The Course of Reason

Pastor Defends Spousal Rape, Upsets Everyone

July 29, 2011

Here’s something that will make you choke on your drink. So put it down and take a breath first.

The following was published in a local Alaskan paper. It was written by Pastor (pastor!) Ron Hamman, writing about a case of spousal rape:

“The next question we need to ask is to whom does the body belong? While in our day of feminism it is asserted that a woman’s body is her own. Biblically speaking, this is only true prior to marriage…”


Sweet zombie Jebus.

But wait! It gets better (worse? more surreal?):

“The truth is that God has given to us physical needs we commonly refer to as a “sex drive,” and he has designed for these to be met within the bounds of marriage. The trouble comes when one spouse or the other decides to exact retaliation against the other because of some offense and withholds him or herself from his or her mate. This is wickedness, and such is a violation of the spirit of marriage on the part of the withholder.”

“Thus, if these allegations of spousal rape are due to the wife withholding herself in attempt to control or punish her husband, she is out of line with God. And it doesn’t matter how many laws are passed, it will just be another reason why God will not bless America.” 

Thankfully, the outcry was immediate. Most people realize that this is a dangerous and immoral position to hold, one that encourages domestic violence and limits the autonomy of women.

The paper printed a retraction and an editorial with the title, “Rape is Illegal and Immoral.” Apparently, this still needs to be said. And said loudly!

Pastor (pastor!) Ron Hamman has been suspiciously silent.

But the real gem was this comment, left on the first article I read:

The pastor represents a Texas synthetic sect of Christianity. Most Christians would agree he is a closet satanist.

Yes, that’s the sort of thinking that will prevent us from encouraging rape culture, religious violence and ignorance. It’s completely obvious Pastor (pastor!) Ron Hamman isn’t really a Christian.



About the Author: Stephanie Van Dyk

Stephanie Van Dyk's photo
Stephanie Van Dyk is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, studying math and computer science. She worries about the state of science, feminism, the environment and knitting in our society. Stephanie writes Casting Off and is the current VP Communications of UBC Freethinkers.


#1 Michael (Guest) on Friday July 29, 2011 at 5:28pm

If finding the "extreme mainstream" Christian right is the new secular sport, it looks like van Dyk wins this round. I have seen plenty of apologetic articles (and read even more transcripts of the foam exuded from pastors' mouths) that seem to border on defending rape, but I have never seen one so transparent. I mean, not only was Hamman writing about a spousal rape case in defense of the rapist, he was generally and admittedly defending all spousal rapes that stem from sexual frustration (that is, all spousal rapes, period).

That such people exist is not new or surprising, but that they could get published (regularly) in ANY local paper (not to mention speak in front of a congregation several times each week) is still dumfounding to me.

#2 sevadnyk (Guest) on Sunday July 31, 2011 at 8:59am

"...and admittedly defending all spousal rapes that stem from sexual frustration (that is, all spousal rapes, period)"

Thanks for your comments, but I need to point out that spousal rape (and indeed, all rape) is rarely, if ever, about sexual frustration. The research shows that rape is most often about power and violence, and not sex in itself.

But thanks for your thoughts! I agree that it is freaking surprising that a newspaper would publish this.




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