On July 14th, Terry wrote (in part: to Bob Schneider:
"When a Israelite man took one of the captives to be his wife, a marriage
covenant was entered into that included the legitimacy of sexual
relations--hence, we're not talking about rape here. God's law does not
command rape. We may be talking about marrage customs that are quite distant
from our own, but we are talking about marriage here and not promiscuous
"rape and ravage" conquest.
I understand that you are uncomfortable with the word "rape" when it is
applied to what you think is a command of God. I see it as a command of
Moses, which eases that pain.
One may argue from the dictionary definition, which supports the word "rape"
for this situation, or from ancient literature (Rape of tthe Sabine Women),
etc. But both you and I (and others) do not wish to interpret "rape" as a
direct command (or even a condoning) of God. You solve the problem by
denying the word "rape," I solve it by interpreting the text as what Moses
(not God) was saying.
Here is my problem. Let me dismiss the word "rape" as inaccurate, for sake
of argument. What word, then would you apply to this situation. Assume YOU
are a bright, nubile, good-looking 16 year old non-Jew who, because her
tribe was at war with the Israelites, was made a captive. Let me further
assume that you are treated kindly, and simply brought into the tents of
your captors where a strange man, prehaps with one or two wives already,
informed you that you would have a month to recover and after that he
intended to marry you and have sexual intercourse with you -- and that you
had no say in the matter -- and that his actions were specifically condoned
by the god he followed.
My problem is that I have no other word than "rape" to describe the actions
of the wedding night.
Yes -- she may have consented. She might even find this Israelite
attractive. But the key point is -- she has no options but to submit.
I think that one must visualize himself (or herself) in this situation to
even begin to understand it.
I wish some of the females on this list would comment here. I think they see
it differently than we males.
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jul 20 2002 - 15:04:24 EDT