Friday, December 08, 2006

CHRISTIANS v. PAGANS on Rape

CHRISTIANS: “The Bible tells of a Levite who gave up his concubine-wife to a mob to be gang-raped to death in order to save himself from molestation, and then cut her to pieces.”

PAGANS: “The Romans and Saxons punished rapists by death.”

CHRISTIANS: In medieval Christian Europe “Peasant brides were raped by the baron before being turned over to their bridegrooms – probably to be raped again.”

PAGANS: “The Byzantine Code decreed that rapists must die and their property … given to the victim, even if she was … a slave woman.”

CHRISTIANS: “Recent studies show that most rapists [are] professed members of a religious sect and learned to regard sex as evil, in the traditional Christian manner.”

PAGANS: “Classical mythology abounds in rape: the rape of the Sabine women, Zeus’ rape of … Rhea…. But the word translated ‘rape’ (usually by Western Christianized men), usually meant seduction” – not forcible rape.

CHRISTIANS: “Before 1653, any Englishman could kidnap and rape a child heiress, after which the law viewed him as her legal husband.”

PAGANS: “The gypsies demanded the death penalty for a rapist.”

CHRISTIANS: “Dr. James Marion Sims, known as the American ‘father of gynecology’: … What is usually not told about his career is the way he developed his techniques. Before the Civil War, he kept women slaves in a disused jailhouse and made them his guinea pigs, performing hundreds of experimental … operations on them until they died off one by one and were replaced by fresh victims.”

{From the incredibly well-documented Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara Walker]
________
Thnx to rvaldeza for the `foto of a little girl probably growing up in a war-god country, and, therefore, liable to be raped at any moment.

11 comments:

Paxton said...

Levite -- "in those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes". There are thousands of sins in the Bible. Recording a sin and condoning it are obviously two very different things. The Bible gives no blessing to the Levite's actions.

Medieval Christian Europe -- this will sound flimsy to you, no doubts. My heart breaks twice when cruel men use the name of Christ to sanction their own evil. I can do nothing but stand and condemn that practice with flaming words, and insist that it was far from Christ.

Sex as evil -- again this will sound weak. The church has half-failed in regards to teaching about sex. It's not evil, it's glorious. The Bible says as much. =)

Englishmen and Jim Sims -- again I say that calling a nation Christian does not mean that nation's policies please Christ, and the same goes for individuals.

Actually, it's a bit stupid to call a nation Christian, since Christian means "belonging to the party of Christ"...which sort of implies that a truly Christian nation would be no more than a colony of the Kingdom of God.

Anyway, I hope you know I'm not making excuses. I hate rape, I hate evil, I absolutely loathe abuse and pain. I hate it even more because of what I know about pure sex, about beauty, and about real love. And so to all men from all eras who claim to belong to Christ -- it is not up to me to judge your soul, but I can judge pure sin when I see it, and jump up shouting "THAT is no Christlike love! >=(".


I'm also confused, Athana -- not so long ago you were condemning force in favor of teaching. A quote from October: "There are many ways to “teach.” I don’t think any of them have to involve violence." Now you seem to be giving implicit approval to capital punishment.

Paxton said...

er..."pure sin" is a bit of a misnomer. I retract that phrase and substitute "obvious sin", or something of that nature. Sorries!

Athana said...

Paxton, no, I'm not giving approval of captial punishment. I believe capital punishment is wrong.

Paxton said...

Sorry, my mistake! =( I didn't mean to falsely accuse you.

Now, this is going to sound like a stupid and socially inept inquiry -- it's the sort of thing I really ought to know by now -- but are you a Pagan? I'm afraid I'm not totally sure what the word means.

Paxton said...

D'oh, I'm sorry Athana =X Sometimes I can be a bit slow and stupid, but I see your point now I think --

were you contrasting the "Retaliate by Force" people and the "Turn the Other Cheek" people, and showing how neither group reaches the ideal of "Respond with Teaching"?

Again, apologies. =) I hope I didn't offend =o

Anne Johnson said...

Saying the church has "half failed" in teaching about sex is giving the church a mighty big break. Modern right wing Christian views of sex are so repressive they're impossible to follow. I feel sorry for the men and women who must endeavor to live by those standards.

This statement comes not from a sexually profligate person, but from someone who's been married and faithful to the same man for 22 years.

Morgaine said...

Paxton - I know you want to defend Christianity because you ascribe positive value to it. I ascribe positive value to some of the teachings allegedly originating with Jesus, if there was such a person, but most people who call themselves Christians are much more influenced by the Old Testament. Jesus' name is pretty much used in vain.

You know that gang rape is condoned in the bible. There's the episode Athana described, and there's the deal with Lot offering up his daughters to a mob, for which "god" rewarded him by warning him about the destruction of Sodom and G. (can't spell the second one. ) You also know that the bible specifies that a single girl who is raped must marry her rapist; a married or betrothed woman must be stoned to death along with her rapist. Rape is not considered a crime against the woman, but a crime against her owner - her father or her husband. That attitude continued up through the Prima Nocht custom Athana mentioned.

If you want examples of sexual depravity, read a bit about the "holy inquisitions" - the cruelest, most perverse tortures and murders in history carried out in the name of "christ" by the Catholic church. 20 million people, most of whom were women, died horribly. 20 million Native Americans destroyed by "manifest destiny" by the Christian extremists who invaded this country. 20 million Jews starved and murdered in the name of Christianity as espoused by Hitler. 655,000 Iraqi people - a people who never harmed an American that wasn't trying to kill them - slaughtered because George Bush thinks all Islam is evil and doesn't know a Sunni from a Shia from an Arab. Millions being raped and murdered in the name of cultural purity in Africa and your good Christians in DC aren't doing a damned thing to stop it.

I've cut big daddy all the breaks I'm going to. At some point, something human in us has to stand up and say "enough!" We have to step back and say that something isn't working, and that something is patriarchal religion. The big daddy death cults have spread nothing but misery these 6,000 years and it's enough. It has to stop. There's not one benefit, no by Mother Theresa, or any damned pope, or from Jesus himself that makes up for any of the misery that tradition has spread. At some point, Paxton, Christians like you have to stand up and say that this can't continue. You have an obligation to fight with your christian brothers and sisters to do better. Instead of defending your defenseless position here, you should be spending your time insisting that George Bush stop claiming to be a Christian when he's really a sociopathic mass murderer with a lust for power and money.

I'm Pagan. I don't trade on faith, I deal with reality. You want to convince me that there's anything at all positive in your religion, show me - by your works will we know you. So far, I'm unimpressed. The fact that you don't rape, torture or murder doesn't help the millions who are dying at the hands of your people. You support those who do by allying yourself with them.

Paxton said...

Gang rape isn't condoned in the Bible. Stop telling lies about my God. =( There are incidents of gang rape in the Bible, but that obviously does not mean God approves. Many sins are recorded in the Bible, and not all of them are immediately punished...like I've said before, you condemn God when he punishes sin, and you condemn him for showing mercy (i.e. to Lot)?

I thought it was only mutually consensual marital sex that would get the woman punished along with the man? (Isn't that the idea behind "if she is in the city and does not cry out"?).

The whole women-being-almost-owned thing, I do not know much about. I will not speak on it with no further knowledge of Hebrew culture, but I do not like it. =| (I avoid it out of caution not fear, because I know that what looks awful to us was normal then, and I am sure that we do things that the Israelites would call awful, too).

The atrocities committed in the name of Christ...it is not my place to judge the world (yet, apparently). It *is* my place to judge those who claim to be my siblings in God's family...not to judge their souls but to judge their actions. And I declare their actions foul, evil, so far removed from God's love. I don't know the men responsible, or the state of their hearts, but I know those actions were painfully wrong.

Yet I think many people label themselves "Christians" because it lends them an appearance of respectability (not so much these days...it used to be that "Christian" meant "nice"...now it means "self-righteous and narrowminded and puritanical"...they're both useless descriptions with no regard for actuality, but that's the reason *fewer* people are committing atrocities in Jesus' name these days, content to commit atrocities in their own name). And...well, if there are impostors claiming loyalty to Jesus, should I apologize for them or just roundly rebuke them and cast them away? I have no idea. =?

I'll mostly skip the Iraq and Africa issues, or my ignorance will show. ^_^ I just have a suspicion that if the Good Christians In DC got involved in Africa, twenty years down the line you'd be flaming them for that too. =P


On the subject of a world of misery...I *think* this is where we differ the most. =) Do you think I choose the Son of God because I *like* strife and misery? Hardly =P It's because

1) I think Jesus saves people, and people are immortal, and will last long after Earth is gone, so I am more concerned with eternal salvation than temporal salvation.

2) I think that a Good Social System will still fail if it depends on corrupt people. And I think, as a matter of fact, that all people are corrupt. =P And that the only way to get uncorrupt is to kill the old self (*not* re-educate it, but destroy it) and get a new self. This is what Jesus promises, though the process won't be complete on Earth.

But don't think that I care nothing for the misery in our present world. I mean, ok, you say that people follow the OT and end up violent. If people *really* followed the OT? If they followed every law of God? We would not be having this conversation =P Remember God's own OT words, "Are you serious? Do you think the dead animals and the blood and all that stuff is what matters to me? Go take care of the old lady next door and stop prattling about how sacrificial you are! There's hurting kids, there's people being oppressed, there's starvation. Break chains, love people, do good things! That's what really pleases me."

It doesn't mean people've done a good job of it. =S You bring up a lot of sticking points and challenge me to love the world more visibly...it's against my personality to be an Activist, I just like to philosophize a lot. But I'll try. =)

(I'm thinking hard on what you said about atrocities and things, and not with an eye towards refuting you but simply towards understandment)

Pignut said...

"Yet I think many people label themselves "Christians" because it lends them an appearance of respectability (not so much these days...it used to be that "Christian" meant "nice"...now it means "self-righteous and narrowminded and puritanical"..."

Thanks for that, I feel the same way. Oscar Wilde said that church was a group of people talking about how god they were. In fairness, the same could be said of many other groups of people - environmentalists for instance. Being a member of a group dedicated to some cause or other, can alow people to hide in that group and apear above criticism. Better stil the group protects its members from criticism.

I have seen con men and child molesters successfuly hide themselves in Christian groups, but I have also seen them in New age and environmental groups.

Human herd instinct is a funny thing.

Athana said...

pignut, no. I do not believe you can plop the War-God christian church into the same bag with the environmentalist movement or the New Age movement. This is like comparing heaven to hell. The War-God christian church is eating humanity alive. Go get a copy of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, or Sam Harris's the End of Faith. The War-Gods are DEADLY, poisonous entities.

sopka said...

when you condone oppression and violence of others by belonging to the organiztion oppresses and is violent you colluded with the organization. When you read religious literature and do not demanded that the violent and oppressive sections be expugned then you are consenting to be part of violence and oppression the koran and bible the are not cute anachronist works of literature they are viewed as manual for life. I have seen many people convert to Christianity a now they a biblically sanctioned victims for their violence. Until Christian, Jews and Muslim TAke responsiblity for the evil done in their religions name and STOP PASSING THE BUCK they do not deserve to be call civilized. REligion when it works Should change society for the better none of these religions delivered on their promises when in charge of a nation they all delivered backward fundementalist theocratic governments. It is time for liberal christian to stop passing the buck and be their brothers keeper reigning in the fundie and purging and purifying their religion textbooks. Then they will become scared books when that happens and to those blather on about corinthians and love, sermon on the mount when you are trying to impress God you can write a hell of alot fine and pretty prose. It is what the book says about women., harlots and effeminate men(because you do not have to homosexual to be an abomination,just be a little effeminate and your son or brother is abomination to be rooted out (killed). /Stop teaching your followers that shit and you might get the respect you feel entitlement to. Entitlement a bitch when you do not deserve it.

Christian Nation America If it were not for athiest, agnostics and secular humanistic, universalist unitarian presidents we just might have been backward backwater confedreracy.