The Role of Women in Religion

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The Role of Women in Religion

The role of women in religious scripture dictates an inferior position in society. Beginning with the creation of Adam and then Eve, as his helpmate. Her purpose was that Adam would not be lonely. This origin provides the ground work for inequality of genders on the basis of religious scripture. The roles prescribed determined that women should be in a subordinate position to man. The female role and relationship with God is defined by the various books of the Old and New Testaments, the reported actions of Jesus Christ, and finally the Qur'an.

Initially, Old Testament describes women as the corrupter of man. However, through interpreting the action of Jesus Christ, we see that he holds women in equal roles as men, to include mention of female apostles. The New Testament does not promote equality but does mention the acts of Jesus. Finally, the Qur'an places women in a subservient role allowing men to keep their under control, by any means. Interpretations of the Gods word under the disguise of organized religion are the product of the gender discrimination of the time and continue to paint women as lesser creatures in the eyes of God.

The books of the Old Testament, and variations, are recognized by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. Each paint women as the temptress responsible for the mistakes of men. Women were the cause of the first punishment given to mankind. Eve persuaded Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, from the tree of knowledge. For this act, inspired by woman, mankind was forever punished and expelled from paradise.

There are many examples of woman’s negative influence in the Old Testament. In Genesis 19:30-36, Lot's two daughters made their father drunk with wine on two successive nights. Each daughter committed incest with her father, and became pregnant.8 This is illogical, if Lot was so drunk he probably could not have performed physically and it occurred over two separate nights. He could have been unwitting the first night but not the second. Again in Judges 16, Delilah seduced Sampson in order to find out the secret of his great strength. This ultimately led to Samson's death.8 1 Kings 11 describes how Solomon's many foreign wives and concubines convinced him to worship other gods and build Pagan temples. This led to his downfall.8 The moral to these stories seem to be that women are responsible for the mistakes and men are easily corruptible by women.
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