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Why We Need
Freedom From Religion
on Mother's Day ...
And Every Other Day
Ad run in The New York Times on May 8, 1992
by the Freedom From Religion Foundation
(Used With Permission)

For centuries the Bible has mandated the degradation of women and motherhood. Scripture has encouraged brutality toward children.

This Mother's Day, as in every year, sermons around the nation will pay homage to the "virtuous woman" of Proverbs 31, a self-sacrificing drudge who is praised for fearing "the Lord."

Why should women -- and the men who honor women -- respect and support a religion that preaches women's submission? The Bible does not elevate or honor womanhood, nor does it promote a safe and wholesome environment for children. The daily newspapers are full of tragic evidence of the harm of religion, of the human suffering that results from religious indoctrination and fear.

Why are physical and sexual child abuse and medical neglect multiplying in Christian homes, communities, and churches? Because the Bible sanctifies child abuse.

Why do women remain second-class citizens in our country? Why is there a religious-fostered war against women's rights? Because the Bible is a handbook for the subjugation of women.

There are more than 200 Bible verses that specifically belittle and demean women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton said:

"The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation."

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The Bible degrades motherhood, marriage,
and women's reproductive functions:

  Matthew 24:19

  

"[woe] unto them that are with child"

  Luke 2:22

  

Mary is unclean after birth of Jesus

  14:26

  

You cannot be Jesus's disciple unless you
hate your mother, father, and family

  20:34-35

  

Better chance to get to heaven if you don't marry

  I Corinthians
  11:3-15

  

Man is the head of the woman; only man
is in the image and glory of God

  14:24-35

  

Women, keep in silence; may only learn from husbands

  Ephesians 5:22-33

  

"Wives, submit..."

  Colossians 3:18

  

More "Wives, submit yourselves..."

  I Timothy 2:9

  

Women adorn yourselves in shamefacedness

  2:11-14

  

Women should learn in silence in all subjection;
Eve was sinful, Adam blameless

  2:15
  Ephesians 5:22  33

  

Women will not die in childbirth if they
"continue in faith, charity and holiness"

  I Peter 3:17

  

Women should talk to husbands in fear

  Genesis 2:22

  

Woman created from Adam's rib

  3:16

  

"In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children."

  Leviticus 12:1-4

  

Women who have sons are unclean 7 days

  12:4-7

  

Women who have daughters are unclean 14 days

  15:19-23

  

Menstrual periods are unclean

  Numbers 5:13-31

  

Unpassable adulteress test encourages
jealousy and cruelty

  31:17-35

  

"Virgins" are war booty

  Deuteronomy
22:13-21

  

 
Bride who is not virgin must be stoned to death

  22:28

  

Unmarried rape victim must marry her rapist

  24:1

  

Men can divorce women on the spot

  28:11-12

  

Delicate women will be forced to eat their children

  I Samuel 21:4-5

  

Men are holy if they stay away from women

  Job 14:1-4

  

"Who can bring a clean thing out of
an unclean [woman]? not one"

  Psalm 51:5

  

"In sin did my mother conceive me"

  Isaiah 13:16

  

"their wives [shall be] ravished"

  Hosea 13:16

  

"Their infants shall be dashed in pieces and
their women with child shall be ripped up."

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The Bible mandates child abuse:

  Deuteronomy
21:18-21

  

"If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son...
Then shall his father and his mother lay hold
on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his
city... And all the men of his city shall stone him
with stones, that he die..."

  23:2

  

"A bastard shall not enter into the congregation
of the Lord; even to his tenth generation..."

  II Kings
2:23,24

  

"And as [Elijah] was going up by the way, there
came forth little children [who] and said unto him,
'Go up, thou bald head'... And he... cursed them
in the name of the Lord. And there came forth
two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty
and two children of them."

  Proverbs
20:30

  

"The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil:
so do stripes the inward parts of the belly."

  19:18

  

"Chasten thy son while there is hope, and
let not thy soul spare for his crying."

  22:15

  

"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but
the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

  23:13-14

  

"Withhold not correction from the child: for if
thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt
deliver his soul from hell."

  13:24

  

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but
he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

  29:15,17

  

"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child
left to himself bringeth his mother to shame....
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest."

  Hebrews 12:6-8

  

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.... But
if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are
partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."

  12:11

  

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to
be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward
it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness
unto them which are exercised thereby."

  Psalm 137:9

  

"Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth
thy little ones against the stones."

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About 10 percent of the American population is free from religion. Join those of us who live by Thomas Paine's philosophy, "The world is my country ... to do good is my religion." Freethinkers form their opinions about religion based on reason, not on faith, authority, or established belief.

Freethought HallThe Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national association of atheists and agnostics that has been working for fifteen years to keep state and church separate, and to educate about freethought.

To find out more about the Bible's harmful legacy, see [our book list], and join us today.

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Freedom
From
Religion
Foundation, Inc.

PO Box 750
Madison, WI 53701
(608) 256-8900

www.ffrf.org
dbarker@mailbag.com

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