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Invisible Bonds

Janet Brazill

What would we think of a society where a number of citizens decide to enslave their fellow-citizens, using the techniques of propaganda? Not only does their brain-washing result in manipulating their' targets into a subservient role, but it succeeds in making them accept that role gladly, and even become enforcers of their own servitude.

Such a scenario has actually been accomplished. To achieve polarization, the first step of any' propaganda campaign, the perpetrators devised a legend declaring that their group would be living in paradise right now if it were not for the actions of the other group. To insure acceptance, this assertion was packaged as a divine pronouncement, making the "sin" so great that it demands payment to this day.

The success of this campaign is evident by the fact that many people today are not even aware of it! They do not understand that the fable of Eve has been responsible for much of the subjugation of women to males through the centuries.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one who understood: "The most powerful influence on the human mind is through religious emotions, and all the leading religions on the earth teach the subjection of one sex and the domination of the other, thus enfeebling the love of liberty on the one side and stimulating the
'love of tyranny on the other."

These effects have continued from ancient times to the present day. As Stanton says, "What power is it that makes the Hindoo woman burn herself on the funeral pyre of her husband? Her religion. What holds the Turkish women in the harem? Her religion. By what power do the Mormons perpetuate their system of polygamy? By their religion. Man, of himself, could not do this, but when he declares, ?Thus saith the Lord,? of course he can do it. So long as ministers stand up and tell us that as Christ is the head of the church, so is man the head of the woman, how are we to break the chains which have held women down through the ages?"

Clearly, women are conditioned by what is claimed to be divine revelation to lose their love of liberty,' to consider themselves unworthy of even claiming such a right.

The love of tyranny is exemplified by the role of priests and the actions of rulers, who, through the ages, have worked together to perpetuate this conditioning. Both sermons and laws dictate women?s inferiority. Both have as their objective the control of the family unit, accomplished through the domination of women.

Currently, in our country, a woman?s right to birth control and abortion are seen as a threat by some religions because this liberty would disturb the balance carefully created to keep women subservient. Again, religions call on the civil government to pass laws enforcing their view, and modern politicians, intent on political power, often comply. And again, some women, thoroughly indoctrinated, serve as the enforcers of their own servitude.

It is time for a new Age of Enlightenment that exposes the intolerance of such religious beliefs and revises them to treat all humans equally regardless of sex or other differences. We need to renew our commitment to liberty, condemning tyranny in any form. Slavery, whether it be physical, or emotional threats that cripple the intellect, cannot be condoned.


  Freethought, Misogyny and Religion

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