It was half painful to read and half absolutely hilarious. Then when you consider that she might actually believe what she is writing, it immediately loses its humor and becomes completely jaw-dropping. I’m talking about what Ben Shapiro has accurately dubbed, “The Single Stupidest Piece on Biblical Adam and Eve Ever Written.” Ben might be being kind by limiting the purview of this ignorance to just Adam and Eve pieces. Because right up there with the now annual accusations that God raped Mary to impregnate her with Jesus, this hot take to which he refers may actually rank as the most ignorant assessment of any Biblical passage of all time.
I’m not exaggerating. Writing for The Forward, a psychologist from Michigan named Tamara Kolton took the historical account of the Fall of Man to task for being what she called, “the first case of #MeToo.” As a general reminder, #MeToo is the movement of sex abuse survivors to tell their stories as both catharsis and awareness. So what sex abuse occurred in the account of Adam and Eve? According to Kolton, this:
The story that begins the bible, the first one that we learn in Sunday school, the founding story of man and woman upheld for thousands of years by Judeo-Christian religion, is actually the story of the first sexual assault of a woman. The woman’s name is Eve. And the perpetrator? God.
I want you to think about this. Here is a young, beautiful, intelligent, naked woman living in a state of Grace. She’s hungry, so she does the most natural thing in the world and eats a piece of fruit. For following her instincts, trusting herself, and nourishing her body, she is punished. Her punishment? She will never again feel safe in her nakedness. She will never again love her body. She will never again know her body as a place of sacred sovereignty.
Did I mention that author Tamara Kolton identifies herself a “rabbi?” To be sure, there are plenty of religious voices that err when understanding or teaching the Biblical text. It’s one reason why Scripture contains such a harsh warning for those who would attempt it. To misrepresent the truth of the Bible is not like misrepresenting the underlying lesson of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or butchering the moral lesson at the heart of one of Mother Goose’s fairy tales.
No matter how funny, bizarre, or absurd a take like Kolton’s may be, it’s not something to brush off. Not when you consider the painful biblical illiteracy that plagues our country. While I agree with Shapiro that this woman’s take is awful to the point of embarrassment, there are unquestionably far too many – even who attend church – that will find her assessment reasonable and thought provoking. It is not. It is blasphemy and heretical.
For instance, take Kolton’s claim that after God’s justice, Eve “will never again know her body as a place of sacred sovereignty.” That’s an astoundingly incoherent statement when one considers that Eve’s entire problem was that she sought personal sovereignty in her body and mind. She rejected the perfect discernment offered to her through obedience to her Creator and replaced it with a creaturely one. This is why I say heretical: Kolton exalts the very spiritual rebellion Scripture explicitly condemns.
But that wasn’t all, of course. Take this remarkable blasphemy:
“What have you done?” He God thunders. Eve wants to defend herself, but she is too ashamed to speak. Eve, our first mother whose name means the “mother of all living things,” is silenced, much the way the “patients” of Dr. Nassar were.
First of all, God actually "thunders" at Adam first. Nor is Eve silent. She, like Adam before her, promptly blames God for the whole mess. But all that’s beside the point. Consider this despicable comparison Kolton makes between Almighty God and sexual predator Larry Nassar. God has placed Eve in a garden of perfection, given her every fruit imaginable for food, put her in a state of such paradise that she would want for nothing. But Kolton sees that as analogous to a perverted doctor molesting young girls. Tamara Kolton is just the latest to remind us that the mind of man is wicked beyond imagination.
To her unintentional credit, Kolton did get something right. While falsely blasting the book of Genesis as myth, she writes that it,
…teaches us that women are liars and sinners. Even if “She” is telling the truth, she deserved it.
It’s true. Women are liars and sinners. All of them. Just like all men are liars and sinners. It’s the natural state of humanity and why we are in desperate need of a Savior. Though Kolton finds fault in this, addressing humanity in any other way is not only unbiblical, it’s unreasonable.
Which leads any rational mind to the inescapable conclusion that hers was not a serious effort at exegesis, analysis, or even opinion journalism. It was a transparent appeal to cultural passions in the hopes of generating clicks. What else explains these concluding sentences:
I know that at this very moment in time, Eve is with us and she is awed and proud that we are finally finding our voices, one at time, and then hundreds, and thousands at a time. She, who was lost to us so long ago, is actually here with us now, marching in the streets, testifying, raising her voice, at last. Just listen…Eve, our blessed mother, is saying, “#Metoo.”
If Eve truly is “with us” and watching, and if she is saying #MeToo about rape, it is specifically about the raping of the biblical text committed by Ms. Kolton – mutilating Eve’s account of sin and failure, Eve’s testimony to the consequence of spiritual rebellion – that she is protesting.