"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Friday, May 18, 2012

Here's "Biblical marriage", Mr. Romney
Posted by Jill | 6:08 AM
It was hilarious to watch Willard Rmoney (sic) last weekend affirming before the hatemongers-in-training at Liberty University that marriage is between one man and onw woman. For one thing, that one man and one woman are going to be awfully busy excluding the rest of us. For another, this is pretty amazing coming from a guy whose great-grandfather had five wives and great-great grandfather may have had twelve. But aside from "the Mormon thing", the idea that Biblical marriage looks like Mitt Romney's is ridiculous, as pointed out in Religion Dispatches:
Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)

But that’s not all. In biblical society, when you conquered another city, tribe, or nation, the victorious men would “win” their defeated foes’ wives as part of the spoils. It also commanded levirate marriage, the system wherein, if a man died, his younger brother would have to marry his widow and produce heirs with her who would be considered the older brother’s descendants. Now that’s traditional marriage!

Later Islamic and Jewish sources, unclear on these parameters (the prophet Muhammad, of course, had several wives), debated whether it is permissible for a man to marry a three- or four-year-old girl. St. Paul, meanwhile, said that marriage was a compromise between the ideal of celibacy and the unfortunate fact that people like to have sex. Fortunately, we pluralists can appreciate both those religious traditions which advise men to marry little girls and those which tell them not to marry anyone at all.

And of course, even until the present day, traditional marriage has meant arranged marriage. The notion that two adults would enter into a marriage on their own volition is a radical innovation in the institution of marriage, at most two hundred years old.

Oh, and let’s not forget that in Europe and North America, marriage was considered a commercial proposition first and foremost—not a romantic one. Princes married princesses not because of fairy tales, but because their parents had political alliances to consider. Further down the economic ladder, people married for a variety of biological, commercial, and genealogical reasons—but rarely for love. (See Stephanie Coontz’s excellent Marriage, a History for more.)


So, let’s see if I can total all this up. Traditional marriage is one man with multiple wives, multiple concubines, wives conquered in war and wives acquired in levirate marriage, possibly including girls under the age of ten, but definitely not including anyone of a different ethnic group, in an arranged marriage with disposition of property as its purpose. That seems very different from “one man, one woman,” does it not?

And that's even BEFORE we get to Newt Gingrich.

Perhaps the best place to turn on this is the inimitable Mr. Colbert:

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share
Blogger Ahab said...
Yeah, anti-LGBT voices don't like to admit that "traditional" marriage encompassed a LOT of different practices back in the day ... not all of them monogamous or ethical.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
So, if the propaganda bill passes, when are we gonna start having Hate Week?