Amerika

Christianity and women (Wielant Hopfner)

Christianity and Women


In pondering the relation of a religion to nature, we must also investigate its attitudes towards women. For our forefathers, the vessel and nourisher of life was held in very high esteem, considered equal, a peer. Roman and christian contemporaries of our forefathers remarked with astonishment that we considered women as equal with men. Older women, those beyond child-bearing years, were especially highly praised, often viewed as prophets.

Their place of honor at an assembly was attractively adorned. The German expression of this place of honor was ‘die im Hag Sitzende’ (one who sits in a special enclosure); As an example of how the christians twisted and destroyed our customs, this phrase gradually found its way into the English-speaking world; hence the derogative expression for old women: old hags .

With the domination of christianity, the old beliefs were changed. Women, according to Paul, should not say anything in the community, they should shut up! Woman was the source of sin and a piece of impure dirt. At the Council of Nicea the christians actually discussed with all seriousness whether women were people or animals! At the Synod of Macon, Burgundy, it was determined that women were animals (Oct 23, 585). The churchfathers Ambrose, Augustine and John Chrysostomus maintained that women are subhumans created only to serve man. Thomas Aquinas, named by the church as its primary teacher, preached that women are men that did not fully get formed! Girl babies were considered so unlucky that the church went through all sorts of philosophical contortions to explain how such ‘mistakes’ could happen: mal-formed male sperm, defects in the womb, damp south winds, too much rain (women hold more water than men). The highly appreciated ‘Hag’ of the Germans evolved into the witch of modern day christianity. And witches, of course, had to be burned at the stake… one million alone in the 17th century. In the 18th century a Swedish protestant bishop, Troilus, lamented that his flock was not active enough in persecuting witches. As recently as 1910 the Roman Catholic Church’s Canon Code permitted a husband to starve, beat, bind and lock up his wife (’til death do us part, presumably).

The act of love was viewed by the churchfather Augustine as abominable, devilish, disgusting passion, corruption; Bonaventure, another churchfather, said loving stinks. Bernhard of Clairvaux claimed that people who had intercourse descended to depths lower than swine. For almost 2000 years the church has constantly condemned marriage, holding up as models eunuchs such as Origines and Tertullian rather than married men.

The idea of using women as things to sell like cattle is an eastern implant, one foreign to western people. Yet the Religion of Love grafted this horrendous practice onto the western scene.

Of course the church did make one exception, the so called Mother of God. This Mary was given as a model for females.

In 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Doctrine that Mary was literally taken up to heaven after she died. Of course, he never remarked about why she had to die in the first place. And why is it that no man has been so privileged? Is it because more women than men go to church? Seeing how the church has oppressed women over the past 2000 years it is a little easier to sympathize with many of the goals of the current ‘Women’s Liberation Movement’.

Wielant Hopfner, MD


» Christianity – Nature – Nordic Religion

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