“…Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16 ESV)
Definitely Author of Confusion series worthy
What is it with sex? Obviously, if you are doing it right, it should be pretty awesome. However, the obsession that our culture has with sex is ridiculous. As much as conservatives want to paint liberals with a broad brush of “Hollywood sexualization”, they are not, and have never been immune to this issue. Look no further this past week then Roy Moore, Alabama Christian conservative running for office. What makes this so hard to watch, is the inability of the Republican party to get a handle on this situation. The people have already spoken, with Sean Hannity as their spokesperson that it is the victim that should be demonized and accused, while Roy Moore should be able to keep on running for office. Why not, right? Across this world, sexualization is a reality. Is the god of the bible clear on how we should be with members of the opposite sex? Is the god of the bible our clear moral compass so that we can know what we should do about this problem? I beg to differ. Let us take a look at some of the scriptures available to us:
In Deuteronomy 28 we read about the blessings of following the “LORD your God”. In the next several verses God goes on to decree the punishments for not following the “LORD your God”. One of those punishments were the following, “You will become engaged to a woman, but another man will rape her.” (Deu 28:30 CSB). Over the course of the entire bible there are several instances where women are treated as second class. This verse in Deuteronomy shows that apparently god would choose to use a woman as a form of punishment. It is the man who has done “wrong”, because it is only the man that can make decisions, according to the bible. However, it is the woman that will be apart of the punishment, in the form of being raped. I honestly cringe when I read this verse, and I wonder, “what the hell?”. The reality of the scriptures is that when it comes to issues such as slavery, and women, there is no greater example of this whole book being made up. Here is what I mean, when you think of sexism, who do you usually think of? Men, if I can make an assumption here. I am not saying that in todays world that is the only place it comes from, but definitely during biblical times, sexism was from men. Men, specifically white men ruled all. So, it is, in scripture that you truly see the author(s) for what they truly are. The author of the bible is not a supernatural god, but men. All of the censuses in the bible are only directed at men (Num 1:1-2; Num 3:15, 28). Only men could be priest (Lev. 6:14-18; Lev. 21:9). So on and so forth.
Yea, but this doesn’t mean the god of the bible would support rape, or sexual objectification of women, right?
As I have already mentioned earlier, Deu. 28 not only supports rape, but uses women being raped as a sort of justice token for the wrong that the man does! Wow!?!?! Not only does he support rape, but it is clear that throughout scripture, women are clearly, and outright objectified as pieces of property, or as sleazy men say in modern times “a piece of ass” (1 Sam. 18:27; Ruth 4:5; Deu. 22:28-29; Jer. 8:9-10; Exo. 21:7-9). Here is one for you; a woman’s menstrual cycle is a cursed thing (I am sure most women would not disagree), and it requires a sin offering, and referred to as her “unclean discharge” (Lev. 15:29-30). Like seriously!?!? WTF!?!?! You created the problem “God”! Now, they are required to bring a sin offering because of this? Hang on a second, my head is spinning.
You may say, “Ok, but that was the Old Testament”. That is true, I have only mentioned OT verses, but you do realize that the NT puts women as second class citizens as well, right? In I Timothy 2:11-14, Paul declares to Timothy, “11 A woman should learn in silence with full submission. 12 I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent. 13 For Adam was created first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed.” (1Ti 2:11-14 CSB). Then in 1 Timothy 5:14, Paul states, “Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.” (1Ti 5:14 CSB). Whether we are talking about the OT, or the NT, the god of the bible unfortunately objectifies women.
So, what does this have to do with Roy Moore, Al Franken, and Donald Trump
During the election of our 45th President we witnessed around 14 women come forward with sexual assault allegations towards then, GOP nominee Donald Trump (Source: Video, Chicago Tribune). The response from Donald Trump was threatening a lawsuit, and an immediate comparison to the Democrats support of Bill Clinton during his sex assault allegations brought against him. The response from Christian evangelicals, his biggest base of supporters, was outright demonization of the victims, and full support of Donald Trump. After all, he was chosen by god to lead this country to prosperity. With the allegations against Roy Moore, an Alabama Senate candidate, we have another instance of demonizing the victims, (Source: ABC News) and multiple references to “Satan’s attack” against “God’s children” from several of his ardent supporters. Al Franken, a Democrat senator, and former Comedian is of course being treated completely differently by the right-wing conservatives. Conservatives have wasted little time in painting Al Franken as a typical liberal, godless, immoral man. If only Al Franken was more in tune with “God” then maybe this would not have happened. The reality, of course, is that all of these instances of sexual assault allegations are serious, and beyond a response of simple apologies, which few conservatives have given. Instead, these men do need to step aside.
The connection to god is not seen, and that is because god has nothing to do with this problem. Obviously, my reason for believing this is because I do not believe that god is real, but even for those who do, it must be recognized that god (or lack thereof) is not the common factor. A persons being a theist, a Catholic, an atheist, Methodist, or Southern Baptist simply has zero to do with their morals. I know that this is hard for many to accept because of the connection that Christianity claims to morality, and being the source of morality. Morals has to do with our culture, and our culture, both with god and without is corrupt. Whether you look in the church pews or the bar stools, ethics problems reign. The most common culprit being men. Whether this man is white, black, Hispanic, or other race or ethnicity, if this person is a man, chances are he is the culprit of sexual assault. The Bureau of Justice has a report out that shows that “Female victims accounted for 94% of all completed rapes, 91% of all attempted rapes, and 89% of all completed and attempted sexual assaults, 1992-2000.” (Source: PDF File from BJS). The idea of a woman being second class unfortunately transcends generations, religious beliefs, races, nationalities, and any other category. The recent #metoo campaign on social media has led to many women coming forward with sexual assault claims, and I could not be more proud of these women for being this bold and brave.
“Female victims accounted for 94% of all completed rapes, 91% of all attempted rapes, and 89% of all completed and attempted sexual assaults, 1992-2000.” (BJS, 1992-2000)
It is very personal for me
I am a victim of rape from a family member when I was only around nine years old. This rape was from a home that claimed Christ as their champion, and had plenty of crosses on the wall. I was ashamed, and embarrassed, and unfortunately nothing was done in response to my admission of this when I was very young. I became extremely sexually confused following this event, and have always struggled socially with this weighing on my heart and mind.
Now, while I am a man, I was one of the few male victims of a violent crime. Here is the reality though, violating someone sexually, should be met with extreme punishment. This steals something from a person that can never be given back, no matter what punishment is given. I have a three year old daughter, and two boys, so my wife and I will have to face this problem head on. I believe, that just like males are often the perpetrator of these crimes, males must become the defense against these crimes. We must speak out against this sort of behavior. Across all male cultures like the military, construction, news outlets, comedy, sexual innuendos, derogatory imagery, and language has been accepted. The time for that sort of behavior to end is now. We all must speak up, and speak out against this sort of behavior and make it clear that we stand behind anyone who wants to come forward with this private, and difficult admission. Obviously, these claims need to be investigated, and if found to be false, that person should face a penalty because of the way it ruins it for the truthful claims.
Make no mistake about it, we must be the voice of reason, not a holy book from 2,000 years ago. Instead of looking back, we need to look forward, and change the culture, starting today. No matter our sexual orientation, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, we all need to come together under this issue. We should all be able to join hands in denouncing sexual assault in any form, including the “innocent” language and sexist language that our culture uses on a regular basis. I look forward to the dialogue on this, and I hope to continue to see support behind every #metoo person who has the courage to come forward. I would hope that my daughter would have the future freedom to succeed in life without the objectification of her body. I would hope that my sons will have the respect of another person, to honor another persons body, and to always get consent. I can only hope that if I am willing to be apart of the solution. Thank you for your patience through this blog, I know it was kind of all over the place. My thoughts were racing.
The godless Pastor,
Featured Image Photo Credit: NBC News