Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Book About Ignosticism is #1 on Amazon.com!




I know nobody knows what the hell epistemology even is, but hell, I'll take the #1 FREE position in epistema-whatever. Woo!

LINK to my book Ignosticism: A Philosophical Justification of Atheism (Free until Friday, September 27).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

YAHWEH's "Divine Transgression" and the Rape of Mary


YAHWEH's "Divine Transgression" and the Rape of Mary

In Greek mythology Zeus was what we nowadays would consider a womanizer and, most certainly, a serial rapist. Of his many consorts, both divine and human alike, he impregnated over sixty women with his divine seed. Many of Zeus’s consorts were consensual love affairs, while others were victims of his lustful eye and lack of restraint. When talking about sexual consent, you may choose to call it a “Divine Transgression” because, really, who’d ever refuse sexual conduct with a God?

Zeus has many stories, but one of the most well-known seductions is of Leda of Sparta. Leda (Ancient Greek: Λήδα) was daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius, and wife of the king Tyndareus (Τυνδάρεως) of Sparta. As the story goes, Zeus takes the form of a swan and, in a strange act of bestiality, rapes Leda. She later gives birth to Helen of Troy—the most beautiful woman in the world.

Now if you’re wondering where else we might find shocking displays of divine gods raping and impregnating women outside of Greek mythology, look no further than Christian mythology.

I am sure many devout believers will find it blasphemous that I am making the connection between the God of the bible and Zeus in terms of their womanizing efforts and illegitimate children born of lustful encounters and, well, to be honest, I could not care less. I’m not doing anything more controversial than just pointing out the brute facts, and if Christians find these brute facts offensive, then perhaps they may wish to give the value and credence of their stories a second consideration.

But to be fair, I realize what I have to talk about may spark outrage, because the content is certainly outrageous, but the outrage should be directed where it belongs, and their outrage shouldn’t be with me but with their God and his acts of “Divine Transgression.”

Of the Synoptic Gospels only the later gospels of Matthew and Luke have any reference to a ‘virgin birth’ of any kind. Mark, written prior to these, does not include any account of the virgin birth of Mary, and it has been often assumed that Matthew and Luke were merely borrowing from other virgin birth traditions to give legitimacy to Jesus Christ’s divinity—a little bit of embellishment if you will.

Well, obviously it has been added in, and probably based on the loose translation of a Hebrew word that can mean virgin, but typically wasn’t used to mean virgin at all. You see, the word almah, which biblical translators translated to parthenos (the Greek for virgin—depending on context) actually meant virile young woman. In fact, in the book of Matthew, the author applies the word almah to four other women, from his genealogy of Jesus, naming: Tamar (1:3), Rahab (1:5), Ruth (1:5), and Bathsheba (1:6). All of whom were well known harlots, which better correlates with the ambiguous terms almah, and the Greek parthenos, but do not unto themselves denote chastity or virginity.

This doesn’t mean the virgin Mary was a harlot, but it does us good to be aware that the authors are deliberately mistranslating a term which doesn’t typically mean virgin to make it to mean virgin and thereby append a miraculous virgin story to the story of Christ. If they didn’t take liberty with the translation in the first place, it would be extremely difficult to talk about Mary as a virgin mother when she wasn’t a virgin, hence the obvious loose and liberal wordplay.

But for now, let us briefly overlook the fact that the terms reveal the virgin myth story to be a later addition by the authors of Matthew and Luke. What I want to discuss is whether or not Mary was in fact raped by YAHWEH, according to the story as we have it.

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, rape is: 1) the crime of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will, 2) the abduction of a woman, especially for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with her.

So ultimately rape boils down to just one thing, whether or not both parties are mutually consenting. If one of the parties has not given consent, and the other forces themselves upon them, then it is clearly a case of rape.

Since the Bible only talks about the virgin birth in two places, it shall be easy to examine the verses in question and see whether or not Mary, mother to Jesus, gave her consent prior to God’s having his way with her, so to speak.

Luke’s account of the virgin birth begins at Luke 1:26. As Luke recounts, God sent the angel Gabriel to Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to Joseph. Now, let us take pains to notice that they are already betrothed, and due to the fact that they are travelling over long distances together we can infer they are already living together, otherwise it would be unusual for them to be traveling companions. Mary would most likely travel with family, or with a female chaperon in addition to Joseph, but it is clear by this point in their travels they're boarding together and the like, so it is apparent that Mary and Joseph have been together as a couple for quite some time. At the very least, we can admit they are not unfamiliar to each other.

Now in verse 28 of Luke, Gabriel tells Mary that she is highly favored and that the Lord has singled her out chosen her to be the recipient of his magical seed divine gift.  Mary’s reaction is quite normal for a young woman who has just been informed that her stalker wants to have his way with her, she becomes terrified and distraught! Verse 29 states it best: Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

Indeed.

Apparently the angel noticed her nervousness as he jumped right into the apologetics of the set-up, saying to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus.”

I doubt that did much to calm Mary’s nerves. Notice the part where the angel TELLS her that she WILL (a certitude) conceive, and that she WILL (a demand) name the newborn Jesus, or Immanuel (i.e., “God is with us”).

Does the angel ask her whether or not she’d be willing to be the vessel of the divine seed of her people’s God? Nope. She’s just a woman. All she is good for, apparently, is making babies. This being yet another hint that we’re dealing with an archaic Bronze Age mentality (or Iron Age for the pedantic) which views women as chattel, property, and not equals in society.

Reading ahead a bit to verse 38, the verse many Christians site as the spot where Mary gives her consent, Mary responds to the angel by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant,” and continued to say, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Another way to say the same thing might be better expressed as: "I am your servant, do as you wish."

Notice this is not an explicit nor implicit agreement. She is merely stating that because she is a servant she has no real choice in the matter but to obey. This is a slave mentality, and well, in the world of sex slaves where women who are sold off as items (chattel) to be owned by a master, they might say something like, “I am but a servant, do with me as you wish.”

In other words" I am your property, do as you wish."

They would say this precisely because they haven’t been given any other choice, any other option, or any viable alternative which considers their intrinsic worth as a human being and as an individual.

Instead, Mary, as a servant of the Lord, is put into the position of having to protect herself from any additional harm which may befall her for her disobedience (as a woman) by cordially agreeing to (graciously) accept (receive) her abuse—as all good servants are expected to do.

Do you see why it's a slave mentality at the root of this thinking? If not, Mary would have assuredly said something entirely different than what she did. The words, "Go fly a kite" spring to mind.

However, we find that Mary said to the angel, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” That’s saying, “If you say so, then so be it.” But let’s not mistake it for a resounding, glee filled, orgasmic “Yes! Oh, yes, Lord! Take me now!” Because it’s not. (Note: Philosophical concepts like *identity and *freewill let alone *individuality and *privacy often escape the apologist and too often get ignored by theologians who realize how these concepts complicate the issue.)

How odd, it strikes me, that Mary’s response is simply to say, “Well, if you say so.”  If Mary really was delighted to be impregnated by her Lord, the God of Moses, the God of the Hebrew people, the God of all Israel, the Creator of the mother-lovin' universe no less, wouldn't she be the least bit more excited about it than to meagerly spout, “Well, if you say so…”?

She might as well fall to her knees, say "Yes, sir," and bite the bulb before she takes it bending over. Do you even understand what domination is? I mean, I think it's pretty obvious even without having to read Fifty Shades of Grey?

Mary’s submissiveness is reflective of the fact that, as a woman stuck in a backwards age, she must submit herself to a man’s dominion over her. And man to God. God above all. It’s only convention to do so, at least, according to the archaic and offensively chauvinistic thinking of a Bronze Age patriarchal mindset. If the angel Gabriel came up to a modern woman on the street in today’s age, however, and said something like, “My friend is going to have his way with you, and you’re going to bare his child, whether you like it or not…” she’d have the mind to say, “Fuck you, asshole!” Then she’d call the police and have the creep arrested—and get a restraining order on the other guy.

That's the thing with gods of mythology though, they very rarely show any form of restraint, especially when it comes to the baser desires such as their unquenchable lust, or their unfailing need to use virgin women as incubators.

With the obviously dated sexism surrounding the biblical virgin birth event, it’s hard for me to fathom how Mary’s words denote any form of consent. They do not. At least not without being horribly misread by someone who wants to somehow justify the act of “Divine Transgression” as a form of consensual sex via the vague, submissive, response of a young woman who is without status or authority. Any honest reading of the verse reveals that Mary simply isn't saying no to the demands (for how could she?), but that’s not the same thing as saying yes. "I am your servant, do as you wish," is not words of explicit agreement. They are the words of a woman with no other choice than to say those words, and submit. 

After Mary’s submission to the demands, the angel parts, and that’s the whole of it. No more is said to Mary. But in Matthew, something is said to the fiancé, Joseph, who is in the middle of a crisis—and is contemplating leaving Mary, who may or may not be a harlot.

In Matthew 18, Joseph learns of his “virgin” bride’s situation. As verse four states quite undeniably, “Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant…” We can’t help but imagine Joseph’s reaction to the news, and he probably raised and eyebrow and asked, “What’s all this?”

By verse five, Joseph suspects he is with a Christabel and is already contemplating divorce (even though they aren't technically married yet).  But there is a disturbance in the Force. God, apparently sensing Joseph is having some serious doubts, sends an angel to him that very evening to set things right. The henchmen angel informs Joseph to take Mary home as his wife and raise the babe that is conceived in her, because it is “from the Lord.”

Nice one. YAHWEH has essentially says to Joseph, “You will raise my bastard child, and you’ll love it as your own, because I’m your Boss.”

Finally, the angel takes his leave and Joseph does as commanded of him (again, a humble servant before the Don Corleone Lord), and takes Mary as his wife and raises the illegitimate son as his own. Character wise, I think this says a lot about the upright character of Joseph. But as for God… impregnating other men’s wives? That’s highly questionable behavior for an entity which is said to be loving and moral. Burdening someone else with the responsibility of raising your child, because you couldn't be bothered to, isn't exactly a loving or gracious act. Well, I understand that according to the supernatural elements of the story, it is often hard for incorporeal God’s to raise their corporeal offspring, but that still hasn’t stopped them from doing the deed, planting the seed, and knocking up corporeal women.

But don’t fret just yet. There’s no reason to be alarmed by any of this, because it’s just a story. It’s made up. Fictional. The virgin birth is obviously a myth tacked on to supply Jesus with a divine origin story, in the vein of Hercules, Perseus, Mithra, Osiris, Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus, the Buddha, or the Peach Boy, Momotaro—just to name a few. After all, Jesus Christ is supposed to be the one true messiah, so why not go back and add in a popular trope shared among many great messianic figures, both historical and fictional, which pervade antiquity? Make him born of a virgin. Make him the messiah. Make him a god! Why not? After all, everyone else is doing it.

Even though it’s obviously a work of fiction, within the biblical account of the virgin birth, it is undeniable that YAHWEH, the God to the Christians who begot the Son Jesus Christ called Immanuel, and Lord to the chosen people of Israel, does in fact copulate with a human woman without her lawful consent. That’s just a fact, folks.  

There is no denying it. Denying this fact would merely reveal an apologetic tendency among believers to try and excuse if not legitimize God’s act of fathering an illegitimate child, Christ, and so is to say, in no certain terms, that God did not in some way force himself upon Mary and violate her body--with the additionally grave offense of, at the least, leaving her without an equally divine orgasm. So you see, the whole objection to YAHWEH’s being a rapist rests on the assumption that somewhere in the story of the virgin birth there is either the implicit or explicit case of Mary giving her consent. As we have clearly seen, nowhere is it clear that she does anything of the sort. As we have it, she is frightened out of her mind, and in this state of duress, submits to the demands made of her by those above her in status and power.


So, in conclusion, YAHWEH, the God of the Christians, Jews, and Muslims, is in fact a rapist like Zeus and many other gods of antiquity. And the only way to deny this accusation is to deny the virgin birth actually happened at all, and take the heretical view that the virgin birth of Jesus is just a bit of fanciful fiction, or else agree with me that God does not exist. Otherwise, it is quite clear, that those who defend the act of YAHWEH's “Divine Transgression” as moral, or necessary, are merely—in their stupid devotion to a Bronze Age myth—attempting to justify and condone the act of rape. 

The question remains, do I think Christians will be at all happy by my candor and honesty with regard to revealing the true content of their religious text? Probably not. Do I think they'll be convinced? Well, her'es the rub. I'm not writing this to convince people the virgin birth as contained in the Gospels is illegitimate, because it clearly is. If they can't see what is plainly the case, no two ways about it, then the problem isn't with my ability to convince anybody, but rather, has everything with their unwillingness to accept the brute facts as they are.

Virgin births of human beings simply do not occur. Although many have been documented none have ever been scientifically verified, past or present. And that's another brute fact. Nature simply does not allow for parthenogenesis in humans. And if the biblical account wasn't blatant mythology, then it would almost be a halfway convincing miracle, apart from the fact that it would be a completely and forever unsubstantiated miracle. But even so, it would still be slightly more compelling if the rest of the Bible was at all historically reliable, which it's not, and if it happened exactly as written in the Bible, which we know with near certainty it didn't.


[Disclaimer: I am open to any and all comments that might deal with this subject matter in a mature fashion. If, however, the response does not seem to be one which I can take seriously, then I will simply respond as perfidiously as the comment deserves.]




Advocatus Atheist

Advocatus Atheist