Read Your Bible

Yesterday was busy, with a rally for Planned Parenthood in the morning and hearings at the State House last night.

I was sleep-deprived already, having driven 360 miles round trip to go to a wake, and I had to work too.

I’d love to review some of the arguments against marriage equality when I get a chance, but one outrageous claim stands out.

Several speakers, including clergy, said that marriage has always been one man and one woman. Some went so far as to say that this was not only the case for Judaism and Christianity, but for humanity since the dawn of time.

Have they never read their Bible?

Well, I have, and will expand on this point after I get home from work.

Senator Harold Metts had his Bible in hand, and unabashedly preached his Christian faith, saying several times that it was not his opinion, but God’s word. I think Rhode Island lost an inspired minister when Metts went into politics, and gained a politician who gives the impression that his office is a means to his religious ends. I don’t know how much he is willing to recognize the rights of constituents who do not share his beliefs.

Rev. Bernard Healy said that the reason for marriage is children. This was the testimony of several other speakers. I wish the Church had used its influence on the late governor when he repeatedly cut programs for poor children, but they have their priorities.

I don’t know what Roger Williams would say about all this. He left Massachusetts because they had a state religion that punished heretics. Now Mass is wicked blue and RI has an organized religious base that politicians defy at their own risk. Mass, I notice, has not suffered the apocalypse predicted for RI if we let same-sex couples marry. In fact, the divorce rate there is low. Maybe protecting marriage is more connected to employment, education, opportunity and justice than to depriving qualified couples who want legal recognition for a commitment they already live up to. Maybe heterosexual couples value marriage more when they see how this right, or lack of it, affects their gay friends and neighbors.

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3 responses

  1. I have not read the Christian texts, but I did read Genesis and Exodus in Hebrew; it’s very clear that men had multiple wives, not including the concubines.

    I watched some of the testimony on tv last night and didn’t notice any of the Bible representers (and some are happy to support marriage equality) mentioning those traditions.

  2. One point that needs to be mentioned.

    At the end of any religious marriage, the rabbi/priest/minister says, “by the power vested in me by the state of (fill in the blank) I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

    When you go to a JP, s/he does not say “by the power vested in me by the Roman Catholic Church…”

    The implication: marriage is a civil act, regulated by the Several States. If you choose to get married within a religion, fine. Religions are free to set their own rules. One does not have a birth-right to be an adherent of the Roman Church, or of the Baptist faith, or whatever.

    However, being a legal resident, gives me certain Rights. The churches can determine what they choose to recognize as marriage, but they do not have the right to tell the state what can–or cannot–be recognized.

    There has been marriage outside a church for most of recorded history. The point isn’t to procreate, but to recognise the legitimacy of the heir(s)produced. Look at the problems the existence of Ishmail and Hagar posed once Abraham begat Isaac.

    Guess the good rev missed Sunday School on the days when they talked Abraham, or about all the wives Solomon had.

    1. My wife and I never got married in a house of worship.Later on she became religious and suggested a renewal of vows in her church-I declined,saying”don’t fix what ain’t broke”-we’re still married(since 1970),but this whole issue has me so confused I can’t decide what I am for so I’ll be neutral.
      I think maybe growing up where I did and when,this thing about same sex marriage just seems so different,not bad,just really strange.
      Sometimes it’s good to admit you don’t know about an issue.

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