Willful ignorance: Does the Bible justify violence against women, or does it honor women more than an other scripture?

I think it’s time for me to start living up to the name of my blog. Up until now I have been rather polite for a Curmudgeon, choosing to be amused and rational about the foolishness and ignorance of the apologists for various radical theories and the abominable behavior of their minions. But reading a commentary on a retiring female judge in Great Britain, and especially the interpretation of the judge’s reasonable remarks as a cover for attacking the Bible, has me fed up. I am going to introduce this controversy, and then criticize the motives of this Bible “distorter”!

This headline was in a BBC news item: Retiring judge Lindsey Kushner issues drunk women rape warning. “Lindsey Kushner QC said women were entitled to ‘drink themselves into the ground’ but their ‘disinhibited behaviour’ could put them in danger. Judge Kushner made the courtroom plea as she jailed a man for six years who raped a girl he met in a Burger King in Manchester city centre last year. But, Rape Crisis slammed her comments as ‘outrageous’ and ‘misguided’. Yvonne Traynor, chief executive of Rape Crisis South East, said: ‘As a judge and a woman she should know better. The only person who is responsible for rape, is the rapist. Women are yet again being blamed for rape.’ The judge spoke out as she retired from the criminal bench.” A statistic from the national Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse bears out the judge’s opinion. “Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both. Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors. Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault.

“Judge Kushner, 64, said ‘as a woman judge’ it would ‘be remiss’ if she did not beg women to protect themselves from predatory men who ”gravitate’ towards drunken females. But she said she does not ‘think it’s wrong for a judge to beg woman to take actions to protect themselves’.”

For those of us not pursuing a radical feminist and anti-biblical agenda, the judge’s remarks would be considered quite reasonable. She is not blaming women for rape, but is stating truths that there are predatory men, and that they know that women who are drunk are more vulnerable to rape than women who are sober. Women know this, rapists know this. How this could be twisted to mean that she blames women for rape is beyond me. Well, maybe it isn’t, since the real agenda behind most distortions of truth is to undermine the influence of the Bible, in this case by shifting blame for rape onto the scriptures that honor women above all other religions.

The hypocrisy of blaming the Bible, or trying to have it both ways (minimizing the positive influence and attributing a negative influence that is a lie):

Katie Edwards, director of SIIBS (Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies) at University of Sheffield, describes her position: “My research focuses on the function, impact and influence of the Bible in contemporary culture. I am especially concerned with intersections of gender, race and class in popular cultural reappropriations of biblical characters/narratives.” Sounds like “intersectionality”, the subject of my April 27 post.

Here are some of HER misappropriations of what the Bible teaches: “As a deeply influential cultural document, the Bible has a lot to say when it comes to attitudes around sex, shame and gender identity. Rape is endemic in the Bible (both literally and metaphorically) and, more often than not, functions as a conduit for male competition and a tool to uphold patriarchy.” The first sentence of this screed is an example her hypocrisy. She calls the Bible “a deeply influential cultural document.” The Bible is not merely a cultural document, but by calling it that she can discredit it’s eternal truths (since culture is man made and evolves), while calling it influential in this context allows her to assign it enough power to blame it for misogynistic attitudes. Why is rape (along with every other sin of fallen man) endemic in the Bible (the examples she cites are Old Testament)? Because most of the Bible (especially the OT) is, and was intended to be, the story of how human pride and rebellion has corrupted every good gift from God! There is no greater catalog of sins, including rape, than in the Book of Judges. “And in Judges 21, the Benjaminites are ‘saved from extinction’ through the mass rape of women from Jabesh-gilead and Shiloh.” True, but why? The last sentence of the Book of Judges 21:25 says “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.judges 

Just like you Katie, they did what was right in their own eyes. By saying that rape is a “tool to uphold patriarchy” you reveal your hatred and ignorance of men in general. Rape is the action of sick and perverted men who are aberrations of what most men are in Christianized cultures. I have lived for 70 years and haven’t known a single man attracted to women who has raped or even talks about rape fantasies. That’s not to say there aren’t any, or that I knew what every friend of mine was thinking, but for a general principle it’s more accurate to say that men prefer to treat women well than to abuse them. If you don’t believe that, that says more about you and the men in your life than it does about Men!

Would you also give the Bible credit for the positive cultural influences it has had? What influences? First see the book that follows Judges, the Book of Ruth. It is the opposite of Judges–a study of righteousness. Hey Katie, why don’t you also tell the story of Boaz and Ruth??? ruth Could it be that it doesn’t fit your little theories of perverse Biblical influence? Go and study history, especially back to the Roman Empire, when patriarchy really did rule the world. Both women and children were little more than chattel for men to use and dispose of if they so desired. The Bible and those who truly lived by it introduced the ideas and practices of honoring women and caring for children that we take for granted today in the western world.

Then she goes on to cite lots of other misogyny. “For  example, David’s rape of Bathsheba is echoed in his son Amnon’s rape of half-sister Tamar, and his son Absalom’s rape of David’s ten concubines.” David further compounded his sin by arranging to have Bathsheba’s husband Uriah killed, after she was pregnant. Does the Bible give any tacit blessing to his sins? What happened to David’s family as a result of his sin? In 2 Samuel 12:9, David is confronted by the prophet Nathan: “Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.  For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” (this is the incident that Katie calls Absalom raping David’s concubines). 

How did David the king respond to this frightening prophecy? He said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Check out psalm 51. psalm 51 Remorse, repentance and redemption, that’s how a man who loves God deals with his sin. But that’s a topic for another day.

Now Katie boldly states her “truth”. “A common thread in the biblical text is that women are responsible for maintaining their sexual ‘purity’. This is not in the interests of their own well-being, but to ensure that as male property, women remain ‘undamaged’. This seems to be a no-win situation. The consequence for Dinah, who transgresses social boundaries by going ‘out to meet the women of the land’, is rape.” Katie is leaving out the consequences of rape. Genesis 34: “two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away.  The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister.  They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field.  All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered.” It reads to me like her brothers valued her sexual purity pretty highly!

 “Women who do fulfil feminine ideals, such as Bathsheba, who is described as ‘very beautiful’, tend to attract negative, often violent, male sexual attention. In other words, one way or another, women are constantly implicitly blamed, both in the Bible and in contemporary culture, for their rape.” Is there no end to the willful blindness of the truth? Sexual purity is exactly to a woman’s well-being, as well as a man’s. Male property? Who drives most purchasing decisions? To whom is most advertising directed? Beautiful women tend to attract violent male sexual attention? In what culture? Men are, or at least were (before the hook-up culture), more likely to “bow and scrape” before beautiful women than to rape them. Katie, you are to be pitied. What an ugly fantasy world you and your cohorts inhabit!

Katie then uses certain passages that appear in Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Old Testament bibles but omitted in most Protestant OT bible translations because they are considered apocryphal (hidden). However, they are just more of the same kind of distortions. “In the biblical text, Susanna’s beauty is to blame for attracting the attentions of the elders. In a plotline that’s echoed in today’s court rooms, Susanna’s testimony isn’t believed and her sexual conduct is brought into question. It takes a man, Daniel, to advocate for her and to rescue her from execution after she refuses the elders’ offer. In his successful defence of her and condemnation of the elders, Daniel says: “Beauty has beguiled you and lust has perverted your heart.” Here, as so often in contemporary society, rape and sexual assault are linked to the attractiveness of women rather than a violent crime of power and control. Even in art, Susanna is implicitly blamed for being targeted.”

Daniel is condemning the elders NOT the woman. These so-called elders and their pride and evil were a big reason why the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon and their nation destroyed. Daniel was the very epitome of righteousness in the OT. Katie implies that only a man could save the woman and compares the courtroom of the Babylonian captivity to modern courtrooms. Here is what the passage says: “That year two elders from the people were appointed as judges. Concerning them the Lord had said: Wickedness came forth from Babylon, from elders who were judges, who were supposed to govern the people..….When the people left at noon, Susanna would go into her husband’s garden to walk. Every day the two elders used to see her, going in and walking about, and they began to lust for her. They suppressed their consciences and turned away their eyes from looking to Heaven or remembering their duty to administer justice. Both were overwhelmed with passion for her, but they did not tell each other of their distress, for they were ashamed to disclose their lustful desire to seduce her.” How does Katie twist the obvious and use these words to advance her dubious theories?

Okay Katie, enough of your un-well-intentioned distortions. The Bible now has words for you, who embody the “Jezebel spirit”. What does the Bible say about Jezebel? In 1 Kings 21 she plotted to have a good man killed with lies. jezebel and nabothSo she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city. And she wrote in the letters, ‘Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people.  And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.’ And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, ‘Naboth cursed God and the king.’ So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, ‘Naboth has been stoned; he is dead’.”

What did God say about Jezebel’s sin? Through the prophet Elijah, “Thus says the Lord: ‘In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood’.” The Bible minces no words when it comes to the influence of women over men. Ahab was the most evil and abominable king of Israel–and that’s saying something! But his wife, Jezebel, was worse.jezebel and ahab 1 Kings 25: “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited.” But when confronted by Elijah about his wickedness, “And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,  ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house’.” Most of the time women have a positive influence on men, and the evil of Jezebel is more the exception than the rule, BUT the issue is one of influence. Women can and do exert influence on men, but in Katie’s world the only influence is inciting their lust, so she and her cohorts can justify their worldview (women as victims of men and patriarchy; men as tyrants and dominators).

No matter what kind of evil a person has done or said, repentance can lead to redemption. In Revelation, via John, God seals the fate of another Jezebel:God’s word about Jezebel Use the link if you want to read it, it is too frightening for me to print.

My final word to Katie and other willfully ignorant distortioners of the Bible are from Jesus himself, Matthew 18:7. “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!” Radical liars are merely fulfilling their job descriptions, but believers who meekly accept the distortions and lies about our Lord and his Word allow lies to flourish! I say enough! “The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Mark 14

 

 

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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