS – Great article.PPS – I think I just described Crate & Barrel

  • ZZim

    FarnazMansouriWhere do get your information on it?Posted by: agapn9=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Farnaz makes do without actual facts. She has found that with strong enough conviction and will to believe one’s pre-selected viewpoint, facts are unnecessary. Hatred of the Catholic Church is her religion, so just consider it a divine mystery and leave it at that.

  • Schaum

    ZZIM:If you have facts to present in contradiction to those presented by Farnaz, please do so. Facts, not personal opinion. If you cannot do so, as I suspect you cannot, please do not parade your christer stupidity here. This is an atheist’s blog, and we are all entirely familiar with the parochial and non-fact-oriented claims and statements that christers in general, and catholics in particular, use to obfuscate.

  • Secular

    I am just wondering, how do the so called Orthodox congregations of Jews continue to adhere to their faith? After accepting the fact that Exodus did not happen, what is left in terms of the organizing articles for Judaism. The only logical next steps would be for them to fess up and become steadfast skeptics. How can Mr. Wolpe continue to be a Rabbi after making the statements that he has made?

  • FarnazMansouri

    Secular:I am just wondering, how do the so called Orthodox congregations of Jews continue to adhere to their faith? After accepting the fact that Exodus did not happen, what is left in terms of the organizing articles for Judaism. The only logical next steps would be for them to fess up and become steadfast skeptics. How can Mr. Wolpe continue to be a Rabbi after making the statements that he has made?However, I do know several Orthodox Jews whose reply to the question of MOses’ existence is “Who cares?”This is not Christianity. Jesus, the water skier, does not inform it. It is not a creedal “belief.” No rising dying Tammuz, et al. No angels and pitty wingy things.

  • ZZim

    ZZIM:Bite me Schaum. Attempts to link the Catholic Church to the Holocaust annoy me. I am equally annoyed by attempts to link Jews to cannibalism.Religious bigotry is one of the primary causes of violence and misery in the world. Currently America is fighting a just war against Islamic religious bigots. Under the circumstances, your attempt to incite religious hatred is even more despicable.That having been said, I do not hold Human life sacred any more than any other animal and support abortion, capital punishment (for heinous crimes), voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill, and involuntary euthanasia of the profoundly retarded (with permission from legal guardians).I’m not on any side in the religious bigotry wars, I despise you all equally.

  • FarnazMansouri

    ZZim:You sound ridiculous. YOu now have a source on the Catholic clergy involved in T4. I’ve pasted the names of the nazi Franciscan priests, included details of their crimes–all two hundred of them. I’ve also printed a press release, several articles on the law suits against Vatican Nation and the Franciscan order, the plaintiffs being Serbian Orthodox, Jews, and Roma survivors and heirs of the Nazi Franciscans, who tortured, most often to death, and then stole what their victims had and deposited it in Vatican Bank.Being an ostrich is not conducive to maturity, ZZ. Moreover, you come across as silly.

  • Martial

    Never thought that badly of the Church. The Church has been around for a long, long time and has dealt with rather amazing crises, such as the Avignon stuff, and survived; the pedophilia problem will be dealt with. All the priests and nuns I have worked with in hospitals have been absolutely wonderful. The higher ups in the Church did many things to stop T4; this is well known. They risked their lives.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Catholic clergy were involved in T4, as the link posted below indicates, along with endless other sources, several of which have been posted. Nuns who were nurses “euthanized” in T4.Also, as indicated below, the Catholic Church did not endorse T4.On the Franciscan nazi priests, etc., see below. Btw., the press release, names posted, crimes posted, articles posted, etc., concern only the Nazi Franciscans, not other Nazi priests.

  • Schaum

    ZZIM:”Bite me Schaum. Attempts to link the Catholic Church to the Holocaust annoy me.”So facts annoy you. Big deal. Your infantile response says all that needed to be said. The catholic church is the vile, corroded institution it has repeatedly proven itself to be. If you don’t like the facts, thats just too bad.Let me guess…you are a junior in a parochial high school, and you’ve learned history from Sister MaryHeifer Cunningham.

  • 5amefa91

    Farnaz: What good do you think will come of spewing your endless hatred here? You need major anti psychotic drugs if you think you are helping anyone or anything.Schaum: You are such a perfect toxic Catholic. You need the twenty-four step program for recovering Catholics. Seriously, start today, the longest journey begins with a single step.Susan: Shame on you for giving these deranged hate fairies a printing press.

  • usapdx

    YES , but women have a world problem and that is MEN and RELIGIONS WILL NEVER TREAT WOMEN AS EQUALS period.

  • Schaum

    It is worth noting again that the vast majority of Nazis — civilian and military — were christers. Of those, the majority were catholics, including the upper controlling hierarchy, including Hitler. catholicism is the sickest of all the perverted pagan christer denominations.

  • Schaum

    It is also worth restating that, long before the nazis herded Jews into ghettos, the roman catholic church had established ghettos to contain, control and oppress Jews.During the Reformation, in 1555, Pope Paul IV decreed that all Jews must be segregated into their own quarters (ghettos), and they were forbidden to leave their home during the night, were banned from all but the most strenuous occupations and had to wear a distinctive badge — a yellow hat. More than 4,700 Jews lived in the seven-acre Roman Jewish ghetto that was built in the Travestere section of the city (which still remains a Jewish neighborhood to this day) If any Jews wanted to rent houses or businesses outside the ghetto boundaries, permission was needed from the Cardinal Vicar. Jews could not own any property outside the ghetto. They were not allowed to study in higher education institutions or become lawyers, pharmacists, painters, politicians, notaries or architects. Jewish doctors were only allowed to treat Jewish patients. Jews were forced to pay an annual stipend to pay the salaries of the Catholic officials who supervised the Ghetto Finance Administration and the Jewish Community Organization; a stipend to pay for Christian missionaries who proselytized to the Jews and a yearly sum to the Cloister of the Converted. In return, the state helped with welfare work, but gave no money toward education or caring for the sick. These anti-Jewish laws were similar to those imposed by Nazi Germany on the Jews during World War II.

  • YEAL9

    Back to the topic:Gals must always consider the time factor and also evolution.To wit:Nine months on average taken out to bring each child to full potential.Two years to feed/burp/change/teach per child. Then there are those nasty monthly periods coupled with deciding which way the toilet paper should unwind, what design/color of dress/ slacks/skirt/ blouse/hat/bra/panties to wear, what earbobs and or necklace to suspend, what shampoo/conditioner works during those 30 minute, daily showers along with the three hours it takes to get a nail job, cut and perm every month.Then there is all that leg and underarm hair removal!!And gals wonder why they are not running the world!!! i.e. they simply don’t have the time and evolution is not helping the situation.

  • FarnazMansouri

    If ever there was an argument for placing women in positions of social power, it is Yeal9.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Schaum,FYI, 5amefa9 is the Moderate is “Wormwood” (LOL). Skin lighteners won’t lighten it, and the talented tenth don’t know it exists. They take the windowpane scratching and screeching for blind squirrels scavenging.Best to ignore.

  • areyousaying

    Everyone I ever met thought she was.

  • areyousaying

    ccnl1 continues to be an idiot”To wit:”His comments below about “gals”ZZIM:Don’t you have some pervert priests to hide?

  • areyousaying

    Like the poor, the meshuggenah will always be with us

  • areyousaying

    That having been said, I do not hold Human life sacred any more than any other animal and support abortion, capital punishment (for heinous crimes), voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill, and involuntary euthanasia of the profoundly retarded (with permission from legal guardians).Posted by: ZZim Mormon Elder Beck?Is that you?

  • YEAL9

    Gals wonder why they are not running the world??? i.e. they simply don’t have the time and evolution is not helping the situation. One wonders if the evolving woman will some day be born with painted finger/toe nails and hairless legs?

  • FarnazMansouri

    CCNL,Shut up. Stop repainting your toenails. They are not your problem. Get back on your meds.

  • Schaum

    Farnaz:”… blind squirrels scavenging…”Actually, this would be a good description of CCNL1/YEAL9.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Hi Schaum,You asked me to email you, I think. Was that on this thread or the last? At any rate, please give me your email address, and I’ll write to you later on.

  • Schaum
  • Schaum

    Ratzinger was a nazi, and Pius XII and the catholic church supported Hitler. To be a catholic is to BE a child abuser.

  • YEAL9

    Back to the topic:Gals wonder why they are not running the world??? i.e. they simply don’t have the time and evolution is not helping the situation.One wonders if the evolving woman will some day be born with painted finger/toe nails, hairless legs, blond/curly head hair, pierced ears/nose/”belly buttons”, and dialable eye color?

  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

    Lady’s First & First Lady President is well overdue a “1st Lady” used to be good, but this Woman President, not only ‘symbolic’ is what America needs. I use ‘symbolic’ because currently our president who is half white, is symbolically the 1st ‘Black President’ but not the white. Mrs. Liberty needs to directly run things, Not Mr. Sam, atleast this time around in a comming New-Age. We need to Keep our troops in Mexico, Central & some parts of South America. And To Build American in other parts of Island Nations in the Carribians. i.g., Haiti as we all know needs empire building.We need to think “AMERICA” not Afghanistan! Not Iraq! etc.. ’2012′ is gonna be interesting. So lets get ready now. And Yes, “Justice Stevens” needs to be replaced by a Woman Justice instead, for U.S. S.C.J.”Judge Sonia” & “Judge Bader” needs another J.S.C. partner for a 3:6 Ratio. Actually, a 4:5 Ratio would be more sensible. Equality can’t get any closer than that. The Senate & the Congesss needs much much more cathing up to do. That alsi is comming. Lady’s Promise!

  • ZZim

    ZZim:Doesn’t make it true. Stop stop hate-mongering and grow up. I would rather come off as silly than hateful.

  • ZZim

    ZZIM:

  • Schaum

    ZZIM:”I can find a lot of links on the Internet connecting Jews to the ritual cannibalism of Christian children, too.”Run downstairs, now, and tell your mommy that you need a nice warm enema. It will clear your mind. You’ll feel so much better.And then, when you are all cleaned up, come back and post those Jewish cannibalism links to which you refer. I’d like to read them.

  • UrinalGum

    It is okay for people to believe in their imaginary friends until it effects my freedoms or harms others. I don’t stand with my thumb up my butt while others are being hurt. I whine about it on the internet!/I love religion. It’s arousing:

  • CPRFAIRY

    Urinalgum, maybe you could help ZZIM. He can’t get aroused unless he’s with a priest.

  • ZZim

    Google it, doofus.

  • FarnazMansouri

    I can find a lot of links on the Internet connecting Jews to the ritual cannibalism of Christian children, too.Doesn’t make it true. Stop stop hate-mongering and grow up. I would rather come off as silly than hateful.Indoctrination with this propaganda led to mass murder of Jews beginning in the Middle Ages, continued with pogroms and genocide. The blood libel was spread to the MIddle East, most energetically, by some of your co-religionists in the nineteenth century. Some of your co-religionists have continued to spread Jew hatred, while also pausing to child rape all over the world.Now, in Muslim countries, Jew hatred has become Islamicized, although remnants of Catholic hate are easily discernible.I could find the equivalent of the blood libel levied against Catholics on scores of Protestant threads. ((And that is what it has been called–”blood libel”–illiterate.)I have not done so. Schaum, albert4jsw, billy1932, cprfairy, forestblogged, Areyousaying, ColoradoDog, and dozens of others who have posted on this blog alone.The bibliographies I’ve posted, the reports of the disposition of the appeal by the victims of nazi priests, the email to me from their attorney, etc., are not the equivalent of the moronic example you give. Neither is the New York Times, WaPo, Telegraph, etc.The false analogy you make, which only digs you in deeper into your hypocritical hole says almost all we need to know. (Bibliography on blood libel and its consequences, outcomes to follow.) It is nicely bolstered by your inability to distinguish evidence from medieval propaganda.You win the jackpot then, since you come off as both. Here is your post from Donohue’s thread:”Good article. It’s really amazing to me just how much pure hatred and viciousness goes on on these pages. I understand it’s considered socially acceptable, even polite to hate the Catholic Church in Liberal circles. But I’m still shocked at this level of hatred and bias.Posted by: ZZim | April 9, 2010 2:24 PM”You have no place here. Go bleat with Bill Donohue, the bigot. If you try, you may reach his intellectual and moral level of twelve.Your butt has been kicked but good–by areyousaying, Schaum, and, now, me.Get lost, and grow up.

  • Schaum

    ZZIM:”Google it, doofus.”I take that as your admission that you can’t offer any proof to support your assertions.Ask your mother for that enema now, tonight — don’t wait.

  • daniel12

    Part four.Personally I think it only a matter of time, after all the excuses run out, after all the attempts are made to correct the balance, until it is recognized that women are essentially an average with respect to men. A girl is less likely to be violent. Less likely to be sexually promiscuous. Therefore women are of greater morality. In a way. But they are also less likely to win a Fields Medal. Less likely to be a great electric guitarist (in fact is there even one stylist on the electric guitar which is female?). Less likely to be great on a musical instrument period. Less likely to make an invention of any sort.The only question I really have to ask is what form will society take when women, so to speak, have had their chance to demonstrate their ability and have come up short? Will we regress to women not being allowed to have a chance at all? I refuse to believe that will be the course. I believe through the genetic sciences that the development of the human race toward intelligence–all higher abilities–will be made more symmetrical, thus defying the natural and asymmetric progression so far evident.

  • daniel12

    Part five.This means women demonstrating higher abilities. This also means men made less violent, less mentally ill, less retarded and so on. If such can be accomplished…What genetic profile will the human race have if these inconsistencies and errors are eliminated? Certainly the change will have to be fundamental, at the genetic level. Social change is nothing. Genetic change is everything and will in fact drive new social arrangements we cannot yet imagine.The best way for a woman to assure her freedom is strangely enough to call for a wholesale genetic change in the human race. And that is one hell of a moral statement made by…me, a man–not a woman. It seems it is men that are destined to set women free. First of course men having given women a chance to demonstrate themselves–it was men who invented the society (democratic, secular) in which women can demonstrate themselves–and second it will be men that invent the genetic methods by which the race can be more uniform in its moral and intellectual development. So it is actually men who are more moral than women. Supposing men take the sensible course and do not destroy us all first. Which means of course that women, strangely enough, are exempt from morality–that morality is really a man’s problem. But I might be wrong about that. In fact wrong about everything here. But not from want of thinking.

  • daniel12

    Part three.The violence levels of men are of course obvious. The prison population provides decent statistics on that. And as far as musical ability goes, it is an unspoken truth that women can sing but cannot play instruments all that well–unless of course one happens to be a little Asian girl willing to do as teacher is told and provide a note for note but quite passionless and styleless rendition of Mozart…And when was the last time a woman won a Fields Medal in mathematics? And when was the last time a woman invented a genre in literature? Or are we to take “women’s studies” as invention of genre?I mean, in literature, the concept of novel, essay and so on–all inventions by men. Every important genre in literature was male invented. Unless one can give me some exceptions to that rule. Or is it we are to hear now of women never had a chance to demonstrate their abilities due to the prejudice of men? Be careful if saying the latter. If saying the latter then one cannot say women are equal in ability to men–because of course women never had a chance to demonstrate such–but only that women should have a chance to demonstrate their abilities….and I agree with that.

  • daniel12

    Part two.And my answer to this question is that the human race is developing toward greater intellect and this development is asymmetrical and favors the males of the species. Which of course makes for an interesting piece of scientific research. We have here clear hypothesis and plenty of opportunity for examination of truth. Truth which, if I am not mistaken, will win someone a Nobel prize, as it is that dramatic. But to get to some of the evidence…we have first of all the well known evidence that men–males–are more likely to reach the extremes of mental manifestations such as high I.Q. or mental retardation or mental illness. Women, to put if bluntly, are more likely to represent the average. Fewer of them are of high I.Q. Fewer of them are likely to be mentally retarded. Fewer of them are likely to be mentally ill. As if they are the foundation of the species–which they are having two x chromosomes–they are the average from which men radiate. Men in fact are more likely to be extreme than women in any number of senses, whether one wants to speak of violence levels or musical ability, math ability or writing ability…

  • daniel12

    Part one.Are women morally superior to men?Let me put this as scientifically as I can, so it can easily be examined to see if it is true or not. When I was reading Darwin’s great first book I came across an interesting passage which seemed to explain much to me. Darwin wrote that when a species changes, moves toward a new trait which distinguishes it from old, it very often moves asymmetrically, favoring one sex of the species rather than the other in its transformation. Therefore we would ask if the trait of human intelligence–which is the trait of traits distinguishing the old examples of man from the new–is a trait which appears uniformly in our species or appears in the direction of one sex over the other.

  • Schaum

    DanielTheHomicidalMansonWannabeLiar:”But I might be wrong about that. In fact wrong about everything here. But not from want of thinking.”That is PRECISELY why you are wrong about everything. You don’t have thoughts; you have reactions. You are so anxious to be heard, to be in the same league as Farnaz, Persiflage, Onofrio, that you will utter any garbage just to see yourself in print. Publishers do not fall for your crap, which is why you will never be published. You are not a writer. You are a blogger. Learn the difference.

  • ZZim

    Sez Farnaz:“The blood libel was spread to the MIddle East, most energetically, by some of your co-religionists in the nineteenth century.”“You have no place here.”“Your butt has been kicked but good–by areyousaying, Schaum, and, now, me.”=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-1 – I have no religion, therefore I have no co-religionists. I don’t oppose religious hatred because it’s directed at me (because that’s impossible, lol). I oppose it because it is wrong. I’ve spoken in defense of the Jews and Muslims on these boards, too, that doesn’t make me one of them.Believe it or not, there really is a universal right and wrong. Religious bigotry and hatred is wrong and you are wrong for indulging in it. I don’t need to be a target of your hatred to perceive it and call it what it is.2 – That’s true, this comment thread seems to be populated solely by sad people consumed with irrational hatred. Since I am not such a person, I clearly do not belong. You do, though.3 – My butt has hardly been kicked. You spat a few diatribes at me, but I am unmoved. I value your opinions at zero, therefore all insults from you are as hurtful as the moaning of the wind in the trees, just noise, devoid of meaning..

  • ZZim

    ZZIM:”Google it, doofus.”I take that as your admission that you can’t offer any proof to support your assertions.=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-Actually, Schaum, I Googled “Jewish ritual cannibalism” and got 1,190,000 hits. Googling “Catholic T4” only gets 213,000 hits.All it means to me are that the lies about Jewish ritual cannibalism are six times more popular than the lies you have been spreading. It’s just another propaganda campaign intended to soothe the fragile egos of bigots – “Yes, you are better than Them, They are bad and you are good, your innate superiority is proven by the fact that you are not one of Them, hate them, hate them, hate them.”Pathetic..

  • YEAL9

    Back to the topic:Women are more moral than men because and as noted previously, they don’t have the time to be immoral as evolution gave them more ammoral stuff to do.To wit:Nine months on average taken out to bring each child to full potential. Two years to feed/burp/change/teach per child. Then there are those nasty monthly periods coupled with deciding which way the toilet paper should unwind, what design/color of dress/ slacks/skirt/blouse/hat/bra/panties to wear, what earbobs and or necklace to suspend, what shampoo/conditioner works during those 30 minute, daily showers along with the three hours it takes to get a nail job, cut and perm every month. Then there is all that leg and underarm hair removal!!:)))

  • PSolus

    “Then there is all that leg and underarm hair removal!!”You forgot to mention the time spent shaving their vaginas.I wouldn’t be surprised if some women even shave their cervixes, their uteruses, their fallopian tubes, and their ovaries.YEAL9, you are a true intellectual.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Zzim,You are confusing facts with hatred, a desire for justice with hatred. I am reminded of a post of Sr. Maureen Turlish (use google), who said on the issue of clerical sex abuse two things, distinctly Jewish in resonance: First, justice (for the VICTIMS), then forgiveness. AND forgiveness CAN ONLY come from the victims.For the 500,000 Serbian Orthodox, Jews, and Roma, slaughtered by Catholics, chief among them 200 nazi Franciscans, who saw what they had stolen by these priests and deposited in Vatican Bank, first justice, then forgiveness, by the few who remain alive and wish to forgive. Their heirs cannot forgive. No one else can forgive.And then there are all the other matters. The Vatican’s HOlocaust archives, which concern human history, and which it will not release.The 200,000,000 dollar mafia money laundering, currently under investigation. That money is used by mafia to execute elected Italian officials who endeavor to stem the flow of organized crime, overrunning Italy. It is drug-running, gun-running, sex ring money. The Vatican is the eighth largest destination of money launderers, ahead of Switzerland, the Bahamas, and Lichtenstein.There is much, much more. I’ve posted links and full texts to all of the above and more. It seems to me that if there is any hatred revealed in these horrors, it belongs to the Vatican. To the Vatican, and not to those of us who do not wish to be its victims directly or in any other way.Meanwhile, I did not begin the posting on this topic, note.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Zzim,And the infamous spreading of the “blood libel” by the Roman Catholic Church, beginning in the Middle Ages, adhered to by some Catholics (including priests) today?YOU brought it up. It caused the deaths of millions of Jewish men, women, and children. YOur co-coreligionists brought it to the MIddle East, beginning with the Crusades. They stepped up their efforts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, was very popular with the Slavs, Hitler, et al. It has since been thoroughly Islamicized and is quite the rage in the Islamic world.You remind me of so many Catholics (cultural, observant, whatever), who call those your church has damaged “haters.” Yes, the victims, all of them, are the haters, not those who made them victims.Is there something wrong with this ethic, that places forgiveness of the murderers above justice for the slaughtered?And, where, oh where does it come from?Yes, there may be a universal code of right and wrong, but the above has predominated for far, far too long. Sorry, but it is twisted, barbaric, and self-serving. The empire, all of it, is speaking back. Get used to it. It isn’t going to change.

  • ZZim

    Sez Farnaz:“And the infamous spreading of the “blood libel” …YOU brought it up. YOur co-coreligionists brought it to the MIddle East, beginning with the Crusades.”=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Sez I:I already mentioned to you that I have no “co-religionists” as I have no religion. I brought it up as an example of a slander campaign similar in nature to the one you are participating in. .

  • FarnazMansouri

    Sez Farnaz:“And the infamous spreading of the “blood libel” …YOU brought it up. YOur co-coreligionists brought it to the MIddle East, beginning with the Crusades.”=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Sez I:I already mentioned to you that I have no “co-religionists” as I have no religion. I brought it up as an example of a slander campaign similar in nature to the one you are participating in. And so could many of the others who blogged here. It does not strike me as odd that a fan of the bigot, Bill Donohue, should wish to blame victims.That is a warped ethics that does nothing for you.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Zzim,The blood libel and its consequences is one of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church.You only weaken your case. Of course, given the RCC’s history, you could weaken it further.Simply put, you are wrong, wrong, wrong, no matter how one looks at it.Sometimes, the truth is hideous, but it is still the truth.

  • Schaum

    Farnaz:I just discovered something interesting about the catholic support of Hitler and the murder of the Jews…the president of Slovakia — a roman catholic priest, and therefore a degenerate, paid 500 Reichsmarks to the Hitler government to “remove” Jews from Slovakia. The president/priest had 20,000 of them exterminated that way.Now, I wonder where he got the money….

  • FarnazMansouri

    Schaum:Re: Your post. I know, of course, about the clerical nazi leadership, but didn’t know about the money. Can you tell me your source? Where did you find this?I wonder if, at some point, I knew this and forgot….but I don’t think so.

  • Schaum

    Addendum:That is 500 Reichsmarks PER Jew.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Schaum,Will read. I know some Slovakians. Have had them for students. Recommended they research Tiso, thoroughly. Found native documents implicating him. Were not exactly shocked. Interesting.Two have published a book in their native language. It has helped to raise consciousness in Slovakia.The Serbian Orthodox consider the mass murders led by the 200 nazi Franciscans to be the “Serbian Holocaust.”They are the prime movers behind the law suit against Vatican Bank. They are publicizing it on the web and everywhere else they can. Without the Serbian Orthodox, the Jews and Roma, would have given up. Interesting.

  • FarnazMansouri

    SCHAUM,YOU need to publish this on your blog. Concordatwatch–I used to check in with them quite a bit. Should never have stopped.These are extraordinary documents. This situation for the Vatican, however, appears increasingly hopeless. The most important thing for this country is to get them out of the government.Have you ever seen Passolini’s masterpiece, “Salo”?Wrote a paper (published) on the identity of the fascist/sadists.If you watch it, be prepared. I have never seen anything more painful to watch, including concentration camp footage.

  • Schaum

    ZZIM:“Yes, you are better than Them, They are bad and you are good, your innate superiority is proven by the fact that you are not one of Them, hate them, hate them, hate them.”No, no, no, boyo — you are projecting yourself onto others. I do not hate them. Far from it, I LOVE them. It is their ignorance, superstition and religious fascism that I hate.I’m sorry to see you struggling so much with your unhappiness. Perhaps god will help you, if you will only pray to her.

  • Schaum

    Farnaz:Yes, I’ve seen “Salo” — grim, but erotic.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Schaum,Have you seen “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”? Also, Pasolini.

  • YEAL9

    Back to the topic:Women are more moral than men because and as noted previously, they don’t have the time to be immoral as evolution gave them more ammoral stuff to do.To wit:Nine months on average taken out to bring each child to full potential. Two years to feed/burp/change/teach per child. Then there are those nasty monthly periods coupled with deciding which way the toilet paper should unwind, what design/color of dress/ slacks/skirt/blouse/hat/bra/panties to wear, what earbobs and or necklace to suspend, what shampoo/conditioner works during those 30 minute, daily showers along with the three hours it takes to get a nail job, cut and perm every month. Then there is all that leg and underarm hair removal!!LOL!!! LOL!!!Hmmm, one definitely can say Hillary Clinton is morally superior to Billy Boy but Hillary does look a bit frazzled in her new job as pruning time has diminished or could it be something else?

  • Schaum

    Farnaz:No, I’ve not seen Gospel According to St. Matthew. Is it more worthy of watching than, say, would be The Gospel According To St. Peter Huff?

  • FarnazMansouri

    SchaumNo, I’ve not seen Gospel According to St. Matthew. Is it more worthy of watching than, say, would be The Gospel According To St. Peter Huff?I hunted everywhere for the soundtrack (so to speak). Nowhere to be found, not in New York.I left no record store unentered. My life mate found it and gave it to me, and that is why I married him.

  • Rongoklunk

    Hey, have you heard the good news. The new Hubble telescope has picked up magnificent views of Heaven and got clear shots of God too. It’s amazing. Way way across the cosmos. You can see God quite clearly sitting on what looks like a throne, surrounded by nuns and priests and everything. Papers in the UK are all showing the pictures, and the BBC is showing it over and over during special news bulletins. It’s so exciting, I can hardly believe it. Until now I was an atheist. But how can I be an atheist now. It’s the clear proof I always said could never happen. I’m amazed by this. Maybe God’s about to come down to Earth to clear up the problem that the pope has with all these pedophile allegations. Praise the Lord.

  • cornbread_r2

    Re: why women remain more religious than men:Not only are women seen as the keepers of community, they would also seem to be traditionally more dependent on community. In a predominantly religious community, women would therefore necessarily pay a higher social price than men for being non-conformist, i.e. non-religious. That conjecture might seem to be supported by the experience of the earliest Christian communities. It is thought by some that they gained most of their converts from among women who were attracted to the tangible benefits and support derived from those communally-oriented associations — benefits that were increasingly unavailable in the over-extended Roman state and non-existent in the Jewish community after the war in 70AD. In essence, the early Christian communities took over the social welfare role formerly provided by others. (Maybe that’s why many conservative Christians are so opposed to “socialism” even though Christianity’s call to helping the poor and disenfranchised is identical; it’s seen as a competitor).

  • YEAL9

    Another moral woman, i.e. Julia Sweeney, who does not need a god in her life to be a good person!!If you have not already done so, please watch Julia Sweeney’s monologue “Letting Go of God”.(Ex-Catholic, now atheist) Julia Sweeney’s monologue “Letting Go Of God” will be the final nail in the coffin of religious belief/faith and is and will continue to be more effective than any money-generating book or blog on the historical Jesus, or “Ultimate Happiness Prescription”. Buy the DVD or watch it on Showtime. from http://www.amazon.com“Letting Go of God ~ Julia Sweeney (DVD – 2008)Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

  • ThomasBaum

    SchaumYou wrote, “Was Mary “passive” is not the same question as whether the mythical Jesus was “passive”. You are mixing apples and oranges in an attempt to appear profound.”What I was trying to so simply point out is that neither Mary nor Jesus were “passive vehicles” in God’s Plan.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Schaum You wrote, “To be a catholic is to BE a child abuser”.Also, “I do not hate them. Far from it, I LOVE them. It is their ignorance, superstition and religious fascism that I hate.”Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • leilaash

    First of all, science is NOT a challenge to religious belief. I am a scientist, and I also practice and believe in a faith. I have studied all the basic principles of evolutionary biology and I don’t believe that the two conflict. Also, if women are actually more religious than men, I think it’s because woman feel they are in more need of protection of some kind of moral law and order at least that is how I feel.

  • ThomasBaum

    Schaum You wrote, “Ratzinger was a nazi”Ratzinger was a young German who was drafted into the German Army, I don’t know exactly when, but it was toward the end of World War II.Does this mean that all of the people that were drafted into the German Army were “nazi’s”? Could it be that at least some were merely citizens of Germany called up to military service just as many people in other countries such as the USA were also called up to military service?I was drafted and sent to Vietnam, does that mean that I am an “Imperalist” and “baby killer” as some have said about Vietnam era service members especially those that went to Vietnam?As I have said, “God looks at the person, not the “label” and I might add that it is pretty obvious that there are many people that look at the “label”.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • garoth

    There are three things I would like to comment on: first, whether women are morally or ethically superior to men; second, whether the abuse would have happened if there were women priests; and third, why women are “more religious” than men.As to the first, it is doubtful whether women are ethically or morally superior to men. Female pastors, for instance, tend to have the same problems male ones do. In my last parish, when I arrived, I found that the female interim pastor was having an on-going affair with the husband of my secretary! In the office, women tend to hold the same ethical standards as their peers, male or female (while the female salesperson may not hold the same values as her receptionist, she is likely to hold or develop similar values to her male sales counterparts).As to the second question – whether having female priests would have kept abuse from happening; I strongly believe that, absent other reforms, it would have happened anyway. Of course, it would be hard to imagine having female priests without having other reforms as well. One of these is the theology, dating back to Augustine (but not biblical!), equating sex with sin, and seeing women’ sexuality as especially sinful. This unhealthy sexual attitude, unfortunately, also pervades our culture. The inclusion of Jesus’ maleness as a requirement for subsequent “representative” purposes would have to change. It is not biblical (Mary of Magdala was called, by te church, “the First Apostle,” and Paul declared that “there is … no male or female … for all are one in Christ.”), but was declared by the Vatican, I believe, in the 12th century (there were also women leaders in the early church!). The opaque heirarchial structure of the church would also have to change (what – a bunch of old white men give up power?!). So I don’t see any of that happening soon.As to the third, I think the author hit the nail on the head. Men tend to think in “black/white” terms, an in terms f whether something is true or false. Male pastors tend to focus more on doctrine than relationships. Women, perhaps because of their traditional nurturing role in society, tend to focus more on relationships. So, while a man will tend to leave a church if he questions the validity of its arguments, a woman, because of the relationships she has there, possible past associations with family, her concern for the values of her children, and her involvement in/support of ministries of the congregation, will tend to stay, even when she disagrees with the church’s theology. She is not a a hypocrite, but understands that truth is more nuanced than men believe it to be, and that the most important “truths” are not cognative (doctrinal) statements, but relational ones.Thank you for a truly fine article.

  • Delongl

    Wow, this whole discussion is a throwback to gross group stereotypes and discrimination.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    Its really impossible to say if Woman would be better priests because there are not enough female religious leaders who are in similar positions to priests. BTW the quote is Women CONTROL 80% of consumer spending, not drive 80% of the spending. I not saying that women are not equally responsible for the consumer excess, but using the word DRIVE implies they are the sole source.Education: Are women in charge of the majority of schools, I seriously doubt that 50+% of the principles are females

  • SMADDEN54

    Ok, Washington Post, where do the nuns weigh in on this topic. Someone please go to the local Motherhouse and starting interviewing. I bet you will be surprised at the revelations.

  • Wildthing1

    The question has to do with dominance as in a country that decides it is the world’s only super power or nuns running homes for wayward young girls..

  • Martial

    Women should be able to obtain leadership positions in the same manner as men. Women are almost certainly better with such common family issues as violent, drug addicted, satanic teenagers, ever evidence of an excess divine punishment for having had sex over a decade ago. Not especially likely, however, are superior administrative decision simply by virtue of gender. Pedophiles and thieves would likely garner a pass equally well from men and women. It is difficult to prove these crimes in many cases. So often, one sees false charges made against the innocent. Most important, the legal ramifications are quite high, as this is a felony. For physical child abuse that is not sexual, there exists no reason to believe that women pastors less able to commit such a crime. More Catholic girls and women complained to me of physical abuse from nuns than did Catholic boys and men complain of physical abuse from priests. Neither physical nor sexual abuse, of course, is limited to the Catholic Church.

  • dubya1938

    …sorry, I can’t take this article seriously until I can see whether you are dressed appropriately.

  • WilliamBlake

    YES- Women Are Morally Superiorhowever I doubt this will help anyone resolve church issues. BTW, the early christian church was a female dominated, family oriented religion, men were dragged along, is my impression. St. Augustine wanted nothing to do with the Church, and kept a number gf’s at all times, his mother eventully nagged him into joining. But he said it was a job for old men, not young.

  • WilliamBlake

    First of all, science is NOT a challenge to religious belief. I am a scientist, and I also practice and believe in a faith. I have studied all the basic principles of evolutionary biology and I don’t believe that the two conflict. Also, if women are actually more religious than men, I think it’s because woman feel they are in more need of protection of some kind of moral law and order at least that is how I feel.

  • Pamsm

    Wow, WilliamBlake, you

  • thebump

    The authoress’s ignorant notion that Mary did not have the freedom and power to say no at the Annunciation makes a complete mockery of what Catholics actually believe — which of course is precisely the authoress’s wicked intent.

  • cornbread_r2

    The authoress’s ignorant notion that Mary did not have the freedom and power to say no at the Annunciation makes a complete mockery of what Catholics actually believe — which of course is precisely the authoress’s wicked intent. Posted by: thebump

  • cornbread_r2

    The authoress’s ignorant notion that Mary did not have the freedom and power to say no at the Annunciation makes a complete mockery of what Catholics actually believe — which of course is precisely the authoress’s wicked intent. Posted by: thebump I reread the relevant verses in “Luke” and I’m not seeing where Mary does anything other than acquiesce to what Gabriel tells her is I have no doubt that Catholics think Mary had a choice, but you can’t really fault Ms. Jacoby for not knowing all the various permutations that all the various Christian denominations use to get around the apparently contradictory evidence that’s plainly written in the text.(Sorry for the double post, but I had to close the quote to clean up the display.)

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