While the Flier is not usually thought of as a biblical forum, I must not let Meg Foeckler's claim ("Nothing biased or irrational about heeding Scripture," letter, Sept. 20) go unchallenged.

The concept of rape is rarely mentioned in the Bible, in Old or New Testament. However, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 clearly refers to rape, as is shown in The New Jerusalem's version of the verses, "If a man meets a young virgin who is not betrothed and seizes her, sleeps with her and is caught in the act, her ravisher must give the girl's father fifty silver shekels; since he has exploited her, she must be his wife and, as long as he lives, he may not divorce her." Other commonly used translations render it similarly. This obviously does not refer to consensual sex, which, outside of marriage, is technically called "fornication."

These verses, do indeed, require a woman to marry her rapist, as McClelan's earlier letter correctly indicated. The truth of this is shown in II Samuel , Chapter 13, perhaps the only account of an actual rape in the Old Testament, where Tamar urges the man about to rape her, her half-brother Amnon, to get their father David's consent to marry her, rather than raping her first.

As for the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, a favorite of those who believe that God wrote the Bible, Lot is trying to protect his houseguests, angels no less, from being raped by his neighbors, who take for granted their right to rape them.


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None of this has any rational relation to the current ballot issue in Maryland, other than to highlight the ignorance of some of its opponents.

Steven Shore

Columbia