Friday, January 05, 2007

God's rules for beating your wife

Here we have an Muslic cleric explaining the rules for a husband as to what kind of beating he is allowed to give his wife. Such civilized people!

Some fundamentalist Christians are not far off from this. Calvinist author David Chilton takes the view that all people are property of God and thus the rules of God, as outlined in the Bible, tells one how to treat others. He writes: "It is true I do not have an aboslute right to my property. Nor do I have an absolute right to dispose of my wife and children as I see fit. Everything I have must be owned in terms of God's requirements." Note that wife and children are included in the cateogory of that which is "owned".

If you don't think that is clear enough he says: "I must not rob my neighbor of his life, his wife, his property, or his reputation, nor must I covet anything that belongs to him." Right in the middle of that list of properties owned by the individual is the wife. I don't think Chilton has gone so far as to give rules for beating one's wife however. But no doubt numerous fundies would find that right.

Chilton does find that the Bible condones slavery, another area when human beings are literally considered property. He writes: "The Bible permist slavery... biblical laws concerning slavery are among the most beneficent in all the Bible... it is clearly unbiblical to speak of slavery as being wrong or sinful... that He gives rules for the proper management of slavery shows that to disregard the laws of slavery is a sin." In fact he argues that slavery is especially good if those enslaved are atheists and unbelievers! He argues that Christians enslaving heathens exposes them to the gospel and: "Unbelievers are slaves by nature, and there is no reason to free them as long as they remain in their spiritual bondage."

Now if people are property how can property be treated? Can it be beaten in ways discussed by the mullah linked to above? Chilton says they may. The problem with treating people like property is they have incentive to produce. If you labour on behalf of others in exchange for value it is contract and you have an incentive to work since it is an exchange. Slavery, however, is theft, much like socialism. You work and others reap the rewards so the incentives are absent. Chilton notes that God provided for this (how nice of him). Without economic incentives "the master is allowed to provide that incentive by beating them."

And just like the Mullah this Jehovah has given some rules on how to beat your human property. Exodus 21:21 provides that rule. The master may beat the slave without mercy provided the slave does not die from the beating the same day! Note the "same day" rule. If the slave lingered in pain for a day or two before dying the master was let off the hook entirely. So much for God's compassion. See the master is not allowed to intentionally kill the slave, who after all really belongs to Jehovah. If the slave dies the same die it looks as if the master tried to kill the property of God. But if the slave suffers for a day or two first then the master is off the hook since that indicates he didn't intend to actually kill the slave just inflict severe pain on them (much the way Jehovah supposedly inflicts pain on humans).

Chilton also says that Biblical law "protected slaves from severe mutilation". I presume that moderate mutilation is a different matter. And government, they argue, ought to protect these "rights" to treat others as human property.

Calvinist preacher Joseph Morecraft occupies the pulpit of the Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia. He sees civil law as serving the same function as the master. You have to terrorize people to get them to do what God wants. He wrote that the function of government is to "terrorize evil doers" and "to bring down the wrath of God on all those who practice evil." Calvinist theologian Rousas Rushdoony said something similar: "God's government prevails and His alternatives are clear-cut: either men and nations obey His laws, or God invokes the death penalty against them."

Morecrafts wants the death penalty used frequently including on all churches which don't worship the fundamentalist deity. "Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody's pseudo-rights to worship an idol." "I suggest that in a Christian society... the death penalty is still appropriate for the crime of worshipping another god on the Lord's day."

Calvinist theologian Greg Bahnsen agreed saying the death penalty applies to "someone who comes and proselytizes for another god or any other final authority (and by the way, that god may be man.)." Note that last rule about any "other final authority" would apply to those of us who think reason applied to reality is the final authority as well.

Bahnsen notes that Jehovah set out 15 crimes which were capital offenses including sodomy, apostasy, sabbath breaking and blasphemy. Rev. W.O. Einwechter, vice moderator of the Calvinist Association of Free Reformed Churches said that the death penalty applied to grown children who "rebelled against the authority of his parents". He said such individuals should be stoned to death. Calvinist Gary North agrees saying the "integrity" of the family "must be maintained by the threat of death." Mark Rushdoony wrote: "Parents will be required to bring their incorrigible children before the judge and if convicted have them stoned to death." In fact Rushdoony says in a Christian society the divorce problem will be solved "under God's law because any spouse guilty of capital crimes will be swiftly executed, thus freeing the other party to remarry."

Just like in Muslim theocracies these Calvinists want to use stoning. Gary North said in a Christian society "Executions are community projects -- not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do 'his' duty but rather with actual participants." Yes, you too can executive your sinful neighbors unless they execute you first. North prefers stoning because stones are cheap and plentiful and allow everyone to participate. Hell, even a small child can chuck a rock!

No doubt the Religious Right will take great comfort in the video to which I've linked. A Muslim cleric discussing how to beat one's wife will be seen as proof that Islam is a barbaric religion (which it is). But what of these Christian theologians who want communities to get together for a picnic and a stoning?


Blogger Publius II said...

First, I think you may be misinterpreting what was said by your first source. It appears from the grammatical structure that he's differentiating between property and his wife and children. Chilton's first sentence statements regards property, his second statement, differentiated by the word "Nor" regards wife and children, and he uses the verb "dispose." It seems to me that Chilton differentiates there between wife/children and property.

But the others do indeed seem to be skirting the line with their wordage. You cannot say, however, that there isn't some responsibility of a head of household to be something of a steward for his wife and children. We as husbands and fathers have a responsibility to provide, protect, and ensure wellbeing for those under our stewardship. That much I think we must assert.

Beyond that, if we claim "ownership" of wife and children or other individuals, I think it's in error.

January 05, 2007

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Chilton's grammar is defective there leading to ambiguity which is why I included the full sentence which clarifies it and the second statement by him which reiterates it. He speaks of [physical] property, wife and children and then immediately says ""Everything I have must be owned in terms of God's requirements." So wife and children is slotted inbetween "my property" and "everything" he owns. That clearly shows he meant to show wife and children as his property as well. He also then spoke of robbing his neighbor of "his wife" and other forms of property. So he clearly sees the commandment not to covet thy neighbors wife as one of a property rights issues. And Chilton is not the only fundamentalist who thinks this way.

This was a common view of the relationship between father/husband and wife and children at the time the Bible was written. And since it reflects the culture of tthe era and not a divine author, it reflects such attitudes. You as much said the same thing in trying to excuse the support for slavery in the Bible. And while I speak of a Stalinist god I, of course, don't believe there is any god of any kind. He is an imaginary construct based on the cultural values of the people who invented him. The problem with "Bible-believing Christians" is that they are want to admit this and thus have to try to defend this construct along with the barbaric values that he was endowed with by the barbarians who invented him.

January 05, 2007

Blogger Ethereal said...

Exodus does say alot about how you should handle slaves. Yes, I am a black male and I oppose slavery. Once again, I do not understand why so many christians believe in this deity that supports slavery and yet, tell me that I am going to hell for thinking for myself?

I personally agree with Godless Zone here. It personally saddens me that many black pastors and people go to church and praise this deity that accorind to his holy book, says black people are "beasts of the land".


January 06, 2007

Blogger Publius II said...

Where does it say this Robert?

And for the record, anyone who says they believe the bible, and then tell you that you're going to hell because you think for yourself is ignorant of Scripture.

January 06, 2007

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Publius: Are you saying that if someone considers the issues and concludes that Jesus was a fraud, the Bible is a lie and Jehovah is a myth that the god that you believe in will not count them among the damned?

Or are you a believer in very extreme predestination and you are saying that Jehovah will save some and damn others for no apparent reason other than his own desire to save some and damn others?

January 06, 2007

Blogger Publius II said...

I believe that the bible does teach that God sovereignly chooses some for salvation, while passing over the rest, for reasons unknown to us and that we cannot possibly hope to understand.

But if you look again at ethereal's comment, he said that people tell him he would go to hell for thinking for himself. I think for myself, and hold the opinion that if one does NOT think for himself, he's a fool. Thinking for oneself will not alone lead to hell.

January 08, 2007

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Here is the perfect Stalinist god. He creates beings who can suffer and feel pain. He then strips them of free will so that he decides which among them will be saved and which will be damned. They have no choice in the matter. It is unrelated to anything they do or anything they think. He then picks the "unsaved" ones and torments them for eternity for his own pleasure. He gets his rocks off torturing people for not being saved yet he gives them no choice. Publius the god you believe in is far more disgusting than the typical Christian invention. It is the same sort of deity as the Islamists (who are also extreme predestinarians. But I point out this vile creature that is invention of Calvin and which you stupidly believe in is not the typical Christian version.

So you are the fool not Ethereal. He is correct when he says that people tell him he will go to hell for thinking for himself. And those people are dumb but less dumb than you. At least the god they invented punishes him for something he choose to do (think for himself). Your god just punishes people because he is a sick masochist.

January 08, 2007

Blogger GodlessZone said...

As an aside the comments of Publius above illustrates a point I have made a number of times. Ethereal describbed a view common among Christians. Publius is a fundamentalist Calvinist (which I consider the worst kind of fundamentalism). He calls Ethereal a "fool" for describing what is common among Christians saying such views are not Christian views at all. Here he illustrates the worst kind of thinking among fundies -- that anyone who disagrees with them is not a Christian. It is an arrogance that offends most people.

And this is one reason I find discussions with him to be so frustrating and mostly useless. If I make a point about the absurdity of a belief common among Christians, but which the Calvinist authoritarians don't hold, he goes after me claiming that the belief is in fact not Christian. What he always means is that it is not Calvinist and that all you other Christians are not really following the truth which only he and his fellow Calvinists hold. If I make a point about some absurdity which he does hold he then goes to even more extreme absurdities to defend it. He can not be reasoned out of his belief since he dismisses as automatically false any evidence which contradicts his conclusions.

January 08, 2007

Blogger Publius II said...

As a clarification of my comment, I never called Ethereal a fool, and it was not my intention to even insinuate such a notion. I was actually agreeing with you, NGZ, and Ethereal, that the Church, unfortunately, is full of fools, who do not think for themselves. But then again, so is the world at large. But I was also differentiating between THEM, and myself, in that I refuse to be told what to think and if something doesn't make sense logically and reasonably to me, then I do not accept it. Which brings me to my point, in correcting you on your view of Calvinist doctrine.

You are quite wrong when you say that it was God who stripped us of free will. We were created with a free will, and we stripped ourselves of it on our own, when mankind rebelled against the Creator, and now we find ourselves in slavery to our nature of rebellion. You are also wrong in saying Calvin invented this view, as Luther wrote more on the topic that Calvin did, on top of the fact that Aquinas and Augustine taught the same thing. This is the historical view held by the Church. It's very hard to read through Romans (and the rest of the doctrinal books) and not get this point.

You are thirdly wrong when you say that I think anyone who does not agree with me on this point is not a Christian. I have many Christian brothers who are Arminians (those who deny this point and others) who I love dearly. Though we disagree on our soteriology (the process of salvation), we are joined in our belief that faith in Christ alone for salvation is the only way for salvation. This is the essential doctrine, not how it happens.

Fourthly, you are wrong when you say that I automatically dismiss evidence as false. You've never presented me with one shred of evidence that contradicts what I believe to the Truth. If you believe you have, feel free to present again what that evidence is and we'll reason together concerning this evidence.

January 08, 2007


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