Women in the Teachings of Christianity

In her book Islam and Christianity, Ulfat Azizusamad attributed the introduction of monogyny into Christianity, and hence admiring celibacy, to the negative attitudes many Christian religious leaders held towards women and mar- riage in general.

In her book Islam and Christianity, Ulfat Azizusamad attributed the introduction of monogyny into Christianity, and hence admiring celibacy, to the negative attitudes many Christian religious leaders held towards women and mar- riage in general. St. Paul, the real founder of the current form of Christianity, regarded women as temptresses. He laid the entire blame for the fall of man and the genesis of sin on women. We find in the New Testament statements that un- derscore such negative attitudes towards women; among which are the following:

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp au- thority over the man, but to be in si- lence. 13 ForAdam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not de- ceived, but the woman being de- ceived was in the transgression. 15 Not withstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith, charity, and holiness with so- briety.

In order to understand the reason behind the contempt of women in the West for many centuries, we need to ana- lyze the extreme position canonized saints of Christianity held against women. Some of these teachings are listed below:

"Woman is a daughter of falsehood, a sentinel of Hell, the enemy of peace; through her Adam lost Para- dise." (St. John Damascene, P.79) "Woman is the instrument which the Devil uses to gain possession of our souls." (St. Cyprian, P.79) "Woman has the poison of an asp, the malice of a dragon." (St. Gregory the Great, P.79)

The supreme engineer of the New Testament, St. Paul, addressed women with a much more severe language.

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don't permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. AndAdam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner"

(I Timothy 2:11-14).

St. Tertullian was even blunter and more candid than St. Paul, while he was addressing his 'best beloved sisters' in the faith, he said:

"Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the Devil's gateway: You are the unsealer of the forbidden tree: You are the first deserter of the di- vine law: You are she who per- suaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You de- stroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert even the Son of God had to die."

St. Augustine was faithful to the legacy of his prede- cessors, he wrote to a friend:

"What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman......I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing chil- dren."

Centuries later, St. Thomas Aquinas still considered women as defective:

"As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegot- ten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indis- position, or even from some exter- nal influence."

Azeem, as an expert in women rights alludes to some of the most prominent Christian reforms by stating:" the re- nowned reformer Martin Luther could not see any benefit from a woman but bringing into the world as many children as possible regardless of any side effects:

"If they become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in child- birth, that's why they are there"

Again and again all women are denigrated because of the image of Eve the temptress, thanks to the Genesis ac- count. To sum up, the Judaeo-Christian conception of women has been poisoned by the belief in the sinful nature of Eve and her female offspring".

Understandably, many Christian monks preferred the life of celibacy to getting married to women. Marriage was looked at as a practice, which is too worldly. It will divert the person from devoting his full time to God. In modern times, this system of worship has proved to be fraught with prob- lems. Very few people today are willing to embrace celibacy and join the priesthood. The number of young people seen in nunneries and monasteries is dwindling.

Following the Jewish tra- dition as represented by the Old Testament and having in mind that Prophet Jesus (SAAW) never prohibited polygyny, early Jews and Christians were polygnous. It was given as an option for those who can carry the responsibility of marriage and family life not for those seek- ing the pleasures of sex. Some sects of Christianity still practice this tradition (i.e. the Mormons of Utah in the US). It is re- ported in the Old Testament that King Solomon (SAAW) had many wives.


together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. 2. Of the na- tions concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. [Is it possible for the great prophet ofAllah, Solomon, to disobey God in such an irresponsible manner?)3. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 4. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5. For Solomon went afterAshtoreth the god- dess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of theAmmo- nites. 6. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully af- ter the Lord, as did David his father.

7. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusa- lem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8. And like- wise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

Prophet Abraham had two wives, Sarah and Hagar. Luther, on one occasion, spoke of polygyny with consider- able toleration and was known to have approved the polygy- nous status of Philip of Hesse.33 So, why does current Christian- ity reject polygyny in contradic- tion with its holy books? Chris- tian religious leaders who claimed certain prophetic pow- ers and characteristics includ- ing revelation (direct verbal con- tact with God) intervened to change the laws of family rela- tions for the benefit of men who did not want to bear the respon- sibility of marriage.

Another reason behind the negative attitudes of Chris- tianity towards the practice of polygyny is related to the historical contact Christianity had with the more advanced philosophy of the Greek-Roman culture. Christianity was influenced by their concepts of bi- zarre kind of strange monogyny.

The majority of the popula- tion was considered as slaves who could be used freely. So, there is no need for any form of polygyny that would restrict such liberty of men and impose certain rights for women in the society. Many Greek philosophers regarded utility and happiness as the sole criteria for morality. They waged a vicious war against ethics and values that stand in the way of full satisfaction and pleasure in life. Man to them should be left to seek as much pleasure as he wants. Therefore, they perceived no value in Christian traditional demands for chastity.

Bear in mind that the negative impact of different ex- treme approaches towards in- stitutionalized polygyny in Ro- man-Christian society (free Roman bohemian sex and re- frain from marriage and the negative attitude towards women by Christian clergy) re- sulted in today's social disas- ters. These social ills include: the alarming rates of single mothers, sexual harassment, teenage births, children born out of wedlock, etc. Islam is the only universal way of life that provides a pragmatic, univer- sal, workable and natural sys- tem and solution to the world's current dilemmas. Though it was common that women, children and old people did not participate in war, according to the teachings of The Bible their right to live is not protected. The slaying of women and children of the Israelites' enemies was consid- ered a normal practice. Many biblical verses described the practice:

Islam is the only universal way of life that provides a pragmatic, universal, workable and natural system and solution to the world's current dilemmas.

  • Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by ly- ing with him. KJV Numbers 31:15-24
  • But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. KJV Luke 19:26-27
  • But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. KJV Ezekiel 9:4-7
  • And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: .Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were be- fore the house. KJV 1 Samuel 15:1-3
  • Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. KJV Isaiah 13:15-16
  • Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.16. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. KJV Hosea 13:16
  • Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.


No doubt those original Judeo-Christian teachings preached by prophets Moses and Jesus (peace and bless- ing be upon them) abhor such kind of practices and con- sider them acts of immorality, but unfortunately these prin- ciples of morality and chastity are not even implemented by people who claim teaching the word of God. Many have warned against the soaring of immoral practices under the guise of personal free- dom.

At the time when we hear of homosexual priests and open mar- riages, anything can be expected since virginity and chastity are looked at as out of fashion and as characteristics of backwardness. I re- member Edwin Cook's (a former American Surgeon General) re- sponse to a question on radio about the best way to stop the spread ofAIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; "MO- RALITY!" was the answer. At a time when the feminists are proceeding to demand full equality between men and women, they have met with considerable opposition form many women who are not in favor of 'substantial changes in tradi- tional sex role distinctions. Phyllis Schlafly, for example, is a vocal opponent of the Equal RightsAmendment and believes that women could actually lose certain important rights as a consequence. She also feels that women find their greatest fulfillment at home with family .'

Needless to say, the churches and their religious hier- archy have become corrupt and concerned with wealth and fame more than morality.

They care more about quantitative evangelization through investing on the misery of the poor and the agony of the sick. Instead, they should focus their message on combat- ing immorality and re- instituting chastity and ethics.

President Clinton's appeal for for- giveness after his de- nial regarding relations with the White House employee, Monica Lewinsky, is very simi- lar to Rev. Jimmy Swagart's crocodile's tears to deceive more people and get more of their money. Diane Sawyer had shown in a number of se- ries in her Prime Time on ABC TV that many of these televangelists' aims were merely accumulating massive wealth at the expenses of the deceived faithful.

These very dangerous systems are flooding larger parts of the world and being exported to other parts of the world under the guise of human rights and liberalism. Can God, the Merciful, The Compassionate and the all Forgiving say such verses and give such vicious com- mands as referred to God and the Prophets of God in the existing Bible? Definitely NOT! Unless, His is not the same god that has directed Muhammad (SAAW) not kill a child, a women or an old man but only those who fight in the battle field and cause aggression. I would not be unfair to say that such unbelievable views against women in Hinduism, Juda- ism and Christianity were behind many of the miseries that women have been facing throughout history, which led to the extremes of today's immorality, liberalism, feminism and secularism.