Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No on 8, #8

We've all heard the arguments that marriage in the Bible is one man and one woman and that God planned it that way. The implication is that the way we did marriage in the 1950's is exactly the way it has always been done.

The other day I received an e-mail with a list of amendments to prop 8 to make it more consistent with the Bible...

* Marriage in the United States of America shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)

* Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

* A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

* Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

* Since marriage is for life, neither the US Constitution nor any state law shall permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9-12)

* If a married man dies without children, his brother must marry the widow. If the brother refuses to marry the widow, or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law.
(Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

* In lieu of marriage (if there are no acceptable men to be found), a woman shall get her father drunk and have sex with him.(Gen 19:31-36)


We could add more verses to illustrate polygamy, bride prices, women treated as chattel, etc. all of which are not condemned...

Yes... it is a bit silly, but it does underscore the fact that marriage in the Bible is a very different institution that we have today and that to try to use Biblical understandings of marriage as an argument for prop 8 is, well, really silly.

3 comments:

Michael Mahoney said...

You only quoted one out of the New Testament:

Since marriage is for life, neither the US Constitution nor any state law shall permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9-12)


...and I'm good with that.

Chad said...

You're right. To take those texts completely out of context in an effort to make a point would be really silly.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is not silly when so many on the "yes" side use the argument "since the beginning of time..."

Roy has done a fine job demonstrating that marriage has looked many different ways in antiquity.