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Sat Dec 20, 2014, 10:24 AM

Why Is Rape at the Origin of Most Religion?


Stories like the Virgin Birth lack freely given female consent. Why don’t they bother us more?


Powerful gods and demi-gods impregnating human women—it’s a common theme in the history of religion, and it’s more than a little rapey.

-Zeus comes to Danae in the form of a golden shower, cutting “the knot of intact virginity” and leaving her pregnant with the Greek hero, Perseus.

-Jupiter forcibly overcomes Europa by transforming himself into a white bull and abducting her. He imprisons her on the Isle of Crete, over time fathering three children.

-Pan copulates with a shepherdess to produce Hermes.

-The legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus are conceived when the Roman god Mars impregnates Rea Silvia, a vestal virgin.

-Helen of Troy, the rare female offspring of a god-human mating, is produced when Zeus takes the form of a swan to get access to Leda.

-In some accounts Alexander the Great and the Emperor Augustus are sowed by gods in the form of serpents, by Phoebus and Jupiter respectively.

-Though the earliest Christians had a competing story, in the Gospel of Luke, the Virgin Mary gets pregnant when the spirit of the Lord comes upon her and the power of the Most High overshadows her.

-The earliest accounts of Zoroaster’s birth have him born of a human father and mother, much like Jesus,; but in later accounts his mother is pierced by a shaft of divine light.

-The Hindu god Shiva has sex with the human woman Madhura, who has come to worship him while his wife Parvathi is away. Parvathi turns Madhura into a frog, but after 12 years in a well she regains human form and gives birth to Indrajit.

-The Buddha’s mother Maya finds herself pregnant after being entered from the side by a god in a dream.


The impregnation process may be a “ravishing” or seduction or some kind of titillating but nonsexual procreative penetration. The story may come from an Eastern or Western religious tradition, pagan or Christian. But these encounters between beautiful young women and gods have one thing in common. None of them has freely given female consent as a part of the narrative. (Luke’s Mary assents after being not asked but told by a powerful supernatural being what is going to happen to her, “Behold the bond slave of the Lord: be it done to me . . .”)

Who needs consent, freely given? If he’s a god, she’s got to want it, right? That is how the stories play out.

Whether or not the delectable young thing puts up a protest, whether or not seduction requires deception, whether or not the woman already has a husband or love, whether or not she is physically forced, the basic assumption is that the union between a god and a woman is overwhelming in an orgasmic way, not a bloody, head-bashed-against-the-ground kind of way. And afterwards? Well, what woman wouldn’t want to be pregnant with the son or daughter of a god?

--snip--

The miraculous conception stories I listed may have roots in pre-history, in early religions centered on star worship and the agricultural cycle, but they emerged in modern form during the Iron Age. By this time in history, most women were chattel. Like children, livestock and slaves, they were literally possessions of men, and their primary economic and spiritual value lay in their ability to produce purebred offspring of known lineage. The men at the top owned concubines and harams, and virgin females were counted among the spoils of war. (See, for example, the Old Testament story of the virgin Midianites in which Yahweh commands the Israelites to kill the used women but keep the virgin girls for themselves.)

--snip--

This is the context for the miraculous conception stories, and in this context, the consent of a woman is irrelevant. Within a society that treats female sexuality as a male possession, the only consent that can be violated is the consent of a woman’s owner, the man with the rights to her reproductive capacity—typically her father, fiancé, or husband. Many Christians are surprised when told that nowhere in the Bible, either Old Testament or New, does any writer say that a woman’s consent is necessary or even desirable before sex.

http://www.alternet.org/belief/why-rape-origin-most-religion?paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark

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Reply Why Is Rape at the Origin of Most Religion? (Original post)
cleanhippie Dec 2014 OP
rug Dec 2014 #1
edhopper Dec 2014 #6
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #9
cleanhippie Dec 2014 #10
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #14
cleanhippie Dec 2014 #18
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #19
cleanhippie Dec 2014 #21
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #22
cleanhippie Dec 2014 #26
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #27
cleanhippie Dec 2014 #29
EvilAL Dec 2014 #79
Mariana Dec 2014 #48
rug Dec 2014 #28
rug Dec 2014 #16
Cartoonist Dec 2014 #38
rug Dec 2014 #44
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rug Dec 2014 #57
okasha Dec 2014 #50
rug Dec 2014 #58
Jim__ Dec 2014 #68
okasha Dec 2014 #70
AtheistCrusader Dec 2014 #62
rug Dec 2014 #65
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okasha Dec 2014 #111
AtheistCrusader Dec 2014 #113
okasha Dec 2014 #114
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okasha Dec 2014 #119
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Lordquinton Dec 2014 #129
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hrmjustin Dec 2014 #15
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cleanhippie Dec 2014 #30
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okasha Dec 2014 #55
AtheistCrusader Dec 2014 #101
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #102
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hrmjustin Dec 2014 #104
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cleanhippie Dec 2014 #24
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cleanhippie Dec 2014 #36
rug Dec 2014 #45
okasha Dec 2014 #52
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cleanhippie Dec 2014 #7
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cleanhippie Dec 2014 #37
truebluegreen Dec 2014 #39
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goldent Dec 2014 #40
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #42
okasha Dec 2014 #64
niyad Dec 2014 #43
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okasha Dec 2014 #51
Arugula Latte Dec 2014 #54
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cleanhippie Dec 2014 #78
trotsky Dec 2014 #107
CrispyQ Dec 2014 #59
Jappleseed Dec 2014 #61
kwassa Dec 2014 #72
okasha Dec 2014 #112
Warren Stupidity Dec 2014 #116
okasha Dec 2014 #118
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rug Dec 2014 #127
Alittleliberal Dec 2014 #126
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kwassa Dec 2014 #128
Warren Stupidity Dec 2014 #130
kwassa Dec 2014 #131
unrepentant progress Dec 2014 #121
Warren Stupidity Dec 2014 #122
okasha Dec 2014 #124

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 10:34 AM

1. The author's repeating an ignorant statement about the Annunciation.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:08 AM

6. Because we can only read it

as certain believers see it?

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:14 AM

9. Yeah I don't get that either.

 

I don't interpet it as a rape.

Edit i don't buy this version of this story so that is why i don't think it is rape.

If it happened like this then the op would have a point.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:17 AM

10. Why not? Do you see it as somehow "legitimate"?

Why don't you see the forcible impregnation of a woman without her consent as rape?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:20 AM

14. I am a Rape Survivor Sir!

 

My point was that i don't interpet his overshadowing her as rape. In the story she said yes to the angel!

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:23 AM

18. I'm sorry that happened to you. Still doesn't explain how you can justify this.

i don't interpet his overshadowing her as rape. In the story she said yes to the angel!



"overshadowing" her? The guy who works for the guy that raped her said that the said she wanted it? THAT'S your justification?

What the fuck, man?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:25 AM

19. IBecause i don't believe the version your op states above.

 

I believe the official version. If a ghost did it against her eill then you would have a point.

But i don't buy that version.

Are we clear now?

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:27 AM

21. "I believe the official version"




Wow, just wow.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:28 AM

22. i am upset i think it is better I not speak to you now.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:37 AM

26. You should be upset, with yourself.

1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (1:30-31) "The angel said ... thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."
1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (1:34) "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" Just a few verses earlier (1:17-20), Zacharias is struck dumb for doubting his wife's angel-assisted pregnancy. Why wasn't Mary punished for her disbelief?
Was Joseph the father of Jesus?

(1:35) "The angel ... said ... The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Ghost will come on her and she'll be covered by the power of God, so "the holy thing" that she delivers will be the Son of God.


Not once is she asked. Not once does she give consent.


Unless one says "well, she never said no..." I fail to see how this can be anything but rape.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:38 AM

27. With myself? are you telling me I approve of rape?

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:42 AM

29. I can't say if you do, I would certainly hope you dont.

But you are somehow trying to rationalize and justify what appears to be rape when it comes to this story.

"I believe the official version" you said.

Reading the account, no where does she give consent, yet you try to see that she was "overshadowed" (I still don't know what that means) and not raped.

How can you justify a woman being impregnated without her consent as anything but rape?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 07:01 AM

79. No penis penetration?

Just a magical insertion of a god into the womb? fucked if I know.. heh

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:55 PM

48. The angel said unto her, THOU SHALT.

You're absolutely right. She was not asked. The angel TOLD her what was going to happen - according to the official story.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:42 AM

28. Are you in the habit of rolling around the floor laughing after triggering a rape victim?

 



And editing out your rofl smiley only confirms it.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:21 AM

16. If you read the passage there was no "forcible impregnation".

 

Do you have even a glimmer of what "fiat voluntas tua" means?

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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:11 PM

38. Do you?

Does it mean the same thing when a king or a god or an angel says, "This is what I will." I see no choice but to submit. That is not consent. It is like having a gun pointed at one's head. Where is the choice in that? Maybe Mary had heard the story of Lot's wife and decided it was better to go along to get along. Had they given Mary a choice, and she replied, "fiat voluntas tua" then that would be consent. But they didn't do that.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:03 PM

44. Clearly better than you.

 

I see more projection in that statement than fact. You should have paid more attention during Catechism.

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Response to rug (Reply #44)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:14 PM

46. We were only taught the official version.

I learned to question the "official version" as I got older. It's called critical thinking. You aughta try it. It can be liberating.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #46)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 05:05 PM

57. I do it all the time. No wonder people get upset.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:57 PM

50. No, he doesn't.

There's a long-running joke among linguists to the effect that Greek has no word for "yes," and Irish has no word for "no," and what that tells us about their cultures.

Koine Greek has instead three commonly used ways to denote agreement or consent:

The first is "By Zeus!". Does anyone need an explanation why Luke would not attribute this phrase to a devout Jew?

The second method repeats the question in declarative form. "Mary, do you want to be the mother of the Messiah?" "I want to be the mother of the Messiah."

The third, in modern English, translates as You said it." or "What you said." This is the form Luke uses in the Annunciation narrative. Jerome and
the King James translators render it more
elegantly, but it is unmistakeable consent.

Justin is correct. The response to him is disgusting.


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Response to okasha (Reply #50)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 05:07 PM

58. Interesting to know.

 

And that response was exceedingly disgusting.

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Response to okasha (Reply #50)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:37 PM

68. So, in the language of the Bible, she did consent.

Translation is difficult. Reading translated text can lead to misunderstanding. Thanks for your clarification.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #68)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:54 PM

70. You're welcome.

She did. Translation can be tricky, more so when changes occur over time and distance. A fundamentalist once assured me that Jesus and his disciples ate American-style corn on the cob, not realizing that "corn" in the KJV is Brit for "grain."

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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 06:06 PM

62. Yeah, I do.

It means you're ok with her being god's property, for him to dispose of as he pleases, without consideration for her consent.

Nice of you to bring it up.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #62)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:24 PM

65. No, you don't.

 

Now if you want to imagine all sorts of bullshit because it suits your predispositions, that's up to you.

But don't once say I'm "ok" with whatever you dredge up from your mind.

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Response to rug (Reply #65)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:59 PM

73. I don't know what to tell you. I've just got this book to go by.

Looks pretty bad to me. Ambiguous consent like David ordering Bathsheba to be brought before her. Did she actually consent? Or was this 'yeah, ok, just don't chop off my head'?

(Bathsheba being allegedly one of Jesus's ancestors...)

I also find it fascinating that you are bothering to defend a psychopath that murdered David's son by way of an affair with, or rape of Bathsheba, as punishment for the liason.

Sucks to be a bastard I guess.

But hey, 'god is just' right?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #73)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 12:07 AM

74. This post is like responding to Harris' latest antics by talking about Bertrand Russell.

 

It's only a matter of time before the subject moves to the Kardashians.

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Response to rug (Reply #74)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 12:13 AM

75. Except, i called out the problem; ambiguous consent.

David, being in a similar position of overwhelming power. He sent his guards/servants to fetch her. God sent his angel to inform mary. There was no 'ask'. She was TOLD.

God killing David's illegitimate son as punishment for conceiving it, is most certainly a tangent. Just pointing out the biblical character of god is a bloody-minded psychopath.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #75)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 12:20 AM

76. You misstated the passage at hand.

 

Whether you like it or not, read okasha's post on the Koine Greek.

You're really getting swept up with sewage here.

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Response to rug (Reply #76)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 12:51 AM

77. Not in the slightest.

I said she was told. She was. You even posted the entire passage for everyone to see. She might as well have said nothing at all. The angel doesn't ask her anything. He answers a clarifying question, that is all.

Change the roles. Mary is an intern with no current external job prospects. 'God' is the CEO. CEO informs her he is going to fuck her.

Abuse of power? Most companies have the good sense to forbid this sort of imbalance in power for employee relations, because it is impossible to discern if even 'consent' is truly consent, or duress. Make the hypothetical CEO an actual, real, supernatural omnipotent god, and the balance of power and question of consent/duress is even worse.

Her response is, to me, telling. 'your handmaid'. Perhaps my corporate background changes the tone for me, but that looks really bad. There should have been an angel from Human Resources flipping the fuck out right about then.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #77)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:34 PM

97. I take it you're suggesting she acquiesced.

 

We're dealing with linguistics and translations here.

I took it you're looking for words suggesting something like a modern law Common Law contract, offer acceptance and consideration.

The event described is nothing like that. It's nothing like corporate HR standards or Monica Lewinsky's blue dress either.

All that follows, including The Magnificat, show otherwise.

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Response to rug (Reply #97)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:57 PM

100. I agree, not like Lewinsky at all.

Much, much worse. Monica may have had multiple levels of safety/comfort in physical security/justice available to her if she said 'no'. What could someone do, to refuse a god that is not *asking*?

That's the major standout in the passage you cited (via the translation you selected). She is not asked. She is told. She asks a clarifying question and it is answered. She expresses some enthusiasm (colored with the 'handmaid' comment, which I take a 'servant', not consenting partner view of.)

Expressing some willingness after the declaration is interesting, but as far as I'm concerned, power was already exercised over her when she was *informed* that this would happen and why and by whom.

I don't see any reference anywhere to god or anyone on his behalf asking her if she consented.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #100)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:53 PM

106. You're really missing what's going on here.

 

Saying what will happen is not saying, "or else". Since this story concerns the super-natural, you're butting up against the notion of omniscience versus predestination.

In a nutshell, saying something will happen is not the same as saying something must happen. It's clear from what happened before and after this passage that this required her consent and her choice. The messenger knew what that choice was, or should I say would be. (There is no time in eternity, which is after all what this passage is about.)

okasha made a couple of excellent linguistic points about the language used here. If you seriously want to discuss this, I would put some specific questions to her about why you're not finding the specific (English, with contemporary American meaning) words you're looking for.

But, as this is beginning to sound like a new employee orientation talk on sexual harassment, I would check with her before we go around any more circles.

In the meantime, you can read this:

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/12/let-it-be-marys-radical-declaration-of-consent/266616/

There's loads of stuff out there.

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Response to rug (Reply #106)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 03:15 PM

108. Well, or else is an implicit threat.

"Saying what will happen is not saying, "or else"."

So I shouldn't have said that, but there is no alternative here. The Atlantic article misses the mark, though there are two fair points made: 1. No indication of physical rape. This is more akin to somehow magically making someone a surrogate, without any physical contact. So 'rape' may not apply, depending on the nature of the overshadowing spirit thing. 2. Mary may not yet be pregnant when the angel informs her what will be. Someone downthread made the claim that she was.

I think the original point stands, and the atlantic article is apologia that dances around the actual issue. No one asks Mary anything. She is told.

She ventures willingness to be a servant (handmaid)in this matter, but again, that is not necessarily informed consent.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #108)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 03:17 PM

109. I think the Atlantic essay hits the nail on the head in its last sentence:

 

As it turns out, the Annunciation offers an invitation to Mary to give a very modern turn to a very pre-modern event: verbal consent.

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Response to rug (Reply #109)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 03:21 PM

110. I don't know what language that second-hand account was written in originally, I suspect Greek but

the translation is in no way an invitation in any terms I understand. It is a declarative statement, or a prediction, not an ask/invitation.



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Response to rug (Reply #76)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 10:07 AM

85. My points not worthy of a response?

Fascinating.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #85)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 12:29 PM

88. No.

 

Too canned.

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Response to rug (Reply #88)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:20 PM

89. Pray tell the source then?

Because that was off the top of my head. In fact, I've never heard anyone make that argument before.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #89)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:23 PM

90. I can't put my finger on it but I'm sure I've heard "god is a bloody-minded psychopath"

 

somewhere, sometime.

Could it have been in here?

Nah.

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Response to rug (Reply #90)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:25 PM

93. That is mine, I've stated it several times.

I've heard hitchens say something similar, but, I've never heard hitchens talk about the illegitimate son of David, and god killing that 7 day old child as punishment to David for his indiscretions.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:26 PM

94. Ok, I'll give you full credit for that part then.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #94)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:28 PM

96. So, could you address post 77, now that we've come to an agreement on that?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #96)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:34 PM

98. Done.

 

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 04:57 PM

111. David's "indiscretions" included the murder of Uriah to protect Bathsheba.

It's not about David's zipper (or Iron Age equivalent) problem. It's about a life for a life.

And no, I don't approve of punishing a child for a parent's transgression.

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Response to okasha (Reply #111)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 05:54 PM

113. Do you approve of a god that would do such a thing?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #113)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 05:59 PM

114. Did you miss my last sentence?

Obviously not.

Neither do I approve of the intellectual laziness that leads some readers to assume that the tribal god of the Davidic line is identical to the vision that emerges among the Jewish prophets with the Isaiahs and is maintained through the teachings of Rabbi Jesus in the New Testament.

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Response to okasha (Reply #114)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:11 PM

117. That sentence disapproved of what appeared to be an abstract concept.

I wanted to make sure we were talking about the actual, specific, character of god as captured in one branch of the Abrahamic tradition's source documents.

(I disagree that it is 'intellectual laziness' to assume they are the same characters, in fact, god insists in same said documents to BE one and only one.)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #117)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:13 PM

119. Well, if you're going on the premise that the scriptures are the actual word of God,

that's so.

If you're not, it isn't.

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Response to okasha (Reply #119)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:27 PM

123. Well, the various accounts of Mary's exchange are

purported to be the literal second-hand account of witnesses or people who spoke to witnesses of an actual event.

Of course, I consider that a lot less reliable than anyone can possibly imagine, but that's what it's sold as.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #123)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:43 PM

125. Early tradition claims that Luke drew his account from statements by Mary herself.

Given that this is unlikely to be true, bear in mind that even recognized and academically respected first century CE historians saw nothing wrong with inventing dialogue for historical figures. The annunciation story comes from L, a source and/or document not shared with any of the other evangelists. Q, the "sayings gospel," can be largely reconstructed from Luke and Matthew, and information about its language inferred. There's no way to do that with L, or to determine who that was or whose viewpoint it presented.

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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:35 PM

67. There was also no sex.

That was kind of the whole point of the thing - If Jesus was supposed to be the perfect, sinless son of God, supposedly he would have been conceived without the "sin" of sex. So even if one believes Mary was made pregnant magically by God (with or without consent), there wasn't any sex. No penetration. The usual definition of rape is nonconsensual sex involving penetration. If it's a case of magical nonconsensual impregnation without penetration or sex of any kind, is it still rape?

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #67)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:52 PM

69. Good point.

 

Technically, it was a noncarnal incarnation.

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Response to rug (Reply #69)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 07:04 AM

80. Technically, she had no choice.

So....

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Response to EvilAL (Reply #80)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 07:29 AM

81. Pay attention.

 

That canard's been debunked throughout this thread.

If you need help, I'll point you to the posts.

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Response to rug (Reply #81)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 07:43 AM

82. I see it both ways here

it seems to be interpretation. I'd assume that god would know she'd say yes anyway, he's god right, and who is she to deny god wanting to use her womb be born as a human. I still say she had no choice, or the choice was already made for her, by god.

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Response to EvilAL (Reply #82)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 08:03 AM

83. This is not the language of rape.

 

Luke 1

The Canticle of Mary.

46 And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
48 For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
51 He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
53 The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
55 according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


Velveteen Ocelot and okasha had it right downthread.

It never fails to amaze me how difficult it is for people to let go of their beliefs.


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Response to rug (Reply #83)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 10:02 AM

84. I'm sure she felt special about it

and that it may have made her happy that her god chose her. Didn't hurt her ego either that she figured everyone would love her forever. Good enough, I'll agree and say it wasn't rape as we define it when only humans are involved. I'm gonna cut out of this thread, rape-talk is depressing.

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Response to rug (Reply #83)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 10:11 AM

86. Pretend God is a CEO, and Mary an intern. Re-run the scenario in your head.

Is that consent?

Or a king and a serving wench. You name it.
There is nothing about peers, each consenting to the other, to have a child in that passage.

Mary appears to have had as much choice in the matter, as our AKC Labrador had when we bred her.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #86)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 12:28 PM

87. That's a perfect analogy.

 

21st century corporate sexual harassment to first century Judea.

Does PeTA know about your abetting canine rape?

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Response to rug (Reply #87)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:23 PM

91. I'm glad you agree on the analogy.

Because, as I'm sure you understood, the idea was to convey a lack of consent, or presence of ambiguous consent. I think it maps rather well, only stronger, because a CEO has limits, a supposedly omnipotent god does not.

I imagine the balance of power is somewhat similar to the dog breeding program, treating a living thing as property to be disposed of at a whim. (We no longer participate in AKC breeding programs, and in fact, do rescue ops now. It was a moral question that had not been raised at the time.)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #91)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:25 PM

92. I couldn't agree more.

 

It' so . . . . perfect!

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Response to rug (Reply #92)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:27 PM

95. Hmm.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #95)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:38 PM

99. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

 

That's a funny clip.



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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #67)

Wed Dec 24, 2014, 12:58 AM

129. This whole business just went from creepy to outright disgusting

Declaring sex a sin, and then arguing the definition of rape? Is anyone actually thinking about what they are saying here? Or is the urge to defend imaginary beings just that great?

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:20 AM

13. Could you understand

if others did?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:20 AM

15. I think it is a stretch.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:23 AM

17. Was Mary asked if she wanted to conceive Jesus?

or was she just told she was already pregnant?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:30 AM

23. In my bible it says you will concieve.

 

And she said let it be done unto me according to his will.

Interpet it how you will.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:47 AM

30. "The angel said ... thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son,"

Thats not asking, thats telling.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:28 PM

53. And there's also Luke 1:46-55, the Magnificat,

in which she sounds pretty positive about the whole thing...

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #53)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:48 PM

55. Enthusiastc, if you ask me.

"...my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me...
All generations shall call me blessed."

Something that's frequently passed over is a verse I'm.ediately following the annunciation narrative. We're told that "Mary arose in those days.." to go to Jerusalem to visit Elizabeth.". The Greek says, "and Mary got up...". It implies that she simply and immediately set off for Jerusalem, likely on foot.

Luke's Mary has a spine. She's not meek, and she's nobody's pushover.

I like that about her.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:00 PM

101. I interpret that as telling, not asking.

You will. Not 'would you?'.

If a meatbag CEO did this to another person, he'd be in deep shit. Why is it ok for an omnipotent god?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #101)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:01 PM

102. I am sorry but I am not discussing this again.

 

It got me upset the other day.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #102)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:03 PM

103. Did you ask yourself *why* it upset you?

I'd be upset if I thought it had actually occurred. (I do not)

I am upset that people are apparently missing this connotation in the texts, in the story as presented by people who fervently believed it. I can't tell if it's a blind spot, or willful denial predicated on the next logical question if it is accepted as true.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #103)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:04 PM

104. I am not discussing this.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #104)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:08 PM

105. Ok. I would ask one thing though.

When you get time/interest sometime down the road, I would ask you to reflect on the balance of power between the character of Mary, and the character of God, and the manner of that exchange, was she asked, or was she told.

Introspection is a lot more productive and reliable, than arguing with some faceless name on the internet, I have found.

Obviously I take a negative view of it, but tell you what, I will review the text in multiple translations later, after a cooling off period, as well as the later texts that Okasha and co. have referenced here, and see if maybe I missed something.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:35 AM

24. Reading Luke, I have to conclude that she was told, not asked.

1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (1:30-31) "The angel said ... thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."
1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (1:34) "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" Just a few verses earlier (1:17-20), Zacharias is struck dumb for doubting his wife's angel-assisted pregnancy. Why wasn't Mary punished for her disbelief?
Was Joseph the father of Jesus?

(1:35) "The angel ... said ... The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Ghost will come on her and she'll be covered by the power of God, so "the holy thing" that she delivers will be the Son of God.



I see no consent, no asking if this is what she wants.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:04 PM

41. It's more like a rape fantasy

Even if you take the gospels at face value, they are not a testament of Mary, but rather the alleged testaments of two of the apostles written, at best, decades after the apostles would have been long dead by anonymous sources in the 3rd person. The stories also contradict Paul, who makes no mention of a divine forced birth and states Jesus was the product of a lawful union.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 10:48 AM

2. Very good question...

Seems to go to the heart of the matter from sex through pregnancy and a woman's rights to her own body, and how the religious are constantly attempting to push women back down into a helpless place. Keep the little woman under the thumb of a man from birth til death. It's gawds will etc. There is no BAD rape right?!

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Response to haikugal (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 10:58 AM

3. I think that's part of it. Unfortunately, apologists don't want to discuss this issue

and instead try to wave it away. See post #1 for an example.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:04 AM

4. Yes, I noticed that...

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:12 AM

8. Stating facts is not waving anything away.

 

Calling the Annunciation "rape" is ludicrous. Compare the actual story of the Annunciation to the author's dishonest description. A dishonest description you blithely reposted.

There is something quite skeevy about using rape to make some vague antireligion comment.

Now, if you had any real interest in discussion, you would have actually discussed the point instead of making passive-aggressive comments to third partiers.

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Response to rug (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:26 AM

20. When was Mary asked if she wanted to conceive?

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.


Seems it was done to her and then she was told about it. What do you call that?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:35 AM

25. This is the full passage:

 

Announcement of the Birth of Jesus.

26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.
32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,* and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”p
34 But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”*
35 And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived* a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
37 for nothing will be impossible for God.”
38 Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.


The fiat, the consent, that this will occur is in verse 38.

Construing this passage as rape requires the services of a dozen chiropractors.

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Response to rug (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:52 AM

31. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Considering that a handmaid is a female servant, servants weren't likely to say "no" to their masters. She had no choice, she was told this was going to happen.

I'm sure there are many chiropractors in your area, make an appointment.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:54 AM

32. Give it up. Thinking out loud while looking over your shoulder is hardly discussion.

 

Go back to your edits and your alerts.

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Response to rug (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:57 AM

33. Your inability to articulate anything beyond a personal attack is just sad.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:00 PM

34. Ah, now what is that you just said? Could it be a personal attack?

 



It's fortunate irony is not tangible because there'd be no room left in here to post.

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Response to rug (Reply #34)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:01 PM

36. Let me know when you are ready to discuss the topic at hand.

For some reason, the phrase "A cold day in hell" comes to mind.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #36)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:10 PM

45. I haven't heard any from you.

 

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Response to edhopper (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:27 PM

52. I'd call that a willful misreading.

The angel declares "thou shalt conceive (future tense) not "thou hast conceived."

Mary then asks for information, pointing out, reasonably, that she's not sexually active. "How shall this be....?"

The angel answers her question. "This is how that will happen...".

Mary consents:"You have said."

And what I call the OP's gloating over a rape fantasy is "nauseating."

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:23 PM

47. Rape wasn't a crime at the time

So I suppose it really boils down to....

A) you want to consider the bible historical rather than mythological

and...

B) you want to consider the act with a contemporary conscience rather than a historical one

If both A and B are true, then it's hard to imagine this as anything but rape. Jewish females were routinely betrothed at 12-15, so the chances that Mary was an adult female are quite remote. So even if you were able to twist yourself into believing she was anything near the age of a person able to give what is today regarded as legal consent, her ability to withhold such consent would have been comparable to that of a slave. She even qualifies her "consent" as that of a subservient subject of a divine master.

But let's say one didn't want to agree to both A and B. That would require one to acquiesce the bible is mythology, and/or a piss-poor contemporary moral compass. Personally I go with both.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:57 PM

56. I can't see post number 1.

 

However several apologists have chimed in with:

"no it isn't"
and
""

That's a pretty fair sampling of dialog on belief from the believers here.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #56)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 05:30 PM

60. Since you can't see it, It looks like you're relying on your imagination,

 

not what is plain to see.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #56)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:33 PM

66. It's this

"The author's repeating an ignorant statement about the Annunciation."

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:07 AM

5. seems to me

that attitude is alive today in many of the major religions.

Woman as subservient or property is alive and well.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:11 AM

7. Especially in the Abrahamic religions, women are directed to be subservient to their men.

It's a core part of the teachings and integral to the structure of the system.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:18 AM

12. That is true

though I don't know enough about other religions like Hindu and Shinto to say about others. Though parts of those societies are not female friendly either.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:18 AM

11. I had not considered this before.

Fascinating consistency, isn't it? That pattern indicates a need in the human psyche, since it appears so frequently.

I was aware of the many examples in polytheistic religions, of course, but hadn't considered the implications when considering the Christian mythology. I had always focused on the "dying and reviving god" aspect of the Christ mythology, but hadn't actually considered the "immaculate conception" as a non-consensual fertilization, though it most certainly is.

I'll bookmark that for a full read later. Thanks for posting.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:01 PM

35. I think we can all agree on one thing.

Whether Mary was raped or gave consent, Joseph is the most famous cuckold in history.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:02 PM

37. And BOOM goes the dynamite!

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:24 PM

39. Weellllll, I have to take issue with the word "history." nt

 

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:16 PM

49. But he gave "consent" so it's all good

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:54 PM

40. Some articles are too far-fetched even for The Onion.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:22 PM

42. Not all of those are rape

In the cases of Pan, Romulus & Remus, Alexander and Augustus, we're not told whether the mother consented or not. In the case of Zoroaster, it depends on which version of teh story you go with. I suspect that's due to the times and places they appeared in just not caring about female consent (or, at least, not in the way we do today). We can't simply assume lack of consent in these cases, any more than we can assume consent.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 06:33 PM

64. The article's author is wrong about tbe Buddha's mother, too.

Queen Maya has a prophetic dream in which she sees a white elephant holding a white lotus blossom circles her three times, then enter her womb as if it were an unborn child. There is no suggestion that the Buddha's father was anyone but the queen's mortal husband, or that his conception was the result of anything but normal sexual activity.

Nor were Romulus and Remus, or Alexander or Augustus the origin of any religion. Roman and Greek religion were both well-developed before the establishment of their minor cults.


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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:37 PM

43. it certainly is a theme in all the patriarchal religions.

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Response to niyad (Reply #43)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 06:11 PM

63. Hallelujah, we have a winner

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:03 PM

51. Simplest answer: It isn't.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:33 PM

54. Summary of thread: "We don't want it to be called rape, so it isn't rape, so stop calling it that!"

 

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #54)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 09:14 PM

71. Summary of thread: Circulating internet bullshit meets existing scholarship.

 

Failed mockery deployed to disguise the resulting mess.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #54)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:03 AM

78. Pretty much.

That and "how dare you even say such a thing!"

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #54)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:57 PM

107. Yup, you got it. n/t

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 05:07 PM

59. Because God was created by man to control woman. -nt

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 05:31 PM

61. It is about control of women.

 

Religion is all about empowering some and controlling others.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:18 PM

72. Cleanhippie's War on Christmas continues!

Nothing brings out the attacks and empty arguments from him like impending Christian holidays.

The pattern is clear.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #72)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 05:03 PM

112. And then there's the zombie crap at Easter.

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Response to okasha (Reply #112)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:07 PM

116. And why not? Jesus Christ is a Zombie God.

 

You get up after you die and start walking around, you are a zombie. If you are also a god, you are a zombie god.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #116)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:11 PM

118. Not quite, Warren.

If you can't manage to discuss transhumanism in a thread you started yourself, you're not likely to do very well with Christian theology.

But here's a start: read Paul.

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Response to okasha (Reply #118)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:14 PM

120. Well I'll give you the "feeding on brains" part. There is no evidence that Jesus did that

 

while walking dead. Of course there is no evidence he did anything anyway so "eating brains" is pretty much in the same category as "was crucified".

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #120)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 08:34 PM

127. Looks like you haven't the slightest idea what transfiguration is.

 

So, what's your view of transhumanism?

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Response to okasha (Reply #118)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 07:08 PM

126. Read Harry Potter

I'm a wizard I swear.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #72)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:05 PM

115. There is a forum where never is heard a disparaging word

 

and mods are quite busy all day. This is not that forum.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #115)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 11:10 PM

128. That's not the point of my comment. But, you know this.

The point is quite obvious.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #128)

Wed Dec 24, 2014, 08:39 AM

130. Yes your point was not to discuss the message but to attack the messenger.

 

I got your point. My point was there is a safe haven where only positive expressions of faithiest sentiments can be expressed, and that this is not that forum, so your personal attack was both rude and unwarranted.

Bless you.

Have a nice day.

Cheers.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #130)

Wed Dec 24, 2014, 01:25 PM

131. The message is debunked every Christmas and Easter when the messenger posts it again.

Why attack the same worthless message over and over again? This has already been done, repeatedly, and already done in this thread.

Since you did NOT get my point, let me make it very, very clear for you.

Cleanhippie, in my humble opinion, shows his extreme personal pettiness towards people of Christian belief by attacking their belief at important Christian holidays. He makes a point of doing this over and over. He could do this at other times, but makes a point of it at these Christian holidays.

Clear enough? Or do I need to break it down further for you?

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:22 PM

121. Pretty sure rape predates religion

And humans.

But for what it's worth, in early societies rape is usually tied to slavery which is tied to the invention of ritualized debt. To the extent that religion enters into it, it's a retcon of existing power structures onto folklore.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #121)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:24 PM

122. I don't think the claim is that religion causes rape.

 

The question is why there appears to be a lot of rape or rape like events in religious mythology.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #121)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 06:32 PM

124. Agreed.

In early patriarchal societies, it's also tied into the idea of women and children as tangible (and fungible) wealth.

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