I Think We’ve Heard This Before

Matt Barber has a column extolling the virtue and brilliance of that “Marriage Solidarity Statement” he signed, along with dozens of other Christian right leaders. And he reiterates this absurd claim that marriage was created by God himself, who didn’t want gay people getting married:

The central reality behind the statement is this: Marriage is what marriage is, has always been and always will be. Marriage predates civil government. Mankind can no more transmute marriage to something it is not than can we reverse the earth’s rotation or gravitational pull. Despite an evidently contagious delusion to the contrary, not even the United States Supreme Court is capable of overruling the laws of moral and biological physics. Any attempt to do so is illegitimate. It’s moral alchemy.

“Like other natural laws or laws of physics that govern our lives, marriage predates government, and civil institutions have no authority to redefine marriage,” observes the statement. “Marriage cannot be redefined into something it is incapable of being. …”

“If the Supreme Court were to issue a decision that redefined marriage or provided a precedent on which to build an argument to redefine marriage, the Supreme Court will thereby undermine its legitimacy,” it notes. “The court will significantly decrease its credibility and impair the role it has assumed for itself as a moral authority. It will be acting beyond its proper constitutional role and contrary to the Natural Moral Law which transcends religions, culture, and time.”

Indeed, according to the unequivocal precepts of moral truth – reflected explicitly throughout both the Old and New Testaments – homosexual behavior is sin. Sin is evil. Homosexual behavior is the central, defining characteristic of so-called “gay marriage.” Therefore, “gay marriage” is evil.

I swear I’ve heard something similar to that before. Where was it? Oh yeah, I remember. It was from the district court judge in Loving v Virginia, explaining that we must not allow people of different races to get married because God didn’t want that:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay, and red, and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix.”

Yes, yes, yes, I know you think God doesn’t like it. But God doesn’t get a vote on this. But keep on praying to him all you want.

31 comments on this post.
  1. Chiroptera:

    Marriage predates civil government.

    So does slavery, come to think of it.

  2. Captain Mike:

    “The central reality behind the statement is this: Marriage is what marriage is, has always been and always will be.”

    Delusional or lying? I think we can cross “simply ignorant” off the list at this point.

  3. Randomfactor:

    Well, he can join the other Mat’s “civil war” over the issue.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/staver-supreme-court-could-spark-second-revolution-and-civil-war-over-marriage-equality

  4. Robert Harvey:

    “… contrary to the Natural Moral Law which transcends religions, culture, and time.”

    I guess that explains why there is only one religion. Oh, wait … .

  5. eric:

    “The central reality behind the statement is this: Marriage is what marriage is, has always been and always will be.”

    -Quote first attributed to Solomon’s 635th wife.

  6. raven:

    And he reiterates this absurd claim that marriage was created by God himself, who didn’t want gay people getting married:

    Citation needed.

    If god really cared, he could put out a press release or go on late night TV. If he doesn’t, we can assume he doesn’t care or is hanging out with his chosen beings, the squids on Kpax IV.

    Barber’s god is just a sockpuppet. One who hates what he hates and wants him to have what he wants.

  7. D. C. Sessions:

    Since y’all don’t seem to be clear on the eternal truth of Marriage as God Intended It, here’s the training video:

  8. raven:

    “… contrary to the Natural Moral Law which transcends religions, culture, and time.”

    There is no such thing as Natural Moral Law.

    This is just a variant of “If god wanted us to…”

    If god wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings. Therefore no one should board an airplane.
    IF god wanted us to drive cars, he would have given us wheels.

    If god wanted us to be idiots and haters, he would make us pay attention to and follow Matt Barber.

  9. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!:

    Seems apt to cite Betty Bowers clip on traditional biblical marriage here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

    I’m not sure the Rightwingers quite understand the history of the institution they claim tobe standuing up for or their own hole-y book.

  10. Johnny Vector:

    Right. As clearly stated in the bible, marriage has always and forever been only one man and one woman. No biblical characters ever had any other type of marriage. No sirree.

    Nice platonic ideal you’ve got there. Oh wait, sorry. That’s not Plato, it’s Play-Doh.

  11. matty1:

    Dear Mr Barber,

    I was delighted to hear of your support for traditional marriage so in keeping with this I would like to make an offer of twenty sheep for both your daughters. As a staunch traditionalist I’m sure you will be more than happy with this arrangement reflecting as it does a long standing Biblical understanding of marriage.

    Yours
    Jehosaphat Obadiah

  12. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!:

    Jumping Jehosaphat!

  13. stever:

    I think he misunderstood a fact of biology. Some species pair-bond. That’s all that biology has to say. Marriage is a civil institution that grew out of the idea of personal property (women being treated as livestock for most of history), and the Religious Reich must know that “One man and one woman, forever!” is far from the only sort of marriage because their Bible mentions others. “One man, and as many women as he can afford to purchase from their fathers or take as trophies of war” is the most prominent, but let’s not forget rapist-and-victim, the “You broke it, you bought it!” rule.

  14. John Pieret:

    Marriage is ontologically between one man and one woman, ordered toward the union of the spouses,

    Wait a minute! Didn’t Abraham, Isaak, David and Solomon (in spades!) all “redefine” marrigage as not being between one man and one woman? All with Dog’s blessing too!

    Seems that “Natural Law” isn’t so immutable.

  15. Randomfactor:

    Marriage is what marriage is

    Exactly. And as soon as it changes, as it has dozens of times in the past and will again, it becomes the new standard for marriage. Until the next change.

  16. bryanfeir:

    @Johnny Vector:
    Back when the whole Chick-Fil-A mess blew up, Fred Clark of Slacktivist started posting a series he called ‘Chick-fil-A’s Biblical Family of the Day’, where he started looking at a lot of actual biblical families and how either they weren’t exactly one-man, one-woman, or they were morally repugnant in some ways. He started the series in October of 2012. It kept going until February of 2013, with somewhere over 90 entries.

  17. Pierce R. Butler:

    … moral and biological physics.

    Neither of which studies have any established laboratories, journals, or results to publish if they did have some.

    And for you waving your Biophysics textbooks in the back of the room – sorry, but Mr. Barber’s ___-physics is real science, with none of that limp-wristed “uncertainty” stuff in it!

  18. Marcus Ranum:

    Indeed, according to the unequivocal precepts of moral truth – reflected explicitly throughout both the Old and New Testaments

    Apparently he thinks that marriage, as an institution, did not exist before jesus came to earth???

    If marriage was invented by god, it was invented by one of the pre-christian – pre-historic – gods. Although I’d bet on Loki.

  19. otrame:

    Marriage has usually been a contract of mutual support and defense between two families*, where it was considered nice, but certainly not required, if the spouses liked each other. It has only been in very modern times that married for love was considered the ideal. Who were considered acceptable participants in marriage varied a great deal culture-to-culture and almost always varied within cultures if said cultures were not egalitarian. For instance, pharohs often married sisters, in order to avoid gifting another family with the power inherent in being in-laws, but that was certainly not the case for commoners. More generally, powerful and/or wealthy men could afford more alliances and often had more wives–which is why Solomon supposedly had 300, as that was an Indicator of just how powerful he was.

    This whole one-man-one-woman-in-love-for-life thing is very new and, as many others have pointed out, not even remotely “biblical”.

    *Note that while we no longer consider committing two families to mutual obligations to be the purpose of marriage, it is still a result of marriage–including gay marriages. Consider that if your brother-in-law a owns a garage in your town, you are expected to take your car to him for repairs and to extoll his virtues as a mechanic to others, and he is expected to not charge you full price, and this is still true even if you don’t particularly like each other. And if either of you fail to keep this unspoken bargain, there will be tension in the family, at the very least.

  20. dingojack:

    Wasn’t that biblical paragon of kingly (read ‘judeo-christian) virtue really, really close to a dude called Jonathan? So much so, that he kinda married him? (1 Samuel 18)
    Is this a biblical marriage too?

    Dingo

  21. cptdoom:

    Right. As clearly stated in the bible, marriage has always and forever been only one man and one woman. No biblical characters ever had any other type of marriage. No sirree.

    And, Johnny Vector, no current “pro-traditional marriage” supporters have relationships of any other kind. Certainly one of the founders of NOM could not be a single mother married to her second (non-Christian) baby daddy, the 2008 GOP nominee for President certainly did not abandon the wife who had stood by him during 7 years of captivity to take up with a hot young blond with a huge family fortune, and the former GOP Speaker of the House/2012 GOP Presidential candidate did not hire his mistress as a member of his office staff in the 90s, rewarding her sexual favors with money. Those things never happened or, if they did, don’t matter because they’re all Republicans.

  22. d.c.wilson:

    ““Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay, and red, and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix.”

    After which, the judge immediately packed up and moved to Europe, since that’s where “Almighty God” had decreed people of his race should live.

    No?

  23. Johnny Vector:

    bryanfeir and cptdoom: Exactly. Although, when more people comment on my setup than on my punchline, I guess I better not quit my day job.

    Curse you Modusoperandi! Curse you and your humor that works!

  24. markr1957:

    Mankind can no more transmute marriage to something it is not than can we reverse the earth’s rotation

    Now there’s the fail in this pile of crap – as any good Christian who actually reads their book of magic spells can tell you the earth is fixed in the firmament and everything revolves around it according to Genesis, so we already have transmuted the earth’s rotation. Like everything else in that pile of dog-shit they claim to be the word of YHWH, facts are few and far between.

  25. Gregory in Seattle:

    @D. C. Sessions #7 – Yup, that’s my go-to video as well.

  26. Marcus Ranum:

    Mankind can no more transmute marriage to something it is not than can we reverse the earth’s rotation

    By creating gays and creating them so that they want to get married, god created gay marriage. Next?

  27. Big Boppa:

    Indeed, according to the unequivocal precepts of moral truth – reflected explicitly throughout both the Old and New Testaments – eating lobster is sin. Sin is evil. Eating lobster is the central, defining characteristic of so-called “seafood restaurants.” Therefore, “eating at Red Lobster” is evil.

    Indeed, according to the unequivocal precepts of moral truth – reflected explicitly throughout both the Old and New Testaments – wearing garments of mixed fiber is sin. Sin is evil. Wearing garments of mixed fiber is the central, defining characteristic of (the) so-called “cotton-polyester suit.” Therefore, “Matt Barber” is evil.

    I could keep going but I think you get the gist….

  28. shadowwalkyr:

    Odd. Nobody seems to be concept of “moral physics.” Where do I learn more?

  29. shadowwalkyr:

    Let me try that again, this time with brain engaged:

    Odd. Nobody seems to be commenting on the concept of “moral physics.” Where do I learn more?

  30. billgascoyne:

    “God created sex. Priests created marriage.”
    Voltaire (1694-1778)

  31. dustbunny:

    Homosexual behavior is the central, defining characteristic of so-called “gay marriage.”

    Why is it always about sex with these people? Does this mean he thinks the “defining characteristic” of heterosexual marriage is also that the couple has sex, and not, you know, love, sharing your life, being a family, having legal status in each others lives…?

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