In the lead-up to the 2012 election, Christians of many stripes scrambled to distance themselves, their religion, or their God from offensive Republican comments about rape. The comments swelled to fill a four column “Rape Advisory Chart.” Some of the most damning were explicitly driven by religious belief. Consider Indiana candidate Richard Mourdock, who said, “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Mourdock echoed Rick Santorum: “the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.” Then there were thinly veiled attempts by Christian conservatives to rationalize their religiously-driven opposition to abortion. In this category we have Todd Akin’s statement that a woman’s body can prevent pregnancy in “legitimate rape” and John Koster’s comment that “incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare.”
Those Christians who see the Bible as an imperfect human document have the right to distance themselves from comments such as these. Those who see the Bible as unique and perfect revelation, essentially dictated by God to the writers, do not. The perspective that God intends rape babies and that such pregnancies should be allowed to run their course is absolutely biblical.
To understand why Christian conservatives have backed themselves into such a dark corner, one has to understand the actual contents of the “Good Book” and the moral bind that biblical literalism imposes on believers.
I am not going to argue here that the Bible teaches that life begins at conception. It doesn’t. The Bible writers had no concept of conception, and no Bible writer values the life of a fetus on par with the life of an infant or an older child. One does say that God knows us while we are developing in the womb, but another says he knows us even before. Levitical law prescribes a fine for a man who accidentally triggers a miscarriage. It is not the same as the penalty for manslaughter. Therapeutic abortion is never mentioned, nor is the status of the fetus that spontaneously aborts. Under Jewish law, a newborn isn’t circumcised and blessed until he is eight days old, having clearly survived the high mortality peri-natal period. For centuries the Catholic Church believed that “ensoulment” occurred and a fetus became a person at the time of quickening or first movement, sometime during the second trimester.
However, if we take the viewpoint of biblical literalists and treat the Good Book as if it were authored by a single perfect, unchanging Deity, then a man is on solid ground thinking that rape babies are part of God’s intentions. Consider the following Bible teachings:
God made everything, good and evil, including rape. If the Bible is taken in aggregate as a unified whole, it explicitly teaches that God created evil. Consider verses like the following:
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7, KJV)
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6, KJV)
Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? (Lamentations 3:38)
Modern translations variously replace the word “evil” here with disaster or calamity, but most people experiencing disaster (and many ethical philosophers) would define them synonymously. Furthermore, according to the Bible, God did not merely put the universe in motion, creation the initial conditions for evil. He is a sustaining presence in everything that exists or occurs: “He is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17). In this perspective, no calamity including rape happens without God’s active consent, which is why Christian ministers so often end up making pronouncements in which they blame one hated minority or another (like atheists or gays) for natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, and why so many Christians get caught up in Prosperity gospel or blaming victims for their own misfortune. It must all be God’s will at work, which leads to some interesting hypotheses about who deserves what.
The Bible never teaches that women should have a choice about sex. The Bible makes a clear distinction between forcible stranger rape and other forms of nonconsensual sex, condemning the former while sanctioning the latter in many, many circumstances. The fact that conservative Christians – or politicians who are pandering to a Conservative Christian base–keep fumbling with these distinctions is no accident. According to the commands of Yahweh, a man can give his daughters in marriage, keep concubines, have sex with his wife’s servants, or claim a desirable war captive as his own sexual property after a series of rituals to purify her. In no case, including in the New Testament, is the woman’s consent required for sexual contact.
Male female relationships in the Bible are determined by a property ethic. In the Ten Commandments, the prohibition against coveting a neighbor’s wife is part of a broader prohibition against coveting property that belongs to another man: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17NIV). Under Levitical law, men have legal rights that guard against theft and property damage, including damage to women. Coerced sex is considered wrong only when it occurs outside of the contractual agreements men have with each other. In such cases, the punishments for rape have to do not with compassion or trauma to the woman herself but with honor, tribal purity, and a sense that a used woman is damaged goods. A rapist can be forced, essentially, to buy his victim. By contrast, a woman who voluntarily gives up her purity may be killed because she has transformed herself from a family asset to a liability.
God’s purpose for women in the Bible is childbearing. Martin Luther, who brought us the concept of “sola scritura” meaning Christianity based solely on the authority of the Bible, had this to say: “Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear and bring up children. If a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it.” He drew his scripturally informed opinion from the biblical record broadly but most specifically from the words of Paul’s letter to Timothy: “Women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety” (1 Tm. 2:15).
Virtually all Bible books, like almost all Hollywood movies fail to pass the Bechdel Test (Are there two named female characters who talk with each other about anything other than men?).In the Bible, as in Hollywood, women exist largely as props in plotlines about male protagonists. Biblical plotlines are even more homogenous than Hollywood, however, in that the vast preponderance of females exist simply for the purpose of producing male offspring. It all starts with Eve, who, after she defies Yahweh and eats from the Tree of Knowledge, is punished thus: “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Gen. 3:16). After Eve’s curse, we encounter Abraham’s wife Sarah and the slave girl Hagar who Sarah sends to “lie with” her husband when she herself cannot conceive. Then come the pathetic deflowered daughters of Lot who get him drunk and have sex with him so they can fulfill their purpose. Then come the archetypal bitch sisters Rachel and Leah who compete over Jacob’s bed and pump out the twelve tribes of Israel with the help of a few mandrake roots. The New Testament leads with the story of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist who is barren in her old age until an angel promises her the best thing that can happen to a woman. Her unborn son leaps in her womb when the pregnant Mary comes into her house, prompting one of the most repeated songs of joy in the whole Bible, the Magnificat (Luke 1:40-55). And then, of course, there is the Virgin Mary herself. They are made to do it. It is as God intended.
In the Bible, children are counted as assets belonging to men. Children, like women, in the Bible are treated primarily according to a property ethic. In the Old Testament stories of Jepthah’s daughter and the sacrifice of Isaac, scholars glimpse a residual of child sacrifice in the early Hebrew religion. This in turn leads to the New Testament notion of God giving his only begotten son as a sacrifice—all of which make sense only when we think of children as property which a father can dispose of as he pleases. When Yahweh is pleased with men he multiplies their flocks and their offspring. When he is displeased, he may kill their firstborn sons, as he does to the Egyptians in the Moses story. When Yahweh and Satan agree to play out their cosmic competition in the life of Job, Satan tests Job’s loyalty to Yahweh by taking away is riches including his livestock, children and wives, and Yahweh later replaces them with new ones.
There is no sense, ever, in the Bible, that a woman might prefer a choice about having a child; that wise parents might think about when is best to bring another child into their family or how many children they can nurture; or even less that bringing a child into the world should be an matter of thoughtful and mutual decision making. The only Bible story in which someone declines to produce a child is the one about Onan refusing to father a son for his deceased brother. He spills his seed on the ground instead, and God kills him for it. Whether the widow wanted the seed inside her plays no part in the account whatsoever.
The Bible is loaded with divinely sanctioned rape babies. The Bible both depicts and scripts a world in which women have no choice about who they are given to. Daughters can be given in marriage or sold outright, slaves can be sent by their mistresses to bear proxy babies, virgin war captives can be claimed as wives, widows can be forced to submit to humping by their brothers-in-law until they produce sons. Presumably any of these women can be laid at any time, at a man’s discretion, much as is the case in parts of Afghanistan or analogous Iron Age tribal cultures today. In such a world, a significant portion of babies conceived will be the product of non-consensual sex. In other words, rape.
Christians who like to retroactively sanitize the Biblical record because they insist that it is the literally perfect word of God often sanitize it quite literally. They want to think of these women as willing participants in sexual unions with benevolent, high status patriarchs. What slave girl wouldn’t want one? In reality we are talking about forced sex with primitive desert tribesmen whose cleansing rituals mostly focused on their hands and feet rather than their genitals, armpits or teeth. Airbrushing the Bible to the point that it doesn’t condone rape requires that we deny much of what we know about human history and biology.
If we are ever going to move on from Iron Age conflicts, it is imperative that people understand the Bible in its own context, not as a literally perfect prescription for how we should live today but as a record of our very imperfect ancestors struggling to live in community with each other, instinctively seeking patterns that worked within a given ecological and technological context to create a stable, functional society in which men, women, and children could thrive.
As we now know, many traditional gender scripts and sexual rules once served to ensure that men could invest their energy in their own genetic offspring. The saying, “mama’s baby, papa’s maybe” reflects the reality that humans are only partially monogamous, that both men and women have reason to cheat, and that at the level of evolutionary biology males gain advantage if they can control the sexual behavior of females in whose offspring they will then invest their time and energy. The Abrahamic virginity code, which evolved before the time of contraception and paternity tests, ensured a greater degree of confidence that men were in fact raising their own children. A woman who bled on her wedding night was unlikely to be carrying another man’s sperm or fetus or to have formed an emotional bond that would result in an ongoing extramarital liaison. By increasing male confidence that the offspring of their wives were their own, the virginity code may have increased the investment of men in pregnant women and dependent children, helping both to survive in a harsh desert environment where producing food was hard work.
The harshness of this environment and human frailty within it probably contributed to another aspect of the Mourdock mentality that so plagues many Abrahamic adherents. From the time we humans have first been able to understand our plight as suffering, mortal creatures we have struggled to transcend it. But much of life’s hardship cannot be transcended; it must simply be endured. In the time before modern science this was even more true than it is today. Consequently all of the world’s great religions cultivate acceptance or resignation as a virtue. Islam literally means submission. Buddhism centers itself on the absence of desire, on “living into” what is. Christianity teaches that God’s actions are not for us to question. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.” “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” Submit, accept, don’t question. In all cases, submission has a hierarchy: men are to submit themselves to the will of God or to the divine flow; women are to submit both to the will of God and to the will of men.
In a world where what’s done is done, accepting a rape pregnancy and falling in love with the resulting child is an unmitigated good. Seeing all pregnancy as God-intended and all childbirth as a blessing from a loving heavenly father helps to make this possible. But we live in a world where we have far more knowledge and choices than did our Iron Age ancestors. And with knowledge and choices comes responsibility. We now have the ability to stop a rape from developing into a pregnancy or an early pregnancy from developing into a person. Consequently, we also have a responsibility in this situation to activate such moral virtues as compassion, forethought, discernment, and, where appropriate, action—just as our ancestors had a moral responsibility to employ these same virtues in situations where they were equally empowered. As the popular Serenity Prayer reminds us, what we should do depends in part on what we can do: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. As conditions change, our responsibilities change. The kind of resignation or submission that once enabled women and children to flourish may now be a barrier to flourishing; a virtue applied wrongly, out of time, can become a vice.
This is where Rick Santorum, John Koster, Richard Mourdock, anti-contraception Bishops, and so many other devout conservatives have gone wrong. They have elevated a virtue, devotion, in this case devotion to a sacred text and tradition, to the point that it appears a vice to everyone but those who are caught in their retrogressive thought spiral. The consequences are there for all to see: Instead of pointing the way toward wisdom—humility, prudence, discernment, kindness, insight, knowledge, and effectiveness—their devotion to the traditional subjugation of woman under man under Church under God (as embodied in a Golden Calf known as the Bible), simply makes them cruel.
The Bible is a fascinating and sometimes beautiful window into man’s search for meaning, but it is an ugly idol. And until it is given its proper place among the records of humanity’s adolescence, it will continue to sanctify misogyny, forced pregnancy and suffering.
More from the Bible at Awaypoint:
Captive Virgins, Polygamy, Sex Slaves: What Marriage Would Look Like if We Actually Followed the Bible
Mandrakes and Dove Blood: Biblical Healthcare Anyone?
If the Bible Were Law, Would You Qualify For the Death Penalty?
What the Bible Says About Rape and Rape Babies
Woman’s Hanging and Burning of Dog Biblical
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org. Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.
Great article Valerie! How can we overthrow the patriarchy and it’s self-serving religion? And why do so many women still buy into it?
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Oh, Ferdi! I wish I knew. It’s so ugly when you look at it closely! All I can think to do is keep holding up a magnifying glass.
Unless you’re looking through the eyes of Yeshua, your magnifying glass is somewhat useless.
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If you wrote an article about rape and someone said, “Unless you’re looking through the eyes of Zeus, your magnifying glass is somewhat useless,” What would you say?
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Peace to you Ferdi. I hope you can find the meaning in life that you are missing
Well Ferdi, this woman “buys into it” because I love the Lord, my God, with all my heart, soul and mind. I don’t find myself the least bit disadvantaged by it either.
I don’t think that follows. I also love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind but in no way does that mean buying into the patriarchal culture which treats women as walking incubators or, at best, second-class citizens.
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YES great post! keep them coming. V.
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This needs wider dissemination….! It explains so much. Thanks. L
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When men and women actually read the Bible ,and not cherry pick reading, they will recognize this is not a book written by God inspired men but one of iron age men who really believed the things they wrote. That’s all they knew how could they write anything more advanced. Men during the time of the Bible were misogynists and they actually believed a woman was an incomplete man. This misogynistic supposed word of God serves to justify those religions who are still patriarchal and want to continue to keep women in a subservient position( hint, hint, the Roman Catholic Church). These misogynists gladly take the word of Paul who said women should keep quiet in church and be subservient to men as permission to continue that misogynistic practice.
I blame ministers, pastors, and priests of these backward religions for keeping them the same and not allowing women an equal say in them. Not until we get a church or congress where women are proportionally represented will we stop wars of male machismo and begin to act like civilized countries. Those countries who continue to subjugate women will be trouble makers for years to come.
Thank you Valerie for continuing to make it abundantly clear what is wrong with religion and how it carries over into our every day life.
PS I’m, not a woman.
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I am not speaking for any group of people or Ideology, but I think the real question we should be asking here is why so many of us still buy into these obviously dubious religions (especially Christianity given its history) and more importantly why women are more likely to buy into this almost laughable lie, that continually takes away their right to think or make choices of their own. Especially in the face of all this feminist movement campaign for more “rights” for women. Do these feminist organisations talks for these women of the church too, considering the church/bibles’ position on most of the issues feminist are passionate about. I am continually tempted to think that the feminist movement was more about a couple of women who want to be treated equally as “men” and realized that the system in place just didn’t suit their ambitions instead of a large homogeneous rise to power of more than 50% of the human race. Just a thought. http://www.whychurch.org.uk/gendergap.php.
Read your article aloud over Sunday morning coffee. These nuts have stoked a fire in my belly.
I wrote an article for the Cultic Studies Review on the Christian fundamentalist cult Children of God, now The Family International, which is infamous for its sexual doctrines including religious prostitution known as Flirty Fishing (FFing). A section of that article deals with rape and the teachings of founder David Berg, who was raised a Methodist and was a pastor in the Christian & Missionary Alliance. Here’s a few excerpts:
… Berg’s writings on the subject demonstrate a dangerous misunderstanding of the nature of rape, which is not about sex, but about power and control. Berg exhorted women to willingly submit to rapists, to surrender sexually to satisfy their sexual needs and be a witness of God’s love. In a series of comics depicting end-time events, entitled Heaven’s Girl, he even instructed the artistic team to include a gang-rape scenario of a young Family teen who willingly obliges her 10 rapists while preaching to them. …
Maria’s [current leader Karen Zerby] own beliefs about rape are documented by Penn, who provides an excerpt from a publication entitled Texas Mama Jewels—No. 1 (For Summit Use Only!). This publication is a summary of confidential notes Maria wrote for Family leaders at a leadership summit meeting held in Texas in late 1991. In that document, Maria comments on the rape of a Family teen that had occurred some months earlier. In an appalling display of insensitivity toward the victim of a traumatizing sexual crime, she writes:
I suppose it’s quite a big deal for any of our Teens to be raped, it must have been quite traumatic for her. However, for us adults who have FFed & been with men who have gotten rather insistent & what you might call “forceful,” I don’t think we should have considered that such a big deal, especially having had Dad’s [Berg] Letter on “Rape” (ML#528) & understanding that the Lord may even allow these things to happen as a chance to witness His Love to others.… Being held at gunpoint must have been very frightening, but since she is married & is already used to lovemaking & versed in sexual practices, the actual rape shouldn’t have been so traumatic.… I hope that the adults didn’t blow it up into more than they should have. I think in fact, that they should have made it very low key in their conversation with her & with anyone else who happened to find out about it. After all, we used to make love all the time with people we didn’t know anything about & who were “beasts” & were out for nothing but sex. But we were able to turn that around & use that “lust of the flesh” to offer them some love of the Spirit. So I think if I were having to counsel K. & comfort her and reassure her, that would be my approach. It sounds a little like a Heaven’s Girl situation, & I hope she took it as such. 148
In that same section I also discuss a case in which a female associate member was murdered while her husband was at work. Here’s how Berg handled that situation:
Berg received some initial news reports about the tragedy, but before he knew all the details, he wrote a scathing letter denouncing that couple as backsliders out of God’s will and blaming the wife for her own murder. Although the news reports made no mention of sexual assault or a motive, Berg speculated that the victim must have resisted a rapist. In a wild speculation, he wrote,
Maybe she resisted FFing [Flirty Fishing] & wouldn’t let the guy fuck her, so she drove him to rape & murder. LOOK WHAT SHE DID TO HIM! — LOOK WHAT SHE DID TO THE POOR MURDERER! She not only lost her life, but he’s probably going to lose his because she resisted!” 146 [emphasis in original]
Berg repeatedly condemns both the husband and wife as being out of God’s will for not giving more money to The Family. In fact, the very title of the letter, accompanied by an illustration of a terrified woman being attacked by a man with a knife, includes a warning that if members don’t tithe to The Family, then God will take a collection. Although he knew next to nothing about this couple’s personal circumstances, let alone their relationship with God, Berg declares that “…it looks to me more like she may have reaped what she sowed & got what she deserved.” 147 Neither Berg nor Maria demonstrate any sympathy for the victim, her husband, or her children, nor offer help of any kind for the traumatized family. In fact, Berg expresses more concern for the murderer and what he assumes to have been the murderer’s sexual needs.
If you’re interested in reading more of that madness my article is at: http://perry-bulwer.blogspot.ca/p/response-to-james-d-chancellors-life-in.html
“Berg’s writings on the subject demonstrate a dangerous misunderstanding of the nature of rape, which is not about sex, but about power and control.”
Nonsense. Rape is about sex. Power and control is how a rapist obtains, or tries to obtain (many rapists are impotent), sex.
The idea that rape is not about sex does much damage to efforts to reduce rape.
I’m afraid i have to agree with Harry on this one, Perry. I think Berg is very wrong and has done harm. Most rape is just some guy taking what he wants, which is sexual gratification, with or without consent. In some cases power and control themselves are sexually arousing.
Nonsense Harry. The issue is at least debatable. There are many who agree with my statement. Check out these university websites for example:
Sexual Assault Myths – Minnesota State University
“Myth: The primary motive for rape is impulsive sexual desire.
Fact: Studies show that the major motive for rape is power, not sex. Sex is used as a weapon to inflict pain, violence and humiliation. Most rapists appear to have normal personalities with an abnormal tendency to be aggressive and violent. Between 2/3 and 3/4 of sexual assaults are planned in advance.”
Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness – University of Michigan
“Myth: Rape is caused by the perpetrator’s uncontrollable sexual urge.
Fact: Rape is an act of power and control, not sex.
In addition, one of the biggest myths about rape is that it happens out of sexual desire. Sexual assault is highly sexualized in our society due to the link between sex and violence prevalent in our culture. Many people have sexual desires, but not everyone commits sexual assault.”
This same position is found on other university websites as well: https://well.wvu.edu/articles/rape_myths_and_facts
My position is a very common one so its nonsense to say it is nonsense; see: “Rape is about power, not sex” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/29/rape-about-power-not-sex
This article actually debates the question, falling on your side: “Is rape about control or sex?” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201104/is-rape-about-control-or-sex
As I said, the claim I made in that journal article is a common one and at least debatable, so not nonsense.
Valerie, I think you are confused about something. You are agreeing with Harry, who is agreeing with Berg’s position on rape, namely that it is about sexual gratification, yet you say Berg is wrong. So, I don’t think you understand the context of my statement.
You may want to read that section of my journal article where I discuss a rape-murder of a cult member. The cult leader, Berg, blamed the victim because she resisted instead of just fucking her murderer. To Berg, her rape was only about sexual gratification, but if so, then what was her murder about? Was that only sexual gratification too, or an exercise of power and control?
Berg side-stepped the real issue of power and control, because he was himself a spiritual tyrant in control of his followers lives. He truly was immoral. He expressed more empathy for the murdering rapist than he did for the mother and wife who was raped and murdered, because he claimed she was out of God’s will at the time and her rape and murder was God’s punishment.
By the way, I responded to Harry’s comment with numerous links (maybe caught by your spam filter) to university websites making the same claim about rape as I do, that it is more about power and control than sexual gratification, so the issue is at least debatable.
Thanks, Perry. What seems like nonsense to me is the false choice, that it is about one or the other when it seems so clearly that the two often (usually) are entwined in rape cases and that in violent rape cases the violence itself is often sexually arousing.
My current position on rape concurs with yours, Valerie, as I have learned much since I wrote that comment about rape. The further I get from my cult past, the less black and white I see the world. My comments here were a reaction to an anonymous commenter, Harry, calling my statement about rape in a 9 year old journal article “nonsense”. As I pointed out, it wasn’t nonsense but a debatable issue with proponents on both sides. However, were I to write that article today knowing what I know now, I would have worded that statement on rape differently.
I wrote that article in Cultic Studies Review back in 2006 while I was in therapy for PTSD as a result of my cult involvement. I had repressed my past for many years in order to survive and move on with my life, but I was now dealing with all the abuses I had personally gone through and/or witnessed, including extreme spiritual abuse and manipulation, and exorcism torture, and other horrors I was only learning of for the first time, including murder, suicides of people I had lived with, and all kinds of child abuses including rape. Most likely, all that trauma I was experiencing and re-experiencing while in therapy and writing that article influenced my perspective at the time, and I may still have had a bit of a cult hangover. But as I said, I have progressed from that dogmatic black and white worldview.
What a horror, Perry. It is painful even to glimpse at a distance all that you and people around you must have suffered. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to live through it.
Thanks for another great article, Valerie! Indeed, most Christians have either never read the parts of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that you refer to, or perhaps let them slide by with the kinds of rationalizations (serious misunderstandings!) you mentioned.
I do happen to believe, from a lot of study, that Jesus and even Paul believed in somewhat more egalitarian status and treatment for women overall, respect for them, etc. Even on sexual relations, Paul (in the “genuine letters”) seems to present a significant evolution (he certainly was not one to pull over most of the OT legal and social structure into his teaching and budding churches).
The latter point ties to one issue that is, in one sense, hair-splitting in the context of your overall point. However, for students of early Christianity and of women’s issues in the New Testament, this is an important distinction: Paul almost certainly did not write I Timothy (nor 2 Tim. nor Titus), as you imply in saying “Paul’s letter to Timothy…”. This is NOT the view of many conservative Bible scholars, but it is that of the vast majority overall (for substantial reasons) and even a fair number who would call themselves “conservative”.
One of the reasons it DOES matter within the “Bible believing” (God-inspired) camp and in a careful accounting of Christian beginnings is that the passage you cite, along with the several preceding verses are in fact seemingly out of step with Paul’s teaching in the letters we can be almost certain he DID write. (A possible exception in 1 Corinthians remains murky but may be a later insertion not by Paul.) Overall, Paul seems to have accepted and appreciated women in church leadership, at least in certain circumstances… not the clearly female-inferiority and church-hierarchy-based teachings of I Timothy.
Thus, my observation is that Paul, flawed as he was, DID initiate some “liberation” for women, including in marital relations, but that by the time of I Timothy (probably around 50-70 years after Paul’s letters) the typical Jewish/Greek/Roman male domination had developed into gender-hierarchical “rules” for church leadership and a return to earlier attitudes toward and treatment of women. In other words, Paul took one step forward, but that was NOT comfortable for many men, and they took one or 2 back.
Thank you, Howard. I actually agree with you. I think that there are several dimension to the Levitical code that I didn’t address here that affect sexual relations — namely issues around ritual purity and racial purity that the Jesus of the gospel writers clearly abolishes. He also redefines the property dimension of marriage to be more of a mutual obligation. Women seem to acquire a more egalitarian role in the early church. Even so, nowhere in the New Testament is there any suggestion that sexual relations themselves should be consensual. Times were different. Period. That said, I was deliberately and expressly (I hope) locking myself into the mindset that treats the Bible as a unitary and perfect revelation rather than the reflection of an evolving consciousness–and then responding to that mindset. I chose to do so only because so many Christians today adopt this mindset, at least when it is convenient for them.
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Valerie: incredibly precise and insightful writing throughout — both the thorough article and the replies to comments. Thank you for your constant value to those of us who do not have the time or the background to write what you do, but who can think, and in whom your words resonate strongly.
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Thank you! Your kind words mean a lot!
You are so right in those closing sentences. And I do get the valid logic and approach you were taking. Failing to see the evolving consciousness, as you put it, in the Bible is one major failure. Another one, perhaps even more of a problem, is the idea that our understanding of what is the “natural order” of things SHOULD NOT change, EVER, regardless how long since the last of “Scripture” was written. It’s pretty clear that comes more from human fears, arrogance (on the part of men with this issue) and resistance to change (both genders) than it does any careful reading of the Bible. (Flawed as it is, the Bible is a pretty fascinating record of many tensions and ambiguities humanity has long struggled with. Maybe if more Christians actually READ it, throughout and openly, they’d begin to get that.)
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Whether or not a girl or woman should resist a rapist, or how she should resist, is an individual choice a particular individual must make in a particular situation.
It would be very helpful if girls could be taught that their self-worth is not dependent on whether they have been forced or coerced to engage in sexual intercourse, or whether they have been impregnated by force, or borne their child who resulted from impregnation by a rapist. Fear of rejection or condemnation by family, friends, members of their church, and people they encounter is a strong influence.
At this date in history I think it most likely that every human b.eing is descended from girls and women who were raped, impregnated and gave birth to a child sired by a rapist. So rape, pregnancy and birth must be survivable inmost cases.
World-wide, until recently the most common cause of death for females age 15-19 was complications of childbirth. Recently means that someone looking over the World Health Organization’s last data were shocked to find that suicide had taken it’s place.
So even today, when most doctors at least know to wash their hands and C-sections are available if the baby is breech and if the woman is hemorrhaging afterwards in most places they can try a hysterectomy to save her- young girls die in childbirth. Often.
When they looked at the places where the suicide rates were highest, it was the places where young girls are taken out of school at puberty, are married young in arranged ceremonies, are put into the prescribed roles that to the First World belongs to another century.
To be raped in Africa, in places where there is unrest and rape is used as a weapon is to be shunned because you might have been exposed to AIDS and the social expectations there. There are groups of women told “sorry, I can’t risk you staying- so leave” trying to raise their children in areas it was hard to do so with their husband’s help.
And some of these women do have HIV. And no access to treatment.
Many rapes were not survivable. Many pregnancies are high-risk, especially in the young girls who would have been the captive virgin or the sold daughter. The Web has passed around information given to some home-schooled girls in religious families about how they must forgive and how they will grow- but when they have to tell the person given permission to court them that they aren’t virgins and one of the questions in the material is about what she did to cause it… if a girl wasn’t bought by the man who she knows will force her, the Bible says that no other marriage will be valid because that requires her virginity if she’s not a widow.
And how many men who coveted their brother’s wife slipped hemlock in his food or were lax getting what was needed to try to treat some injury or fever, knowing that he would inherit the woman?
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Undoubtedly it is true that we are all descended from rape victims, given the fact that throughout most of human history up until very recently women were treated as property, without the right of bodily autonomy, having no choice regarding sex and reproduction. But, are you saying that because it was [sometimes] “survivable,” therefore it’s no big deal? I really hope I am misunderstanding your point.
Legitimate rape is like boiling ice .Rape babies are natural calamities.
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I say the same for the extinction of religions including Christianity.
Jamie Brown, women through the ages have been treated like they have vaginas by people who have penises.
The drive to do what perpetuates our kind is somewhat stronger in people who have 10x as much androgens (mainly testosterone) as people who have the 10% as much. Males have to be taught to be decent toward females. This teaching comes mainly from fathers who themselves were so taught. It does not come naturally. Some seem to be unteachable. For them we have jails and prisons.
Valerie, you make so many good points, this is a powerful piece.
As a result of my association with recovering exmormons, I’ve learned that the LDS church is hugely misogynist. I already knew fundamentalists were, given the patriarchal doctrines and husband-as-head-of-house, etc., and Mormons share this. (and by the way, part of the view of women and children as property is the belief that it’s okay to use physical punishment and abuse, like you would beat an animal that you own. Remember “training” a child in the way he should go? and parenting manuals from places like Focus on the Family teach you how to break a child’s will, kinda like a horse, but mainly because of original sin.) But Mormon women are blatantly raised to get married and be baby makers, plain and simple. They learn to be very subservient. You don’t get into the highest level of heaven if you aren’t married. And did you know that sex education in public school is not legal in Utah? That state has no real separation of church and state. The notion of women as property is very much alive and well there. And no, after they get married, they don’t have any choice but to keep producing babies for their husbands. It’s amazing to me that in this modern era with contraceptive options so available, there are all these women who may as well be in the dark ages when it comes to making their own choices. Another little fact – Mitt Romney’s great-great-grandfather was one of the original prominent Mormons. He knew Joseph Smith, was infamous for his polygamy and helped form the church’s racist doctrine. Mitt’s great-grandfather went to Mexico where he could live with his three wives and children in a Mormon sanctuary commune.
One last comment – does anyone else cringe at weddings when the bride is brought down the aisle by her father, all dressed up like a present and “given away” to another man? I always wonder if the father even did any parenting and how the mother feels about sitting aside. I didn’t do it that way at my wedding (which was a long time ago) but people still do it! Argghhh.
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“does anyone else cringe at weddings when the bride is brought down the aisle by her father, all dressed up like a present and “given away” to another man?” Absolutely! It’s a vestige of the very same woman-as-property dynamic that is so graphically present in the Hebrew culture of the Bible writers.
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In Hindu epics , Bride in her father`s house /palace tests prospective grooms (any number can compete). Whoever comes successful in the test will be the groom . Groom is an examinee and pass tough examination . Hindu scriptures give more power right and authority to females .
http://gjnanaswarup.wordpress.com/ MATRIARCHY IN MAHABHARAT
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As usual, another great post, Valerie. I wonder, also, how many marital rapes there were as these horny nomads demanded their “rights” even soon after the woman gave birth. How many happen today? All those OT edicts were draconian but have we progressed that far? Women only got the vote about a century ago. WW2 proved they could do a “mans” job but when their boys came, if they came home, their place was in the home having Baby Boomers. If widowed they got such stellar jobs as typists, waitresses or working the counter at Woolworth’s. If they married they entered a world where it was expected of them to be housewives. A Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver world. Even before the hippie revolution we could have John sing: “Run for your life, girl….catch you with another man, that’s the end, girl.” Did Lennon mean murder? The Stones could sing Under My Thumb or Look at that Stupid Girl. Would they sing that today? The Stones might, and I’m a Stones fan. You wonder what the wives think about comments about rape by their troglodyte husbands? Or, are they completely brainwashed by their perverse religious convictions? I think so. We’ve come a long way but the emancipation is not complete: There is still a “glass ceiling” out there. We’re making progress but we’re not there yet. Incidentally, I’m a man.
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“The fact is, the perspective that God intends rape babies and that such pregnancies should be allowed to run their course is perfectly biblical.” My Ninth Grade English teacher, Mrs. Ryan, would give this paper an ‘F’ for the numerous unsupported assertions contained throughout. I’ll assume there are no biblical intentions such as you say because you did not show me, the reader, that any can be found. If you as the author, making the assertion can’t find a single line to support your assertion, what am I the reader supposed to do: make your argument for you? That I will not do, I am not the author here, merely the reader waiting to be shown the facts, or something resembling such, so I assume this statement is false until shown otherwise.
In fact, you as an author have made unsupported assertions all the way through your article. This is too easy; you say the Bible says something or purports to have be espousing a particular viewpoint yet you are unable to give me one line to go on. I may only assume there is not a single line to support what you say. The citations you give fail in the same regard.
All of these are merely unsupported assertions and say nothing about the bible itself. You titled your article ‘What the Bible Says . . . ” and then give your readers nothing from the Bible.
In the Bible, children are counted as assets belonging to men.
The Bible is loaded with divinely sanctioned rape babies.
I would expect more.
I’m not sure what kind of evidence you were looking for, other than Bible verses and other articles. My article about biblical marriage which is linked, is more full of Bible verse citations than this one.
If you want to dig deeper I would recommend several books–all by Christian theologians who take a critical historical approach to the Bible. One is The Human Faces of God, by Christian theologian Thom Stark. I also recommend Spong, J. S. (2005) The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love, New York: HarperCollinsPublishers. An oldie, but the one most specifically focused on this topic is Nelson, J.B. (1978) Embodiment: An Approach to Sexuality and Christian Theology, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House.
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“I’m not sure what kind of evidence you were looking for”
Any evidence that showed an ounce of scholastic effort on your part as the writer. You ask me to do your research for you to support your assertions?
Did your PHd panel do your research for you as well?
Are you serious? She was citing Bible verses left and right. What more do you want? What kind of “scholastic effort” are you specifically looking for?
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Cant you read chapter and verse?
I wish you peace for you are obviously a tortured soul.
Minorkle — it appears that you have tried twice in these posts to bait and taunt. You prefer to be a torturing and antagonistic soul?
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Yes, how conclusory. Minorkle is reacting in a “christian” way. He is devoid of any insight into Valerie’s peace of mind.
Like free speech , free sex must be indoctrinated . Any male / female can have sex with any male/female with no ifs and buts . This discussion will not end until then .
How unkind of you. FYI, I am buddhist
I certainly succeeded in angering you.
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A commenter at Alternet recommended this book for people who want to dig into this deeper: Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire
Bible scholar Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the big questions that dominate today’s discussions and debates when it comes to sex and the Bible: Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? In an era where the phrases, “the Bible says,” and “God says,” are so often exploited, it is time to consider what the Bible actually does—or does not—say about monogamy, polygamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.
Unprotected Texts directly and pointedly takes on widely shared misconceptions about sex, arguing that the Bible cannot—and should not—serve as a rulebook for sexual morality, despite popular claims to the contrary. From the Song of Songs’ lyrical eroticism to the rigid sexual rules of Leviticus—and everything in between—Knust parses the Bible’s contradictory, often surprising messages.
Skillfully revealing the latest insights from critical scholarship, Knust provides a compassionate and liberating model for navigating these deeply personal issues that affect us all.
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I think she is at peace with her life.
One could wish that peace brought with it the ability to read literature.
Very judgmental of you
I don’t think I’m alone in that when I was a young Christian woman, unmarried and horny, I fantasied about being raped all the time! Often it was by the boy I had a crush on, but not always. Sometimes it was a whole group of boys. I think that for Christians, there is a connection between premarital sex and rape. With sex so taboo, it was only against our will that it could happen, we thought. If it was rape, we would not have to feel guilty. (The same would be true after marriage if a woman thought that feeling lust was wrong – she would expect her husband to do all the sexual overtures. Not a good recipe for marital satisfaction. ) I noticed in the Republican remarks about rape, they were not just ignorant, they lacked any awareness of the real violence and horror of rape. They talked as if it was a sex act instead of an act of aggression. I think this is part of the twisted religious view of sex more generally.
I don’t think you’re alone at all.
If by “rape” one means forced or coerced natural sexual intercourse and not forced sodomy, it is both a sex act and an act of aggression and intimidation – bullying.
When moral precepts that have weathered long ages are rejected, we are left with nothing more solid than the consensus of the day.
Excellent article – thank you!
It makes me wonder why women put up with all that Biblical nonsense. It was so obviously crafted by self-interested men, putting themselves in a position of power over women (and indeed, power over other men, animals, the Earth). Your article makes that so clear, and with such great depth!
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Christian bible god saves “MAN” Lot who offers, NO begs, that a gang of rapist men take his two virgin daughters and gang RAPES them.
Genesis 19:8 “Look now, I have two daughters who are virgins; let me, I BEG of you, bring them out to you, and you can do as you please with them. But only do nothing to these MEN, for they have came under the protection of my roof. ”
Numbers 31:17 “Now therefor, KILL every male among the little ones, and KILL every woman who is not a virgin.
Numbers 31:18 “But all the young girls who have not known a man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.”
Christian biblegod telling soldiers to rape twelve and thirteen year old girls.
The ten commandments does NOT say, Do not RAPE. Jesus Christ NEVER said, Do NOT RAPE.
The bible is Pro Rape.
The concept of a development of thought and progression of knowledge from age to age seems to be indicated in the epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament when it says that God has been using different means and methods over the centuries in communicating with mankind progressively which reached something of a climax in the revelation of Jesus Christ. In the gospels we find Jesus saying that God, in effect, put up with the limited understanding that earlier humans had of what was appropriate, and that as time goes on humanity can move to greater understanding and better relationships with one another, especially as males and females. There is a growing appreciation of the importance of females in their own right that can be gleaned from the words and actions of Jesus which often were in contrast with the usual tradition, and He often was in contention with the scribes and pharisees on many issues where he told them how they would “strain out a gnat and swallow a camel”. The message that we should get, and this is in keeping with some of the ideas that you have expressed in your article, is that human knowledge is in the process of growing and evolving, it is not perfect yet, and we all should be open to opportunities for growth in our own understanding of ourselves and the world around us. I believe that your article provides considerable food for thought and reflection.
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A well written documentation of your thoughts, perceptions and hatred of the God who made you. The placement of scripture to defend your position that God is secretly evil, or openly as you would have us, the reader, believe, belies your ignorance of the Hebrew language that uses commission vs. permission in its structure. God (Jesus) allows all types of evil but does not commission its practice. Any fool can see that God is not in control of the Earth at this time, or He sure has it in a horrible mess. God is the God of love, not evil. You yourself are showing off His long suffering and mercy concerning you, and your protagonistic stance toward Him. You neither know Him or His word and yet you try to teach others concerning it. Sad really. Jesus died for you on a cross so that you might have life and life in abundance not to tie you down to rules but that you would be set free from those things that are binding you up and doing you harm. Rev. David Dyche
When I was a little church going, Jesus loving girl being raped over and over by a southern baptist, bible loving, bible verse quoting, church going man and I prayed over and over again to god and Jesus to stop the sexual abuse WHY did neither of them stop it? Christian bible god created children were they could be raped, he created men were men could RAPE them, christian bible god lounges about his self appointed throne as children are raped, gang raped, sexually tortured, and sold into child sex slavery, these children as I was one of them beg him for help, beg him to stop it, he sits there and watches, if christian bible god was being raped he would call it off. The pro little girl rape bible says he can do anything. Rev. David Dyche you are a liar.
I am sorry for what you went through minnie. There are no bible loving men who would rape you. People show you who they are by their actions if they would commit rape they do not know God nor does God know them. The enemy, the devil, wants you to believe that God is bad, He is not. They devil has come to steal, kill and destroy and he is the one who did that to you, not God. And finally the Bible does not say that God can do anything. Matter of fact there are many things that God cannot do, for instance lying is one of them.
Au contraire. In the book of Kings, the Hebrew god Yahweh is said to send a lying spirit to speak through his prophets. (1 Kings 22:23) In the New Testament book of James (2:25), the Harlot Rahab is praised for her lying and treachery. There are plenty of violent men and men who rape women or molest children who love the Bible–and plenty of filth in the Bible to disinhibit their baser impulses.
Valerie I invite you to wrestle a with me a little bit, I will be kind to you and gentle I will not hurt you.
You wrote to me:
Au contraire. In the book of Kings, the Hebrew god Yahweh is said to send a lying spirit to speak through his prophets. (1 Kings 22:23) In the New Testament book of James (2:25), the Harlot Rahab is praised for her lying and treachery. There are plenty of violent men and men who rape women or molest children who love the Bible–and plenty of filth in the Bible to disinhibit their baser impulses.
19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him. 22The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so. 23Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.”
The Lord is telling you exactly what His is doing, Not hiding it or lying about it. The lying spirit was not an angel of God but of a fallen nature.
23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Rahab was justified by her works (read it as action). This is a wonderful statement when you understand that she was a prostitute. Most people don’t think prostitutes can be justified by their works, but God isn’t apparently who you think He is.
Then you just blankly say :There are plenty of violent men and men who rape women or molest children who love the Bible–and plenty of filth in the Bible to dis-inhibit their baser impulses.
There are no men who love God who get away with anything. Judgment starts with the house of the Lord. There are many deceivers who look and act and try to blend in with those of us who believe but are not children of God. And many of them try to use the Bible to do horrible things, twisting scripture and bending it to their will. Wouldn’t it be strange for you to be caught being one of them? Try to be more studious in your reading and understanding of the Bible. Just read it for what it is saying and try not to bend it to your agenda, if that is possible.
Rev. David Dyche
Obviously Jesus is a liar, Matthew 7:7-8
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the father may be glorified in the son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.
Here is christian bible god taking swift action against little boys for making fun of a bold man, making fun of a bold man obviously gets christian bible god more riled up then little girl rape, the pro little girl rape bible says it does.
He went up from Jericho to bethel. On the way, young boys came out of the city and mocked him and said to him, Go up [in a whirlwind], you baldhead! And he turned around and looked at them and called a curse down on them in the name of the lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and ripped up forty-two of the boys.
Well look at christian man Rev. David Dyche showing his true christian man colors, christian bible loving, church going men sure do excel at being hateful and cruel to female survivors of sexual abuse.
Hi Minnie –
A Christian who was sexually assaulted by her pastor as well has sent you a lengthy message talking about God’s love. I didn’t want to post it on my site without checking with you, but am happy to post or email it if you like. valerie tarico at hotmail
The good REVEREND says:
“Valerie I invite you to wrestle a with me a little bit, I will be kind to you and gentle I will not hurt you.”
Interesting words in a discussion about rape. Curious words. Telling words. I just learned quite a bit about you reading that sentence, REVEREND.
I find it interesting that many Christians teach that God is in fact in total control of the entire world all the time.
I have wondered about this myself. Maybe there’s something else at play? I’ve never heard a Christian, let alone a Christian leader, condone a point of view that says God is not in fact in complete control.
My church has ministers who believe that the world was built with random chance included. My belief that I have a genetic disease not because God decided I should but because the mutation for it had appeared through natural means, that my mother had a 50% shot at getting the gene from him (and her sister the same) and I had a 50% chance of having it. I have said that before several ministers, and they agree. One has a degree in marine biology before she became a Lutheran minister (ECLA synod) and she knows the science behind that. I pray for strength, I pray for the researchers in hopes they may be inspired to look at the study that will lead them to try this idea before that, when one will more quickly lead to the cure. I pray that the things I do might slow things down.
God does not use drunk drivers because He needs someone in heaven. Or because as the “700 Club” guy said kill babies because they will be serial killers. He isn’t testing some people more than others or purposefully setting me up so I will magically deal with my disability in a way that will teach others. He may encourage the mother of the teen who died because they accepted a text to speak about it in schools, and it may be the reason another teen is ignoring her phone by habit 3 months later and so doesn’t know that if she answered it she wouldn’t have seen that stop sign and smiled at the little girl waving at cars her mom passes but would have caused 3 deaths.
I know the Old Testament. I know the debated injunctions. My progressive church goes with the “love others” rule above all else.
Here is a clear case of one denomination, church, and individual, resolving what God wants or does not want; what God does, or does not do, simply by re-creating “God” in one’s own belief of what “God” should be. As for a progressive church proclaiming “love others” – surely an intelligent person does not need a religion, creed or church to know this is how it should work? Long ago I discovered that to “love others” (I prefer to use “be compassionate”) I did not need a religion, much less a God. I needed self-empowerment and I needed to make being compassionate my life’s purpose. The money I saved from not supporting another redundant institution I used, along with my labour, to help those around me who needed such. No more committees, no more “fund raising” for this or that cause. Result? Freedom through self-determination.
I wonder if we read the same article. I did not at all get the impression that the author “hates God who made her.” Rather, she refuses to worship the bible, which was written by men who described a god in their own image, perhaps “inspired” to write, but limited in their understanding by the time, place and culture in which they lived. and yes, Jesus died so that we – all of us, women included! – may be set free and have life in abundance.
So many tangled knots of reasoning as well as frustrated hostility come from a theistic and evangelical point of view because One Idea does not hold up: the idea that there is a caring god that is in charge of the universe. Remove that, look at the world as it is, use Occam’s Razor, or the law of parsimony to explain things, and you get “God is Imaginary.” Bingo, issues disappear, including all of Rev. David Dyche’s problems. I’ll explain:
• Why is there suffering in the world?
a. explanation with “god”: Dyche says “Any fool can see that God is not in control of the Earth at this time, or He sure has it in a horrible mess.” The idea here is that god is on leave while Satan rules and someday “he” will arrive to fix everything. “He” is being long-suffering and merciful meanwhile, died on a cross to give us life in abundance, and to set us free from things that would do us harm.” Except that “he” hasn’t. The world is a disaster. Which any “fool” can see. And the world has been a “horrible mess” for thousands of years, including the 2000 since the “savior” came.
b. explanation without “god”: Suffering is part of the natural order. There’s a food chain. Natural disasters are natural. “God” is imaginary and has nothing to do with it.
• Why does does God appear to be so contradictory in His character in the Scripture (the Bible) and actually do evil?
a. explanation with “god”: God only seems evil at times because we are making our own judgments of his actions; God can do what ever he wants because He is God: He knows best and “his ways are higher than our ways”; to read properly, we have to understand the Bible in HEBREW so we can get the difference between permission and commission in its structure; many of the “evil” practices must be seen in historical and cultural context, such as slavery and human sacrifice and genocide; God’s actions, even though seeming to be cruel at times, were justified by achieving a higher good, even though not clear to us, and therefore consistent with a loving god; God by definition is good, so whatever God does is good.
b. explanation without “god”: The Bible is not the “Word of God,” because “God” is imaginary. It’s not “scripture” or even a book at all. It is a COLLECTION of 66 books written by many men over many hundreds of years, mostly based on the oral traditions of an ancient tribe of nomads who feared and placated their deity with burned animals just like their neighboring tribes. They all struggled to explain the natural world. The stories and myths are as varied and wildly inconsistent as you would expect with so many authors, times, and places.
• Why do many unbelievers appear to have peace and joy and compassion while Christians are often quite unhappy, negative, and judgmental?
a. explanation with “god”: Unbelievers are not genuinely experiencing the real fruits of the Spirit as they would “in Christ”: they are deceived; Satan can appear as an angel of light and mimic true spirituality; they are fools for saying there is no god and living in denial of the reality of their terrible decision to reject God’s free gift of salvation; they hate God because they prefer living in sin, which is a false happiness; they are full of pride because they have relied on their own understanding instead of God’s revealed wisdom in Scripture, and are set for a fall; those who claim to have left the faith have never actually known Him because that’s impossible. Christians are not perfect, but they are forgiven and they are humble. They are at least grateful for God’s goodness and believe they are saved through no merit of their own; they are not proudly trying to earn their way to heaven through their own good deeds or their own smarts. They also understand that as they walk with the Lord and submit to Him, they will grow and become more like Him. They are right to be judgmental of sin and negative about the terrible things people say about the Lord and the Bible. God does not want his children to passively deny him but to speak up and do battle with the devil.
b. explanation without “god”: “God” is imaginary so “He” does not have a huge amount of influence one way or another in changing anyone’s basic character or personality; this is why Christians continue to be like ordinary human beings with issues. Some are nice and mature, others are nasty, especially the ones that are totally frustrated with certain things: Jesus hasn’t returned, God hasn’t magically resolved their issues, they aren’t feeling the fruits of the Spirit or the “life in abundance;” i.e. they aren’t really sure why Jesus died or why their prayers aren’t being answered and they are exhausted from pretending everything is perfect so as to be a “witness,” and not a “stumbling block,” and they are very tired of the obligation to respond to a sinner like Valerie Tarico and pretend to care – hence the insults and sarcasm from Rev. Dyche instead of using a loving tone and vocabulary, or the blatant projection of Minorkle calling Valerie a “tortured soul” (!!!). Nonbelievers are a mixed lot of course. Plenty are immature and awful too. Many others leave “God” out of the equation and get on with learning life skills for living in peace and harmony, accepting personality responsibility as a life-long task. Since “God” is imaginary, they don’t need to defend “Him,” so they don’t get hostile over it, and attack others as if attacking “evil.”
And so forth. I could go on, but you get the idea.
As you can probably see, this approach of “God is imaginary” is also EMPOWERING. It frees us up. We can:
1. Stop wasting intellectual power arguing non-issues.
2. Notice our own capabilities, not feel powerless, and develop our ability to achieve our own objectives.
3. Stop fighting with each other and judging, and instead come together.
4. Stop worrying about the hereafter and fully appreciate the present.
5. Combine our energy and creativity and intelligence and goodwill to move forward together in order to help all of humanity and the Planet.
Love this! Thank you.
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Dear Marlene Winell
First of all KUDOS to you Valerie Tarico for allowing dissension in your responses to your opinion! Now to Marlene, I suppose that if you were actually interested in your own Empowering List, you might have heeded number one on your list, which says: “1. Stop wasting intellectual power arguing non-issues.” but since you wasted so much intellectual power on your last response to my input I feel obligated to say something. Good work! Unless you are an incredible typist, unlike myself, you must have put in some time and thought to your response and that is admirable, so I congratulate you on your ability to form complex ideas and arguments. Though the questions posed are ones that are youthful questions, college fodder, intellectual baby steps. The posing of the questions and the understanding of the answers is colored by ones understanding of well… everything. It is just the way that it is, isn’t it? I do, however, agree with your all your B. examples, if there is no God then why all the fuss. I suppose you have indited yourself concerning whether or not you believe in God, you do apparently or you wouldn’t have so much to say against Him, trying to convince yourself most of all. For example, the tooth fairy doesn’t consume much of my consideration. I don’t think I would write two sentences trying to convince anyone of its existence or non-existence, it doesn’t nag at me or bug me at all. But if I say: Jesus made you and loves you and want you to succeed in your life, now to you, that is worth a diatribe.
If you want to know the answers, according to God, to the questions you asked, I would be happy to discuss them one at a time but only if you are interested in learning. If you are so “open minded” that you can consider all possibilities then great, but if you are in actuality close minded masquerading as open, then don’t waste my intellectual power and time or your own.
And finally, I like number five in your list: 5. Combine our energy and creativity and intelligence and goodwill to move forward together in order to help all of humanity and the Planet. Through the power of Christ concerning His love for humanity, today, when I was at the tire store I laid hands on the store managers head so that he would be healed of an inner ear infection that was causing him dizziness. He was healed right on the spot. I went to the Post Office to get my passport renewed and the Postal Women there helped me and asked me where I was a Minister, because it was on my application, and I told her everywhere. I asked her if she needed any prayer and she said she did for her mother that has Alzheimer disease. I told her I would go with her and lay hands on her mother in person, but the Lord told me to give her a tangible item to take to her mother that I prayed over, so I did. (Lest you stumble at this concept go to my YouTube channel and watch some miracles I recorded: http://www.youtube.com/user/DavidDyche?feature=mhee). As I walked out the separated passport office a man in the mail line started talking to me and I asked him if he needed prayer and to my amazement it was for his mother concerning a stroke and dementia that she had, I did the same for him as for the Postal Woman. This was all just today. What did you do today, since today is all we have? I am the real deal, and if you need something from Jesus ask. Let me prove this God to you that you pretend you don’t believe exists. Then you shall know Him and know His love for you. How many people do you meet that boldly tell you that Jesus will, not maybe, heal you?
Rev. David Dyche
Such condescension from someone claiming to represent a loving god. David, you are a dangerous liar and fraud. You are not a danger to regular readers of this blog who know how to think, but to the ignorant and gullible you are because they are so easily taken in by charlatans like you. You talk of proof but have no understanding of that concept. Only desperate fools will follow your deceitful, fraudulent way. Frankly, I think it is a waste of time debating with your ilk because there are none so blind as those who will not see, the wilfully blind, although I must say Marlene’s reply to you was one of the best responses to a phony preacher I’ve read in a long time.
Thank-you Perry, and I think Dyche underscored what I said pretty well with his continued insult and sarcasm. I did watch one of his videos – the one about waiting indefinitely for a healing to actually happen. Apparently you have to fight off the devil for as long as that takes, so it’s up to you! They have a lot of convoluted explanations for why “Ask and it shall be given unto you,” doesn’t work. He goes around praying for people; how much easier than actually doing things, such as what Jesus talked about in Matthew 25. I left Christianity (despite enjoying my love affair with my imaginary friend Jesus) because I didn’t care about miracles; I respected the fruits of the spirit, and I saw them more often in nonchristians. Although if Dyche can send someone home with a magical talisman that he prayed over and cure Alzheimers, I’d love to see the documented medical evidence and alert the media. My father was a Christian missionary for his whole life and then died of Alzheimers. I agree that Dyche is dangerous. In the video he tells people who have not been healed that they are listening to the devil. Imagine the guilt and responsibility. He goes on to tell about his heart palpitations, prayed, nothing happened, but then HE fought off the devil, and his heart calmed down. (!!!) (He could also eat less and get to a gym, methinks, and that would not have to involve god or satan, just working out with a bunch of self-responsible heathens. lol. But now I have indulged in a personal little dig myself, shame on me).
My previous post was about “God is imaginary,” but Dyche talks just as much about “the devil,” as do others of his ilk, so I should add “Satan is imaginary.” People use the devil for just as much avoidance and it causes just as much trouble for all of us.
Thanks again for your kind comment, and I share your sentiments about “God’s” loving representatives.
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It sounds like you two have made some firm choices concerning me and Jesus.. I can respect that. Funny how you two talk about love but what do you base its meaning off of having turned away from the God of Love. Finally since you two are unwilling to get to know me or Jesus or believe either of us I think there really isn’t any room for anymore discussion is there? Though I am truly condescendingly sad for both of you.
Rev. David Dyche
It’s funny, I mean insane, that you speak of respect and love yet demonstrate that you do not understand either concept. And you say your’s is a god of love. That is really, really ‘funny’.
Anyone here tried Jilly Juice?
This Article is pure lies! For One The bible clearly Says a man has to have a womens consent because Deuteronomy 22:25 says: supopose a man out in the countryside rapes a women who is engaged to someone else.Then only the man is to be put to death.This case is the same when one man attacks another man and murders him. This is clearly saying put a rapist to death the same as a murderer should be, if whoever written this can be bothered to read The (holy) bible.Another point i will put across in The name of the (holy) spirit is,Yes God created the light And the Darkness That Does not mean God is evil or one bit condones evil james 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above,comming down from the father of heavenly lights,with him their is no variation or shifting shadow,Another example is,3 john 1:11 beloved,Do not imitate evil but imitate Good.Whoever does good is from god;whoever does evil has not seen God. 1 john3:3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies him self as he is pure.luke 6:31 do to others as you would have them do to you.romans12:9 love must be sincere.hate what is evil;cling on to what is good.1 corint 13 love is patient,love is kind.it does not envy,it does not boast ect. God created good! And allowed evil because of the element of free will This does not mean Yahweh,jesus Does not punish evil In the old testement Their are storys,of god destroying citys and whole towns just For the sin of fornication (men having sex with any woman or women having sex with any man,read the story of noah!.And about these so called christian officals who are really anti christian! For example a president Can have the holy bible in his hand And Give a speech But does that mean his a christian! Most of them bring in that law and This Law but the offical with the bible in his right hand, Is uasully Going agaist his own book! (Not all) just cos someone says That a babie from the act of rape is a gift from God Does the bible really say that!? The bible says the creator will turn evil into good And use the bad thats already happened And let their be some good outcomes for the person in any situation So its better for them. (Turing bad into good not creating bad) now people mite ask why doesGod allow rape to happen the truth is he doesent We as humans allowed bad in this planet(story of adam and eve) not god He rewards And pushishes weather good or bad somepeople may call it karma what goes around comes around from god or the universe(created from god) not only that the lord is greater then that When bad things happen like rape or cancer If u allow God into your life He can take away the pain the illness the debt Anything and make ur life easier happy and better because he loves us and he made us i myself have experianced the wonderful works of god as i because ill at a very young age (14) but now when i accepted God into my life he changed me he made he cured me He gave me happiness joy And amazing freinds And the most amazing life! And if people accept god into their lifes as he needs permission after all it is own lifes! He can protect us from things like rape murder how many christian do u see Get raped (NOT MANY) Or even buddist,muslims,,doctors, people who people ( not many) Although alot of great people who have been raped are christian And good people but what i am saying is mankind need to stop blaiming God for the bad things that happen and blame our selfs! We are in control of this earth and we out selfs can make a diffrents! Doesent have to ber in a church! It could be someone who needs help and trust me theirs lots we dont only accept god by saying god come into my life u accept god by doing good through love,peace,forgivness,standing up for whats right! Thats what god is not just laws! And if god does let rape happen to us then he will brong us back up and change our lifes for the better think about that!!! Jesus is love!. PEACE!
If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her and they are found, Then the man who lay with her shall give to the girls father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her; he may not divorce her.
Rape my daughter to make me a buck.
The rapist gets put to death for stealing another mans much coveted hymen, which happens to be in the girls body. Now the man who rapes the girl who is not engaged buys her from her father and the girl is to marry her rapist.
We see from the purity balls how much christian men covet hymens as they take their daughters out to parade them around in front of other christian men going look at the hymens I own and one day will give to another man.
When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thuo shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.
There is no bible verse saying cut off a mans hand if he fingers a little girl or a woman.
Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the “MEN” of her city shall stone her with stones that she shall die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
There is no bible verse that tells women to stone little girl rapist or rapist of women.
The bible is a book written by extreme little girl rape loving, misogynistic, sexually abusive, sexually sadistic men, and is promoted and peddled by extreme sexually sadistic, sexually abusive, vagina pain mongering, vagina dictating, wife beating, serial perverts, “christian men”.
The bible does not say anything a little girl rapist, a sexual torture of women and little girls, and a wife beater would not love to hear. I learned this from the southern baptist, bible loving, bible verse quoting, church going christian men I grew up with. My father loved the pain women have when they give birth, gave him a big thrill.
What you wrote, many many women and good men understand about rape. The Bible is full of sex and spirit. We are spiritual beings in a human body. Mother God is who I pray to. Abuse from Southern Baptist myself has me not attending any church. I had trauma in a Church of Christ Sunday School . The teacher kept on and on about David’s daughter and son rape!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I looked around for anyone to stop him but they just were comfortable in listening to that repeated rape. That daughter wouldn’t like knowing it is being repeated in 2013 AD.
The Holy Spirit is female; “The Jerusalem above is free, SHE is our MOTHER”
Bottom line is this: if a woman is brutally raped by a monstrous creep and if she gets pregnant, she MUST have his baby! That’s all!
My exhusband, a very conservative Christian raped me (which is why he’s my ex). We lived in Alabama at the time. Police didn’t believe it was a crime, “Are you sure it wasn’t just rough sex? It sounds like it was just sex!” And the DA refused to prosecute. They all believed my husband had “rights” to my body, with or without my consent. Fast forward to last year, my new husband, a pastor, and I were in the mood and being playful. He tosses me on the bed and starts trying to remove my clothes while saying, “Hmmm. I think I’m going to rape my wife…” As a joke. From someone who knows my past. Needless to say, he got no sex, plus an earful and had to earn back the privilege of being called my husband before he even got to sleep in the bedroom again.
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Hebrew women had it a lot better than their pagan neighbors. Their husbands, fathers and brothers were also under the Lord’s perfect authority. Evidently, that’s the beef here – being under His (the Lord’s) very masculine rule.
Anyone can see the game that is being played here. First off let me say that I’ve noticed there are some “Buddhists.’ I’ve noticed that atheists love to use Buddhism as their safe haven. Buddha does not want you. You are disgrace to the Buddha. “Atta’ ca me so saranam gati ca” -“The Soul is the refuge that I have gone unto” Jatakapali 1441 Akkhakandam. In fact, the Buddha warned that the psycho-physical body belongs to the devil (Mara the Evil One) (S.iii.189). Those who delight in it will suffer (S.iii.31). I’m not sure what Buddhist texts you all are reading but according to the Buddha’s original teachings in the Theravada he clearly opposed Atheism (Nihilist.) He said they were capable of all manner of evil. Also, in the Vinaya, the Buddha is recorded as opposing the ordination of those who openly expressed cross-gender features or strong homosexual desires and actions. What do you ‘Buddhists’ think is reincarnating? THE SOUL. Who do you think was the ‘House Builder.’ GOD. Paul in the Bible also speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 5:1: “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” Buddha was not a prophet, just enlightened. The prophets were God’s Chosen people to reveal the foundation of his plan and authority. I also, noticed someone mention the little boys who were killed by God for mocking the Prophet. If you read in Hebrew, and know the historical context, you understand those two ‘children’ were actually in their late teens in an area known for attacking/robbing/etc. I’ve read many claims (and debunked every single one) with regards to Christianity. You all have a poor understanding. You don’t just pick up the text and try to make sense of it. This is why people actually go to School for years studying the Theology. Scripture is no easy manner. Another thing, because some of you have had bad experiences with Pastors/Church… that’s not God’s fault. A simple statistics class would tell you correlation doesn’t equate causation. This whole notion that Christianity ‘evil’ is just really lazy, uneducated, and disgraceful. Churches are known for involving themselves with charitable action. It is clear to me that you have an illness of the mind, in that you perceive reality in an extremely distorted manner. You have forced yourself into this illness in order to escape the reality of God and therefore cannot admit to yourself that Christianity is the most powerful force of good on this planet. Let me conclude by saying this: Matthew 26:36-40- All God’s prophets and scripture have been for the single purpose of getting us to love and serve one another, that is the WHOLE point – love. If you think love is evil, then that is indicative of a major problem within your own mind and heart. It’s called CHRISTianity for a reason. Final note: Identifying oneself as Christian isn’t a guarantee that one will be saintly. According to scripture only a slim minority truly practice Christianity. Nevertheless, with atheism complete evil is guaranteed because goodness has been completely rejected. No God=No Morality. Everything is subjective. Educate yourself in the area of Ontology. Also, educate yourself on ideological subversion, and don’t be a ‘useful idiot.’ God Bless.
Hi there, I’m the creator of the original “GOP Rape Advisory Chart” as well as the (sadly) numerous follow-up volumes. I just wanted to let you know that the link in your article has been wrong for several months now, because I moved the Chart over to it’s own website (however, I just added a redirect that will take people to the correct link going forward):
We’re up to 7 full volumes now, I’m sorry to say…
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I really enjoyed this essay, and I was comforted that there are thoughtful people that see the evil implications of “pro-rape baby” teachings, as I call them, that have been declared as dogma by the present Catholic and Evangelical Christian leadership. I say present because, as my Catholic school educated mom can attest, in the recent past many Catholic clergy, especially Jesuit ones, taught that abortion was acceptable in cases of rape, incest, and health problems, and that God expected us to use both conscience & reasoning to discern the right action in such situations. She received education like this in the 60’s, and I heard similar ideas as a teenager in Catechism classes with our parish priest in the 90s. My understanding is that until the 1970s, this was also the view of the major evangelical churches & ecumenical bodies & universities. Sometime in the 80’s & 90’s, both Catholics & Evangelicals seem to go more and more in a “fundamentalist” direction, to the point that if one watches one of the Catholic tv channel, they would think that banning abortion is the only issue that God (or the church) cares about, and its the major threat to good on the entire planet. I feel the real reasons for this “pro-life” focus have little to with traditional Catholic teachings, but everything to do with emerging agendas like globalism and psychological conditioning.
I enjoyed your thorough critique of the Bible here. I agree with your analysis, but I would also like to propose the following possibility: that the actual Hebrews, Israelites, or whatever these populations actually called themselves, did not necessarily believe in the legal precepts cited above, nor necessarily interpret the morally repugnant stories of Biblical characters as being literally true. I dont think they were true, either. I think some Iron Age cultures really did treat women, children, animals, and pretty much everyone in a savage & reprehensible manner, but I also think that many did not and were more civilized than many cultures today! Its likely that none of the stories of the Old Testament attributed to Moses were written by him, but in fact were drafted hundreds of years or even millenia later by the “1%” of that later time – the political, social, and economic elites including the Pharisees and Sadducees. I think these groups re-wrote alot of history long after the fact, along ethically debased and occult-related lines, in order to instill the very twisted values you have cited above into their contemporary classical population. They wanted to brainwash the people of their time, and have divine scriptural precedent for their own perversions. Like the megachurch pastors and politicians of today, I think they used scripture to push their own agendas of social control. They did not want a population of enlightened men and women focused on knowledge and spiritual growth. I think stepping back and looking at the motives of who wrote these scriptures and used them is very important, because there are common threads between what the Pharisees and the religious and political leaders of today – they both wish to destroy individual human dignity and freedom. I believe Jesus Christ challenged this agenda, and was murdered for his stand. What’s being preached now in his name is both evil and sad.
Perhaps the most fundamental freedom anyone is reproduction. The choice of how one can choose to, or not to, pass on their genes and create a descendants, and with whom and under what circumstances, is one of the most significant and long-lasting decisions anyone can make. If there are such things as “God given rights”, the right to choose who to combine one’s God-given DNA with would have to be one of them. The idea that a person can be compelled to breed because they have been overpowered by another is so repugnant that it should shock the conscience of anyone who even thinks about it. IMO, the idea that someone would ever choose to have their rapist’s child should also shock the conscience, and remind us of how degraded many people’s sense of individuality and self-respect has become. To reduce a woman (or male) to being another person’s breeder, or to allow one’s own body and life and those of others to be used in this way, is so degrading to individual rights that it truly undermines every single aspect of human dignity and personhood. Its the ultimate form of slavery.
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Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
“The Bible is loaded with divinely sanctioned rape babies. The Bible both depicts and scripts a world in which women have no choice about who they are given to. Daughters can be given in marriage or sold outright, slaves can be sent by their mistresses to bear proxy babies, virgin war captives can be claimed as wives, widows can be forced to submit to humping by their brothers-in-law until they produce sons. Presumably any of these women can be laid at any time, at a man’s discretion, much as is the case in parts of Afghanistan or analogous Iron Age tribal cultures today. In such a world, a significant portion of babies conceived will be the product of non-consensual sex. In other words, rape.”
Hello i am zeke. I just want to tell you and all those who read this comment forgive me for my mistakes for i am human. First everything is about a love story the story of mankind save by Jesus who is the way the true and the life and gave his life to pay for all of our sins even the ones that i am doing now. Jesus said man put away their woman because man has an ugly heart woman too. Now Jesus said to love your woman as i have loved you. Thats right that means i will give my life for whosoever is my wife. Now i am a flesh and bones i am dirt i am dust i am a worm in front of Jesus i am like wow in front of all his glory i shake and tremble when i hear of his justice. I am not perfect but his grace and mercy covers me. We are talking here about something much greater than just flesh and bones something that i cannot describe because it is amazing its too powerful and i dont even know the right words yes i know i can call him Almighty and still greater is his magnitude. Even the prince of this world is in agony and trembles already because he knows what will happen. This things cannot be seen by the eyes they are not flesh and bones they are not ghost they are at another level but still are creation and tremble at Jesus sight. Now if you are my wife and you get rape and bear the children we raise him together for the love of Jesus and plead for mercy. However before anything happens to you in my worm condition and helpless effort i will shed my blood in the ground for you before that evil gets night thy. I will if it is Jesus will utterly cut that fornicator in pieces and burn him until he is ashes. See i am a men. I know Jesus mercy and grace is sufficient to forgive me this offence and the one that i do with this writing. I know Jesus can forgive you and me if we become murderers like the one who rape you i know Jesus can forgive him. however i will not rest if that men is still alive yet i bless my enemies may the lord Jesus have mercy of me and them. I will utterly destroy him. Jesus mercy will keep me away from the lake of fire which is reserve for hatred like this. In front of absolute love hate becomes murder vanity idolatry etc only Jesus mercy and grace can save you and me and whosover believes in Jesus name. Time is coming for this things to happen. Let me tell you why because every word of the book of life shall be complete. If i had a nuclear bomb and the guy who rape you runs into a nation that protects him ohh!!! I am a men.. I am so low for the hatred in my heart you know what will happen. For i loved you so much that i kill them all for our love instead of just killing the baby and the guy you see i am men(thousand of innocents blood in my hands). Now thats men. This is Jesus vengance is mine fear and tremble because i am the alpha and the omega the beginning and the end. There is no other God beside me. I will have mercy upon i will have mercy. I am a comsuming fire. i will remake the whole earth I had finish it all. I will end those that are against me. Burn in the lake of fire forever. Eternity. Now i would rather wait for the guy to just come around somewhere near me i just end his life instead of all the nation. Yet if he pleads mercy in Jesus name his life will be spare for i am just like him flesh and bones and a worm. Our enemy in fact is not him but the spirit that controls him.
that is maybe because if he did not repent in Jesus name then yeah i am a men i will cut him to pieces or i will put him in front of you and give you his head if that pleases you. But i would rather burn him. May Jesus have mercy of me and all of us. And yeah for the haters of this world and many others who will come around just to blame me or insult the lord Jesus name. Well may Jesus have mercy and i am sorry. And yeah you want to drop the nuclear bomb in the name of whatsover do so i defeated death a long time ago and for the record the lake of fire is awful i mean have you ever got burn. Oh yeah i forgot about the sun attack prior to the lake of fire the lake of fire is worst. The fear of Jesus is the beginning of all wisdom. My apologies to the beloved beatiful women of this article. I am sorry i am so awful but i had to tell you and all the world that there is true love. And yeah you are free woman i will never threat a woman like my slave or rape because you were made for glory of my father Jesus and i dont desire any of those horrible things to come to happen to any human but is not my will. Its Jesus will and yeah hit the game not the player. I love women in fact i had issues with the flesh i am no innocent i still trip now and then maybe right now. Jesus loves you. I am willing to give my life for my future wife because she is one with me and she owns me and i own her. I know what is true love i am immortal in Jesus. Jesus mercy and grace is enough. Do not let go of the book of life. Its not about women or man is about absolute love in dispite of all odds. Women take a look at the mirror you see something beatiful be careful with vanity. You know if you love my father Jesus i give my life for you whosoever you are. Dont fear death you are over that. And you probably think i am a macho who wants to enslave rape and threat like nothing well i am not. In fact if you leave i will always love you. In fact if you cheat on me i forgive you but things are not going to be the same until i trust i can be one with you again if you love someone else then leave i will wait until i get to heaven i will wait like a stone days and nights wont be the same without you but yeah you choose if you want true love or you want the fake things of this world i will have no other women unless Jesus planned something else. I will respect you until i die. It says the bible i will be no longer of my own but you will have rights over me but i own you too. Belief in Jesus has finish all of this. Here i am living in the 21 century fighting against my inner enemy the outside enemy that i cannot see just a worm but i live forever in Jesus. Love you i am glad you are free to still post your doubts or whatever you want. You can call me whatever you want.this is not about me. Jesus loves you. You can kill me if you want to or who cares if i am dead i am always around Jesus choose me. Even if i am ashes wont change a thing. blessings i will love its call unconditional love. I am not fair i am just a men. May Jesus have mercy on all of us.
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That was wonderful. Thank you. As a rape survivor and a Christian, I have searched and asked and asked and searched for a reason why it happened. Initially, I followed the same logic you presented here: God is ultimate Creator ->He created everything even evil things ->therefore God knew what happened to me, knew how it would affect me and yet allowed it to happen anyway.
I don’t call myself enlightened by any means, but now I think it happened because I met a bad man. I don’t think God had anything to do with it. It has taken me years to come to this point (I had other sexual trauma to deal with as well) and I’m not sure if I’m even on the right track now. These days I tend to go more for what brings me peace of mind rather than what I heard someone say.
Anyway, thanks again for a great post. It was very educational for me.
While I agree with most of what you say here that I gathered in a quick reading, I have problems with the term “rape baby” kepp in mind that there are people alive today who had no choice in the manner of their conception and may have dealt with a lifetime of abuse regarding their legitimacy to start with.
I don’t to care to enter the “pro-life” sector, I am just pointing one group of adults that is still still subject to prejudice and social scorn through no choice of their own and has to see themselves labelled.
Oh it’s just such a shame that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Try reading the good book again then come back with a better try.
I have read many of the versions of the bible, Torah and the Koran. All penned and translated and interpreted by MAN. I know of only ten laws that I am remotely assured are dictated by god. Religion like any set of laws are twisted by men to gain power over other people not for salivation. We will continue to postulate on the teachings of all the prophets. Has anyone played a game with a secret passed from one to another to see how the end result is changed? We have the same principle, for all teachings have changed over the centuries. I have found this advice given to me by my Mother useful. Dont believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. That saying goes double for anyone in government, or government funded.
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“Religion like any set of laws are twisted by men to gain power over other people not for salivation.”
I agree. No one should salivate over religion.
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Where did you get your Biblical info? From evilbible.com? Do you know how much the author takes what the Bible says out of context? And conveniently chooses the mistranslated verses? The Bible is not evil. I have read the Old Testament I understand how one comes to those conclusions but it is taken out of context. You do make a good points but there are a few problem issues. Will you be interested in what I have to share in regard to what you have already mentioned?
Are you saying there is a context in which sexual slavery or burning the orchards of subsistence farmers or selling a raped woman to her rapist would be morally acceptable?
I’ll explain. Do you want to know or do you want to argue?
I’m fine letting your words speak for themselves, whatever they may be.
As a humanist atheist, I see abortion as murder. Rape is a horrible thing, but in the event of rape, it is the rapist, if anyone, who deserves to be put to death, not the innocent child. The state and the estate of the rapist should help to pay for the woman who is the victim of the rape to give birth to the child and give it up for adoption. Feminists assure me that since I lack a uterus, I do not get an opinion on such matters, but I disagree; the murder of innocents is everyone’s business. While I understand that it would be physically and emotionally traumatic for a woman to carry a child conceived of rape to term, it is more physically and emotionally traumatic to the baby to kill it, and therefore, in utilitarian philosophical thinking, we should choose the lesser of two hardships.
Greetings – While most people who oppose abortion do so for religious reasons, you are certainly not alone. That said, as a psychologist, I have to push back at the question of trauma. To put it simply, no brain, no pain. More significantly, though, I would imagine that you can appreciate that there are difference among us in our perception of when the early products of conception acquire sufficient qualities of personhood that our tradition of legally and morally protecting persons should kick in. Biologists have come to understand reproduction as a large funnel in which most gametes and even most fertilized eggs and embryos never go on to become baby animals. I discuss this some and provide links in the following article: https://valerietarico.com/2015/01/09/who-aborts-the-most-fertilized-eggs-families-like-the-duggars/
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Emotional issue which can never be resolved emotionally, nor by outside opinions. Leave the determination to the woman and ONLY to that woman, without any undue pressure from any outside social forces. If the woman/future mother decides, of her own free will, to keep the fetus and bring to term, knowing that she can, in fact LOVE that child, then certainly the law must force the rapist to provide, or the government must provide, for that mother’s welfare. That is the closest thing to justice that we can come to at this point in our understanding. To force a woman to carry a fetus that resulted from rape is, in no uncertain terms, torture. It is society and the state in totalitarian collusion against a woman and against “Woman” in general. Let’s move on beyond Victorian values hypocrisy. Justice for any rapist: mandatory castration – perhaps that might serve as a deterrent.
“The day I threw out the Bible: one small step for Wo/Man, the day the world throws out all sacred texts, one giant step for wo/mankind. If someone’s “God” doesn’t like it, let it come out from behind its etheric clouds and tell me so to my face. I can deal with that. It’s way past time to grow up.”
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I agree with what Valerie and Shatara46 said. First of all, “murder” applies to persons and “innocence” is a moral attribute requiring a conscience, which cannot be ascribed to a fertilized ovum. Likewise “trauma” requires an ability to consciously perceive pain, which only happens fairly late in fetal development. Therefore if abortion is performed as early as possible, e.g. the “morning after pill” as part of treatment for rape, no “innocent person” is being “murdered” and the zygote is incapable of suffering at that point.
More importantly, however – and I would take this a step further than Shatara46 did – forced birth under ANY circumstances is torture. In fact, childbirth even under the most optimal conditions, when the woman wants a baby and has a loving and supportive spouse, is something so painful, traumatic and potentially even life-threatening, that you as a man can never imagine. But, being forced to carry the offspring of a rapist inside of your body for 39 weeks and then endure the agony of childbirth (thus being raped a second time) is absolutely torture by any definition. Torturing the innocent victim of a violent crime is incompatible with “justice.” The civil rights of a living, breathing, conscious human being take precedence over a fertilized ovum which has a very slim chance (probably 20% or less) of ever developing into a person.
Very, very well said.
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thx. BTW, a technical clarification: I had mentioned the “morning after pill” but Plan B does not actually prevent implantation, so in this context it would be EllaOne or RU486.
Ella is also thought to prevent the release of an egg rather than preventing implantation. RU486 is the only one that works as an abortion pill.
thanks for the update, Valerie. My source, WebMD, as of 2012, was saying that Ella could prevent implantation, based on its chemical similarity to RU486. Apparently the latest research denies that, but WebMD has not yet updated their info.
Thank you for caling out those “sort-of-Christians” who pick and choose from the Bible’s commands, examples, inferences and counsels which they are going to obey, accept, submit to and thse they are going to ignore, weasel around, or openly defy.
Much of the misery in the world today would be reduced or even abated if those who seriously claim Christ and His messengers as not only Savior but as Lord and Master would obey Him (and His Holy Spirit via His messengers). He commends the trust of sheep in their Shepherd as virtuous.
Christians would treat all as they should want to be treated themselves (“Golden Rule”) according to their circumstances.
Christian women would submit to their husbands without complaining, nagging or whining, or bad-mouthing their husbands to others. They would not neglect their marital duties. Whether their husbands were Christian brothers or unbelievers, they would obey them except where to do so would cause the woman to violate a clear command or counsel from the Word of God.
Christian men worthy of the name would treat their wives with kindness, gentleness, and firmness, not neglecting their marital duties. They would be the spiritual leaders of their households. They would provide for their families according to their abilities.
Sound like the nearest thing to heaven on earth?
Unfortunately too many “Christians” are “CINOs”: Christians In Name Only. Too often “Christians’ ” behavior gives the unbelievers cause to insult the name of Christ. “Christian” nations prosecute war against “Christian” nations, leaving women widows and children orphans. “Kill them all; let God sort ’em out” is the war cry.
The seal of the Christian is to be this: “The Lord knows them that are His.” And, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
This is a good post, Valerie, and I appreciate your work on it. But one thing occurred to me: secularist/scientific men have not shown themselves much if any better on the subject of rape, or on women’s issues in general. There’s a large body of work in “evolutionary psychology”, largely unchallenged from within the discipline, in which male scientists obfuscate what rape is and try to justify it — while all the time, of course, protesting how much they abhor it. There are exceptions, just as there are exceptions among religious men, but I think they’re the exceptions that prove the rule.
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Great article! Very informative and insightful. I have referenced it in my blog.
Upon reading through the comments, the impressive lack of compassion expressed in some of them demonstrates that the iron age rape culture remains alive and well.
Sadly but perhaps I could say “clinically” it’s obvious that if the thin veneer of modern “Western” civilization (the denial and political correctness) is removed, nothing has changed since the inauguration of the age that gave rise to most of man’s religious texts. Yes, iron age culture remains alive and well, not only in how men see women, but in the rape of the planet’s resources, the endless wars, once wars for space (and slave labour), now increasingly wars of resources (and slave labour), and in the utter failure of the species to develop meaningful compassion and empathy towards the growing numbers of refugees and dispossessed; the growing numbers dying of famine in the squalor of refugee camps located on no-man’s land, lacking protection from rampaging “freedom fighters” and rapists who attack these compounds, rape the young girls and walk away laughing. This isn’t just a problem of American Bible-Worshipping Christian right-winged nut jobs. This is a global issue, and it’s growing, not dwindling.
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I would like to think you are wrong, and that “progress” has been made in some respects, but suspect you are probably right. Thanks for sharing your insights.
“In no case, including in the New Testament, is the woman’s consent required for sexual contact.” This quote from your post is absolutely false. The apostle Paul in what we call his first letter to the church in Corinth (7.3-7) lays out in absolute language that husband and wife are co-equals in respect to their own and each other’s bodies. In a more general sense, with the coming of Jesus, an even casual observer (obviously you are more than the casual observer) can see a great shift in the direction in which those who worship God through Jesus are expected to walk in terms of how they treat each other. Within their historical context, Jesus and his immediate followers’ teachings in relation to women were radical. An anachronistic view of Scripture and how it teaches social relations certainly is not fair. My understanding of Jesus’ appearance was to bring humanity to a new understanding of what it means to be human and treat each other as created in God’s image. That doesn’t happen magically or overnight, unless you are willing to give up human free will, which apparently God refuses to do.
I assume you know that most Christians and Jews through history have disagreed with you about the “co-equal” thing. That said, I’m happy to revise my claim when you show me the Bible verses that call for consent.
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Saw something on t.v. last night that made my blood boil, wanted to get it off my chest and this blog seemed like the appropriate venue for sharing: For me as an Episcopalian, EWTN is a mixed bag. On the one hand, I enjoy watching the cooking show w/ the gay priest and getting a buzz and chanting the Rosary with the Sisters. On the other hand, I also watch their “pro-life” programs just to stay informed as to their latest evil tactics and arguments. So last night the show started out bemoaning the fact that many [good!] international relief organizations include contraceptive care as part of their services. [In fact, that is the ONLY kind I will support anymore.] The priest said “Poor women don’t need contraceptives or abortions, they need schools and food. Children are ALWAYS a BLESSING!” Another priest replied, “Yes, but there are approximately 23,000 pregnancies per year from rape. What would you tell those women? Are children still a blessing in that case?”
The reply was: “Absolutely! Here, let me share a comment from somebody who was directly impacted by that situation: ‘Dear Father So & So, My daughter was a victim of rape. She had the baby and I’m so glad she did, because now I am the very happy grandmother of a beautiful little boy! My grandson is so adorable, I can’t imagine life without him!’ So you see, it all works out for the best. Besides, if the rapist is caught we wouldn’t cut him to pieces, so why would we cut up the smaller victim? EVERY human being has value and dignity regardless of the circumstances of their birth!”
I wanted to scream and tear my hair out, for several reasons: “EVERY human being”? “circumstances” INCLUDING having the misfortune of being born FEMALE and therefore apparently her body belongs to anybody and everybody? Not one damn word was said about the dignity and value of the woman’s daughter. Nobody asked, “So how is your daughter doing? Has she recovered from the multiple trauma of the rape and pregnancy and birth? How is her relationship with your grandson?” etc.
As for the POC being “the smaller victim” who shouldn’t be “cut up” – had Plan B been given in the ER or, failing that, RU486 thereafter, nobody would have existed to be cut up. “Victim?” If anything, an unwanted fetus would be an aggressor, at least from the standpoint of its unwilling host who has now been victimized TWICE – once by the rapist and then by his spawn. Thankfully, I have beat the odds by making it to age 52 without ever having been a victim of rape, nor ever getting pregnant (by choice!), but as a woman I can imagine few fates more horrible than being forced to allow a rapist’s filthy seed to parasitize my body, carry it inside of me for 39 weeks and then give birth to it. So, it’s not ok to “cut up” the rapist or his offspring, but apparently it IS ok to let the “bigger victim” be tortured by the “smaller victim” – because she happened to be born with a uterus and therefore it’s “God’s will,” and HER “dignity” is not an issue.
Not to mention, nobody EVER addresses this from the Golden Rule perspective relative to the embryo: Assuming you had the capacity for rational/ethical thought (which of course, fertilized ova do not), would YOU want to be born under those conditions?! Would you want to be in the position of using a woman’s body against her will and putting her through the additional trauma of childbirth after your father had raped her? A woman who couldn’t bear to look at your innocent little face because you resemble him? Who did not want you, but only kept the pregnancy because she was forced or guilt-tripped into it? I would never choose such a life.
Shudder. umkay, I got that off my chest now. whew! When I see things like this, I get why people hate religion. I really, really do.
“incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare.” it still happens and probably more often that many think. So the line for God “intending it to happen” is drawn at incest? And even so where is the incest line drawn, 2nd cousins? If a 12 year old (or younger, it’s rare but it can happen) girl is raped and impregnated as a result she should be forced to carry it since “God intended it”?
Reblogged this on Vwambanji's Blog.