Negative campaigning in the years 100 - 600

If you think repression of women and/or negative campaigning are recent phenomena, read this from this week's Newsweek:

The dispute--resurrection of flesh or of spirit?--would dominate the first three centuries of Christianity. Orthodox clerics worried that the Gnostic belief in resurrection as spiritual release would compromise their teaching that Christ physically suffered on the cross to atone for the sins of man. They called the Gnostics pagans and hedonists and spun wild tales to make them look profane. (The church writer Epiphanius, writing in the fourth century, claimed that Gnostics believed Jesus had forced Mary to watch him eat his own semen.) When the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in the year 312, the orthodox won the power of the state, and the sword. Fearing that bishops enforcing the new orthodoxy would destroy the texts, monks tried to erase all evidence of the Gnostic tradition. They buried the Gospels, with their powerful portrait of Mary Magdalene, in the sand.

The role played by women in the early church was also being erased. Jesus clearly had a rare empathy for women.


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Feminine Mystique Murdered My Mother; Friedan Saved My Life

When I read the Betty Friedan's book The Feminine Mystique, it was a punch in the gut -- what Friedan wrote about, was the reason for my mother's suicide.

Bright, but from a depression-blighted family and a woman, so college was out of the question, my mother scored so high on federal exams that she became the head of the local employment office.

And then the men came back from World War II, she married my father (not so fresh from shell shock) and my mother was relegated to a lonely kitchen, as a baby machine.

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