I just read a very interesting article by a socialogist on the rise of extremist religious groups in the world. His theory is that as people lose control of their lives (the economy, war, healthcare…) they inevitably try to control some part by turning to morality.Taking control of their personal morals helps them feel more secure in a world where their savings are dwindling, their jobs are on the line, and their prospects are getting bleaker. If that control stayed in their own home, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but controlling morality means controlling others, starting with women.

It’s an interesting theory, which explains a lot, really. It explains the way women are treated in places where religion has become a theocracy. Women are punished for acting in an amoral way – the punishments ranging from flogging to death – for simply making love with the wrong person. The control extends to dictating what a woman can wear and how she must act. In the most extreme societies, she is a prisoner of her own family, unable to even be in a room with a television set. (Recently in Saudi Arabia a man asked for divorce on the grounds that his wife had been in a room alone while a male newscaster read the news on TV.)

I’m cool with most religions as long as they don’t try to make me believe in what they do or conform to their moral standards. I’m a woman. I think women are great. I write about sex, and I love it. I am comfortable (most of the time) with my own body. Nudity doesn’t bother or shock me. I think that whatever consenting adults do together is their business. Two poeple in love should be able to get married and celebrate their marriage. A woman should be able to decide what to do with her own body.

Children should be able to choose their own religions and not be brain washed into a religion at an early age. I’d say educate children in all the religions of the world and let them choose when they want to, and if they want to. (Wouldn’t that be nice?) I think most poeple would eventually choose their parents’ religion, but imagine not having any pressure and just being able to choose? What religion, if any, would you choose? I haven’t actually decided yet which one I want to choose. I think I’d like to try them all and see which one, if any, fits me.

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