Archive for institutionalized oppression

“He had complete control over me mentally and therefore because I was his property and I was his, he was able to do what he did to me”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by arievergreen

Elissa Wall escaped from a forced marriage and has written a memoir about it. She has also worked with the media to challenge people to intervene in similar child-bride situations.

She said, “I didn’t want to be married at 14. [Sect members] honestly believe, and I did and so did my mother, that God sent down inspiration from heaven, like a strike of lightning, down to the prophet. This was God’s word. And we were to follow it, obediently and happily.”

How can a 14-year-old girl raised in this kind of environment be expected to resist her oppression, or even to know she has a right to live her own life? And how can we prevent similar abuses in other situations where humans say they’re carrying out god’s will?

Maybe the most important question is, how can any of us argue with someone’s faith? Can one have a rational discussion with someone who says their actions are justified by an all-powerful metaphysical being that they really, really believe in? If a society believes that religion is an acceptable defense for some oppressions (denying the morning-after pill to desperate teens, denying abortions to women, denying marriage to queer folks, and so on), isn’t that a slippery slope we’re on? How can we give institutional support to some practices, and decry others as immoral, if we’re all using “god’s word” as a justification for our actions?

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Links roundup: What’s up, religion?

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by arievergreen

I’ve been saving these ones up – stories of ordinary people who are subjected to oppression for religious reasons. (And several of them resist successfully!) Isn’t religion supposed to improve our quality of life, not destroy it?

“He told me that people would think I was immoral.”

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by arievergreen

When Vandy Beth Glenn, formerly Glenn Morrison, was summoned to her boss’s office Oct. 16, 2007, she was not prepared for the exchange that followed.

“He asked me if what he had heard was true: did I really intend to come to work as a woman? I told him yes, it was true.”

Glenn, a transgender woman preparing for a sex-change procedure at the time, told ABCNews.com she expected her boss would “do the right thing.”

Instead, Sewell Brumby, legislative counsel for the Georgia General Assembly allegedly told Glenn she was no longer suitable for her job.

“Mr. Brumby told me that people would think I was immoral. He told me I would make other people uncomfortable, just by being myself. He told me that my transition was unacceptable. And over and over, he told me it was inappropriate.”

Then, Brumby fired Glenn.

The proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 3017, is similar to federal sex and disability discrimination laws already on the books. It also includes an exemption for faith-based employers.

Some lawmakers question the extensiveness of exemptions for religious schools and other faith-based employers and wonder whether the law, as written, is too nebulous to be enforced.

Read the rest of the story.

Links Roundup: Lots o’ wrongness

Posted in Wrongness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by arievergreen

I haven’t updated in a while, but I sure have saved up a lot of links! Here’s a whole batch of wrongness all over the world – and all of it done in the name of god.

Any of these stories speak to you? Please comment.