Most Christians are well and truly convinced that the Bible is a paragon of moral virtue. Some believe it is the most moral book ever written. Evangelicals will argue that literally all goodness comes directly from its pages. To an outsider, this claim seems outlandish at best and deranged at worst, especially when one considers the Biblical god’s stance on sex crimes.
The Bible does not condemn rape. Read it for yourself and see. We would actually be surprised if rape were mentioned because rape is the crime of sexual contact that violates a woman’s free choice. Women in the Bible were property, not free individuals with a right to choose. Their sexual destiny was chosen entirely by their family under the best of circumstances. Under the worst circumstances, they were raped and killed, sold into sexual slavery, or stoned to death for a variety of sexual crimes. Throughout the Old Testament, Yahweh both condones and orders the full gamut of these egregious crimes against women.
According to God’s Law in Deuteronomy, if a man has sex with an unmarried virgin woman against her will (rapes her), then he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver and marry her. Divorce is not an option.
The wording of this passage is very important. Yahweh specifies that for this law to take effect, the woman must be a virgin. If she is a virgin, and a man rapes her, he has “violated her” (NIV) — not her free choice, but her marriagability. As a non-virgin, she is damaged goods, and unworthy of a husband. Therefore, the rapist must marry her, and presumably continue to rape her for the rest of her life. Because that’s what Jesus wants. (Remember, Jesus and Yahweh are the same god.)
If a man rapes a betrothed virgin in the city, both the man and the woman are to be stoned to death.
Jesus also specifies the reason for the stonings. The woman is to be stoned because she didn’t scream loudly enough, or at all. The man is stoned because he violated another man’s property.
Jesus makes extensive provisions for his chosen people to capture young women and keep them as sexual slaves.
It’s fair to notice that this passage uses the term “wife” as opposed to “sex slave.” However, if we are honest, we must concede that it is sexual slavery. In which universe do we not abhor the raiding and killing of all the men in a city, and the capture of all the attractive young women, who are then forced to become “wives” for their captors?
Jesus, who is, of course the same as Yahweh, who is supposed by Christians to advocate strict monogamy, insists that each of his followers take “one or two” sex slaves from each conquest.
Jesus provides clear guidelines for a man to sell his female children into slavery.
EXAMPLES OF SEX CRIMES
There are many examples of sex crimes in the Bible. The most notable thing about most of them is that they not only go unpunished, but they appear to have the sanction of Almighty God, who subsequently rewards the perpetrators with material success and spiritual leadership roles.
Saint Peter called Lot a “righteous man,” despite the fact that he fathered children by his own daughters. Granted, the daughters took advantage of him while he slept off a bender, but clearly, Lot’s parenting skills left a bit to be desired in the sexual morality department.
When King David got horny for Bathsheba, he had sex with her (adultery) and then sent her husband to the front lines of battle to be killed. His crime was at least recognized as… crime. For punishment, the Lord decreed that all of David’s wives should be publicly raped. David had at least 8 wives, none of whom contributed to the crime and were punished for it nonetheless.
The Lord himself orders the killing of all non-virgin women in a conquered town. Though the Lord is vague as to the method of determining who was a virgin, we can only assume that some sort of physical inspection was necessary. In short, Jesus, who is Yahweh, who is the most moral being in the entire universe, ordered an army of men to physically violate hundreds, perhaps thousands of women to determine which ones were worthy of raping and which would be killed outright.
Even though virtually all sex scientists agree that masturbation is a healthy activity, many Christians still regard it as a sex crime of sorts. It is, they believe, a crime against God in that it violates the sanctity of his followers’ holy bodies. Or something.
The real head-scratcher is where they get their hatred of masturbation. The act itself is never condemned. Not even once. Read it for yourself and see. The passage many Christians refer to as condemnation of masturbation is no such thing:
6 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death.
8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death also.
Read in its proper context, Onan’s crime was not masturbation. His crime was that he did not follow through on the forced insemination of his dead brother’s wife. His crime was not raping his sister-in-law!
Among the most heinous and egregious mis-readings of the allegedly perfect moral guide, this might just be the worst. Millions and millions of Christians over the course of two millennia have spent thousands and thousands of hours in agonizing guilt over a “crime” the Bible never even mentions. In doing so, they ignored the real crime, which was nothing less than the mandated use of a woman as a baby factory, whether she consented or not.
When one reads the Bible in its entirety, one is struck by the utter lack of compassion for women. More than that, the reader is left awestruck by the undeniably immoral list of sex crimes ordered by God. On top of all that, one is left without even a plausible explanation for the complete lack of condemnation for sex crimes. Rape, incest, sex slavery, and sexual abuse of children are never even condemned.
The modern Christian is left with what seems to be an intractable moral dilemma. If she does not condemn the atrocity and rampant sex crime in the Bible, she is immoral herself, but if she condemns it, she is rebuking her god, which is purported to be perfectly moral. To a non-believer, whose innate sense of morality is sufficient to condemn both the Biblical god and his followers, it is less of a moral dilemma and more a source of bewildering frustration when this abhorrent book is touted as a source for any sort of decent moral living.