Unfortunate anti-Boyne letter
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Annette Johnson, it is unfortunate that you, along with others, have not taken the time to read Ian Boyne's column on rape ('The Bible allows for [or admits to the possibility of] marital rape') before responding publicly. If you had read Boyne's article to the end, you would not have charged him with saying rape in marriage is "an impossibility"; you would have seen him saying clearly:
"1 Corinthians 7, contrary to feminists and secularists, does not privilege the man's right over the woman's body, but teaches mutual submission and mutual self-giving. Notice how it starts (verse 3): The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights ... ." So the husband must acknowledge his wife's right to sex and to his giving in to her sexual desire. "And likewise, the wife to her husband." This is no one-sided thing, reflecting patriarchal power, as some feminists misguidedly caricature biblical teaching. Verse 4 proclaims that neither wife nor husband has any authority over her or his body, teaching the principle of mutual giving and mutual, selfless devotion to each other.
Refraining from sex is by mutual agreement, and there is nothing that says if there is no agreement, the husband has the right to take it forcibly. This Corinthians text says nothing of male sexual power over the wife. Nothing. Both Christian fundamentalists and secular feminists need to understand this.
Sex is an expression of love in marriage. Forced sex is anathema to that.
Yes, a man can rape his wife, and the Bible does not permit that!