Sunday, November 22, 2015

Don't Share Our Values? Who Do They Think They're Kidding?

One of the anthems we hear from the anti-Muslim crowd is the statement in the headline above.  Don't get me wrong.  As a secular humanist, I am equally repulsed by many religious values espoused by the major religions, as expressed in their practices.  Catholics not allowing women as priests and relegating many women religious to cooking and cleaning for all male seminaries.  Many Protestant sects not allowing women clergy and relegating women to roles only of child and spousal care.  Orthodox Jews keeping women in the back of the temple and wearing wigs.  Muslims demanding women cover heads and many body parts, with arranged marriages and separating them from men in religious services.  The list goes on.

But let's take a critical look at our secular society here in America, showing tolerance for these discriminatory and absurd practices in the name of freedom of religion.  In our public realm, it took women 80 hard fought years to vote beside men.  We failed to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.  Our courts demand more child care and support of women than equally responsible men.  Paying women something like 75% of what men are paid for equal work and expertise.  Restricting women's right to choose all across the land.  Legal sexual trafficking in some States via prostitution.  Way fewer women holding public office and high level corporate positions than men.  This list goes on too, doesn't it?

Agreed, some of our practices vis a vis women are less "extreme" than stoning them for adultery, genital mutilation, totally covered bodies, no public appearance without a male escort, denying women education, bans on driving often present in standard Muslim cultures often governed by Sharia Law.

But the similarities in second class citizenship and basically legal  ownership of women are painfully close.   All I'm sayin' is let's not get on our high horse about the righteousness of our society treatment of women.  The facts do not support our self aggrandizing superiority.