Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thou Shalt Rape

I've asked this question over and over again. I've asked Rabbis and I've asked priests, I've asked people who have fallen away from their faith and I've asked believers with varying levels of education. Not a single one has supplies a satisfactory answer.

Why is their no prohibition against rape in any of the bibles?

There is room for every minor interaction under the sun, but they couldn't squeeze in "thou shalt not rape?"

I am an atheist so I have an answer that satisfies my understanding. I want an answer that satisfies a believers mindset.

Here are some of the answers I've heard:
1- women are property and its not a sin, our modern point of view is wrong
2- rape is covered by other prohibitions (although those prohibitions don't really cover rape in every case, just in specific cases where the man rapes lets say a married women where there is a prohibition against adultery.)

and that's it. Those are the only two answers I've recieved. At least the first answer is someone logical. If you belive in a god there is no reason to think that he couldn't be a masochistic rapist of a god. But assuming your god values women, why no sin against rape?


Rafi G said...

in parshat ki tetzei there is a description of rape with the punishment delineated.

Granted, it is not what we would today consider a harsh punishment, but it is there.

Also it does not account for cases like marital rape and the like...

The Way said...

that is a mealy mouth answer.

Does it say regarding murder, "if a person is killed in a field and cries out beforehand than its a considered murder?"

So even that brief mention of rape is only as a byproduct.

Further, the punishment is not a punishment, it is a blancing of equity. The father owns his daughter. She is worth X. If a man rapes her it causes a property loss to the dad. The dad is paid for the value of the woman. That is a civil dispute, that is a property compensation claim. That is NOT a punishment.
And how do you so easily discount marital rape? or rape where the woman does not cry out (like with a date rape drug or threat of violence)
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
Its interesting to note that religo people are always saying that the bible has to be taken into your heart and made part of one's daily life and thoughts, but people forget that their wives/daughters/mothers are women and how many even try to deal with this issue in an honest manner?
Is a women property or not? Is rape a sin or not? Is it our modern perspective on rape and women's rights that is wrong or is the bible not a timeless omniscient book directly from god's mouth?