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Nov 02 2012

God’s creation of marriage

From the Washington state Voters’ pamphlet, the section on Referendum Measure 74, which would allow same-sex couples to marry. From the Argument Against.

God’s creation of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is the foundation of society and has served us well for thousands of years.

Seriously?!

I shouldn’t be surprised. The statements are prepared by the people who prepare them. They can have batshit crazy stuff in them.

But I am suprised, all the same. ”God’s creation of marriage as the union of one man and one woman” doesn’t exist. One man often had lots of women in God’s old-timey world.

My “Promised Land” is a place where people don’t talk stupid shite like that.

32 comments

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  1. 1
    Neil Rickert

    They are not reading their own bible.

  2. 2
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    They do not need to read that book. The big sky daddy reveals to them all the knowledge they need.

  3. 3
    jonathangray

    “Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.”

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 3 – that is one passage. It is not the whole of the bible.

    It’s also not god, of course, but even if you think the bible is the source of what god said, that’s not the whole of it.

  5. 5
    Alverant

    So all those other pre-christian cultures didn’t have marriage?

  6. 6
    Sylvia Sybil

    At one of the Seattle town halls, the Reject 74 (anti same-sex marriage) debater kept trotting out this stinker over and over again, and I don’t believe the Approve 74 (pro-SSM) debater refuted him once. It was very frustrating to me, because it’s such an obvious lie to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the religious books in question. Instead, the Approve 74 debater focused on how the language of the referendum specifically permits churches to choose whether they will permit or refuse to perform the ceremony (which is ALREADY in place but whatever). Which I suppose is the better strategy politically because it allays the feelings of fence-sitters who might believe the “oppression of religion!” lies, but it left a bad taste in my mouth because it felt like the Approve 74 debater was admitting these false claims* through silence.

    *Not only was he wrong about what his religion actually says about marriage, but his religion has nothing to do with my marriage in the first place.

  7. 7
    jonathangray

    Ophelia Benson:

    that is one passage. It is not the whole of the bible. (…) even if you think the bible is the source of what god said, that’s not the whole of it.

    Where in the Bible does God say otherwise?

    Alverant:

    So all those other pre-christian cultures didn’t have marriage?

    Not as God intended it, no.

    Sylvia Sybil:

    his religion has nothing to do with my marriage in the first place.

    Well that’s what the culture war is all about, isn’t it?

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

  8. 8
    Stacy

    God’s creation of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is the foundation of society

    “God” created it? Do tell.

    “It’s what (we think) (our) god wants!” is a theological rationale. It is not evidence or justification for law in a secular society.

    and has served us well for thousands of years

    Define “us.”

  9. 9
    feralboy12

    Biblical marriage:
    One man + one rape victim + 50 shekels of silver paid to victim’s father.
    Yup, the foundation of all that is holy and good.

  10. 10
    Gordon Willis

    Sorry, who’s God? Anyone know him/her?

  11. 11
  12. 12
    michaeld

    Or here’s a more amusing way of the different versions of bible marriage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

  13. 13
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Someone remind me:
    Where in the Bible does it mention that Adam and Eve were married? I can’t seem to recall seeing that word anywhere in Genesis…

  14. 14
    Sylvia Sybil

    @ Jonathan Gray,

    Here’s a link describing eight different forms of marriage in the Bible. My favorite is a toss-up between Levirate marriage (Tamar & her dead husband’s brother Onan & her dead husband’s father Judah; God expressed his approval of Tamar’s pursuit of the pregnancy owed her by granting her twin sons) and handmaiden marriage (Abraham & Sarah & Hagar; God expressed approval by sending an angel to tell Hagar to return to the marriage).

    Well that’s what the culture war is all about, isn’t it?

    I actually agree with you on this. This culture war is all about whether or not someone else’s religious beliefs should affect my civil rights.

    The point of your Humpty Dumpty quote seems to be that words have to have mutually agreed upon meanings, otherwise communication would be impossible. This has nothing to do with whether or not a secular and governmental institution should be segregated or integrated. Did the meaning of the word “soldier” change when DADT was repealed? Did the changing meaning of the word “computer” change the nature of people who perform mathematics? The meaning of the word “marriage” has no connection to your quote abut making up gibberish.

    So all those other pre-christian cultures didn’t have marriage?

    Not as God intended it, no.

    …but we still call them marriages, don’t we? We talk a lot about people having weddings and being married and having relationships with their husbands, wives, and in-laws, no matter whether they are Christian, pre-Christian, or non-Christian. One individual religion has never had a monopoly on the word “marriage” or the related words. So whether or not your god “intended” these marriages to take the various forms they had, we still call them marriages.

  15. 15
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Tony, they had children! They couldn’t have had children without being married so that proves they were married. Duh.

  16. 16
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    jonathangray:

    Not as God intended it, no.

    Which type of marriage did your god intend?
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bibl0.htm

    At last count, there were 8 different types of marriage found in that immoral religious tome believers of Christianity worship (you know, the Bible).

  17. 17
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Beatrice:
    Oh I’d forgotten that part of the Bible that talks about incest.

  18. 18
    Hein

    @Gordon Willis I am. Don’t believe a word from those fuckers. They don’t know me. They’ve never even met me, but they spread lies about me. I really couldn’t care less who marries whom, as long as all parties involved consent…

  19. 19
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Stacy:

    Define “us.”

    The 1%.

  20. 20
    Rutee Katreya

    “Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.”

    FAiry Tales: Perfectly plausible basis for social institutions.

    Not as God intended it, no.

    Eh, as they claimed their gods intended it, yeah, they did. And most of their Gods were less terrible people than your Tripartite God.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

    Yes, little one, words’ meanings do change over time. Lewis Carrol wasn’t complaining about the natural drift of language.

  21. 21
    sheila

    Yeah right. Marriage has “always” been one man and one woman, just like Christians have “always”been against abortion (since about 1980) and “always” been against racism.

    And we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  22. 22
    Argle Bargle

    Devout, faithful Christians should never accept same-sex marriage, because it is an affront to the traditional family values upheld by Henry VIII and his wife, Catherine of Aragon, and his wife, Anne Boleyn, and his wife, Jane Seymour, and his wife, Anne of Cleves, and his wife, Catherine Howard, and his wife, Catherine Parr. They all knew the meaning of marriage and none of them lost their heads over the matter.

    [Stolen from Ryan Major]

  23. 23
    jonathangray

    Various:

    The many varieties of biblical marriage:

    Or here’s a more amusing way of the different versions of bible marriage.

    Here’s a link describing eight different forms of marriage in the Bible.

    At last count, there were 8 different types of marriage found in that immoral religious tome believers of Christianity worship (you know, the Bible).

    The fact that the Bible describes different types of marriage, some of which God was willing to tolerate at certain times, doesn’t mean they are all equally good in God’s eyes. The words of Jesus which I quoted earlier make that clear.

    Besides, anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Christian doctrine knows that not all the permissions and prohibitions of the Old Covenant are binding under the New.

    Of course I appreciate that atheists regard Christian doctrine as nonsense; but they have no grounds for regarding it as inconsistent nonsense.

    Sylvia Sybil:

    This culture war is all about whether or not someone else’s religious beliefs should affect my civil rights.

    Indeed. And vice versa.

    The point of your Humpty Dumpty quote seems to be that words have to have mutually agreed upon meanings, otherwise communication would be impossible. This has nothing to do with whether or not a secular and governmental institution should be segregated or integrated. Did the meaning of the word “soldier” change when DADT was repealed? Did the changing meaning of the word “computer” change the nature of people who perform mathematics? The meaning of the word “marriage” has no connection to your quote abut making up gibberish.

    &

    Rutee Katreya:

    Yes, little one, words’ meanings do change over time. Lewis Carrol wasn’t complaining about the natural drift of language.

    I think Humpty Dumpty is making the point that the meanings of words depend on who wields cultural hegemony (“which is to be master”).

    sheila:

    Yeah right. Marriage has “always” been one man and one woman, just like Christians have “always”been against abortion (since about 1980)

    “you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born” – Didache, late 1st/early 2nd century AD.

    and “always” been against racism.

    “Gentes licet barbarae tamen humanae.” (“The people may be barbarous, but they are human”) – St Augustine, City of God, 5th century AD.

    Rodney Nelson:

    Devout, faithful Christians should never accept same-sex marriage, because it is an affront to the traditional family values upheld by Henry VIII and his wife, Catherine of Aragon, and his wife, Anne Boleyn, and his wife, Jane Seymour, and his wife, Anne of Cleves, and his wife, Catherine Howard, and his wife, Catherine Parr.

    You do know Henry VIII was excommunicated, right?

  24. 24
    Stacy

    I think Humpty Dumpty is making the point that the meanings of words depend on who wields cultural hegemony (“which is to be master”)

    No. Humpty Dumpty was talking about making words do whatever he wanted. The passage is very clear, and it has nothing to do with “who wields cultural hegemony.”

    Humpty Dumpty claimed the word “glory” means “a nice knock-down argument.”

    But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument,” Alice objected.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master– that’s all.”

    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

    “Would you tell me please,” said Alice, “what that means?”

    “Now you talk like a reasonable child,” said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. “I meant by “impenetrability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life.”

    “That’s a great deal to make one word mean,” Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

    “When I make a word do a lot of work like that,” said Humpty Dumpty, “I always pay it extra.”

    (When I use a quote….)

  25. 25
    Stacy

    “you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born” – Didache, late 1st/early 2nd century AD

    Then there were all those Christians who allowed abortion up until the fetus looked human enough, or up until quickening:

    The Apostolic Constitutions (circa 380 CE) allowed abortion if it was done early enough in pregnancy. But it condemned abortion if the fetus was of human shape.
    ~ ~ ~
    Augustine…wrote that a human soul cannot live in an unformed body. Thus, early in pregnancy, an abortion is not murder because no soul is destroyed (or, more accurately, only a vegetable or animal soul is terminated).
    ~ ~ ~
    St. Jerome: “The seed gradually takes shape in the uterus, and it [abortion] does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their external appearance and their limbs”
    ~ ~ ~
    Pope Innocent III (circa 1161-1216):

    He wrote a letter which ruled on a case of a Carthusian monk who had arranged for his female lover to obtain an abortion. The Pope decided that the monk was not guilty of homicide if the fetus was not “animated.”
    Early in the 13th century he stated that the soul enters the body of the fetus at the time of “quickening” – when the woman first feels movement of the fetus. After ensoulment, abortion was equated with murder; before that time, it was a less serious sin, because it terminated only potential human life, not human life.
    ~ ~ ~
    St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) also considered only the abortion of an “animated” fetus as murder.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_hist.htm

  26. 26
    Argle Bargle

    jonathangray #23

    Besides, anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Christian doctrine knows that not all the permissions and prohibitions of the Old Covenant are binding under the New.

    Which particular permissions and prohibitions are effective and which are discarded is up to the individual Christian’s taste. Certain church leaders claim they know which ones are operative and which aren’t, but quite often these opinions are ignored by their followers. The Catholic hierarchy claims that contraception (which isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Bible) is a big no-no, but much of the Catholic laity don’t pay attention to this prohibition.

    You do know Henry VIII was excommunicated, right?

    You do know that Henry VIII was head of his own church, right?

  27. 27
    Rutee Katreya

    You do know Henry VIII was excommunicated, right?

    Today, you learned that “Christian” does not solely mean “Catholic”.

    “Gentes licet barbarae tamen humanae.” (“The people may be barbarous, but they are human”) – St Augustine, City of God, 5th century AD.

    *Snicker* Oh, does the Catholic Fool want to pretend that the Catholic Church wasn’t racist because some chump saint made a two line proclamation? THis’ll be a laugh. You know that indigenous slaves were almost as common on churches as they were on manors in an Encomienda, right?

    Also, ‘barbarian’, in the middle of the Roman Empire (or really, ever), is not the shining example of non-racism you seem to think it is.

  28. 28
    Stacy

    Yeah, Augustine gets no cookies for granting humanity to the barbarians. The pious Christian slaveholders of antebellum America also admitted their slaves were human.

  29. 29
    Sylvia Sybil

    Jonathan Gray @ 23

    This culture war is all about whether or not someone else’s religious beliefs should affect my civil rights.

    Indeed. And vice versa.

    My civil rights have no bearing on anyone else’s religion because nobody else’s religion has a right to my body or my life. That’s why I don’t tithe, I don’t cover my hair*, and I don’t go to church; because no religious institution has a right to my money, body, or time unless I freely choose to give it to them. This is why my marriage to a man can be performed by a Justice of the Peace or by any religious official who consents. My secular marriage is still valid even if your priests (I’m assuming you’re Catholic because you think Catholic excommunication has any bearing in this argument) don’t sign off on it.

    This idea that my right to partake in a secular institution, my ability to financially provide for my wife and secure our children’s future, has any bearing on someone else’s religious beliefs is only valid if that religion has the right to my body and my life. They don’t; I am completely separate. Like it or not, in the USA separation of church and state is one of our founding legal principles. And you should like it, because it’s what prevents Jehovah’s Witnesses from stopping your blood transfusions and orthodox Jews from banning your pork chops. They’re not allowed to enforce their religious prohibitions on you and you’re not allowed to enforce your religious prohibitions on me.

    *Not scaremongering; I grew up in a strict Catholic community where mantillas were strongly encouraged for girls over First Communion age (~7).

  30. 30
    jonathangray

    Stacy:

    Humpty Dumpty was talking about making words do whatever he wanted. The passage is very clear, and it has nothing to do with “who wields cultural hegemony.”

    How would you understand Humpty’s cryptic remark “The question is, which is to be master – that’s all”?

    Then there were all those Christians who allowed abortion up until the fetus looked human enough, or up until quickening

    It may be true that at certain times in history, certain Church Fathers, popes, theologians etc were of the opinion that abortion up to a certain point was not murder. That’s not the same as “allowing abortion” up until that point.

    Rodney Nelson:

    Which particular permissions and prohibitions are effective and which are discarded is up to the individual Christian’s taste. Certain church leaders claim they know which ones are operative and which aren’t, but quite often these opinions are ignored by their followers. The Catholic hierarchy claims that contraception (which isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Bible) is a big no-no, but much of the Catholic laity don’t pay attention to this prohibition.

    Which particular permissions and prohibitions in US law are effective and which are discarded is up to the individual US citizen’s taste. Certain political and judicial leaders claim they know which ones are operative and which aren’t, but quite often these opinions are ignored by the citizenry. The courts claim that murder (which isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution) is a big no-no, but many US citizens don’t pay attention to this prohibition.

    You do know that Henry VIII was head of his own church, right?

    ( ̄o ̄)y~~

    Rutee Katreya:

    Today, you learned that “Christian” does not solely mean “Catholic”.

    ( ̄o ̄)y~~

    You know that indigenous slaves were almost as common on churches as they were on manors in an Encomienda, right?

    &

    Stacy:

    The pious Christian slaveholders of antebellum America also admitted their slaves were human.

    Slavery has taken many forms throughout history and is not synonymous with ‘racism’.

    Sylvia Sybil:

    Like it or not, in the USA separation of church and state is one of our founding legal principles.

    A monstrous act of lèse majesté. One wonders if the Gadsden flag was a satanic riposte to “Ipsa conteret caput tuum”

  31. 31
    Rutee Katreya

    Slavery has taken many forms throughout history and is not synonymous with ‘racism’.

    Dude, we’re not talking about generic slaves. We’re talking about specifically non-white slaves, taken because they weren’t really full people, because they weren’t white. When you enslave the native people of carribean islands or Aztec or Inca because they’re lesser than you, it’s fucking racist. When you maintain a structure of slavery wherein only black people can be slaves because they’re lesser than white people, that’s fucking racist.

    The Catholic Church signed off on Encomiendas until the natives were too dead to continue being the primary source of labor, at which point black slaves were shipped to Spanish colonies; again, with total approval of the catholic church. The same applies to when Portugal imported absolutely ludicrous numbers of slaves to Brazil.

    To say the technically true generality that not all slavery is racist, when we’re specifying monstrously racist forms of it, marks you for an even bigger fool than your average heterosexist Christian twit.

    A monstrous act of lèse majesté. One wonders if the Gadsden flag was a satanic riposte to “Ipsa conteret caput tuum”…

    It’s not like Catholics would be the winners if the nascent American states would have done that.

  32. 32
    Jadzia626

    It is simple really. What any god or prophet says about marriage applies to that particular faith, not to anyone else. No one owns marriage. The legal aspects of marriage should not be affected by religions, neither should the state enforce religious laws on people who do not follow that particular religion. That is a major human rights violation. If people want to submit themselves to weird laws, that’s their business, but not the business of a state that gives 2 cents for human rights. As history is a repeated example of, a state run by a religion or a totalitarian ideology is an oppressive state.

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