Trump's Sexism Is Deeply Biblical

The objectification of women goes all the way back to Genesis.

Posted Oct 12, 2016

Why do most Evangelical Christians support Donald Trump, despite his many years of demeaning women, insulting them, treating them like chattel, objectifying them, interrupting them, cheating on them, entering their dressing rooms without their consent, and boasting about sexually assaulting them? Because Trump’s attitude towards women is squarely rooted in a Biblical worldview.

With the exception of a precious few random passages that speak of gender equality, the undeniable, uncomfortable reality is that male dominance and the concomitant subjugation/objectification of women are at the very core of the Bible. And Islamic scriptures, too – no doubt. And Mormon scriptures. But I’m concerned here and now with my own society (USA), and the current Republican nominee. And it is his misogyny that I am contending with – a misogyny that is the direct, logical outgrowth of the patriarchy and sexism inherent in Biblical Judaism and Christianity.

Of course, my claim is not new. Many have discussed and documented the abusive hatred of women that permeates the pages of God’s holy book – and to list and discuss all the examples and illustrations in the Bible that are misogynistic would take the writing of several books. But I need to be bloggishly brief here, and so I’ll just offer some obvious, illustrative highlights:

* The very first story of the Bible (Genesis I) depicts Adam (man) as the centerpiece of God’s creation, with Eve (woman) only being created as an afterthought; God creates Eve simply as a helper for Adam. But of course, this first woman was morally inept, and it was thus her fault that sin came into the world. Indeed, God explicitly punishes Adam for “listening to his wife” – clearly a no-no. And then, God immutably carves male dominance into human civilization, declaring that a husband shall “rule over” his wife. No equivocation there. Thus, right from the get-go, man is the God-ordained ruler, and woman is subject. How fundamentally immoral. How fundamentally unjust. And women have been suffering from this misogynistic myth for thousands of years.

* According to the Ten Commandments, women are understood as the owned property/objects of men. Exodus 20 is clear: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Nice to know that of things that belong to a man, his wife is ranked somewhere between his house and his servants, oxes, and donkeys. Wow.

* According to God – as explained in the Bible – if a woman is not a virgin at the time of her marriage, she shall be stoned to death. The same rule does not apply to man. Go figure. Biblical misogyny is not only hypocritical, but violent. (Deuteronomy 22).

* In the book of Judges (19-20), an Israeli priest is with his mistress in the city of Gibeah. A mob of men comes upon them, seeking to rape the priest. What does he do? Throws out his mistress to the mob to be raped and killed. A similar scenario occurs elsewhere in the Bible: mobs of men want to gang-rape someone, women are then thrown to these mobs because, well, women’s lives and bodies are clearly less valuable than men’s. 

* The Bible teaches that Man is the image and glory of God, but not Woman (I Corinthians 11). Got that?

* Women are to be quiet, submissive, and subordinate (I Corinthians 14; Ephesians 5). Have an opinion on that? Share it – unless you are a woman. In which case: be quiet.

* No woman should ever have authority over a man; she shall be a silent subject to male authority and power (I Timonthy 2). And you wonder why there has never been a woman president in the history of our country? And why only 20 percent of our Congress is female? Praise Jesus.

There are many more passages in the Bible – passages in which women are portrayed as sex objects, liars, fornicators, father-rapists, and sinful harlots. And also a plethora of passages in which women are violently assaulted, abused, raped, and literally cut up into pieces. These scriptures have had a profound effect on shaping Western civilization – and in the case of women’s rights and equality, a deleterious effect.

Trump’s popularity in this country is simply another illustration of how mundane, normal, and acceptable it is for a man to humiliate women and treat them as sexual objects: it has been happening for thousands of years, and has been given holy sanction from the Bible. The fact that Evangelicals are the demographic most enthralled with Trump makes perfect sense: they accept as God’s law the subordination and suppression of women.

The good news, however, is that not only is Trump losing nationally in the polls, but women are gaining more and more rights all around the world. And where are women’s rights the strongest? In those societies where Christianity – and religion in general – are weakest.

As religion fades, women’s status improves.

Amen to that.