Misogyny In The Law Of Moses: The Patriarchal Privilege To Veto The Vow

“When a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. 3 Or when a woman vows a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father’s house, in her youth, 4 and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself, and says nothing to her; then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. 5 But if her father expresses disapproval to her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself, shall stand; and the Lord will forgive her, because her father opposed her. 6 And if she is married to a husband, while under her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, 7 and her husband hears of it, and says nothing to her on the day that he hears; then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. 8 But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he expresses disapproval, then he shall make void her vow which was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips, by which she bound herself; and the Lord will forgive her.” (Numbers 30.2-8; emphasis mine, DLH)

There is hardly a concept more personal and privileged than one’s own thoughts. The impenetrable fortress of the intellect is a natural private domain. Yet in the ancient Hebrew culture which produced biblical literature, patriarchy trumped privacy, even with regards to a female’s deliberated determinations and personal commitments.

The patriarchal privilege and power to veto a woman’s personal vow is one of the most intrusive of all violations of privacy and is a most presumptuous form of misogyny. Though a seemingly subtle authority in that such neither violates one’s physical being nor exploits one’s services, nonetheless the right to regulate another individual’s personal commitments is a most substantive exercise of assumed hierarchy and usurped privilege.

The right of the Father and then later the Husband to veto the vow of the woman is not only a matter of patriarchal rule, but likewise upholds the principle of male property rights with regards to the woman. The Tenth Commandment clearly regards wives as the personal property of their husbands, and the fact that the patriarchal right to veto the woman’s vow passes from the Father to the Husband is an evident indicator that the ownership of the woman is transferred from the former to the latter at the point of marriage.

The disregard for the intellect of the woman was clearly deep rooted in a variety of ancient cultures, including that which produced the Bible. Hebrew mythology blamed the hardships of humanity on an independent woman who dared think for herself with regards to her choice of edibles, much as Gnostic mythology blamed an independent female deity who chose to reproduce without consulting her consort for the deficiencies of our earthly domain. And unfortunately, such backward and bigoted thinking was incorporated into the doctrine of the Church, as women are to learn in silence and subjection, and leave the teaching to the men.

Regardless of one’s religiosity, surely it is evident that the conventional and orthodox doctrines of the Church have been based upon backwards thinking and bigoted views towards women which originated in an ancient male oriented culture. Whereas it seems unfortunate that such blatant sexism was ever normalized and legalized in any ancient society, it is surely a shame that such thinking has been incorporated into any aspect of modern, civilized society.

(Next: “Misogyny In The Law Of Moses: The Patriarchal Rule Of The Father”)

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Misogyny In The Law Of Moses: Femaleness Devalued And Disdained

The society which produced biblical literature was clearly male oriented and misogynistic. The very explanation for the hardships of survival is blamed on a woman in the Hebrew Creation Myth of Genesis 3, and even the Ten Commandments relegated wives to a role equivalent to an item of personal property. The degradation of women and the double standards between the genders are each consistent and common themes within biblical writings, and the fundamental basis for each was apparently derived from an assumed inferiority of the former from the day of their very birth. Hence, the reason that misogyny and the maltreatment of women are both normalized and legalized in biblical literature is that the culture which produced such both devalued and even seems to have disdained the very concept of “femaleness”.

“The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the people of Israel, If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. 3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying; she shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. 5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days.” (Leviticus 12.1-5)

“The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the people of Israel, When a man makes a special vow of persons to the Lord at your valuation, 3 then your valuation of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 4 If the person is a female, your valuation shall be thirty shekels. 5 If the person is from five years old up to twenty years old, your valuation shall be for a male twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels. 6 If the person is from a month old up to five years old, your valuation shall be for a male five shekels of silver, and for a female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver. 7 And if the person is sixty years old and upward, then your valuation for a male shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels.” (Leviticus 27.1-7)

In the case of the laws regarding childbirth, a woman was considered unclean by the very act itself. The sexism related to such thinking is unmistakeable. The double standard regarding such is transparent and hypocritical. The very notion that a woman is impregnated by a man, and then is regarded as unclean when she delivers the product of the impregnation defies logic and sensitivity. Furthermore, to compound the insult, if a woman delivers a female baby then she is regarded as being twice as unclean. The double standard of such legalized misogyny clearly indicates a disdain for the very concept of femaleness in general.

Then, in a case of put your money where your misogyny is, the laws regarding the value of one’s very being assessed females at a fraction of the worth of a man. The blatant bigotry of male superiority (and thus female inferiority) as written into the laws regarding valuation sacrifices reveal the depth of the feelings which the ancient Hebrew culture which produced the Old Testament had for femaleness in general. Females were thought of as less than worthy in that male dominated society, and hence women were regarded as mere private property of men (cf Exodus 20.17).

That such double standards and degradation of women were ever normalized to the point of being legalized in any culture is a shame and a pity. But then to realize that many contemporary cultures view biblical literature as a social template with regards to patriarchal rule and female subjugation, and the concerns are compounded to the extent that the influences of such should be regarded as ill advised.

(NOTE: All biblical citations are Revised Standard Version; Biblegateway.com)

Next: “Misogyny In The Law Of Moses: The Male Right To Veto The Vow”

Misogyny In The Ten Commandments

The society which produced biblical literature was male oriented and misogynistic as to their thinking. Although most ancient cultures envisioned female deities in their tales and myths, the Hebrew world which produced the Old Testament usually identified God as a singular, male being. One particular Hebrew Creation Myth explains patriarchal rule as the divine order. It seems that once upon a time there was a woman who ate fruit from a tree which had been labeled as off limits by her male God. Naturally, as the narrative explained, that wanton act of rebellion subjected that particular woman to a life of patriarchal rule. Over the course of time, the basic interpretation of that myth became “what’s good enough for Adam is good enough for me”, hence all women of the ancient Hebrew culture were subjected to that same treatment. Thus, Eve’s punishment came to be regarded as a divine order of sorts. More reasonably, the writer responsible for the myth itself probably revealed the actual male oriented values of his day by way of this creative tale.

In fact, the ancient Hebrew culture which produced the biblical literature known as the Old
Testament was so male oriented that misogyny and the maltreatment of women were both normalized and legalized. Indeed, the hallowed Ten Commandments themselves were by no means exempt from the sexism which so characterized ancient Hebrew ideology:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20.17)

For this Tenth Commandment clearly documents that which so many Old Testament passages and accounts confirm; namely that the women of that society were regarded as mere male property. In other words, every good Hebrew male was lawfully bound to have the respect to refrain himself from coveting a fellow male’s personal possessions, among which included his wife.

This patriarchal dictate then was somewhat of a good old boys code of ethical conduct, yet there is no wording within the passage which would bind women to show the same respect to each other with relationship to their husbands. Thus, there was a loophole in this sexist commandment which allowed husbands to freely consort with concubines and prostitutes, but which certainly permitted no such liberties to wives.

The degradation of women and the double standard for men so dictated by this Tenth Commandment are clear indicators that the society which produced biblical literature both normalized and legalized misogyny and sexism. It is my personal view that ancient patriarchal standards should be left to the past, and that it is furthermore a shame that such were ever normalized and legalized in any setting.

(Next: “Females A Fraction Of The Worth, Yet Twice As Unclean”)

Misogyny In The Myth Of Sodom And Gomorrah

The Sodom and Gomorrah myth appears to have been a doublet, that is a story which is recorded twice in two different contexts in biblical literature. Each account entails out of town strangers being lodged by a hospitable host, only in turn to be subjected to the threat of gang rape. Such was averted in the Sodom and Gomorrah myth, though unfortunately not so in the lesser known doublet. These tales are representative of the vile and violent culture within which they were written, and likewise reflect commonplace bigotries of the day such as homophobia and misogyny.

As is the case with doublets in the Bible, there are certainly distinctions between these two narratives. The one takes place in Sodom; whereas the setting of the other was in Gibeah. The Sodom myth involves two males traveling together; whereas the Gibeah myth cites a man and his concubine (there is a passing mention of a male servant, yet his role in the tale was evidently too insignificant for further reference). The hospitable host in the Sodom myth has two daughters; whereas in the Gibeah myth only one daughter is mentioned. The Sodom myth was the pretext for the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; whereas the Gibeah myth was the pretext for civil war against the Benjamite tribe of Israel. Indeed, there are distinctions between these two mythical tales, yet there are certain common elements as well.

In each of the two myths at hand, out of town travelers find lodging with admittedly hospitable individuals. Unfortunately, in each case there are groups of men who gather around the abode of the hospitable host, demanding to have sex with the male strangers therein. Inexplicably, in each case the hospitable host offers to send his daughters out to be gangraped in the place of the coveted male strangers. Although in neither case are the daughters actually sent out, the concubine of the Gibeah narrative was forced outside to the fate of an all night mass molestation, which lead to her subsequent death.

These two tales reveal specific cultural bigotries of the day. Each narrative stereotypes homosexuals as sexual predators, while at the same time each normalized misogyny. The fact that the group of sexual deviants wanted to gangrape those of their same gender paints homosexuality in an exclusively negative light. This is a transparent glimpse of the worldview of ancient Hebrew values. Additionally, the fact that modern day Homophobes often cite the Sodom myth as an authoritative source to justify their bigotry illustrates the detrimental effects of incorporating the values of ancient male oriented cultures into contemporary societies.

The fact that the hospitable host in each respective narrative offers to send his daughters out to be gangraped in order to protect his male guests blatantly normalizes misogyny. To add insult to the circumstances of a daughter being offered by her own Father to be gangraped is the fact that Lot, the Father in the Sodom myth, is described as a “righteous” man in New Testament biblical writings. To describe a Father who was willing to offer his own daughters to be the victim of a gangrape as being a “righteous” man trivializes women, a circumstance which was evidently commonplace in the ancient Hebrew world from which the Old Testament was produced.

As if the later biblical assessment of Lot is not insulting enough to women, consider the literary maltreatment of Lot’s wife in the course of time. Whereas Lot, in spite of offering his own daughters to be gangraped, is referred to in the New Testament as being righteous, his poor wife was murdered and then utilized in the later biblical writings as a bad example, merely because she looked back. To put this in context, the day after having to endure the emotional stress of having her husband offer to allow their daughters to be gangraped, this poor woman was murdered because she looked back. Because she looked back!

The double standard applied to the memory of Lot’s wife in later biblical writings, as contrasted to how Lot is memorialized, is the epitome of shameless sexism and misogyny. The degrading comment “Remember Lot’s wife” memorializes her as a bad example; whereas the memory of “righteous Lot” white washes the memory of a Father who was such a misogynist that he would offer his own daughters to be gangraped in order to save face and protect his male friends.

The mythical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed a case in point as to the detrimental effects of incorporating the ancient values of the male dominated Hebrew culture into modern society.

(NEXT: “The Misogyny Of Moses”)

Misogyny In The Creation Myths

Normalized misogyny and patriarchal rule are clear and consistent themes throughout biblical literature. The fact that the history of Western Civilization has traditionally reflected these same core values seems by no means coincidental. For so long as the template for social order in modern society involves a literal interpretation of the ancient myths of a male dominated culture, then we shall embrace the same bigotries which are recorded therein.

Indeed, the fundamental basis for patriarchal rule was introduced in the opening chapter of the Bible when God is identified as an exclusive and male entity. Despite the fact that the Creation Mythicist exposed the original generic perception of polytheism in Genesis 1.26 (“let us make man in our image”); nonetheless the later perception of a monotheistic deity prevails throughout both Creation myths as recorded in the Bible. And by identifying that God as exclusively male, the Creation Mythicists disenfranchised all women from any sense of equality with men, and relegated them to the status of second rate beings and insignificant consorts to their patriarchal rulers. Such was certainly the conclusion of the Garden Creation Myth, which may very well have been patched into the text immediately following the preceding Creation Myth to serve that very purpose.

For by blending these two Hebrew Creation Myths so as to read as one narrative, then such a reading leaves the false impression that the only reason the earth is not a blissful utopia is due to the fact that a woman named Eve ate an unidentified piece of fruit in a garden called Eden. In fact whereas the first Creation Myth concludes that all which God (the male figure) had made was good, the Garden Myth closes with Adam and his consort Eve banished from Eden, and cursed to a life of struggles and suffering due to Eve’s decision to partake of the forbidden fruit.

The degree of blame cast upon Eve was clearly irrational, and her punishment was likewise disproportionate to the deed, but such is commonplace throughout biblical literature. For whereas Eve became the scapegoat for all suffering and was sentenced to the lifelong rule of Adam simply because she ate a piece of fruit, Lot’s wife was killed simply because she looked back. For that matter, any newlywed wife who displeased her husband in bed was publicly shamed and stoned to death at her father’s doorstep, unless of course she could prove she was a virgin when she wed. Indeed, biblical literature reveals a male dominated culture in which women were subjected to double standards and were constantly vulnerable to the rash whims of the patriarchs in their lives.

In fact, the Hebrew culture was so male dominated, that patriarchal rule was regarded as natural for a woman to endure as were the pains she experienced while delivering children. This disturbing perspective derives from a literal interpretation of Eve’s punishment for eating the forbidden fruit as recorded in the Garden Myth. The case for a patriarchal order was ironically even further established as God punished Adam, for his indictment was that he listened to Eve, and thus partook of the forbidden fruit himself. The implication of course being that had he been a strong Patriarch and ignored the foolish woman that he would have remained blameless in the matter. It is somewhat ironic that Eve’s punishment was that she had to live under the rule of a man, even though that same man was chastised for his lack of leadership.

It is of course quite evident that these Myths merely reveal the culture and the worldviews of their respective writers, but therein lies the danger of interpreting these tales literally. For as hard as it is to conceive, even now in the 21st Century, there is still a sizeable demographic who maintain that the man is the natural head of the woman, and that the woman is therefore duty bound to subject herself to the rule of man. There is of course no natural basis for such a theory, which is why the Garden Myth is so significant to patriarchal thinkers. For without the Garden Myth to authorize patriarchal order, then there is no justification for male domination in any culture.

The manifestation of misogyny in the modern world ranges from the subtle conditioning of male dominance as a matter of church doctrine and personal faith, to celebrated males feeling entitled to verbally and sexually assault women, to the systemic oppression of double standards and intrusive dictates into the personal lives of women in general. Clearly, the influence of ancient male dominated Hebraic values as introduced into and forced upon modern society has lead to social discord in the way of defiant resistance from women who have chosen to become liberated from social convention and antiquated bigotry in our contemporary setting. And rightly so.

It is my personal view that until such time that Western society can mature past a dependency upon ancient Hebrew myths as a standard bearer for moral values and social order, that we will be doomed as a matter of our own making to live by the dictates of antiquated sexist values in the modern world.

(NEXT: “Misogyny In The Myth of Sodom and Gomorrah”)

Patriarchy In The Bible

It is my view that Patriarchy is the most fundamental of all illegitimate forms of authority. As the family is most likely the original organized collective in the history of humanity, then the concept of male rule would seem to have developed in that very context. Then, by the time societies had developed into municipalities and conceived of the ideology of monotheism, misogyny appears to have become both normalized and legalized. At least such was the case for certain cultures, namely the ancient Hebrews. For although the origin of sexist ideology is uncertain, the concept was clearly embedded into the Hebrew culture by the time their Bible was written some 2800 years ago.

In fact, from the opening Creation myths to the final apocalyptic assertions, sexism and misogyny are presented throughout biblical literature as normal and acceptable. Misogyny within the Hebrew Bible ranged from conditioning and commanding women to accept a subjective and submissive role towards the man, to the legalized maltreatment and merciless murder of women.

In the light of the import of such archaic values into modern society, and the detrimental influence of such even to this day, I am embarking upon a personal study and written assessment of the topic of Misogyny in the Bible. It is neither my intent to attack any of the three monotheistic faiths whose doctrines developed from the Hebrew Bible (aka Old Testament), nor to malign the Bible itself, but rather to assess such from a secular, sensible, and hopefully sensitive point of view. In so doing, I shall endeavor to be as fair to the original writers and to people of faith as I am fervent in subjecting the archaic ideology and illegitimate authority of Patriarchy to a rational and critical assessment.

(NEXT: “Misogyny in the Hebrew Creation Myths”)

Misogyny and Myth: Genesis 19

There is a Bible story that has always bothered me, and it was one of the stories that lead to my doubts regarding both the validity of the story itself (as fact; it works fine as a myth, though still a myth with lousy values), and regarding the values which the story teaches (reveals the sexist thinking of that day and time). The story I refer to is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, as recorded in Gen 19. Among my issues with this story:

1. As a father of a daughter, I have always found this story disturbing. Lot, who is later referred to as “righteous” in the NT; offers his daughters to be gang raped. That REALLY bothers me. How can any decent father offer his daughters to be gang raped; and to protect two perfect strangers at that? Horrible values taught here.

2. The very next day, “Lot’s wife” is murdered by God on the spot; for the sin of looking back. Okay, so firstly: Why is Lot’s wife not named? And secondly: Why kill her for merely looking back; and yet never say a word to Lot about offering his daughters to be gang raped? (Daughters also not named. Very bothersome).

3. THEN; after their mother is murdered by God, Lot’s two daughters are so concerned about their father’s progeny, that they get him drunk and have sex with him. Where is the grief for their mother? And why be so concerned about father’s progeny, when he had offered them to be gang raped?

Conclusion:

This story reveals itself to be mythical and misogynistic. I regard the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot and his family; as a horrible story which totally disregards women as mere commodities; and is clearly patriarchal and sexist.

The lesson to be learned in my judgment from this story is that we should be cautious about forming our values based upon the writings of ancient Hebrew myths. Our natural sense of compassion, kindness, and fair play will guide us to be a better person than sexist material such as Genesis 19.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

All Suffering Is Our Own Fault

Six days of Creation,
So the human tragedy commenced.
All suffering is our own fault,
So we have been convinced.

God soon came to realize,
That creating humanity was a mistake.
So he murdered all the bad people,
In order for a new humanity to make.

There were many innocents who suffered,
God drowned children, and all the babies.
But all suffering is our own fault,
No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes.

The perverts of Sodom,
At the door they came a knockin’.
Hey Lot, send out those two men,
And let’s get this party a rockin’.

But righteous Lot, he was a cool one,
He did not for a moment lose his head.
Said, please do not do this terrible thing,
Here, rape my two daughters instead.

But God would not allow these two virgins,
To lose their virginity at this time.
So the overzealous perverts,
Right then and there went blind.

Then God told righteous Lot,
And Lot’s wife, ole what’s her name,
To get the hell out of that place,
Said I’m serious son, this ain’t no game.

Gonna torch this sinful city,
Rain down fire and brimstone.
Don’t even look back,
Time to just BE GONE!!

But ole what’s her name,
You know, righteous Lot’s wife.
That sinful woman looked back!
So, God took her life.

Made an example of her,
Turned her into a pillar of salt.
We don’t know her name,
But “Remember Lot’s wife” we ought.

All the people of 60 cities,
Were killed, not a single person survived,
This pleased God you know,
Call it righteous genocide.

Besides, you cannot blame God,
When children and babies are murdered.
All suffering is our own fault,
No need to rationalize further.

Just like when Joshua’s men,
Killed children and babies with the sword.
All suffering is our own fault,
This we know from God’s word.

And those Midianite virgins,
Who Moses allowed to be taken as sex slaves.
Their parents and brothers Moses had murdered,
Because God did not like how they behaved.

But you cannot blame God,
When virgins are raped and sinners are murdered.
All suffering is our own fault,
No need to rationalize further.

Phineas understood how God grieves,
When a mixed marriage takes place.
So he murdered them both with a spear,
To keep pure their religion and their race.

Its a bummer when bad things happen,
Babies drowned and slaughtered and .killed.
But all suffering is our own fault,
Even when it’s in accord with God’s will.

Six days of Creation,
So the human tragedy commenced.
All suffering is our own fault,
So we have been convinced.

Dave Henderson

On Moral Codes

It seems to me that moral codes are so subjective.

 

Ironically, those who oftentimes claim to follow objective truths are in reality acknowledging codes which are somewhat reflective of their own respective cultures.  Consequently, a given culture’s subjective preferences and prejudices become that society’s comfort zone based upon a process of continuous collective conditioning.

 

For example, Fundamentalist Christianity is a reflection of the southern American culture, hence southern fundamentalist Christians tend to interpret the Bible through a prism of their cultural perspectives.

 

Likewise, fundamentalist Islam is a reflection of the cultural perspectives of the people indigenous to the areas of the origin and subsequent influence of the Muslim faith.

 

Some of the values of Fundamentalist Christians, who reference the Bible as the source of their standards are similar to those values of Muslims who trust their preferred moral code book of choice, that of course being the Koran.  Then again, some standards of each respective religion differ. Yet in each case, Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims claim that their respective scriptures are an objective source, which in the minds of each constitutes objective standards for all peoples of all times.

 

Yet the very act of referencing one’s cultural religious text book in order to establish a moral code manifests the subjective nature of the very process itself.  Each favors the book of their own respective culture, hence they make a subjective decision based upon a seemingly number of subjective factors.

 

The reason that many Christians are Christians is because Christianity is the product of  collective conditioning which in turn has developed into a cultural comfort zone.  Likewise, the prevailing religion of any other culture is subject to the same process of reasoning and development.

 

Thus any given culture’s religious stories and standards quite naturally become the faith and moral codes of that respective society.  Hence, social standards which are assumed to be objective are in reality merely subjective standards which are derived from any given culture’s historic collective conditioning.

 

Case in point, the homophobic tendencies of both Fundamentalist Christians and the Muslim communities are based upon the subjective standards which were written by homophobic peoples of the past.  Those homophobic writings then have come to be regarded as objective standards for people who even more than two millenniums later still consider such writings as sacred truths.

 

Hence, a process of collective conditioning gives rise to generational and cultural standards which are actually subjective codes; yet are regarded as objective standards by those who believe that such standards are some form of sacred scriptures.

 

Similarly, the misogynistic and racist tendencies of the past are established as the standards of contemporary conservative societies based upon the belief that the writings that document such ideologies are sacred scriptures.  Thus once again, subjective prejudices of the past are regarded as objective standards today due to the continuing collective conditioning that writings of the past constitute objective moral standards for all peoples of all times.

 

Indeed, contemporary moral codes which are considered as objective standards for all peoples of all times, are all too oftentimes merely the comfort zone of those who have been collectively conditioned to revive antiquated preferences and prejudices.

 
At least such is my admittedly subjective perspective on the matter.

Playing God and Real World Issues

As a general rule, I refrain from offering my opinions of issues related to women’s health. Frankly, my ignorance as to such simply embarasses me.  Even more embarrassing is to hear those of my own gender speak flippantly and with presumptive authority as to matters which quite frankly do not concern we males.  Until such time as I suffer the natural physical hardships which burden the female community, I simply do not feel qualified to opine regarding issues so involved.  However, I do feel inclined and somewhat obligated to speak out when representatives of my own gender take it upon themselves to share a patriarchal perspective which is critical and judgmental of decisions made by women related specifically to feminine issues.  More to the point, I have in mind at the moment Arkansas’ own Public Preacher/Politician/Patriarchal Commentator; Mike Huckabee.

It seems that the good Reverend has decided that when a woman chooses to abort a pregnancy she is thereby “playing God”.  Now his private opinion as to such matters is his right, but his public proclamation as to such merely exposes his ignorance and insults the intelligence of free thinkers in general.  To coin a southern colloquialism, this is a matter of “the pot calling the kettle black”.  It is in fact Mr Huckabee specifically and the religious community in general who “play God”.  Whereas I admittedly feel somewhat uncomfortable discussing feminine issues due to my ignorance of such matters, “playing God” is a practice with which I am all too familiar.  As one who was for many years a very involved practicing Christian, I know all too well the experiences of “playing God”.

People of all religious types “play God”.  Some play “Jehovah God”, some play “Allah God”, while others play “Elohim God”.  Some even enhance the experience by playing “Jesus God” and “Holy Spirit  God”. Now although I have left the Christian community, and reasoned my way to Secular Humanism, I nonetheless continue to fully support the right of Mr Huckabee and the entire religious community to “play God” as they will; yet in PRIVATE.  In a free society, people should and must have the freedom to practice religion as they so choose.  Yet whether folks play “Jehovah God”, “Beelshebub God”, “Assher God”, “Ra the Sun God God”, or “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster God”, regardless any and all such “play God” experiences are exclusively a PRIVATE right, and simply must remain so if we are to legitimately be a free society.

Frankly speaking, there is no place for religious theories in discussions of real world consequences.  The stakes of real world issues are simply too high for intelligent beings to be burdened with the introduction of unconfirmed theories and ancient myths into the discussion.  The Mike Huckabees of the world are completely entitled to their personal practices and beliefs, yet an intelligent society simply must sift reality from fiction in order to function in accord with natural human intelligence and with respect to actual human rights.

If Mike Huckabee wishes to look to his beloved Jehovah as the source of all life, such is his prerogative.  If Mike Huckabee wishes to regard Jehovah as the reason abortion is wrong, in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah drowned innocent children (so much for the “all loving” nature of God) because people did not turn out the way he wanted them to (so much for the “all knowing” nature of God); and in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah promoted the mutilation of innocent babies who were born of a certain lineage (Hosea 13:16 for the curious); then such is his prerogative.  But an intelligent and free society simply must distinguish between fact and fairy tale when addressing real world issues.

As to those who are inclined to go the way of the Mike Huckabees of the world, I will ALWAYS defend their right to “play God” in private.  Yet, the freedom of religion NEVER gives Religionists the right “play God” in public.

As to men who are inclined to opine regarding a woman’s rights as to her personal health and choices, I recommend that we males enjoy our natural qualities such as facial hair and deep voices, and leave the female gender to deal with their own bodies and choices as they deem reasonable.