Just so there's no confusion, mothers donít usually let their husband have sex with their daughters, and a step-daughter canít consent, which means that when a man does have sex with his step-daughter, heís invariably raping her. Now, in any civilized society, there would never be a punishment for being raped by your step-father because we recognize that such a punishment is nothing but disgusting victim blaming. However, according to the law of this all-loving all-forgiving god, a girl who has been raped by her step-father must be burned alive along side the man who raped her! Can I get an amen?
Normally I would just throw out a joke and mock the callousness of the bible, but I have a hard time just brushing this passage aside because this law was enforced by Jews and early Christians for centuries. The thought of even a single young woman having to experience being raped by her step-father nauseates me, but the thought of her being burned alive because she was raped causes unbridled revulsion. When I try to view the world from the eyes of such an unfortunate girl I find that I donít have the force of will to do so for very long. I canít abide this happening a single time, let alone the countless number of times it must have happened while Godís prefect law was in effect.
All of the execution methods in the bible are particularly grizzly, which reflects upon the author. There may not have been enough physiological understanding at the time for anesthetizing someone and then killing them painlessly in their sleep (although an all-powerful god shouldnít have any trouble giving such knowledge), but they at least had the technology to behead them. Death in one swift motion sure beats the excruciating torture of having oneís flesh set ablaze. The fact that God specifically demands that they be burned to death tells us that he (that is, the male authors) deliberately wanted then to suffer. Furthermore, God wanted those who carried out and witnessed the punishment to be psychologically desensitized to immeasurable suffering.
Leviticus 20:14-16 also says that when someone has sex with an animal, both the person and the animal must be put to death. Not only does this contradict the earlier punishment which was just banishment, but itís also another disgusting act of punishing the victim. I recognize that horrible people will often try to blame a little girl for coming onto them, but how do you use that excuse on an animal?
In addition to the utter desecration of moral values the bible displays in this passage, there is also another literary problem. Verse 15 and 16 both say no sex with animals, the former targets men, the latter women. However, despite implying the same thing, the phrasing is quite different. It looks like the original simpler commandment prohibiting men from having sex with animals was written first, and the second part, prohibiting women, was a later addendum with more modern phrasing. Biblical authors didnít seem to be of the kind who would replace Godís immoral word with cleaner passages, but they didnít seem to have a problem with shuffling various works together.