I am obsessed with Religion Dispatches, a fabulous site with tons and tons of articles about pop culture items, books, movements, etc. that are religiously inclined (or atheist as the case may be). Today I was reading an interview with Dagmar Herzog, author of Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics. The image they placed alongside the article featured a sparkly bra and panties set from the Christian covenant marriage site Marriage Vineyard. Of course, seeing as I am studying this particular sort of Christian psychotic, I went surfing over to check them out. In the process of checking out the sexy wares they are peddling,I came across a free pdf of a book What the Bible Says About Sex. Of course, I downloaded it. One chapter in particular has given me serious pause: "Sex Before Marriage, Prostitution, and STD's".
At the beginning of this chapter, they list the 6 items specifically forbidden in the Bible/Old Testament; number 6 is "rape of an engaged or married woman (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)". My first thought was "what are the implications of that statement for single women? Can they just be raped willy nilly?" A few sentences into the first paragraph, I got my answer:
Seduction of an unengaged virgin is addressed in Exodus 22:16,17 - the penalty is to pay the full bride price and generally marry the girl. Rape of an unengaged virgin requires marriage to take place and the full bride price to be paid. (Deuteronomy 22:28,29) and he may not divorce her ever. The man gets stuck with a hurt, angry woman for life. Thus the penalty for sex before marriage- is marriage.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So, let me get this straight...if you rape an engaged or married woman is specifically dealth with as being forbidden. BUT if you rape an unengaged virgin, HIS punishment is to marry her. I have heard of women condemned to marry their rapists, but never from an American Christian source. The kicker is the fact that "the man gets stuck with a hurt, angry woman for life." Okay, what about the victim? They obviously aren't considering this a punishment for her, and do you want to know why? She is a non-person until married. Not an exaggeration, people. All of the literature I'm reading talks about women as pre-married and a furture bride. The woman is never a person until tethered to a man in marriage. She is her father's daughter, a burden to unload at a reasonable age onto some willing schmo, who may have been her rapist apparently...
yeah, gay people are bringing marriage way down with our committed voluntary relationships and crazy ideas about wanting to raise kids...more on this as the research unfolds