I would like to expand on Ruth Marcus’s analysis of sexism in our religious traditions [“The orthodoxy of sexism,” op-ed, Feb. 13]. Ms. Marcus is quite correct in attributing such attitudes to a “fear of encroaching modernity undermining doctrinal control.” I would suggest, however, that the key to the issue is those last two words.
It might be useful for us to distinguish between religion and doctrine. Religion is a human attempt to experience and connect our lives to the divine, the sacred and the transcendent as a way of enhancing our sense of meaning, purpose and significance. Our religious founders, leaders and scriptures are meant to provide us with paradigms and practices that facilitate that connection. Doctrine, on the other hand, is a human effort to exert control and authority, and for the past 5,000 years or so, it seems that has meant male control and authority. The solution is to eschew doctrine in favor of religion.