The Interaction Between Religion And GBVTest tile
Jan 2, 2022
Religion is one of the most contentious topics not only in South Africa but the whole over. This situation exacerbated by the fact that most people dabbling in religion lack the requisite training in religious studies. As a result, there is a lot of revisionism when dealing with religion in general that is birthed by the synchronic reading of the religious texts. Even though homo sapiens are buffed up false importance the sad reality the religious texts were never written for or with us in mind but like naughty busy bodies we are eavesdropping other people’s conversation without expressed consent. While we can learn from religious texts, we should never insert ourselves in those conversations.
The same also applies when we try to unpack the relationship between religion and GBV. The authors of the religious texts had a different of GBV that is product of its time. There are saying attributed to God, which are extremely violent because the ancients viewed violence differently that us contemporaries view violence. For example, the texts of terror in the Christian scriptures demonstrate how the ancient’s associated violence against women as part of God’s working in history.
There are times whereby as a society we romanticize Jesus whipping the traders in church without problematizing the violence itself. There is a prevailing view among some Christian scholars that the Christian scriptures are misogynic. That argument I believe is also unfair to the Christian scriptures because they are product of their time.
There is nowhere in the Christian scriptures where there is an active encouragement for the adherents of the Christian religion to abuse women. In fact, the whole bible is littered with examples of women leaders, women sages, and the likening of women as the church of Jesus. We can then infer that the religion is not an endorser of women bashing and the treating of women as second-class citizens. This point was succinctly made clear by Rev. Moshoe his conversation with Ms. Josina Machel from Kuhluka Movement. The good Reverend made a submission that God is loving who could not condone violence because violence is anti-thetically opposed to the divinity of God. He also submitted that God even available to his people after acts of violence has been committed by offering healing. In fact, a disciple of pastoral care has emerged that is wholly focused on the healing power of God and the church mission to the wounded in society.
In conclusion, while there are troubling aspects of the bible about gender discrimination and misogyny, a contextual reading of the bible tells us that God is a loving God. We can glean from that God could not condone acts of violence against women. That any person implying that God through the erroneous reading of scriptures is justifying violence against they do so because they are essentially on the frolic of their own. No one is entitled to use religion to perpetuate acts of GBV nor hide behind religion to evade accountability.