Collard Greens, Fear, and Sex

If you have family from the US South, you probably eat or have eaten black eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day. It’s a tradition that goes back generations. My family is no exception to that. And I begrudgingly took part in this ritual for years – not because I particularly cared for it, but because I was being a good sport. You see, while I really like black eyed peas, collards have been on my list of least favorite foods since childhood. I admit: it’s a long list – I’m a picky eater. Nevertheless, my mother would annually cajole me to take a few bites and I dutifully ate greens every January 1 because of perceived familial obligation.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Yes, collards the sweet way and mashed potatoes and black eyed peaswith chopped onions are delicious…perhaps not before sex.
I also think it wonderful that God created women to enjoy sex and a curse on those religions and practices that do genital mutilation…both physical and “mental.”
What a shame the one time held diagnosis of female hysteria. However, It supposedly led to the battery “aides” of today. I dont think many boys or girls have sufferred blindness,… although I got cataracts with age. :slight_smile:
PS. Also watch the red meats they raise the “animal spirits!”


Mysister an Orthodontist taught part time at UCLA and Southern Cal. At one faculty meeting a male orthodontist stated that women could not be as skillful as men, particularly in the demanding art and science of Orthodontics. as he finished my sister, bless her heart stood up as addressed him. Sir, I can to anything better than you except stand up and pee. She became the hero of the university.


I agree with the author on just about all of this. But to me it seems like we’re missing the elephant in the room. Why do these sexist ideas persist more in traditional Abrahamic religions? To me there is really no mystery where these kinds of blatantly sexist attitudes come from. They come from long patriarchal traditions all over the world, yes, but they also come from the Bible.

I know we don’t like to talk about it, but the Mosaic Law explicitly given by Yahweh to his chosen people is incredibly sexist and cruel to women. I’m not talking about human actions (like the rape of Dinah or the Levite’s concubine), I’m talking about the specific commands and instructions from Yahweh on how his people were supposed to live in relation with each other on earth. They are immoral, sexist and cruel to women, and they have helped establish a patriarchal tradition that has percolated down through the millennia and into our modern minds. And it is actively harming women right now.

It doesn’t take much more than a cursory read through the Mosaic Law to see that women are treated as property, without power over even their own bodies. For starters, in Exodus 20, Exodus 21:2-4, Exodus 21:7-9, Exodus 22:16-17, Exodus 21:22-25, Deuteronomy 21:10-14, Leviticus 12:1-5, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Numbers 5, Numbers 30:1-8, Deuteronomy 24:1-4, and Deuteronomy 25:11.

It seems pretty easy to draw a straight line from the formalized patriarchy of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to our modern ideas of masculinity and the appropriate “roles” of women. If that role inherently comes with less opportunity, power, self-determination, religious privilege and respect, then it’s not just a “different role,” it’s a sexist and harmful one. I mean… I don’t think explicitly saying that women are worth 3/5ths of a man (Leviticus 27:1-8) is going to win anyone a feminist of the year award, doubly so if you’re omniscient and omnipotent and are claiming to give your people ideal instructions on how to live. Then it just seems intentionally cruel. :thinking:

But! People say, the Mosaic Laws actually protected women when compared to other societies of the time! Maybe so. Probably so, even. There certainly are some limited protections for women in Israelite society, but they are all firmly within the context of a system in which women had very few rights and were always under the authority of their father or husband. I’m not claiming that Israel was worse for women than other nations. I am claiming that Yahweh’s laws were sexist and cruel toward women, EVEN IF they were marginally better than other nations at the time. We wouldn’t, for instance, claim that southern slave owners who “protected” their property from theft and made sure that they were cared for were fundamentally moral! No, it doesn’t work. And neither do the hollow appeals to “progressive revelation.”

According to the Bible, Yahweh gave Israel a whole raft of requirements that were odd, out of step with the prevailing culture, and really hard for them to follow! Monotheism was HARD for them, but that was far from the only requirement in the law. Why place so much significance on shellfish and circumcision and yet forget to tell Israel that people should be inherently valued? Israel’s failure to live up to God’s requirements seems like a really poor excuse for Yahweh to forget to mention that women are people, and should be valued for more than their bride price and ability to have children. And, oh yeah, maybe don’t take them as sex slaves when you get to feeling frisky.

Deuteronomy 21:10-14: “When you go out to do battle with your enemies and the Lord your God allows you to prevail and you take prisoners, if you should see among them an attractive woman whom you wish to take as a wife, you may bring her back to your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, discard the clothing she was wearing when captured, and stay in your house, lamenting for her father and mother for a full month. After that you may have sexual relations with her and become her husband and she your wife. If you are not pleased with her, then you must let her go where she pleases. You cannot in any case sell her; you must not take advantage of her, since you have already humiliated her.”

Oh good, for a minute I thought this female victim of war was going to be taken advantage of, but Yahweh says no, just humiliate her! Cool, cool. Calling that absolute garbage is about the only thing I can say that won’t break Spectrum’s commenting policy. Honestly, I am outraged at not just this law governing barbaric ancient warfare, but the modern communities who have enshrined this stuff, either explicitly or implicitly, as holy and moral. Religious figures I was taught to respect make apologies for Yahweh’s character and try to claim that stuff like this MUST be moral, simply because it is God’s command. IT. IS. NOT. MORAL. Anyone who even thinks of making such an argument really, really needs to examine their moral foundations to figure out how they can think that such treatment of humans could be justified.

Perhaps Yahweh, if he exists or existed, never laid out these rules at all. Maybe they were the invention of the regressive patriarchy of the time, but either way, we do women an immense disservice by not boldly calling this out as WRONG. It wasn’t right then but wrong now. It doesn’t get a pass because of “progressive revelation.” No. It hurt people and it’s wrong. By not clearly discussing the treatment of women in the Bible and deciding as a community what is and isn’t moral and ok, SDAs are perpetuating sexist and harmful attitudes in the church.

Oh, and just in case we ever forget what “wife” means in this context and are tempted to think of it in anything like equitable(ish) modern terms, verse 15 of Deut. 21 goes on to describe how Israelite men were supposed to manage conflicts between multiple wives. Functionally, can you think of a relevant difference between a sex slave and a woman captured in war and taken forcefully as a third wife? I really can’t. At least the woman gets to mourn the father and mother her husband probably killed before settling in for a lifetime of sexual slavery. At least she wasn’t taken advantage of thanks to those merciful and fair Levitical laws! What an astounding witness of Yahweh’s character to surrounding nations.

This is also in the law of God:

Deuteronomy 22:23 “Suppose a man comes across a virgin who is not engaged and overpowers and rapes her and they are discovered. The man who has raped her must pay her father fifty shekels of silver and she must become his wife because he has violated her; he may never divorce her as long as he lives.”

If a man follows that law exactly as it is written and pays the father for his acquired-via-rape wife, is he oppressing or harming a woman? I don’t understand how anyone could claim that this law is not harmful to women, and sexist.

To me, it is impossible to try to argue that the Mosaic Law isn’t sexist. You have to either say verses like the above aren’t sexist, or that it wasn’t REALLY given by God. But you can’t have it both ways. Either:

  1. Yahweh gave humans a law and moral code that is fundamentally sexist and cruel to women
  2. The OT doesn’t give us the real law of god.
  3. Or, we try to argue that laws like the one above AREN’T sexist or cruel to women.

And yet, it seems like most people avoid examining sexism in the OT at all. If pressed, Adventists often appear to instinctually take option number 3. In order to believe that the OT is both completely true and that God is completely good, we have to blink at the sexism. We have to, on some level, accept a patriarchal paradigm. We become more ok with injustice. We become used to sticking to the harmful status-quo in order to protect our deeper beliefs in the Bible and God’s goodness.

This matters. I’m not taking theological potshots for the sake of my own amusement here. I honestly believe that the sexist traditions in the Bible have been inextricably woven into the theological and cultural fabric of many Christian belief systems. It’s linked to every single issue listed in the article above. It influences our ideas about sexual purity (focusing the most on women!), the roles of women in the home or workplace, how we raise and treat our daughters and sons, our views of women’s sexuality, and our expectations for women in every conceivable facet of modern life. Even if it’s no longer acceptable (in the West at least) to execute women for “crimes” against their male owners, many of the patriarchal attitudes are still there, and not even hidden.

These attitudes don’t come out of nowhere. To stop their growth, we need to examine the source. One powerful source of sexism, as you can see above, is the Bible itself. What you do with that is up to you. I know many people who retain a belief in a loving God, represented by Jesus, and simply reject much of the Old Testament as the ancient beliefs of a people in their moral infancy. They choose to believe that most of the recorded commands and actions of Yahweh simply didn’t happen, and what we have preserved are the words of men. For me, that’s the only way Christian faith can be morally salvageable.

I wish more people could see the harm this causes and work to correct it. It doesn’t have to destroy your faith to admit this stuff! Maybe the Old Testament simply isn’t all that accurate. Maybe people got laws from Moses and they were mostly informed by the moral views of the time. Is that so bad? If we just admit that then we can dismiss the Old Testament for its archaic blood guilt morality, punitive justice, cruelty toward women, and all rest!

Believing that Yahweh in the OT was inherently good is a cancer at the heart of Christian morality. It’s causing people harm, robbing the church of societal and cultural relevance in people’s lives, and preventing personal moral development in Christians.

One day the world will look back at the overt sexism in communities like the SDA Church with the same type of embarrassment and disgust that we reserve for slave owners and others complicit in the systematic subjugation of any group of people. For the sake of the women now fighting against the patriarchy, I hope that day comes soon.


A splendid exposée of the miserable, malevolent, malicious misogyny pervasive in the OLD TESTAMENT.

Regrettably, Paul in his epistles is equally misogynist — hence the current
division, disruption and dissension in our denomination over WO.

With so much overt disparagement, diminution, and discrimination against women in Scripture, it would be understandable if modern professional women would be agnostic / atheist !

Eve eating the apple surely did not warrant this permanent subjugation of the female sex!


I believe the QUOTE is “Animal Passions”.

The story of the 3 visitors to Abraham and Sarah at Mamre [Gen 18].
Remember when Sarah laughed [with pleasure] when she heard the promise
through her tent wall.
WHY did Sarah laugh? She would again enjoy the pleasures of baby making
[and also having a baby of her own to cuddle-- all the pleasures that brings to
a woman] and raising her own son.
Remember – this story was written by MEN, not a woman. And MEN of that
era several 1000 years ago.
Their understanding of Human Biology was near Zero when compared to today’s
No Wonder Sarah laughed with excitement!


Maybe more likely she laughed out of disbelief? LIKE, “SURE THING!” :slight_smile:
Ole Abe was 100 when Isaac born.

PS. 1 SM p36 says the local pharmacy had no Viagra at the time… But the next day it mysteriously became available thus the origins of the drug. :slight_smile: now that is a useful non recorded insight.

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VWell said and not before time. It really must be largely just religious communities that still maintain such attitudes, below a certain age anway.

As someone who knows a considerable number of young men outside of SDA and Christian circles, it is well understood that young girls (whilst obviously not posing the potential danger that some young males do) are close to being as sexually assertive and forward as young men when seeking casual sexual encounters and insisting on satisfaction.

While there is no doubt a not insignificant difference between the genders in this area, the only communities that seem not to understand that there is more overlap than once thought, are religious ones.


Sorry but I did not digest that well. In our actual church context, were we have still to figure how to “do women”, because…obviously, nothing fits, asking us : the invisibles, the silent ones to own our orgasms joyfully is like asking a football fan to be happy after his national team has lost at the world cup. Is it irony? That is what I was asking myself. Yell…of joy sister, not frustration. Find it within, yes you can ! Peace…and Love. That made me go hum.
Is it that we must retreat the intellectual sphere, and concentrate on the physical. We should not sublimate, rather relinquish and surrender to the rice and peas of motherland?
To me the elephant in the room is how far the culture was from God in the Old testament, and how today nothing has truly changed. Nothing. We just had the Me too momentum. So what. Some pigs were roasted, some are still flying.
There are so many, I don’t know which one to pick.
Spiritual growth is described as a progression from darkness to light. We might assume that society was so evil in the OT that the laws given were the absolute basic to have the onset of a society.
The God of the OT is not the problem, we are.
When we see the law, we fustigate the past generations, just read the text out of context, and elude the psychological implications of it. The sad thing is; law is for the already non-abiding.The ultimate law usually is not written. Love. I am not learned but middle ages men have more sophisticated attempts at the interpretation of the Bible then what I just read in 2019.
And this is what bothers me most. In some places in our church, we are more backwards then middle ages men. It’s not just us. It’s everywhere. Just look at Isis.
You need not celebrate equality in the bedroom when you celebrate equality point blank.
This is the red pill.

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So is the Song of Solomon yesterdays Fifty Shades of Grey?

A great erotic novel or an exploitative narrative?

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Either or ? Seriously ?
Fifty shades of grey is pure trash. On a literary level ands psychological level. Plenty has already been written about that from people with no religious inkling. I don’t know what you want to establish already.

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Don’t know Hans and I am sure he can speak for himself.
Perhaps Hans meaning is this:
Is this " an erotic" picturesque story of lovers OR since some feel women were “but property” in the OT & perhaps NT…was it “exploitive” of a captive.

This was the most well written article I have ever read on these topics from anyone in the SDA Church. I have always shuddered to think of Adventist ministers doing marriage counseling. The ones I have known are just so woefully unprepared and stuck in the Victorian age. I perceive that pastor Ray is more than likely quite good at it.


This gives me so much to contemplate. Thank you.

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Most accredited counseling programs have a course in human sexuality. This insight is useful in counseling singles and married individuals.

How many laws, in the OT, in the NT, today, are still in place, in writing or as cultural custom “because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”
My litmus test is if is it not loving my neighbour as myself, maybe there is a problem there.
Bible Records the plan of God and the misdeads of men in their understanding and application of the Law of God.
The vocabulary used tells us exactly where we stand.
The article talks about valid relationships with valid outcomes. Marriage, wife, husbands. An uninteresting thread from what I read in the comments.
The Bible did not make women property of men. Men did. The Bible is one document that records it. Among others. Were is the captive in Song of Solomon ? And since when has it become a novel (speechless) ? Isn’t the Shulamite also a description of the church. So we would not be willingly entering a relationship with God ? And there is no such thing as bliss is perspective ?
War time sexual violence has it’s own entry in Wikipedia and has nothing to do with the text. That would be one of the first instances when law forced the warrior to stop and think (a full month) time for him to understand that this was not going to be a one night affair but a lifetime thing. The God of the old testament saw the evil. The article is full from entries, 21rst century ones.We are the problem.
Marriage per rape (by the way this is not the only way of getting married in the bible, one would wonder) is a cultural thing, not biblical, it was codified because people were doing it (hardness of heart), they were still doing it is certain places of this world (Tunisia, 2016).
Just throwing everything at the Bible is so much easier.


Thanks, @thenerdwithin.

You said:

In response:

The verses do not say anything about the intrinsic worth, or value, of males vs. females. This is a settled issue, based on the pronouncements of both Genesis 1:27 in the Old Testament (“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”) and Galatians 3:28 in the New (“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”) What you’ve offered is a rather selective reading of the text; one absent of context.

Rather, what is outlined here are monetary values assigned to the labor of persons dedicated to the ministry, in fulfillment of a vow; in releasing them from it. One needs to keep in mind that we’re talking about the cost for physical labor in an era dominated by only the simplest machines—e.g., stone mills or plows—which themselves depended on physical strength to be effective.

In cultures of that time, particularly agrarian ones like Israel’s, the musculature of an adult male would have commanded a premium when it came to labor. Even if one’s economy were based on, say, metalworks, or militarization, and not agriculture, this would have certainly been the case. That is also why the sums attendant to the categories of persons are also ranked, as they are, per infants and the aged. What is absent, though, is any open, or implied, meta-statement about feminine utility or validity.



Harry –
Women doing agriculture.
The Problem with women doing agriculture is miscarriage during pregnancy.
Where women did plowing behind an animal, there were increased miscarriages.
So women, at least during the child bearing years, needed to do tasks that
were more safe. It was important for a family of those times to have a certain
number of children.


As a side note:

It was important even in the US in the 1800’s to have a large family because of the horrendous rate of infant death. For that matter, many men married several times because of the frequency of death of mothers during birth. It would also be necessary to marry to take care of existing children and help with the work on a farm. Being a women was definitely not easy…and having children could be potentially fatal.


This topic brings me back to a core belief: Satan’s greatest continuing triumph is the subjugation and degradation of half of the human race by the other half of the human race. Nothing tops this, past present and future, nothing.