9/28/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism

A speech delivered to the Stomach Club, a society of American writers and artists, Paris, 1879

by Mark Twain

My gifted predecessor has warned you against the "social evil — adultery." In his able paper he exhausted that subject; he left absolutely nothing more to be said on it. But I will continue his good work in the cause of morality by cautioning you against that species of recreation called self-abuse — to which I perceive that you are [too] much addicted.

All great writers upon health and morals, both ancient and modern, have struggled with this stately subject; this shows its dignity and importance. Some of these writers have taken one side, some the other.

Homer, in the second book of the "Iliad", says with fine enthusiasm, "Give me masturbation or give me death!"

Caesar, in his "Commentaries", says, "To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and [to the] impotent it is a benefactor; they that [be? , are?] penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this [excellent? , experienced?] observer has said, "there are times when I prefer it to sodomy."

Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art."

Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity."

Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked that, "a jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush."

The immortal Franklin has said, ["Masturbation is the mother of invention." He also said,] "Masturbation is the best policy."

Michelangelo and all the other old Masters — old Masters, I will remark, is an abbreviation, a contraction — have used similar language. Michelangelo said to Pope Julius II, "Self-negation is noble, self-culture [is] beneficent, self-possession is manly, but to the truly great and inspiring soul they are poor and tame compared to self-abuse."

Mr. Brown, here, in one of his latest and most graceful poems refers to it in an eloquent line which is destined to live to the end of time — "None know it but to love it; None name it but to praise."

Such are the utterances of the most illustrious of the masters of this renowned science, and apologists for it. The name of those who decry it and oppose it is legion; they have made strong arguments and uttered bitter speeches against it — but there is not room to repeat them here, in much detail.

Brigham Young, an expert of incontestable authority, said, "As compared with the other thing, it is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

Solomon said, "There is nothing to recommend it but its cheapness."

Galen said, "It is shameful to degrade to such bestial use that grand limb, that formidable member, which we votaries of science dub the 'Major Maxillary' — when they dub it at all — which is seldom. [It would be better to decapitate the Major than to use him so.] It would be better to amputate the os frontis than to put it to such a use."

The great statistician, Smith, in his Report to Parliament, says, "In my opinion, more children have been wasted in this way than in any other." It cannot be denied that the high [authority? , antiquity?] of this art entitles it to our respect; but at the same time I think [that] its harmfulness demands our condemnation."

Mr. Darwin was grieved to feel obliged to give up his theory that the monkey was the connecting link between man and the lower animals. I think he was too hasty. The monkey is the only animal, except man, that practices this science; hence he is our brother; there is a bond of sympathy and relationship between us.

Give this ingenious animal an audience of the proper kind, and he will straightway put aside his other affairs and take a whet; and you will see by the contortions and his ecstatic expression that he takes an intelligent and human interest in his performance.

The signs of excessive indulgence in this destructive pastime are easily detectable. They are these: A disposition to eat, to drink, to smoke, to meet together convivially, to laugh, to joke, and tell indelicate stories — and mainly, a yearning to paint pictures. The results of the habit are: Loss of memory, loss of virility, loss of cheerfulness, loss of hopefulness, loss of character, and loss of progeny.

Of all the various kinds of sexual intercourse, this has the least to recommend it. As an amusement it is too fleeting; as an occupation it is too wearing; as a public exhibition there is no money in it. It is unsuited to the drawing room, and in the most cultured society it has long since been banished from the social board. It has at last, in our day of progress and improvement,
been degraded to brotherhood with flatulence. Among the best bred, these two arts are now indulged only in private — though by consent of the whole company, when only males are present, it is still permissible, in good society, to remove the embargo [upon? , on?] the fundamental sigh.

My illustrious predecessor has taught you that all forms of the 'social evil' are bad. I would teach you that some of those forms are more to be avoided than others.

So, in concluding, I say, "If you must gamble [away] your lives sexually, don't play a [Lone Hand? , lone hand] too much." When
you feel a revolutionary uprising in your system, get your Vendome Column down some other way — don't jerk it down.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[Bracketed sections denote differences observed between various on-line texts.]

See also: Boroson, Warren,
"Introduction to 'Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism' by Mark
Twain." Fact, 9(2):19-21, March-April 1964. B404

"Suppressed since
1879, a minor masterpiece by America's greatest humorist is here published for the first time . . . In the entire history of bawdy literature, perhaps no work has been the subject of such high-handed suppression and such shamefaced secrecy."

9/27/2002                                                                                       View Comments

The Big 'O'

Here is a question for the Christians reading this:

What is the point of a woman's orgasm, and why would a dedicated Christian woman ever have them?

In Christian theology, it is understood that sex is only for procreation, and any other uses of the sexual function is rooted in lust and hedonism. To propagate the race the man must ejaculate his seed deep into the woman' s body, therefore it is imperative that the man have an orgasm, as this is how it works. However, the woman need not experience such a base lust-filled feeling at all. True she must endure the distastful prospect of having an aroused lusty nude man penetrating her womanhood with his blood engorged erect stiff member. She may even have to tolerate his semen filled testicles as they slap somewhat violently against her sensitive anal tissue. Her vagina needs to open wide and be well lubricated in order to limit the damage to it by the onslaught of impassioned deep thrusts as the man endeavors to reach climax, and finally fills her vagina and uterus with his load of life giving sperm.

We all know this is how people are made. But there is absolutely no reason for the woman to enjoy any of it. She must submit to her husband as the good book says, of course. We need to continue the race until the Second Coming of Christ, after all. But, are base lustful waves of orgasm something a Christian woman should seek?

Since there is no real procreative reason for woman to orgasm, other than for the sake of pleasure, then I would suggest that Christian women who have orgasms are sinning.

Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake. Masturbation is a sin, because it is not the proper use of the sexual function for procreation, it is seeking to feel good by climaxing. So, it stands to reason that having an orgasm, when unnecessary, is nothing more than a fancy form of masturbation.

Let's look at it another way.

In order for most women to have an orgasm, they or their partner must basically masturbate the clitoris to bring the woman to climax. Very few women can have an orgasm from the simple thrusting of a rock hard penis into their vagina. A considerable amount of thought and creative stimulation is needed for the majority of women to arrive at the point orgasmic euphoria.

So, since stroking my erect penis to climax is considered "Onanism", or perhaps pure hedonistic sin, then it can be argued by using the same logic, that touching or stimulating a clitoris just to achieve base lustful pleasure is likewise unadulterated hedonistic sin seeking.

Enjoying sexual pleasure merely for the end result of having an orgasm is the lust of the flesh and hedonism. It is also fun. It definitely feels great. It relieves tension and stress. It occupies so much of human thought, art and music. Yet to a Chrisitan it is merely empty worldly pleasure?

What do you think?`

9/26/2002                                                                                       View Comments

You are OBVIOUSLY...

Let's see, how many times in my life have I heard that opener? In fact how many times in anyone's lifetime do they have to tolerate the quick harsh judgments of others?

This last one came from an atheist I know. I wouldn’t say I am friends with this person, but we do know each other and see each other around town from time to time. This person happened to run across ExChristian.NET, and figured out who the Webmaster is.

The comment out of this fine upstanding atheist was not in any way encouraging. In fact, rather than just saying nothing at all, I got to hear, "You're obviously a new atheist. Your writing is so vitriolic. A seasoned atheist (like me) really doesn't have that much interest in the topic anymore."

Well thank you very much for your heartfelt, albeit rude and unsolicited, comments!

Okay, so what is my point in writing about this? I was a Christian for years and now I am an atheist. I was extremely interested in exploring Christianity when I was a Christian and now I am very interested in delving into my present position on religion. A more accurate assessment would be to accuse me of being a bit compulsive when it comes to things that really interest me, regardless of what those things may be.

Now I admit I have this website up, which attracts some small bit of attention from it's name and content. I even provide a way for visitors to respond to anything on the site in a variety of ways. It seems to some that I even hate or dislike Christians or religious people, which is very far from the truth. People are people and none of us have all the answers to life.

That is my point with this rant right now. Since it is OBVIOUS that none of us know it all, so to speak, I submit that tolerance is the key to advancing the human race another generation or two into the future. Philosophies, governments, or religions which advocate the destruction of apposing viewpoints, under the flag of defending some supposed "truth" are exhibiting nothing more than self-justified prejudice.

Now let me be clear on something. Discussion, argument, communication, and debate should never be stifled. Freedom of speech, thought and expression should be overwhelmingly maintained and promoted. If not, another Dark Ages will surely descend upon us.

So let me make this request of both religious and non-religious who happen upon this site: Discuss the ideas, the beliefs and the conclusions put forth on these pages, but try and leave the subjective motive or maturity assessments somewhere else.

9/25/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?

A Plea For Tolerance In The Face Of New Dogmas
by Bertrand Russell (1947)

I speak as one who was intended by my father to be brought up as a Rationalist. He was quite as much of a Rationalist as I am, but he died when I was three years old, and the Court of Chancery decided that I was to have the benefits of a Christian education.

I think perhaps the Court of Chancery might have regretted that since. It does not seem to have done as much good as they hoped. Perhaps you may say that it would be rather a pity if Christian education were to cease, because you would then get no more Rationalists.

They arise chiefly out of reaction to a system of education which considers it quite right that a father should decree that his son should be brought up as a Muggletonian, we will say, or brought up on any other kind of nonsense, but he must on no account be brought up to think rationally. When I was young that was considered to be illegal.



Sin And The Bishops

Since I became a Rationalist I have found that there is still considerable scope in the world for the practical importance of a rationalist outlook, not only in matters of geology, but in all sorts of practical matters, such as divorce and birth control, and a question which has come up quite recently, artificial insemination, where bishops tell us that something is gravely sinful, but it is only gravely sinful because there is some text in the Bible about it. It is not gravely sinful because it does anybody harm, and that is not the argument. As long as you can say, and as long as you can persuade Parliament to go on saying, that a thing must not be done solely because there is some text in the Bible about it, so long obviously there is great need of Rationalism in practice.

As you may know, I got into great trouble in the United States solely because, on some practical issues, I considered that the ethical advice given in the Bible was not conclusive, and that on some points one should act differently from what the Bible says. On this ground it was decreed by a Law Court that I was not a fit person to teach in any university in the United States, so that I have some practical ground for preferring Rationalism to other outlooks.



Don't Be Too Certain!

The question of how to define Rationalism is not altogether an easy one. I do not think that you could define it by rejection of this or that Christian dogma. It would be perfectly possible to be a complete and absolute Rationalist in the true sense of the term and yet accept this or that dogma.

The question is how to arrive at your opinions and not what your opinions are. The thing in which we believe is the supremacy of reason. If reason should lead you to orthodox conclusions, well and good; you are still a Rationalist. To my mind the essential thing is that one should base one's arguments upon the kind of grounds that are accepted in science, and one should not regard anything that one accepts as quite certain, but only as probable in a greater or a less degree. Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.



Proof of God

Here there comes a practical question which has often troubled me. Whenever I go into a foreign country or a prison or any similar place they always ask me what is my religion.

I never know whether I should say "Agnostic" or whether I should say "Atheist". It is a very difficult question and I daresay that some of you have been troubled by it. As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one prove that there is not a God.

On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.

None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you would find it an awful job. You could not get such proof.

Therefore, in regard to the Olympic gods, speaking to a purely philosophical audience, I would say that I am an Agnostic. But speaking popularly, I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were Atheists. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line.



Skepticism

There is exactly the same degree of possibility and likelihood of the existence of the Christian God as there is of the existence of the Homeric God. I cannot prove that either the Christian God or the Homeric gods do not exist, but I do not think that their existence is an alternative that is sufficiently probable to be worth serious consideration. Therefore, I suppose that that on these documents that they submit to me on these occasions I ought to say "Atheist", although it has been a very difficult problem, and sometimes I have said one and sometimes the other without any clear principle by which to go.

When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. It is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of certainty, and one should be very careful to emphasize that fact, because otherwise one is landed in an utter skepticism, and complete skepticism would, of course, be totally barren and completely useless.



Persecution

On must remember that some things are very much more probable than others and may be so probable that it is not worth while to remember in practice that they are not wholly certain, except when it comes to questions of persecution.

If it comes to burning somebody at the stake for not believing it, then it is worth while to remember that after all he may be right, and it is not worth while to persecute him.

In general, if a man says, for instance, that the earth is flat, I am quite willing that he should propagate his opinion as hard as he likes. He may, of course, be right but I do not think he is. In practice you will, I think, do better to assume that the earth is round, although, of course, you may be mistaken. Therefore, I do not think we should go in for complete skepticism, but for a doctrine of degrees of probability.

I think that, on the whole, that is the kind of doctrine that the world needs. The world has become very full of new dogmas. he old dogmas have perhaps decayed, but new dogmas have arisen and, on the whole, I think that a dogma is harmful in proportion to its novelty. New dogmas are much worse that old ones.

9/22/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Jesus was NOT omniscient

The following are verses showing that Jesus did NOT know all things.

"And Jesus saith unto them. How many loaves have ye?" (Matt. 15:34)

"How is it that ye do not understand that I spoke not to you concerning bread, but that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?" (Matt. 16:11)

"... he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that I, the son of man, am?" (Matt. 16:13)

"..., how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?" (Matt. 17:17)

"And he saith unto her, What wilt thou?" (Matt. 20:21)

"... Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" (Matt. 20:22)

"... What will ye that I shall do unto you: (Matt. 20:32)

"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels who are in heaven, NEITHER THE SON, but the father." (Mark 13:32)

"And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matt. 26:39)

"And Jesus said unto him, friend, why art thou come?" (Matt. 26:50)

"..., My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46)

"And he asked him, What is thy name?" (Mark 5:9)

"And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that power had gone out of him, turned about in the crowd, and said, Who touched my clothes?" (Mark 5:30)

"He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? Go and see." (Mark 6:38)

"And he asked them, How many loaves have ye?" (Mark 8:5)

"And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign?" (Mark 8:21)

"...; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw anything." (Mark 8:23)

"And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?" (Mark 9:16)

"And he asked his father, How long ago is it since this came unto him?" (Mark 9:21)

"..., he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves on the way?" (Mark 9:33)

"And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?" (Mark 10:36)

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?" (Mark 10:50)

"And Jesus INCREASED IN WISDOM and stature, AND IN FAVOR WITH GOD and man." (Luke 3:52)

"And he said unto them, Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:25)

"And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name?" (Luke 8:30)

"...; and he asked them, saying, Who say the people that I am?" (Luke 9:18)

"And said unto them, Why sleep ye?" (Luke 22:46)

"And he said unto them, What things?" (Luke 24:19)

"And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?" (Luke 24:38)

"..., he said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat?" (Luke 24:41)

"..., he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the son of God?" (John 9:35)

"And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see." (John 11:34)

"Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?" (John 16:31)

"..., and said unto them, Whom seek ye?" (John 18:4)

"Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye?" (John 18:7)

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepiest thou? Whom seekest thou?" (John 20:15)

"Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any food?" (John 21:5)

"He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonah, lovest thou me?" (John 21:17)

To avoid much repetition, only one question is written from the four gospels. Also, several times Jesus asked a question, obviously to provoke an answer. None of these types of questions are quoted here, but only the questions that seem as if the answer is not known.

submitted by Bill Henness

9/20/2002                                                                                       View Comments

All scripture is given by inspiration of God ?

The purpose of this brief article is to show the fallacy of the two verses that fundamentalists put most of their faith in: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Tim. 3:16,17)

I will forgo including the verses that give conflicting numbers as they are usually explained away as errors due to scribal mistakes in copying.

The following verses are from the New Scofield K.J.V. and they are clearly contradictory statements, which cannot possibly be explained away as copyist errors.

These scriptures show that "all scripture" could not have been "given by inspiration of God,"

  • 1. "And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Paddanaram unto LABAN, SON OF BETHUEL the Syrian, the BROTHER of Rebehah, Jacob and Esau's mother." (Gen. 28:5)
    vs
    "And he said unto them, know ye LABAN, THE SON OF NAHOR? And they said, we know him." (Gen. 29:5)

    2. "And when Saul INQUIRED of the LORD. The LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets." (I Sam. 28:6)
    vs
    "And he (Saul) INQUIRED NOT of the LORD; therefore, he (God) slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David, the son of Jesse." (I Chron. 10:14)

    3. "And OUT OF THE TRIBE OF DAN, Eltekeh with its suburbs, Gibbethon with its suburbs, AIJALON with its suburbs, GATH-RIMMON with its suburbs; four cities." (Josh. 21:23,24)
    vs
    "And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in the hill country of EPHRAIM with its suburbs;... And AIJALON with its suburbs, and GATH-RIMMON with its suburbs." (I Chron. 6:67,69)

    4. "And his servants carried him (Josiah) in a chariot DEAD FROM MEGIDDO, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulcher." (II Kings 23:30)
    vs
    "And they brought him (Josiah) to JERUSALEM, and he DIED, and was buried in one of the sepulchers of his fathers." (II Chron. 35:24)

    5. "The wicked have made a snare for me; yet I ERRED NOT from thy precepts." (Ps. 119:110)
    vs
    "I have GONE ASTRAY like a lost sheep..." (v. 176)

    6. "And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a plot of ground full of LENTILS...But HE stood in the midst of the plot and defended it." (II Sam. 23:11,12)
    vs
    "...the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a plot of ground full of BARLEY;... and THEY stood in the midst of the plot, and defended it..." (I Chron. 11:13,14)

    7. "And these be the names of those that were born unto him IN JERUSALEM; Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, and Ibhar, and Elishua: and Nepheg, and Japhia, and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet." (II Sam. 5:14,15)
    vs
    "And these were born unto him IN JERUSALEM: Shimea, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,... and Ibbar, and Elishama, and ELIPHELET, NOGAH, and Nepheg, and Japhia, and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet..." (I Chron. 3:5-8) (Note: two with the same name also Eliphelet.)

    8. "ANSWER NOT a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." (Prov. 26:4)
    vs
    "ANSWER a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." (Prov. 26:5)

    9. "And in the fifth year of Joram, the son of Ahab, king of Israel, JEHOSHAPHAT being then king of JUDAH,..." (II Kings 8:16)
    vs
    "...; all these were the sons of JEHOSHAPHAT, king of ISRAEL." (II Chron. 21:2)

    10. "By these were the borders of the nations divided in their lands; EVERY ONE AFTER HIS TONGUE, after their families, in their nations." (Gen. 10:5)
    vs
    "And the whole earth was of ONE LANGUAGE, and of ONE SPEECH." (Gen. 11:1)

    11. "And OUT OF THE GROUND the LORD God formed EVERY BEAST OF THE FIELD, and EVERY FOWL OF THE AIR;..." (Gen. 2:19)
    vs
    "And God said, Let the WATERS BRING FORTH abundantly THE MOVING CREATURE that hath life, and FOWL that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." (Gen. 1:20)

    12. "And ASA did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God; for HE TOOK AWAY the alters of the strange gods, and THE HIGH PLACES, and broke down the images, and cut down the groves." (II Chron. 14:2,3)
    vs
    "But THE HIGH PLACES WERE NOT TAKEN AWAY out of Israel; nevertheless, the heart of ASA was perfect all his days." (II Chron. 15:17)

    13. "And his (Jehoshaphat) heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD; moreover, HE TOOK AWAY THE HIGH PLACES and groves out of Judah." (II Chron. 17:6)
    vs
    "Howbeit, THE HIGH PLACES WERE NOT TAKEN AWAY; for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the god of their fathers." (II Chron. 20:33) see also I Kings 22:43.

    14. "THOU (God) art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and CANST NOT LOOK ON INIQUITY;..." (Hab. 1:13)
    vs
    "The EYES OF THE LORD ARE in every place, beholding THE EVIL and the good." (Prov. 15:3) "For MINE EYES ARE UPON all their ways; they are not hidden from my face, NEITHER IS THEIR INIQUITY HIDDEN FROM MINE EYES." (Jer. 16:17)

    15. "And the house of Israel called the name thereof MANNA: and it was like coriander seed, white; and THE TASTE OF IT WAS LIKE WAFERS MADE WITH HONEY." (Ex. 16:31)
    vs
    "And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and THE TASTE OF IT WAS AS THE TASTE OF FRESH OIL." (Num. 11:8)

    16. "And there was WAR between ASA and Baasha, king of Israel, ALL THEIR DAYS." (I Kings 15:16)
    vs
    "...; and ASA, his son, reigned in his stead. In his days THE LAND WAS QUIET TEN YEARS." (II Chron. 14:1)

    17. "For his (God's) ANGER ENDURETH BUT A MOMENT;..." (Ps. 30:5)
    vs
    "...; for ye have kindled a fire in MINE (God's) ANGER, WHICH SHALL BURN FOREVER." (Jer. 17:4)

So, is it true that, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God?" If it is, why would God inspire men to write completely conflicting statements?

This concludes my list of O.T. conflicting statements, but is by no means meant to be comprehensive.

compiled by Bill Henness

9/15/2002                                                                                       View Comments

THE VIRGIN MIDIANITES

William F Henness [wildbillh@winco.net]

One of the worse stories found in the Bible is in Num. 31. Twelve thousand armed men, under Moses' leadership, attacked the Midianites. They killed all the males and burned all their dwellings. But they saved all the females alive, until Moses heard about it. Moses promptly commanded all the male children be killed, but all the females were spared who had not had intercourse.

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the female children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (Num. 31:17,18)

Now these females were not all children, for in verse 35, it gives the number of virgins.

"And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of WOMEN that had not known man by lying with him." (v. 35)

Now, my question is, how did the soldiers determine the virgins from the non virgins? By a physical exam? There is no other way. Little girl babies and very young girls would naturally be assumed to be virgins, but v. 18 says "but all the female children, that have not known a man by lying with him," then there were the virgin women (v.35.)

Try to visualize the event. Some of the young girls would be kicking and screaming as two or three young soldiers held her down and visually checked for an intact hymen. Perhaps some finger probing was necessary. If they found not a hymen, they would promptly cut her throat or run a spear through her. They found 32,000 virgin children and women.

I think that this physical check would cause sexual arousal in most of the soldiers, however after several hundred checks it probably didn't.

What about the little girls, or big girls, who had fallen and ruptured their hymen? They were killed on the spot, because it looked like they had had intercourse.

Webster's says; "hymen, the thin mucous membrane that USUALLY covers part of the opening of the vagina in a virgin." Pretty gruesome event.

There were regulations for prisoners in wartime also.


"And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire for her, that thou wouldest have her as thy wife, then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; ... and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go where she will. But thou shalt not sell her at all for money; thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her." (Deut. 21:11-14)

The next time you read the account in Num. 31:17,18,35, try to imagine the scene, then multiply that by 31,999 and you have the entire picture. Also See: GOD is a Sexist and In the Name of the LORD

9/11/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Intractable Theological Problems

• How could Adam and Eve ever have sinned if God had actually created them perfect, even if they did have free will? If God created them imperfect, how could a perfect just being blame them then for being imperfect?

• How can evil exist in the world if God is simultaneously good, omnipotent, and loving? Why is it that no theodicy (explanation of God's creation of evil) stands up under rational scrutiny?

• Why does the church say God did not create evil, when he himself claims that he did in Isaiah 45:7, Lamentations 3:38, and Amos 3:6? Despite the renderings in the modern translations, the Hebrew word is the same as that translated "evil" in numerous other passages. Even in the modern renderings, how can the Christian explain God causing "calamity" (NASB) or "woe" (NRSV) or "disaster" (NIV)?)?

• Why does God expressly take credit for creating disabilities (Exodus 4:11)? If these are God's doing, then why does the evangelical church insist that disabilities are the result of the fall, or of Satan's work?

• Why would a loving, omnipotent, benevolent god cause people to believe falsehoods so that he can condemn them (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)?

• Why is the Bible inconsistent on major theological issues such as the nature and existence of an afterlife, the efficacy of works of the Law with regard to salvation, and the distinction between soul and spirit?

• Why does the evangelical church speak of absolute values when the Bible teaches situational ethics (David's eating the showbread, and Jesus's Golden Rule)?

• Why is it not possible to formulate a systematic theology that agrees with the Bible in all points? Roman Catholic theology introduces unbiblical and irrational ideas; Calvinistic reformed theology stumbles at the existence of evil; covenantal theology muddles the biblical distinctions between Israel and the church; dispensational theology is too hopelessly complex to be credible because every major inconsistency is explained away by spuriously introducing a new "dispensation;" and Arminianism destroys the sovereignty of God.

• Why doesn't the Bible itself present its own "revealed" systematic theology. Doesn't God want us to have a consistent and complete framework of theology to support right decision making and teaching others?

9/08/2002                                                                                       View Comments

There are three real Christians now!

I made a challenge some weeks back saying that there are no real Christians and that I could prove it. The article for the premise is here.

In a nutshell I quoted Jesus where he is purported to have commanded his followers to give to everyone who asks of them, without reservation. I also prove through very words of Jesus that the motives of the asker are not to be considered in deciding whether or not to obey the command to give. The only option for the true believer is obedience to the words of his GOD.

Anyway, I only asked for $10.00 to make the stinginess and disobedience of Christians even more striking by their ignoring a plain simple command, when it affects the pocket.

I expected to receive absolutely nothing. However, I was wrong. My sister sent $10.00, someone sent a donation through Pay Pal for $10.00, and another contacted me with an interesting challenge to give to charity and he would match funds with whatever I gave. So, I contacted that person and said I would give $100.00 to MDA. He in turn said he would match my donation, and send me the $10.00 I originally asked for in the aricle referenced above.

True to his word, I did receive his check. I am waiting for it to clear now, though I have no reason to doubt that it will. I already paid my share to MDA, and as soon as the check clears I will forward his donation on as well.

This man claims Christ, but is presently between churches. Isn’t it odd that an ex-Christian would have such influence on a Christian as to motivate generosity? On the other hand, is it vice-versa?

I need some feedback on this one! Any takers?