Sometimes atheists claim that God endorses rape because Deuteronomy says it’s okay to force women you’ve captured in wartime to marry you.
Is that true?
Let’s look at the issue . . .
(NOTE: This post is part of a series on the “dark passages” of the Bible. Click here to see all of the posts in the series.)
Several years ago I was in an art museum with the children of a family I’m friends with.
We were in the classical art section when, suddenly, the four-year old at my knee asked, “Where are those men taking those women?”
I bent down to look at the painting that was oddly hung at her eye-level (!) and realized it was a depiction of an event from early Roman history, the Abduction of the Sabine Women.
Not knowing how to break this down in a chaste way for a four-year old, I said: “Uhh . . . to have fun.”
“Okay,” she said.
Of course, there was more to it than that.
Specifically, the early Romans who participated in the abduction were engaging in a practice that was somewhat common in the ancient world, and even in some parts of the world today: obtaining a bride by capturing one.
What are we to make of this in a Judeo-Christian context?