why i don’t support marriage

No, that’s click-bait. Local man is unable to can so we will all make do with this post, for now.

But it is a response to why I don’t support same sex marriage, as if one cares for your opinion.

Dear reader, you have heard the claim

since God is love, he must surely approve of any kind of human love, including SSM.?

Did you know that

This argument fails on two accounts.?

I am sure you did not know. We are told

Firstly, nobody approves of “all kinds” of love. If I’m married to woman A, I’m not allowed to also marry woman B; and if woman B is already married, I can’t marry her even if I’m single myself. And if she is actually an under-age girl, any attempt to woo her will rightly land me in prison!

which is a fallacious argument. We don’t marry all those we love. I love my father, but I am not about to marry him. And there are people who have gotten married without love. So it is possible to approve “all kinds” of love, without marrying the people loved.

In the second argument we are told

Secondly, when we talk about God’s love, we’re not talking about romantic love. It’s quite a serious category mistake to equate God’s holy, self-sacrificial love, driven by a desire to set us free from sin and death and bring us back into his Kingdom, with our fickle human love which depends so much on feelings and selfish desires!

This preceding argument is wrought with many problems. First among them, we don’t know which god is being referred to here. There is Cupid/Eros gods of love and desire. And as far as I can tell, it is desire for romantic love not some abstract love. The second problem with this argument is many theologians have told us we cannot know the mind nor the nature of god and therefore we are not in a position to comment on what god loves or does not. We have no idea of any other love other than that which we express in human language.

The pastor writes

it’s never OK to disagree with the Word of God. We may sometimes find we have misunderstood the Bible, and therefore have to change our belief based on this improved understanding – but we’re never at liberty to simply disregard what God has said!

which means, it is not the bible that is wrong for example in commanding that you shall not suffer a witch to live or that you can beat up your slave as long as they don’t die the same day, but that it is us who have misunderstood the word of god. If you are not stoning your wives for wearing mixed garments, you are disregarding the word of god and hell awaits you.

Now, to the ridiculous

It seems fairly obvious that before Adam sinned, slavery wasn’t a thing; and in eternity, slavery will no longer be a thing. So it’s perfectly logical for the church to oppose slavery: the Bible is clearly pointing that way itself.

which is saying nothing really. For fucks sake, how many days were there between Adam being created an idiot and him eating the apple? How many people were there to be enslaved? The bible was used by those pro and anti slavery to bolster their positions. There is no clear command in the bible that says, fuckers, thou shall keep no slaves.

The pastor continues

The same goes for gender discrimination. Even though it’s always been an aspect of sinful human society, and Paul gives guidelines for how that should play out in the Christian community, it’s fairly clear that originally, the only difference was biological.

and ffs, how is this any less problematic? In fact, the way women are disregarded in the bible is not just seen in Paul’s writing but throughout. Most women have no names. I’ll wait for who will tell me the name of Lot’s wife or Potiphar’s wife. I am waiting.

We are told, for those who may have been unaware, that while the bible makes allowances for patriarchy and slavery and while moving towards abolishing them, the same cannot be said for homosexuality. He says

The Bible makes cultural allowances for divorce and polygamy (again: allowing, not approving!), but the movement is clearly back towards the starting point: life-long monogamous heterosexual marriage.

If Paul is to be believed, the movement is towards celibacy, which must have been the original idea in the first creation stories where Adam was created alone. Or maybe he was to be intimate with goats and lions because shortly later, we find warnings to not sleep with goats.

If the pastor wants to have this

I think we can justifiably assume that when Jesus condemns “immoralities” in Mark 7:21 (the Greek word is plural), this would have included everything OT Law considered immoral, including homosexuality.

the question is, why stop at homosexuality or same sex marriage? Are there greater or lesser sins? And how are they weighted? I know the only sin the authors of the NT thought weighed many kilograms was sin against the spirit (Mark 3:28–29, Matthew 12:31–32, and Luke 12:10). In fact, if the pastor is treating homosexuality as a sin, then it is forgivable.

The pastor concludes with love the sinner, but condemn the sin. In his words

obviously homosexuals can be followers of Jesus. Rejecting SSM must never mean that we reject those who experience same-sex attraction. Everyone is welcome in the Kingdom of God, regardless of their flaws and weaknesses; after all, we’re all weak and sinful and in need of the forgiveness and restoration only Jesus provides.

which always leaves me asking why would women still be in church? And why would any gay person remain a member of a church who sees them as living in sin?

Well, anyone who wants to marry, by all means, marry. Anyone who doesn’t want to, should not. And anyone who is not sure, maybe should get married and if they don’t like it, leave it.

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on marriage, I think

Mbiti, in African Religion and Philosophy, writing about dowry, bride price or bride gift writes

This marriage gift is an important institution in African societies. It is a token of gratitude on the part of groom’s people to those of the bride, for their care of over her and allowing her to become his wife. At her home the gift ‘replaces’ her….. The gifts elevates the value attached to her both as a person and as a wife.

which if read together with

[…]In others, the bridegroom (and his relatives) must in addition contribute labour; and in matricidal societies the man lives with his parents in-law working for them for some years in order to ‘earn’ his wife.

contradicts the claim that

Under no circumstance is this custom a form of ‘payment’, as outsiders have so often mistakenly said.

And on virginity he writes

The blood of virginity is the symbol that life has been preserved, that the spring of life has not already been flowing wastefully, and that both the girl and her relatives have preserved the sanctity of human reproduction. Only marriage may shed this sacred blood, for in so doing it unlocks the door for members of the family in the loins to come forward and join both the living and the living-dead.

He adds

Virginity symbolises purity not only of body but also of moral life; and a virgin bride is the greatest glory and crown to her parents, husband and relatives.

As you weigh in below, does your culture dictate bride price? And how does it treat female virginity?

 

 

Singles on one side

Bertrand Russell, writing almost a century ago about English divorce laws, wrote they are based on these assumptions

  • that sexual intercourse outside marriage is sin;
  • that resentment of adultery by the “innocent” party is a righteous horror of wrong-doing;
  • that his resentment, but nothing else, may be rightly regarded as making a common life impossible;
  • that the poor have no right to fine feelings

On women and childbearing, he writes

Very large numbers of women, when they are sufficiently free to think for themselves, do not desire to have children, or at most desire one child in order not to miss the experience which a child brings. There are women who are intelligent and active-minded who resent the slavery to the body which is involved in having children. There are ambitious women, who desire a career which leaves no time for children. There are women who love pleasure and gaiety, and women who love the admiration of men; such women will at least postpone child-bearing until their youth is past. All these classes of women are rapidly becoming more numerous, and it may be safely assumed that their numbers will continue to increase for many years to come.

What are you are thoughts on these two issues, divorce and childbearing?

Marriage

it is a moral offence to bring children into the world with no prospect of being able to provide for them.

Lecky

In the Map of Life, Lecky has an interesting chapter on marriage. He talks of finances, past times and states of minds among many other things.

And the author of this is broaching the subject of graded marriage contracts.

Plutarch’s morals 

The philosophers tell us that some bodies are composed of distinct parts,as a fleet or army; others of connected parts, as a house or ship; others united and growing together, as every other animal is. the marriage of lovers is like this last class, that of those who marry for dowry or children is like the second class, and that of those who only sleep together is like the first class, who may be said to live in the same house, but in no other sense to live together. but just as doctors tell us that liquids are the only things that thoroughly mix, so in married people there must be a complete union of bodies, wealth, friends and relations. And thus the Roman legislator forbade married people to exchange presents with another, not that they should not go shares with one another,  but that they should consider everything as common property. 

I think that is sound advice.