At the top of the news these days is the social conflagration occurring in Afghanistan. Women are being shoved out of a male dominated, religiously-based power structure that will run the nation and its culture for the foreseeable future. Ironically, a similar situation exists in the United States where religious denominations suffer the same ‘divine male power’ syndrome.
The book that delves into this issue is ‘Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation’ by Kristin Kobes du Mez. The book documents ideas about masculinity in the white Evangelical church and its politics which, while not as violent or intrusive as the Taliban, are eerily similar. Kristin Du Mez said “Trump’s four years in the White House made painfully clear just how deep these divisions ran.” About a quarter of Americans describe themselves as evangelical protestants; that’s tens of millions of people according to polling by Pew Research Center. 14% are white evangelicals, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, and that evangelical population grew among white Americans during the Trump administration.
This is another fissure opening in this age of social change rife with computerization, racial upheaval, women’s rights, and an increasingly oligarchical economy. The ‘white Christian’ tag is present in other denominations as well.
Americans must admit that national legislation, whether Federal, state or local, still limits women’s rights and underplays male accountability to be fair and nonjudgmental. The fact that years of rape cases documented in police records have gone unprocessed is just one example. The fact that sexual abuse to women is as blatant and ignored as to tolerate gross abuse to an entire team of female Olympic gymnasts is just one example. The fact that a woman does not have the right to make decisions about her own body with respect to abortion is just one example. The fact that the rate of pay for the same job across the United States even in modern industries pays women 82 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Perhaps Americans should take note of the Taliban and cast the mote from their own nation.