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This essay is an attempt to illustrate and analyze whether Elizabeth Cady Stanton's arguments are compatible with Christian principles.

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Introduction

One of the best known nineteenth century women's rights activists is Elizabeth Cady Stanton. "When, in the early part of the Nineteenth Century, women began to protest against their civil and political degradation, they were referred to the Bible for an answer" (page 8). This is exactly what Stanton did; she set out to disprove the age old belief that women are inferior to men. New movements, or sects, within Christianity all turn to the Scriptures to justify their "new" beliefs and these interpretations of the inherent "Word of God" provide a strong foundation to the evolving sect. The Women's Bible is a collection of interpretations and comments by women on all passages in the Bible which refer to women and the findings are usually in direct opposition to the interpretations made by the Church. This essay is an attempt to illustrate and analyze whether Elizabeth Cady Stanton's arguments are compatible with Christian principles. The Women's Bible analyzes both creation stories in the Book of Genesis. ...read more.

Middle

However, Stanton replies by saying that "it does not need a knowledge of either Greek, Hebrew or the works of scholars to show that the Bible degrades the Mothers of the Race" (page 8). Moreover, "whatever the Bible may be made to do in Hebrew or Greek, in plain English it does not exalt and dignify woman" (page 12). She is not interested in creating a Matriarchate, but rather open the doors of possibility toward an Amphiarchate. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was well aware of how conveniently the Christian Church has translated "God's words" into terms that degrade women as well as create a patriarchal society. Stanton cites how the language that is used in the Bible is pervasive because it names men as humanity and women as inferior and as responsible for bringing sin into the world. Stanton does state that she does "not believe that any man ever saw or talked with God" (page 12). However, it is quite obvious that she does not literally mean no man has ever talked or saw God, for everyone knows of at least twelve men who in fact did converse and see God. ...read more.

Conclusion

Moreover, "the Bible cannot be accepted or rejected as a whole, its teachings are varied and its lessons differ widely from each other" (page 13). Elizabeth Cady Stanton's awareness to the religious barriers illustrates how women are treated as second-class and that their truth is silent and extinct in the Christian Church. Stanton and her Revising Committee in establishing The Women's Bible opens a new path in which prejudice and discrimination against women are not acceptable, according to the Holy Bible. Although she opposes the Churches teachings and does not accept the Bible as divine inspiration, her views still mirror the true essence of Christianity. For "the time has come to read it as we do all other books, accepting the good and rejecting the evil it teaches" and it "shows a more worshipful reverence for the great Spirit of All Good than does the Church" (page 8). Christianity and the teachings of Christ, time and time again, have been summed up into the repeatedly uttered Golden Rule. By forming a solution to women's issues regarding men's oppressive acts and by eliminating "God's Word" as being responsible for the behaviour, Elizabeth Cady Stanton truly can call herself a Christian. ...read more.

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