Stoning the Adulteress: A Cause for Feminist Ire?

“Apart from repealing medical privacy to deter adultery would you consider stoning the guilty as set forth in the Bible?” I ask B in jest, continuing our discussion (see Down with Medical Privacy, a Shelter for Adultery, 7-19-2019, typakmusings.com).

“Not if enforced only against the woman,” explodes B, who has six granddaughters he adores. “In the single reference to its enforcement the accusers bring to Jesus only the woman for stoning (John 8:4). By daring the sinless among them to cast the first stone he causes the mob to disperse but I am disappointed with him for not demanding the production of the guy, her partner in sin, probably her seducer and more culpable, as a procedural requirement at the outset.”

“Perhaps the bias against women was too entrenched even for him to rectify,” I hazard. “The Book was written by men who controlled money and owned women like chattel.”

“My girls, educated professionals, are no men’s chattel and won’t stand for such lop-sided justice. My heart bleeds for the countless women that have perished so cruelly. Imagine a hail of stones pelting you from all directions. One hits you in the shank, breaking the tibia, but before you reach down reflexively to touch the wound, another hits you smack in the eye popping it out, and so on until you fall dead.”

“That reminds me of a picture I saw way back, a tribe of aborigines in Australia shooting poison darts, the kind used for hunting boars, at an adulterous man up in a tree, hopping from branch to branch to avoid being hit.”

“How horrible! Does that sort of thing still go on?”

“No. Now everywhere both partners in sin equally share guilt and punishment. Civil, not criminal, because divorce, division of property, alimony, child support, custody, visitation, reconfiguration of social, occupational relationships are felt to be punitive enough in a modern urban society.”

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