01 Mar Day Five: Strategies of Resistance – stop the Religious Fundamentalists
Last year at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), religion in general was public enemy number one. This year the feminists have refined and re-framed their argument to unabashedly make “Religious Fundamentalism” their target. What is their definition of a religious fundamentalist?
Although it was never actually defined, they made it clear that anyone who opposed women’s rights (meaning abortion, sexual rights or GLBTQI rights) is a fundamentalist? Anyone that believes in the traditional or the “hetero-normative” family is a religious fundamentalist. Anyone that saw the role of motherhood in a positive light is probably a religious fundamentalist – or at the very least oppressed by religious fundamentalists. They had everyone from a jihadist to anyone that believed in and support traditional gender roles as being part of the Religious Fundamentalist movement.
By the way, GLBTQI is widely touted at the UN. Gay rights activists continue to add more letters to their little acronym: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, or Intersex – the list of sexual orientations just continues to grow.
The gathering for the presentation of “Religious Fundamentalism: Strategies of Resistance” was a diverse group: a woman from Iran, a woman from Mexico, and an age 20-something young lesbian woman from the U.S who referred to herself as a “queer activist with scriptural underpinnings.”
Here are a few of their quotes about religious fundamentalists. As you read them, remember that they would probably think that YOU are one.
Woman from Iran
- Religion is about absolutism and intolerance
- Women’s rights are the primary target of religious fundamentalists.
- They want to promote their worldview and gain power; they’re very organized and effective.
- Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons combine to prevent abortion and sexual rights.
- They stand for narrow and rigid gender roles. They want to force the world to abide by their beliefs.
Woman from Mexico
- Opening statement: “I’m here to tell you everything that you wanted to know about the Vatican, but were afraid to ask.” [She mocked and degraded the Catholic Church throughout her remarks.]
- Religious Fundamentalists want to force the world to abide by their morals and they are entering mainstream politics and forming alliances. [They even said this with a straight face after telling those gathered that they had to get involved in politics and form alliances to stop religious fundamentalists.]
- They want to co-opt governments to force their agenda on everyone else.
- Religious Fundamentalists blame social problems on “the disintegration of family” – they take advantage of it to blame the problems on women and the change in women’s roles.
Here was our personal favorite. In admonishing the individuals in the room to get involved and stop religious fundamentalists in their tracks, she said: “Use reason and science; it is on our side. God is on our side. God wants us to be happy and sexual pleasure is very important.” [So much for telling those assembled that references to religion and God were out-of-bounds for public discourse.]
Lesbian or “Queer Activist”
- Religion is in the air, in our schools, in our public square.
- Bible cannot be understood without a “feminist” lens. It is not about Bible passages; it’s about power and control.
- The story of Sodom and Gomorrah isn’t about the Bible saying gays are evil; it’s about misogyny, the hatred of women. Rape, violence, and abuse of women are the basis of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
- There is also a lot of misogyny on campuses that we visit [Christian-sponsored colleges] – oppression of gays and oppression of women go hand-in-hand.
The conclusion of the UFI team in attendance at this side event:
These women are desperate to have their ideology succeed and are shocked and dismayed that religion has a voice in the public square as well – so they want to silence that voice. There is no recognition that religion is equally entitled to be engaged in the dialogue.
All who hold traditional, religious, hetero-normative values and beliefs need to not be cowed or intimidated by their rhetoric of “religious fundamentalist.” Get out and get involved! You must be making a difference or these national and international groups wouldn’t be getting together to develop strategies to stop you.