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  •  And remember that in the story of Sodom (19+ / 0-)

    and Gomorrah, the "righteous" man, the only one deemed worthy of saving in the city was the one who offered his virgin daughters to a crowd to gang rape, and later on got drunk and fucked them himself.

    Anyone who can overlook this heinous behavior and sincerely reference that story when discussing morality should be thoroughly investigated.  With a moral compass set like that, there's no telling what atrocities they would commit.

    Socialist? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    by Kimbeaux on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 02:30:36 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  the daughters actually got him drunk and fucked (6+ / 0-)

      HIM, but what's a little fact when you're trying to make a point, right?

      The sin of Sdom was a complete lack of hospitality, it had nothing to do with sex.  It had to do with intentionally harming strangers in a desert culture where hospitality means life or death.  Lot's daughters were perfectly safe - they were born in Sdom and not strangers - and not at all what the people wanted.  

      •  That Was Noah's Daughters I Think nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 06:03:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I read that story (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        createpeace, Kimbeaux, CA wildwoman

        and it came across to me very much like a whitewash.

        Which is more likely: that Lot got drunk and raped his daughters, or that the daughters made him so drunk he didn't know what he was doing and slept with them against his will? Which way does that story usually go?

        And more importantly, who wrote the history?

        I also happen to believe that Isaac's father was Abimelech the king of Gerar, so I'm a heretic all around. :)

        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~John Watson

        by FriendlyNeighbor on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 06:11:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's not real, you know that, right? (6+ / 0-)

          The story goes that the girls were so sheltered they thought the entire world had ended and only their family survived, and they were like Adam and Eve and needed to repopulate the world.

          But we've never held that those stories were literally true, and that the literal reading of the text is for children and simpletons.  Since Kayin and Avel sought wives in the Land of Nod - even the literal reading didn't say incest for everyone.

          But it is a very definite lesson to not shelter your daughters so much that ignorance and superstition is their only knowledge or you end up with mamzers.  Which is not "bastard" - it's abomination from an incestuous and forbidden relationship.

          •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mortifyd, CA wildwoman

            I love the way you put that. And, I learned what a mamzer is (first time I'd heard the word).

          •  I actually thought the point of the story was to (3+ / 0-)

            make a slanderous joke at the expense of the Ammonites and Moabites - providing a dubious ancestry in a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" sort of way.

            Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people, petty minds talk about dick pics. (with apologies to Eleanor Roosevelt)

            by Old Man from Scene 24 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 06:41:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that doesn't hurt of course. (5+ / 0-)

              But it points to them as mamzers - abominations of forbidden relationships.  It's a big hairy deal to be a mamzer and not something you throw around lightly - which is why it's used to defame the Ammonites and Moabites in the first place.

              There's always a lot going on in the stories of Torah - puns, object lessons (Hey, kings are a bad fucking idea!  Let's get one!) bizarre punishments (Hemorrhoids and rats, anyone? Fun!) mockery of other belief systems... but it wasn't designed for a moral system for the world, but as a cultural framework for a tribe.  People forget that a lot.

          •  Someone was telling these stories (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kimbeaux, CA wildwoman

            and presumably they were based on some kernel of truth.

            In the story, the girls have insatiable sexual appetites and they're afraid they're never going to "get any" any more. (Their husbands were left behind when Lot and his wife and daughters (though not his sons!) were "drawn out" from the city. Why weren't the sons saved?) So the girls come up with this plan to "preserve the seed of their father." (They didn't think they needed to repopulate the earth, because they'd just been to Zoar, a small city that G-d spared. Really they just came up with the plan because they were horny.)

            Now, is it true that in the old testament the balance of power was shifted very lopsidedly towards the men? Yes.

            Is it true that in those circumstances, any time a woman gets any sort of power, she's discredited by being portrayed as a sexual deviant? (See Catherine the Great and the absolutely false story that she died having sex with a horse. Right.)

            Do patriarchal societies frequently blame the victim for sexual improprieties? (Is the pope Catholic?)

            Yes, I am drawing a conclusion and reading between the lines something that is not actually in the Bible. Hence my comment about Isaac's illegitimacy, another instance when what was reported doesn't match up with common sense. I don't expect anyone to agree with my heretical interpretation. But then again, I find it hard to believe in the Bible regardless, since I'm an atheist.

            Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~John Watson

            by FriendlyNeighbor on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 06:50:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I studied to be a rabbi. (4+ / 0-)

              I don't believe it literally in the slightest.  Nor do I believe that every story has a kernel of truth.  

              There are object lessons, but you don't need to tell a true story for that - check snopes if you want hundreds of object lesson stories that are all absolute lies.  But the FEEL like they should be true, which is what makes a good object lesson story, doesn't it?

              He had no sons.  They were also not married - they had been offered to the citizens only pereks before, remember?  They also left Zoar during the event, as Lot was afraid to stay there - so the girls didn't know what had been spared and what had not - they were in a cave with their father.

              So while your reading is interesting - it's not in line with the Hebrew text as laid out, or any of the talmudic explanations either.

              The reasoning given for Isaac's late birth is that both Abraham and Sarah were actual intersexed, not that he was the son of another man - it was difficult for Sarah to conceive and stay pregnant to term as a result.

              There's always a lot going on in there...

              •  Ah, you are right, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CA wildwoman, Calamity Jean

                The girls had never known a man, but still Lot did have "sons in law" who had pledged to marry his daughters (in the KJV they were married, although still the girls had never known a man--perhaps Lot was embellishing for the benefit of his interlocutors?). Also the KJV implies there were sons, (Hast thou any here besides?) but other translations make it seem like the angels are just asking who's in his family, not telling him to get them all out. So I was relying too heavily on the translation.

                The point of my reading--which you condescendingly agree is interesting though not canonical, and which I myself admit to be heretical--is that I read as a woman, and I interpret based on how power dynamics between women and men are still shaping our society. So I question received wisdom, because my point of view is almost entirely excluded. Your talmudic explanations were written by men, so they never bothered to ask themselves if the men who wrote the bible had their thumbs on the scales.

                I'm just saying that statistically, it's more likely that Lot raped his daughters than that they raped him. And even if they did want to preserve their father's seed, the object lesson I would take from that would be don't worship patrilineal privilege because it leads to "mamzers" (a word of which I, too, was ignorant!) and abomination.

                But it has been quite interesting discussing it with you!

                (Regarding Isaac: there's that whole story of Abraham telling Abimelech that Sarah is his sister (which is something he's done before in other kingdoms) and when Abimelech finds out she's actually Abraham's wife, he's all, "I never touched her! I never touched her, and to prove it, here's a large cash settlement." The VERY NEXT BOOK, Sarah's finally pregnant. Later on Isaac is hanging out in Abimelech's household and getting lippy with his father Abraham. So that's why I drew the conclusion that I did. I'm certain that talmudic explanations are not in line with it!)

                Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~John Watson

                by FriendlyNeighbor on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 07:40:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm also trans and somewhat arguably intersex (0+ / 0-)

                  myself, so your assumption of condescension is not only unwarranted but freaking rude.  I read everything from both perspectives personally, though you assumed I would not.

                  But hey, it's almost Yom Kippur, so whatever.

                  I don't use translations, I read.  So whatever the KJV says is not my concern, I am dealing with the text I know, which says they were unmarried and he had no sons.

                  It's a story and an object lesson, not a history lesson.  The object lessons drawn from it have been explained to you from the context of the culture that actually wrote them - whether you agree or not doesn't really matter.  That's what we use them for - and it's our book and our stories.

                  If you want to think Isaac is a bastard and a mamzer, you go ahead and do that - but we as his descendants pretty much disagree whole heartedly.  Again, our book our stories, our lineage.  

                  You seem to have some odd ideas about the power dynamic of Jewish culture, but this is neither the time nor the place to go into them as I am now getting rather cranky,  being an apparent misogynist from a long line of illegitimacy.


                  •  Here I thought you were the one being rude (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CA wildwoman

                    But I wasn't going to say anything about it.

                    I do apologize for assuming that training to be a rabbi meant that you were cis male. I don't know you and I made an assumption. I am sorry.

                    Because of my training, I am very sensitive to being patronized, and I felt like you were patronizing me. But as you point out, you have your instructions from your culture. I don't think you get to claim exclusivity, because the old Testament is in my culture too and I was raised to think of it as mine (though rather messed up), but I do see how my coming in and poking something that you hold to be sacred is rude. I entered this discussion as a gadfly, but gadflies often get swatted!

                    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~John Watson

                    by FriendlyNeighbor on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 08:07:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I am many things. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      But cis is not one of them.  I was raised as a female and am well aware of the ways western American culture is shitty to women and justifies it with "biblical" beliefs.

                      That are not really biblical at all, but that's not necessarily the topic of discussion.   I did attend an orthodox yeshiva and live as a man - but that does not erase my understanding or experiences as a girl and briefly as a woman.

                      I do ask in all seriousness though - why you think that it's ok to appropriate a whole cultural belief system and turn it on its head (because Christianity is inherently anti-Torah from a scriptural point of view - and yes, I'm very familiar with the NT as well, though my Koine Greek is pretty poor) to support something outside that cultural construct is ok?  And then get irritated when the people who wrote the cultural system disagree that it's yours - or that you're reading it correctly?

                      This really bothers me actually as a general thing.

                      Torah is sacred to my cultural identity, it is not something I literally believe.  But as my heritage and something I devote time and energy to understanding within the context of the culture that it engendered, it matters to me and millions of other Jews.  I do think we have a certain exclusivity and even authority concerning the stories within it - because they are only completely understandable within the construct of our culture.  

                      You don't see First Peoples or Australian Aboriginals pontificating on the meaning of the Eddas, now do you?  Because it's not their book.  Thank you Lewis Black.

      •  And would you buy that line from any (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Sailor

        incestuous father?  My little girl forced me to drink, then took advantage of me--she was totally asking for it!  That's unacceptable, as is blaming your victim.

        Nowhere in the story is it indicated that the girls were perfectly safe--but Lot clearly offers them to be gang raped.

        It takes serious apologetics to see this as anything other than sickening.

        Socialist? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        by Kimbeaux on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 07:09:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not apologetics, and it's not real. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          librarisingnsf, Dbug, Calamity Jean

          It's a story from about 3500 years ago.  

          It doesn't glorify incest, the father, or the offspring.  It's used specifically to cast a nasty taint on the Ammonites and Moabites who's founders came from the supposed incest - because incest (in certain forms at any rate) is considered HORRIFIC in Judaism.  First cousins and uncle/niece are not - but then they are often the same ages in Jewish families and grow up near one another - so those are permitted according to Torah.  But others - not at all.

          So don't take it personally, or as an example of something acceptable because it's NOT and was never intended to be.  It IS in fact used as an example of why girls need education and not to be locked up in ignorance in our culture.

        •  OK, I have no idea what you all are talking about (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chaoslillith, Kimbeaux

          with Lot and his daughters; but I am pretty sure it is why I haven't bothered to teach my sons any religion.  These stories are beyond weird and creepy.

          I can teach my kids everything they could get from religion in seven words:

          Respect Yourself.
          Respect Others.
          Respect the Planet.

          Full stop.

          If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

          by trillian on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 07:37:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Mob Demanded To Fuck The Male Angels With Lot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Lot, as Abraham's nephew was probably protected by custom and rank, but the mob demanded to ass-rape the angels who came with him.

      Now in those days, a gang ass rape was a way of expressing disrespect.  Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II of Macedon after Philip had one of his guys publicly ass raped at a banquet, which resulted in the king being assassinated.

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 06:12:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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