Rethinking Marriage Pt. 3

The family is changing whether or not the Religious Right likes it. The family has changed over our entire history. There’s never been a concrete definition of what marriage should be since we’ve adapted it to new social situations, new technology, new vocations, new needs.

I realize that the word “adapt” sounds like a euphemism for “evolve” – but we see this just in the Bible itself as my great friend Alissa pointed out the last time I went on a marriage rant.

What our collective history shows us is that marriage and the family are remarkably fluid things. Rick Santorum and others on the RR (and by RR I mean Religious Right not Reading Rainbow) cling to Genesis [REF] where God joins together Adam and Eve as if this is such a permanent, enduring image representative of how marriage ought to be.

Obvious problems arise right away if you’re Rick Santorum and you believe in a literal version of this story (you already have some clue as to where I’m going if you watched the video): What about the kids?

Supposing Adam and Eve fulfilled hetero Christians’ favorite mandate to go out and be prosperous and they had lots of kids – their family still committed incest.

What’s next? Man on dog? After all, suppose one of your sisters doesn’t want to sleep with you. The options are limited, aren’t they, Rick?

Is this not a slippery slope? A fuzzy moral grey area that should lead the Rick Santorums of the world to pause in reflection? Necessity be damned. This is a not-so-glorious start to our existence if you believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis.

The RR in the USA silently condones incest through their affirmation and celebration of the Genesis accounts of creation, do they not?

And then it gets better.

Cue the protest rallies with the RR groupies and their ONE MAN + ONE WOMAN posters.

All the kids at school will think you’re awesome.

Have you read your Bible? Have you read your owner’s manual??

I know that I am not the first to point this out – but there’s a lot of screwed up shit in the Bible.

Anyone else ever wondered how many STIs Solomon the manwhore had?

David – the man after God’s own heart taking a young virgin to bed with him in his declining years?

These are only two famous examples. If you want more, open up the Old Testament just about anywhere you please. You have to look way harder for verses “condemning” homosexuality than you do for instances of screwed up straight relationships.

Moral ambiguity?

Hazy grey areas?

Slippery slopes?

Forget about telling your kids not to read Harry Potter. Don’t read the Old Testament! At least there’s no genocide in Harry Potter.

So the next time you show up at a protest because you feel like supporting the sacred, unchanging institution of marriage – ask yourself why just one man and one woman? Why not one man and a thousand women? Why not a brother and his sister? There is a Biblical basis for all of this. So if you’re going to deny people marriage based off of your holy text, why not say these other God approved marriages are OK? If marriage is so unchanging and a reflection of the immutable character of God, you should support this. You should be demanding that the US government support incestuous and polygamous relationships.

So if you want to be homophobic, go right ahead. Just be consistent. Read your Bible.

As for me, I think that the Bible is rife with ambiguities as I already stated. It is in many ways a beautiful book that tells the story of the widening of God’s circle from a small tribe to a nation to every tribe and nation – every color, gender, nationality, language, whathaveyou.

It shows that God’s relationship with us has evolved and is still evolving.

The Bible shows that our understanding of God is evolving, too. I don’t think that that means that God is changing, but instead that maybe we are – we are delving deeper into the workings of the world, of our minds, of the universe and as we do so we realize more and more just how intricate the universe is, and in my opinion how much sense it makes that God exists.

Could it be possible that our understanding of relationships is meant to evolve at the same time?

This brings me back to my understanding of marriage and the family as something particularly fluid and beautiful – because it’s evolving at the same time that we are. We can’t claim our 1950s image of the family as anything Biblical. Eve is not June Cleaver. Eve was not wearing high heels while she did the vacuuming. This black and white image may seem eternal – but my grandparents have been married longer than Leave it to Beaver has existed – they still are. 70 years. God bless them. They are my ultimate relationship heroes.

We can’t make the 1950s image we have into a security blanket, as I think it is for many.

Although I have long been hesitant on gay marriage, I am beginning to realize that, basically, we all want the same thing: Legal protection, tax benefits, visitation rights. That’s not so romantic, I realize, but strictly speaking that’s what marriage is about and what it has been about for centuries.

Long live romance.

Marriage is pliable and adaptable. I don’t care what word you use to call a union between two people. If you want queers to have civil unions instead, so be it.

The institution of marriage was big enough for incest and polygamy – I think it’s probably big enough for the gays as well.

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Filed under Queer Politics, Religious Wrong

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