The Bible is a peculiar document. For some, it is the inspired and infallible word of God. In it, contains the very blueprint for human existence, happiness, peace and prosperity.
It provides comfort for the distressed, hope for the hopeless, healing for the sick, and joy for the joyless.
It is a love letter, a delicious tome, a poetic platitude, if you will, for the disenfranchised and marginalized.
But for others, the Bible is no such thing. It represents and symbolizes the root of everything that’s wrong with this world.
It is a troubling narrative, fraught with mean-spirited parables and proverbs, with racism, sexism and violence against women.
The Biblical account of a woman named Dinah, found in the book of Genesis, is an example of this troublesome narrative.
In short, Dinah was the daughter of a noted biblical patriarch. She was raped by a man who later believed he was in love with her and sought her hand in, yes, marriage.
Dinah’s brothers tricked the rapist and then killed him and every single male in the rapist’s hometown. Everyone.
Rape. Mass murder. There’s really no way to sugarcoat this.
Now, Dinah’s brothers may have had motives for their actions beyond protecting their sister, but it is a Biblical account of men in the Bible responded to rape.
Which does beg the question and is a good starting place as any to ask what should be a man’s response to rape be in our culture today?
To men, Christian men, and anybody who follows Donald Trump, rape culture is a thing. I hate to be the one to break it to you. But it is.
Through our words, actions, and omissions, we have normalized rape and our society.
We have joked, trivialized, and minimized rape so that it has become a punchline rather than the epidemic it is.
We have made women and their bodies vehicles for objectification. We whistle. We stare. We ogle. And when a woman is raped we exclaim that “she was asking for it.”
And sometimes we don’t acknowledge that it exists. Rape.
To be sure as a man, we created this rape culture. We have acted inappropriately, we have refused to act, we’ve not spoken truth to power.
When we’re asked what our response should be to rape culture, it certainly should not be the response of Stanford student Brock Turner’s father, in which he lamented more for the dreams deferred of his son than of the rape victim.
It certainly shouldn’t be laughing it off, or joking it off, or simply ignoring it because it doesn’t affect us.
And I’m not all that certain our response should be anything like the brothers in the Biblical account of Dinah.
But, we must act. We must jar our own complacency.
We’ve created this culture, and its ours to fix.