I'm delighted to find others who don't think that any discussion on the bible is a dogma pissing contest between Dawkinsist Atheists and 7 Day Creationists. It really annoys me. Also, I feel you don't have to accept something 100% to have views on it - I'm not the only one here who has felt the effects of people's interperetations of the bible and just because I'm not a crizzy, don't mean I don't have a right to have my say.
As for cultures being misogynous, yes, they are.
But we will often find that it is not such a simple matter as men beating up women (literally and figuratively).
Men raised in the various cultures were raised by women - I don't know of any which seperates children from their mothers so as not to contaminate them with feminine influences.
These men grow up to be bastards and women hate them.
Well, who raised them to be that way? society, did society breastfeed them and tuck them in at night? did society tell them it was ok when it sure as hell wasn't, did society fail to give them any role-model other than a drunken and abusive father?
Many times we find that in traditional cultures it is the women who actively continue perpetuate the traditions, some times to a greater degree than the men (who simply find where they are comfortable and don't really want to move).
You may read what I'm saying here as simply blaming the victims or even supporting the abusive cultures. I won't defend myself if that is the case. All I meant to do was to remind people that it isn't the whole world forcing you to do something or not do something every day - culture is not a real physical thing, it's like a story we tell our children, if there are parts no longer relevant or parts we don't agree with there is no reason we should tell them to our children - if somebody says that we're not telling it right, bugger them.
With regards to scriptures, few say that you should actively beat and opress women - most just give excuses to those who were going to do it anyway. Even homosexuality is more often condemned and discouraged than presented as something we need to cut out like cancer - it's more a case of "don't do that, it's disgusting" than "thou shalt not suffer a homosexual to live" - I have a gay friend who I had an intersting discussion with on the subject. - I'm assuming he knows the scriptures better than me becasue he was raised as a very orthodox christian - he told me that Jesus spoke out against the social issues of his time (which is why he now wears that halo) he condemned greed, corruption, abuse of power, religious things etc. Not one word against homosexuality, and since that part of the world had been subject to Greek, and then Roman rule for a while, it was not as if it were unknown in his society.
These days of course, being gay and xtian is treated as a contradiction by many - who knows what the case was back then.
Was Jesus gay? don't know, don't care.
Did he instruct his followers to go out and kill homosexuals? no.
As for "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"... well that's another kettle of turnips entierly.