Methinks The Lady Doth Protest Too Much…

Hi, I’m MaNishtana.

So I’m just chillin, surfing online, when a link to an article pops up.

“Vatican Christmas Shocker!,” the headline screams. “Pope says child rape isn’t that bad, was normal back in his day.”

Ridiculous, I thought.  It’s not enough that Catholics have a (sort of) Nazi pope sweeping child molestation charges underneath the rug with his insidious Sith powers?

Not pictured: John Williams score.

Now he’s saying it’s “not that bad”?? That in was “normal” back “in his day”?? Whatever the hell THAT means?? So I click over to the article and feast my eyes upon its opening paragraph:

“Victims of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict’s claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn’t considered an ‘absolute evil’ as recently as the 1970s. In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered ‘normal’ by society. ‘In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,’ the Pope said. ‘It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself.’ “

What the WHAT?!

A caption below a picture of Pope read: “Is the game up for the Catholic Church? Sadly not, as many of its brainwashed members will continue to support it in spite of its now overt symptoms of psychopathology.”

And reading the Pope’s comments, I couldn’t agree more…Until I found the Pope’s speech.  His ACTUAL speech.  With his quotes in that funny little thing called “context”. The lines the article quoted are in bold:

“…We are well aware of the particular gravity of this sin committed by priests and of our corresponding responsibility. But neither can we remain silent regarding the context of these times in which these events have come to light. There is a market in child pornography that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society. The psychological destruction of children, in which human persons are reduced to articles of merchandise, is a terrifying sign of the times. From Bishops of developing countries I hear again and again how sexual tourism threatens an entire generation and damages its freedom and its human dignity… In order to resist these forces, we must turn our attention to their ideological foundations. In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist. The effects of such theories are evident today…”

Big difference, eh?

Because it seems obvious to me from his entire speech that he is CONDEMNING those in the 70’s who viewed child porn as “normal” as well as those fence-straddlers–including those within the Church–who say there’s “no such thing” as good or evil in and of itself.

But of course, leave it to those rabid anti-religionists to paint religious folk as brainwashed sheep engaged in harmful psychpathology.

Honestly, guys? Gimme a f*cking break and get off your high horse. Bending truths to fit your point? Presenting a distorted version of facts to gain supporters and believers to your cause? Sounds an awful lot like what you say religion does.  Don’t get me wrong: Organized religion DOES have its problems. And they are legion.  Just stop pretending that you guys are better.

See, I’m really not sure when it became vogue not to be merely atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer of religion, but an ANTI RELIGIONIST WITH THE FURY OF A MILLION MILLION SUNS!!

Like, I can’t scroll thru my Facebook newsfeed without seeing some post or video or article from someone about how much they don’t believe in Gd.  Which is just ridiculously obnoxious to me, an ex-Chabad Orthodox Jew, because less than 1% of my posts, links, or statuses have anything remotely to do with religion, and 0% of them, to date, have had the word Gd in them.

Yet every day, like it’s a job, I see posts from the same group of ppl bashing either religion, or Gd, or both, patting themselves on the back for being so critical and deconstructive and philosophical and logical, yet in the same breath saying “Don’t force your religious views on me, the same way I’m forcing my anti-religion views down YOUR throat”.

And then recently, one day, I had enough and decided to comment on a post.  Said post was this picture below:

I’m sure everyone will recognize it as one of the main argument points attacking the “biblical” definitions of marriage.  It is also misleading.  So i decided to address that fact with, y’know, actual facts:

Poster: Here are some examples of “traditional marriage” from the Bible.

Me: Hm. Highly oversimplified and thoroughly inaccurate in some examples, but sure.

Commentor 1: Oversimplified and inaccurate? Where?


Man & Woman: Even arranged marriages–which isn’t general practice–must have consent of both parties. If either the potential bride or groom arent enamored with their particular option, they can refuse and there’s no match. So there’s plenty of room for marriages based on romantic love. A bride is only stoned in the case of being a virgin at betrothal, but not one at marriage (i.e., she slept around in between the two), stoning being one of the punishments for certain kinds of adultery.
Rapist & Victim: This is creative use of semantics. It’s not the victim who’s stuck marrying her rapist, it’s the rapist who is stuck marrying the victim as punishment. If the victim doesnt want to, there’s no marriage. The 50 shekels isn’t “property damage”, it’s the money less of a virgin’s dowry if she chooses not to marry her rapist, as she’s no longer a virgin.
Man & Brother’s Widow: Again, the only thing “required” here–AGAIN if the woman desires it–is that the deceased brother is given the first opportunity to marry her. If either party does not want to, she is free to marry whomever.
Soldier & Prisoner of War: The soldier isnt permitted to even touch her until after 30 days, and if then she still isn’t interested in the match, she’s set free unmolested.
Additionally, in NONE of these cases is the wife required to “sexually submit” to her husband. Sex, is in fact, at the WIFE’S prerogative.
Poster: Thanks for clarifying MaNishtana. So the “punishment” for rape is marriage. Interesting.
Me: For the guy? Yes. That is, of course, in cases of rape when the guy wasn’t put to death.
Poster: Funny how the men were permitted polygamy, but the women weren’t.
Me: Laws of inheritance. Harder to figure out who is the son of who with multiple possible fathers. See: Maury.
Poster: Yeah, but the “laws of inheritance” wouldn’t have been a problem if these misogynists would have allowed women to inherit or pass wealth down to their own children. May not know who the daddy is, but you’d damn sure know who the mother is.
Me: And in some cases women CAN inherit and pass down wealth.
Commentor 2: Also I missed the part in the Bible where God says “but women have a right to turn down these relationships and sex even if they are slaves/concubines”.
Me: Show me that part in the Bible again where women are commanded to submit sexually against their will?
Poster: ‎”In some cases.” Like in the cases where there are no men to inherit, you mean?
Me: No. I mean in cases where the inheritance has been given as a a “gift” to circumvent such. As well as other scenarios.
Poster: Yeah. The Bible is so progressive on women’s issues. You’ve convinced me of that MaNishtana. (If you didn’t know, that was sarcasm.)What the punishment for a man who isn’t a virgin or who commits adultery?
Me: In some cases a man who commits adultery gets the death sentence. There’s no punishment for a man OR woman engaging in extramarital sexual relations (if there’s no issue of adultery/betrothal/rape/adultery/coercion, etc. or other likewise mitigating factors) besides lashes.
Poster: Isn’t that only if he sleeps with another man, though?
Me: Nope.
Poster: And what about the man who isn’t a virgin? What’s his punishment for not being a virgin?
Me: AGAIN, there is no “punishment” for a WOMAN not being a virgin. These examples on this chart are SPECIFIC cases which involve infidelity. Hence the “oversimplified” and “inaccurate” comment which began the conversation.

It always amuses me, aside from the fact that a lot of anti-religionists argue from the same place of unfocused indignant passion and lack of knowledge on the subject matter that they charge religious crowd of operating in, that, in a world where rational people can accept that they wouldn’t understand Shakespeare–which was written only 500 years ago and in English–were it not for the commentary explaining the words/situations/and jokes in context, and that in a world where they admit they didn’t “get” a scene in a movie from LAST YEAR until they played the director’s commentary on the DVD, that they feel that they are completely equipped to provide a justified and accurate opinion on an English, translated from Latin, translated from Greek, translated from Hebrew verse from a 2000 year old book while they simultaneously and pigheadedly refuse to read in context or accept the existing commentary on, and reject said context and commentary when such enlightenment is offered.

Hm.  Irrationally rejecting presented facts when they challenge your belief system.  Funny. Sounds like what religious people are accused of in the face of things like “science” and “fact” and “logic”.

Don’t have a heart attack now, but you anti-religionists? You DO have a religion. It’s the religion of being blindly ANTI-religion. And you can be just as myopic, bigoted, condescending, self-righteous, dismissive and illogical as the organized religion that you rail against, all in your quest to prove that anything religiously derived/influenced is unequivocally wrong and primitive.

But let’s say you’re right. Let’s say all you atheists/anti-religionists are really the enlightened ones, and us silly religious and Gd-believing folks are the sheep in the dark.  That sounds pretty plausible, right?  I mean after all, we’re the kooks who believe the world is only six thousand years old when modern science places the Big Bang about 13-15 billion years ago, yeah?

Well, except for that little fact that Rabbi Yitzchak of Akko postulated that the Universe was 15,340,500,000 years old in the 13th century, using calculations based on that silly thing called, *gasp*, the Bible. A whole six to seven hundred years before you religion-bashing science folk got caught up to speed.

Pretty cool feat for us backwards thinkers, no?

I mean, it would’ve been pretty cool.  If Rabbi Nechunya ben HaKana hadn’t come up with the figure of 15.8 billion even earlier than that…in the 1st century.


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