Conservatives are waging a vicious war against women across the country, and they’re using religion to do it. They say all politics begins at the local level. Apparently, the plague of sexism running rampant in GOP circles begins at church.
Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona told female churchgoers to keep their mouths shut so that the men could teach them their place according to the Bible. During his Sunday sermon, Anderson mansplained that women should be silent in church and read two sexist Bible verses.
The first verse, 1 Timothy 2:11, says “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” The second verse is 1 Corinthians 14 which reads: “Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak, as it is commanded to be under obedience as also sayeth the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is shameful for women to speak in the church.”
After reading the verses, Anderson flew into a sexist rant that included pounding his fist on the pulpit while forcefully ordering women to keep their mouths shut during “learning time.”
“Now obviously, before the service begins, there’s chatting and talking going on, that’s perfectly legitimate. When we all sing praises to God, of course the ladies should also lift up their voices. But when it’s learning time, it’s silence time. So what it’s saying is that they are to learn in silence… When the learning is going on, they are not permitted to speak. When the preaching of God’s word is taking place — and first of all, it’s not for a woman to be doing the preaching, and second of all, it’s not for women to be speaking.”
In other words, Anderson is saying that women aren’t allowed to speak up as long as the men are talking and trying to make them learn. Women apparently can’t even ask questions until they get home. Anderson even can’t handle women saying ‘amen’ during worship service and doesn’t want any woman to tell him her opinion. Why? Because he’s allegedly a man. And Anderson is the kind of “man” who believes women should be seen and not heard.
“This is why I don’t believe women should say ‘amen’ during the preaching either,” Anderson told his congregation. “Because ‘amen’ means ‘truly’ or ‘verily’ … it basically means ‘that’s true.’ So when I’m preaching and I say something that you agree with and that you believe in, and you say ‘amen,’ you’re saying ‘that’s true.’ So here’s the thing, when I’m preaching, women should not express their opinion, even if it’s a positive opinion, even if she agrees with me.”
Here’s the video via Raw Story.
Of course, as with most sexists, this isn’t the first time Anderson has opened his mouth and stuck his foot in it. Last March, he went on a misogynistic tirade during a sermon. He expressed his belief that women shouldn’t be allowed to choose what they read or what clothes to wear. He also thinks women should be banned from having sex, speaking in public, or even leaving the house.
Anderson isn’t the only so-called “man of God” to think this way. In 2012, right-wing Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson told Sean Hannity that women should be barred from voting. He called the 19th Amendment a mistake.
Other instances of the religious right’s hostility towards women includes a Christian rock band telling girls to submit to their husbands in Iowa and an assembly speaker who gave sexist dating advice to teen girls in Texas.
These incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Due to the power the Christian Right holds over the GOP, bills have been introduced and many have been passed that restricts the freedom of women. Most of these bills focus primarily on reproductive rights. “Christian” extremists want to ban contraception, outlaw abortion, and punish women for having sex. Most recently, a GOP bill was kept alive in Massachusetts that would force women to get permission from a judge to have sex. Many other anti-women legislation is popping up in states across the nation as you can see by clicking here. Furthermore, the right-wing seems to think that rape is a gift from God that women should just sit back and enjoy. You can read those sick quotes here.
Make no mistake, the anti-women movement did not begin as a platform of the GOP. It began in right-wing churches first. And as the Christian Right gained a stranglehold on the party, their beliefs about women became a centerpiece of Republican Party politics. They want to replace the Constitution with their brand of Christian law. If they had their way, women would be confined to the home and forced to submit to the will of men. Instead of being active participants and leaders in society, women would be hidden from the world. They would have no voice in governing. Their lives would be restricted to cooking, cleaning, and giving birth to all the children a man can make them have. They wouldn’t be able to say no. As long as “men” like Steven Anderson continue to exist in the world, all the progress that women have made is in jeopardy. “Christian” extremists envision an America that looks more like Iran. They are conspiring against the Constitution and the people. If they aren’t stopped, women WILL wake up one day without any rights at all. And that would be the tragedy of our time.
“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
~Susan B. Anthony
“No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.”
~Susan B. Anthony