The Problem with Outrage about Sexual and Religious Discrimination in Other Parts of the World

The NY Times wrote an article titled, ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape. I was sickened, horrified and outraged. But then I got to thinking, there’s a bigger story here than just the detailed accounts of rape.  One can take the religious writings of their particular flavor of religion, and morph them into stating whatever they want. I posted another article today over at the Local News in which the writer questions religious beliefs and discrimination against women; and how does that size up in the secular world most people are living in.

My “bigger story” question is how far removed, really, are we in Western Societies from the atrocities committed in the name of religion in the Middle East? Frankly, I don’t think we really are that far removed. We still have old male politicians beating the drum of patriarchal control over women’s bodies because we are apparently still too frail to make those decisions ourselves. We still have faith-based communities who segregate the men and women and don’t believe women can be religious leaders because the temptation of women is a sin…or something. We still have a serious problem with racial discrimination, no matter the color of skin or racial background. If you look deep enough, at the very root of all discrimination is the human interpretation of what god wants.

Sadly, articles are written about things that happen in other places in the world with the idea of culminating as much outrage as possible because its good for page views and ratings and advertiser dollars. When the same writing is done by news outlets in this country about things that happen in this country its devisive and no one takes it seriously because its just drummed up propaganda from ‘the other side’. I believe we, as a nation, aren’t as enlightened as we’d like to believe. It will take honest, open-minded conversations and discussions where people are willing to listen without bias to each other in hopes of finding solutions to the problems and challenges that plague our society and ultimately our world. We have to be willing to sit down and take a hard, honest look at the tenets of our religious beliefs and how they play into the way we treat others. Until that happens though, I’m not sure there is anything other than hypocracy in being outraged about what other people around the world are doing in the name of their own religion.



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