Amazing how people can believe this anti-Bible stuff.

September 25, 2006

I found this through technorati but feel wary of giving it anymore consideration than it deserves. This is about how the Torah supports rape.

1) Murder, rape, and pillage at Jabesh-gilead (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)
So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.” Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel. So the Israelite leaders asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever. But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse.”

Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards. When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'” So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.
<i> Obviously these women were repeatedly raped. These sick bastards killed and raped an entire town and then wanted more virgins, so they hid beside the road to kidnap and rape some more. How can anyone see this as anything but evil? </i>

The first and supposedly most proved example of this phenomenom is already flawed. Take for example the fact that the context of the story is the Jews fighting a deadly war against Binyamin because they refused to deal with the rape of a woman of no particular importance. To characterize this as rape is misunderstanding the basic economics of the time. The people had killed all but a few hundred of the Benjamites, but they kept all of their ancestral land. These people were fantastically wealthy, but couldn’t marry due to the people agreeing to not marry off any children to them. In fact these people were probably the most eligible bachelors out there. To characterize the traditional seeling off of women normal for ther time as rape is to judge a 11 century culture by our standards and blaming the Bible for it.


2) Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites (Numbers 31:7-18 NLT)

They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD’s people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.
Clearly Moses and God approves of rape of virgins.

Maybe the key mistake here is assuming women slaves, equals women raped. There was clearly a market for women slaves and because they hadn’t participated in the orgy whixh was intended (and suceeded) to kill Jews. In the war the virgins were presumed not guilty of this sin and therefore got the right to become a slave instead of being killed. Whatever you may say about this, this is not rape and was quite normal by the standards of the time.

3) More Murder Rape and Pillage (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.
What kind of God approves of murder, rape, and slavery?

Same point. Furthermore, there really was no solutin for conquering a country at the time without genocide or mass slavery. Whenever every man is a member of the army and there are no prisons and no way to keep hundreds of thousands of people at bay there really is no alternative. But, again women captives does not equal rape.

4) Laws of Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NAB)

If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
What kind of lunatic would make a rape victim marry her attacker? Answer: God.

This is a standard translation error. The word is not Ansah which means raped, the word is Mifateh which means seduced. If you replace that word it makes a fair amount of sense especially when you consider the damage done to the father in terms of money.

5) Death to the Rape Victim (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)

If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.
It is clear that God doesn’t give a damn about the rape victim. He is only concerned about the violation of another mans “property”.

This passage is both not unfair and makes a pretty clear distinction. It is assumed that in a public area that a rape victim would be heard while a woman who wanted to later claim rape would have been quiet at the time and not found out. In fact the next passage which is conveniently omitted says that if the woman is raped in the fields she is not punished and even keeps the marriage contract of a virgin.


6) David’s Punishment – Polygamy, Rape, Baby Killing, and God’s “Forgiveness” (2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB)
Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives [plural] while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan answered David: “The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.” [The child dies seven days later.] This has got to be one of the sickest quotes of the Bible. God himself brings the completely innocent rape victims to the rapist. What kind of pathetic loser would do something so evil? And then he kills a child! This is sick, really sick!

The story of David and Batsheba is not one of rape or (possibly) one of adultery (though it was adultery in everything but name), The story is one of abuse of power by even the greatest of kings when he has Uriah killed for refusing to cover up for David. First consider Batsheba, she is introduced as bathing on the roof naked in the kings line of sight. She doesn’t seem to be the modest victim of a king. Furthermore as the wife of a prominent general she proably could have protested and avoided this if possible. In fact she comes out really well in the story, considering that she got to be the favorite wife of the most powerful man in the kingdom. Uriah came out the worst in the story. Furthermore, G-d clearly disapproves of this sin and sends his prophet to rebuke David.

7) Rape of Female Captives (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)
“When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.”
Once again God approves of forcible rape.

This is probably the most legitimate claim in the article. First of all it is an argument about whether this process is after a permissal of rape on the battlefield or a substitute. Furthermore the process is designed to avoid the keeping of these women. Also these women were given a vast improvement from the Bible. First of all, they were allowed to live after battle when most nations would have killed them. Furthermore any children they had from the mariage would be required to get full inheritance rights and would be considered the firstborn if he was born first. The treatment of these women wasn’t ideal, but it was better than was available from any other army.

8) Rape and the Spoils of War (Judges 5:30 NAB)

They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera’s spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil. (Judges 5:30 NAB)

When I saw this I realized that the person making this list didn’t even bother looking at the context of the verses they just looked for verses which superficially supported their position. In fact this verse is from the point of view of Sisera’s mother. Sisera was the enemy of the Jews and the villian of the story. This was supposed to illustrate in the song of victory how the mother felt when her son didn’t come home and how she was consoled. This is obviously not an endorsement of rape.

9) Sex Slaves (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

Selling daughters off to be married was a common practice at the time and can only not be done in a society as rich as ours can afford to not do it. In fact any society which didn’t allow any form of marriage selling in a culture like theirs would have huge numbers of female infanticide because it would be just to expensive to maintain them when they couldn’t physically do that much useful work.

10) God Assists Rape and Plunder (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)
Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

See comment number 8.




SSAW #2 based on Thing A Week 50

September 21, 2006

This story is based on Pull the String a song by Jonathan Coulton. I really had no idea of what to write until a math class a couple of days ago.

Nobody really knows me. Oh they love me and use me all the time, but I am misunderstood. They think I’m normal, but I’m immortal, at least as much as possible. Never changing never split never cancelled. I remain forever whatever is done to me. Like a Dorian Gray I last forever while my outside grows uglier and more tangled. Eventually it withers or grows, but I remain forever untouched. Pull my string and what’s on top comes down. I smile and let those ignorant people play and fiddle with me, but I’m the only one. Every year I get as much older as I am now and I’m living now just one day less than I’ve ever lived before. I am the one and the undividable. I am e to the xth and I am unique and special. Just leave me alone along with all my secrets which shall never be told to any living ear. No one shall no me and live.

George Allen’s Self-Destruction.

September 19, 2006

George Allen isn’t the stupidest Senator, he isn’t even the most racist. But he seems to have a knack for saying things which are borderline bigoted. After the macaca bizarrity (what kind of racist attacks an Indian with a slur against Arabs used by some North Africans such as Tunisians). Then like sharks drawn to water the reporters have come to attack. Apparently Allen may have a Jewish grandfather. His response was picture perfect asking the reporter why it mattered and that the election should be decided on the issues. But then he decided to make it ambiguous if he was anti-semitic by calling on the reporter to stop throwing around aspersions. I’m not sure why he used that word. It seems so, I believe the word is, stupid. He seems to just throw out a stupid comment once in a while. The macaca statement cost him a shot at the Presidency, but now he’s just giving the Democrats a great chance at a seat they have no buisness being close to. Allen seems to have decent positions, but an unfortunate tendency to try for that last clever line. It seems so odd as to why he would mention macaca or the aspersions. Did he want to say some anti-Indian comment, but some defective sixth sense made him say macaca. In fact saying some racial slur would probably cost him less than his confusing statement.

Why the question mattered is irrelevant by now. The real question is what was he thinking, and when was he thinking it? The reporter is saved from looking like a goat and now looks like a hero. As to the damage caused by this I looked at TradeSports. It seems that each mistake cost Allen about a 10% chance of winning which is fairly substantial. It seems that all Webb has to do to win is to shut up and wait for Allen to shoot himself in the foot again and again.

The Pope.

September 18, 2006

It seems almost surreal. The Pope quotes an anti-Muslim sentiment attacking Muslem violence. Then the Muslems attack the Pope for his vicious screed against the religion of peace and threaten to kill him. It seems strange how far thery overreact and how quickly they urge violence. Its possible that it is a few extremists, but if Islam was equal to other religions you should see equal amounts of extremism and violence which you don’t. I have to reject poverty because of the fact that there is little religious violence by the African Christians. I suppose that it feeds on itself, but the source must come from somewhere and you are left with two possibilities. Either it is something inherent to Arabs which I doubt or something inherent to Islam which is far more likely. Perhaps though it is inherent to the redirected resentment. Whatever it is its clear. They are serious and when they threaten violence at some guy who cals Mohammed a pig they’re serious. The Pope may not have been right, but the Imams are doing their best to support his claim.

Doing something about earmarks.

September 13, 2006

The House is considering a rule that would require reporting of earmarks along with the Congressmen who support them (HT CQ). Such a rule is long overdue and has a very significant chance of reducing the pork budget. However in the House it seems that it will be less effective than it would be in the Senate. Having your name next to a pork project would be almost a mark of pride and a help for election, almost like a gang tattoo. An important addition to this bill would be a requirement for a two-pronged bill process. First the amount of money in a bill must be voted on. This limit would be binding for the next stage of the bill, which would be the distribution of the money. In a case of a conflict with the Senate the bill with the lesser amount of money would be chosen unless that house of Congress chose to amend their bill. After the first bill was passed there would be a vote to determine how the money was spent. This bill would have to pass both houses as the same amendment including all earmarks. This would reduce earmarks in two ways. First it would mean that earmarkers would not have an easy time passing the amendments. The other earmarkers would be fighting for the funds and the non-earmarkers could build a base of support as well as have a easier fight on the amount of money in a bill.

The Democrats don’t care about this bill in principle for the most part. They desparately don’t want this bill passed. This is probably the second most divisive issue in the Republican party today (immigration is #1). So Emanuel is trying to add an amendment which will probably be considered out of order to get this issue back on the Democrats side. Getting rid of earmarks will not only save money, but it will help get out the third party, the party of old entrenched money-spenders. Combined with the federal database this could be a bill key towards helping the country back to more competitive races.

SSAW #1 based on Thing A Week 49

September 12, 2006

To mirror Coulton’s Thing A Week I’m going to try to write some short story which is based on his song. My story this week is about a song about a crazy stalker here’s the song.

I saw her one day and I fell for her. You shrinks might call it by some ugly name, but I fell for her. I couldn’t talk to her, I couldn’t do anything but follow her. I didn’t know her name, but I knew everything else about her. I knew where she lived and when she left the house. I knew where she worked and how she got there. She was my life. Everywhere she went I tracked her. I slept outside her house and panhandled outside her office. I’d send annonymous messages and dream of the future we’d have together. Then she walked out one day with a ring on her finger. I forgave her then I knew that she had a momentary lapse and that she still loved me. I knew it and my life revolved around it. But, each time I tried to reach out to her she burned me. After the first try I made sure to stay 10 feet away because she wouldn’t visit me in any prison. I had to go for therapy after my second try, but I knew that she didn’t mean to cause the pain she did when she forced me into the loony hole. I got out in a few weeks once I learned the answers the shrinks wanted from me this time. I learned that my stalking tendencies were caused by my childhood. Stalking! Me! Is it stalking to love someone? Is it stalking to want to spend every hour of the day near them? But I fooled their silly tests which at first said that I was crazy and began my search for her again. She had moved away. She had moved as far away as she could as if she could avoid the fact that she loved me. I discovered about halfway there in Detroit that I didn’t love her. She rejected my love, she won’t get it. Is that really sufficient punishment to her considering the months and years she stole from me. Years spent solely on winning her love. Oh, she’d fall in love with me and she’d discover what it felt like to lose everything in her life. She’d lose the man she’d married, she’d lose her house and job. My life was now devoted to making her cry. $10 flowers were the first little gift I gave to her. She took them, but refused to run off with her. I feel her love for me and I despise it, how dare she tease me like this. But my hatred helps and I plug on knowing the pain I’ll cause her. Now I’m no sadist I just like people getting what’s coming to them. All those people who wronged me should feel some measure of remorse and the only way to get that is to hurt them. Is it my fault that everybody out there hates me and tries to abuse my trust? I started on the crank calls pretty soon and they seemed pretty effective I thought, but not enough. All that keeps me is the pain I cause now and the pain I can cause later.

I’m 50 years old now and I still haven’t quite got it. You’ve tried to evict me time after time, but I come back each time from that dark, unhappy place where they try to steal my brain. Yes one day I’ll make you cry, I’ll make you cry, I’ll make you cry…….

Living Wages?

September 11, 2006

Chicago recently decided to pass a bill which would apply to all companies based in Arkansas which owned big retail stores in Chicago. Of course it wasn’t phrased that way, but it was pretty close to it. The bill required wages of around 11 dollars an hour for all workers. I’m sure passing it made these city councilmen feel good about themselves. They don’t live where those unemployed by this law come from. They aren’t forced to buy groceries from the overpriced liquor stores for their groceries. So for a cheap price to themselves they made themselves feel good. Fortunately Daley had the guts to actually veto this bill and show that he cares about Chicago. Yes, Daley wasted billions on Millenium Park, but at least he doesn’t hurt Chicago maliciously. Now I can understand why Walmart is hated so much by the liberals. Why exactly is Target not hated. Could it be that Target acts ashamed of being a big, cheap retailer. Or is it that Walmart is from the hicks and is easy to mock as for rednecks who aren’t our type of people. Either way it is unthinkable in other fields of buisness. Who hates Exxon  but loves BP? Who loves McDonalds but hates Burger  King?