Why Feminism and Atheism Often Go Hand in Hand
Two days in West Texas means not much keeping up with the blogs and news. (Though I have been talking lots of campaign stuff with the sole other Democrat in my family, my first cousin. He and his girlfriend have been working for the Clinton campaign around the country, so we had some interesting discussions. But not so much news-driven.) Which means more time to ponder the bigger themes in life. I found this story interesting--organized religion is in the decline in Canada, and some are laying the responsibility at the door of feminism.
I've written plenty before about how my feminism and atheism are closely entwined. Realizing that religion is used as a cheap excuse to oppress women leads to questioning the value of religion leads to realizing that the god stuff is a big fairy tale that has stayed alive because it's convenient for the powers that be to have it. Interestingly, though, this has little to do with women going through the big questions, and everything to do with the smaller details of what it takes to keep organized religion alive.
Women -- the traditional mainstays of institutional religion -- in huge numbers abruptly rejected the church's patriarchal exemplar of them as chaste, submissive "angels in the house" with all of the social and moral responsibility for community and family but none of the authority.
Unable to find acceptable religious role models or religious ideals that were not painful or oppressive, they reconstructed their identities as secular and sexual beings.
As they progressed into university graduate and professional schools and entered the work force, their horizons broadened and they discovered ways of serving that were more valuable than doing dishes and running church picnics.