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Jan 08 2014

The cure for rape: Universal Ordination

Creationist John Mackay gave a talk at the University of Western Australia, and as these wackaloons are wont to do, also expressed lunatic opinions beyond his belief that the earth is only a few thousand years old. In particular, creationism seems to be rife with misogynistic and homophobic twits.

After the lecture many of the attendees stayed for a BBQ and to talk to John Mackay. He made various homophobic comments, including using homosexuality as his go-to example of “immorality” in modern society. In a conversation about the Bible after the lecture, a student pointed out that the Bible condones rape in the following passage from Numbers 31:

“17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

Mackay argued that this is not rape, because the girls were forced to enter a “legitimate Jewish marriage” first (after having their family murdered by their soon-to-be husbands), and obviously you can’t rape your own wife. Not only is it not rape, but Mackay believes this is apparently not even immoral for God to command this and for the Israelites to carry it out.

Typical. Although it does suggest a new strategy for wanna-be rapists: get ordained first, or have an ordained wingman. Say a few words over your unconscious victim, grab her head and make it nod in agreement, then go to town. One of the results of marriage is the complete loss of volition by the bride, turning her into a meat puppet for your convenience.

Be sure to pick a religion that lets your priestly types say a few words afterwards to annul everything!

Or maybe we should just take religion out of marriages, and all relationships, altogether. It doesn’t seem to be a very good guide for moral behavior.

40 comments

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  1. 1
    ajbjasus

    Wow – that site is a gold-mine of stupidity. Anyway – one Game of Thrones Mystery solved – Fire Breathing Dragons are just aggressive cows :

    The original question was:
    I can’t get my head round how dragons could emit flame. It must have been more than thermal regulation, because enzymic processes are already impossible at well below 100degC. If it was something combustible in the breath (e.g., phosphine), then oxygen must have been almost entirely missing from the breath, otherwise the animal’s organs would be burned by combustion on the way out. If combustion was photo-initiated what was the mechanism? Do you have a mechanism that makes sense?

    Our answer:

    Flammable breath is much more common than people think. It is well known that in the gut, both anaerobic metabolism and bacterial action can produce methane, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen and other flammable gases. As long as these are not ignited until they leave the body they are not dangerous – mostly they just smell horrible. The biggest gas producers of all are the ruminants, who are being bullied by the climate change lobby due to the large volume of methane they belch out the front end. The gases produced in ruminants’ stomachs are flammable, and there are stories of fires caused when a serious build-up of these gases in the cow or sheep which has been eating too much fresh clover has had to be released by a sharp hollow tube which was punched into the stomach by a farmer who forgot to put out his cigarette. The sudden release of the methane produced spectacular explosion which damaged the farmer more than the sheep.

  2. 2
    hexidecima

    good to know that TrueChristians haven’t stopped making up lies wholesale when trying to excuse their violent primitive nonsense. As anyone who has actually read the myths knows, there is not one scrap of evidence that any “legitimate Jewish marriage” was ever intended or committed for these “women children”.

  3. 3
    dianne

    Lest we get too excited about the moral superiority of (probable) atheists, though, the first comment on the link is a rape threat. Please, people, can we stop going there?

  4. 4
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Dianne,
    As common as rape threats are online, I’d say some people live there.

  5. 5
    Athywren

    I have to be honest, I sometimes succumb to doubt when I’m told that morality is impossible without religion and god, but how can we deny it when faced with such perfect ethical reasoning? Praze bee, and suchlike.

    @Dianne,
    Of course the first comment is a rape threat! That’s just how we atheists say hello now, apparently. We all know that it’s bad, though (even if we do think that extending its definition to include acts of non-consensual sex is going a little overboard with pandering to those wacky feminists) so that makes it ok!

  6. 6
    David Marjanović
    If it was something combustible in the breath (e.g., phosphine)

    Somebody seems to have no idea how poisonous phosphine is.

    BTW, methane and hydrogen have no smell at all.

  7. 7
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Jesus fuck. Why would Uni even invite someone that vile to talk?

    In particular, creationism seems to be rife with misogynistic and homophobic twits.

    Yeah, but we knew that.

    @ajbjasus

    Just spitballin’ here, but were a fire breathing animal to exist, surely the only way to do it without injuring itself would be to have two or more glands which enable it to spray streams of chemicals which combust upon contact, at such a trajectory that they combine in the air?

    Better do answers in Thunderdome, don’t want to derail this thread.

  8. 8
    ajbjasus

    Thumper – agree. Despite the stupidity on the McKays blog it’s an interesting thought experiment. The Bombardier Beetle is the best real life analogy, I guess.

  9. 9
    Bronze Dog

    It’s always disgusting to see how rape apologia fits right in with Biblical “values.” Right next to the genocide and racism apologia. Then there’s the glorification of war, blaming of victims, anti-intellectualism, and so on, and so on, and so on. The Bible is frelled up, as are the people who use it to justify their most vile behaviors.

    About all I get out of the Bible is a disturbing look into the minds of ancient barbarians.

  10. 10
    busterggi

    “grab her head and make it nod in agreement”

    What? Pretending that women should have extreme rights like consent to marriage is blasphemy!

  11. 11
    freemage

    Typical. Although it does suggest a new strategy for wanna-be rapists: get ordained first, or have an ordained wingman. Say a few words over your unconscious victim, grab her head and make it nod in agreement, then go to town. One of the results of marriage is the complete loss of volition by the bride, turning her into a meat puppet for your convenience.
    Be sure to pick a religion that lets your priestly types say a few words afterwards to annul everything!

    Note that this is only a hair’s breadth from the Islamic ‘marriage prostitution’ deal. Which I guess is why we have Poe’s Law. It really is getting difficult to actually come up with a parody that is notably more extreme than the reality of some groups’ actual positions….

  12. 12
    robro

    Bronze Dog @#9

    … the Bible is a disturbing look into the minds of ancient barbarians.

    And not even all that ancient. It’s what they came up with after considerable Hellenization.

  13. 13
    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d

    Mackay believes this is apparently not even immoral for God to command this and for the Israelites to carry it out.

    That’s one of the traditional views of morality: if god says to do it, it’s moral and you’ve got to do it, because morality is obedience to god.
    Saves a lot of thought.

  14. 14
    Azuma Hazuki

    Forget the ancient barbarians, it’s the modern ones that worry me. Why can’t we airlift all our fundies to somewhere in the middle east and let them fight it out with all their fundies, and the rest of us can get on with the busy business of existing, and the supposed nausea thereof?

    @13/sc_$ERRNO

    Ahh, good ol’ Divine Command Theory. I’d love any DCT follower to show me how it doesn’t reduce every single statement they could possibly make about goodness, righteousness, morality, and God’s relations thereto down to vacuous tautologies. Even Bertrand Russel nailed them on that one.

  15. 15
    John Horstman

    In particular, creationism seems to be rife with misogynistic and homophobic twits.

    Naw, misogyny in religion is largely a function of misogyny in the broader culture (these are mutually reinforcing for any cultural discourse with enough creationists). You’re well aware of our own misogynist-atheist subculture. Creationism IS rife with misogynistic and homophobic twits, just not uniquely rife.

  16. 16
    John Horstman

    Homophobia is a little different; the kind that shows up in non-religious or liberally-religious spaces tends to be benevolent homophobia (as analogous to benevolent sexism, which isn’t actually benevolent but is thought to be by those who espouse it) instead of hostile homophobia, which is almost exclusively religious.

  17. 17
    Inaji

    John Horstman:

    Naw, misogyny in religion is largely a function of misogyny in the broader culture

    Yep. Early Christianity put their own particular spin on misogyny, and did much to further cement it, however, it was already strongly in place long before Christianity rose. This is why I’ll keep recommending Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland. It really helps to have a good grounding in the roots of misogyny, and how religion figures into it.

  18. 18
    Azuma Hazuki

    Homophobia in men seems to stem from misogyny, to me. Notice how a lot of their insults for gay men are all comparisons to women? Sissy, nancy-boy, limp-wristed, fairy, all that? And how their big problem with lesbians (except the fake ones they like watching slobber all over one another…) is apparently we’re “manly?”

    Someone once said “Homophobia comes from the fear of another man treating them the way they treat women,” which I’d normally say is just a bit too cutesy but which in this case seems to make a lot of sense…

  19. 19
    brianpansky

    Caine, Fleur du mal

    John Horstman:

    Naw, misogyny in religion is largely a function of misogyny in the broader culture

    Yep. Early Christianity put their own particular spin on misogyny, and did much to further cement it, however, it was already strongly in place long before Christianity rose.

    in the present time, i think it’s a bit difficult to talk about a “broader culture” that isn’t religious and heavily influenced by christianity, in the west.

    maybe i’m just not reading the phrase right, but john’s comment quoted above doesn’t make sense to me. for instance, the religious books are already written.

    of course, this part makes sense to me:

    Creationism IS rife with misogynistic and homophobic twits, just not uniquely rife.

  20. 20
    Inaji

    Brian:

    in the present time, i think it’s a bit difficult to talk about a “broader culture” that isn’t religious and heavily influenced by christianity, in the west.

    You might want to take up the book recommendation I provided, then. Misogynistic values were firmly in place long before xianity came along. The creation myth of Pandora illustrates this nicely. John is right in what he says, just that most people don’t want to think past “hey religion’s fault!”

    A great deal of systemic sexism is based on the misogynistic views put forth by Plato, and Plato had a profound influence on how later societies were formed. That has nothing to do with xianity. That’s just one frinstance.

  21. 21
    brianpansky

    Misogynistic values were firmly in place long before xianity came along.

    i know, but i’m wondering more about right now, in the present, and the use of the phrase “broader culture”.

  22. 22
    Inaji

    Brianpansky @ 21:

    i know, but i’m wondering more about right now, in the present, and the use of the phrase “broader culture”.

    No, you don’t fucking know. If you did, you wouldn’t be so at sea. You cannot ignore the history or foundations of misogyny, upon which kyriarchal and patriarchal values rest. I gave you one fuck of a clue with Plato, and an excellent book recommendation. Go educate yourself.

  23. 23
    Azuma Hazuki

    @20/Caine

    Um…Plato had assloads to do with Christianity, Even today much Catholic philosophy (and what passes for philosophy from Protestantism…) have implicitly or explicitly Platonic concepts in it. What is God, ask liberal Christians, if not the living Platonic ideal of justice, goodness, mercy, etc?

    (The answer is “a horrible, genocidal Canaanite holdover,” but they don’t like that…).

  24. 24
    Useless

    You’re only envious that you don’t get to share the advantages that God has to offer.

  25. 25
    brianpansky

    @22
    Caine, Fleur du mal

    ya, i’m definitely “at sea” here. sorry i pressed into this ignorantly, especially when you already presented the solution to that ignorance.

  26. 26
    chigau (違う)

    You’re only envious that you don’t get to share the advantages that God has to offer.

    I’m not.

  27. 27
    Inaji

    Azuma, Plato was shoehorned into xianity much, much later. Without understanding the basis of misogynistic values which underpinned ancient civilization, there’s little hope of understanding the role of religions when it comes to misogyny. Now, as I’m not being paid to teach, I’m out of this.

  28. 28
    David Marjanović

    No, you don’t fucking know. If you did, you wouldn’t be so at sea. You cannot ignore the history or foundations of misogyny, upon which kyriarchal and patriarchal values rest. I gave you one fuck of a clue with Plato, and an excellent book recommendation. Go educate yourself.

    Calm down! As far as I can see, you’ve misunderstood the question.

    I think the question was what sustains misogyny today in the West, not where Western misogyny originally came from.

  29. 29
    David Marjanović

    Plato was shoehorned into xianity much, much later.

    Much, much later than its origins, yes. But Luther lived long after Thomas Aquinas, who reinterpreted Christianity top-to-bottom in Aristotelian terms (and vice versa). Plato is one of the pillars on which Western Christianity stands.

    You’re only envious that you don’t get to share the advantages that God has to offer.

    …You’re joking, right? I can’t remember in what context I’ve seen your name before.

  30. 30
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Azuma Hazuki:

    Homophobia in men seems to stem from misogyny, to me. Notice how a lot of their insults for gay men are all comparisons to women? Sissy, nancy-boy, limp-wristed, fairy, all that? And how their big problem with lesbians (except the fake ones they like watching slobber all over one another…) is apparently we’re “manly?”

    I agree.
    I’ve known many gay men-myself included until @5 years ago-who are/were ashamed to admit that they preferred the receptive position during sex. The association with being the “woman”* in the relationship is often seen as shameful. I overcame this shame a few years before I embraced feminism.
    If you ever look at a gay dating or hookup sight, it is incredibly common to see profiles include “only looking for manly men”, “no fems”, “don’t be nelly”, or some such. I think some of this is due to a perception that effeminate gay men are too much like women…and that’s viewed as a bad thing.

    *this is a perception many people have with regard to the receptive partner in M4M sexual encounters.

  31. 31
    Allan Frost

    You’re only envious that you don’t get to share the advantages that God has to offer.

    Which are?

  32. 32
    Menyambal

    “17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

    So, killing captives is divine. Killing non-combatants is divine. Killing boy children is divine, and killing women is divine, too. But raping girls would be wrong, so that never happened.

    When the captives have to marry the captors, it’s still rape. If they don’t have to marry or have sex, it’s still slavery.

  33. 33
    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d
    You’re only envious that you don’t get to share the advantages that God has to offer.

    Which are?

    Being sure you’re moral and that whatever you do is good, including killing every male among the little ones, and killing every woman that has known man by lying with him and keeping alive for yourselves all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, for example, Jagwired.

  34. 34
    throwaway

    Could’ve done without the ‘go to town’ bit. Cringe-inducing. Maybe most of that paragraph should have been scrubbed. I just don’t understand what the purpose was in a satirical depiction of a precursor to rape, then them having a blast after “consent” was given. Was it to reiterate the disgusting aspect of forcing women to marry? I don’t think that was needed at all. Am I the only one who feels this way?

  35. 35
    chigau (違う)

    throwaway #34
    Who are you addressing?

  36. 36
    throwaway

    chigau (違う) @ 35: I’m addressing commenters here about the OP. I just want to gauge whether I’m overreacting or if it’s a legitimate concern of others here.

  37. 37
    chigau (違う)

    throwaway #36
    ok
    I’m not clear on why that is more upsetting than the stuff inside the quotes.

  38. 38
    Ingdigo Jump

    Just spitballin’ here, but were a fire breathing animal to exist, surely the only way to do it without injuring itself would be to have two or more glands which enable it to spray streams of chemicals which combust upon contact, at such a trajectory that they combine in the air?

    Better do answers in Thunderdome, don’t want to derail this thread.

    We actually did that already before.

  39. 39
    throwaway

    chigau @37: It doesn’t have to be “more” upsetting, does it? I was expecting the quoted stuff to be inappropriate, was not expecting PZ to draw a diagram of what two people would do during a rape. Even if it were to diminish the quoted material by making it seem ridiculous I don’t think the point was well-served by it. It’s going to be a matter of opinion, I can tell, so just consider it dropped.

  40. 40
    jeroenmetselaar

    As explained in the Discworld series you can have a fire breathing animal but it will often suffer from a violent, fatal but also surprisingly short lasting disease called ‘blowback’.

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