whkeith, you haven't offended me. i'm just picking you up on what appears to be an incorrect assumption. certainly no reason to consider leaving the boards!!
the clearest of the verses I had in mind was Genesis 19:6 - 8. Lot, remember, was the one RIGHTEOUS man in God's eyes in Sodom.
when abraham argues the toss with G!D he doesn't mention lot specifically - in fact, he only beats G!D down to *ten* people. the tradition does not, in fact regard lot as "righteous" at all. there is one interpretation that says, however, that despite being less plugged into hesed
(compassion) than abraham, he nonetheless tried to follow in his footsteps. the text states also that he "sat in the gate" of sodom, which always signifies a position of civic responsibility. similarly, his offer of hospitality is modelled upon abraham's own (genesis 18:2), but instead of emulating abraham truly, he bakes them *matzah*. why does it say what he bakes? because you bake matzah because it doesn't need to rise, ie, if you're in a hurry, as the israelites were when leaving egypt. in other words, he was trying to get them out of his house before anyone noticed he was being hospitable. then he compounds this shortcoming by the disgusting offer of his daughters - sodomite civic responsibility indeed! but there is nothing to suggest that G!D approved of this act - in fact, one might think that the messengers' offer to sleep in the street suggests that they were aware of lot's weakness and offered him a way out. however, he does try - and he is rewarded for this by being allowed to escape. however, the family's confused sense of morals continues to surface, notably later when his daughters sleep with him - this suggests he didn't teach them very well!
The law for dealing with captured women is set forth in Deuteronomy 21:10 - 14. True, it says "have her as thy wife," but it's remarkably easy to dispose of her afterward if he "takes no delight in her."
well, firstly, this is only applicable to women of a specifically 'enemy nation', captured in an *optional* war in the land of israel, not women in general. so it can't be adduced as evidence of misogyny - especially considering that the men in this case would be killed in battle or made captive; the woman, by contrast, can be freed in order to be married. the sages also explain that the reason the man will end up "taking no delight" is because he got this wife by taking her prisoner in a war, instead of by more proper means. the clear aim is to stigmatise this kind of conduct by jewish soldiers. nonetheless, she is protected as a wife and although you can divorce her and send her away, you can't rescind her status and start treating her as a captive again. this is a big difference from "remarkably easy to dispose of her" - in fact the text makes it *harder* by mandating her status as a wife and, effectively, imposes the obligations of a regular divorce which, in jewish law, are pretty stringent.
One of the clearest statements is in Deuteronomy 25:11 - 12, where a woman will have her hand cut off if she tried to help her husband in a fight by grabbing the genitals of his enemy. "Thine eye shall not pity her."
but the sages interpret this to be a *monetary fine*, just as they do with almost everything else, based upon textual support from an earlier verse. what this is saying is that women are not *exempt* from this punishment for improper behaviour. it is also connected to the Torah's position on public shaming, which is considered as bad as murder.
The overall poor treatment of women is evident throughout.
this is a general statement which cannot be sustained by any of the examples you have offered so far when we consider the traditional interpretations, as opposed to the literalist translated version.
I should not have suggested that God directly supported such attitudes and practices.
for us, if something is in the Torah as a law, that means G!D mandates it. it is up to us to work out why - if we're interpreting it correctly.
For me, today, these verses demonstrate only that these passages were written by men who were part of a particular cultural mindset, one that deemed women to be a step above slaves
if this was the case, why are women allowed to inherit property (the daughters of zelophechad), become religious leaders (the prophetesses) and why are they permitted to make contracts, engage in business, or live independently? women are not even obliged to marry or reproduce under jewish law - only men are. furthermore, the laws of divorce are particularly organised so as to allow the woman more latitude on grounds than the man - she can, for example, divorce him for bad breath, unattractive smells and so on, not having a decent job, sexual non-satisfaction and many other things which he can't divorce her for in turn. i dare say you can object that the biblical israelites were less sophisticated than the rabbis, but the point is that they also get punished a lot worse when they screw up. the "cultural mindset" argument assumes that human society improves over time, which is hardly an unarguable point, in addition to being completely self-serving and relying upon being able to dismiss older cultures as being backward. in much the same way, the british thought that indians were less sophisticated than they were. hmmmmmmm...
my faith, which demanded that I accept every word of both the Old Testament and the New as absolutely the revealed Word of God, as valid for today as it was then.
well, leaving aside the NT for the moment, as it's not a jewish sacred text, the point is not that this statement is incorrect, but that it ignores the fact that "every word" includes the *oral Law as well*
, which is what allows us to get beyond the literalist dead-end.
I should open a thread on the "Society and Politics" board about Jacques Chirac's recent backing for a bill preventing the use of Muslim headscarves - and other religious paraphanelia - from public buildings in France.
don't get me started on *that* lying, corrupt, racist hypocrite and his political system. how he can make out that the US is anti-muslim and then pass something like this is just fecking typical. grrrrr.
First, you have to free yourself of your physiological burden, the nobility of your childbearing and childrearing destiny notwithstanding.
The possibilities of modern medicine are the answer to that objective.
Otherwise you would always be loaded down with your monthly inconvenience and the risk of an unwanted pregnancy burden and all the attendant troubles -- if troubles they be to you.
wow, you seem pretty keen on women altering their natural cycles using chemistry. i know plenty of women that regard that as rather invasive.
Next, develop martial arts and work on the mental skills of logic and mathematics, and take a strong hold of your emotions.
blimey, that does rather assume that women have a problem with this and that the solution is for them to be "more like men". i don't know how popular that would be with women that don't conform to these stereotypes.