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Monday, May 14, 2012

Marriage is not such a big deal
(unless you can't have one)


I am getting really annoyed by religious right-wingers who view marriage equality (i.e., same-sex marriage) as a threat to "traditional marriage" as sanctioned by the Bible.

I fail to see why a thousands-year-old, inconsistent, error-ridden document of dubious origin should set the standards for civil law in 21st-century America.

Sure, the Bible mentions monogamous heterosexual marriage, but it also says that:
  1. Rape victims should marry their rapists.
  2. A man can have multiple wives, and concubines.
  3. Male soldiers can capture female virgins and have sex with them.
  4. A slave owner can be a matchmaker for his slaves, and female slaves must have sex with their appointed mates.
In 2001, Holland became the first country to approve same-sex marriage. In the United States, although same-sex marriages do not have federal approval, same-sex couples can marry in six states, and approval is pending in other states. (So is disapproval.) Some states that do not allow same-sex marriages recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Thousands of same-sex marriages have occurred, much to the horror of organizations such as the American Family Association and Republican politicians that seek to defend "traditional marriage."

I hereby challenge them to identify even one heterosexual marriage that was damaged by a gay marriage.

There are millions of married straights. Did any of them divorce because gay married people moved in next door, or live in the next state or 2,000 miles away.

Being married is no big deal
(except for people who are not allowed to marry).

The institution of marriage is not a particularly exclusive club. It's not like winning a Harvard scholarship or a Nobel prize or being admitted to Phi Beta Kappa or Mensa.

When I wanted to get a marriage license back in 1971, I had to pay a few bucks and prove that I was at least 18 years old and did not have syphilis or gonorrhea.
1971
I've been married to a woman for over 40 years. I would not be any less married if Jane married Louise, if Pedro married Waldo, or if a chipmunk married a frog -- and a flashlight.

2022?

Why the hell should anyone care who else is married?

There is not a limited number of marriages available. If Ted and Sam get married, there will still be marriage licenses available for Cynthia and Ira. It's not as if Ted and Sam ordered the last extra-crispy wings at KFC, and there were none left when Cynthia and Ira walked in.

"Pro-family" organizations and politicians should be pro-ALL-families. Republicans and other conservatives who want to minimize government involvement in citizens' private lives should keep government out of our bedrooms.

In an ironically named 1967 case, "Loving v. Virginia," a unanimous Supreme Court Decision said, "Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man." And men. And women.

(left-click to enlarge for easier reading)

(Chipmunk photo from  Powerful Intentions. Frog photo from National Geographic)


4 comments:

  1. First off, I'd like to say that I am a Christian. I read the Bible and believe it.

    I love the points you make here (save for the ones about the Bible) and I really truly don't understand why people can't just let other people be happy. Speaking from the point of view of a Christian, I'd say that yes the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. In the same verse, though, it also says that lying is a sin. Often people just leave that bit out, because if you included it, then you'd have to make sure that liars never get married - which would be ridiculous, because everyone lies at one time in their life.
    I know that GOD says that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and I should go against him, but it really isn't my place to tell someone that or to deny them marriage because of it.

    I say, let gays get married. The world will be happier because of it. If you say, 'Won't that just bring more sin into the world?' the answer is no. Jesus already died for the sins of this world. Past, present and future. The map of all time has already been written, and all sins have already been committed.

    If someone sins, that's not my problem. Let it be between them and GOD. If a gay doesn't get married because of religious reasons, that's fine. At least give him the chance.

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  2. Whoops, I meant 'shouldn't'.

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  3. A gov. license isn't what makes a person "married". The word "marriage" is a Bible word and it makes sense that Bible definition should be used.

    If people don't like the Bible definition, use a different word. Sure, it probably still wouldn't stop the idiots that want to legislate morality, but at least they wouldn't have a logical argument.

    If the gov. wants to start charging homosexuals a fee and issuing them a piece of paper, I say let them join in the "fun".

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    Replies
    1. No, the word "marriage" is from a Latin root maritare, used since the Roman republic (before Christianity existed) for the purely legal institution (they did have a "strict form" involving a religious ritual, which few people went for; another word for the "strict" marriage was matrimonium, from which the name for the sacrament derives). It is not from the Bible. The Old Testament Hebrew actually does not even have a word that can be translated "marry" (look in Strong's Concordance for where "marry" happens in the OT: the answer is, NOWHERE). The phrase was simply "he took a woman"; there was no word for "wife" different from ishah "woman" (where translations have "his wife", the Hebrew really just says "his woman") and no word for "husband" different from ba'al "owner". The way you "took" a woman was simply to be the first to have sex with her: no ceremony of any kind, religious or otherwise, is mentioned (although we have to assume that a party with the neighbors was a common thing). No other man could then have sex with that woman (that would be "adultery") but the man could "take" another woman (it really was a one-sided "ownership" relationship, and a man could own more than one). There is a word "betroth", meaning to pay money to the father for the right to "take" the daughter later (once the money has changed hands, it is "adultery" for another man to "take" her), and it is explained that if a man takes a woman by force, he does still owe money to the father.

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