Why Biblical rape law is just and good
A lot of you have mentioned the Biblical rape law as a reason not to believe Christianity, or a reason not to take the Bible seriously. Here is my rationale for why the Biblical rape law makes sense.
Deuteronomy 22:25: "But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die."
Deuteronomy 22:28: "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."
We need to start with the proposition that modern rape laws in the United States are broken. Most rapes and sexual assaults are unreported. Only 10-20% of defendants are convicted. The average sentence for those convicted is 3-5 years. Review of DNA evidence shows that ONE THIRD of men convicted of rape are wrongfully accused. The reasons for false accusations should be fairly obvious. Moreover, the nature of the crime means that witnesses and evidence make it naturally hard, if not impossible, for fact-finders to make accurate determinations in all but rare or violent instances of rape. One also needs to start with the proposition that the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for rape. I have absolutely no problem with the death penalty for forcible rape. This one squares with my reason and sense of justice. Rape ruins a person's life, so the rapist's live should be ruined in return. One must also recognize that the law DOES NOT REQUIRE THE PARTIES TO COHABITATE. The woman would be free to live where ever she wants, mostly likely with her father. The law would then have the effect of making the rapist a virtual eunuch, ON PENALTY OF DEATH. Since he would be legally married, if he ever had sex with another woman for the rest of his life, he would be executed for adultery. It gets worse for the alleged rapist of the single woman. If that single woman decided not to cohabitate with him, that would be sending a VERY clear signal to the community that she was the injured party. So her father, her brothers, and other interested men in the community, such as myself, would forthwith go and beat the snot out of the rapist, and they would enjoy the exercise. If the rapist managed to survive or elude them, he would be forced to flee to one of the cities of refuge set up in the Law and be exiled for the rest of his life. If he owned real and personal property, I'm sure the city authorities would find a way for the victim’s family to buy the property at reduced or no price. Beating, exile, and forfeiture would be significant punishments.
I believe this mandatory marriage law would be a VERY significant deterrence. In fact, it would be so significant that if implemented in the United States, a single instance of rape would be so rare and so shocking that it would make national news. So would the law make sense, even though a few single women annually would be on the wrong end of the stick? Yes, absolutely. Preventing 10-20 women in the United States annually from getting married in a nation of 300,000,000 is unquestionably better than having 1/4 women be sexually assaulted at some point in their life, as is the case now.
Of the 31102 verses in the Bible, I'm down to only two verses that I have trouble with. The Biblical rape law troubled me for 15 years, but it troubles me no longer.
True Blue, Christian Forums 69 Comments
[6/5/2008 6:52:39 AM]
Fundie Index: 11
Submitted By: JustinGG