Thursday, August 9, 2012

Real Biblical Marriage.

...and now back to our discussion on gay marriage. Last time I spoke about how 'traditional marriage' is not under attack. Today, we turn out attention to Biblical marriage. Another argument I've heard is that some that are opposed to marriage equality do so under the platform of supporting 'Biblical marriage'. Earlier, I covered why religious arguments have no place in the making of law, but lets look closer... Many a believer may cite Adam and Eve as the Biblical definition of marriage. But like most easygoing Christians, they stop there and don't read onward. Let us look at this a little closer:

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’for she was taken out of man. ” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
 -Genesis 2:20-25

So  God creates Eve as a 'helper' and just like that they are husband and wife. There is no indication of any courtship, which by my estimation that makes Adam and Eve the first arranged marriage. Eve didn't even have the option to use the old "Not even if you were the last man on Earth", line. Isaac and Rebekah were also wed by way of an arranged marriage.

Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac. ”

-Genesis 24:1-4 

If arranged marriages aren't old fashioned enough, how about selling daughter's as brides?

Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I'll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the girl as my wife."


-Genesis 34: 12
Also, virgins cost more than non-virgins, and are treated more like property than living beings with feelings...

"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."

-Exodus 22:16

Polygamy was also A-okay in the Bible, as well as the possession of concubines. The most extreme example would have to be Soloman.

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

-1 Kings 11:3

Soloman was not alone though. Marriages involving multiple wives and/or concubines also occur in Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Judges, Samuel, Chronicles, and Matthew. I find it odd that I know Christians that mock the Mormon practice of polygamy, yet their own holly book seems to have no qualms with the practice.

What about if your brother died without leaving a male heir?

If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.

-Deuteronomy 25:5-6
Apparently, marriage between brother and sister is also okay. That, or some other form of incestuous relationship would be the only option for Cain to marry. The same would be true following the great flood, as Noah's family is said to be the only ones that survived. Incest not enough to turn your stomach? How about being forced to marry you rapist?

If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

-Deuteronomy 22:28

Speaking of divorce... The church generally stands against it correct. You know "Until death do us part" and all... Well, no quite:

If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

-Deuteronomy 24:1-4

Yup... The husband can decide to divorce her if he finds his wife 'displeasing to him'. I do find the prohibition from him marrying her again to be rather odd. He can divorce her, but she can't divorce him. With the stark lack of equality in the Bible it is hardly surprising. Yet, I have heard of couples both promising to wait for marriage as the Bible commands. Well, they got it half right. While it is true that the Biblical tradition does favor virgin wives, no such prohibition is  found for men. But on that virgin wife issue:

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. The girl’s father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

-Deuteronomy 22:13-21

As you can plainly see, 'Biblical marriage' is far from the simple one man, one wife  fairytale story that believer would have you believe is supposed to be clearly stated in their Bible. The truth is that the Biblical version of marriage is much darker, and counter to what is acceptable to society. Please tell me how two members of the same sex marrying is worse than making a woman marry her rapist, or stoning non-virgin brides to death? One thing that is clear, is that whenever one plays the 'Biblical marriage' card, they expose their lack of knowledge of the very book that they claim to be their guide.

Oh, what's that? Yes, some believers try to claim that the Old Testament doesn't count, because Christians follow the New Testament. An odd claim for people who primarily use the OT as their justification for being anti-gay. Not to mention they are awful fond of the Ten Commandments as found in the OT. But does it all count? Let's ask Jesus shall we?

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

-Matthew 5:17-18

There you have it! The OT and NT both count if you're a Christian. Until Jesus returns, Christians must stay true to the OT as well, or risk eternity in the fiction known as Hell. Believers, I implore you... Before you start making Biblical arguments, at least have an understanding of what the book actually says on the subject(s). Again, Biblical arguments have no place in law. But this argument in particular fails in the respect that those arguing for 'Biblical marriage' are unaware of what that term actually means. I don't know about you, but I'll take a secular marriage based of mutual love and respect over any 'Biblical' version.

-BH

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