The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Gender Trouble

April 3, 2004 | 80 Comments

Jason Malloy thinks it’s so obvious that women are more religious than men that my Question of the Day should have simply asked why the ladies are more pious. As I discussed last year, one researcher concluded that the reason is that women are more rational, and have more impulse control, than men. Obviously that presupposes that it’s more rational to be religious than not, a conclusion I reject.

To avoid controversy I will not follow that line of argument to its inevitable conclusion. However, are women really more religious than men? If men just want to sleep late on Sunday and bowl and fix cars and play with power tools, how come every major religious figure (Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Martin Luther, Joseph Smith, Mel Gibson, JPII, etc.) is some wild-eyed, fire-breathing man? And if women are so into the religion thing, how come so few of them ever become Catholic priests?

Comments

80 Responses to “Gender Trouble”

  1. rs
    April 4th, 2004 @ 12:58 pm

    The genders may have played a factor in the days of old, but in this day and age, I think its less of an issue. Seems to me its more about education & how you were raised. That said (and I admire you for not wanting to go here) there is no fucking way women are more rational than men. I’m not saying their less AT ALL. Point is, we all evolved from the same stupid apes & we’re all fucked for different reasons. Ain’t life grand?

  2. Christopher Rhoades D
    April 4th, 2004 @ 2:15 pm

    Yes. In the past, when patriarchal monotheism was the officially dominant ideology in societies where women’s legal and social status was formally very subordinate, piety did give them a sort of cover. A woman who was demonstratively “Christian” might stand some chance of avoiding imputations against her “honor,” which was defined as her sexual unavailability. Feminine religiosity functioned as a way for women to settle for the best available option among a lot of bad options. They tended to internalize this and become sincere believers.

    This situation is changing, as women have more options, and basically, because women’s and men’s work becomes indistinguishable.

  3. Christopher Rhoades D
    April 4th, 2004 @ 2:15 pm

    Yes. In the past, when patriarchal monotheism was the officially dominant ideology in societies where women’s legal and social status was formally very subordinate, piety did give them a sort of cover. A woman who was demonstratively “Christian” might stand some chance of avoiding imputations against her “honor,” which was defined as her sexual unavailability. Feminine religiosity functioned as a way for women to settle for the best available option among a lot of bad options. They tended to internalize this and become sincere believers.

    This situation is changing, as women have more options, and basically, because women’s and men’s work becomes indistinguishable.

  4. Christopher Rhoades D
    April 4th, 2004 @ 2:15 pm

    Yes. In the past, when patriarchal monotheism was the officially dominant ideology in societies where women’s legal and social status was formally very subordinate, piety did give them a sort of cover. A woman who was demonstratively “Christian” might stand some chance of avoiding imputations against her “honor,” which was defined as her sexual unavailability. Feminine religiosity functioned as a way for women to settle for the best available option among a lot of bad options. They tended to internalize this and become sincere believers.

    This situation is changing, as women have more options, and basically, because women’s and men’s work becomes indistinguishable.

  5. Christopher Rhoades D
    April 4th, 2004 @ 2:15 pm

    Yes. In the past, when patriarchal monotheism was the officially dominant ideology in societies where women’s legal and social status was formally very subordinate, piety did give them a sort of cover. A woman who was demonstratively “Christian” might stand some chance of avoiding imputations against her “honor,” which was defined as her sexual unavailability. Feminine religiosity functioned as a way for women to settle for the best available option among a lot of bad options. They tended to internalize this and become sincere believers.

    This situation is changing, as women have more options, and basically, because women’s and men’s work becomes indistinguishable.

  6. Christopher Rhoades D
    April 4th, 2004 @ 2:15 pm

    Yes. In the past, when patriarchal monotheism was the officially dominant ideology in societies where women’s legal and social status was formally very subordinate, piety did give them a sort of cover. A woman who was demonstratively “Christian” might stand some chance of avoiding imputations against her “honor,” which was defined as her sexual unavailability. Feminine religiosity functioned as a way for women to settle for the best available option among a lot of bad options. They tended to internalize this and become sincere believers.

    This situation is changing, as women have more options, and basically, because women’s and men’s work becomes indistinguishable.

  7. Christopher Rhoades D
    April 4th, 2004 @ 2:15 pm

    Yes. In the past, when patriarchal monotheism was the officially dominant ideology in societies where women’s legal and social status was formally very subordinate, piety did give them a sort of cover. A woman who was demonstratively “Christian” might stand some chance of avoiding imputations against her “honor,” which was defined as her sexual unavailability. Feminine religiosity functioned as a way for women to settle for the best available option among a lot of bad options. They tended to internalize this and become sincere believers.

    This situation is changing, as women have more options, and basically, because women’s and men’s work becomes indistinguishable.

  8. Kommander Killjoy
    April 4th, 2004 @ 2:41 pm

    Funny:

    Highest IQ in the world – A woman
    Who averages the highest IQ’s – Men

    I think this proves nothing. Abso-fucking-lutely NOTHING. Like the man said, we are already equal, it’s just a matter of perception. Women have to percieve themselves higher up on the ladder of equality; and men have to allow women the collective self-esteem to see their equality by giving them more credit for the stations that they are at now.

    Is it just me or is there an increase in “man only” shows on TV (The Man Show, and others) and an influx of “men’s rights” groups? No, that’s not just me, it’s happening. It’s happening for several reasons; bioligical, geographical,

    Biological: Women outnumber men somewhere around 3:1 on Spaceship Earth today. 3 completely retarded people (not women, just people) against 1 genius would result in the rocket-scientist getting his ass kicked. (*Again, this is not comparing women to men, it’s an analogy!).

    Geographical: You go anywhere in the world, a small native villige in Batswana or something, where the men usually outnumber the women, and if not then not by much; they are still treating the women like goats. It’s human nature. Or should I say chimpanzee nature. It’s horrible. Detestable. Just one of the basic human tricks that is out of our control… for now. We are, after all, just animals sitting at the head in our throans in our castles in the animal kingdom. Someday our reign might be overthrown.

  9. me oh my
    April 4th, 2004 @ 3:45 pm

    we are already equalWomen outnumber men somewhere around 3:1

    Where’s your source on this howler? Look at India and China. And the skew is only going to get worse.

  10. me oh my
    April 4th, 2004 @ 3:48 pm

    I really need to preview.

  11. Kristofer Upjohn
    April 4th, 2004 @ 4:26 pm

    Well, I don’t know who’s more religious of the two sexes but I don’t think the overwhelming presence of men on religious programming is an argument for men. You have to keep in mind that Christianity and Judaism are traditionally very patriarchal and it’s only really been in the last 50 years that women achieved a significant degree of success and acceptance as preachers and religious leaders. That accounts for the excess of men. Plus, there are plenty of kooky God women out there too. Who’s more religious? Who knows?

  12. Ilkka Kokkarinen
    April 4th, 2004 @ 7:17 pm

    I heard the religiosity of women explained that Jesus is the ultimate alpha male. Even better from the woman’s point of view, Jesus is a very exceptional alpha male in that he doesn’t require sex in exchange for his protection and favours.

  13. PurpleCar
    April 4th, 2004 @ 8:37 pm

    What’s the point, anyway, of identifying which of the sexes in our american culture are more religious? To point blame? There are differences between men and women physically. The nature/nuture debate addresses any other differences. If such a question like “Which sex [or gender] is more religious” adds to that nature/nurture debate and actually adds some insight, then it is worth pursuing.

    But it seems moot and rotten. The real question is how religiosity begins in any person, and how does it add or detract from the human condition.

  14. MLCS
    April 4th, 2004 @ 11:12 pm

    Interestingly enough, my wife is the raving atheist and I am only a lukewarm agnostic.

  15. Viole
    April 5th, 2004 @ 12:49 am

    Kevin posted another article I agree with, a few days ago, that reminds me very much of my own faith.

    When I see an atrocity, I turn away from belief in god, because I cannot imagine that a god would allow such a thing to happen. Instead of turning to bitterness and anger, though, I find solace with my lover. That such kindness exists is not proof of god, in my mind, because there are far greater acts of evil, but love gives me what I need to carry on. I know that’s rather clich

  16. melior
    April 5th, 2004 @ 12:53 am

    Ever try to find a date with an atheist girl?
    They’re scarcer than hen’s teeth.
    (Maybe it’s just true that all the good ones are taken.)

  17. Jason Malloy
    April 5th, 2004 @ 10:14 am

    “If men just want to sleep late on Sunday and bowl and fix cars and play with power tools, how come every major religious figure . . . is some wild-eyed, fire-breathing man”

    This is more of a statement on male over-representation in leadership, a phenomenon that isn’t limited to religion. Even if men were only 10% of the religious and women were 90% this is still something you might observe.

    Here’s something to ponder, according to the American Religious Identification Survey women make up 71% of Jehovah’s Witness membership, yet even in the land o’ Watchtower women are prohibited from leadership positions.

  18. markm
    April 5th, 2004 @ 12:19 pm

    “how come every major religious figure is some wild-eyed, fire-breathing man?” The first thing I think of here is Aimee Semple Macpherson, one of the first of the wild-eyed firebreathing radio preachers. (TV networks didn’t exist yet.) But she didn’t last long before some incident of alleged immorality was discovered, and widely trumpeted against her. It might have been totally justified – but the public reaction was much, much greater than you see every time some male preacher gets caught with illicit nooky.

    Americans were uncomfortable then with a woman in a leadership role. Many still are. Look at the disproportionate hatred for Hillary Clinton. Yes, she’s a g**d*****d ultra-liberal, but she draws ten times as much fire as equally prominent and liberal men like Teddy Kennedy. And Hillary never even killed anyone…

  19. Redfred
    April 5th, 2004 @ 12:37 pm

    For what it’s worth I have grown up under the leadership of Women, Queen Elizabeth II (all my life) and Margaret Thacher (from the age of 10 until 21). I can say that I had no problems with it what so ever. I didn’t agree with Thacher

  20. me oh my
    April 5th, 2004 @ 12:50 pm

    “I didn’t agree with Thacher

  21. The Serpent
    April 5th, 2004 @ 1:32 pm

    Men are 7 to 10 times more likely to commit suicide than women.

    Men are 20 times more likely to be killed by an accident than women.

    Men are 5 times more likely to be the victim of violence or assault.

    Males dominate the workforce in the 20 most dangerous jobs.

    Males are 100 times more likely to be incarcerated for Crime, and males have about the same odds over women of being on death row, or being executed by the state.

    Males also have shorter life expectancies.

    Sometimes I get the distinct impression that Males are somehow incompatible with this reality. I wonder what might cause that?

    Ahhh, it

  22. Kommander Killjoy
    April 5th, 2004 @ 1:37 pm

    Viole:

    “When I see an atrocity, I turn away from belief in god, because I cannot imagine that a god would allow such a thing to happen. Instead of turning to bitterness and anger, though, I find solace with my lover. That such kindness exists is not proof of god, in my mind, because there are far greater acts of evil, but love gives me what I need to carry on. I know that’s rather clich

  23. Anonymous
    April 5th, 2004 @ 1:50 pm

    The Banality of Evil.

    Come, come now Graviton, that one won’t see it.
    Look at her, She’s sound asleep!

  24. Viole
    April 5th, 2004 @ 2:34 pm

    KK: “Isn’t that kind of idealistic and utopian?”

    Is it? I’m not claiming that my own feelings will change anything but my personal experience. Nor do I expect it to.

    Serpent;

    Half of that list is sexism. The other is machoism. The small fraction that doesn’t fit in either of those is simple biology. It has little to do with compatibility, you poor, misguided child.

  25. Redfred
    April 5th, 2004 @ 3:09 pm

    Me oh My:

    Depends on whether you were a miner who, along with everyone else in you community lost your job just so that the industry fatcats could import cheaper coal and maximise profits. Or a teacher, Nurse or policeman who had to accept years of ‘way below inflation’ pay raises because they no longer had any means of arbitration.

    Unions are not all bad, many of the things that make Britain great are there as a result of the unions and the labour party. I have lived in the UK and the USA, and I won’t say that one is better than the other but if your out of work and sick I know which country I’d rather be in and its no thanks to Thacher.

  26. me oh my
    April 5th, 2004 @ 3:29 pm

    You’re right–unions aren’t all bad. But remember that the “cheaper coal” is being dug up by other miners–other human beings–who also have a basic desire for work.

  27. Redfred
    April 5th, 2004 @ 4:28 pm

    Yeah, but last time I checked those other minors and their welfare were not the responsibility of my government and thereby me.

  28. Kommander Killjoy
    April 5th, 2004 @ 5:53 pm

    Viole:
    “I’m not claiming that my own feelings will change anything but my personal experience. Nor do I expect it to.”

    Oh.

    But do you not concur that you’re choosing to opt out of emotional responsibility for the violence that “Humans” are capable of and enact on a round-the-clock basis?

    In other words how does ignoring it solve the problem? What do you do to contribute? What’s your level of involvement?

    I know; you don’t talk smack to or about people – you don’t go around picking fights – and you’re generally a swell, well-rounded person, correct? But would you stop a big bully picking on an obviously weeker, less battle-equipped person for no apparent reason other than amusement? Would you, given a split-second chance, tackle a terrorist intent on driving your airplane into a building and killing everybody? What would you have to lose? Are you capable of committing a violent act to stop or lessen a much bigger, more violent act – the loss of the few for the good of the many so to speak?

    I’m not trying to dig at you, I’m just curious.

  29. the evil queen
    April 5th, 2004 @ 6:51 pm

    i think a better question to ask is ‘do you think deanna laney, that lady in texas who killed her kids “coz god told her to”, got off BECAUSE it was GOD who told her to, and not the DEVIL, who apparently told andrea yates to do the same thing’?

    on GMA this morning, it seemed like her lawyer was trying to say that the reason laney was found not guilty by reason of insanity was because she thought GOD was talking to her and telling her to do this bad thing and she couldn’t distinguish between right and wrong because GOD obviously wouldn’t tell her to do something wrong. yates on the other hand thought the DEVIL was talking to her and telling her to do bad things, but she should have known it was bad because IT WAS THE DEVIL TELLING HER TO DO IT.

    cornflakes almost shot out my nose when i heard that. from a lawyer! ugh. i’d say ANYONE who thinks they’re hearing GOD or the DEVIL is a fucking basketcase and needs some serious help…george bush anyone?

    (to tie this all back into the topic, do male religious fanatics contribute to more human deaths, i.e. jim jones, or do women?)
    xoxo, jared

  30. Viole
    April 5th, 2004 @ 9:03 pm

    Generally, KK, I consider myself a pacifist. So I don’t see how I have to share in responsibility for things that other people have done. It isn’t my fault, and I’ve done what little I can to help. I don’t know about well-rounded. I’ve been told I’m a pretty sweet gal, though.

    I have, though, been known to intervene in the occasional act of senseless violence. I guess I can be pretty intimidating when I get angry. I can safely say that I wouldn’t get into a situation where I thought I’d have to hurt anyone. So no, I wouldn’t stop a hijacking, not because I can’t, but because I do have something to lose; my honor. I swore more than once I would never intentionally hurt anyone–ever.

    So what have I done? I’ve helped organize protests. I’ve worked on campaigns. And–I hope–I’ve greatly improved the life of one beautiful young women. I will keep trying, but I will continue to enjoy what I have.

  31. hermesten
    April 5th, 2004 @ 9:19 pm

    God or the Devil, what difference does it make? Aren’t they one in the same when it all comes down to it?

    If the Devil doesn’t have the power to get people to do what he wants then he’s not dangerous and hence irrelevant. If he does then the person following instructions from the Devil can’t help it. God created the Devil and the Devil told Andrea Yates to kill her children. God knew this was going to happen when he created the Devil. It’s not her fault, how could she have done otherwise? The Devil is just one of God’s messengers. No matter who delivered the message she was just doing what God intended for her to do.

    The same with Deanna Laney. God told her to kill her children. God works in mysterious ways, no? Who is man to judge the works of God? Why, ask any good Christian, God is a perfect being, omnipotent and omniscient, standing tall above human concepts of morality, so how can doing what such a being instructs you to do be immoral or wrong?

    Can anyone prove that Deanna and Andrea didn’t get their instructions from God or the Devil? How can they be guilty if they were following instructions from a higher power? Can the prosecution prove that the God-Devil didn’t tell them to kill their children? Obviously not. Is it reasonable to believe in God? 90% of Americans think so. Can man judge the mind of a God that is above morality –determine what he would and wouldn’t do? Obviously not. So how can the prosecution prove guilt “beyond all reasonable doubt?” Is this a nation “under” God, or not? Even bringing these two women to trial was a gross miscarriage of American justice.

    The only conclusion that can be drawn is that both juries in these cases were composed entirely of atheists, or the God-Devil made them render unjust verdicts. Either way, the convictions should be overturned, all charges dropped, and both women released immediately so that they can continue to do the Devil-God’s work.

  32. Kommander Killjoy
    April 5th, 2004 @ 9:34 pm

    Viole;

    Excellent, perfect response.
    BUT: if you were on a hijacked plane, and the only chance of survival would be for you to grab the gun out of the dead cop’s boot holster and plow a 9 mil. straight through Habib’s cereberal cortex, you wouldn’t do it? That isn’t cowardice? That isn’t ultimate stupidity? Fuck conventions, kill the idiot!!

    Sorry, got a little worked up there.

    Ok, one more: So if sicko #1 held your infant baby over the balcony and threatened to drop it if sicko doesn’t find the micro-chip that he’s destroying your room looking for – something which you have no knowlege of – you wouldn’t give that fucker the bum’s rush and at least TRY to save your child? You wouldn’t just black out of conciousness and turn sickos #1 AND 2 into a fine pink mist?

    I think not.

  33. Viole
    April 5th, 2004 @ 11:15 pm

    As a woman, KK, I can tell you just how wrong your comments are. It takes far more courage to refuse to strike back, when you are trapped. Unfortunately, I’ve been in that kind of situation. I know how I react. I know that I have the courage to stand by my beliefs under pressure, which is more than most people can claim. Your second scenario is also rather irrelevant. I will never have a daughter, unless that daughter is truly mine and my lover’s. I still hold to my word.

    Someone else can be the hero. If that means that there will be none, then so be it. It isn’t what I want.

  34. me oh my
    April 6th, 2004 @ 1:34 am

    ” far more courage to refuse to strike back”

    Wrong.

  35. rblaes
    April 6th, 2004 @ 9:25 am

    Viole, your peacenik crap is making me sick

  36. Viole
    April 6th, 2004 @ 9:31 am

    I can come up with two ways to interpret that comment, me oh my. Either you’ve been in a situation where you feel you should have fought, but didn’t because you were afraid, or you’ve spent too much time soaking up America’s culture.

    In the first situation, you’ve apparently come to the conclusion that everyone who doesn’t fight is exactly like you–a ‘coward’. It doesn’t cross your mind that someone could refuse to fight because they do not want to; it simply doesn’t enter in to your experience.

    Which is where we come to the second situation. The solution is simple; find another perspective. Stop soaking up Macho Americanism and go find another point of view. You might learn something, even if it is only how to write responses of more than one word.

    Sure, you say I’m wrong. I’m impressed by your capacity for thought. Tell my why I’m wrong. You sound like GW Bush at a unscripted debate;

    “Wrong! No. Yes. Um… er… ah… Well, I… kill people… conservative compassionatism. Bomb Iraq! WDM? Well, um… we… er… the FIB… no, ICA… no the military… Turd Blossom… I mean Rarl Kove promised… Saddam Hussein is a man of peace. My missile defense shield will stop ballistic terrorists. No evil nuclear weapons will sneak through our ports…”

    I could go on.

  37. Viole
    April 6th, 2004 @ 9:45 am

    Feel free to leave, rblaes. First, you completely misinterpret what I say. Then you insult anyone who realizes that shouting is one way to get their voice heard.

    After that, you tell me that I don’t know myself. You suggest that I’d enjoy killing.

    I know what I want. I have paid for it, and fortunately survived. Does it make me a fool? Possibly. Does it make me a coward? No.

    What it does make me is someone different from you. Deal with it.

  38. me oh my
    April 6th, 2004 @ 10:55 am

    Viole,

    You’re full of spite.

  39. rblaes
    April 6th, 2004 @ 11:19 am

    Viole,

    I don

  40. hermesten
    April 6th, 2004 @ 11:44 am

    Rblaes,

    You say you fought in Iraq so I

  41. rblaes
    April 6th, 2004 @ 12:10 pm

    Hermes,

    I tell ya, it is a hard life doing the military thing. I am willing to give my life to defend my family and friends, heck, even to defend those too weak to defend themselves. But not to save .25 cents on a gallon of gas so Viole can drive her H2 around campus.

    I believe that there are tons of things I/we do not actually know about the real reasons for this and probably all other wars. Whatever underlying agendas are there, I have faith (haha, pun intended) that it was in our countries best interest.

    What angers me the most is when it seems like it was a holy crusade and inquisition. That makes my blood boil.

    I do think that with great strength comes responsibility to defend those that are weak. I crossed the Kuwait border on March 24th, and in just a few short weeks actually felt good about what we had done. I saw it in the eyes of the people, and they were very grateful for our efforts. I do take pride in facing the world

  42. me oh my
    April 6th, 2004 @ 12:14 pm

    ‘As a US soldier, do you think it is your job to take on the

  43. Viole
    April 6th, 2004 @ 12:30 pm

    Being full of spite(which I’m not really, it just seems like it sometimes) doesn’t make me wrong.

    As for you, rblaes, again you mischaracterize most of the anti-war movement. Sure the world is full of hate. Of course it is. We’ve been inspiring it pretty damned well. I don’t believe I need to tell you about our support for Saddam Hussein, or Saudi Arabia, or South Africa, and a few hundred other right-wing dictators.

    I am not rich. I probably never will be. I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with is US imperialism, based on the fact that they hate us, because we’ve supported every bit of repression to come their way. If they hate us for attacking them… won’t attacking them again make them hate us more?

    Now, accepting that the world is full of hate, do I think that violence is sometimes necessary? Yes. The trouble is we apply it at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and in the wrong amount. And I’m certainly not going to join in. If that makes me better than everyone else… so be it. If it doesn’t, oh well. I don’t really care what other people think.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a protest to attend.

  44. hermesten
    April 6th, 2004 @ 12:43 pm

    Rblaes,

    I have some more questions for you, but first a few remarks. Frankly, I

  45. Kommander Killjoy
    April 6th, 2004 @ 12:48 pm

    Rblaes;

    Hala-fucking-luja! HALA – FUCKING – LUJA!! Nothing more sickening than over-priveleged brats that think they know how the world runs.

    Just one thing:
    You said “What angers me the most is when it seems like it was a holy crusade and inquisition.”

    ALL wars are religious at it’s heart. ALL OF THEM!!
    In Canada we’ve never had a draft, and we don’t have to sign up for the army when we turn 18. If we did have the draft I would be a deserter, because I believe my government’s ideas about freedom, liberty, justice, and the rest of the catch phrases of war, are not the same as mine. I strongly believe the governments have hidden agendas, I believe that a lot of the conspiracy theories come from truth. I believe in looking out for #1 and I don’t believe in getting my ass shot off unless it’s directly threatened. But, if I woke up and looked out the curtains to a Red-Dawn-day then I would surely pick up a gun and kill, no problem.

    Viole;

    Most people don’t want to hurt anybody, but to stand by and watch violence unfold without trying to stop it, to help the victims, just looking the other way, is actually a convictable crime. Did you see the last episode of Seinfeld? If someone is trying to flag you down on the highway with flares and what-not, a lot of people (myself included) will just keep driving, not wanting to risk the worst case scenario, or just not wanting to waste their time. But what they don’t know is that if that person is in danger and they decide to take down your license plate number they can have you arrested. So it’s not just Rblaes and I that call people that “don’t want to get involved” coward, society calls them coward, human descency calls them coward.

    You don’t sound like a coward when you say things like “Feel free to leave, rblaes.” like as though he’s just not welcome on this site anymore. As though you feel everybody is just going to buckle under your immense girl-power and support you and shun Rblaes. I believe you told me to do the same a few threads back, one of your first days on here if I remember correctly. Maybe you should be the one “feel free to leave,” Viole. I myself, and probably Rblaes, are going to “feel free” to stay as long as we want.
    Some other freedoms we are going to exercise:
    Freedom of thought
    Freedom of speech
    Freedom of expression
    Freedom to do whatever the fuck we want (within the boundries of basic human descency)

  46. hermesten
    April 6th, 2004 @ 1:11 pm

    Me oh my:

  47. Kommander Killjoy
    April 6th, 2004 @ 2:14 pm

    I don’t own a car, for this and many other reasons, namely that they cost too much, and that in their present incarnation (read: fosil-fuel-sucking, ozone-depleting death-traps) do not meet with my standards. Also because I NEVER have money, and couldn’t afford a car if I wanted one. Of course being broke and not wanting an expensive items may be linked in some way…?

    The point is, everybody knows what Bush’s agenda was when he hired Osama (trained by the CIA!!) and armed him to do what he did. Needless to say, war as we know it will be obsolete come the next few conflicts, simply because technologies and increased human intelligence are making it ridiculous.

    I wouldn’t join the army either, and here’s why: Severe dislike of authority. IE: Any officer willing to get into my face and tell me what to do is likely to get a broken face; Severe (but not obsessive or irrational) suspicion as to the honest, motives, and intelligence of politicians and government; Realistic view of human-nature, in that I wouldn’t trust anybody to watch my back when they have their own back to worry about, and I don’t trust truely selfless people that will throw themselves on a grenade – something wrong there! – Among other reasons these are the primary.

    Now, whether women are more religious than men, an emphatic YES. Reason I think this is so (not to be mistaken for what I think everybody should think is so) is because women are still running on the fumes of the last remnents of men’s oppression, and are therefore more needy.

    Women are the weaker of the sexes, and I know a lot of women that like it that way and think that that’s the way it should be. I am much more attracted to the delicate girly-girl type of women (and I use the word “woman” to mean a female that carries herself with a modicum of grace and sophistication while remaining feminine) than the shoulderpad-wearing, deep-voiced variey. And I’ll bet that most men will say the same. I personally don’t have hang-ups about weight or looks to a certain degree. As long as she’s not repulsively obese, or smells like patchouli and doesn’t shave her pits, and as long as I can have a fairly intelligent conversation with her I have no qualms. As long as she is feminine and dainty and all the good things that make a truely attractive women, then all is well. Why do women like men? Because they do man things (which eventually piss them off and make them restless – works visa-versa too – so it’s all really futile).

    Other than that any woman should have the chance to do anything they want to do without ridicule or negative support from any person or group of peoples (didn’t really mean that to sound like a disclaimer). People should embrace and foster the things that they are meant to be; masculine, feminine, ambiguous… whatever, and go about their external lives on equal playing fields.

    You know, funny thing; I hear way more anti-opposite-sex bashing from women then I do when I’m hangin’ out with the guys. Women (especially when you are the only male in a group of women) have a defense mechanism, which switches to the on position whenever the scent of testosterone is present, that makes them have to gang up and tell man-hating jokes and attack men’s intelligence. The are, at these times, extremely petty and unrelenting. I, Having been raised with my mother, 3 sisters, and grandparents, have built up a huge callous and have learned how to knock these people down levels they have never experienced (and have).

    I do not take part in anti-female jokes either, and in fact when I get a joke in my email that falls into the sexist category, I write a nasty email back to that person telling them they’ll get bolcked the next time they send me something like that.

    Because the argument either way is so uttely worn out and futile I just prefer to let people talk, thereby making themselves sound like the morons they are. Sun Szu thought of that one.

  48. me oh my
    April 6th, 2004 @ 2:18 pm

    “supposed to refuse

  49. rblaes
    April 6th, 2004 @ 3:02 pm

    When you enlist, there is the understanding in contract, than later fortified in boot camp that you are to obey the orders of those appointed over you. You surrender a degree of your personal freedoms and opinions.

    I suspect that I could actually find myself in trouble if found participating in a post such as this one.

    I

  50. Kommander Killjoy
    April 6th, 2004 @ 3:16 pm

    And I am here today, and everyday, to throw my hand in at ABOLISHING this kind of behavior in public life. Those people, your officers and all of your fellow soldiers who came down on you for your beliefs (or lack thereof), should be thrown into the brigg for an acceptable ammount of time for their biggotry and facism.

    Do people not see how wrong that is?

    Your “very cool” chaplain was being condescending. He made you look like an ass, plain and simple.

  51. hermesten
    April 6th, 2004 @ 4:10 pm

    Me oh my: An “illegal” order shouldn’t properly be considered an order at all, no more than an illegal law is a law. When congress declares war, as is the case, to suggest that individual soldiers can make moral decisions (especially at a geopolitical stragetic level) will lead to anarchy in the ranks.

  52. Viole
    April 6th, 2004 @ 4:20 pm

    KK; you’re probably right, in that I shouldn’t have made that comment, but I do not react well to people who insult me. I don’t remember saying the same to anyone else, not even Serpent. Am I a privileged rich girl? Not at all. I’ve had to fight for what I have, and I will fight for everyone to have the same chances that I found. I don’t have a car, which makes the bus strike that has been going on here for the last month extremely difficult for me. I’ve spent more of my time helping the drivers than I have on classes and work combined. I’m not quite sure how we managed to survive, as my lover doesn’t have many more resources than I do.

    The fact remains, however, that no matter how much I tell about myself, no one here will really know me. I am a fighter. I merely draw the line at hurting other people. If that makes me a criminal, oh well.

    Let me make one thing clear. Those soldiers in Iraq–they aren’t fighting for me. They aren’t fighting for democracy, or even to get rid of a dictator. They’re fighting for corporate profit. Maybe they don’t see that, but the fact is that not a single war has ever been fought for any reason other than profit. The only difference has been who the profit goes to.

    I want to bring them home. I see every death in Iraq as the gruesome punch line to a sick joke that George W. is playing on us. Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terror, which is best won by promoting those who desire peace, helping them to overthrow dictators and set up fair democracies. We did half of that in Iraq, twenty years too late, and then tried to set up a puppet democracy. The trouble is, a puppet democracy is just a colony by another name.

    The people of Iraq need money more than they need occupation. I can respect you for what you’re trying to do, rblaes, even if I think your methods are wrong.

    Protests do make a difference. They show the government that people are united in their opposition. They’ve caused governments to fall, and ended wars. Can you respect me for what I’m trying to do, even if you don’t believe in how I do it?

  53. me oh my
    April 6th, 2004 @ 4:27 pm

    ” if you are ordered to torture a prisoner”

    That would be illegal. What’s the problem? I’m assuming that part of training involves learning the law as defined by congress and international agreement.

    “Congress hasn

  54. hermesten
    April 6th, 2004 @ 4:43 pm

    Rblaes,

    I forgot to remark on a big irony in your last post

  55. hermesten
    April 6th, 2004 @ 5:28 pm

    Well me oh my, what’s torture? Are you sure it’s illegal? Is sleep deprivation torture? Our military is torturing people in Afghanistan and Iraq, possibly in Gitmo as well, and not just with sleep deprivation. Prisoners have been beaten to death in both countries. Just today I was reading that US troops detained two Iraqi civilians, took them to the middle of a bridge, and made them jump into the river. One man is said to have drowned as a result. The Lt. Colonel in charge defends this action, doesn

  56. me oh my
    April 6th, 2004 @ 5:47 pm

    “delegated its war making authority to the president”

    Well, that is equivilent to declaring war. If it’s a charade, it’s one that couldn’t possibly fool anybody. Maybe unconstitutional, though.

    “Is sleep deprivation torture? ”

    I believe so. I don’t think there’s a fuzzy line on the issue, is there? I mean “what’s torture?”…it is as it’s defined.

  57. hermesten
    April 6th, 2004 @ 6:12 pm

    I agree with you that sleep deprivation is torture. But since it’s one of our primary interrogation methods, either the powers that be don

  58. rblaes
    April 6th, 2004 @ 8:12 pm

    When it comes to following orders, the general idea is that there is no time to question or take a vote. You do what your told, and act as a unit immediately and without reserve or die. There is no

  59. Viole
    April 6th, 2004 @ 9:15 pm

    Thank you for that. I admit, I know the kind of people you’re speaking of. They come to protests for the thrill(I enjoy protests, I admit. It’s a great feeling of fellowship and support in a good cause), and perhaps in the hope of getting laid. Who knows that they believe. On the other hand, there’s also the fanatics. PETA springs to mind, despite the fact I don’t do animal rights activism. It’s not that I don’t think we treat animals to harshly, but that I see more important things to care about. We can all become vegans some other day.

    Even the fundamentalist creeps who want to take away our civil liberties are necessary to a democratic society. They keep the rest of us on our toes.

  60. hermesten
    April 7th, 2004 @ 11:17 am

    Rbales,

  61. rblaes
    April 7th, 2004 @ 12:04 pm

    Hermes,

    The bottom line is that we see it from a unique perspective, which no one that hasn

  62. Kevin
    April 7th, 2004 @ 1:24 pm

    “No, I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”

    That’s from George H. W. Bush, not the current incarnation. Still, it’s pretty scary to know that a presidential candidate said that, and got elected afterwards.

  63. rblaes
    April 7th, 2004 @ 2:11 pm

    Yea Kevin… That was it. So maybe they would have left me for dead. I guess that all the sacrifices I have made for the country, all the time away from my home, dodging bullets and missiles, and plugging bullet holes in my friends still doesn

  64. hermesten
    April 7th, 2004 @ 5:26 pm

    Kevin,

    The idea that you can

  65. Redfred
    April 8th, 2004 @ 12:30 pm

    Hermesten I agree with you 100% on flying flags. I

  66. Viole
    April 8th, 2004 @ 2:09 pm

    After WWI, France, Britain and Russia had a treaty to defend Czechoslovakia from German aggression.

    When Hitler first demanded territory from Czechoslovakia, Russia tried to get France and Britain to respond, as per their agreement. However, both western nations hoped that by appeasing Hitler, he’d go after Russia first, and the fascists and communists would destroy each other.

    Unfortunately for them, Russia wanted to delay war with Germany, because they were not yet prepared, and so the response of France and Britain led to the signing of the nonaggression pact between Stalin and Hitler.

    If the Britain, France and Russia had acted as one to halt German aggression upon Czechoslovakia, WWII might never have happened.

    Britain and France declared war after Hitler attacked Poland, but little actual fighting occurred; this period is now called the ‘Phony War.’ The two allied nations were trying to convince Hitler to attack the Soviet Union.

    Even after Pearl Harbor, the Allied powers still hoped that Hitler and Russia, who at this point where at war, would destroy themselves. It was actually the capitalists in the US, trying to protect their interests in Germany, who forced the invasion of Europe to commence, against the wishes of Churchill.

    By this point, of course, a large chunk of the German army was surrounded outside of Stalingrad, and around two hundred and fifty thousand troops surrendered. The Russians were advancing.

    This is when the invasion of Normandy took place. If the defeat at Stalingrad hadn’t taken place, who knows how long the US would have continued to sit out, at the insistence of Churchill.

    There are two points; the US isn’t nearly as important as we like to think it is, and we have rarely entered a war for anything but profit. The few times that we have, it has been an international effort.

  67. Kommander Killjoy
    April 8th, 2004 @ 2:46 pm

    Rblaes;

    If I were you, I would desert faster than ice-cream.

  68. hermesten
    April 9th, 2004 @ 1:30 am

    Redfred:

  69. Redfred
    April 9th, 2004 @ 11:38 am

    Hermesten, We normally see eye to eye on most things, strange that we have such opposing views here. I am not Military, I have never fought for or my country or yours, it has never been necessary and for that I am grateful. However if it were to become necessary as it did during WW1, WW2 and Vietnam, I would not shirk my responsibility, even though I would make a rather poor soldier, and we would have to be up shit creek with out a paddle if they had to call me up. I have every respect for soldiers, both voluntary and conscripted, as I tried to point out, their job is a difficult one that doesn’t get even close to the respect it deserves. I am not trying to defend draft dodgers, or the current politicians and their actions, just the people who put out flags during the war to show their support of the troops, it was a gesture, sure, was it the same as signing up for the army? , No. And for the record I was not comparing our relative “service to our country”.

    Like it or not the responsibility of policing the world is on the shoulders of the US. That is why the US is so influential in the UN and why its troops are usually among the first to hit the ground wherever there is trouble in the world. It is in the best interests of the US and the world in general for it to be this way because it is better to stamp out small fires than wait until the whole forest is alight. Reading Viole

  70. hermesten
    April 9th, 2004 @ 1:19 pm

    Redfred,

    Some of my remarks were unclear, or understandably misinterpreted, as well. My tone was also more strident than I had intended.

    The kind of

  71. hermesten
    April 9th, 2004 @ 1:24 pm

    I left off part of my last paragraph. It should read:

    I didn

  72. hermesten
    April 9th, 2004 @ 1:43 pm

    Redfred,

    There is one more comment I want to make. I just opened my paper today to a photograph of Marines praying over a fallen comrade. You

  73. Kommander Killjoy
    April 9th, 2004 @ 2:40 pm

    I am officially changing my title (for lack of a better word to describe the word “Atheist”):

    From now on, when asked, and only when asked, I am a Taoist-Atheist. I have long long journey on the path to achieving the One, but I have recently had an epiphany through the wisdom of the tao, and wish to persue it’s wisdom further.

    In addition to this epiphany, I was tested. While drinking and smoking weed at a freind’s house last night, one of the other gathering-goers started spouting about god… Yackity smackity. Instead of my usual outburst, rant, whatever; I simply smiled and ignored, AND IT WORKED!! I fealt inner peace like never before in my life (before one of our resident theists open their traps; yes, I used to attend church when I was younger, quite a bit actually, on my own accord mind you – my parents are/were atheist – but that only resulted in nausea).

    As some of you already know, I can tend to be impetuous, temperamental, and rash. These are things that I have embraced and accepted as my human-nature, as natural emotion equal in validity to love, hate, fear (breads awareness), etc.. These are also the same things that I don’t like about myself (including love – a sick joke of nature in the form of a serious chemical imbalance), because they are the same reactionary emotions that are left-over traits from our ancestors, the chimps. Essentially I’m just acting like the animals that humans really are (no we are not any more special than any other animal, we are not devine. We’re just improved). I now realize that it’s all the same, and that the indifference with which the Tao says to treat people and life with can cleanse the mind, and the world. It can bring society an as-yet unpresedented unity.

    I fealt beautiful just being able to treat that guy’s ignorance with indifference, and once the god part of the conversation passed, we got along great. I didn’t feal the need to hate him like I usually do, because he – by himself – is harmless. We continued to drink, smoke weed, swear, and carry on like nothing ever happened. Hmm… Kind of hypocritical of him… BIG FAT SURPRISE THERE!!

  74. rblaes
    April 9th, 2004 @ 2:44 pm

    Hermes is right. It is great to see those that oppose the war, still support the troops. A flag is a good gesture to show your support. I don

  75. Kommander Killjoy
    April 9th, 2004 @ 3:01 pm

    It means that my suspissions (SP?) are reconfirmed.

  76. Redfred
    April 9th, 2004 @ 8:24 pm

    hermesten and rblaes,

    I’m still a little unsure of what you allude to with the term “flag wavers”, but I am pleased that it doesn’t include the people I thought you were referring to. Perhaps it is an American term that I am not so familiar with (you would be surprised how different y’all talk!). Herm (can I call you herm?) you say that you talk of people who “draft dodged” now advocating war. Your examples are specific and clear cut, Sure I agree that if you dodged like Bush it’s kinda hypocritical to advocate war for this generation which is why Bush is trying to defend his “record” so vehemently. Also agreed if you are of serviceable age and advocate war you should sign up (many do) But here you start to get away from me. As far as I am aware there is not a draft for the armed forces in this country in fact I do not believe there is even too much of a problem with recruiting to fill the positions in the regular or irregular army (I might be wrong here) so if there is no need for additional troops or shortage of volunteers should some one, who could but isn’t serving, somehow have to feel different? moderate their support for action? not demonstrate their support for whatever action they feel is correct? not be a patriot or a citizen, isn’t that what Bush Sr. said about atheists? I am very interested in you view, as I was 22 during the 1st Gulf war and would like to know if I was “flag waving” when I supported our troops. I have close friends that served during the first conflict and never seemed to have a problem with my attitude.

    Rblaes, your issues seem more related to people criticizing the troops for their actions or even the tactics used. I agree that is a double standard and even if you don’t support the war it is still wrong. As I said before War is ugly, you are confronted by things that are not normal and need not normal solutions. You will never hear such hypocrisy from me. As far as I can see this war was fought with more consideration for the people of Iraq than has ever been exhibited to the civilians of an occupied country in the history of warfare. One only need look back to the first gulf war and the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait to see the modus operandi of occupation. If anything the troops should be commended each and every one of them from refraining from the normal ransacking that goes on.

    My original use of D day and the gulf conflict was to highlight the difference in scale between fighting a local conflict rather than letting it escalate to a world war. Had Russia, UK and France and the US for that matter stood resolute Hitler would have never dared attack, as it happens they dallied, Russia signed its non aggression pact and the stage was set.

    Finally we come to the part of Christianity in the armed forces. I am sure that the majority of soldiers in the US Army are Christians, it is only natural that they would reflect the overwhelming number of Christians in the general public. However I have always observed that soldiers in general keep their religion by and by to themselves, not even the most die hard atheist would condemn them for a prayer to whatever they think will keep them alive before an action. In any event they usually have more pressing needs on their hands than converting the local populace or even their fellow men to Christianity, I’m sure there are a few. The problem as far as I can see lies with the command and as Rblaes said the reconstruction. Get care should be taken to keep this as a-religious as possible. Care should be taken to make sure a commander using the GOD word and turning this thing truly into a crusade. Even worse were the Christian missionaries lining up on the Syrian border waiting for the war to end so they can rush in and “Provide aid” as far as I can see these people should be met with an RPG before they even set off. Fighting the war was never going to be the tough part, It is what happens now that is important. Now is when Bush needs to show his stuff and take charge of the reconstruction and prove that he is not A liar,at least about this, or to move over and let someone else do it.

  77. hermesten
    April 11th, 2004 @ 4:01 am

    Redfred,

    Yes, there is no draft, but we’re stretched pretty thin right now, and if the administration is to continue with the action planned for Iran and Syia, et al, they will need a draft. They certainly are gearing up for one. I myself have applied to serve on the local draft board. And yes, I think draft-dodging is different than not volunteering.

    Redfred: “… as I was 22 during the 1st Gulf war and would like to know if I was “flag waving” when I supported our troops.”

    I don’t now how you define “support,” but in general I am making a distinction between advocacy and support. Max Boot, for example, is an advocate. He doesn’t think we have suffered enough casualties. He thinks the American people need to get used to sacrifice. Max is a “flag waver,” and the kind of cowardly hypocrite I am talking about.

  78. rblaes
    April 11th, 2004 @ 9:16 am

    Redfred,

    Let me explain it from my eyes.

    If you simply hang a flag on your porch, and feel you have done your part as an American in a time of war

  79. Redfred
    April 12th, 2004 @ 12:19 pm

    OK I think I have a better idea about what both you are getting at, I dislike people like that myself, although have seldom met anyone so base. I didn

  80. hermesten
    April 13th, 2004 @ 12:26 pm

    Redfred,

    You

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