Monday, May 19, 2014

I Just Can't Even

So this is getting posted on my FB:

Photo: It's just not that important. Plus Yahweh is cool with rape and encourages it as part of a healthy lifestyle.

A comment by a Christian lady on this sweetly noted that this objection was covered under the Commandment under adultery.  I'm afraid I went off on her somewhat.

Coincidentally this had been the subject of a discussion the kid and I were having on one of our many late-night walks through the street of the Fort lately.

The Kid: You mean there's no commandment against raping people in the Bible?

Me: Hell no.

The Kid: It's not against the rules to rape people in the Bible?

Me: There's rules for how to rape people in the Bible.

The Kid: No.  Just -- no.  Just don't even.

Me:  For instance, if you rape a young girl*, and she's not married, you have to pay a fine to her father, and marry her.  But if she is married, and you rape her inside the city walls, then she gets killed, because --

The Kid: WHAT!

Me: Well, because she must have secretly been wanting it.  But they kill him too, don't worry.  But if you rape them in war, if they're virgins, you can keep them as sex slaves**.  But if they're not virgins, you have to kill them.  And --

The Kid: Stop.  Just stop.  Please.  I don't want to hear anymore.

Yeah, this is the kind of thing, when people tell me that we should use the Bible as the source of our ethics, makes steam come out of my fucking ears.

*Deuteronomy 22
** Numbers 31


dorki said...

Ya verily - The Book is the Ultimate Reference!

* For how NOT to do the right thing *

jen said...


Contingent Cassandra said...

I, too, would argue that it's covered, but under "though shalt not covet. . .they neighbor's wife," or perhaps "though shalt not steal," because, as you point out, women are considered somebody's property (husband's,father's, or, failing that, brother's)in the OT law codes.

Your "Christian lady" might have some familiarity with the Westminster Catechism (or somebody who instructed her, or who instructed somebody back in the chain of instruction, may have). I could never figure out why my grandmother insisted that all extramarital sex comes under the "no adultery" commandment, but I finally took a look at the Westminster (which she had to memorize to join church, but I didn't), and found that, in keeping with its general tendency to elaborate on and extrapolate from the commandments, it does, indeed, expand the "no adultery" rule to all manner of "fornication" (which apparently means all non-marital sex).

But/and yes, there are major problems with using the Bible as an ethical code, at least not without considerable attention to historical context. And you don't get to pick and choose; no claiming that wearing mixed fibers is no longer an abomination, but male-male sex is.

delagar said...

See, I just have a really hard time classifying rape as sex.

Rape is assault. Granted, it's a specific kind of a assault -- sexual assault -- but it's not the same thing as sexual congress, which requires consent.

So even coveting, if we're talking about you and your neighbor's wife doing sex, requires that your partner agree to join you in your desire. And clearly adultery requires that she join you in your desire.

Rape is you assaulting another human. That's an attack.

And the Bible is clear -- God says that's a crime that you can pay a fine for sometimes, or that's okay in other cases, or that is even what he wants done in other cases (when the victims are special enemies of his). Rape as a punishment, in other words.

Anonymous said...

It's bizarre that poorly-educated 21st century American Christians still try to make Deuteronomy work for them. If we invoked some imaginary version of the Code of Hammurabi because it remotely supported one of our prejudices it would make as much sense. -L

delagar said...

True story, L.

Whenever one of my Christian FB posts a link to their blogs with a lengthy post detailing why this or that aspect of scripture can be interpreted as historically accurate or morally relevant if you just read it *this* way, I just SMH.

It's literally like listening to my younger brothers' friends, when they were twelve, arguing for hours over the rules of some role playing game, except -- of course -- they KNEW it was just a game.

Anonymous said...

I also have Christian FB "friends" (right-wing fundie relatives) who post this nonsense with a great deal of passion. There's no way I'd have these folks in my life if they weren't family, so I'm left with pondering reasons why it's a positive thing to have this link to the dark side in my life. In all fairness, they think the same of me, which makes me a little crazy. -L