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Atheism has done little for women’s dignity

That’s the point Tony Blair should have made in his debate with Christopher Hitchens

By on Monday, 13 December 2010

Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens at the Munk debate last month (Photo courtesy of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation)

Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens at the Munk debate last month (Photo courtesy of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation)

I happened to listen to the repeat of the Blair/Hitchens debate in Toronto on the theme “Religion is a force for good in the world” on Radio 4 at 8pm on Saturday. This subject has probably been done to death but I make no apologies for my own pennyworth.

Christopher Hitchens, despite his debility, was on form, proving that if the devil does not always have the best arguments, he often has the best tunes. It is always easier to attack than to defend and Hitchens made the most of this psychological advantage. Tony Blair, the “people’s ex-premier”, appeared a little hesitant, emotional and repetitive by comparison. It struck me that the two men have reversed roles: Hitchens began life as a serious journalist of the Left but over the years has become an entertainer; all those public platforms have tempted him to use his sharp intellect to roll out the witty rhetoric and play for applause (and he got a lot of it in Toronto). Our Tony, on the other hand, started life as a long-haired entertainer (remember those photos of him at Oxford with his pop group?) but has gradually become more serious as he has grown older.

I thought there was one point where Blair could have got underneath his opponent’s hard carapace: when Hitchens attacked religion for doing nothing for women’s dignity. The way to bring about “the empowerment of women” was to take them off “the animal cycle of reproduction”, he stated. He also mentioned “clerics” who stood in the way of women bettering themselves. Blair had a golden opportunity here to go on the attack: what had atheism to offer women but ever easier “reproductive rights” – ie ever easier access to contraception and abortion? What had the most atheistic society in the world, China, done for women’s dignity in enforcing their “one-child” policy?

In thinking of the arguments that Blair didn’t make here, I was reminded of the testimony of Steven Mosher, one-time student of social anthropology at Stanford University and an unthinking atheist and supporter of “women’s liberation” like everyone else around him. As part of his research he went to China in the 1980s where he got on well with the local Communist committee and was invited to witness a forced late-term abortion. I won’t describe what he saw, merely the electric effect it had on him: in the space of a few minutes he went from an insouciant attitude of “abortion is a women’s right” to being profoundly and unhesitatingly pro-life. (His atheism began to fall apart later, when he got to know pro-life workers in the US who were almost all Christians; now a devout Catholic and father of eight, he works full time for Human Life International.)

If Blair had engaged passionately at this juncture in the debate, showing how Christianity has always defended women’s dignity, no more so than in this atheistic era, he might, as I have said, have knocked Hitchens off his contemptuous perch, at least for a short while. But he didn’t and he couldn’t. Why? Because throughout his parliamentary career and after, he has always taken the line that “I don’t personally like the idea of abortion but women must have the right to choose”. His voting record on pro-life issues is clear. He is a compromised man – and the opportunity was lost.

  • Rilius

    I find this at least ridiculous. An argument which tries to put the catholic church as defender of female dignity?! I suppose an argument can be made about anything. Even hitler (a catholic) had an argument that justified his atrocities, but I think this is to much. This is sickening.

  • paulsays

    Atheism is simply non-belief in any form of a supernatural. It does not determine whether one is left or right wing, or whether one supports womans reproductive rights or not.

    Hitchens himself in supporting the war in Iraq is right-wing on foreign policy, he has described himself as 'pro-life' and agrees with the concept of the 'unborn child', on issues of domestic policy he is generally left wing, promoting public services and higher tax rates for the much better off in society.

    Blair couldn't have won with your proposed argument as Hitchens would have only agreed with him.

  • tbb

    In other news: not beating your wife has done little for women's dignity. Atheism is not a tool for increasing female dignity – there's another ism for that purpose… but atheism in itself has nothing to do with things such as a woman's right to choose. In Judaic religions however, such topics are covered in a manner much less favourable for women.

    Mosher's testimony doesn't carry much weight, by the way. If a “forced late abortion” makes him abandon his support for a woman's right to choose… let's just politely say that there's a certain lack of logic in that.

    And everyone debating Hitchens should know that not only does Christopher have the ability to not only point out the flaws in your logic, he will also do it in a most entertaining way…

  • Pluto Animus

    “What had the most atheistic society in the world, China, done for women’s dignity in enforcing their “one-child” policy?”

    Ah, yet another Christian too stupid to understand Communism or how it works. Charming.

    “What had atheism to offer women but ever easier “reproductive rights”?”

    So, when the Catholic Church denies women their reproductive rights, it is advancing their dignity? I suppose if you indulge in idiotic fantasies about magical, invisible friends and think like a small child, then that must make sense.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Christopher Hitchens may be entertaining but if his documentary on Mother Teresa is anything to go by, he's a devious, dishonest man. His Christian name, which means “Christ-bearer” must really irk him. I wonder why he doesn't change it by deed poll?

    Tony Blair is, in fact, an atheist himself. His nominal profession of religious belief should not fool anyone. He should never have been accepted into the Catholic Church. Had he approached a traditional priest, he'd have been brought to see that without publicly retracting his several heretical beliefs and repenting of his promotion of, e.g. homosexual rights (he said he gave a little hop and a skip when he heard of the first Civil Partnership) he could not possibly be received into the Catholic Church.

    His voting record on moral issues such as abortion, as the blog author indicates, is abysmal and although little Leo Blair was not going to be sacrificed (Cherie refused all tests for abnormality etc. because there was no question of an abortion for her baby) the rest of the unborn children in the UK were left to t he mercies of the anti-baby brigade.

    So, I've absolutely no time for Tony Blair and his dissenting “Catholic” wife.

    The reason he was hesitant and seemed unsure of his ground in the debate, re. women's dignity, is probably because his own wife (and no doubt his other female relatives) is a radical feminist, pro women's ordination etc. His hesitance will have stemmed from the inner knowlege that not all is right, that he's missed something and doesn't quite know what it is.

    As (atheist) George Bernard Shaw once said: “It is difficult, if not impossible for men to think differently from the fashion of the age in which they live.” Of course Shaw had sufficient intelligence to know that by “men” the pre-politcial correctness generations understood “men and women.” Somehow “humankind” doesn't have the same ring to it. What “kind” is like “humans”?

    In any event, it is this slavish adherence to popular thinking, to the idiocies of political correctness, that unites Hitchens and Blair. They're two sides of the same coin. Both worldly men, unable to think any more deeply than their last soundbite.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Listen, men are dragged out of the workplace to murder their new born baby, if they've broken the diabolical Chinese law against having more than one child.

    Name any Catholic priest, bishop or lay person who has ever, in any way, violated an individual to force them to do ANYTHING – from attending Sunday Mass to buying birth control pills?

    It is very interesting to notice how angry the atheists on these blogs become at the slightest challenge to their beliefs. Very angry and abusive. Find any comment on any of the Catholic Herald blogs that describes any atheist as “stupid” or “idiotic” as you have described Christians.

    I mean, I'm not your average Christian. I can be a very nasty girl. I would gladly call you an idiot, ignorant, stupid, whatever takes my fancy, but, Pluto Animus, it wouldn't be charitable. So I won't,

  • Wbthacker

    It's a real laugh to hear Catholics, of all people, saying someone hasn't done enough for women's dignity.

    Maybe you could get a quote from a female Pope or Cardinal in support. Oh, I forgot, there aren't any. We'll have to settle for a female priest. Oh, wait… there aren't any.

    The church's reverence of Mary illustrates the Catholic church's ideal of the perfect, dignified woman, and there are only two requirements: She must be a virgin, and a mother.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Well, Rilius, you carefully don't say whether or not you are female. I am. And I am very glad indeed to be a Catholic woman and not a Harriet Harman Think-A-Like. Shudder.

    The ignorant embracing of radical feminist principles in our society has resulted in the majority of women being forced to work and to put their children (once they decide it's time to have their 2.5 token bairns) into the care of some total stranger to feed and raise for them – and having to pay them for the privilege, while they are pushing daft bits of paper around an office – YUCKS! You think this is women being treated with dignity? Motherhood treated as some kind of second class occupation for the brain-dead?

    Well, this woman disagrees. Any teacher will tell you (several have told me, recently) that the most spoilt brats of all are those with “career” mothers, who care more about their silly jobs than about their children. And that's not to even consider the many women who get so focussed on their daft careers that they put off having children until it is too late. Then they want surrogates to carry a child for them or submit themselves to degrading IVF treatment. You really think modern women are treated (or behave) with dignity? Have you seen any women recently, both in workplace and at leisure, with low cut tops showing their breasts? I always make a point of staring, and I am just willing one of these immodestly clad women to ask me why. I'll then tell her that if she doesn't want people to stare at her breasts, then cover them up. The signal is clearly “look at me, look here.” Ugly cleavage, of of the clearest signs of women WITHOUT any sense of the dignity of womanhood. All of this shameful immodesly encouraged by our Godless society which demeans women at every turn.

    The Cathoic Church, on the other hand, more than any other organisation on the face of the earth, treats women with dignity, encouraging modesty in dress and exhorting women not to allow ourselves to be exploited by men. Taking a pill to prevent conception, for the purpose of allowing women to become sex objects, promiscuous women, can only lead to unhappiness, as we see all around us. The Church protects women from that.

    Even in the Middle Ages, the Church, unlike wider society, was enabling women who wanted to found Religious Orders to do so, to run them, finance them, recruit for them, and the Church canonised women, including very young women, and pronounced several women saints to be Doctors of the Church – that is, their lives and writings were recognised as having added to the wealth of the Church's knowledge about spiritual, religious and moral matters.

    Finally, the Church has recognised a woman – Our Lady – as being “the highest honour of our race.”
    The HIGHEST honour of our race! Above any other human b eing, male or female.

    So, don't gimme “sickening” to the manifest truth that the Church defends the dignity of women. It's a fact. Live with it.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    I mistakenly clicked the “liked” button for my own post (!) thinking it was an edit button which I now see doesn not exist in this blog.

    I wanted to correct the sentence beginning “Ugly cleavage…” which should continue “one of the clearerst signs…” (instead of of, of…)

    Apologies for any confusion.

  • Matt

    China isn't even close to being the most atheistic society, in fact it ranks 37th among the least religious countries in the world with the U.S. close behind at 44th.

  • http://nosacredc0w.wordpress.com NoSacredCow

    Catholic Apologia really takes spin to a higher level above all other christian apology.
    “Atheism has done little for women’s dignity” Seriously? The starting question should be what has Catholicism done for women's dignity? They are banned from the clergy. The pope recently made a pronounncement that equaled qwomen down the level of pederasts. The liturgy states that a wife must be subservient to the husband. Yeah that's really giving women the dignity they deserve.
    Using China as an argument against atheism is really reaching. Mao used banning religion as a tool for control only. He wanted the Chinese populace to owe total allegiance to the state and this was the easiest way for him to do so. Just as catholics over the millenia used an allegiance to god to control Europe and Latin American countries. As tthe church is now trying to do in Africa.
    The Catholic doctrine of “go forth and multiply” is also contrary to the best interests of over populated nations especially where the general populace is in the lower reaches of poverty levels.
    China also allows the major religions, including catholicism, to operate as long as they are willing to pay their cut of the collection plate. They also claim the right to name their own bishops too which has the pope's holy undies in a bundle.
    So let's avoid the splinters when you have a big old log in your eye.

  • Groucho

    “Name any Catholic priest, bishop or lay person who has ever, in any way, violated an individual to force them to do ANYTHING – from attending Sunday Mass to buying birth control pills? “

    Is that a joke? Are you serious?
    Name something a Catholic Priest has forced someone to do? You mean like have sexual relations before the age of ten?

  • Tom

    Chinese law is irrelevant. The one child policy is not related to atheism in anyway at all. It's a strawman fallacy to say the least. Atheism, by definition, doesn't offer insight into womens dignity at all. The only assertion atheism makes is that there is no god and usually that is merely in response to a theistic majority. Christianity, on the other hand, can be defined by it's holy book which is full of anti women mandates and rhetoric.

  • paulsays

    It is the though that counts not the action, and you certainly are inferring what you are thinking obviously enough, please give it a rest with this pseudo veneer of civility it is quite wearing

  • paulsays

    So true, atheism is only non belief in a God, it specifies nothing else. You could be for or against any issue and remain an atheist. Christopher Hitchens for example believes abortion is wrong for example.

  • paulsays

    This is needless provocation in all honesty, lets attack doctrine or the institution in other ways rather than blows below the belt like this

  • paulsays

    fetuses are not babies, there is a distinction to be made. At some point during the pregnancy that's what they become, but it is unfair to state that all abortions are the killing of Babies as factually this is untrue.

    It is only fair you admit that there is more nuance in the abortion debate than this, only Pro-life and Pro-abortion extremists are idiotic enough to deny the entirety of the other side's argument. The silent majority in the middle are the only sane voices on this issue

  • Zee

    “Blows below the belt” – pun intended?

  • Ennab

    You say: “The Catholic doctrine of “go forth and multiply” is also contrary to the best interests of over populated nations especially where the general populace is in the lower reaches of poverty levels.”
    I smell eugenics…of course us well off people know what's best for the poor great unwashed- we're just naturally more intelligent, aren't we- lets guide them along the right path and get them murdering their posterity so they can afford a T.V.

  • justgold

    I think most people would be appalled by a late term abortion and that's why there are limits,to give China as an example is nothing more that intellectual idiocy.

  • http://nosacredc0w.wordpress.com NoSacredCow

    “I smell eugenics”
    I don't knopw what you smell but that ain't it. Educated societies naturally have lower birth rates. No eugenics involved. Preaching to the uneducated mythological nonsense is contrary to the best interests of society as a whole. Especially when they are told that birth control is a sin.
    We all know that the reason the church is against birth control is that it is far easier to breed believers than it is to convert them.

  • paulsays

    ha quite possibly!

  • paulsays

    we are not saying murder or eugenics, we are saying no to families too large to sustain themselves on their land. Either through contraception, or equally through abstinence.

    It's not 'go forth and multiply until you have a family you cannot support or feed'..

  • Satheist

    It's not provocation, it's the truth. Priests have been caught abusing and raping children across the planet. The church, which claims to be Holy, responded by covering up the facts, sometimes moving the priests to other areas where they could find new victims. The Church continues the cover up. Cardinal Law is wanted for questioning in the US but he hides in Rome.

    The author appears to be confused. You can be an atheist AND pro-life. China just happens to have a one-child policy. It has nothing to do with them being atheist.

  • http://YouMadeMeSayIt.com PhillyChief

    I'd REALLY like to know either where you live or what your husband does because if you think most women are working due to selfish vanity or feminist pressure, you're incredibly out of touch with reality. It's virtually impossible for a family to get by on just one income today, and here your church not only wants women not helping to bring in money but to be pumping out as many kids as possible. That's not just an affront to women, that's pure insanity.

    Btw, if you're staring at other women's cleavage as much as you say, I think you've got some bigger issues to work out.

  • http://twitter.com/bodley271 Ian Logan

    From where did these atheist special pleaders get the idea that atheism is no more than non-belief in God? The clue is in the 'ism'. Atheist states promote atheism, force its teaching in schools and universities, persecute, torture and kill those who are not atheists. In the case of China the atheist state consistently imprisons believers, forces women to abort their children, persecutes those who seek to defend human rights. The tens of millions of people murdered in the cultural revolution, the tens of millions of people murdered under Stalin, the millions of people murdered under Pol Pot all had this in common – they were persecuted by atheist regimes. So, Hitchens, cut out the special pleading and admit the truth: atheism is a murderous ideology.

  • PhilipH

    I would agree that Christians (like Tony Blair) are often far too defensive in debate. It's a bit like a football team with no attack – almost bound to lose. I always believe in taking the fight (debate) to the opposition – point out the dismal record of atheist regimes worldwide, ask them how they think such a complicated and remarkable universe created itself out of nothing (and don't they think the idea is a little incredible?), ask them where the laws of physics come from etc. Although I believe Christianity is eminently defensible, it doesn't hurt to spend some time in the opposition's half of the pitch.

  • junglist_grans

    - ask them how they think such a complicated and remarkable universe created itself out of nothing (and don't they think the idea is a little incredible?)

    Sure it's incredible and it amazes me every day but that doesn't mean some intelligence created everything – thast not a simpler solution but a more complex and even more incredible one. Life started from the very simple and became more and more complex. It makes sense that the universe started in the same way – to suggested that some all knowing super entity sprang into existence to then create the universe is strange and unnecessary thinking.

  • paulsays

    damn that's harsh

  • paulsays

    I fail to see how IVF is degrading, that is an unfair and arbitrary statement. Just because you find the dress sense of other women distasteful does not mean it is immoral behavior, if they want men to treat them as objects then it is their own fault dressing like that, don't trouble yourself with their personal decisions. Think about the Muslim hijab and burqa these are simply extensions of the same modesty philosophy, so we shouldn't push things too far either way, we shouldn't enforce dress styles. It may be right to encourage modest dress styles nonetheless.

    'Taking a pill to prevent conception, for the purpose of allowing women to become sex objects' – women are sexual beings also, they want sex for their own pleasure too. If it was the case they felt they were being taken advantage of, they have equal power to get a divorce today, which surely is greater empowerment for Women.

    I do disagree with a parent not being home to look after the children, and both parents working long hours. Sometimes financially this is simply the reality of things and I respect that, however when it is possible I think it is much better if one parent does not work or works part time in order to bring up and spend time with the children. For me though it could either be the mother or father.

    Contraception is a form of empowerment as it allows couples to decide at what point they want to bring up a family, which can only make for the happiest families and children as they will be chosen and not accidental.

  • louella

    I don't know what woman in their right mind would be a secular woman. They are so disrespected it's amazing. Even their husbands think it allright to heap humiliation and emotional grief upon them! No thanks!!

  • paulsays

    I agree that in honoring Mary in the way we do, and in the many Woman saints; women are certainly much more respected then might be represented to the outside world.

  • paulsays

    You are referring to communist and fascist dictatorships, some of which happened to be atheist, this was in fact so the leader could be treated as a Godlike figure and be the only attention in people.
    To claim that these dictatorships were as a result of atheism is clearly misrepresenting the facts, it was the communist revolution not the atheist revolution, it was the Nazis, not the atheists that took power in Germany.

    Hitler's own religious beliefs are disputed, he never claimed to be an atheist and the Church was not banned from Nazi Germany, far from it. Prayers were said for the Fuhrer himself and at the start of the war, the Catholic church did support Hitler. As they feared Communism (Athiests) they supported the right wing radical party. Hitler also signed a Concordant with the Catholic Church saying that their rights would be respected and that he would not interfere, as long as the Catholic Church did not speak out politically.

  • http://twitter.com/glitterx0x0 glitter

    Why are so many atheists reading the Catholic Herald? Funny.

    Anyway, Communism was explicitly atheist. Lenin even said the two could not be separated from each other.

  • Andr3w

    One could say, equally, that priests being Catholic has nothing to do with them committing acts of abuse. Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennet etc attack religion saying that it causes vast ammounts of suffering and that by removing the belief in an all-powerful, loving God this suffering would melt away. This is simply not the case as the Communist experience demonstrates. Arguing in favour of Atheism because it alleviates suffering is a logical non-starter. People will still be horrible, but for different reasons. As you say, it is possible to be an atheist and pro-life but such people are in the minority in the democratic West. There are no convincing arguments for saying that an unborn child is not human but the rights of unborn children are repeatedly denied in the ever-more secular West, perversely, under the banner of Reproductive Rights. Given the smallness of the atheist pro-life lobby I would say that, in this case, it is the lack of religion that is causeing unchecked mass-destruction of human life.

  • junglist_grans

    Why do you think women in secular societies are disrespected? ( I presume that's what you mean by the phrase secular women?) I'am pretty sure if husbands were heaping humiliation and grief onto their wifes (why on earth would they be doing that?!) then they would quickly find themselves single again.

    So your not a secular women are you an equal partner in your relationship or a subservient?

  • louella

    The reason why it is nearly impossible for a family to get by on one income only is because when effective contraception became available women joined the workforce en masse……pushing up the cos of living and creating the double income economy into which they are now trapped.

    This also has serious effects on the birthrate….since women now are no longer free to bear and rear many children….since they have to work to keep up with the double income economy they helped to create in the first place. Who would be a secular woman eh?! Catholicism is best for women….and society! Secular society is a self strangulating system.

  • PhilipH

    To say that life started out from the very simple and became more complex conveniently ignores the fact that evolution itself depends on the very finely balanced laws and constants of physics and chemistry in this universe. It is a very fragile process that would not happen if the universe were significantly different. Of course you try to can get round all this by postulating that there are infinities of universities (created by some unknown – and presumably complex mechanism) and this is one of the few that “happens” by chance to work, but to me that's just digging the problem deeper. Theism may be incredible, but so is atheism.

  • louella

    Secular women are disrespected because they are treated with contempt. Also few men want to marry them. And then these husbands heap humiliation on their wives by flirting with other women and being unfaithful.

    Of course in Catholic marriages women are treated with great respect……and adultery of any kind is absolutely forbidden. Christ ….God Made Man said so.

  • junglist_grans

    So your husband only stays faithful to you because he worries about burning in hell for all eternity (what kind of messed up entity/being/god would condemn even the very worst human being to that kind of suffering). I stay faithful to my partner through love and respect – makes more sense hey?

  • paulsays

    how many times did life fail to be created though? We never think to count that.
    That is how I rationalize a purely atheistic creation.

  • junglist_grans

    You think it's incredible that a universe created itself out of nothing but are quite happy to believe that a self aware, knowing entity created itself out of nothing and then went on to create the universe … out of nothing. That seems like a spot on case of “digging the problem deeper”

    This entity then remains totally invisible, intangible and uninvolved with the universe. Lets put the faires to one side and get on with some more realistic explanations for life the universe and everything.

  • louella

    But what if your love dwindled…….and you found a more attractive propostion in someone else. Then as an atheist you are free to up and leave!

    But as a Catholic priest once so perceptively said…….women need not only love….but security! When I heard this…..the truth of it struck me like a force.

  • junglist_grans

    I wouldn't want my partner bound to me through chains of fear (Hell), nor her to me. If our love dwindled and dislike set in then yes we'd move on – obviously. Your god would have you imprisoned in a relationship of poison and hate ? Why would he want that?

    It's a pity you have so little respect for your fellow man that you feel we can only act morally and decently through the fear of judgement and a punishment of everlsting torture and pain . Sad.

  • http://YouMadeMeSayIt.com PhillyChief

    You're actually arguing that the state of the economy is due to contraception? Seriously? I never would have imagined I'd read anything here crazier than the claim that the Catholic church champion's women's dignity, but congratulations! A tenfold increase from '57 of oil is due to the pill? Median home prices @ more than 4 times the yearly income of a family versus being half of a man's salary in '57 is due to contraception? The loss of manufacturing, growing trade deficits, outsourcing, and a host of other economic factors I assume either aren't really factors or are also due to contraception, right?

    I guess when you're willing to believe that the little cracker you eat each week is magically transformed into the flesh of a god, who is both son of your god and your god at the same time, born of a virgin who was impregnated by your god ala Zeus style to die for your sins which started when the first two humans got tricked into eating a forbidden apple by a talking snake, then you're willing to believe anything!

  • M Wenske

    Blair doesn't KNOW his faith to defend. Holy smokes, the man sure doesn't live it!

    But thanks for this article. It is Christianity that brought about the human treatment of women. In the Jewish tradition, men could divorce for ANY reason. Christianity law said that God hated divorce.

    Women were PROPERTY, and Christianity also said that women, particularly widows, were created in the image and likeness of God and deserve respect and dignity.

    BTW, Natural Family Planning, the Church's only officially allowable method to regulate births does not call for fertility at all costs. NFP is 99.4% effective, compared to the Pill at 99.6, and doesn't pump steroids into my body or cause early abortions, as the pill does.

    The Catholic Church's teachings are actually so far ahead of things its amazing.

    The birth dearth in Europe will cause their culture to collapse if they don't wake up. Thank God American women still generally aren't selfish and still have more than one kid.

  • M Wenske

    How does the Church deny women their reproductive rights, specifically?

  • paulsays

    Just because Lenin said communism was explicitly atheist doesn't mean they are one and the same. Are you suggesting their are no right-wing atheists therefore, or no moderate atheists? Nick Clegg considers himself a non believer and he is hardly Lenin is he?

  • Thedebbler

    the ignorance of the author concerning contraception and the womens liberations movement is blatant and overwhelming! Quite embarrassing! Oh dear!

  • Aido 92

    Is China the most atheistic society on earth? Most measures of religious observance actually rate Sweden as being so; ironic, as it was just attacked by a religious zealot.

    So, how exactly has Christianity, and specifically the Catholic Church, defended women's dignity over the years? By denying them equality with men? By telling them they are not fit to enter the priesthood? By trapping them in abusive marriages? By their bestial treatment in the Magadalene homes in Ireland? By consistently treating them as second class citizens and men's inferiors? By laying the blame on them before men whenever perceived immorality occurred?

    Your hypocrisy clearly knows no bounds…..