Marriage often misconstrued

Marriage often misconstrued

Image courtesy of Stephen Glenn/Stephen’s Liberal Journal.

It’s baffling that anyone still opposes gay marriage. It’s a position born out of nothing but pure hatred.

There are plenty who claim otherwise. Some say they’re merely supporting traditional marriage, which they will often define as biblical marriage. Many people tend to use biblical marriage and traditional marriage interchangeably. However, those terms are not interchangeable.

If you define tradition as what has been most accepted historically, then you are certainly not defending traditional marriage. In most older societies, including ancient Greece, Rome and China — some of the most advanced civilizations of that time — homosexuality was not looked down upon at all. There were varying opinions depending on the specific culture, but homosexuality by itself was not considered wrong or evil.

In fact, it was only through the introduction of various Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity) that homosexaulity was demonized.

The second, more accurate term that describes the anti-gay marriage position is biblical marriage. People who defend this have no idea what the Bible actually has to say about traditional marriage.

You might often hear the phrase “one man, one woman” as the definition for what constitutes traditional marriage. However, this is not what the Bible says.

Consider the story of Jacob, whose children eventually ended up becoming the nation of Israel. In the book of Genesis in chapters 29 and 30, we read about exactly where his children came from.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Jacob falls in love with a girl named Rachel and works for her father for seven years to win her hand in marriage.

Turns out her father ended up being a bit of a tool and tricked Jacob into marrying Rachel’s younger sister Leah. He then said that if Jacob worked for him another seven years, he could marry Rachel too. Oh, and did I forget to mention that both of these girls were his cousins? Seriously, their father was Jacob’s uncle (His mother’s brother, Jacob 29:10), therefore making them both his first cousins.

Currently there are 24 states in the US that make marriage between first cousins illegal as well as another seven that only permit it under special circumstances.

If you really wanted to support traditional or biblical marriage, you should also be fighting to make that legal as well.

That’s not the end of the story, though. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, and God decided because of this, Leah got to have children and Rachel didn’t. Rachel was upset by this and decided to give Jacob her servant to bear children with. Leah saw that, thought it was a good idea and did the same. Then the next time Jacob was with Leah, she ended up having another kid and said “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband” (Genesis 30:18). Rachel did end up having kids as well.

The point of that story is that people complain about gay marriage because they claim, “how am I supposed to explain how Susie has two mommies to my kids?”

According to the Bible, the children who would eventually become the nation of Israel had four mommies, only two of which Jacob was actually married to. It seems that according to the Bible itself, traditional marriage included multiple partners, incest and polygamy.

This is not the only instance of God-approved polygamy in the Bible. Many important figures from the Bible had more than one wife, including Esau (Genesis 26:34; Genesis 28:6-9), Abraham (Genesis 16:3, Genesis 21:1-13, Genesis 25:1, Genesis 25:6), Moses (Exodus 2:21; Exodus 18:1-6, Numbers 12:1), Gideon (Judges 8:29-32) and David (1 Samuel 25:39-44; 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 2 Samuel 5:13-16).

There are also other factors to a traditional marriage in the Bible most people don’t consider. Deuteronomy 22:28 to 29 along with Exodus 21:21 show that women were basically viewed as property with Exodus 21:7 even giving explicit instructions on how to sell your daughter into slavery.

The fact that women are no longer viewed as property and that polygamy and incest are no longer legal, means that we have already redefined traditional and biblical marriage.

Now the only real objection you have are your own personal religious beliefs. Most of the opposition to gay marriage in this country comes from Christians, but there are Christians in all different denomination supporting gay marriage.

You’re welcome to have your own beliefs, but what you’re not allowed to do is insist that legislation be made based on your own personal religious beliefs despite the religious beliefs of others. It’s the exact opposite of religious freedom, no matter how you try to spin it.

Mike Rauser is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].