RE: Challenge #2

From: Lucy Lear (
Date: Sat Jul 13 2002 - 17:54:00 EDT

  • Next message: Lucy Lear: "Re: An inadequate response"

    >>Technically, its not quite rape>>

    My dictionary says that rape is non-consensual sexual intercourse.

    I disagree -- rape is the correct word.


    >From: "Shuan Rose" <>
    >To: "John W Burgeson" <>, <>
    >Subject: RE: Challenge #2
    >Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 20:03:48 -0400
    > Hi, Burgy,
    >I vote for #4 &5. BTW, I think humanity is still immature( witness the
    >Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Rwanda, and 911, not to mention Enron).I see
    >as preferring to persuade, rather thjan force(although he will club you
    >time to time), so I don't think it denigrates God. I wait with interest the
    >explanations of those who buy #1. Maybe the women are sinners, and deserve
    >to be forced into concubinage?(Technically, its not quite rape)
    >Off to scope out some good looking enemy babes,
    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: []On
    >Behalf Of John W Burgeson
    >Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 5:56 PM
    >Subject: Challenge #2
    >Bob Rogland keeps bugging me (off line) to respond to challenges 2 and
    >3. I did promise to do so -- and so here are my comments on #2.
    >This is the scripture (NIV). In it, Moses (presumably) is
    > DT 21:10 When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your
    >God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice
    >among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may
    >take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her
    >head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when
    >captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and
    >mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and
    >she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go
    >wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since
    >you have dishonored her.
    >The Bible is, many say, a book of ethics. Is there any person here,
    >however, who would say that the advice above ought to be given today to
    >our soldiers who fight abroad? If not, why not?
    >The advice given above assumes that women are property. Is this an
    >ethical stance anyone here would take today? Should women be regarded as
    >property? If not, why not? Could Moses be wrong here?
    >The advice given above says to a young man that it is OK to capture a
    >young woman, forcibly rape her, and then, if she does not satisfy, turn
    >her loose. There is no indication that he has any particular
    >responsibility for her after that. I read recently that several states in
    >Mexico follow the advice above. The usual fate of the women so treated is
    >prostitution. I suppose that was the fate of those captured, raped and
    >turned loose in biblical times also.
    >What are the options for this particular section? I see five; there may
    >be others:
    >1. One can accept it as the very word of God, spoken/written through
    >Moses, and, therefore, conclude that God sees women as property (at least
    >in the time of Moses) and rape is no big deal.
    >2. The section may have been the perception of Moses, and Moses could
    >have misapprehended God.
    >3. The section could be in error -- a late addition to the inspired text.
    >4. One may see it as God doing the best he could with an immature
    >5. One may read it as a record of how ancient people apprehended God,
    >doing the best they could, but very much caught up in a male-dominated
    >society where women were, in some sense, subhuman.
    >These are the five options I can think of. They are not entirely separate
    >from one another, #1 and #4 might be spliced. #3 seems farfetched. #2 and
    >#5 sort of go together. #4 alone sort of denigrates God.
    >I am left with #2 plus #5 as the most reasonable position. Now that
    >upsets some people here; I know that. They see me denigrating holy
    >scripture by taking that (tentative) position. I don't see that at all --
    >I see it as simply asking questions about the text, and reading it for
    >what it seems to be. Just as Psalm 137 is perfectly clear when read as a
    >mournful lament of people in exile, this section makes sense if read as
    >Moses giving instructions to his people, not "from the mouth of God," but
    >simply as best he could do so, given his obvious belief that women are
    >inferior and of little consequence.
    > I note also a few verses that follow in the speech Moses makes which
    > DT 22:5 A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's
    >clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.
    >I wonder when he quit detesting this. Or maybe he still does?
    > DT 22:11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.
    >No reasons given. maybe the tribes around them did this?
    > DT 22:12 Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.
    >Anyone here still wear a cloak? Or put tassels on his coat?
    > DT 22:13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes
    >her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this
    >woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,"
    >15 then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a
    >virgin to the town elders at the gate. 16 The girl's father will say to
    >the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes
    >her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, `I did not find your daughter
    >to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity." Then
    >her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and
    >the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a
    >hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl's father, because
    >this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to
    >be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
    >I always wondered what proof the parents can bring? This part makes no
    > DT 22:20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's
    >virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her
    >father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.
    >She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while
    >still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.
    >Getting married in the time of Moses could be a risky thing.
    > DT 22:28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be
    >married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl's
    >father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has
    >violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
    >This seems to be primarily a male-oriented list. What do females say
    >about this? The raped girl gets nothing -- she is property -- her daddy
    >gets the 50 shekels. I presently have one (of 4) unmarried daughter. If
    >she were to be violated by some cretin, I would not be terribly
    >interested in seeing him marry her, nor would I accept his money. Is
    >there any father of a daughter here that would think differently?
    >Conclusion: Is scripture inspired? I affirm that it is. Does every
    >command of Moses come from God? I have trouble affirming that. Should all
    >the commands of Moses be used for ethical decisions today? I surely hope
    >not. Some do make sense; others do not. We all pick and choose. But then
    >I've said that before.
    >John Burgeson (Burgy)
    > (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
    > humor, cars, philosophy, ethics and much more)

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