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Organized Religion Inherently Sexist?

November 12, 2008 | NeW Staff

There has been a bit of buzz in the feminist blogs over a comment Justice Scalia made about a misdemeanor being “not that serious an offense” because it was in regards to a man hitting his wife. If you look at the language of the argument, it is clear that Scalia was not referring to the offense itself but the resulting ruling: by definition a misdemeanor is ‘less serious’ than a felony. If you read the exchange between Justice Scalia and the Justice Department lawyer, this is readily apparent.

I was more interested in many of the comments I read concerning Scalia’s Catholicism as teaching the inferiority of women. It is tempting to dismiss all Patriarchal religions as oppressive to women: we see Roman Catholics against contraceptives and Muslim women often having to live under more strict conditions than men. However, I would argue that Catholicism has done more for the dignity and equality of women than any movement in the history of mankind. But that is a different conversation for a different day. Right now, my question is: does anyone else feel like organized religion is an asset to women? I am best educated in Catholicism so I can’t speak for Jews, Buddhists or other faiths and I am curious how women who practice these other faiths feel about their treatment as women.

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