Joseph Farah has admitted to being wrong about something. Unfortunately, he was actually right the first time and his correction is based upon evidence so weak as to be utterly laughable. He used to claim that same-sex marriage was without precedent; now he claims that same-sex marriage was practiced “in the days of Noah.”
I think I might have been wrong about same-sex marriage.
When I have written about this phenomenon and discussed it and debated it in recent years, I have stated unequivocally that it is something new – not seen anywhere or at any time in the history of humankind.
But now I have reason to doubt that.
There may indeed have been a time in man’s history when it was practiced…
But it may have been routine in the days of Noah, just before the flood.
I am hardly a student of the Talmud, part of the oral tradition of Orthodox Judaism. I don’t believe it is the inspired word of God. But it is, nonetheless, a historical record. According to two notable experts, the Babylonian Talmud says that same-sex marriage was prevalent just before the Great Flood of Noah.
Jeffrey Satinover, who holds an MD from Princeton and doctorates from Yale, MIT and Harvard, has made the point that the Midrash Rabbah Genesis suggests such activity represented the last straw before God unleashed the floodwaters to destroy the Earth. He is backed up by Rabbi Aryeh Spero of New York.
But it’s not just conservative scholars and rabbis who see that message in the Talmud. Indeed, a feminist academic from Brandeis University, Gail Labovitz, senior research analyst for the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, dealt with this issue in a recent paper.
Funny, the Bible mentions absolutely nothing that even remotely could be read as saying that there was same-sex marriage in the days of Noah. You will search the book of Genesis in vain for it. So what are those extra-Biblical sources for “evidence” of Farah’s new position? I took a look at that Labovitz paper and did a little research. Labovitz says there are four mentions of it. One is in the tannaitic midrash, which dates from no earlier than the 3rd century CE; two are from the amoraic midrash, which is from no earlier than 220 CE; and the 4th is from the Babylonian Talmud, which was put together between the 3rd and 5th centuries CE. So the “evidence” for same-sex marriage taking place in the days of Noah is speculation from rabbis written nearly five thousand years later.
Of course, both Farah’s old claim and his new claim can be made to fit his position. He’s been claiming for years that same-sex marriage had never been tried, therefore it shouldn’t be tried. Now he’s claiming that it was tried and it was the “last straw” that made his barbaric God drown everyone. Neither position is the least bit compelling to a rational person, of course, but either one can be made to serve Farah’s irrational beliefs.