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Re: Ambiguous Scripture?
Do not desire her [the adulteress'] beauty in
your heart and do not let her capture you with her
eyelashes, for a prostitute's fee is only a loaf of
bread, but the wife of another stalks a man's very
> Louie, this is an interesting passage you cite.
> While it certainly sets visiting a prostitute as less
> of a sin than ruining a man's marriage I don't think
> it removes the sinful status of it completely.
> I suppose it could be paralleled with what Jesus said
> about divorce when he claimed that Moses allowed
> divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts. It
> didn't mean that it was not a sin, simply a lesser one
> than the alternative.
I personally accept the same hierarchy you describe, but our values
are not manifested in this text. The writer of this text does not
attribute sin to prostitution; instead, he recommends prostitution as
a good deal. The writer is concerned about the way the adulterer's
husband will stalk the offender but does not even suggest that God
will respond negatively to the cheap, quick fix.
Sociologists note that married men go to prostitutes in our time for
the same reason: there will be no strings attached; it won't
interfere with their existing commitments; prostitution is efficient
lust control. St. Paul treated marriage itself as good mainly for
lust control. The adultery laws in Hebrew Scriptures did not restrict
males from having sex outside marriage; they restricted only the
females, who were the men's property.
I reject that model of sexuality, that model of marriage and that
model of male privilege. Sexuality is integral to any healthy
marriage, but it surely does not define it.
Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., #12D, East Orange, NJ 07018-1225
The Episcopal Church, rejecting simplistic theology since 1785