battling apathy: A Battle in the War on Ethnocentricity
It is not "our" confusion. We always get confused when we follow "our" ideas because we are human and subject to emotions and passions. That is why there are absolutes. Your idea about women being repressed is not in the Christian Bible. Paul said that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female" but that all Christians are one and equal to each other.
Now if we look at the outcomes of what we people do .... that I would agree is another story.
There are religions where man is reaching up to try to find a God and then there is Christianity where God reached down and in fact came down to find man. The product of this are many of the great institutions of this world, schools for all not just the rich, hospitals likewise, in fact most universities at least in North America were established originally as Christian institutions of higher learning, and in fact democracy itself with all its flaws. All of these and more originated from Christian outreach to those who were less fortunate.
Now I do not see or know of any religion in the world more anti-people than Islam. The Koran talks about killing the infidels. More moderate, usually westernized, Muslims have left this belief but if you go anywhere in the world today where there are massive killings, it is often Muslims trying to kill off the non-Muslim population. (Sudan being one current example where the Muslims are attempting very well to kill off the Christian blacks.) And of course the middle east.... Have you ever heard of a Jewish suicide bomber? Arabs who live in the Jewish state are treated the same way and have the same benefits as non-Jews. It is the ones who have deliberately been kept poor by Arafat or Saddam Hussein or the like and taught to hate Jews and Christians who send their children to die for "Allah", a god made up by Mohammed after searching thru about 360 Gods that the ancient arabs use to have.
There are many religions, but only one God, not Allah, but the real God found in the Bible. And there is only 1 son of God who came to earth, died as a sacrifice for us to satisfy the requirements of the Jewish law and then rose again and went back to heaven. Even tho we as people have messed with the original ideas and done terrible things sometimes because of "our" messing, the originator, the creator still reigns.
You may be interested in a True Love Story found at http://www.joyfulmourning.com.
P.S. What a fortunate person you were to have seen those so often. Only saw them briefly on our month-long tour across the U.S., to B.C. and then an Alaska cruise.