Saturday, September 18, 2010

Judeo-Christian-Islamic Scriptures That Promote Pedophilia and Child Marriage

Some Jewish, Christian and Islamic scriptures promote pedophilia and/or child marriage. Jewish law sanctifies child marriage of girls as young as 12 and boys as young as 13 (Rich). An ancient Jewish scripture called the Mishnah decrees that “A girl three years and a day is betrothed by intercourse,” therefore the law allows men to marry girls as young as 3 if they have sex with the girls (Weinberg & Margalit, 2007). The Mishnah is thought to be the first Rabbinical text and is considered a major part of Jewish law.

The Book of Numbers from The Old Testament of the Christian Bible quotes Moses after a battle: "Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man" (“Numbers 31:17-18…”). Then as now it was common for soldiers to take women and girls as sex slaves, though this might refer to taking the girls as wives also. There is no minimum age limit for using the girls so apparently this indicates tolerance of sex with children.

The Book of Judges says that after the Benjaminite women were killed during a battle, Israili leaders decided to give the remaining Benjaminite men new wives by stealing virgins from Jabesh-gilead: "This is what you are to do," they said. "Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin" (“Judges 21:10-24…”). Note that they don’t say to kill children, so apparently all males (boys and men) were killed and all girls were taken as wives. In a hellish battle it’s impossible to know if a woman is a virgin so presumably they just grabbed every girl and killed women who showed signs of aging.

But there weren’t enough girls for each man, so they went to Shiloh to abduct more girls: “When the girls of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, then rush from the vineyards and each of you seize a wife” (“Judges 21:10-24…”). Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that if a man randomly meets a virgin and decides to rape her she should be forced to marry him. Therefore, the Bible’s Old Testament approves of raping, enslaving and marrying girls without specifying a minimum age to protect children.

And though the Old Testament is a Christian (and Jewish) scripture, these violations are committed by Jews since Christ hadn’t arrived yet. I previously proved that underage marriage to girls as young as three was allowed in the Jewish tradition, so logically the rape and marriage of virgins described in the Old Testament was committed against underage girls. My brief research of the New Testament did not find scripture allowing pedophilia or underage marriage.

The Quran apparently allows underage marriage. Sura 65:4 describes divorcing a wife who is not menstruating but is not post-menopausal or pregnant which implies she is a child who hasn’t begun menstruating yet. Furthermore, several hadith scriptures state that the founder of Islam, Muhammad, had sex with his 9-year-old bride which Islamic clerics cite as justification for allowing underage marriage (“Islam and Underage Marriage,” 2010).

Therefore, it seems that the Jewish religion specifies the age of a child bride/groom, the Islamic religion implies marriage to children is allowed in the Quran and from Muhammad’s example of having sex with his 9-year old wife, and the Christian religion implies that raping underage girls was acceptable at least before Jesus arrived. It is unethical for an adult to have sex with a child because that harms the child physically, mentally and spiritually. It is also unethical for an adult to marry a child even if they don’t have sex with the child because marriage harms the child mentally and spiritually since they can easily be taken advantage of in non-sexual ways and the marriage prevents equality because one spouse (almost always the male) acts as a parent, disciplinarian and dominator of the child spouse (almost always a female).

Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god. Assuming that this god is good, they would not allow adults to rape and marry children in my opinion. By this reasoning, the scribes did bad when they promoted pedophilia and child marriage. Thus, the solution would be to improve the scriptures by removing text that allows rape and marriage against children.

When people learn some scriptures allow men to rape and marry children they may decide to leave their religion and/or destroy all the scriptures. However, some scriptures are helpful. Why not recycle scripture to eliminate the bad and keep the good? This is like when a gardener removes weeds, pests and mold in order to help the garden grow stronger.

Likewise, removing the bad scriptures would promote the healthy growth of the good scriptures of which there are plenty in the Talmud, the Bible and the Quran. Religious scholar Leora Tanenbaum said, “There’s a very common belief that if we are critical of religion, the response should be to simply leave religion. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Critical thinking can lead to action, which leads to reform” (Savage, 2009).


“Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (New International Version).” Retrieved on September 17, 2010 from

“Islam and Underage Marriage.” (2010). Journal of Feminist Insight. Retrieved from

“Judges 21:10-24 (New International Version).” Retrieved on September 17, 2010 from

“Numbers 31:17-18 (New International Version).” Retrieved on September 17, 2010 from

Rich, T. R. “Marriage.” Judaism 101. Retrieved on September 17, 2010 from

Savage, E. (2009). “‘Catfight’ Author Takes A Swipe At Religious Inequality.” Retrieved on September 17, 2010 from

Weinberg, P. & Margalit, N. (2007). “Review of Selected Feminist Approaches to Rabbinic Judaism (pdf document).” Retrieved on September 17, 2010 from