religion

"Necessarily Misogynist"

Jill Filipovic of Feministe responds to the afore-linked interview:

I do think that belief in the importance of virginity before marriage and the concept of sexual purity feed into a necessarily misogynist worldview, wherever those views come from. I don’t think you can separate those views out from misogyny, and from a view that says sexuality is potentially sullying if not performed in the service of something other than mutual pleasure — reproduction, God, the family, the state.

This irks me. If “Maya” was maintaining her celibacy for any reason other than religious belief, we would hear nothing but support from other feminists. Insert God into the picture, though, and suddenly she’s being oppressed.

Filipovic has several other good thoughts in response to the interview, so her post is worth reading, but I’m not going to lie: my first impulse on reading her opening paragraph—not followed, because I am an adult—was to yell profanity at my computer.

Survey: Americans Overstate Size of Religious Minorities

Among possible culprits mentioned: lack of clear definition for the word “Protestant” and disproportionately high media coverage of religious minorities.

I’ll add my own: the evangelical obsession with feeling oppressed and seeing persecution around every corner.

Poll Shows Atheism on the Rise in the U.S.

Ryan Cragun, a sociologist of religion, is skeptical:

Still, Cragun does not believe the poll shows more people are becoming atheists, but rather that more people are willing to identify as atheists.

“For a very long time, religiosity has been a central characteristic of the American identity,” he said. “But what this suggests is that is changing and people are feeling less inclined to identify as religious to comply with what it means to be a good person in the U.S.”

The Sojourners article suggests other valid reasons to be skeptical of the results, but Cragun’s rationale seems out of touch with reality. The sort of person who thinks of herself as "a convinced atheist" has always put principle before pragmatism and wouldn't think of espousing in public beliefs that she privately reviles.

The study shows undeniably, though, that the religious landscape of our culture is changing.