Thom Dunn's Reviews > Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade

Warriors of God by James Reston Jr.
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message 1: by Valerie (new)

Valerie 'Warriors of God'? If I were a god, and people accused me of the kinds of things too many people accuse their gods of, I'd be more than a little peeved. What kind of 'father' sets 'his' children against each other in a sort of ritualized cockfight?

I prefer tbe Doctor Who version, in which both parties are somewhat bemused, and can't seem to muddle out how they came to be 'enemies'. Pity the negotiated solution in the story didn't work out.


message 2: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn Valerie wrote: "'Warriors of God'? If I were a god, and people accused me of the kinds of things too many people accuse their gods of, I'd be more than a little peeved. What kind of 'father' sets 'his' children ..."

Yahweh's not the worst, better than most ill-tempered shepherd gods. Still, he could have cut poor Onan some ... slack.


message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I've encountered epidemiological accounts that argued that one of the reasons for the rapid spread of venereal diseases was that the proscription against masturbation was so strong that unprotected sex (even promiscuous sex with strangers) was considerably 'safer' in a social sense.


message 4: by Thom (last edited Jul 07, 2011 06:51AM) (new) - added it

Thom Dunn Valerie wrote: "I've encountered epidemiological accounts that argued that one of the reasons for the rapid spread of venereal diseases was that the proscription against masturbation was so strong that unprotected..."

Isn't there some Biblical stuff about " ...better to spill your seed into the belly of a whore than upon the ground ..." Right, guys. ... Smart.


message 5: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Sounds typical. Ironically, the same people were campaigning against sacred prostitutes, who had quite high status, good health care, etc. Playing both sides against the middle, really.

One of the things that's often neglected about the Epic of Gilgamesh is the part played by the temple prostitute in 'humanizing' Enkidu.


message 6: by Martin (new)

Martin Wallace There's a bit of a popular misconception about the biblical story of Onan. Onan wasn't masturbating when he "spilled his seed upon the ground" but practicing withdrawal as a form of birth control. Under the laws of his society Onan was supposed to impregnate his dead brother's, Er's, widow. He refused to do so, since the heirs would have "legallY" been Er's, not Onan's (i.e. there was really nothing in it for him.) Onan's sin was thus not so much a "moral" sexual one, as a sin of societal disobediance.


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