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Mary Mary, Quite Contrary: On Women and the Dark Bible

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Mary Mary, Quite Contrary: On Women and the Dark Bible

Andrew Ryan

In the last week, whenever I have happened to come across an awakened television screen, there has been some mention of the dead nun that has just become Australia’s first catholic saint. As of last Sunday, we gon’ got ourselves a saint! Celebrate! Worship! AT LAST!!! Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. The only affect it had on my reality was as a reminder of just how defunct Catholicism is in contemporary Australian- hell, contemporary planet Earth’s- society.

There exists quite enough evidence to prove that the whole bible is a bunch of fairy-tales, and that the people who believe it to be the literal truth are exactly like a child who would fight any of their classmates if he finds out that their idea of a tooth fairy isn’t exactly like his. Even worse is that if most people who call themselves catholics- in particular, the female half of that population- actually read the bible back to back and had the brain power to see through all the crazy old English way of speaking/writing, they would freak the FUCK out at just how brutal and unforgiving the bible is in attitude toward women.

I have just spent close to four hours reading about Mary Mackilop, the rules for canonisation of a catholic saint, and the views of the catholic church on women; and while I knew it was bullshit to start off with, at this point I honestly feel a little ill. Let me attempt to explain in brief, without referencing the exact passages because, let’s face it, it means nothing to most of the readership of this bailout.God created Eve because Adam could not find a suitable helper in the animal kingdom.

God prefers the blind worship of what he says, so forbade Adam and Eve to eat the apples of knowledge, but Eve is curious, eats it, learns stuff, and so they get punished. The bible says this act curses woman kind forever. Childbirth, as every fertile woman has ever known it, is said to be God’s way of punishing them for Eve’s hunger for knowledge. After that, the bible is full of stories about the raping of virgin girls, often sisters, by dudes you’re meant to follow the example of, the selling of female relatives, the mutilation and/or murder of wives, sexual double standards (men having many, many wives and concubines, while a woman can happily be killed after coitus with a man other than her husband, even when NOT consenting), the explanation that women are unclean during their time of the month, and straight after childbirth, and for double the amount of time if we’re unfortunate enough to bring ANOTHER WRETCHED FEMALE into the world, and during the unclean time they were not allowed near the church altar… the list just keeps going.

Womenfolk are told to aspire to be like the Virgin Mary. Her admirable qualities: “virgin until marriage”, raised the perfect man, humble, put blind trust in god (and her husband), and was content in being his (and her husband’s) servant. Adhering to this set of values is the only way a woman can be warmly accepted in catholic society. And despite all her natural sin and dirtiness, if a woman possessing all these qualities also happens to perform two miracles after she has died (wait… what?), and enough money is put into the campaign to have her recognised, then the Pope might just recognise her as a saint. OMG sainthood. And new to the list, one of six to be recognised on Sunday, of is our Mary Mackilop of Fitzroy, Melbourne.

The Australian media made such a fucking big deal about it because she the first Aussie saint. She’s ours, we’re so proud etc. After the complete non-event that was the Commonwealth games, where the English-colonised world just kind of got bored of watching us win, we’re eager revel in the international spotlight again, and this time, with the canonisation, we got to show off what is left of our charming little indigenous culture inside the the home of the institution that helped to fucking rape it! Brilliant!

I’m sure Mary Mackilop was a lovely person- she was dedicated to teaching children to read, write and count, as well as to worship a fictional ruler of all life on Earth and to follow outdated ideas about codes of conduct within society- but it is unfortunate that so many people appear to give a fuck. Spreading the message of god has always brought with it good and bad results, and the firm belief in a god of any kind more often encourages the latter. Isn’t it time everyone gave up and started worshipping nature again? We’d all be so much happier, more peaceful and connected to each other, and it could even bring an end to the need for currency. Imagine that! Maybe I’ll explain that statement another time.

As soon as I finish this paragraph, I’m going to read into the Time Wave theory a little more, which will no doubt satisfy my now extreme need for intelligent ideas. I refuse to waste any more of my energy being frustrated by religion; I am tired of the subject being forced into my conciousness so regularly. I JUST WANT IT TO BE OVER. Aaaaaaaaaaaand stop.