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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."
and women's reproductive functions:
|"[woe] unto them that are with child"|
|Mary is unclean after birth of Jesus|
|You cannot be Jesus's disciple unless you|
hate your mother, father, and family
|Better chance to get to heaven if you don't marry|
|Man is the head of the woman; only man|
is in the image and glory of God
|Women, keep in silence; may only learn from husbands|
More "Wives, submit yourselves..."
I Timothy 2:9
Women adorn yourselves in shamefacedness
Women should learn in silence in all subjection;
Women will not die in childbirth if they
I Peter 3:17
Women should talk to husbands in fear
Woman created from Adam's rib
"In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children."
Women who have sons are unclean 7 days
Women who have daughters are unclean 14 days
Menstrual periods are unclean
Unpassable adulteress test encourages
"Virgins" are war booty
Unmarried rape victim must marry her rapist
Men can divorce women on the spot
Delicate women will be forced to eat their children
I Samuel 21:4-5
Men are holy if they stay away from women
"Who can bring a clean thing out of
"In sin did my mother conceive me"
"their wives [shall be] ravished"
"Their infants shall be dashed in pieces and
The Bible mandates child abuse:
"If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son...
"A bastard shall not enter into the congregation
"And as [Elijah] was going up by the way, there
"The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil:
"Chasten thy son while there is hope, and
"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but
"Withhold not correction from the child: for if
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but
"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child
"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to
"Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth
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.
The 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.
PO Box 750
Madison, WI 53701
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