Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marital Rape?

As suggested in last post- I think that this issue from that prominent blog is of greater importance. Greater than the penile circumcision issue- 1 Cor. 7:19. Because there are greater penalties. Yet it garnered fewer comments than the penile issue.

It is also my intention to publish a subsequent post on the specifics that were avoided by that blog. Because they too are fundamental. And are avoided to great detriment.

Now, it seems most everyone at that blog was in agreement with this new definition of rape. And this new definition seems to appeal to women generally. But oddly enough, does not appeal to most (98%) women where this new definition was to be made law recently (and not to some odd Ronnie V., commenting at that blog either :).

In the latter link we are told by a native lobbyist that this new definition of rape- does not appeal to those who are "uneducated and do not know their rights". In other words, does not appeal to those with 'no sense and no sense of entitlement'. Unlike our much more enlightened modern culture. Our much more entitled culture.

Well, I'm entitled to my opinion- aren't I?
Well, let's see how enlightened we moderns truly are on this issue.

Seems we only got this enlightened a couple decades ago. And seems that the U.N. has been pushing this new enlightenment for little more than a decade. That a different definition was held by English Common Law long before the new definition. A definition that was adopted by those Puritans back in the 17th century. Those alleged unenlightened ones of the Westminster Assembly. Those folks that were uber-scholastic.

Yet, it may be that those modern U.N. folks truly are standing on the shoulders of the Puritan giants. And it may be that Barack Obama really does deserve the Nobel Peace Prize :)

But is it possible that our modern media has generated more heat than light here? That we can't even handle basic definitions of marriage anymore? That we are inept at handling categorical distinctions? As even our wild and wonderful Wiki admits- us modern geeks are guilty of tremendous "conflation". Guilty of shallow definitions. Shallowness that those Puritans held in great contempt.

But let's talk about the changing definition (boundary stone) of rape.

Till recently, rape was defined as "the carnal knowledge of a woman [not wife] forcibly and against her will". A definition which would have acquitted Lot's daughters (Gen. 19:33) of the crime.
The definition now appears to be, "a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive". A much, much wider definition indeed. A definition which would undoubtedly convict Lot's desperate daughters of rape.

As you may have read in the link, Wiki gives credit to the feminist movement of the 70's for this new definition.
Wiki suggests that this new definition also kind of 'came-in-through-the-back-door'. As an appeal by a separated woman- for the English Common Law to protect her derrière. An appeal to recognize separated women as darn-near-divorced. Indeed, a category that the Puritans never recognized when defining marriage. Because the Puritans had a clear definition of marriage. You were either married or you were not. They did not straddle the Tiber. And were not averse to granting divorce as Rome is. Because the Puritan's authority (God's Word) does not recognize a woman as a little-bit-married.

And as a result of this appeal by a separated woman back in '91- the old definition was deemed "common-law fiction" by the newly enlightened judge. And it was now possible for a separated woman to charge her darn-near-divorced husband with rape.

After prying open this back door- the front was unlocked from the inside. And since all women are equally entitled- women were soon granted the right to say "No" even if the woman was not darn-near-divorced.

As a result, there is now very little distinction between consent inside or outside of the marriage bond. To put this another way, married men are now allowed to have sex 'whenever she allows me to have sex' just as unmarried men are now allowed to have sex 'whenever she allows me to have sex'.

And that's the tricky part. You see, currently you only need her testimony that she actually said "No" within the year (currently being upgraded to 6 years in California). And that would be sufficient evidence for a man to serve a life-term (more than 6 years) for rape. Yup, as the above image suggests, they "can destroy you" if they want. And you may not see it coming.

Which is not to suggest that married women should not have recourse to other charges like... assault! It is just that allowing them the charge of marital rape is specious. It only has the appearance of truth.

Yet is claimed that this new definition should be endorsed by the modern church- because the heart of modern man has gotten so corrupt. A utilitarian and unhistorical claim. And by no less than Bishops!

But let's look at what our creator actually mandates.

When God said, "I will make him a helper suitable for him" (Gen. 2:18)- did actually God mean, "I will make her a helper suitable for her"? To suit him when it suits her?

When God said, "He shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one-flesh" (Gen. 2:24)- did God actually mean "Man and wife may be joined as one-flesh during the moments that they are of one-mind"?
However few those moments may be?

Or did God grant the man or woman the right to say "No" to vaginal sex when she was menstruating?- Lev. 15:24
Recovering from childbirth?-Lev. 12
Or "No" to some other type of sex when he couldn't get it up?
Does true love not require this great a sacrifice?

Or did God change His one-flesh design after seeing how "corrupt" man's heart could possibly be?- Gen. 6:5
Surely He was surprised by this turn of events, wasn't He?

Or, more directly were there any explicit allusions to this type of rape in the Bible?
How about any implicit allusions to this type of rape in the Bible?

Closest parallel I can think of- is King David's fickle wife publicly berating him. -2Sam. 6:20
An effective way of saying "No" (and giving King David a limp pickle for her)- on such a joyous day.
And an effective way of giving herself no children- with which to play.

Or what about Job's fickle wife, after now having no children with which to play- suggested Job, "Curse God and die!".  An effective way of saying "No" on such a difficult day.
And I suspect an effective way of denying her more children. Indeed, I suspect that when the Lord restored Job's fortunes "two-fold", that He provided Job a more fair wife- to give him seven sons and three "fair" daughters. - Job 42:10-15

In closing, it is my contention that those who commit to this one-flesh design of God (a design where you cannot rape your own flesh)- are obligated to one-flesh responsibilities. And are subsequently entitled to His "very good" one-flesh blessings.

And those folk too fickle to commit to His design of marriage?
Those folk afraid of one-flesh obligations?
Those fickle moderns living common-law?

Well... why should they be entitled to:

Automatic beneficiary status?
Automatic citizenship status?
Automatic division of assets?
Automatic pension division?
Automatic spousal support?
Automatic child support?

When they clearly prefer to be autonomous?

How grateful I am to God- for violating my autonomy.
That He came and sought a sick soul like me- when I did not seek Him- Romans 3:11
That He came to suit a prick like me- when I did not suit Him- Zec. 3:4
That He became one-flesh with me- when my flesh was dead and rotten -Romans 6:5
And will ever be one-flesh with me- when all else is forgotten-Romans 8:38-39

I Thank God for such a glorious rape- of my sick and fickle will.
May He continue to rape my fickle heart- and make my autonomy nil.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

To Snip or Not to Snip?

This article drew an unprecedented response at a prominent Christian blog recently. So it's worthwhile discussing.
A Christian attempting to resurrect an obsolete boundary stone.  For somewhat different  reasons.
I hope to address an article from this same blog- that drew a somewhat lesser response, next month. Probably more worthwhile though.

Now, the writer of this article was a woman advocating the circumcision of all men- for health reasons. It appeared to be written from a standpoint of considerable bitterness- from contracting some sexually transmitted disease in her unholy days. When she followed the path of feminism (and had her tubes snipped). But of course she's not bitter or a feminist now (or so says her husband trying to defend her in the comments section).
And it's not that she "hates men"- she just thinks they're icky.
And it's not that she is snipping at male headship- she would just like part of his dickey snipped off.

She is wicked funny too. Thinks that most men do not know how to clean their foreskin. It has her "stupefied". So... stupid men should have their foreskin snipped. And loose men should be loosed of it. And she repeats- her "own sons" fall somewhere in that semantic range...
Let's be frank here men- is it really that tricky? Or could we possibly forget it?
Let me be frank with you women here then--- it's incredibly hard to forget your dickey. It's not all that tricky to clean. And need I tell you that cleaning it is actually enjoyable?

Need I tell the subtlety challenged- when your mother told you to "wash behind your ears"- do you think she was thinking exclusively of your ears? Ever heard the song- Do Your Ears Hang Low? Can you think of anything else hanging low?

But let's not address her funny rationale.
Let's address a serious humanitarian rationale- Hastings historical rationale for circumcision.
Then God's super-serious non-humanitarian mandate.
First, Hastings:

  1. That circumcision may have been incorporated for hygienic/health reasons (Steinmetz). I would agree with Hastings that this is "highly improbable". That this is an anachronism. Even us moderns have a hard time supporting the deposing of the foreskin- with far more extensive hygiene surveys. Just as tonsils and appendix are not considered the disposable appendages that they once were.
  2. That Muslims seem to think the foreskin is an impediment to offspring. That "only in man is an impediment like the foreskin found, and wonder how it is possible for reproduction to occur among uncircumcised Christians". As I understand it- almost all mammals have a foreskin. And Koala's seem to require it for reproduction. Seems Muslims were paying far too much attention to the platypus :)
  3. That such personal surgery makes more obvious the perilous nature of sex. Pretty obvious without such surgery one would think.
  4. That this was a test of stoicism. That real men wouldn't even peep when their penis got snipped. Really?
  5. That this was a mark of tribal pride. Hastings claims it was only a hidden source of pride for Hebrews.
  6. That this was a sacrifice to the goddess of fertility. As Hastings would chide, "only in America".
  7. That such penis reduction would appear more modest and less intimidating to women. Yet other islanders in this region would wear gourds and snail shells and leather hoodies- that would be much less modest. How regional is that?
  8. That it was a fashion statement initiated by the higher classes. But the highest chief was exempt from such a fashion statement. Exempt from the cult of cool.
  9. That it was done by some tribes to desensitize the penis for extended enjoyment for the female. Those tribes also wore glans piercings to promote female pleasure. This survey would indicate that this initiative achieved the unintended result.
  10. That they would be re-united with the foreskin of their former life in the afterlife. Not worthy of comment.
  11. That snipping was a punishment worse than death for those conquered in war. Another one too stupid to comment on.
  12. That snipping was an initiation into puberty. However, this was usually done long before puberty.
  13. That it was a pretext for radical circumcision/emasculation. So that the tribal chief could be chief sire as well.
Hastings also mentions as an aside that circumcision may have been done to discourage "onanism" (that misnomer for "masturbation" discussed in a previous post). Yet surveys tend to indicate the opposite.

Now, God's mandate:

Snipping was a sign (Gen. 17:11)- to show that Abraham and his hoping household would be 'set apart'.
Set apart as His chosen people.
Set apart for first-class dining.
Set apart for special revelation.

Later He revealed a larger hope to Gentiles.
As He said he would reveal- Psalm 2:8, Isaiah 46:6, Amos 9:12.
Revealed a larger dietary menu- Acts 10:15.
Revealed Himself as the diet for His Jews and Gentiles- John 6:54.

The new church recognized the new dinner guests- Acts 15.
The new church recognized the new sign of the Holy Spirit- Jeremiah 31:33.
And would not superimpose the old sign on top of a new sign.
Knowing that it would obscure the greater and clearer sign.

Shall us moderns obscure the greater and clearer sign?
Grant our heads the false security of being snipped?
Allow the deceiver the final comment of, "Snipe!"
When we never really were In His Grip?- 1 John 2:19

So...should we have our heads snipped over some negligible health concern?
Or be caused to wonder and anguish over a Holy Spirit concern?

Hoping in a snipping that is not seen,