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I grew up a Catholic. I was one of the best Catholic girls you could ever want to meet. I was openly critical of ALL other faiths. I remember so clearly at a young age reciting the Lord’s Prayer in church and asking why we did not repeat a line that my Anglican friend used to say and I was told, “THEY don’t know the real prayer.”
Shamefully, I admit that I accepted that response as gospel and I told my friend, MY DEAR friend, that her prayer was wrong.
How hurt must she have been?
I persisted in my dogged dogmatic beliefs well into my twenties until I began to realize that ALL faiths taught the same thing and that I did not have to lambaste people about what they should believe.
The teachings from my childhood have made me a moral individual and for that I am grateful. I no longer practice anything and I consider myself a just and moral individual.
When I went to India in 1984 to get married, one of the first questions I was asked was this:
“Are you having your period?”
I was shocked and upset.
WHY was that anybody’s business?
I was told that the priest would not do the ceremony because I was unclean!!
I remember thinking, “At least the Catholics never called me unclean!”
I refused to answer that question and I refused to play the game of being bound by yet another set of rules that made NO sense to me.
Fast forward to a few years ago, a friend asked me to speak at his Hindu temple during a women’s gathering.
I knew from past experience that this sect of Hindus DID NOT allow their women in the presence of their priests. I told my friend that I would speak but he should expect me to NOT agree with the segregation.
He withdrew his invitation, which was probably a prudent thing to do on both our parts.
The quote that appears in this blog by President Jimmy Carter seems to chronicle ALL the distaste I had seen, felt and understood throughout my life from people steeped in their religious beliefs.
There is definitely a place for religion, otherwise, the system would have died away already.
BUT why do women STILL follow religions that perpetuate a bias against females?
Why do men who love their wives and daughters still follow the dogmas that are prejudiced against women?
Would these same men and women be ok with words like:
“Women can’t be doctors.”
“Women must just be housewives and bear children.”
I have no answers to these questions.
I still have the questions and they get louder in my head.
Do you hear the same questions in your head?
Love & light,