When it comes to the question of whether God exists, the implicit argument here is that because God is not very nice God doesn’t exist (or, at least, because the Biblical God is not very nice the Biblical God does not exist). I was worried this chapter would chew the same cud as the last few that follow this pattern. But oddly, the argument took on a very strange direction. According to the debaters in this book women are either denigrated and subjugated or they are elevated above men.
The atheist had the easy job here. Chapter and verse of women being ill-treated, God’s discussion of women as property, the permission for people to sell their daughters into slavery, women being commanded to be silent in church and the sexual punishment of women. All of which the atheist finds. He also adds some of the special privileges of men, like men exclusively being made in the image of God, and women being but their helper.
The Christian assumes a hierarchy in the order of creation. Humans are more important than bird and fish because they were created after. Similarly, that woman was created after man elevates women (and implicitly makes them better). Referencing women as “helpers” is used to promote them to a tier alongside God himself, as in Psalms 33:20 God is also called a helper. Neither of our debaters believes the Bible is a gender equality book.
As the Christian picks out a few chapters to show that women are not to be subjugated—albeit a small number of weakly worded chapters compared to the virulence and volume of chapters to the contrary—the atheist points out a little joke in the secular community: one day gay rights will be equal and animals will have greater rights than they do now, and although no large biblical voice exists now for such things when they do happen every activist that happened to be a Christian will be put on the pedestal of history and chapters of the Bible will be reinterpreted. It won’t matter who progressed society in that direction, the religious will rewrite history to make it theirs.