"Rape is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Yet few people know that the Bible often condones and even approves of rape. How anyone can get their moral guidance from a book that allows rape escapes me. Perhaps they have been lied to about the Bible and carefully detoured around all the nasty stuff in the Bible.
The following quotes are taken from evilbible.com:
"Laws of Rape - "If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her" (Deuteronomy 22:28-29, NLT).
We find in this chapter three cases for three specific situations. This passage, like the ones preceding it, must be considered in a cultural and historical context. In the Ancient Near East, a woman was entirely subject to the men of her family . She was first a virgin in her father's household, and then she was married and became a wife and mother in her husband's household. In ancient Israelite culture, it was almost unheard of for a person to remain single their entire life. People, especially women, were expected to marry and have children. This was a cultural mandate .
There is one more thing to consider when reading this passage, and that is a parallel law from the book of Exodus: "If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins" (Exodus 22:16-17, NIV). A marriage was not necessarily required to occur if an unbetrothed woman had been raped (or engaged in consensual pre-marital sex). Since unmarried women in the Ancient Near East were under the authority of their fathers, it was up to the father to decide whether to give her in marriage to the man or not. The father had the right to refuse, and if he did, the man involved had to pay the substantial bride price anyway.
UPDATE 11/23/14: It appears that those who created the NLT Bible translation have updated their translation in order to correctly interpret the language of the Hebrew in Deuteronomy 22:28 - in their 2013 translation, the act is considered pre-marital consensual intercourse, rather than rape: "Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered..." (Deuteronomy 22:28, NLT 2013).
"Does Deuteronomy 22:28-29 command a rape victim to marry her rapist?":
"Rape victim forced to marry rapist according to the Bible?"