1/1/09

Biblical Women

FYI: this post has been moved here.

47 comments:

  1. This is something Christians have known and been saying for a long time.

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  2. ...but not practicing? You people have to be joking. Even if those positive verses outweighed e.g. Luke 2:23, Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 11:7-9, Ephisians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:18, and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 - which I don't think they do - there's still the question about why religiosity correlates rather strongly with anti-feminist sentiments. I guess you'll tell me those people aren't "real Christians"?

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  3. "I guess you'll tell me those people aren't 'real Christians'?"

    Well, as Niven's 16th Law clearly states...

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  4. So traditional Christians are fools, then? I could get behind that theory.

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  5. @larryniven
    Even if those positive verses outweighed e.g. Luke 2:23, Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 11:7-9, Ephisians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:18, and 1 Timothy 2:11-12
    Luke quotes 2:23 OT.
    Mat 5:32 condemns divorce which could have only be initiated by husbend, so it actually equalizes both genders rigths.
    1 Cor 11 is one of few passages (if not the only one) of NT that is commented to be not universal.
    Eph 5:21 says: "submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." and 25: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her".
    Col 3:12-25 and Tim 2:12-15 not only promotes patriarchate but doesn't condemn slavery. Try to condemn this, and priesthood of men, within Christian framework though.

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  6. Thank you all for posting, I see some new names here and hope to have you back.

    Jinx McHue;
    Ain’t that the truth? I love it when the secular world “discovers” something that has been well known for millennia.

    Larryniven;
    I was hoping that you could elaborate a bit more.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  7. I think "larryniven" is right after all

    Note for example where it says that "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean." (Leviticus 12:2)

    "But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days." (Leviticus 12:5)

    I've heard it said that it's a time for "bonding" between the mother and child, that it's meant to help her. If so, why does the bible not SAY that? It says "unlcean", not anything about "bonding" or anything to give the woman any rest time, also: Why is the period of "uncleanliness" twice as long for female babies as opposed to giving birth to male babies?



    This site is also good, as is this one though the author of the second site is a little too eager to pick out anything that even looks like the bible is wrong or wrong-headed. Still, there's enough material in there to show what the bible writers thought of women in general.

    Just pointing out examples of a few women doesn't help much with how the writers treated women generally.



    tremor
    Mat 5:32 condemns divorce which could have only be initiated by husbend, so it actually equalizes both genders rigths.

    The verse in question:
    But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
    Where does it say then that a women may divorce her husband if he's unfaithful if you think that that verse is a step up for equal rights?


    As for Eph 5:21, just read on...

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  8. As long as we're posting links...

    Re. Lev 12 -- Reynold, you reject the "bonding" interpretation because it isn't explicitly stated in the text, but then you imply a misogyny interpretation which is also unstated. To turn your question around, if a longer period of uncleanliness means women are worth less, why does the bible not SAY that?

    On the contrary, Leviticus calls all sorts of things unclean, from shellfish to quilts, so "unclean" wasn't a moral condemnation in the sense that we understand it. It was certainly a boundary, but not one that implied blame. God created shellfish and called them "good" regardless of their "unclean" designation.

    Re. verses which grant men authority in some instances: authority and personal worth aren't synonymous. Actors submit to directors, and soldiers submit to officers, not because of an inequity of personal worth but because some hierarchies benefit everyone.

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  9. @Reynold
    In many cases 'unclean' concept is a way to enforce isolation eg during menstruation or in case of disease.

    Where does it say then that a women may divorce her husband if he's unfaithful if you think that that verse is a step up for equal rights?

    Jesus cancelled divorces.


    As for Eph 5:21, just read on...

    From 21 to 25 it is said that:
    both sides should be submitted to each other, wives to husbends, husbends should love their wives as themselves.
    Could you elaborate what's wrong with that?

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  10. Jesse Hamm

    Re. Lev 12 -- Reynold, you reject the "bonding" interpretation because it isn't explicitly stated in the text, but then you imply a misogyny interpretation which is also unstated. To turn your question around, if a longer period of uncleanliness means women are worth less, why does the bible not SAY that?
    Wrong. To be "unclean" does have a negative connotation. Also, why is the mother unclean twice as long if she has a female child as opposed to a male one? In other words, the bible more or less DOES say that.

    What else could it possibly mean?


    On the contrary, Leviticus calls all sorts of things unclean, from shellfish to quilts, so "unclean" wasn't a moral condemnation in the sense that we understand it. It was certainly a boundary, but not one that implied blame. God created shellfish and called them "good" regardless of their "unclean" designation.
    Yeah, the bible makes it abundantly clear that "unclean" was something to be proud of...in every case, "unclean" is associated with filth, disease, or something equally unpleasant. And, of course, women who gave birth. Especially when they gave birth to girls.




    Re. verses which grant men authority in some instances: authority and personal worth aren't synonymous. Actors submit to directors, and soldiers submit to officers, not because of an inequity of personal worth but because some hierarchies benefit everyone.
    It isn't through virtue of gender which somone can't help, though, is it? The examples you give above don't have the submitting due to how one's born, do they?



    tremor
    Jesus cancelled divorces?
    Even when one person was physically abusing the other one? Yeah, given how it's usually the husband who physically abuses the wife, that's real helpful.

    Besides, you never actually dealt with this:
    But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
    Where does it say then that a women may divorce her husband if he's unfaithful if you think that that verse is a step up for equal rights?




    As for Eph 5:21, just read on...
    From 21 to 25 it is said that:
    both sides should be submitted to each other, wives to husbends, husbends should love their wives as themselves.

    Could you elaborate what's wrong with that?
    It would help if you actually kept reading on for the context instead of just stopping where it's convenient.

    In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.
    The wife is not cared for or loved for herself, but rather because she becomes the property of the man, or as the bible puts it; becomes part of "his body". She doesn't really have her own identity.


    Then of course, there's the church's well-known history of how it treated women. It seems that the apologetic interpretation of the bible honouring women is rather new.

    Then there are all those bible verses in the previous links I mentioned before...I've read Miller's site as well, and he's only half-assed successful at dismissing some of the arguments. The problem is, is that he's got so much work to do in dismissing that it kind of hampers his work...

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  11. Reynold -- the Bible isn't shy about condemning what God hates. If God didn't like girls, he'd have said so clearly and often. That you have to struggle so hard to read misogyny into a passage about ceremonial cleanliness shows how little evidence there is for biblical misogyny.

    Re. social hierarchies -- whether someone is born into one is irrelevant to its legitimacy. Most of us are born into households which our parents are able to run better than we can. Does that mean we are worth less than our parents until we reach adulthood? Of course not. That imposed hierarchy is legitimate and has no bearing on our personal worth.

    For all its faults, the Church has treated women much better than other cultures have throughout history. Look around: prostitution, female castration, harems, foot-binding, forced abortions... past ages were rough for everyone, but especially for women outside of Christendom.

    Miller has much to debunk because so many critics fail (or refuse) to understand historical context.

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  12. tremor...what? What on earth do you think you're talking about? Not only does Matthew 5:32 not actually condemn divorce, it also says women can't morally remarry. This is not particularly forward-thinking or reasonable.

    You can talk to me all you want about what is "commented to be" this or that, but only if I get to do likewise - deal?

    Finally, yeah it's hard to "condemn" gender inequality "within Christian framework" - that's my point. If Christianity were as pro-women as these people are making it out to be, it would be easy to use a Christian (particularly, a Biblical) framework to make a pro-gender-equality argument. This is not east, ergo this claim about the Bible's ersatz feminism is absurd.

    Now then, Jesse:
    "Re. social hierarchies -- whether someone is born into one is irrelevant to its legitimacy. Most of us are born into households which our parents are able to run better than we can. Does that mean we are worth less than our parents until we reach adulthood? Of course not."

    Exactly! So, just like children are inferior to adults (in some sense) until they become adults, the Bible says (and expects its followers to behave as though) women are inferior to men until...they become men? Whoops! Looks like your analogy has run into a bit of a problem, and that's not even mentioning that you're glossing over the important part of the distinction that the Bible makes. As for your "uncleanliness =/= bad" argument, I won't even bother - that kind of silliness is below me.

    Finally, let me repeat my initial objection: "...there's still the question about why religiosity correlates rather strongly with anti-feminist sentiments. I guess you'll tell me those people aren't 'real Christians'?" The closest anyone has come to answering this is:

    "...the Church has treated women much better than other cultures have throughout history."

    Except this just says - without really any evidence whatsoever - that "the Church" is better than some other organizations, not that it's good. I thought the point, though, was to argue that the Bible in fact made a good case for feminism, not just a less awful one than other belief systems?

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  13. Reynold -- the Bible isn't shy about condemning what God hates. If God didn't like girls, he'd have said so clearly and often.
    He kind of does...you people just try and rationalize those instances away. Sure, some individual women are honoured, but that doesn't wash away the general blame that is attributed to women because of eve. Even the bible says that as punishment for what ONE woman, eve, did, that all women have to undergo pain in childbirth.

    That you have to struggle so hard to read misogyny into a passage about ceremonial cleanliness shows how little evidence there is for biblical misogyny.
    Huh? I have to "struggle"? I'm just reading the plain text. You're the one struggling. For one thing, you ignore the implications of the word "unclean", you ignore the fact that women who had girls were unclean for twice as long as they were if they had boys.

    Why? For that matter, why is it that a woman is declared ceremonially unclean in the first place for helping propogate humanity?

    Women are told that they've to make up for what Eve did by having children, after all:
    1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
    Women are praised only insofar as they follow the rules, but any condemnation the bible gives them is automatic, for example, the pain of childbearing because of eve.

    In Revelations when it says:
    Revelations 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
    Note that it's males who are not "defiled" with women here.

    1 Corinthians 11:1=9
    Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

    Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

    But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

    Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

    But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

    For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

    For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

    Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

    Self-evident.

    Matthew 15:22-28
    Self-evident. She had to grovel and compare herself to a dog before Jesus would help her.

    Admittedly, this is more of an example of favouritism shown for the "chosen people" than it is an example of a bad attitude towards women in general, but I think it still fits...


    Re. social hierarchies -- whether someone is born into one is irrelevant to its legitimacy. Most of us are born into households which our parents are able to run better than we can. Does that mean we are worth less than our parents until we reach adulthood? Of course not. That imposed hierarchy is legitimate and has no bearing on our personal worth.
    You missed, again, how the heirchy you're defending is based solely on an accident of birth. Children grow up and can then gain authority. Women can't exactly change their genders, now, can they? At least not in biblical days they couldn't.

    So again, why is it that just because one is a woman one is automatically "subordinate"?

    For all its faults, the Church has treated women much better than other cultures have throughout history.
    At least one of those cultures, Islam, sprung from christianity.

    Look around: prostitution, female castration, harems, foot-binding, forced abortions... past ages were rough for everyone, but especially for women outside of Christendom.

    Women in christendom weren't treated much better. After all, how many men were killed for "witchcraft" as compared to women?

    Then there's the OT treatment:
    Numbers 31:31-40, women as war booty. Only virgins, mind you. I wonder why?

    Is that how you dodge how xianity treated women? By saying that everyone else was bad also? I'm not excusing them, you realize.

    But you people don't seem to realize that it was the enlightenment that helped bring about women's rights. It wasn't until very recently in western secular gov'ts that women got the right to vote.

    http://www.humanismbyjoe.com/christianity_and_women.htm

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/freewomen.htm

    http://www.ffrf.org/shop/books/details.php?cat=fbooks&ID=FB10

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/DarkBible/darkbible7.htm

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  14. @larryniven
    Not only does Matthew 5:32 not actually condemn divorce
    Yes, it condemns with one extreme exception. 'Commits adultery' means - divorce is not valid, they still married. Mt 19:9 clearly states: "And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."

    it also says women can't morally remarry. This is not particularly forward-thinking or reasonable.
    Both parties. Besides, "forward-thinking or reasonable" are opinions, not arguments.

    Finally, yeah it's hard to "condemn" gender inequality "within Christian framework" - that's my point.
    And mine too. If you want take out only a small part of our morality and deny the rest - it won't make sense.

    If Christianity were as pro-women as these people are making it out to be, it would be easy to use a Christian (particularly, a Biblical) framework to make a pro-gender-equality argument. This is not east, ergo this claim about the Bible's ersatz feminism is absurd.
    Christianity is about love. Having or not equal rights on earth is irrelevent for salvation. Being equal in God's eyes - that's what matters. Being good - that's what matters the most.
    Jesus (and Paul neither) didn't condemn slavery. Neverless first aristocratic Christians often happily let their slaves go as long as they had somewhere to go, because that's how they interpreted commendment of love.

    @Reynold
    as punishment for what ONE woman, eve, did, that all women have to undergo pain in childbirth.
    That's how serious this sin was - whole human nature changed.

    For one thing, you ignore the implications of the word "unclean",
    This is undoubtly pejorative word. It was often a tool, as I already wrote, to seperate someone from others.

    you ignore the fact that women who had girls were unclean for twice as long as they were if they had boys.
    I don't know, maybe it's shorten so mother can take part in circumcision ceremony on 8th day from birth.

    Why? For that matter, why is it that a woman is declared ceremonially unclean in the first place for helping propogate humanity?
    To keep husbend away from her.

    Women are told that they've to make up for what Eve did by having children, after all:
    1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
    Women are praised only insofar as they follow the rules, but any condemnation the bible gives them is automatic, for example, the pain of childbearing because of eve.

    Other consequences that both man and woman has to bear are much worse than that.

    In Revelations when it says:
    Revelations 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
    Note that it's males who are not "defiled" with women here.

    Note that this is symbolic vision. Adultery in Bible is a symbol of sin, betraying friendship with God. Those symbolic 144k are people who haven't done that, chosen ones, pure, not defiled by world.

    Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    Self-evident.

    And so she should submit to him. Already discussed earlier.

    Matthew 15:22-28
    Self-evident. She had to grovel and compare herself to a dog before Jesus would help her.

    Jesus tested that woman. She had to face disrespect usually shown by Jews to pagans, to bear comparison to dog. Canaalite woman showed heroic faith and uncommon humbleness and she was rewarded. Why? I think Jesus wanted to show what is important for Him, to teach his desciples, annoyed by her behaviour.
    Jesus didn't actually thought about her as someone worse. The other day He had no problem with talking to Samaritan (and sinful) woman despite disrespect of Jews to Samaritans - most even didn't talk to the latter.

    So again, why is it that just because one is a woman one is automatically "subordinate"?
    Because in those times society was strongly patriarchal and Christianity is not rebellious religion.
    As long as both follow commendment of love Husbend's duty is to love his wife as Jesus loves Church - up to sacrificing his life..

    After all, how many men were killed for "witchcraft" as compared to women?
    Witch hunting is not christian practice - it's very unchristian.

    Then there's the OT treatment:
    Numbers 31:31-40, women as war booty. Only virgins, mind you. I wonder why?

    Mariano wrote about it here.

    But you people don't seem to realize that it was the enlightenment that helped bring about women's rights. It wasn't until very recently in western secular gov'ts that women got the right to vote.
    And they exercise it by voting for men.
    But seriously - I'm for equal, or even better, rights for women. As a weaker gender they need special protection.

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  15. No, see, a condemnation of divorce would be like: divorce is wrong. What we have here is, divorce and remarriage is wrong. Also, the case between Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9 is one of asymmetry. In the one case, the man can make the woman an adulterer and he can do so just by virtue of "putting her away" (e.g., divorcing her). In the other, only the man can make himself an adulterer, and then, only by taking another wife. The two cases are not at all the same.

    Look at world-wide divorce laws today and tell me if there has been a trend towards or away from this understanding of marriage. If, as certainly seems to be the case, the trend is away from the Biblical understanding of marriage, I think that by definition means the Bible's opinion is not forward-looking. And unless you can give me a good reason why asymmetries such as the one above should exist, it's also unreasonable. But these are mere additions to my argument, the conclusion of which you already agree with.

    "Having or not equal rights on earth is irrelevent for salvation."

    DING DING DING - we have a winner! If you're right in saying this, feminism is not just wrong but irrelevant. So anyone who cares to step up to my challenge now has an additional task: convince me, in your quest to prove the Bible's pro-women stance, either that I should care or that Christianity isn't, as he says, "about love."

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  16. tremor:
    as punishment for what ONE woman, eve, did, that all women have to undergo pain in childbirth.
    That's how serious this sin was - whole human nature changed.
    Especially that of women you forgot to note...

    For one thing, you ignore the implications of the word "unclean",
    This is undoubtly pejorative word. It was often a tool, as I already wrote, to seperate someone from others.

    you ignore the fact that women who had girls were unclean for twice as long as they were if they had boys.
    I don't know, maybe it's shorten so mother can take part in circumcision ceremony on 8th day from birth.
    Too bad the bible doesn't say that...

    Why? For that matter, why is it that a woman is declared ceremonially unclean in the first place for helping propogate humanity?
    To keep husbend away from her.
    Couldn't the bible have just said something like "let the woman rest up" instead of saying that she's "unclean"? Then again there's still the problem of her being unclean twice as long for a girl birth as for a male birth.

    Women are told that they've to make up for what Eve did by having children, after all:
    1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
    Women are praised only insofar as they follow the rules, but any condemnation the bible gives them is automatic, for example, the pain of childbearing because of eve.

    Other consequences that both man and woman has to bear are much worse than that.
    So what? I'm not talking about the "other consequences", I'm talking about this. Why dodge?

    In Revelations when it says:
    Revelations 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
    Note that it's males who are not "defiled" with women here.

    Note that this is symbolic vision. Adultery in Bible is a symbol of sin, betraying friendship with God.
    Yet it's still associated with women, this negative symbolism. If it even is symbolism...

    Those symbolic 144k are people who haven't done that, chosen ones, pure, not defiled by world.
    No, it says not defiled by "women".

    Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    Self-evident.

    And so she should submit to him. Already discussed earlier.
    Thanks for conceding a point.

    Matthew 15:22-28
    Self-evident. She had to grovel and compare herself to a dog before Jesus would help her.

    Jesus tested that woman. She had to face disrespect usually shown by Jews to pagans, to bear comparison to dog. Canaalite woman showed heroic faith and uncommon humbleness and she was rewarded. Why? I think Jesus wanted to show what is important for Him, to teach his desciples, annoyed by her behaviour.
    Odd that it was a women who had to pass this "test", and as I said, she had to grovel for it...you're said nothing that helps in your defense here.

    Jesus didn't actually thought about her as someone worse.
    No, he just treated her like someone worse.

    The other day He had no problem with talking to Samaritan (and sinful) woman despite disrespect of Jews to Samaritans - most even didn't talk to the latter.
    The beauty of having an inconsistent holy book. Besides, reading that section, it seems that Jesus was making a case against the "racism" of the time; the fact that she was a woman seems to be purely incidental.

    So again, why is it that just because one is a woman one is automatically "subordinate"?
    Because in those times society was strongly patriarchal and Christianity is not rebellious religion.
    Like your religion never set up its own rules, never went against the beliefs of others, etc? Right. The OT has lots of rules set up, and lots of instances where "god" says that his rules are the rules to be followed, not the rules of the "society".

    Otherwise, there'd be no need for any of the commandments to be passed from god to the chosen people...he'd have just said to obey your rulers and that's it. (He does say that at one point, but of course, there are all sorts of other rules in the bible as well).





    After all, how many men were killed for "witchcraft" as compared to women?
    Witch hunting is not christian practice - it's very unchristian.
    But very Old Testament, though. It's still your book, it's still you problem.

    Then there's the OT treatment:
    Numbers 31:31-40, women as war booty. Only virgins, mind you. I wonder why?

    Mariano wrote about it here.


    Yeah, let's look at that:
    Next we are told that “Virgin women are war booty” (Numbers 31:1-18). In the aftermath of war, and without the aid of the great and mightily benevolent UN, the women could have been left to fend for themselves or could have been brought into the Israelite camp.
    Why only the virgins though? Why were they singled out? The plain context of it is that yes, they were war booty. Deal with it. It's a real mercy to have the women's families get knocked off and then to assimilate them into the camp of those who killed their families.

    Mariano again:
    Moreover, the warriors and women were to remain outside the camp seven days in order to purify themselves.
    Moreover, regulations regarding war captives were very strict. In the case of a woman, if a man wanted to marry her he had to give her time to recover from the shock of war, she was to be taken into the home and “shall sorrow for her father and her mother a full month” (Deuteronomy 21:13). But if after marrying her he wanted to divorce her he was to “let her go where she will. But you shall not sell her at all for silver, you shall not make a slave of her, because you have humbled her” (v. 14). Here “humbling” refers to her being depressed and or having lost her virginity (while married).

    All Mariano says overall, is basically that they lived in barbarous times, and they had to resort to barbarous means to survive; problem is that they're supposed to have access to some miracle-working "god". Remember that "manna from heaven" bit? Yet for some reason "god" couldn't be bothered to help out "his people" during times when they "had" to act barbaric towards others.

    In an atheist view, it's understandable: there was no "god" to help them out, so people had to do what they could to survive. As farming techniques developed, and technology improved, there was less need for the kind of vicious behavour exhibited previously.

    Morals changed over time. Thing is, your OT bible was written before that time, so your god was as barbaric as any other around. As morals changed, you people were left stuck with the portrayal of the OT god that matched the morals of the people of that time.

    Problem is, that's not the morals we hold to now. It'd not be a problem, except that xians hold that the same "god" still exists, and that he's some moral exemplar.

    As a result, the "pro-life" people of today find themselves arguing for genocide and baby-killing back then, all the while pretending that it's the atheists who don't understand ancient times.


    Why would they have needed to take virgin women anyway? Mariano doesn't answer that.

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  17. Me, in the second comment:
    "I guess you'll tell me those people aren't 'real Christians'?"

    tremor, several days later:
    "Witch hunting is not christian practice - it's very unchristian."

    You lose. Good day, sir.

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  18. No, see, a condemnation of divorce would be like: divorce is wrong.
    So this is the only way to say that? "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."(Mat 19:6) is not a cancellation of divorce?

    What we have here is, divorce and remarriage is wrong.
    Jews had a law allowing a man divorce a woman. It was enough to wrote a document to do this. They asked Jesus what he thought about it. He answered that it shouldn't had been like that. In the beginning there were no divorces. Once married, husbend and wife become one body that shouldn't be seperated.
    To emphasize that he said that new marriage of divorced leads to adultery, crime against one of ten commendments. Why? Because divorce is not valid.

    Also, the case between Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9 is one of asymmetry. In the one case, the man can make the woman an adulterer and he can do so just by virtue of "putting her away" (e.g., divorcing her). In the other, only the man can make himself an adulterer, and then, only by taking another wife. The two cases are not at all the same.
    Example of taking opportunity of divorce is asymmetric, because the law itself is asymmetric. Do you complain that it's not right that men could sin that way while women couldn't?

    Look at world-wide divorce laws today and tell me if there has been a trend towards or away from this understanding of marriage. If, as certainly seems to be the case, the trend is away from the Biblical understanding of marriage, I think that by definition means the Bible's opinion is not forward-looking.
    Because it doesn't deal with secular societies. Irrelevant, again.

    And unless you can give me a good reason why asymmetries such as the one above should exist, it's also unreasonable.
    Divorce is not allowed, see above.

    "Having or not equal rights on earth is irrelevent for salvation."
    Convince me, in your quest to prove the Bible's pro-women stance

    AFAI understand whant you want is to take some moral laws related to women and consider if appling them "outside" would be good for them.
    It's like wondering if civil law would be good for football game.

    Me, in the second comment:
    "I guess you'll tell me those people aren't 'real Christians'?"

    tremor, several days later:
    "Witch hunting is not christian practice - it's very unchristian."

    You lose. Good day, sir.

    Christianity is not good for women because some people, breaking its most important rules, were hunting using false accusations?
    It's like saying atheism sucks because some atheists, in the name of God, steal yellow bicycles.

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  19. "It's like saying atheism sucks because some atheists, in the name of God, steal yellow bicycles."

    Ahahaha! Yes: those two things are exactly the same. In the one case, Christians, using the best available interpretation of their holy books, actually killed women essentially just for being unpopular and female. In the other case, you're making something up out of thin air, and even then it doesn't make sense. Totally the same!

    I'm done arguing with you: if you're empty-headed enough to keep on with this kind of transparently idiotic nonsense, there's nothing I can do for you. Enjoy the rest of your deluded life.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "I don't know, maybe it's shorten so mother can take part in circumcision ceremony on 8th day from birth."
    Too bad the bible doesn't say that...

    It doesn't say what's a reason for that at all.

    "To keep husbend away from her."
    Couldn't the bible have just said something like "let the woman rest up" instead of saying that she's "unclean"?

    I don't know the reason.
    It's law that went out of usage like 2k years ago.

    "Other consequences that both man and woman has to bear are much worse than that."
    So what? I'm not talking about the "other consequences", I'm talking about this. Why dodge?

    Do you think that it's not right that some people suffer more physical pain than other?

    "Those symbolic 144k are people who haven't done that, chosen ones, pure, not defiled by world."
    No, it says not defiled by "women".

    Which symbolizes defiling by world.
    If you want to literally read Revelation check out chapter 12.

    Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    Self-evident.
    "And so she should submit to him. Already discussed earlier."
    Thanks for conceding a point.

    My pleasure. You, as larry, want to make strange experiment - remove the foundation of the Bible and show how wrong it is.

    "Jesus tested that woman."
    Odd that it was a women who had to pass this "test", and as I said, she had to grovel for it...you're said nothing that helps in your defense here.

    God has the very right to test us in this life. She was rewarded for her faith and love then and probably with greatest award at the end of her trial on Earth.
    She was happy, why do you grumble?

    "Jesus didn't actually thought about her as someone worse."
    No, he just treated her like someone worse.

    That's what this test was about: ego and self-esteem vs love and faith.

    "The other day He had no problem with talking to Samaritan (and sinful) woman despite disrespect of Jews to Samaritans - most even didn't talk to the latter."
    The beauty of having an inconsistent holy book. Besides, reading that section, it seems that Jesus was making a case against the "racism" of the time; the fact that she was a woman seems to be purely incidental.

    Beauty of having double standards. Treating woman bad - mysoginy, treating woman good - accident.

    Like your religion never set up its own rules, never went against the beliefs of others, etc? Right. The OT has lots of rules set up, and lots of instances where "god" says that his rules are the rules to be followed, not the rules of the "society".
    The OT laws is different (and complicated) story.
    But yout still didn't explain what's wrong with Christian model of marriage.

    "Witch hunting is not christian practice - it's very unchristian."
    But very Old Testament, though. It's still your book, it's still you problem.

    OT laws expired long time ago. Even though, false accusations violate one of ten commendments.

    Then there's the OT treatment:
    Numbers 31:31-40, women as war booty. Only virgins, mind you. I wonder why?

    Morals changed over time. Thing is, your OT bible was written before that time, so your god was as barbaric as any other around. As morals changed, you people were left stuck with the portrayal of the OT god that matched the morals of the people of that time.

    OT law were much better than other tribes. OT moral standards skyrocketed in comparison to other nations of that times and are still actual.

    As a result, the "pro-life" people of today find themselves arguing for genocide and baby-killing back then, all the while pretending that it's the atheists who don't understand ancient times.
    The biggest difference between OT Jews and Charistians is that the former didn't consider pagans to be protected by biblical laws.

    Why would they have needed to take virgin women anyway? Mariano doesn't answer that.
    Probably because it's not written in the Bible.

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  21. In the one case, Christians, using the best available interpretation of their holy books
    Didn't they know "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" commendments? The commendment of love?
    I understand that some of them could have not known that "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" is one of laws Jews swore to follow as a part of Covent on Synai and ceased to be obligatory as God made new, perfect Covent in His Son.
    On trials alleged witches were tortured, in some cases death was proof of innocence - obvious absurd and violation of fundamental Christian rules.

    You don't want to debate me because of stupid joke? I know it wasn't funny.

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  22. "I don't know, maybe it's shorten so mother can take part in circumcision ceremony on 8th day from birth."
    Too bad the bible doesn't say that...

    It doesn't say what's a reason for that at all.
    It just says that women were "unclean" when they gave birth; twice as long for daughters as for sons. Any guessing on your part to try to explain that is just extra-biblical guessing, and you never did answer why it's twice as long for daughters as for sons.

    "To keep husbend away from her."
    Couldn't the bible have just said something like "let the woman rest up" instead of saying that she's "unclean"?

    I don't know the reason.
    It's law that went out of usage like 2k years ago.

    So what? You never answered the question I asked. Why couldn't the bible have just siad something like "let the woman rest up" instead of saying that she's "unclean". After all, remember who you people say came up with the laws in the first place.

    "Other consequences that both man and woman has to bear are much worse than that."
    So what? I'm not talking about the "other consequences", I'm talking about this. Why dodge?

    Do you think that it's not right that some people suffer more physical pain than other?
    Obviously, especially when it's the descendents of those who allegedly did the "crime" in the first place who have to suffer for it.

    You apparently have no problem with women being stuck with increased birth pains because of what the alleged "first woman" did.

    "Those symbolic 144k are people who haven't done that, chosen ones, pure, not defiled by world."
    No, it says not defiled by "women".

    Which symbolizes defiling by world.
    But then why is it that it's "women" who is equated with being defiled by the world, and also you do know that there are some sects out there that take that verse literally.
    If you want to literally read Revelation check out chapter 12.
    I'll leave that idiocy to the "Left Behind" and "Rapture Ready" idiots.

    Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    Self-evident.
    "And so she should submit to him. Already discussed earlier."
    Thanks for conceding a point.

    My pleasure. You, as larry, want to make strange experiment - remove the foundation of the Bible and show how wrong it is.
    Huh? "want to make strange experiment"? As for how wrong it is, it makes someone inferior and subordinate just through an accident of birth.

    "Jesus tested that woman."
    Odd that it was a women who had to pass this "test", and as I said, she had to grovel for it...you're said nothing that helps in your defense here.

    God has the very right to test us in this life. She was rewarded for her faith and love then and probably with greatest award at the end of her trial on Earth.
    She was happy, why do you grumble?

    She had to abase herself first, that's why. She was relieved and grateful, sure, but since christ is supposed to "know everything" that test was unnecessary in the first place, wasn't it?

    "Jesus didn't actually thought about her as someone worse."
    No, he just treated her like someone worse.

    That's what this test was about: ego and self-esteem vs love and faith.
    What makes you think that the woman had a big ego in the first place? Wouldn't "jesus" as all-knowing as he is, have known that in the first place? Jesus treated her like crap, and you blindly accept it. Let me guess: If she didn't grovel before him, what would he have done? Who would have paid that price?

    "The other day He had no problem with talking to Samaritan (and sinful) woman despite disrespect of Jews to Samaritans - most even didn't talk to the latter."
    The beauty of having an inconsistent holy book. Besides, reading that section, it seems that Jesus was making a case against the "racism" of the time; the fact that she was a woman seems to be purely incidental.
    Beauty of having double standards.

    Treating woman bad - mysoginy, treating woman good - accident.
    Given the bible's overall attitude towards women that may be a fair statement.

    Like your religion never set up its own rules, never went against the beliefs of others, etc? Right. The OT has lots of rules set up, and lots of instances where "god" says that his rules are the rules to be followed, not the rules of the "society".
    The OT laws is different (and complicated) story.
    But yout still didn't explain what's wrong with Christian model of marriage.

    I have; the whole problem of "servitude" as opposed to "equality". Besides, the OT law was made by whom, again?

    The point I was making in my above statement is that the bible a lot of times has laws that go against what society generally went for, so why in some cases, have barbaric laws in the OT which went along with what the other societies had at the time?

    "Witch hunting is not christian practice - it's very unchristian."
    But very Old Testament, though. It's still your book, it's still you problem.

    OT laws expired long time ago.
    Where does it say that, specifically? Remember Matthew 5:17-19. The law is supposed to stay until "jesus" does everything he's set out to do. He's not done that yet; since he has not come back and established his "kingdom" yet.

    Remember, the 10 Commandments are from the OT and they're still supposed to apply, are they not? As well, who came up with the OT laws in the first place?

    Even though, false accusations violate one of ten commendments.
    And where are the ten commandments again?

    Then there's the OT treatment:
    Numbers 31:31-40, women as war booty. Only virgins, mind you. I wonder why?

    Morals changed over time. Thing is, your OT bible was written before that time, so your god was as barbaric as any other around. As morals changed, you people were left stuck with the portrayal of the OT god that matched the morals of the people of that time.
    OT law were much better than other tribes. OT moral standards skyrocketed in comparison to other nations of that times and are still actual.
    "are still actual"? What do you mean by that?

    Citations needed; the killing off of entire "nations" of people and keeping their virgin daughters as war booty is "much better" than other tribes?

    As a result, the "pro-life" people of today find themselves arguing for genocide and baby-killing back then, all the while pretending that it's the atheists who don't understand ancient times.
    The biggest difference between OT Jews and Charistians is that the former didn't consider pagans to be protected by biblical laws.
    You left out xians who follwed the OT laws before the enlightenment, and the fact that what you said doesn't negate in the least what I just said above.

    Why would they have needed to take virgin women anyway? Mariano doesn't answer that.
    Probably because it's not written in the Bible.
    Wrong. Numbers 31:31-40

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  23. It just says that women were "unclean" when they gave birth; twice as long for daughters as for sons. Any guessing on your part to try to explain that is just extra-biblical guessing, and you never did answer why it's twice as long for daughters as for sons.
    As I said - I don't know. According to Dictionary Of The Bible "it was commonly believed that the sympotms persisted much longer after the birth of a girl that of a boy".
    Uncleaness wasn't bad for a woman - she was revield from her every day duties. Purification was from practical point of view was hygienic habit - good for a woman and her child.

    You never answered the question I asked. Why couldn't the bible have just siad something like "let the woman rest up" instead of saying that she's "unclean". After all, remember who you people say came up with the laws in the first place.
    Why ritual uncleaness instead of rational explanation? Again, I can only give you some hypotheses.
    Apparently given rules were really good, which is much important than their explanation.

    You apparently have no problem with women being stuck with increased birth pains because of what the alleged "first woman" did.
    It's actually quite common that people suffer because of others sins. This is just as right or wrong as having accident, cancer, lose someone close etc.

    But then why is it that it's "women" who is equated with being defiled by the world,
    Not women but sexual act would defile them.

    and also you do know that there are some sects out there that take that verse literally.
    Good luck with that.

    "If you want to literally read Revelation check out chapter 12."
    I'll leave that idiocy to the "Left Behind" and "Rapture Ready" idiots.

    Strange, you had no problem with reading Bible so far. Looking for any verse that would fit your agenda and avoiding that wouldn't is not fair play.

    "My pleasure. You, as larry, want to make strange experiment - remove the foundation of the Bible and show how wrong it is."
    Huh? "want to make strange experiment"? As for how wrong it is, it makes someone inferior and subordinate just through an accident of birth.

    Christians have everything upside-down:
    ""If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." (Mar 9:35)
    And all men are equal in God's eyes: ""There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Ga 3:28)

    She had to abase herself first, that's why.
    To be really happy we must suffer this life first.

    She was relieved and grateful, sure, but since christ is supposed to "know everything" that test was unnecessary in the first place, wasn't it?
    Going further that route we wouldn't need to live our lives, because God knows how they'll end.
    Test wasn't for Him, but an expierience for her and lesson for spectators, mostly apostles. Showing virtues is good for others.

    What makes you think that the woman had a big ego in the first place?
    Ego is never too small. Some good might get even better.

    Jesus treated her like crap, and you blindly accept it.
    Not blindly. I've carefully studied this story.

    Let me guess: If she didn't grovel before him, what would he have done? Who would have paid that price?
    Haven't you a moment ago mentioned that He knew she passes the test?
    Do you condemn Jesus that He didn't heal all those sick that no one asked Him to heal?

    "Treating woman bad - mysoginy, treating woman good - accident."
    Given the bible's overall attitude towards women that may be a fair statement.

    Really? Jesus healed many women both physically and spiritually. Many. He put one on harsh trial, one after which he rewarded her yet you're analyzing this single excerpt in and out to condemn His behavior.

    I have; the whole problem of "servitude" as opposed to "equality".
    I think you still have in mind image of wife being husbend's property, doing everything he want without right to express thoughts or feelings.

    Besides, the OT law was made by whom, again?
    By Moses under God's guidence to bring up Israelites and prepare for coming of Messiah.

    The point I was making in my above statement is that the bible a lot of times has laws that go against what society generally went for, so why in some cases, have barbaric laws in the OT which went along with what the other societies had at the time?
    In many cases (eg. slavery) OT laws were way ahead of other nations. It was revealed gradually to educate people, change their habits, mentality, allow real spiritual advancement. Gems like 10 commandments or commandmnents of love come from OT. Anyway law, no matter how perfect, won't make people good.

    "Witch hunting is not christian practice - it's very unchristian."
    But very Old Testament, though. It's still your book, it's still you problem.

    Rule about witches is closely related to first commandment breaking which also was punished with death.

    "OT laws expired long time ago."
    Where does it say that, specifically? Remember Matthew 5:17-19. The law is supposed to stay until "jesus" does everything he's set out to do. He's not done that yet; since he has not come back and established his "kingdom" yet.

    In Rom Paul says that one can eat whatever he wants if he believes that it is good to do so. In Act 15 apostles, guided by Holy Spirit decide not to put any burden except what necessery on non-Jewish belivers. In Ga Paul wrote: "(24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. (25) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, (26) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith."
    Are all those texts in contradiction with Mat 5:17-19? Do remember that we were discussing divorces? In the same speech (Mt 5:31) Jesus cancels one of OT laws and explains that this concrete rule was given temporary. So surly he didn't mean that all OT laws have to be followed as they used to be. He came to fulfill prophesies and follow the law to show it wasn't impossible to do (which can't be said about nonbiblic Judish rules).

    Remember, the 10 Commandments are from the OT and they're still supposed to apply, are they not?
    Jesus not only confirmed them but explained them like only Author could do.

    "Even though, false accusations violate one of ten commandments."
    And where are the ten commandments again?

    Again: you can't break the law pretending you want to fulfill another.

    Why would they have needed to take virgin women anyway? Mariano doesn't answer that.
    "Probably because it's not written in the Bible."
    Wrong. Numbers 31:31-40

    I meant Mariano doesn't answer that because it's not written in the Bible.

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  24. Larry,

    "So, just like children are inferior to adults (in some sense) until they become adults, the Bible says (and expects its followers to behave as though) women are inferior to men"

    The reasons children must submit to their parents aren't necessarily the reasons women must submit to husbands or pastors. For instance, there are biblical instances of saints submitting to inferior leaders on principle, and in deference to God's plan, rather than because they lack leadership qualities. Similarly, actors who direct well must still submit to inferior directors. (See: Orson Welles, The Transformers.)

    It's possible that men in general are better equipped to lead women in those few instances in which they are called upon to do so, but this doesn't render women inferior per se. I happily defer to the leadership of my lawyer where legal options are concerned, but that doesn't make him superior human being.

    "until...they become men? Whoops! Looks like your analogy has run into a bit of a problem"
    (Reynold adds: "Children grow up and can then gain authority. Women can't exactly change their genders, now, can they?")

    Only in your minds is it a problem that we don't grow into every leadership role. That I'll never be a lawyer doesn't bother me at all. By your reasoning, the American Presidency is inherently flawed, because,"I'll never be President!" Even circumstances of birth may prevent this (see Schwarzenegger).

    "this just says ... that 'the Church' is better than some other organizations, not that it's good. I thought the point, though, was to argue that the Bible in fact made a good case for feminism, not just a less awful one than other belief systems?"

    You again conflate the Bible with its followers.

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  25. Reynold,

    "Sure, some individual women are honoured, but that doesn't wash away the general blame that is attributed to women because of eve. Even the bible says that as punishment for what ONE woman, eve, did, that all women have to undergo pain in childbirth."

    Both sexes suffered for Adam and Eve's sin; you can't claim discrimination there. Adam's male offspring were cursed with hard work, which lasts much longer than childbirth, and results even now in higher death-rates among men, even counting deaths during childbirth.

    The Timothy verse you cited observes that she alone was deceived, but clearly Adam sinned too, and without the excuse of having been tricked. In Romans 5:12, Adam is represented as the first sinner, the head of the sinning race, and there is no reference made to Eve. She hardly comes off any worse than he.

    "In Revelations when it says:
    Revelations 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
    Note that it's males who are not 'defiled' with women here."


    The Bible always speaks approvingly of wholesome relations between the sexes; obviously what's referred to here by "defiled with women" is immoral relations. Just like "drunk on wine" is no condemnation of wine, but of its misuse.

    The fact that they were virgins is presumably offered to prove that they never fornicated, like saying,"They never got drunk; in fact, they were teetotalers."

    The fact that they were males is presumably because they were male; I don't see any problem there.

    And it's "Revelation." No "s."

    "how many men were killed for 'witchcraft' as compared to women?"

    How many women are killed for treason as compared to men? How many women are jailed for rape? Clearly some crimes & punishments favor certain genders.

    "it was the enlightenment that helped bring about women's rights. It wasn't until very recently in western secular gov'ts that women got the right to vote."

    Deborah was running Israel with God's approval thousands of years before the Enlightenment. The Bible says nothing against female authority in politics.

    "'For all its faults, the Church has treated women much better than other cultures have throughout history.'
    At least one of those cultures, Islam, sprung from christianity."


    You were reaching with the Leviticus passage; now you're being completely silly.

    I don't have time to reply the rest of the verses you misconstrued, but again, Miller brings plenty of good insight to the table.

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  26. Dither dither dither...

    "It's possible that men in general are better equipped to lead women in those few instances in which they are called upon to do so, but this doesn't render women inferior per se. I happily defer to the leadership of my lawyer where legal options are concerned, but that doesn't make him superior human being."

    Okay, let's go with this new analogy. You follow your lawyer in legal matters because your lawyer is...what, exactly? Taller than you? No. Physically stronger than you? Nope. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you follow your lawyer in legal matters because your lawyer is superior to you in legal matters - in legal understanding, practice, power, and standing. So if this is a good analogy, then you're saying that the Bible's view of men is that they are spiritually superior to women in practice, power, understanding, and so on - that, in other words, women are spiritually inferior to men. Now, what does it mean to be spiritually inferior? Given that one goes to heaven or hell based on the state of one's soul - that, in other words, God judges you based on your soul - it follows that spiritual inferiority is the same as inferiority in he eyes of God. This is supposed to prove that the Bible has a positive view of women because...

    "Only in your minds is it a problem that we don't grow into every leadership role."

    Bzzt - wrong. I'm not saying that it's bad that women don't "grow into every leadership role," I'm saying it's bad that they can't. I think this limitation, further, is plainly more serious than, say, the limitation on U.S Presidents that they be born in the country, if for no other reason than because it carries with it the clear implication - as I showed above - that women are spiritually inferior to men (the president thing has no such implication).

    "You again conflate the Bible with its followers."

    Dude, that was you - remember when you said, "the Church has treated women much better than other cultures have throughout history"? If you didn't want me to talk about the behavior of actual Christians, why'd you bring it up? Why don't you, instead, actually talk about the Bible? I mean, I cited verses from six books, and you can only come up with a weak objection to one of those citations? This is pathetic.

    And while we're on the subject of pathetic, where's Mariano, hm? I'd think that he would want to step in here somewhere and pretend to know what he's talking about.

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  27. Larry,

    A knack for spiritual leadership is only one of many qualities a believer can have, and is inessential to personal worth or a healthy relationship with God. Your attempt to reduce the Christian experience to a contest of administrative skill is bizarre and baseless. God grants more points for how we follow than how we lead -- and for much else that leadership doesn't touch on.

    I'm happy to talk about both Christian behavior and the Bible; I just don't share your eagerness to conflate them. The Bible shows throughout that God values men and women equally. Church history has reflected this, in that Christian cultures have treated women better than other cultures -- though imperfectly, since "Christian cultures" are only Christian in a general, imperfect sense.

    I have better things to do than explicate lists of verses that you can't be bothered to explicate yourself. Sorry you find that pathetic. If I have time, and I see you making a good case for a bad interpretation, rest assured I'll chime in.

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  28. A "knack"? Who said anything about a "knack"? Your lawyer doesn't have a knack for being good at legal stuff, right? I'm pretty sure also that they didn't even have the concept of a knack at the time this stuff was written - either way, it's surely not what they intended. Just as surely, it's also more than an "administrative" issue. You don't think priests are just God's secretaries, do you?

    The kind of leadership the Bible is talking about - as interpreted by every Biblical scholar for well over a thousand years, as practiced by most lay and learned Christians, and as disputed by only a tiny minority of modern Biblical scholars - is one that results from an inborn spiritual unbalance between men and women. It's worth pointing out here that there isn't even a provision for women to object to men if those men are wrong in God's eyes. However many "points" God gives to women for following men in spiritual matters, doesn't the fact that men have total license in spiritual matters mean that God gives them more points? You really aren't making sense.

    "The Bible shows throughout that God values men and women equally."

    Correction: the Bible says, at some points, that God values men and women equally. This is far from showing anything - specifically, God, as a fiction, can't be shown to value anything, period.

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  29. I mean, care to explain why, in Leviticus 27:3-7, God explicitly and literally values men and women differently? Have you even read the Bible?

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  30. @larry
    So if this is a good analogy, then you're saying that the Bible's view of men is that they are spiritually superior to women in practice, power, understanding, and so on - that, in other words, women are spiritually inferior to men.

    Spirituallity and intelectual abilities are two different things.
    Or in other words - there's spiritual intelligence, which operates in spiritual world, helps with discovering good, shows how to avoid evil. One can be totally illiterate, unable to count 2+2 and be genius in this spiritual area. That's the most important kind of intelligence.
    And there's a whole family of 'practical intelligences' involved in every day life.
    I would argue that women are superior in first one while men are usually better in other.

    Roles, functions like king, priest, lawyer don't make people better in God's eyes. Leadership is a service to others, spiritually dangerous for the leader.

    I'm not saying that it's bad that women don't "grow into every leadership role," I'm saying it's bad that they can't.
    Why do you have problem with that? If Christian women agree and are happy - why do you bother?

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  31. All: thank you so much for your thoughts. I noted some new names and am glad to have you here.

    Let us first note that no atheist condemnation of the Bible is the least bit relevant in that it holds no weight whatsoever since the only thing upon which the atheist bases their condemnation is that they have a personal preference to consider something condemnable. Ask them why and they will assert another personal preference. Ask them why and they will merely pile assertion upon assertion. Condemnation discredits atheism and atheism discredits condemnation.

    All Biblical references to women are premised upon the Biblical statement that God created both men and women in His own image.

    I think that part of the confusion going on here is in cases of roles. Men and women have different soles. For example, God does not allow men to bare children.

    Larryniven wrote, “religiosity correlates rather strongly with anti-feminist sentiments.”
    I say Amen!!!!!! May religiosity be damned!!!!!!!!!

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  32. "Let us first note that no atheist condemnation of the Bible is the least bit relevant"

    Bahahahaha! Okay, buddy, if you say so. Enjoy life in your little loony bin.

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  33. Larryniven;
    Thanks for getting back to me.

    If you are ever prepared for reasoned discourse please do check back.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  34. Larry,

    "The kind of leadership the Bible is talking about ...results from an inborn spiritual unbalance between men and women." ... "men have total license in spiritual matters"

    Where in the Bible did you find such notions? Verses...?

    "I mean, care to explain why, in Leviticus 27:3-7, God explicitly and literally values men and women differently?"

    This is your example of biblical misogyny? That male labor garnered a higher price than that of women, children, or the elderly? Visit a gym and you'll see why.

    As for the value God placed on lives, rather than physical service, see Exodus 21:20-28: the punishments for harming or killing women are the same as those for men.

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  35. Mariano, you're officially ignored for being out of your mind. I wouldn't trust you to be capable of reasonable discourse any more than I'd trust you to have heat vision or fly.

    Jesse, could you move the goalposts any more than you already have? First it was that God values and treats men and women exactly the same, now it's that God values and treats them differently depending on the circumstance and maybe how God's feeling that day. First it was that the Bible doesn't say bad things about women more so than men, now it's that it does say such things but they're justified for some obscure meaning of "justified." First you were willing to admit that men have the Biblical right to tell women what to do in their spiritual lives, now you're demanding evidence that I've already given. You've already seen my citations - in fact, if anything, you're the one who needs to start citing chapter and verse to prove your point. Even in the section you cite, an abused woman has no right to ask for damages: that right is ceded to her husband. (Let's not even talk about what happens if she's not married, shall we?) If this is your idea of gender equality, you're just as insane as Mariano. All you're coming up with is assertions that the Bible is fair to women, with no unifying theory and no evidence. I could do that all day long, but that's called sophistry, and I have higher standards than that. This is your last chance to say something sane that's consistent with the rest of your comments - if you're unable to do so, I'll consider my point to have been proven, because nobody in this thread will have been able to dispute it.

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  36. I've been following this thread, and I don't really have anything to add, except that the defense of the Bible against charges of sexism reminds me of the "separate but equal" defense of racial segregation in public schools, that was overturned in 1954.

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  37. Larryniven;
    Argument from ridicule does not make for reasoned discourse.

    To everyone;
    Let us not forget:
    “Man is more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman, and has a more inventive genius….
    The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman- whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.
    If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison.
    We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr.Galton, in his work on Hereditary Genius, that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.”


    aDios,
    Mariano

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  38. Mariano: Darwin was a product of his time, was humble and open to criticism, and did not claim to be inspired by God or absolutely correct. Christians claim that the Bible is inspired by God, is timeless, and is absolutely correct. Do you understand the difference?

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  39. I am not sure if we should say that he was a product of his time or that he produced his time.
    Yes, I get the difference: Darwin expressed male chauvinism while the Bible does not.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  40. "Let us first note that no atheist condemnation of the Bible is the least bit relevant in that it holds no weight whatsoever since the only thing upon which the atheist bases their condemnation is that they have a personal preference to consider something condemnable."

    "Argument from ridicule does not make for reasoned discourse."

    "Darwin expressed male chauvinism while the Bible does not."

    lol

    You should go into standup. I'm officially unsubscribing from this thread, as it has descended into utter parody. Mariano, you're dumber than a doorknob, period the end - you aren't wrong because you're dumb, but that doesn't mean you're not dumb. zilch, good luck.

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  41. Mariano- yes, Darwin did produce his time to some extent: he made it possible to see how life could come to be without God. Not correct in all the details, and not going back to the beginning; but the world has been a different place since he lived- a better informed one.

    I do hope you are not claiming that male chauvinism originated with Darwin, or I will have to concur with Larry about your doing stand-up comedy. I also hope you are not going to pin the Holocaust on Darwin, as Ben Stein did. This would also make good stand-up, except that it's not funny: it's merely being used as a tool to denigrate evolutionary theory, as a means to get stories about talking snakes into public school science classes. Have you ever read the Wedge Document? Have you ever read Hitler's works?

    And claiming that the Bible is not male chauvinistic is risible. I suppose it's somehow showing "respect" to women to not allow them to speak in church, or to kill them if they're raped inside the city walls, or to save them as virgin brides for the Israelites who massacred the rest of their tribe. But it's not what I mean by "respect", and it sure as hell is not "equality".

    Charles Darwin was a chauvinist by today's standards, yes. The Bible is of course considerably more so, as it comes from a much more primitive culture, and things have changed. I don't need to excuse Darwin's social failures, as you don't need to excuse the social failures of the Bible: they are products of their time. But some of us have moved on, and I can tell Darwin to shove his outdated mores. Can you do the same with the Bible?

    cheers from overcast Vienna, zilch

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  42. @zilch
    But some of us have moved on, and I can tell Darwin to shove his outdated mores. Can you do the same with the Bible?
    As I argued in this thread I don't consider Christian mores outdated. Morever quite opposite is true - there's nothing to shove because it's perfect. While some problems disappear and new issues arise and our understanding shifts slightly the Word of God stays intact for over 1900 years.
    The usual problems nonchristians, as it can be observed in this thread, have with christian view on women are different roles and lack of equality in every day life rights and duties. But this comes from judgement made on basis of current secular society principles, where very different set of values applies. If these lifes here on Earth is all we've got - Christianity doesn't make any sense anyway. If someone doesn't know what people go to church for how can he judge rules of behavior in church?
    "External" critic has to either use christian normative ethics in his critisim (he has to know them first) or undermine christian morality (and in effect Christianity itself, as tries Dawkins in his "God delusion").

    BTW women are allowed to speak in church as you can read here.

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  43. Shalom aleikhem to one and all.

    Larryniven;
    The level of my cognitive capabilities is not at issue.
    Arguments from ridicule, arguments for embarrassment, arguments from outrage, ad hominems, etc., etc., etc. do not make for reasoned discourse.
    I can empathize with being taken aback by not being able to respond rationally but it is better to abstain from commenting if you have nothing to say. It is a waste of precious time.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Zilch;
    Disagree all you want with me but please have enough regard to not even entertain such hopes as that I would even imagine “claiming that male chauvinism originated with Darwin.”
    It would be as foolish to “pin the Holocaust on Darwin” as it would be to deny that his theory was appealed to—to whatever extent, to whatever degree, to whatever interpretation, have you ever read Hitler’s works?
    I am not an adherent of the “only one motivation for…” school of blame laying.
    And if you are agreeing with Larryniven’s inability to respond with anything but sidestepping ridicule it is sadly very revealing you would do well to criticize Larryniven.

    Arguments from risible are irrelevant. I would be interested to know how an absolute materialist and Darwinist condemns any form of sexism or anything else for that matter. Atheist on this blog are constantly shooting off condemnations and I continually ask for their premise and they respond with either silence or ridicule.

    I am glad to hear that you refute Darwin’s faulty scientific conclusion about the sexes even though I did not notice how you scientifically argued against him.

    I think that you are missing the point that the Bible has told itself to, employing your terminology, “shove” it. The Old Testament law was for a particular people, in a particular place, in a particular time, under a particular governance and it was a law upon which they had agreed.

    As for women to not allow them to speak in church it sounds as if you have either not read the text or have not muse about it. It is not stating what you imply. If fact, it is making the very opposite point in pointing out that keeping women silent is no answer to the problem being addressed.

    An Old Testament text states, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:25-26).

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  44. Mariano: you said (all italics are you)-

    Disagree all you want with me but please have enough regard to not even entertain such hopes as that I would even imagine “claiming that male chauvinism originated with Darwin.”

    Okay. But then what did you mean when you said, about Darwin:

    I am not sure if we should say that he was a product of his time or that he produced his time.

    Are you then not saying that Darwin "produced his time"? Fine, then if Darwin being a chauvinist did not make the world more chauvinistic, what's your beef with Darwin?

    I would be interested to know how an absolute materialist and Darwinist condemns any form of sexism or anything else for that matter.

    The same way you do: by listening to my heart and my mind. The only difference is that I don't believe that God made my heart and orders my mind, but rather that evolution made my heart and culture plus reason made my mind.

    Atheist on this blog are constantly shooting off condemnations and I continually ask for their premise and they respond with either silence or ridicule.

    There, you have my premises. Not in any detail, but I bet you couldn't tell me yours in twenty-five words or fewer either. Even if you believe in the Bible, you still have to pick and choose and make hard decisions. A case in point:

    The Old Testament law was for a particular people, in a particular place, in a particular time, under a particular governance and it was a law upon which they had agreed.

    Yes, I've heard this. I've also heard Christians quote Jesus saying "not one jot or tittle" to mean that the Old Testament still "counts"- or at least parts of it do. In fact, this is one of the reasons there are over thirty thousand Christian sects, and counting: disagreement about exactly which laws are to be followed.

    I have to say, though, that it's not the fault of the Christians that they can't agree on exactly what the Bible means, because it is often vague, self-contradictory, or figurative. One might have thought that God could have got a better act together for passing on His Word. That reminds me of a little story:

    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! Don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. “Well, there’s so much to live for!” “Like what?” “Well… are you religious?” He said yes. I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?” “Christian.” “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant? “Protestant.” “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?” “Baptist” “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” “Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?” “Reformed Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off.

    As for women to not allow them to speak in church it sounds as if you have either not read the text or have not muse about it. It is not stating what you imply.

    "As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?" (1 Cor. 14:33b-36 NIV).

    I dunno, that seem pretty clear to me. You'd have to jump through some hoops to get sexual egalitarianism out of that. But then again, that's what apologetics is, isn't it?

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  45. Zilch;
    That it may be argued that Darwin attempted to give evidence from biology (or logic) to male chauvinism has nothing to do with whether he originated male chauvinism—he appears to have attempted the former while having nothing to do with the latter. The question of whether he made the world more chauvinistic is another issue still.
    Some people were murdering Aborigines in order to stuff them and place them in museums as missing links, or placing them in zoos based on Darwinian evolution. What this says about the man Darwin or even his interpreted theory is another issue.

    I suppose that the difference between God-made morality and “evolution made…reason made” is that in the one case it is potent, it is administered, it includes justice, it is premised upon an eternal character, while in the other case it is an urge upon which you can act or not act upon it and the only consequences are survival or lack thereof (at most). It is falsely dichotomous to distinguish between a God-made moral law and making hard decisions.

    As for the appeal to the “jot or tittle” it is of the utmost important that Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law, He fulfilled “jot or tittle” of the Old Testament. I would agree, in part, about the difficulty in understanding certain Biblical text as we are far removed grammatically, historically and culturally from much of it and do our best to reconstruct. Yet, what you, and Emo Phillips, do not seem to consider is that the Nicene Creed is agreed upon by Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and the Orthodox Church—thus, the overwhelming majority by a long shot of Christians all over the planed agree on essentials.

    As for 1st Corinthians ch. 14, I will assume that by now you had occasion to read the explanation. If not, please do being it up again and I will deal with it next time.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  46. Let us first note that no atheist condemnation of the Bible is the least bit relevant in that it holds no weight whatsoever since the only thing upon which the atheist bases their condemnation is that they have a personal preference to consider something condemnable. Ask them why and they will assert another personal preference. Ask them why and they will merely pile assertion upon assertion. Condemnation discredits atheism and atheism discredits condemnation.
    Whereas the xian bases his "condemnation and justifications" on "gods' preference".

    What does god base his condemnations on? Personal preference.

    Mariano isn't being fully honest here with that argument. It's not just "personal preference" but consequences both the the people involved and society as a whole. He also disregards things like empathy.

    Is it perfect, no, but we are working on it, and it's a fair sight better than the OT and in some cases, the NT laws!

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  47. Shalom Reynold,
    You are merely piling assertion upon assertion upon assertion such as the authoritative claim that we should base condemnation upon consequences, empathy, etc.
    Why?
    Every condemnation presupposes a moral doctrine of some kind and basing morality on evolution, nature, personal preferences, the personal preferences of many people, what you subjectively consider to be good or bad consequences, or what you subjectively choose to feel empathetic about are ways to excuse a worldview so devoid of meaning that it cannot even absolutely, ontologically, condemn anything at all.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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