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Jul 01 2013

Bachmann vs Gohmert on Marriage and History

On Wednesday, 12 of the most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives held a press conference to throw a fit about the DOMA ruling. Michele Bachmann had only an hour earlier issued a statement claiming that same-sex marriage had never been tried before in history:

“For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations.”

But then Louis Gohmert got up and delivered one of the most hilarious lines I’ve ever heard:

“[T]he most wise men [sic] in history, Solomon, said ‘There’s nothing new under the sun,’ and this [same-sex marriage] isn’t new and it’s been tried over and over, and it’s usually tried at the end of a great civilization.”

None of Solomon’s 700 wives or 300 concubines could be reached for comment. Jesus, they really need to make those irony meters out of titanium. So which is it? Has same-sex marriage never been tried before? Or has it been tried many times over and caused the destruction of multiple civilizations? But that settles it. Louis, you win. You are officially the dumbest person in Congress. Sorry, Michele Bachmann. We’ll give you the Miss Congeniality award instead.

23 comments

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  1. 1
    matty1

    To be fair most of the marriages that destroyed civilizations

    1) Were heterosexual
    2)Involved Newt Gingrich

  2. 2
    Reginald Selkirk

    “For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman.

    Mitt Romney’s polygamist grandfather could not be reached for comment either, because he’s dead.

  3. 3
    Curt Cameron

    It’s especially ironic to quote Solomon to support your view that a marriage is between one man and one woman.

  4. 4
    Bronze Dog

    Jesus, they really need to make those irony meters out of titanium.

    Tried that with the military grade models. They still blow up, though they’re at least recognizable after the explosion. We need to start getting our fictional products from the Marvel universe, though we’d have to pay a pretty penny for them to recreate the adamantium/vibranium alloy of Cap America’s shield to withstand irony of that magnitude. Could probably only get one and reserve for the scientific community. Demand is going to be a lasting problem with that model, though.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    Some legendary celtic warriors married their horses. It’s a slippery slope! GOING DOWN!

  6. 6
    Randomfactor

    She ain’t congenial either.

  7. 7
    wpjoe

    Slate had a piece that mentioned in passing that Nero married a eunuch. So maybe in this case it is Louis who has the (previous existence of SS-marriage) history right, and Michele is wrong (surprize, surprize).

  8. 8
    shadowwalkyr

    Actually, I’ve been working on an irony meter that uses hardware to prevent explosions rather than casing materials.
    The hard part is finding a supplier for resistors rated for three billion ohms.

  9. 9
    matty1

    @7 Even then Louis is wrong on the history, Nero ruled closer to the start of the Roman empire than it’s end.

  10. 10
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Ahh, the appeal to tradition, also included in things no other culture ever tried before:

    Forbidding slavery, creating a law based on freedom of speech and religion and appeal for grievances, inventing a horseless carriage, inventing the capability of flight, creating capacitors, allowing marriage between men and women of different races, building transcontinental railways and roads, and so on and so forth.

  11. 11
    Gregory in Seattle

    Well, let’s see….

    A large number of First Nations accepted the idea of two-spirit people, and marriages of such people to someone of the same birth sex was not only permitted but much sought after. This did not begin to change until the cultural genocide brought by European Christian missionaries. Many missionaries also wrote about same sex marriage existing in Africa and Polynesia.

    For centuries in Sparta, pairs of men were bound together in a ceremony that held many of the trappings of marriage. These “brothers” fought trained together, ate together, lived together and, if Spartan poetry is to believed, shared the same bed (and I don’t mean just sleeping.)

    Age-related homosexual relationships were the norm throughout much of Greece; it was unusual, but accepted, in much of the Italic peninsula into the early Roman Empire, as well as pre-Christianized China, Japan, Korea and other cultures in eastern and south eastern Asia.

    Even in early Eastern Christianity, there is the ceremony of adelphopoiesis, literally “brother-making”, which was celebrated at a special Divine Liturgy with most of the trappings of a wedding.

    And let us not forget that the US is not the first country in modern times to legalize same-sex marriage: it is already permitted in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Israel (if performed outside the country), Mexico (some states), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay. The Netherlands was the first country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples nationwide, since 2001; Massachusetts has had same-sex marriage since 2003.

    Oddly enough, the world keeps spinning on, just like always. It is almost like God doesn’t care, or doesn’t exist.

  12. 12
    holytape

    I believe the award going to Mrs. Bachmann is Ms. Congenital Mental Deficiency. Strangely, the same award was given to Louis Gohmert Pile as well.

  13. 13
    holytape

    @ matty1

    Are you expecting Gohmert to be right about anything? Being correct about anything requires knowing things, and to Gohmert and his inbred ilk, knowing things is a sin.

  14. 14
    anubisprime

    “[same-sex marriage] isn’t new and it’s been tried over and over, and it’s usually tried at the end of a great civilization.”

    OK…Citation for…

    it’s been tried over and over, and it’s usually tried at the end of a great civilization.

    Which great civilization?

    The Inca?…The Romans?…The Ottoman?…The Egyptian?…All of them? …none of them?…What? Who? When? Where?

    Do tell Ancient history courses awaits the evidence!

  15. 15
    velociraptor

    It is worth noting that within a century of Xianity becoming the official religion of the Empire, the Roman Empire in the West was history. Its successor state hung around with varying degrees of success for another millenium, but while it had some of the same terms and trappings, was hardly Roman in character.

  16. 16
    skemono

    It is worth noting that within a century of Xianity becoming the official religion of the Empire, the Roman Empire in the West was history.

    And oddly enough, the Empire fell after outlawing same-sex marriage.

    Strange, that.

  17. 17
    Leo Buzalsky

    @2 Reginald Selkirk

    For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman.

    Mitt Romney’s polygamist grandfather could not be reached for comment either, because he’s dead.

    I would guess Mitt Romney’s polygamist grandfather still believed that marriage was between man and woman. It’s just that he also believed a man could have multiples of such marriages. Same perhaps goes for Solomon. So, technically these are still opposite-sex marriages. :)

  18. 18
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I believe Ed means the

    Miscongeniality

    award goes to bachman

  19. 19
    Reginald Selkirk

    shadowwalkyr #8: The hard part is finding a supplier for resistors rated for three billion ohms.

    Try harder.
    Mouser Electronics carries some Ohmite brand parts; four different parts with a 3.0 gigaohm rating, in different voltage and power ratings.
    You should also learn how to get the value you want by using multiple resistors in series or parallel.

  20. 20
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    To the list above, the Japanese in the samurai period had a very similar system to that of the Spartans, as well as monastic relationships (generally between the older top and younger bottom, ostensibly, though I sincerely doubt anyone was watching at the keyhole trying to make sure), in such profusion that monk jokes still have a tendency to involve someone looking for anal sex.

  21. 21
    John Pieret

    Since when did wingnuts care about consistency? They can go on saying this stuff ad infinitum and no one in their target audience will notice.

  22. 22
    Modusoperandi

    Reginald Selkirk “Try harder. Mouser Electronics carries some Ohmite brand parts…”
    He was joking. Everybody knows resistance isn’t the issue, it’s heat. All that stupid, stupid heat.

  23. 23
    francesc

    Uh, the marriage of catholic monks and priests with an invisible and supernatural being does count as a marriage between a man and a woman?

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