Incestuous sex is perhaps the most psychologically destructive crime a parent can inflict upon a child. But the Bible is rife with incest and supports it.
Let us begin with God’s example of the most righteous man on Earth for his time: Lot. Lot is so good that he is the only man whom God saves from the destruction of Sodom and Go-mor’rah. Putting aside, for a moment, the notion that our Heavenly Father murdering all of the people in two cities, and their babies, is a colossal parental overreaction that makes The-Holy-One-Blessed-Be-He the greatest mass murderer of all time; let’s stay with Gods fondness for incest.
After God’s decent, compassionate and irreproachable, immolation of the area’s city dwellers, Lot’s daughters find themselves without sexual partners. The two siblings do what any well-raised girls would do in such circumstances; they “made their father drink wine that night: and the first born went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose” (Genesis 19:33). Righteous man? Let’s say your neighbor returns your lawnmower one Sunday and starts telling you about a real bender he went on the night before. “Man, I blacked-out, and when I woke-up this morning I learned that I’d had sex with my daughter.” Okay, I’m a humanist and I try not to be judgmental. But I think I’d probably fail in that circumstance. A guy who drinks with his daughters until he blacks-out, then claims he’s not responsible when he finds-out that he’s had sex with his eldest, then later learns that he’s gotten her pregnant, is not blameless. Especially if he does it two nights in a row; once with his elder daughter and once with his younger daughter (Genesis 19:35). I would not want this guy coaching my kid’s soccer team.
And where is God in all of this? He’s all-knowing. God’s right there talking to Lot like some celestial weatherman: “Cloudy with a chance of brimstone; bring an umbrella today in your commute from Sodom.” Why isn’t the Holy One telling his pal Lot about the special wine tasting his daughters have planned? Does God have a voyeuristic kink for watching incest? He does permit a great deal of it in the Old Testament. He does see everything. I would think that he’d prefer the ancestry of his chosen people a little less inbred.
Sure, the Christians at this point may want to distance themselves a bit from the Old Testament. “Those crazy Jews with their talking snakes, genocidal floods and daughters gone wild, they’re the Banjo Boy in Deliverance to our respectable New Testament. Not a chance. In their story, God actually gets off the couch where he’s been watching the father-daughter monkey show and becomes an active participant. You see, God is not the self-described “jealous and angry” sky father deity of the Old Testament; he’s actually your father in the New Testament. “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Admittedly, this is a Supreme Being ad campaign superior to that of the Old Testament, but it does open the Creator up for a bit of criticism when he impregnates one of his daughters. Mary is told by an angel “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). One would think that an all-powerful being could bring his son into the world without entering the womb of his daughter. But, as we have already seen, this is not how God rolls.
Christians can argue all they want about how God entered Mary without breaking her hymen. First of all, that does not mean that it’s okay to put a baby into your daughter. Let’s say some dad walks up to you on the playground. He says “see that kid with your child in the sandbox? He’s my son. Funny story: he’s an in vitro fertilization of my sperm and my daughter’s ovum. But don’t worry, nothing weird happened and she’s still a virgin. You see, my daughter being a virgin is so important to me that the incision was abdominal so that the procedure wouldn’t break her hymen.” I don’t know about you, but I’d probably move away from him. I am so judgmental. Secondly, that little membrane of skin covering Mary’s vagina was certainly demolished when her pelvic muscles blasted the Lamb of God onto the physical plane.
How about the argument that this was a spiritual penetration and conception with ethereal semen. Well, isn’t that a bigger deal to a group who prizes the spiritual above the physical? Doesn’t that make the violation worse?
For those of a Judeo-Christian bent who like to pick and choose their Bible stories, sorry, there is no room for ignoring or interpreting actions in the Bible. Its words are divinely inspired. If God is a perfect being owed unquestioning allegiance, then questioning or ignoring the words he inspires is not within the ability of a common mortal believer. One’s personal interpretation is actually a disobedient, blasphemous transgression. For a believer, the words must stand on their own as truthful testimony: Lot got drunk on two separate occasions and impregnated both of his daughters. The all-powerful, all-knowing deity did not intervene despite he and Lot being on speaking terms. God himself put a baby in Mary. You can either accept that the Bible is divine truth, or accept that it’s a bunch of myths that contain some repugnant activities on the part of God and his most pious followers.
The Holy Bible. King James Edition. Philadelphia: National Publishing Company, 1978.