Does God Hate Women?

I notice that the book Does God Hate Women? is catching some flack for its title. Madeleine Bunting, a critic of the "shrill and militant" tone of "the new atheists," complains at Comment is Free...
Instead of 'Does God Hate Women?', the question is 'Do Men Hate Women?' And of course the latter is an absurd question because some men do and some don't.
Some of the commenters on Bunting's column ask how authors Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom can think God hates women, if they don't even believe in God. What an insight!

But then, if we're going to press them that way, let's be fair. Here are some questions people failed to ask of a whole crew of religion-sympathetic writers.

Karen Armstrong, A History of God. "Karen, what's up with that? A history begins and ends, right? If you don't think God does, how can you write a history of him?"

Robert Wright, The Evolution of God. "Robert, Robert, evolution is for frogs and fish and nematodes. Is God that sort of thing?"

Jack Miles, God: A Biography. "Groan. What do you think, God was born in Brooklyn?"

David Cooper, God is a Verb. "Really? If he's not a part of speech, can he be a verb?"

Karen Armstrong, The Bible: A Biography. "So you think the bible is a person? Uh, where was it born? When did it die? Where did it go to school?"

John Eldredge, Walking with God. "What's next, having a bite to eat with God? Going to the movies with God?"

Barbara Bradley Haggerty, Fingerprints of God. "Does God have ten fingerprints? Or, since he is infinite, does he have an infinite number of fingerprints?"

Now look, fair is fair. If Benson and Stangroom have to name their book "The Misogyny that Permeates Religion" (and thereby sink into obscurity) then Karen Armstrong can't have "A History of God"--it's got to be "Concepts of God in the World's Major Religions." (And she can sink into obscurity too.)

So much for that.


I love this evocation of fatherhood (and motherhood) in today's New York Times. It's a nice change to read something about parenthood by someone who's actually good at it.


faust said...


I enjoyed that. Talking about God is a strange one. One needs to start by begging the question.

Ophelia Benson said...

Heehee - very droll. I wish I'd thought of it!

Jean Kazez said...

I almost forgot--

Chris Hedges, I Don't Believe in Atheists. "Chris, how can you say that? How can you spend your whole book complaining about atheists if you don't believe in them?"