Despite all of this, remnants of the fertility symbol have yet survived within Christian worship through the veneration of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The 1487 Christian treatise on witchcraft, the , warns, “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in woman is insatiable.” Scholars Stuart Clark and Robin Briggs tell us that a certain binary exists in Christian thought which explains why women were more prone to the accusation of witchcraft: “Men are associated with positive attributes, then women must be associated with their negative counterparts.
If God is the embodiment of good and the Devil, His polar opposite, then, accordingly, men are innately closer to God and women to the Devil.
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I also saw one on a business card, a necklace, a church bulletin, and even a Bible. People in America must really love female sexuality. The vulva-shaped or “Jesus fish” was once a prominent pagan symbol representing almost every pre-Christian fertility goddess: from Atargatis, Aphrodite, and Artemis, to many others who do not follow my alliteration streak, so we’re just going to ignore them for right now.
Early Christian syncretism involved taking existing pagan symbols and giving them new meaning.
Instead of man coming from woman, now woman comes from a man.
Female empowerment was likely seen as dangerous to Christianity.
Humanity has been venerating the vagina, vulva, and birthing powers of women since the Paleolithic age! This is how I could be taught growing up that the best thing I could do was have children, but the worst thing I could do was have sex outside the confines of heterosexual, church-approved, man-ruled marriage.
By contrast Judaism is only around 3,000 years old, and its off-shoot, Christianity, a youthful 2,000. All this is to say, the Christian fear of female sexuality is certainly not new. Thousands upon thousands of women were burned as witches by order of the Christian leaders of the day.