A Cultural Lag

The major world religions started in periods of human history when their societies could only be characterized as warrior cultures. One characteristic of such cultures is they tend to be  patriarchal. In such societies males are dominant and females subservient. It is no accident that many religions talk about “God the Father”, whereas God as traditionally conceived has no gender whatsoever. Nevertheless, patriarchal societies identify their chief god as male. The idea that men and women should be separated at religious services is then a cultural lag from a time when women were subservient. In traditional Jewish synagogues a religious service could not  be conducted unless there was a minimum number of men [minyan] present. Women could not contribute to that minimum. One can attempt to justify the separation of the sexes in religious services by other excuses, but in the end this is all just a cultural lag.

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