Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 3:21pm

I understand.  But I believe the Golden Rule isn't stated explicitly as a rule in Christianity: instead it's things like "judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned."  And the quote from Ephesians is stating that the husband-wife relationship is inherently asymmetrical - what goes for one does not go for the other.  PLUS I feel the Golden Rule falls down in this situation because the Golden Rule in itself does not specify we have to be good - just to give back tit-for-tat what we are given. 

Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 3:26pm

I don't think it's misogynistic to believe something along these lines.  Belle's not misogynistic, I'm not misogynistic, and we can both see something worth keeping here.  Is it possible to make pat generalizations about this, beyond "husband and wife, respect each other"? 

Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 3:34pm

AS-J - I'd call it compassion rather than empathy.  Empathy is necessary for compassion I believe.  Empathy is a feeling:  compassion is action.  Compassion is about doing.  What would Jesus do?  What is the most compassionate thing to do? 

Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 4:01pm

"if people honestly ask themselves that question before they act - you get an answer - a really good answer."  You're absolutely damn right.  Our version isn't as snappy as theirs - WWJD is snappy - but both are very effective if we want to try and decide what to do. 

Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 4:02pm

But there's no way we can make ours snappier.  It's going to have to do.  Hey.  Something just got gave birth to. 

Comment by Dr. Bob on November 3, 2013 at 4:05pm

To give someone the decision-making power simply because of their gender is not sensible. It just isn't.

That's true, but that's also not what the letter is saying.

The lede in the bit on wives and husbands is "be subject TO EACH OTHER, out of reverence for Christ."  Be subject to each other.  That is the message Paul is trying to convey.  Love your wife as you love yourself - and even more than that!  Be willing to die for her.   It's the message of the anti-rapist, that a man must lay down his life before allowing his wife to come to any harm or embarrassment, as Christ laid down his life for the Church.

Yes, there are always ways in which the mores of the time enter into the language that the writers use in first century Palestine.   Husbands are expected to die for their wives, but wives are only expected to be respectful, not to give up their lives.   Call St. Paul a chivalrous fellow, or perhaps call him wise for spending almost all the paragraph admonishing husbands because they need more admonishment.

But the message is in the first line.  Be subject to each other, mutually.

Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 4:05pm

Jesus still makes an excellent human illustration, however.  Probably for Muslims, they ask WWMD.  Buddha was just too out of the world, I don't think he lived anything like ordinary people, since he was a prince. 

Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 4:09pm

@Dr Bob - the problem is that people have misused and abused this text to suit their own ends - bad men and bad church people.  It's probably impossible to stop this kind of misuse of text, if we are talking about 2000 year-old poetry.  If we were starting again from scratch, we would want to make the ideas as simple and un-twistable as possible, while retaining at least some kind of poetry or beautiful words. 

Comment by Simon Paynton on November 3, 2013 at 4:12pm

@ED ... "Why do theists have to rely on an ancient text to determine the correct way to interact with their partner?

- we all need guidance.  I f***ing do.  I think a huge problem with the established religions is that the underlying ideas are so poorly understood, and so there have been 10000000 different attempts to interpret them. 

Comment by Warren on November 3, 2013 at 4:32pm

"I think its because theists understand the human flaw - they call it sin - atheists on the otherhand wont accept that we have a flaw and or a lot of them think that we can logic our flaw away. But we cant."

Yes we all have flaws, some are real, some are just made up by clergy that have a agenda. I know my flaws, I still do my best to fix the problems, unlike the religious that seek to have them "forgiven" and keep doing it. Including much worse "flaws" that I wouldn't even dream of doing myself, it seems so part of being self-righteous that it's okay as long as the church allows such "flaws" to be bypassed by their permission. I have to deal with and take responsibly for the consequences of my flaws. I think I understand the real meaning of flaws, not the contrived version the church sells.

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