When is it OK to chop off a woman’s hand? The Bible tells us.

When is it OK to chop off a woman’s hand? The Bible tells us. March 18, 2019

bible deuteronomy misogyny atheismShould anyone doubt the inherent misogyny in the Bible, all one need do is check out the New International Version of Deuteronomy 25: 11-12, which makes it clear that women are expendable.

Here’s the similar King James Bible version for comparison.

Aside from the permissive brutality prescribed against women in this biblical verse, it is also patently illogical and immoral. It allows, if a man is attacked by the wife of a man he is assaulting, and she grabs the assailant by “his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show no pity.”

First off, it would be entirely appropriate as self-defense in proxy to her husband, an act that, at least in any 21st century American court, would likely be considered legal. And second, the divinely prescribed response is wildly disproportionate, particularly given that the aggressor had it coming and the woman was within her rights, indeed had a moral duty to intervene on her husband’s behalf.

I had never heard of this biblical passage before I saw it today posted by Adrian Gonzales on the atheist Facebook page titled Atheists, Agnostics & Antitheists vs. All Others. But it reaffirms for me the anti-women brutality so common in the Old Testament portions of the Bible, and reminds me of how unfathomable it is that many, many people still view this book as the inerrant “word of God.”

Some biblical scholars, like here, contend that the passage should not be taken so literally, that “cut off her hand” should probably be viewed as an indirect way of saying “make her pay a fine.” Or probably not. But, if one accepts the notion of an omnimerciful deity, the metaphorical understanding would certainly be the only serviceable one.

That said, what should we teach our kids: (1) do virtually anything you can to rescue a victim from violence or, (2) if a woman is the rescuer, cut her hand off if she touches you in the wrong place?

That’s a hard one, right?

One thing’s clear, whatever Eve did in the Garden of Eden must have been much worse than we thought.

Cartoon/Atheists, Agnostics & Antitheists vs. All Others

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