Marriage! That most holy of unions!
It’s been all the rage as of late. Everyone putting their two cents in. So I thought I’d throw my pennies into the fray. But only very briefly. I think we’ve all got more important things to rant about, if I can be so bold.
First and foremost. Is this a slippery slope of horrible things to come? If gay folks can get married, does this mean that polyamorous groups can get married? Does this mean I can marry my dog?
It might. But frankly, so what? The terrible fear in people’s minds is that we’re going to weaken the integrity of the “traditional” marriage. And my question is, when did this “traditional” notion of marriage and family and child rearing exist? The simple fact of the matter is that throughout human history, one-man-one-woman marriages have been a minority. And children were bred not to have happy, self-fulfilling lives, but at labor. And caretakers if you were fortunate enough to grow old. In fact that’s such a simple truth that I’m not even going to bother going to the library or to Google to provide evidence for it. (Okay, I’ll at least point the reader to Stephanie Coontz’s work, which I have not read though she’s a major proponent of these ideas. Also, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a Ph.D. holder to know that, by and large, most cultures (yes yes even Judeo-Christian ones) have favored marriages composed of one man and several women. And look! The world hasn’t come to an end!)
Secondly, I’m going do something crazy and defend the Christian right. Well, sort of. I’ve been spending too much time as of late in internet chat rooms watching Christians get virtually beaten up because the Bible is “contradictory.” Because the Bible says in Deuteronomy or Leviticus or someplace that men can have as many wives as they want, so how dare you tell me that Christians have all these “family values” based on one-man-one-woman set ups? Well, listen. I’m sick of people bashing Christians for stuff that’s in the Old Testament. If you want to get all bent out of shape because of something that’s in the Hebrew Bible, go beat a Jewish Rabbi over the head. But leave the Christians alone. Or at the very least remind them (and yourself) of this simple theology lesson. The reason Christians call them the “Old” and the “New” Testaments is because the “New” one represents the new covenant between people and God. What’s that new covenant? Christ. Remember Christ? Sure you do. He represents a new agreement between God and his/her creation. The old covenant was defined way the hell back in Deuteronomy and Leviticus and included all those rules about having more than one wife and stoning adulterous women and sodomizing men to death. And chopping off your foreskin. Christians aren’t bound by those rules. That’s why the joke about a person’s pants being so tight you can tell his religion works. Because if you’re Jewish, you have to get circumscised. But Christians don’t. (Circumscising every boy born in America is a recent trend.) Christians read the Old Testament and as a prophecy of the coming of Christ, not as a guide book or source for moral order. Once Christ gets on the cross and is resurrected three days later, we’re in a new era. We’re in a new relationship with God with new rules. Looking for Christian values? Read Paul.
So, knowing this, you’ve got some good info next time you’re in a debate with someone over marriage. If your Christian friend says God wants marriage between one man and one woman, ask them where it is in the New Testament, but leave the Old out of it.
Then, once you’ve analyzed the hell out of Matthew 5:27-32 and all the letters of Paul, you can point them to the following passages: Matthew 5: 9 and Matthew 7:1-12. And ask, what the hell are we doing in the Middle East? Because while I fully support gay folk’s fight for marriage rights, I’m sorry, we’ve got bigger things to worry about right now.