papa_will (papa_will) wrote in marriage_debate,

Traditional Marriage

(Sure, I'm a n00b, but I've read what's been said already. I love to debate, and I love GLBT issues so.... yes. I'm in.)

"Marriage isn't for each generation to define" --no, it really shouldn't have to be. Yet, what marriage constitutes, and what it MEANS changes by culture and over time.

Marriage used to mean who a woman belonged to. An economic contract between Dad and Hubby, involving an exchange of goods that included the girl (usually too young). Marriage was about getting an extra worker (the wife) to join your family, and it was about continuing the family line.

Marriage didn't used to mean "one man and one woman" -- it meant 1 man, and as many wives as he could afford. This one is especially funny considering that the people who use religion to justify opposition to gay marriage often don't know their faith well enough to tell you which Great Biblical Figures had multiple wives. (Hint: Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon). Didn't David get in trouble for this? Y-no. He got in trouble for sending a man to the front lines of a conflict so he would die and David could marry the wife.

Marriage didn't used to mean love. That's actually a fairly recent idea. Marriage might've been about who was the right age (and sex) (oh, and not related) in your area, if your community was small. Marriage might've been for status. Oh, and in many parts of the world, people of marriagable age are not considered wise enough to choose for themselves.

Marriage was sometimes forbidden, via class. Feudal peasants often did not marry, because they did not have any land/titles/possessions-of-value to pass on. Marriage served as a means of determining paternity among those who had something to pass on, rather than a matter of stable households, or celebrating love. During America's slave days, no form of marriage was recognized for Blacks., you want "traditional values"? Great. Women, go make babies. That's all your good for, and clearly we don't have enough starving children and unemployed people in the world. Oh, and men... if you're rich, buy up the women. If you're poor, you'll be dating your hand until someone sends you off to die as cannon-fodder in the next war. (Before you do, you might have a chance to "bond" with some of your fellow soldiers!)

Marriage HAS changed radically. In light of these new changes (monogamy, love, all classes) it is critical that conceptions keep up.

It is not the government's place to tell me who, among sane consenting adults, I may marry. Both examples of what happens when the government gets too involved are about "race," not sexual orientation, but there is much to learn from them.

*America's fears of "Miscegenation" forbade inter-racial marriage in many parts of the country. They said that if we allowed black and white people to marry each other: the white race would die, we'd have to let people marry animals, we'd have to let adults marry children, we'd have to let groups marry, every manner of moral decay would follow. Well, those laws are gone. There are still plenty of pale people. Dogs still can't enter contracts, such as marriage. Age-of-consent laws are still as variable as ever across the country (and globe). Groups still can't marry (not that my white-water rafting team wanted to anyway...). and we have the same frenzied, alarmist attacks against "immorality" wherever we can find it. And we do look hard.
These same arguments are being used against gay marriage. Gee, folks, can't you get more creative? I'm kinda tired of "the sky is falling".

*Nazi Germany. For the purposes of "racial hygiene" marriages between Jews and non-Jews became a matter of legal policy. The government took it upon itself to dissolve some marriages, to priviledge others by pretending that the wife had never been Jewish, and punishing others by labelling both spouses Jews, and putting them both under the tightening regulations of that day. Oh, and this was 1939, before the really bad stuff started. By regulating marriage, we regulate PEOPLE. The further we give our governments the right to pry into our lives, the more freedoms we have given up. If, as opponents of gay marriage claim, marriage is about babies, then nothing stops the government from barring the old or the sterile from solemnizing their unions.
Do you want the government making sure you're "really" a woman before you can get married? How would you feel if the JP wanted a sperm sample to make sure you can actually give your bride-to-be babies?

And finally, on religion:

Religious marriage has usually varied from civil marriage in all but theocracies. If I'm a Catholic, and I get divorced, the Church says I'm still married. If I try to get married, the Church says I'm still married to #1. But we don't have massive protests of Catholics Against Divorce! Traditional Mormons today grapple with marital bonds not recognized by their governments, maybe even actively hunted as bigamy. And that is a shame. But as long as civil and religious marriages are seperate matters in society, religions should not have to feel intimidated when the government has a different idea of what marriage is than they do. Nobody is MAKING Southern Bapitist ministers marry Adam & Steve.

Do I support Same-Sex Marriage? Gay Marriage? Well... actually, no. I support marriage where the government doesn't need to know the sex of me, or my partner. Because it's none of their darn business. As they said in Hawaii... if you'll let a man marry a woman, but you won't let a woman marry a woman, you're discriminating on the basis of sex. Let's take "bride:" and "groom:" off all the forms. Let's switch it to "Spouse 1:" and "Spouse 2:".

Thanks for reading. I encourage dissent.
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Your history of marriage is absolutely correct. Every word you spoke was true. However, even BEFORE that... there was a time in the history of the world, during the time of the very first humans on earth when "marriage" was between one man and one woman, and it had nothing to do with fathers, money, society or class. It had everything to do with finding a life partner suitable for helping in the journey of life. God said, "it is not good for man to be alone." Therefore, He made woman for man's companionship, friendship, fellowship, and partnership. That's what marriage was originally intended to be. "Love" is a very recent reason for marriage. An "economic contract" is even fairly recent, too, considering the known history of man only goes back about 6 thousand years.
I respect your worldview. I think you are very brave to live in the age of science, and hold dear something that flies in the face of evidence. I think this is incredibly valuable, because "evidence" changes all the time. Faith doesn't have to.

As for contracts being fairly recent, within the 6,000 timeframe, what would you define as recent? When Abram went to Egypt, the Pharoh wanted to take Abram's "sister" (wife, actually) for his own. Abram actually accepted a lot of goods for letting the Pharoh marry his "sister". So, exchanging women for goods goes back to roughly 2000 BC, or 2/3 the history of humankind by your scale.

The time also should not matter to you. It would only be more proof of humankind's sinfulness.

You Know, because you know (and there's no point in trying to argue against faith), that Adam and Eve really existed, etc. But because the bloodlines listed in Genesis are almost entirely patrilinial, and only used to trace who is the son of whom, there's little way of knowing when polygamy began. At least, the 7th generation of human kind had polygyny (Gen. 4:17). Then again, that was Lamach, and he was a murderer.

Anyway, so.... God said, "it is not good for man to be alone". Yet, Paul says that women are to be avoided if you're strong enough. The Bible is full of mixed messages, and it is above the knowledge of any human to truly understand it.

God said, "it is not good for man to be alone." And if a particular man CANNOT find pleasure in the company of women, you condemn him to be alone.

Two women are perfectly capable of helping each other through life. Two men are perfectly capable of friendship, fellowship, and partnership.

Again, as I said at the conclusion of my piece, religious marriage already does not dictate civil marriage, so your arguments are pointless.

The fact that you concede that my information is factual points to the obvious: humans are already not living up to what you believe your God intended for marriage. There are a hundred things you could be doing to raise marriage toward what you believe your God intended, and most of them would be of more positive influence to us mere mortals on the physical plane. Go fight domestic abuse. Go fight child-bride trade. Go fight mail-order brides. Gay marriage should be the LEAST of your concerns.

Even if you want to assume that Adam and Eve were such perfect works of Divine craftmanship that their children could marry each other without facing the inbreeding problems that would occur today, here we are "6,000 year later". We're copies of copies, of copies. Some of us go through our entire lives without heterosexual attraction. Also, some of us are not completely men or women, as Biblical marriage would require. You would condemn all of these to no-marriage, because of your faith? Even if they would be better partners to each other than the 50% of Americans who divorce at least once?

It would be awful nice to live in the idealized world of Adam and Eve. But in case you didn't notice, we're out of the Garden.
Hey... you're really intellgent and it really looks like you did your studying. You're definately not ignorant. You're exceptionally well-versed and biblically literate.

I have a concern with the way you interpretted 1 Cortinthians 7, however. Paul said that while it was GOOD to be single, it was also GOOD to be married. There is nothing better about either one. Being single is great, because you can serve God without interference or distractions and being married is also good because there is a life partner who will share life with you. He said there is nothing wrong with getting married, and that it is something God will bless. God made woman for man, and He said "be fruitful and multiply." So why did He create marriage and tell his creation to make babies and spread the earth if He's telling them to remain single and that you're "weak" if you give in and get married? No, that was Paul that said said in 1 Corinthians 7 that it's OKAY to be single. Because back then (even today) people ran around like chickens with their heads cut off if they didn't find a life-partner. So Paul was trying to say, "Hey! Look at me! I'm single and loving it. It's ok to be single. It's good." So that's the context.

Yes, two men and two woman are perfectly capable of friendship, fellowship, and partnership. However, this is what God calls "friendship" and is a loving relationship between two people that is as deep as a brother or sister relationship. Proverbs says that a friend sticks closer than a brother. Sexual relations should not exist in this type of relationship between two people of the same sex because that would be a sin. (See Lamentations etc.) I know that you're aware of these verses because you have proved in many ways that you are very familiar with the Bible.
I'm so intelligent that I spelled it wrong. :P
...and I spelled definitely wrong as well.
I am grateful for your compliments. I certainly didn't study specifically for this. I was raised by born-Again Christians and identified as one for many years, and was a religion minor as an undergrad.

I'll have a second look at 1Cor7, but I'm not sure that's what I was even referencing? I'd have to have a long look. It's been a while. Paul is... um... not a favorite of mine.

I'm feeling better about this. I wasn't sure that you were actually listening to what people had to say. I was worried that this "debate" was the kind where two people push their opinions so hard they have no room to grow from what the other person has to say.

Actually, I know QUITE a bit about comdemnations in the Bible. I know which ones are said to apply to me, and which ones apply to my friends. And you do too... which, I'm afraid, is a bit more rare among religion-oriented anti-SSM folk then you or I would like.

I also realize that the laws of this country (of most coutries) are VERY, VERY far from the Bible. I actually think that having it that way gives faith-inspired people a better chance to express their beliefs. In a nation where law and a person's morality are too closely aligned, there is little room to really obey. While God knows your heart, and knows why you obey, other people do not.

So... allowing gay marriage? You don't have to have one. You don't have to attend one. The Bible also condemns adultry, so go show how faithful you can be!

I'm glad you have a strong faith, and I might be interested in it academically, but keep your religion out of my life, and away from the laws that govern my life. Whether I am a different type of Christian than you, or of a different faith, or an atheist... you cannot, should not, use your faith to dictate whom I can marry, outside of your own church. It is presumptuous, and wherever this sort of behavior occurs, it violates to human rights of the religious minority of that community.

I have a request in relation to this idea. Some time, when you have a few moments, flip through your Bible, and look to see majority/minority faith relations of whomever you land on. Do this a couple of times. I'm sure you'll run into Daniel being thrown into the lion's den for praying, Christians supporting each other while they were being killed for their faith, regulations on how to treat non-believers in Judah, Moses asking to take the Hebrews into the desert to worship. A mixture of kindness and imposition. Usually imposition. Whether those we'd regard as the Faithful were oppressor or oppressed, it is a horrible dominance that keeps people from worshipping in the manner of their convictions.

There are a lot of moral, intelligent, gay people who are astonished at every turn by the anti-religious sentiment of the gay community, the irrationality of the religious community, and the stereotypes produced about both by the academic community.

Oh, and spelling? We're both going to write a lot, aren't we? Errors are going to happen. A high frequency might indicate lower intelligence, but expecting perfect spelling (like expecting a sinless life) is denying your humanity. The point of language is communication. Don't let linguistic snobbery get in your way. :)
Hehe!!! I like debating with you!!! :D You're different from those others that say, "get your God out of my crotch" and other such derogatory comments that offend people.

"While God knows your heart, and knows why you obey, other people do not."
Mmmmm Amen.

I mean, seriously, you really are intelligent. You know your stuff, you aren't accusitive, you are respectful and understanding. You definitely grew up as a believer but then, may I ask, what made you change your mind? I'm curious. Because it seems like you believe in God, you just aren't so sure about His commands.

I give you credit for saying, "The Bible also condemns adultry..." But how many people actually follow THAT? Yeah, no one really follows the Bible these days. Not even the Bible believing Chrsitians like myself. As you said mostly honestly, "expecting a sinless life is like denying our humanity." Amen again. I couldn't have said it better myself.

People are going to do what they do. They're going to disobey God whether we like it or not. The most we can do is stop them from hurting people by setting up laws... don't commit murder, don't rape people, etc. The Bible condems fornication, but a recent survey shows that only 30 percent wait until marriage to have sex. That's 70 percent who DON'T WAIT. A LOT more than the majority. And I feel adultry is a much bigger issue than homosexuality. People should be fighting this. Yet why aren't people speaking up about this issue as much as they should be? I don't know many people who agree that cheating on your spouse is okay. Most people know this is just wrong, unless you're just sick and twisted.

:) Yes, I enjoy a good debate with you. I can see that we'll just agree to disagree on certain issues... I'm very much curious about your upbringing and your growth as a person intellectually and making choices about your worldviews and presuppositions that have brought you to your current beliefs.