Thursday, January 10, 2008

Does The Bible Condemn Pedophilia?

Video from Skeptic Bible Study on whether pedophilia is condemned in the Bible:

It is interesting that there is no clear law against having sex with children especially in Leviticus 20. It condemns sexual relations with close realtives very specifically. There was no priority by Biblical writers to condemn pedophilia.


Corax said...

I see you've gotten no responses. I hope mine will suffice, and not be too hard to follow. I'm not always the best at mounting a defense of the Bible, but I shall do my best. Also, to keep the lynch mob at bay: I'm not a pedophile nor do I advocate pedophilia, or any other sort of sex outside monogamous heterosexual marriage.

Suppose the Bible were to condemn pedophilia. How would it be defined? You say, "Don't have sex with children." Okay, what's a child? Anybody under 10? 12? 16? 18? 21? Puberty? Age of Mental Maturity? (Whatever/whenever that is!) Since the Bible already says "Don't have sex with another man", we can assume that man-boy sex is not going to be any more acceptable, so it would have to be "Don't have sex with little girls." What's the minimum age? The Bible is a practical book, avoiding arbitrary rules and teaching principles rather than rules wherever possible. At that time most girls were married as soon as they were able to bear children, perhaps age 12 or 13. How young is too young? Prepubescent? How do you define that so that normal, non-professionals throughout all times wouldn't likely make a mistake? The youngest recorded mother was four years old when she became pregnant, and required a ceasarian section because she was too small for normal birth at age 5. That however was an unusual situation, and normally when a girl is capable of pregnancy, she's capable of giving birth. But then they say that sex before some unspecified age is a problem because the girl is not mentally mature enough for it, that it will leave her with lifelong mental scars, which suggests that sex before that unspecified age is equivalent to rape, that even if consent is given it is invalid and the child will still be scarred for life in a manner detrimental to society itself in spite of her own complicity; but that by some unspecified age, it's no longer rape and no longer harmful, and is good for society. I find this hard to comprehend, but what I think is irrelevant. What matters here is, does the Bible deal with this? I suggest that it does.

The Bible is very clear that a husband is obligated toward his wife. Note Ephesians 5, where it says "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." (v.25)
No husband following this mandate would hurt his wife, so it should not matter what age his wife is, his behavior toward her will always be appropriate. You mentioned the passage in Numbers (31:18) which says: "But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." It doesn't say what was to be done with them, but we may assume, given the circumstances of that time and place, that they were kept as wives for the Israelite men. It's been estimated that the average age of these children was 5. The Israelites would have to have cared for them as part of their families for years before they were old enough to consummate a marriage. The Bible standard is for sex to be only within marriage, and that a husband is to love his wife as himself, basically to give himself over to her, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it. I see no place for abuse of any kind. Even though the Bible's lack of direct prohibition in relation to sex and children might shock modern sensibilities, I should point out that a century ago if someone had suggested a child molester should be drawn and quartered, as I've recently read in a web forum, they would have been called insane! However, in this particular web forum, the person suggesting this was praised, and others added even ghastlier suggestions to that one. In fact, it seems many people today have lost their minds in their outrage against pedophiles, declaring "kiddy fiddling" to be a crime worse than murder (ask some of the people who were molested as children if they'd rather be dead, I doubt you'll get many positive responses), even one person claiming that it destroys a child's soul, which is ludicrous, and which an adult victim of child sexual abuse directly denied.

I think this hysteria over pedophilia is proof that human morality, without the Bible, the words of the all-knowing God, to guide it with a rock-solid standard reference, can wander into any sort of perversity. In some societies it is morally right to eat your enemies. In others it is okay to kill your son or daughter if they dishonor you. In some societies it is common practice to mutilate the genetalia of young girls, while in ours it is common to mutilate the genetalia of young boys. Almost every practice which is considered immoral in one society is considered okay or desirable in some other society. So how dare we claim moral superiority over the God of the Bible just because he chose not to specifically prohibit something which we, in our awesomeness, have declared immoral?

antosarmy said...

Corax are you saying that a grown man having sex with a five year old girl will not mentally affect that child for life? Because if you read back over your submission that is exactly what it looks like you are saying.

Are you also saying that if my daughter of five years is sexually penetrated by a grown man and I kill that man that I am wrong to that? Or if I keep that man alive and torture him for the rest of his life. Is that wrong of me?

Are you saying that if that man hurt your child in such a way you would not want that man to suffer or to die?

Because if you are saying that then I have to question your love for your children. Because any man or woman that harms our children should be punished in the most extreme and painful way possible.

And I believe that that may be against God's wishes, who said Forgive. But I am sorry and I may go to hell, but I could not forgive a man for doing that to my child.

And I feel I could carry out all manner of punishments to a person who harms a child in the way specified with absolutely no emotion whatsoever.

And I also believe that if I asked, God would not forgive me. But if I truly, in the fullness of time, felt bad about doing it and asked for forgiveness, God would forgive me.

And as far as age goes, Civilised society has put an age of 16 and 17 years on the age of consent to protect children. Children are not responsible. Are easily coerced. They DO say "yes" out of fear of disappointing the adult or out of fear of harm from the adult. Or because they want to think they are being "Good Girls and boys", that they are doing the right thing. How can you intimate that a child of five years can "Give Consent" for sexual acts? That is sick. Unbelievable! A child of Five years should not know what sexual intercourse is and by that very definition should be regarded as being FORCED if that child is sexually molested in any manner by any age group.