FFRF to Gillibrand: Bible is even worse than Trump!

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is advising the feminist senator who's standing up to President Trump to reassess the bible.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand famously repudiated Trump's tweet about her as a "sexist smear to silence women." FFRF is viewing the Trump-Gillibrand standoff as a "teachable moment."

FFRF's Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder of the freethinking national state/church watchdog, wants to call the senator's attention to the fact that the bible "might best be described as a sexist smear attempting to silence women's voices." Gillibrand was reportedly engaged in studying the bible with a bipartisan congressional group when she first became aware of Trump's offensive Dec. 12 tweet.

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Gaylor wrote a letter to Gillibrand praising her for taking a forthright stance against sexual harassment and Trump's sexist insinuations: "It's courageous and commendable to stand up to a sexist and lewd president, yet unfortunate that by your participation in a congressional bible study you appear to be blessing a book that has smeared women for millennia."

"I defy even Donald Trump to trump the misogynistic biblical tirades against women," continues Gaylor.

Gaylor details examples of contemptuous, disrespectful, insulting, violent, stereotypical and demeaning treatment of women in the bible. Highlighted passages include such distasteful imagery as "Her filthiness is in her skirts" and biblical threats to "discover thy skirts upon thy face." The biblical deity himself is shockingly portrayed as punishing "haughty women" by discovering their "secret parts."

"Of special relevance in today's #MeToo environment of unending revelations of sexual harassment and worse are the biblical sanctions of molestation, rape and sexual assault," Gaylor writes. Roy Moore, she charges, is a product of bible literalism who believes civil law must take a back seat to his version of "God's law." That law, Gaylor emphasizes, clearly defines women as male property.

Equally abhorrently, the silencing of women is called for in passage after passage of the New Testament, the letter adds. "The New Testament relentlessly orders women to submit and to shut up."

The bible very brutally silenced women for more than 2,000 years, until brave feminist foremothers rebelled against church orthodoxy, Gaylor says. The Religious Right continues to rely on the bible as a handbook for women's subjection in its quest to silence women, return them to kinder, kirche, kuche, and deprive them of reproductive rights and choice.

If Gillibrand is going to continue studying the bible, Gaylor urges her to at least balance that reading. For that reason, FFRF has mailed Gillibrand a copy of Gaylor's book about the bible's treatment of women, Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So, published by FFRF.

Additionally, FFRF calls it "neither appropriate nor seemly" for members of Congress to engage in bible study on the job. Such action offends the spirit of the constitutional separation between government from religion.

"Your actions are praiseworthy, but your bible is not," Gaylor tells the New York senator. "Look for inspiration to reason, compassion, feminist, humanist and Enlightenment values, not flawed and uneven Bronze Age teachings predicated on supernatural authority and the subjugation of women."

In addition to #MeToo, the women's movement could use a hashtag such as #Stopworshippingasexistbook, Gaylor concludes.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

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