Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family Rule of the Day: Deuteronomy 22:28-29.

If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are caught in the act, the man who lay with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the young woman’s father, and she shall become his wife. Because he violated her he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.

 

  • AnonaMiss

    The sad thing is that for the time period, this is probably the kindest way they could think of treating the “damaged goods” victim.

  • Nirrti

    So basically in modern English: “You broke it, you bought it.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Because he violated her he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.

    That sounds like the worst recipe ever for rape victims. So not only does she have to look at the guy who raped her every day, she can’t even ask him to divorce her. (-_-) le sigh.

  • Darakou Hasegawa

    Interesting how the bible doesn’t say premarital sex is wrong, but it DOES say it’s OK to rape a woman provided you pay up the 50 shekels. I like to bring it up when talking to “Authority of Scripture” people.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think it is, from an outside perspective, better than being a burden on her family or alone in the world because no one will marry a woman who isn’t a virgin. Not arguing that it’s not fucked up, because it is, but it is not the worst alternative. At least from a perspective that has never experienced rape-related fear or post-traumatic stress; the rape survivor herself might well prefer solitary hunger.

  • Cathy W

    I’ve just done the math. At today’s prices, the going rate for raping a virgin is $700, and you get to keep her afterwards!

  • PandaRosa

    And you don’t ever get aaaaaaaannnnybody else. Ever. For The Rest Of Your Life. 
    So think again before you go popping any girl’s balloon, buster.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=687121933 Carrie Looney

    I thought you could have concubines and slave girls the like, as per the other forms of Biblical Marriage?
    It sounds like a real deal for the rapey set.  And some girls ‘rape so easy,’ don’t they.  (Are we living in the 21st century?)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s kind of depressing reading how the status of women really isn’t very good in the time period concurrent with the Bible’s Old Testament. :( Even the New is not exactly a font of equality.

  • VMink

    I think I threw up a bit.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fader2011 Alex Harman

    No.  *She* doesn’t ever get anybody else but the man who raped her; the rapist-husband, provided he can afford them, is allowed multiple wives, concubines, and prostitutes (while the latter is technically forbidden, it’s only the prostitutes, not their clients, who are actually punished for prostitution).

  • Deborah Moore

    Presumably tomorrow our host will get to what Leviticus says about — well, let’s be polite and just call it illicit sex — involving a woman who is married or engaged.  What is most revealing, though, is what it does not say.  No penalty is given if the woman is widowed or divorced.  (See Ruth, below).

  • Abigail Nussbaum

    As with the case of the book of Ruth, this was actually a much more progressive and woman-friendly law at the time than it seems today.  Its purpose is to protect the woman from the financial calamity of being unmarriageable.   The Jewish marriage contract, incidentally, is built on roughly the same principles – its sole purpose is to ensure that the husband can’t disavow his wife and his financial obligations towards her, and that he can only divorce her by paying her a predetermined sum. 

  • banancat

    What are you talking about? You just rape another virgin, pay $700, and get a second wife, completely God-approved!

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Nothing that treats a woman as a possession of her father and then her husband, and treats her body as a commodity, and as purely a sexual commodity at that, and treats her consent as a thing that is nonexistent, can possibly be described as “woman-friendly” on any level. Sorry, but no. 

    Seeing the rape of a woman as a crime against the men who are close to her, and not against her at all, is still something we’re saddled with today. It’s everywhere. 

    By the way, this law reads almost exactly the same as a law prescribing what happens if a bull gets out and impregnates your cow, except at least the cow got to stay in her home. Treating human beings like cattle was never, ever “progressive” or “woman-friendly”. And no, it was not just the times. Women in different cultures at that time were treated far better — almost all cultures, in fact. This was one of the worst.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There is a difference between ‘X is better than Y’ and ‘X is good’.

  • http://twitter.com/Didaktylos Paul Hantusch

    Actually – I rather think that way this law worked in practice was that it allowed a young man whose suit had been rejected (most likely less through personal unacceptability to the father than clan/tribe obligations) to get the girl he wanted. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh sure, I can totally see two teenagers running a scam like that to get married for life. The problem is, the law as written heavily favors the male rapist and disfavors the female rape victim, by far. :(

  • Deborah Moore

    The man in question could be either a lover or a rapist.  What is truly significant is that Deuteronomy makes no distinction between the two.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

     

    So think again before you go popping any girl’s balloon, buster.

    Isn’t it funny that the jokes that “naturally” come up on this topic so easily conflate “sex with a virgin” with “raping a virgin”?

    And by “funny” I mean “Maybe if I laugh hard enough the urge to vomit will pass. Thanks, rape culture. You shouldn’t have.”

  • Ben English

    Though horrifying for the woman, I can’t imagine it was a picnic for the man either. He now has t support a woman who would rightly hate his guts, and he’s not allowed to divorce her for as long as he lives. And if he were to say, have an accident being trampled to death by his livestock, all his shit (minus the offending animals) belongs to her and her sons.

    As… patriarchal and disturbing as it is, I really don’t think this law would encourage rape. But, yeah, it’s awful regardless. One of the reasons I seriously do not understand people who insist that ancient times be portrayed ‘realistically’ in films, books, games, etc.

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    Apparently the traditional Rabbinic interpretation of this law adds a caveat: only if she wants him to marry her.

    TRiG.

  • Lalouve

    In a choice between marrying my rapist and starving to death I think I might go with marriage. There are ways out of marriage (even if he can’t divorce her he might die) but death y starvation is rather final, and not a nice way to go.

  • Joshua

    Just to be a pedantic killjoy, I’ll opine that trying to convert ancient money into modern is mostly an exercise in futility.

    The economies are just too different. Even goods that are directly comparable, say a loaf of bread or a weight of gold or silver, won’t work: the role and the relative importance of the good are just too different.

    Also, the distribution of wealth among the population differs wildly, so working out the purchasing power of labour time doesn’t help either. Population-distribution-wise, an ancient subsistence-farming peasant probably maps to anything from modern middle-class professional to modern slum dweller.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The most reliable measure is probably comparing to basics: food and clothing. Even then though, manufacturing methods are different enough that it’s not as straight up as it would seem.

    I guess if you figure how many shekels bought a day’s worth of food and one decent outfit, and then compare it to how many dollars buys a day’s worth of organic direct from the farm produce and hand manufactured clothes from a local outlet you might have a decent basis for comparison.

    It’s a bit like why the SGS Alternate Measure came into existence, heh – things can purposely understate shifts in prices when you compare one thing to another.

  • Ursula L

    I thought you could have concubines and slave girls the like, as per the other forms of Biblical Marriage?

    This rule doesn’t apply to men having sex with their own slaves.  If a woman was considered the slave of a particular man, he could have sex with her when, where and how he chose, and her consent was irrelevant according to the law of this place and time, and her children were considered his “slaves” rather than his “sons” or “daughters.”  

    This rule also doesn’t affect the situation of a woman who was considered the slave of a man other than the one who had sex with her/raped her.  A slave-woman’s children could never be heirs to her owner, unless he chose so, and her opinions about who she wanted to have sex with, or have children with, or who had the right t o control her and her children, were irrelevant.  The only legal question was one man’s use of another man’s slave without the owner’s consent.

    This law was about having sex with a girl who was considered the legitimate daughter of a free man, and not considered a slave.  

    Her consent was, as with every other woman in every possible sexual situation, utterly irrelevant.  

    There is no distinction between if she was raped and if she fell in love with a particular man and chose to share love with him. 

    From the other day’s verse, we know that if a slave-woman was raped or chose to have sex with a man other than her owner, the man who had sex with her owed a fine to the Temple, not her owner, and her status as a slave remained unchanged, as the property of her owner.

    From this verse, we learn that if an unmarried woman considered a “daughter” rather than “slave” was raped or chose to have sex, she is automatically married to the man who had sex with her.  Her consent is irrelevant, there is no distinction between consensual sex and rape.  The man who has sex with her owes payment to her father, and she becomes his property, whether she consented to sex to escape her father’s home or was raped and is now under the social and legal control of her rapist.  

    It is also worth noting that “slaves” were not legally considered “daughters” even though they were, obviously, the daughters of their mothers and their fathers.  The ownership of their mother’s owner trumped the relationship between a woman/girl and her mother and father.  Being captured by slave traders/pirates, or in war, or being claimed as collateral for her father’s debts, also trumped the rights of a girl’s parents and her own rights as a person.  

  • EllieMurasaki

    hand manufactured clothes from a local outlet

    This is a thing? If I want hand-manufactured clothes I have to do it myself, which rarely ends well, or bribe my mother to do it for me, which takes ages because she always has thirty higher-priority projects going. (The quilt she started for my eighth birthday? Finally got it as a going-to-college present. Quilts are more time-consuming than clothes, but you get the idea.) And the cloth is factory-machine-woven and the thread factory-machine-spun.

  • Ursula L

    It is also worth noting that this law simply created a base-price for the daughter of a free man at marriage.

    Both the ideas of a “bride price” paid by a prospective husband to the father of his would-be wife and the idea of a “dowry” paid by a father to the would-be husband of his daughter  were part of the culture in question.  

    This law said that, if negotiations for a marriage fell apart, but sex with the woman in question happened, then financial negotiations were set at a particular level, a bride-price from husband to father.  

    In a context where a woman’s sexuality was purely the property of the man who was considered to own her, this set a base price for a man could claim for the daughter of his wife or concubine, or the daughter of his slave whom he chose to recognize as his own.  

    ***

    From what I’ve seen, the problems that religiously conservative people have with Old Testament law come not from deliberate consideration of these laws as good, but rather from a presumption that these laws are good without any consideration of what enforcement of these laws would mean in the real world.  

    A modern mind can, with great effort, reconcile itself with the hostile effects and consequences of Biblical marriage laws for women considered the daughters of free men and whose ownership wasn’t made a condition of her father’s debts.  

    It is much, much, harder for a modern mind to reconcile itself with the psychological consequences of Biblical laws, particularly when the psychological consequences  for women are negated, because the important stuff is the property rights of men.  

    Hostility is, in many ways, easier to address than utter indifference.  And the laws of the Old Testament are utterly indifferent to the sexual consent of women.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well ISTR there are certain specialty outlets that try to sell “local clothes”. Don’t know exactly how hand-manufactured they are though.

  • Joshua

    I guess if you figure how many shekels bought a day’s worth of food and one decent outfit, and then compare it to how many dollars buys a day’s worth of organic direct from the farm produce and hand manufactured clothes from a local outlet you might have a decent basis for comparison.

    Yeah, but it only gives you an exchange rate that works for food and handmade clothing. Do the same for housing, a day’s wages for an able-bodied man (no-one will be surprised that wage rates for women in ancient Israel were not really a thing, except I guess prostitution), gold, etc, I believe you’ll get different answers.

    A lot of the economy was barter, in which case the idea of an exchange rate was meaningless even within the ancient culture: The value of your camel depended a great deal on whether you could find someone who really wanted a camel at the time.

    And then let’s talk about cell phones, cars, health care, etc etc.

    I went through this writing an exegesis on Jesus’ parable of the talents once. You can get a ballpark idea of money values but precision is meaningless.

  • ohiolibrarian

     Or … a young man whose amore propre was damaged by a girl’s rejection gets to stick it to her (literally) for the rest of her life.

  • hagsrus

     And  then there was Mary…

  • hagsrus

     And  then there was Mary…

    Would it have made any difference if she had not said “fiat”?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s precisely why I said “compare staples only”.

  • Abigail Nussbaum

     ”And no, it was not just the times. Women in different cultures at that
    time were treated far better — almost all cultures, in fact. This was
    one of the worst.”

    Can you give an example?  I know that there were periods in which Egyptian culture allowed women a lot of financial independence, but my understanding was that this was the exception, not the rule.

  • Nicanthiel

    Most non-Mediterranean European cultures (e.g., the Germanic and Celtic tribes, Basque, Sámi) gave greater, while not full, equality to their free women (and with the Germanic tribes, at least, many offered the chance for slaves to earn their freedom)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    [Blockqoute]One of the reasons I seriously do not understand people who insist that ancient times be portrayed ‘realistically’ in films, books, games, etc.[/Blockqoute]
    Never forget, never repeat.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Though horrifying for the woman, I can’t imagine it was a picnic for the man either. He now has t support a woman who would rightly hate his guts, and he’s not allowed to divorce her for as long as he lives. And if he were to say, have an accident being trampled to death by his livestock, all his shit (minus the offending animals) belongs to her and her sons.

    Or she were to have an accident involving being trampled to death by his livestock.  Or stabbed by his knife.

    It was perfectly legal for a husband to kill his wife for… well, whatever reason he damn well pleased.  It’s ‘you break it, you buy it’, nothing more.  There’s no rule that you can’t throw away the broken goods afterwards.

    As… patriarchal and disturbing as it is, I really don’t think this law would encourage rape. But, yeah, it’s awful regardless. One of the reasons I seriously do not understand people who insist that ancient times be portrayed ‘realistically’ in films, books, games, etc.

    Especially when it’s not actually depicting ‘ancient times’, but rather another world that happens to have ancient-like technology…