Skewed View of “The World”

by Calulu cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn’t Rape

Vaughn Ohlman tried his hand at writing Bible parody to try and belabor his most beloved of points – that children must always trust their father, or in this case the father’s servant, to pick the right spouse for them without taking into consideration concerns such as compatibility, sexual chemistry or even something as simple as common interests.

The parody falls flat on many different points but for me there were two huge glaring things that stood out. I’m not even going to go with his point that slavery is a good thing. Ain’t enough words or time for that one!

First, this is the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah we’re speaking of, a marriage that ends with Rebekah deceiving her husband at the very ending of his life by having tricked him into blessing the second son. She was pissed off with Laban because he married two Hittite women. I understand not being happy with the choice of your relative but who does that to their son?  Some cold-hearted woman playing favorites among her children, some role model there.

Isaac wasn’t the most honorable guy either, he pretended his wife was his sister because he was afraid of getting his ass kicked in the land of the Philistines. Both Rebekah and Isaac were due some universal reciprocity or karma by their own actions. They both were deceitful.

Yes, Von, universal reciprocity is a real thing. I’ve heard it preached from many pulpits.

Going back to when Isaac and Rebekah married it states quite plainly that she has to give consent to marry Isaac.

Genesis 24:8  If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.”

Genesis 24:54-60  When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”
55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.”
56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

Regardless of Von’s wishful thinking the Bible clearly demonstrates that there is a measure of the woman’s consent that must be considered. Sure, the father had sent for a woman from among his own people but the woman still had the power to say no. In no way does Von’s view give a woman any rights of her own, it’s all shut up, lay down and put out as the subtext to his views of marriage.

Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary has this to say about consent in those passages:

As children ought not to marry without their parents’ consent, so parents ought not to marry them without their own. Rebekah consented, not only to go, but to go at once. The goodness of Rebekah’s character shows there was nothing wrong in her answer, though it be not agreeable to modern customs among us.

The second point is a tiny niggling one that has to do more with Von’s own assumptions that all retirement homes, or what they used to term ‘nursing homes’ are horrible places where busy worldly children warehouse the elderly. I would suggest that he hasn’t spent any time in the last decade at any of the many options for seniors that either shouldn’t or decide they won’t live alone or in a family member’s home.

Ever heard of “Leisure World”? I’m going to so be there when I reach old age!

To say it is the way of the world to shut away the elderly is another lie he’s picked up likely from an unreliable source like Fox News. All fear tactics all the time. These days there are all sorts of facilities for the elderly, such as programs during the day at community senior nutrition sites or adult clubs and daycare. There are huge leisure villages where you can live completely independent or with some level of care. Many places offer all sorts of activities for seniors to keep their minds and bodies sharp, such as golf, dancing, game nights, swimming, and outings. Most places offer on site amenities such as a beauty shop, hot tub, computer area, libraries and activities.

Even with families offering to take care of the elderly relatives many will chose to go into a retirement community rather than expect the family to care for them. There’s nothing wrong with realizing you’re better served by entering a senior living facility. It breaks no Biblical law and it’s not like you are putting your loved one out on an ice floe to die.

It used to be shameful the way the elderly were treated in facilities but no longer. It is a valid choice.

Wake up and smell the espresso, Von. Your parody is flat, dated and exposes your prejudices.

Comments open below

Read everything by Calulu!

Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blogs are True Love Doesn’t Rape and  Calulu – Seeking The Light

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

 

About Suzanne Calulu
  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Just for clarification, Von is an ambulance driver who routinely picks people up from nursing homes. And my parody was less about the state of nursing homes and more about the breakdown of the extended family that makes them possible.
    Kudos for posting as much of the Scripture as you did, as well as Matthew Henry. You might want to throw in Gen 24:50-51, as well as verse 41.

    • Saraquill

      你媽的 for implying that I don’t love my family with the nursing home crack. It’s intensely stressful to look after a family member with extensive medical needs, especially if you don’t have the proper training. Furthermore, it’s not fair to them to keep them by you side out of pride or appearances, when their conditions are severe enough to require round the clock nurses, extensive physical therapy and large quantities of drugs that need to be administered just so.

      Also, these facilities are not prisons. People do stay in them short term and return to their homes.

    • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

      I forgot what you did for a living as well as forgetting that facilities here in the Greater DC area aren’t quite the same as everywhere. The farther from a big city populous sometimes means a different standard of things available. I have yet to see a crummy nursing home here, only nice facilities.

      • persephone

        There are two senior community apartment complexes just a block from my job, and another a couple of blocks from my home, and I would way rather move to one of those than live with my kids and expect them to try to maintain jobs and a home while caring for me. In fact, I’m planning to move to a country with universal healthcare when I retire.

    • persephone

      Well, you do live in the fundagelical, libertarian paradise of Texas, so people are free to dump their parents by the side of the road to die and the state probably won’t step in.

      In the Bronze Age, family was all you had. A tribal unit was considered a family, especially in the nomadic and semi-nomadic cultures of the shepherds; the idea that the nuclear family is the standard is extremely recent. Everyone in a tribal unit was part of this family, moving with the flocks and herds within a area of the land that was agreed was your grazing area.

      The care for children, the sick, and the elderly was shared across this group; it did not fall on a couple and their children. That women stop bearing children while still fairly healthy and active contributes to their and their families’ ability to care for these extended family members.

      “59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.” These were not nuclear families, but tribes.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Oh, and btw ‘Politically Correct’ isn’t letting me post,for some reason.
    Please inform everyone they can feel free to comment on my site and I will answer them there. Oh, and tell Madame she left out Ruth 3:1 and Gen 28:1-4.
    Waiting for those interview questions :)

    • Madame

      My point was that Jacob chose which woman he wanted to marry.

      How does Ruth 3:1 disprove the point that I was trying to make with the story of Ruth?

      • Vaughn Ohlman

        Well, the point would be that Jacob was told who to marry… and did. And Ruth was told who to marry… and did. Indeed Ruth was even told that she would have to marry some other guy if he wanted her.
        So Jacob married at his father’s command, and married a woman he didn’t choose (first, third, and fourth). And Ruth married at her mother in law’s command, and according to the law.

        Not exactly dating or courting examples, eh what?

        This will end my participation here, btw. Further questions and replies can come on my blogs.

        • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha Faurie

          Ruth obeyed because she was desperate and this is the one way someone would look after her, not because some law of God say to obey your mother in law.
          And women will be less desperate if they simply have equal opportunities for education and work. What is more, she did not let Naomi talk to Boaz’s father (or Boaz) on her behalf, she followed the suggestion herself.
          If the couple themself did all the actual contacting of each other and deciding to marry, with her family merely giving her tips on how to do it herself, it is not an example of your form of bethrotal at all.

          • Madame

            If anything, Ruth initially disobeyed her mother-in-law by insisting upon going back to Israel with her after she had been sent back to her people to find a husband and get on with her life.
            Ruth was loyal and faithful. Her story is beautiful for that reason alone.
            I don’t think her family “merely gave her tips”. There were duties she bound herself to when she decided to go back to Israel with her mother-in-law. Naomi actually freed both women when she sent them back home to moab.

        • Kristen Rosser

          The real problem is the mixing up of descriptive vs. prescriptive texts. There is no law that says children are to marry who their parents say. The law simply assumes this cultural reality and works for greater equity and justice within it. The narratives, then, show what happened. They do not say that it is what God desires always to happen.

    • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

      I’ve been busy with my *gulp* career, out side of the home, bringing home the bacon and frying up in the pan. Patience is a virtue, lil grasshopper.

  • Alexis

    I just want to point out that the stories of Rebekka and Rachel and Leah is why Jewish women remove their veils before the vows are said at Jewish weddings.

    Rebekka because she needs to go into the marriage of her own free will. She can’t be brought to the marriage ‘veiled’ (or blindfolded) to the seriousness of her decision. And it MUST be her choice.

    Rachel and Leah because (in Judaism, anyway) it’s considered immoral to not know who you are marrying when you marry them. Not only from the male perspective, but from the female perspective too.

    Just a little input from a regular-ish reader.

    • Russell Gold

      “… is why Jewish women remove their veils before the vows are said at Jewish weddings”

      I find that comment a bit confusing. I have been to many Jewish weddings and never saw brides remove their veils during the ceremony. And exactly what are you calling “vows”? The vows at weddings with which we are all familiar from countless movies are not said at Jewish weddings.

      • Alexis

        Sorry. I should have been more specific. They remove their veil during the signing of the marriage contract, or ketubah. And I also should have specified that I’m not talking about ultra-orthodox weddings.

        • Russell Gold

          You’re also not talking about any kind of traditional Jewish wedding I’ve ever heard of. Traditionally, neither the bride nor the groom sign the ketubah. It is signed by the witnesses before the ceremony, and therefore before the bride is even veiled.


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