I figured we’d tackle this one first, get it out of the way. The left side of the blogosphere (and maybe the right too) has been going through convulsions recently over the topic of religion, lots of words thrown about, lots of hurt on all sides. Thankfully, that’s not what this diary is for.

In case you are just joining the conversation (and all are welcome), we are undertaking a collaborative project between the bloggers of BooTrib and Human Beams Magazine. Goals are to help build up a reader base for the blog of “I don’t usually read blogs” type people, as well as to guide people into taking further action or joining an overall liberal/progressive movement to effect change, worldwide. You can read more about the project in this diary, and some informational type stuff in this one.

[ note: while the first special topic is women, it will be addressed in the context of the connections between women and their specific issues, and overall liberal, leftist, progressive, Democratic, whatever issues. Men are encouraged to participate. My mantra: we are all in this together :)]

Okay, so on to the discussion. I’ll set out some issues I’ve been thinking about, everyone else can add their own, or bring up points or whatever. As this will be the diary for discussion on this topic, so that we can keep it all in one place when the time for writing comes, you might want to hotlist it or something so you can find it once it disappears from the page.


First, while touching on the history of the religions is good, the articles themselves will mostly deal with not how various religious were supposed to be, or what they were supposed to do, but what they are today, how they affect people, women specifically at this time, today, and what we can do about various issues today. We can have “for further reading, see…” type boxes available with the articles, for people to do more research on historical topics or something not covered in the articles.

I would suggest that those who have knowledge and an interest in the history or whatever, write up a companion blog post, on BooTrib or their own blogs, and people can be pointed to that one, instead of to an unrelated (to the project) site. This would go for any of the other topics covered too, of course, which will work to build up blog profiles.

I wasn’t sure whether to tackle each religion separately, or the three main patriarchal religions together, and the others separately or what. I suppose we’ll see how it shakes out, and go from there. For now, we can just do all here. I’d like to get some input from people not only in the main religions, but also the earth based ones, and buddhism and so on, in relation to women.


[note: Homosexuality and religion is a big topic, and I was considering making that all one on its own… but I believe that plays into the “divide and conquer” strategy. Gays and lesbians are one of our most vulnerable (to hate and bigotry and bad laws) groups right now, and, to my way of thinking, one puts the most vulnerable right in the midst so that everyone else can stand beside them and surround them for protection and solidarity. Thus, I feel that the issues affecting lesbian women should be addressed in the same context of issues affecting all women, regardless of sexual orientation. Show the connections and why non-lesbian women should be concerned at the rights of all, and all that.]

The Gag Rule was reinstated by Bush when he got into office at the urging of the religious right, and was just recently repealed again. Therefore, US policy had the direct effect putting women across the world from us in harm’s way, creating the conditions for lifelong illness and death. I know this… many people know this, although I am not sure some are aware of the extent of the harm. One thing I don’t know though, really, is… who are the women on the receiving end of the policy? Even just one… what’s her name? Is she religious too, and does she understand where these people are coming from? What about her family? Can we make her into something besides the generic “Woman in a Poor Country”?

Why care now, now that the rule has been repealed? For one thing, I’m sure it will come around again, and there are other issues related to it, like the UN conventions and so on.

I won’t write much more, so as not to inhibit discussion, but a couple of more points.

We want to cover as many areas of the world as we can.

Connecting the dots… how one thing affects another and affects all of us is a main goal, so keep that in mind.

Even if you are not a ‘writer’ — information, commentary, research and ideas for action or getting people involved and such are all part of the project.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, nor probably do I even know all the questions, so please add your opinions and/or expertise to all this.  

So, let’s see what we can accomplish together.

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