The morality of the Bible: God commands his people to execute rape victims

There are countless verses in the Bible that any sensible modern person would absolutely detest: genocide, child murder, slavery, and the most vile misogyny imaginable. It's often entertaining to watch Christians squirm away as they try to find plausible rationalizations for some of these scriptures since they fly in the face of our modern sense of moral solidarity.

It's tough to pick a winner for most vile Bible verse, since there are oh so many from which to choose, but pretty much all of Deuteronomy 22 is a front runner. In the Bible, women are not equals of men. They are property. A marriage in ye olden tymes was not a commitment between two free and equal partners, but a gift from one man to another – one man gave the property "daughter" to become the other man's property "wife". Women's absolute subjugation in those times is evident throughout Deuteronomy 22. In verses 20 and 21, God says that if you can't find "proof" of a woman's virginity on her wedding night, she is to be stoned to death. Did she tear her hymen riding a horse? Was she raped as a child? Did she masturbate a little too aggressively? Well, she's SOL.

But the most vile, evil, despicable section in Deut. 22 are undoubtedly verses 23 and 24:
23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
In other words, if a woman is being raped, and she does not scream for help loud enough to be heard, she has disgraced her family and must be stoned to death. And in case you were wondering, stoning someone to death is not a mercy killing. I challenge anyone who may think otherwise to watch the film The Stoning of Soraya M. Stoning someone to death is torture. So, according to the almighty, perfectly loving creator of the Bible, a rape victim deserves to die a grueling, painful death. This is precisely because the woman in this case is not a free, equal individual. She's just one man's property, and like any "thing", she can be wantonly and whimsically discarded. 

When confronted by the shocking barbarism of the Old Testament, Christians will defend it in two ways. First, they'll say that because of Jesus, nobody has to obey Old Testament law; Jesus created a new covenant with humankind. Secondly, they'll say that all that horrible barbarism that God commanded was the right thing for the culture at the time. Both of these arguments miss the side of the barn.

The issues here are more than just cultural customs; they're fundamental ideas about the value of human life. Are there any easier moral "questions" than things like, "should you own another person" or "should you torture and execute a woman for being a victim of rape"? And yet the God of the Bible gets the answers to these questions ass backwards. Sorry Christians, you don't get to have it both ways: you can't claim that God's morality is absolute, and then try to rationalize the cruelest acts of inhumanity by saying they were circumstantially justified. Any fool can see such arguments for their transparent hypocrisy, and that is why the Bible is not a source of moral guidance for any sensible modern individual.


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