Fun With Deuteronomy, Part 3 (Women’s Edition)

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your hand, and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her and would take her for your wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free, but you certainly shall not sell her for money; you shall not treat her brutally, because you have humbled her.” Deuteronomy 21:10-14

There are many verses in the Bible about war and how men must only kill men but are free to plunder and take all the women and children they desire for slaves. This one in particular really bothers me because it not only involves the kidnapping of a woman, but also forcing her to be your wife- if, after you have your way with her, you still desire her. The good news for the captured woman is that he has to wait a month to let her mourn before he can even think about touching her (a nice enough gesture for the Old Testament Bible) but after that, game on! The strangest contradiction in this passage is that the woman is taken and treated as an object (finders, keepers) and yet she is given time to grieve like a human. Well, which is it? Human or object? The passage contradicts itself again at the end stating basically that once you have had your way with her, you have two options: 1. You liked her and you would like to keep her for yourself (objectify-ing) or, 2. You decided that you don’t like her after all and you set her free (objectify-ing). BUT, don’t beat her or sell her because you are the one that ruined her after all (humanizing). Huh? The god of the Old Testament (aka a group of slimy dudes with a need to satiate their worldly, sexual desires and fantasies) seems to be constantly making it OK for a man to put a woman in the position he desires so that he can have his way with her while she sits back and enjoys and is grateful. Another example is this:

“If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.” Deuteronomy 22:28-29

Deuteronomy22_28-29

So basically, you can rape any unmarried virgin (I am not sure how they always know who is a virgin and who is not… Word of mouth?) BUT, you will have to marry her and pay for her and you can never be divorced from her.

I imagine my father’s reaction in this instance:

Rapist knocks on my father’s door.

RAPIST “Hello, sir. I have recently raped your daughter. Here is the fifty shekels I owe you- she was great!”

MY FATHER “I’ll be right back…”

My father goes into his house and returns with a loaded shotgun pointed right at the rapist’s face. He shoots and keeps the money.

-End Scene-

First of all, what kind of father would ever be OK with this? and second, is the payment and requirement never to divorce the man’s only punishment for doing something so horrible to someone? Is it even supposed to be a punishment? To me, this is a more disturbing version of licking something as a child to call dibs; the idea being that no one will want it after you have licked it, so it’s yours! To me, this is yet another instance in which that group of slimy, perverted men (or the god of the Old Testament) are giving themselves permission to take anything or anyone they want and do what they please to them without consequences- in particular, women.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but it boggles my mind how women can accept this objectification and irrational hatred of and for women. Why can’t they see through all the god bullshit and see it for what it really is- a feeble (yet disgustingly successful) attempt by men to feel more powerful and to satisfy their desires and fantasies. Luckily for Christian women, there are laws in the US that trump religious law and prevent these sort of actions from actually playing out. Would women still be Christians if we allowed religious law to take over? I sure hope not.

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5 comments

  1. I agree. But, in my opinion, I don’t think most Christians pray to the OT God, although he is the only without-a-doubt God in the Bible. I mean, Jesus is not really God and I do not think that believing in Jesus necessarily means believing in God. In fact, the only commonality between Jesus and God is that they are both discussed in the bible. Jesus just in the Appendix lol. Of course, certain modes of theology claim Jesus was a god or the son of God, but most NT scholars think that is not what the NT really says or meant to say.

    I got off-topic a bit there. My point is the OT, however one feels about the it, is viewed by Christians from the standpoint of the NT; from the framework of the gospels, which some may argue was the goal of the OT. In a word, the NT presupposes the OT. So, it makes it really odd that most Christians adopt this Augustinian view of the OT. You would think they would prefer Hick’s theology or Whitehead’s process theology over a view that makes OT morality so important to Christian belief?

    I also want to add that I really enjoyed reading your posts on Deuteronomy. Well done.

    Regards

  2. Maybe if a few more woman stood up in places of worship and told all theses religious blokes to “go fuck a camel” they might sit up and take notice.
    But this requires that these same woman actually READ the bible.

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