Sunday, June 29, 2008

Virginia rape law

I saw this on TV tonight, and was floored. It reminds me of the rape of Dinah in Genesis - where Dinah (one of Jacob's daughters) is raped, and the assailant offers to marry her, which was an acceptable solution at that time. Well apparently, that is currently also an acceptable solution in Virginia! - at least until tomorrow, when it will finally be removed from the books. Under the current law, if a girl aged 14-16 is raped, the man is not allowed to face criminal charges if he offers to marry her.

The law goes off the books tomorrow - nearly 4000 years after Dinah. Of course, the rapist in Dinah's day was not really protected. Dinah's brothers tricked him by saying that he could marry her as long as he and all of his extended family and servants were circumcised. On the day of circumcision, when they were still weak, they were slaughtered by Simeon and Levi - every last one of them. Jacob (God's favorite), who had been quiet about the rape, was upset with his sons because he thought it would cause trouble for them, and later, on his deathbed, he cursed the two who had done it. The curse was that their tribes would eventually be scattered, which of course did happen, though the Levites would become the tribe of the high priests, with Moses as their most distinguished member.

There are many outdated laws on the books, but this one caught me particularly off guard.

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