Life Must Always Be Protected by Bridget Ludwa

Women’s dignity has often been unacknowledged and their prerogatives misrepresented; they have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude… Then too, when we look at one of the most sensitive aspects of the situation of women in the world, how can we not mention the long and degrading history, albeit often an “underground” history, of violence against women in the area of sexuality? At the threshold of the Third Millennium we cannot remain indifferent and resigned before this phenomenon. The time has come to condemn vigorously the types of sexual violence which frequently have women for their object and to pass laws which effectively defend them from such violence. Nor can we fail, in the name of the respect due to the human person, to condemn the widespread hedonistic and commercial culture which encourages the systematic exploitation of sexuality and corrupts even very young girls into letting their bodies be used for profit. – Pope John Paul II

 If the Vatican desires an unambiguous message of concern for women, then it needs to address the acts of violence committed against women’s bodies.  In focusing on the end result of sexual violence, aborted pregnancies, and not addressing the violence itself, Vatican leadership fails to communicate this concern for women’s bodies. Continue reading “Life Must Always Be Protected by Bridget Ludwa”

Feminism and Religion: Where Do Nontheists Fit? By Bridget Ludwa

What is a woman to do when she no longer finds any type of theism relevant to her, but as a human being still needs community, ritual and sense of the sacred that theistic religion inherently provides?  The most vocal representatives of atheists are men, such as the voices of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens.  I’m happy to have these voices, because they’re brilliant and well-spoken, but where are the women?  My partner shares the same belief system as I do, but he does not feel the same need for community as I do.  Is it gender?  What ratio of women to men do you observe when you look at who is spending their time and energy making sure your local Catholic Church functions?  In questioning if women are more spiritual than men, Caroline Kline observed that women outnumber men in religious observance.  For the sake of argument, let’s accept for a moment that women are more inclined than men to seek community, ritual and a sense of the sacred.  What is a nontheist woman to do?

I wanted to go through some articles posted on here before diving into this question, maybe I would find a satisfying answer and that would be the end of it.  Carol Christ consistently poses the divine gender question, and admittedly I’ve been very drawn to a feminine manifestation of the divine.  The idea of Mother resonates with me more than Father (a father whom many believe could only “save” humanity via human sacrifice).  Part of my rejection of theism does indeed stem from this issue of gender.  For many who find traditional theistic concepts unnerving, Christ’s reevaluation of the divine is gratifying and empowering.  As empowering as this reevaluation is, however, the concept of any deity, male or female, still did not settle with me.  Continue reading “Feminism and Religion: Where Do Nontheists Fit? By Bridget Ludwa”

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