Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Idiocy of Those Supporting "Biblical Marriage"

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This morning I wrote about a state court magistrate judge in North Carolina who resigned from his judicial position rather than - the horrors - marry same sex couples now that marriage equality has come to North Carolina despite the efforts the North Carolina Republican Party.  The judge, Magistrate Judge Gilbert Breedlove, justified his action with this statement: "The whole Bible from front to end states that a marriage is between a man and a wife," . . . "Any other type of sexual activity other than that is what is defined as fornication."  I'm sorry, but Breedlove might just have well had "I'm an ignorant ass" on his forehead.  Why?  Because, as a post in Huffington Post by a biblical scholar points out, there is NO biblical marriage in the form of "one man and one woman."  Making matters worse, Breedlove purports to be an ordained minister.  He obviously never bothered to actually read the Bible. As I have stated many times, fundamentalist Christianity requires ignorance to survive.  Here are excerpts from Huffington Post that underscores Breedlove's ignorance:
In light of the recent resignations of two North Carolina magistrates, explained by their religious convictions that same-sex marriage is a sin or desecrates the "holy institution established by God Himself," I would like to offer a few points of clarification to the overall discourse. 

First, the kinds of relationships that qualify for marriage in the Bible, and thus could count as "biblical marriage," represent quite a striking range of options. They include polygamy (more than one wife or concubine, simultaneously), open marriage for the man (since he can have access to the female slaves or servants in the house), forcing a woman to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and levirate marriage (wherein a childless widow must marry the brother of her deceased husband). Those are just a few of the examples from the Hebrew Bible. 

What we see in the Newer Testament includes Jesus claiming that men can leave their wives and children in order to follow him (Luke 18:28-30), in addition to him somewhat throwing the gauntlet in Matthew 19:10-12, where he discusses men being made eunuchs or making themselves such for the sake of the kingdom . . . 

I think most people are simply unaware of the range of possibilities that qualify, regardless of which testament of the Bible we look to. 

The second point I would like to clarify is that, aside from that one moment in 1 Corinthians 7, marriage is discussed in terms of the woman as the property of the man. I say this with a fairly literal sense intended. It does explain why or how so many biblical stories show wives being treated as less than fully human, but I do hope that people who love the Bible can admit that this is an element of it that we ought not to continue to endorse.

Third, when people say that the "Bible says homosexuality/gay marriage is a sin," I know that they believe that the Bible says this, since I used to think so, too. But it does not.  . . . . the issue is about the people of Israel needing to grow in numbers. Any wasting of semen was not to be tolerated and thus was an abomination. None of those situations are talking about two same-sex people in loving relationships.Finally, there is no specific place where "God Himself" establishes marriage as a holy institution.

When I hear someone say she only believes in "biblical marriage," my knee-jerk reaction is to want to ask her which version she is referring to. I also find myself wanting to remind her that love is never discussed as foundational to marriage. Thus, while same-sex marriage is not endorsed in the Bible, neither is a loving, mutually agreed upon union of a man and woman.

As I said this morning, the North Carolina judiciary is far better off with a self-professed ignoramus like Breedlove off the bench.

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