When Christians talk about Muslim extremism and mistreatment of women, they forget that the primary reason the persecution of women was tempered in Christianity was because Christian clerics found their own patriarchal claims mitigated by secular governments. As long as church and state were one, witches were burned, Jews were persecuted, and woman were treated like property.

I present to you exhibit A- Pat Robertson. In the following clip, a husband writes in to Pat about a disobedient wife. The good reverend, who believes in a divine pecking order of husbands over wives, laments that the man cannot move to Saudi Arabia where he could beat her back into proper piety. Whether Robertson is speaking a bit sarcastically or not, isn’t the point. The point, in my opinion,  is that his Christian fundamentalist principles, if not prevented by the state, would very possibly lead to the same nightmare for women as Islamic fundamentalism.

The fundamental dividing line in religion is not between Christian and non-Christian, or even between believer and nonbeliever. The fundamental divinding line in religion is between those who worship love and those who worship power.