There is a belief by most Christians that the Old Testament is full of bad things, but Jesus changed everything with the New Testament. Now, I could pull out horrible sexist and racist quotes from Deuteronomy all day, but instead I'll focus on the New Testament, to dispel this myth that it's not like the Old Testament. I will say this though first- Christians still hold the Old Testament as sacred and the word of God. God murders people in the Old Testament. He encourages armies to slaughter villages simply because they're foreigners. He ordered Jews to enslave foreigners As far as I'm concerned, if you hold the Old Testament sacred and holy, you condone the behavior within it. You can't call something divine and the word of God while saying it's wrong at the same time.
As a woman, sexism in the New Testament offends me. It offends me that people consider the oppression of women holy and sacred. Most sexist ideas in the New Testament come from Paul, and boy does he have a lot of them. This is an idea carried from the Old Testament into the New Testament, showing theologically, it was still accepted by Jesus:
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve."
1 Timothy 2:11-13
First, I will point out that almost no modern Christians follow this. Most evangelists are women, and women are permitted to speak and sing in Church. Yet, the Bible still holds this hateful rhetoric to be sacred and good. I'll also note that any woman who says she follows a literal version of the Bible is ill-informed, because based on this quote, she is not worthy enough to even discuss religion.
"And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
But women will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."
1 Timothy 2:14-15
I'm not sure which account of creation Paul read, but you can see plain as day that Adam and Eve BOTH disobeyed God and they BOTH consumed forbidden fruit. Yet, Paul wants to criminalize the woman and make her a second class person.
I probably shouldn't pick on Paul alone, because in 1 Peter 3:1-7, Peter goes on about why women are the inferior vessel and must submit fully to their husbands. In Luke 2:22, the idea that women are impure after giving birth is introduced, which still plagues women today in underdeveloped parts of the world who are not allowed to seek medical treatment until they are "pure" again. To attack child birth is the ultimate attack against women, if even our biological functions outside of our control are sinful. Interestingly enough, Luke is talking about the freaking Virgin Mary in that passage. If giving birth to the Son of God makes a woman impure, ladies, we're all doomed.
Allegedly, Jesus also threatens to kill women and their children, but this quote is from the book of Revelations, and I find it to be illogical that this book was ever canonized because it's history and the time it was written is so questionable.
"I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds."
Racism and discrimination also runs rampent in both the Old and New Testament. Galatians provides a key example:
"Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? 'Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son.' Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman."
If being a woman wasn't bad enough, being a slave woman is even worse, and if you happened to be born to a slave, you're a deplorable person automatically. I don't understand how any tolerant and loving person can hold such hateful verses as sacred.
Jesus even says he was only sent to minister to Israelites, and this furthers the idea from the Old Testament that other races or ethnicities are inferior.
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
Jesus does end up helping the woman ironically, only after his disciplines urge him to and the woman has groveled and begged because she's not an Israelite.
And of course, I could not write this section without mentioning homosexuality... or any type of sexuality that isn't heterosexuality, for that matter. This is the oddest issue with Christianity to me, because while there is rampant racism and sexism, most don't consider it as a pillar of their religion, yet homosexuality is mentioned so sparingly, and so many Christians are enraged about it.
"...at the beginning, the Creator 'made them male and female' and said 'For this reason man will leave his father and mother, and be united with his wife; and the two will become one flesh.'"
To me, this verse seems innocent enough. It doesn't exactly condem homosexuality, but celebrates marriage. Yet this verse is used as justification for why gay people cannot get married.