what exactly is biblical marriage?

Have you ever wondered what real “Biblical Marriage” looks like? Before you go arguing for “traditional,” “biblical” marriage, take a look at this handy dandy chart.

Biblical Marriage Chart

Chart of Biblical Marriage

So essentially, you can have your choice of anything from the chart and you can still be considered “biblical.” You raped someone? That’s ok, just pay your fine (to her father) and make sure you marry her.

Or, if you’re a soldier, perhaps take a prisoner of war and marry her.

You can choose any one of them – after all, they’re all biblical and often ordained by God himself.

Now, for those of you who will argue, “but the New Testament superseded the Old Testament. I believe in ‘New Testament’ marriage,” well, for you there’s 1 Cor. 7:8:

“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am.”

and, of course, 1 Cor. 7:25-26:

“Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are.”

and 1 Cor. 7:32-34:

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband.

So, you basically have the choice of not getting married if you want to be truly biblical.

Of course, if you are totally weak and completely lack self-control, then as a concession, you can marry (1 Cor. 7:9). Just remember what Paul warned you in 1 Cor. 7:28b:

“Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that.”

Then again, some might respond and say, “Hey now, you’re leaving out the verses that say nice things about marriage, like Romans 7:2:

“Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.”

and Matt 19:5//Mark 10:8//Eph 5:31 all citing Gen 2:24, noting that people, in fact, do get married. But is that not most likely referring to one of the acceptable forms of the “biblical marriage” from the above chart? And there are other verses that speak about marriage, but should not the fact that the above verses are also “biblical” be a bit disconcerting to those who argue for “scriptural authority” for marriage?

Now, please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not advocating against marriage. I love being married to Roslyn, and we are quite happy together. But we define the arrangements of our partnership, and we chose to love each other. Likewise, any two other consenting adults, regardless of race or gender, should be able to enjoy the same joys and benefits of marriage that Roslyn and I do.

That is to say, if you’re going to argue that same-sex couples cannot get married because it is not a ‘sanctioned’ form of marriage in the Bible, then be prepared to defend those forms of marriage that are sanctioned in the Bible, like forcibly marrying rape victims and prisoners of war, for according to the Bible, these too are sanctioned by God.

Or, you can stop discriminating against the civil liberties of homosexual individuals while hiding behind some mythical construct of “biblical marriage” and let people who love one another and want to commit their lives to one another actually get married.

At the very least, before you go advocating for “traditional” or “biblical” marriage, it’s probably not a bad idea to read the text and make absolutely sure you actually want to argue in favor of “biblical” marriage.

Have a nice day.

HT: Travis Spackman via Kim and the Rabbi with thanx to nonstampcollector.


187 Responses

  1. “Likewise, any two other consenting adults, regardless of race or gender, should be able to enjoy the same joys and benefits of marriage that Roslyn and I do.”

    Why limit it to “two” consenting adults? What basis is there for that restriction? It would seem that indeed your desire to discriminate against the civil liberties of polygamous individuals is no different than the discrimination you allege against those who oppose homosexual marriage.

  2. None of the above supersedes Leviticus 20:13.

    Homosexuality is an abomination, which comes from a root words that means “something that causes one to vomit”.

    As for those other “forms of marriage”, only their Author can explain it completely.

    King David had 300 wives and 700 concubines, and he was considered “a man after God’s own heart”. Genesis chapter 1 says that each thing that God spoke into being was “good”. But, when God presented the woman to the man, He saw that it was “very good”. That works for me.

  3. hi tim,

    yes, the polygamy argument is presented almost as often as the ‘goat’ argument (why can’t you marry a goat? or some other domesticated animal). and the answer is clear: polygamy has apparently been the norm for most of human existence. it’s certainly the norm in the hebrew bible. the nt outlawed it, (but forgot to outlaw slavery, among other things).

    my reason for personally opposing polygamy is that it can lead to the subjugation of women. not always, but most religious groups that practice polygamy also greatly suppress women. additionally, we’ve all been cheated on and know how much jealousy can enter into a relationship where more than two people are involved. (heck, it’s hard enough with two people.) polygamy usually leads to the neglect of one or more of women, and usually favors one over another. as evidence, read the narratives of hagar and sarah.

    perhaps when women have multiple husbands (without going all ‘wicker man‘) then perhaps i’ll change my mind. but the polygamy i’ve observed is usually coupled with the subjugation of women by the husband or by the religious laws governing said polygamy.

    thanx for your comments. -bc

  4. tom, you’ve made my point. if you’re going to hold up david as a paragon of marital purity, you’ve made my point.
    regarding your ‘abomination’ comment, what did jesus have to say about it?

    cheers, bc

  5. Tom Kovach,

    You know causes me to vomit? Shellfish — food allergy, don’t you know. So I don’t eat shellfish. But if other people want to take their chances and eat shellfish, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Nor does marriage equality.

    You’re welcome to practice your religion, as long as your religious strictures don’t impact others’ civil rights. But believe me, you wouldn’t like it if my religious strictures impacted on your civil rights!

  6. David’s behavior (or misbehavior) is not the standard.

    God owes none of us an explanation. If He wants to have one general standard, but also to make exceptions in certain circumstances, that is His domain.


    Jesus referred to some people as “sons of Belial”. (In some translations, that is rendered as “worthless fellows” or “worthless men”.) My understanding is that, in the vernacular of His day, the phrase “sons of Belial” was used to describe homosexuals.

    See also: 1 Corinthians 7, Romans 1.

  7. Peter N.,

    OK, I’ll take the bait. Just what are your religious strictures?

  8. tom, that’s a highly speculative argument:
    : jesus called some people ‘sinners.’
    : someone else called homosexuals ‘sinners.’
    : therefore, jesus called homosexuals ‘sinners’?
    that’s your argument? logical fallacy.

    you know quite well jesus never addressed the issue, meaning the only time it is addressed in the nt is by the same folks that endorsed slavery and subjugated women, that is, maintained the social status quo, despite the fact that jesus elevated slaves and women.

  9. Tom,

    I’m an atheist, so for starters I am forbidden (by myself, of course — who else is there!) (joke!) to accept anything based on faith, authority, or revelation.

  10. I can’t figure whether the “POLYGANY” in the chart is supposed to read “POLYGAMY” or “POLYGYNY” (either would be OK).

  11. agreed. i’m guessing a typo.

  12. there, i fixed it. not my pic, but it needed a minor mashup fixin’. thanx!

  13. What a fantastic chart. Yet the mind-blowing irony is that people who claim to follow the bible promote ideas that are nowhere to be found in any of the writings.

    And the ideal of marriage in the Bible would be a horrifying prospect for anybody in a free society.

    One thing missing on the chart about David is that his rule was deemed over when he was no longer able to perform with a beautiful new young concubine. And when his son asked to marry her, it was enough of a challenge to his dad’s rule that he was assassinated.

    I attend a conservative church where the pastor seethes in his resentment of (well, a lot of people) and particularly those who look at the bible critically.

    He speaks with derision about people who “think they know better” than those who wrote the bible. But of course we DO know better than to hold slaves and treat women as property and on and on and on.

  14. agreed and agreed. and i refer to abishag as an example of an ‘electric blanket’ marriage, following an old teacher of mine.

  15. Bob,

    Logical falacy …?

    The other person that I cited from the New Testament was, of course, Paul. Endorsed slavery and the subjugation of women??

    Paul wrote the letter to Philemon — asking him to take back the runaway slave Onesimus, not as a slave but as a Christian brother.

    The chapter I cited in my comment above, 1st Corinthians 7 (“the marriage chapter”) gives more equality to women than any document before its time.

    I don’t see how a person that went on record with the above can be charged with having “endorsed” slavery and the subjugation of women. (Granted, he also wrote that those who came to Jesus while slaves should “seek no change”, but he also cautioned Christian masters to treat their slaves/servants as brothers.)

    While this might seem at first to be a contradiction, I see another possibility — and, one that matches Scripture. For as much as Jesus was about changing the culture, He wanted to do it from the inside out (via individual hearts), rather than from the outside in (via laws and rules). And, having created us, He knew that our fallen nature can only withstand so much change at one time. (Even the men that walked routinely with Him for three years were instantly knocked to the ground at the moment of the Transfiguration.) Once enough hearts were changed, slavery would fall by the wayside. Jesus cautioned that it is impossible to serve God and money.


    We might not agree on some of the “bottom line” stuff, but I do enjoy this intellectual banter. I originally found your blog because I admired some of the comments that you made on a History Channel documentary. Proverbs 27:17 applies.

  16. tom,
    the point is that when onesimus ran away, PAUL SENT HIM BACK!. he didn’t give a ‘i have a dream’ speech, he sent the slave back to his master with instructions (relying on his relationship with philemon) not to beat the crap out of his runaway slave. paul sent the slave back to his owner. what greater endorsement of slavery do you need? an explicit text saying ‘slaves obey your masters in fear and trembling?’ because we’ve got that too!

    why would jesus/paul seek to change issues of slavery from the ‘inside out’, when they addressed issues like poverty, hypocrisy, and social injustice toward the marginalized with harsh words and whips made of cords? we know when they addressed an issue – they spoke vehemently against it. but you don’t see that out of the mouth of paul concerning slavery, and you don’t see that out of the mouth of jesus concerning homosexuality. what you DO see is repeated commands not to oppress the marginalized.

    now please tell me again that there is a new testament model for marriage, when neither jesus nor paul were married, and paul warned against it.


  17. Bob – Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Your logic seems to be that people’s civil rights can be restricted if you deem that their behavior might be detrimental to their well-being. If that’s the case, then you should apply the same thinking to homosexual behavior, which has traditionally resulted in an average life span of about 10-20 years less than that of heterosexuals (at least among men). Why does the logic apply to polygamy but not homosexuality?

  18. what? first, please cite your ‘scientific evidence’ that homosexuals live shorter lives. are you looking for this? http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/6/1499.full
    and would shorter lifespans for homosexuals be tied to the rise and decline of instances of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals, or other social factors resulting from longer single lives spent working, or perhaps being driven to suicide (or beaten to death) by religious fundamentalists? i’d ask that you re-examine the studies and perhaps present evidence to support claims rather than parroting evidence you heard or read on an anti-same-sex marriage website.

    second, it is NOT the case that, as you put it, ‘civil rights can be restricted if you deem that their behavior might be detrimental to their well-being.’ rather, one’s rights can be restricted if their behavior is detrimental to another’s well being. and yes, society determines that. you can’t murder me, for while that impairs your free choice to kill, it also harms my civil rights. the u.s. has determined that polygamy should not be practiced in the u.s. (but i would argue that this was more an anti-mormon law passed with the new testament rules concerning marriage in mind). it is an issue that can/should be revisited, and i am confident that we’ll find that polygamy perhaps not surprisingly is practiced only by fundamentalist religious groups (of different faith traditions) which have a less than stellar history of suppressing the rights of women.

    what we’re seeing in regard to same-sex marriage is that society’s opinion is changing, and the only reason to continue to restrict same-sex marriage is a desperate longing for ‘traditional’ marriage, which is how one avoids saying ‘biblical’ marriage so as to avoid separation of church and state conflicts. and the point of the article is that if we actually look at ‘biblical’ marriages, we find that the concept of one man+one woman is a myth – that’s only the way it was for some in the bible. don’t believe me? wait and see if conservatives put an anti-same-sex marriage proposal on the california ballot again. my guess is they won’t, because they know that the public is now educated enough on the issue that they won’t pass it again. watch. if it goes on the ballot it will fail, and then those who oppose same-sex marriage will no longer have the ‘will of the people’ argument. they’ll more likely simply leave things as is, and criticize ‘liberal judges’ who ‘legislate from the bench’ rather than actually try to change the law by calling for another vote. they know they won’t win, so they’ll be content to beat the drum of the issue.

    my point on polygamy is that we usually find it in religious traditions that oppress the roles of women (to a greater or lesser extent). polygamy has long been tied to the suppression of women, and my opposition to it lies there. but i have no problem with same-sex marriage because it does not suppress anyone – RATHER, the OPPOSITION to same-sex marriage is a form of suppression of the civil rights of others.
    again, show me an example of a modern society practicing polygamy where one woman has four husbands and then we can talk. b/c polygamy has often been a constant in religious societies that suppress the roles of women, i think there is an excellent argument that polygamy is a form of the oppression of women within religious societies, which i oppose.
    hopefully that clears up your attempt to misrepresent my position ;-) -bc

  19. Bob Cargill wrote: “… again, show me an example of a modern society practicing polygamy where one woman has four husbands and then we can talk.”


    Nobody can show such an example, because the word for that is “polyandry”. Just being logical…. :)

  20. actually, perhaps you’re confusing polygamy with polygyny, which is specific to females?

  21. […] Bob Cargill’s post on Biblical Marriage. (A topic I’ve been thinking an awful lot about recently.) […]

  22. Just came across this. Sorry for jumping into this one post so late. I am a Christian and believe a ‘fair’ exegesis of Scriptures – the NT in particular (including the teaching of Jesus) can be shown that these texts are opposed homosexual practices. That said, I am opposed to government banning “gay marriage.” Not that I favor the practice. But, there are many practices I don’t think appropriate moral behavior that I don’t want the government banning. Once we enter into the realm of Christians (or anyone else) making particular laws based on their personal moral perspectives (right or wrong) – we are involved in something that is not promoted within the NT. Human nations are not “Christian nations” – there is no imperative to establish laws enforcing moral perspectives one might hold. It also serves no valuable purpose. The whole problem here – that impacts Christians and non-believers alike, is “power.” People want to dominate others through force – including many in homosexual circles. This is the fundamental problem.

    That said, your analysis of 1 Cor. 7 texts is simply bad exegesis driven by a hyper-literalist, a-contextual reading. This chapter, though not altogether easy, is, nevertheless, entirely circumstantial (it’s not a set of universal decrees by Paul). You’ve taken these as universals. Your exegesis, Robert, extended across the board – could make any text from any source read however one wanted it to. Including your own. You’d have no basis for giving a student a grade below A regardless of how badly they misunderstood your instruction.

    There are any number of other passages where Paul (and the NT) support marriage as a great thing (Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; 1 Peter 3:1-7; etc.).

    So, while I’m in agreement on your general view re: human laws; your exegesis is flawed. Thanks!

  23. I always love when Christians quote book, chapter, and verse the ‘regulations’ specified within the Bible (to which even you appeal when you claim (based upon your ‘fair’ exegesis), that ‘these texts are opposed to homosexual practices,’ followed by a litany of verses including Eph, 1Tim, Tit, 1Pet, etc.), BUT when someone points out a verse that is contrary to the handpicked verses touted by the ‘fair’ exegete, the one pointing out the contrary verses is somehow engaged in “a hyper-literalist, a-contextual reading resulting in bad exegesis.”

    Your methodology appears to be that an exegete who harmonizes texts into an apology defending the social interpretation of scripture (let’s say, in and around Birmingham, Alabama) is engaged in ‘good’ exegesis, but an exegete who analyzes the differences of opinion canonizes withing the aggregate of texts today knows as the Bible is a methodologically critical fashion, whose conclusions are contrary to the popularly held social norms said to be interpreted from scripture (let’s say, in and around Birmingham, Alabama), then THAT exegete is engaged in ‘bad’ exegesis.

    Or, put more simply, if the exegesis agree with your previously held interpretations of scripture, then it is ‘good’ exegesis, but if it disagrees with what you already believe, then it is ‘bad’ exegesis. And this, of course, is not scholarly methodology, it is apologetics.

    It is also worth noting that the verses you quoted (Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; 1 Peter 3:1-7) are all deutero-Pauline or apocryphal Petrine letters. The one book mentioned above whose Pauline authorship is undisputed is 1 Corinthians. Just sayin’.

    And no, you can’t make any text say anything responsibly. However, when Paul says,

    “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”


    Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.”

    are pretty straightforward. If you’re not engaged, don’t seek to be married. Now, of course, you can claim, “But, noooo, God wants us to marry only people of the opposite sex,” but that’s not what the verses say.

    Face it: as an unmarried man advocating for complete devotion to the unmarried man Jesus, Paul had a very low view of marriage. The weak among us, of course, he permitted to marry, but he encouraged the strong to avoid marriage. It wasn’t until the second century (when Jesus had still not returned) that the apocryphal letters written in the names of Paul and Peter began to advocate for marriage, since they correctly realized that they were going to have to survive in Roman society for years to come.

  24. Shorter Bob Cargill: “The Bible is the Big Book of Multiple Choice” (as the Atheist Experience crew likes to say).

    And your other point is also a good one — the first Christians were certain that the world as they knew it would come to a fiery end at any moment — that’s how to make sense of all the stuff about how followers should leave their families, give away all their valuables, not marry, etc. They were the Harold Campings of their day.

  25. Hi Bob,

    I have a couple of questions…

    1. So, am I to gather that you are a Christian but do not believe in the Divine infallibility of the Bible? If that’s the case, what/where is the basis of your moral standard? I’m not trying to be snarky, I genuinely would like to know.

    2, If you *do* believe that the Bible is “God breathed,” then do you still believe that homosexuals who decide they want to get married should remain pure and/or virgins until their wedding night to be righteous before the Lord?

    I’m very curious to read your insights on these inquiries.

  26. hi robin,

    thanx for your questions. in response, i offer the following (keeping in mind that the questions you ask are the grist for entire semesters of university courses in ethics ;-):

    1) the bible is not inerrant, nor is it infallible. it is a record of people’s reflections about god over time, made by different authors in vastly different time periods (i.e., centuries).
    for a quick summary of some of the flat out contradictions in the bible, see this video:

    while i’m still technically undecided on the question of an objective moral law, i’m about 95% in the camp that argues that all ethics and morality are relative to the culture in which they are espoused. that is, some things were considered ‘unethical’ centuries ago that are fine today (working on sabbath, eating shellfish, wearing clothes made of different fabrics, etc. ). likewise, some things are considered unethical today that were considered fine centuries ago (slavery).

    while there are some rules that are near universal to all cultures and all times (e.g., murder is usually considered bad, as is stealing, and bearing false witness in court, although exceptions are often made in some cases (like self-defense, starvation, etc.)), just because the bible contains prohibitions against some of these ethical prohibitions common to all religions, cultures, and time periods, does not mean that all of the bible’s commands are appropriate. all squares are rectangles; not all rectangles are squares. a good source to illustrate this is here:

    2) the concept of ‘inspiration’ is decided by a collective of people, not the other way around. people ascribe holiness. it is this reason that some consider the koran holy (while others don’t), and others consider the bible ‘god-breathed’ and ‘inspired’ and ‘scripture’ (while some don’t). both books claim to be the ‘word(s) of god’ within their own pages (see surah 15:9 in the koran). the difference, of course, is how believers in a particular faith tradition consider the texts. what is ‘inspired’ is the collective decision of a faith community (whether they be ‘church fathers,’ ‘ecumenical conferences,’ or canonical councils, etc.). a text is not inherently inspired, but a claim made by the faithful.

    imho, there is no crime in homosexuality. there is no such thing as a ‘victimless crime,’ as by definition all crimes have victims. (the exception, of course, is that peculiar category of religious ‘thought crimes’ that can only be determined by an omniscient being). thought crimes are the basis of thought control, which i would argue is what many of the more arbitrary commands in the bible are: attempts at thought control, which stand at odds with concepts of liberty, freedom, social justice, etc.

    a man or woman that is attracted to members of the same sex are not necessarily sexually active (just as not all heterosexual men who have taken a vow of celibacy are sexually active). and those that are sexually active with their of-age, consensual partners have committed no crime, as there is no victim. they only so-called ‘crime’ they are said to have committed is against commands in the bible that prohibit homosexuality. however, how are these commands any different from other very biblical commands prohibiting the planting of different crops in the same field, breeding different animals, or wearing clothes of different fabrics? (lev. 19:19 “do not mate different kinds of animals. do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”) (note: while many claim that commands regarding the sabbath and kosher foods were rescinded in the nt, none of these commands were rescinded in the nt. jesus said in matt 5:18 that “for truly i tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” jesus says to keep the commandments, and to my knowledge, these commands were never ‘trumped’ by nt commands. so, those arguing that the bible contains the eternal, objective moral foundation for all people should not highlight the prohibitions against homosexuality, while ignoring equally ‘abominable’ sins like mixing fabrics and cross-breeding plants and animals.

    one place to start for a summary of the problems with arguing for an objective morality that is rooted in the bible (and the god of the bible) is a video by nonstampcollector. although i’m not an atheist, he does a nice job of exposing the argument that the necessity for a moral law giver must equal the god of the bible. (in the video of the debate, you’ll note that william lane craig deliberately avoids drawing this connection because he simply cannot – for the reasons that nonstampcollector points out. and that’s the key: the argument that there must be a god – a prime mover responsible for setting all things in motion – is different from the argument identifying that god as the god of the bible. for the existence of god, there are arguments on both sides (no evidence either way, but arguments nonetheless). however, for that god to be the god of the bible, and to maintain the claim that yhwh/jesus must be the objective moral law giver, whose divine ethical code is revealed through the bible, there is far too much contradictory evidence in the bible itself!

    if the bible is the objective code for all morality, and god’s nature is revealed to us by the acts recorded in his holy scripture, then one must explain how god’s commands to commit genocide (1 sam 15:2-3), the vengeful slaughter of children (ps 137:9) and to keep virgin foreigners captured in battle as sexual slaves/wives (num 31:15-18) or simply worshiping other gods (a command never rescinded by jesus), or his endorsement of slavery (1 pet 2:18) is somehow objectively moral and reveals to us the personal nature of god. remember, as soon as you invoke ‘cultural context’ you can no longer argue for ‘objective’ morality because you are, in fact, invoking context, which makes the moral command relative (that is, not objective) to the context and situation of the time.

    i hope this has answered your two questions. again, the issue of the bible as the objective moral foundation is quite simple once you remember that if it is the objective moral foundation for all humankind, then it needs to remain consistent for all time. (if it is not, then it is not objective, but relative to the present time and culture, meaning it can change as culture dictates.)

    and, if the nature of god is revealed to us through his ‘inspired’ word, then passages like lev 21:9; eph 6:5; josh 10:39-40; deut 7:1-16; col 3:22; jer 20:7; 1 tim 2:12; lev 24:16; 2 kings 2:23-24; lev 20:9; deut 32:41-42; lev 26:21-22; and deut 13:6-9 must tell us just as much as john 3:16; 2 sam 7:28; 1 john 4:8; john 13:34; josh 1:9; ps 23; prov 30:5; 2 tim 3:16; and 1 john 4:7.

    i would argue that the simple fact that most christians do not endorse slavery (in concept or in practice) despite the fact that the bible commands and/or endorses it in both ot and nt is evidence enough that ethics are relative to culture and time.

    one more:


  27. funny how you are open to ‘any two’ consenting adults deciding for themselves, but when someone suggests more than two, which does appear in the bible, you get all judgmental and say, oh, no, that can lead to jealousy so I (emphasis on I) will not accept it. …nevermind that any two consulting same-sex married people nearly always leads to… same sex, which is clearly never allowed in the bible. this kind of thinking just shows how the world creeps in and tells us what is right, because we want to fit in and be acceptable to society at large. as for
    ‘people who claim to follow the bible promote ideas that are nowhere to be found in any of the writings.’
    such as? marital fidelity, honoring your spouse, being a husband of one wife (not a commandment, but a recommendation). what standards of good marriage are you hearing that are nowhere to be found in any of the writings?

  28. anthony,

    methinks you missed the point. my post was about how we shouldn’t demand that the bible be used to define modern ‘marriage’ because many types of ‘biblical’ marriage are described. anyone arguing for ‘traditional’ marriage as defined by the bible is then forced to defend the bible’s teaching on marriage, which is, let us say, quite diverse in the hebrew bible, and essentially ‘don’t do it unless you are weak’ in the nt (which certainly doesn’t sound like an endorsement for heterosexual marriage as ‘the way god intended it’.

    when asked the expected slippery-slope question of ‘well then, why limit it to two people’ (the regular argument of banning polygamy used to also ban same-sex marriage, often but not always followed by ‘why can’t i marry a goat’ or something silly like that), i responded that there are other reasons for arguing against polygamy, namely, that polygamy usually corresponds to a suppression of the rights of women; that is, cultures/religious groups that practice polygamy also often have a low view of women, limit their rights, etc. i added the additional reason of the common experience of jealousy because, quite frankly, it is part of the common human experience (btw, it is also quite biblical. ask sarah and hagaar).

    the reason ‘the world’ ‘creeps in’ and ‘tells us what is right’ is because that is the way it is supposed to be. that’s how ethics and culture works. we decide what is right for us. whether or not a culture or group attributes those morals to a bronze age god (and then insists that that culture’s definition of morality continue to be used throughout all time) is irrelevant.

    the god of the bible commanded severe punishment (often death) for those that eat shellfish, commit adultery, have sex with their wife during her period, work on the sabbath, plant different crops in the same field, cross-breed animals, and curse their parents. yet, there i see no constitutional amendment banning these practices (whether they are considered ‘sins’ or not). and yet, same sex marriage gets a constitutional amendment. it is isolated and singled out for discrimination. that’s my point.

  29. […] And marriage between one man and one woman is ‘biblical’ marriage? Really? I’ve dealt with this fantasy […]

  30. […] And marriage between one man and one woman is ‘biblical’ marriage? Really? I’ve dealt with this fantasy […]

  31. Bob,

    How many people in polygamous(?) relationships have you interacted with? Here in the western states (Oregon, Idaho, Washington), the primary religious bent of families with more than one spouse (and it does go multiple husbands as well as multiple wives) tends towards neo-pagan types. Many of them are as much about pooling resources as they are about sex.

    And, ultimately, isn’t that what supporting marriage rights for same-sex couples is about? I believe that most people really don’t care what goes on between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes. And I don’t believe that the fight is for the right to have sex or live together. The fight is about the right to share their resources and be represented legally.

    But, that’s not really my point, so much as questioning why you’d switch from well thought out and well reasoned arguments against Christians trying to block same-sex marriage to the quite obviously biased diatribes against poly groups.

    Anyway, I doubt that me just saying you’re way off base there without having numbers and studies to back me up, just observations of families that I have stayed with.

    And, please, you can’t tell me that women can’t be as oppressed in a one man one woman marriage as they can in a poly group. Domestic violence, whether physical, mental or emotional, happens whether or not a person is part of some fringe religious group.

  32. car,

    thanx for the question.

    this is actually a quite common slippery-slope retort from folks who do not see a difference between same-sex relationships and polygamous relationships. they are different. it is usually followed by ‘why limit it to people?’ or ‘why can’t i marry a goat’ or something silly like that.

    i usually respond that there are other reasons for arguing against polygamy, namely, that polygamy usually corresponds to a suppression of the rights of women; that is, cultures/religious groups that practice polygamy also often have a correlating low view of women, limit their rights, etc. i don’t see many polygamous marriages in the bible or on earth where one woman has several husbands (though i’m sure someone can find an example somewhere). the point is, polygamy has problems because it is usually associated with the suppression of women, despite the fact that the bible clearly describes many polygamous patriarchs and kings of israel that were ‘men after god’s own heart’ (i’m looking at you, david).

    just because the bible says that polygamy is ok, or that homosexuality is an abomination doesn’t mean that those practices were not harmful to women or rooted in fear, hate, etc.

    polygamy also gives rise to the common experience of jealousy in relationships because, quite frankly, it is part of the common human experience (btw, it is also quite biblical. ask sarah and hagaar).

    so i oppose polygamy because it is usually associated with the oppression of women: groups that advocate for polygamy usually treat women as unequals. now, granted, women can also be oppressed in monogamous relationships, but again, i believe much of that argument (be it fundamentalist or this ‘complementarian’ nonsense) is also rooted in the bible. just because abuse takes place in monogamous relationships does not mean that it does not take place in polygamous relationships. but there is a correlation between polygamous groups and a low view of women/superior (physically or spiritually) of men.

    thanx. bc

  33. This is just sad.

  34. Bob, I saw just this biblical marriage chart on another blog and have wanted to find the source for it. I don’t know if you originated it, but either way, Thanks!

    I’ve used the chart effectively, multiple times in online discussions with the one man-one woman crowd. I’ve yet to get a response back from any of them after providing the link to it, encouraging them to look up the bible references provided. Should the situation arise again, and it will, I plan to link to this article – OK? It’s an excellent resource. Thanks!

  35. you were trying to prove that biblical marriage includes homosexual unions? missed something there… what then is the point? is it that the church should be ok with plural marriage?

  36. nope. that’s not the point at all.
    the point is that if you’re going to argue for ‘biblical marriage,’ then there are lots of ‘biblical options.’
    and yes, plural marriage was an option up until the nt, where it was forbidden (but slavery and the suppression of women was not).

  37. so there are biblical options, why so much rancor and bitterness? only time plural marriage is remotely referenced in the new testament is in regards to church leadership, hardly ‘forbidden.’

  38. you certainly have an argument. i argue against plural marriage for different reasons, pertaining to the subjugation of women. but those arguing that marriage should be as it is defined ‘in the bible’ certainly have to contend with that.

  39. as does anyone who argues that marriage is not defined as ‘one man, one woman.’ i think you are probably quite aware that those who argue that marriage should be defined as it is ‘in the bible,’ are referring to the new testament marriage you mention. perhaps to be more clear they should say marriage as defined in the new testatment. it is never homosexual, in any case, which is their point.

  40. and, as it follows, i’d argue that if we’re not going to define ‘marriage’ upon the definition(s) given in the bible, that we shouldn’t pick and choose. if we’re not going to say ‘marriage is only what we find in the bible,’ then we shouldn’t point at gay marriage and say, ‘well, except that, that’s still bad, as it is ‘unbiblical’.’

    if we’re going to base marriage on the bible, then let’s do so. if we’re not, then let’s not. but let’s avoid picking and choosing which ‘biblical’ rules we retain and those we don’t, b/c that is no different than any modern ethical debate.

  41. i have read your arguments against polygamy, and while they may be valid reasons why you don’t like plural marriage, they are not valid reasons why it should be illegal. you are defining marital restrictions, and therefore limiting the civil rights of those who would want to engage in such unions. if this same argument is used for any permutations of marriage, what will be the definition? who gets to decide what this new definition is, or what is its basis?

  42. michele, no one is saying you can’t argue in favor of polygamy. but i do not (even though it’s ‘biblical’). i don’t argue for/against things simply because they are ‘biblical’. you are welcome to do so.

  43. we can’t pick and choose between old and new testament? or choose the new over the old? isn’t that kind of the point of the new testament? didn’t you argue that the new testament was against plural marriage, and isn’t that picking and choosing–and a weak argument at that, really more because you don’t like it. various marriage situations are depicted in the old testament. none in the old nor new are ‘gay.’ neither is homosexuality ever sanctioned anywhere in the bible in any way. that would be the argument you would make if you could, but it just doesn’t fit.

  44. i don’t know where the church is to look for authority if it is not the bible.

  45. God approved of polygamy for a lot of Biblical folklore personages

    Christians quote from both OT and NT and say that both OT and NT are the Word of God, so … they have no basis for objecting when other people do the same thing. I’ve never heard them say, “The OT is the Word of God EXCEPT FOR the following sections: . . . ”

    “God” approved of polygamy. I don’t like it, but that’s what the Word of God IS, per Christians..

  46. “The Bible” is … the Word of God ?

    H m m m . . . which version ? NIV ? KJV ? RSV ? other ?

    And that’s just the beginning of the problems.

    Today’s Bibles are the result of verse-insertion, verse-deletion, verse-“modification”, and codice-patching … done over the centuries. There is no basis — NONE — for asserting that any version is based on “the original autographs”. Yikes, there are even competing versions of the Septuagint, each of which claims to be “the original” !

    The NIV, KJV, RSV, etc., are based on various texts that are distillations (i.e., the products of verse-insertion, verse-deletion, verse-“modification”, and codice-patching). Oops.

    And there are several versions of “the Biblical canon”. = even more complication.

    What a mess, how complicated things are in reality and how simple things are for those who don’t want to THINK ! … and how many churches are willing to own up to the idea that there is no basis for proclaiming this or that book as “THE Bible … THE inerrant Word of God” ? None.

  47. bob, there is no ‘victimless’ crime in sin because the one who commits it has become a slave to sin. the sinner is also the victim, allowing sin to take foothold in his/her mind. When Jesus said the thought of lust makes one guilty of adultery in the mind, the person who is doing the thinking is sinning against his/her own self, their own integrity, dishonoring other people and using them for their own purpose. this create death in that person’s own heart and life. there can be no ‘victimless’ sin.

  48. a slave to sin? that may be a theological ‘crime,’ but not a civil one. i like how paul and others make this argument. that ‘thought’ doesn’t hurt anyone, so we’ll make it a crime against an invisible being who dislikes certain thoughts, or a crime against an abstract concept like sin. that way, we can control the very thoughts of our subjects.

    i don’t buy ‘thought crimes.’ sure, thoughts lead to actions, and constantly thinking evil thoughts isn’t healthy. but that’s true in any religion, philosophy, or psychological or physiological setting. it is not unique to christianity. ‘thinking’ something is not a crime. but many christians WANT it to be a crime, because then they can punish the subject for thinking something that is not permitted.

    how is planting corn and wheat in the same field a crime? who is the victim? how is coveting your neighbor’s new pickup and wanting one of your own a ‘sin’? it’s the basis of free-market capitalism.

    and how are two consenting adults loving one another a crime? where is the victim in this? there is none. this is why many faiths invoke ‘thought crimes’ as a crime. that way, they can regulate thoughts they don’t like.

  49. keith:

    Equating “sin” in your religious value system to a “crime” does not do anything but play games with the word, “crime” which of course you are free to do. If you want to think of a sin as a crime, there is certainly nothing wrong with that or in thinking anything else. After all, there are thousands of varieties of religion and thousands of denominations of Christianity (for that matter) … each of which is free to define whatever they want to define in any way they want, in order for them to feel good about things.

    Exodus, ch. 31, calls for the death penalty for anyone who works on the Sabbath. Those who want to pretend that there is some sort of “implicit repeal” of that rule in the NT … are free to do so, but I’ve never succeeded in getting anyone to come up with an EXPLICIT repeal of that rule in the NT. People are free to pretend that “their” version of Christianity is what “the NT means” and … if that belief makes their days and nights go easier, then that’s fine; I do draw the line at people trying to enact their religious beliefs into REAL civil and criminal law, and no one has the right to do that, period.

  50. […] argument. Even if the Bible argued more convincingly in opposition to homosexuality than, say, to making women married their rapists, religion isn’t supposed to dictate policy in America. Phony child-rearing arguments also […]

  51. Your chart has at least one gross misrepresentation of Scripture. You believe Yahweh condones rape in Duet. 22. A careful reading of the entire passage will make it clear: the virgin in verse 28 consented to lie with the “rapist”. What makes me say that? The way verse 23 reads as it describes the man.

  52. Ethan:

    If that verse doesn’t “read’ the way you want it to “read” … just move on to another of the dozen-or-so English language VERSIONS of “the inerrant Word of God” . . . until you find a VERSION of that verse that you like.

    And if THAT technique doesn’t work, then take that troublesome word (or words) and … RETRANSLATE it (from “the original” (don’t bother proving THAT one!) Hebrew or Greek and work with THAT … until you get a result you like.

    I listen to a lot of Christian Radio, and these techniques are well-known and well-used by countless preachers and broadcasters, so you are thereby assured that the Christian Version of GOD is OK with them.

  53. Hey, I didn’t want to be adversarial with you here, I’m sorry. I actually like your chart. I just wanted to point out your misrepresentation of what is written regarding rape, and especially of what is MEANT by the words written in Duet. 22. I’ll take the time and read all the entries on this blog and see if you’ve already addressed my specific – which you obviously chose not to do in your retort.

  54. ethan, you lost me here. are you responding to an old comment?

  55. This will be comment/post 3 of 3 for me. I guess I’m not exactly sure how messages and posts are handled by this site.

    I just wanted to say that I liked the biblical marriage chart you came up with a one glaring exception: (and possibly some other lesser ones) it seems to me that Duet. 22:28 does not teach the condoning of rape when taken in context. I could be wrong…

  56. ethan, got it.
    no, the bible does not teach people to rape, BUT, the verse i cited DOES state that if one DOES rape a virgin, then he MUST marry her and CANNOT divorce her. the law was clearly put in place as a ‘you broke it, you bought it’ policy, as it was likely that no one else would want to marry the raped woman.

    the problem is that this policy makes it possible for a man who wants to marry a woman (who does not want to marry him back) to simply rape her and then claim her as his own. it’s a miserable policy (to force a rape victim to marry her rapist), yet there it is out of the mouth of god.

    that’s the point.


  57. Ethan raises an interesting point, though being biblically illiterate I won’t speak to how verse 23 “describes the man”.

    One of my premises is while the ancients were ignorant by our standards, neither were they stupid. Surely they would have seen that the law as we’re talking about it in this thread would encourage rape ? Consider: I see the pretty, rich born virgin of my dreams…I don’t even have to court her!

    So, is it plausible that what the ancients were talking about is what we would describe as statutory rape ?


  58. God created Adam. God made Eve from Adam and for Adam. God pronounced it ‘very good’.
    Sin entered the world. Everything after that recorded in the bible reflects the reality of a world distorted by sin. And “the wages of sin is death”.
    We should do our best to support and practice the model that is “very good” and not the model that “leads to death”

  59. The story of Adam and Eve is a creation myth, that you are apparently attempting to use to dictate rules for modern marriage.
    Why would you rely upon an ancient Mesopotamian/Canaanite/Persian creation myth to inform modern society?

  60. Recently some fundie websites are saying the world is now closer to rapture because the Democratic party has adopted the platform plank of gay marriage. I guess that means that if Democrats win the next election then the rapture is closer still. Does anyone besides me think this is very scary? These literalist Christians have been waiting for so long for this cataclysm that their patience is wearing thin. Someone might decide to take it upon himself to be the hammer of God. Very, very scary.

  61. If you don’t mind, would you please tell me what information or evidence you have that the story of Adam and Eve is a myth?

  62. all of it. all evidence. there is zero evidence that they existed, and all evidence that we evolved. literarily, there are numerous ancient stories of primordial couples that pre-date the hebrew story of adam and eve.

    archaeology, geology, anthropology, biology, and biblical studies – all of it says adam and eve is a myth.

  63. Are the lists of Adam and Eve’s progeny in Scripture fabrications then? Why did Jesus refer to them as if they were real living persons?

  64. With all due respect, you have not given me any information or evidence that I can access and study. Could you please refer me to one or two specific pieces of evidence proving that Adam and Eve did not exist.

  65. Mythological fabrications.

    Either Jesus didn’t know any better,


    Jesus knew that attempting to argue that Adam and Eve were mythological fabrications would be dismissed even more quickly than fundamentalists do in spite of the modern literary and scientific evidence.


    The gospel writers placed these sayings in the mouth of Jesus.

    Regardless, some biblical authors do record Jesus mentioning Adam and Eve, but a 2000 literary account with no corroborating evidence and copious evidence to the contrary does not make the account true.

  66. That’s like asking for evidence that there is not a giant troll at the center of the earth sucking us down to the surface of the planet.
    Instead, any textbook on the concept of gravity will explain, to the best of our scientific knowledge (because we still don’t know exactly how it works), how we think gravity works.
    Most scholars and scientific experiments aren’t designed to disprove the myth of the vacuum troll. Rather, they test things that are real, and testable, and demonstrable based upon the reality of the natural world.

    Likewise… any freshman level book on human anthropology (check Amazon, perhaps this: http://www.amazon.com/Origins-Evolution-Revealed-Douglas-Palmer/dp/1845334744) and any freshman level book on human anatomy, biology, or comparative animal physiology (again, check any university bookstore), will demonstrate that we evolved, and shared a common ancestor with other primates. This is fact. We may not have all of the details, but anyone who denies these basic scientific facts denies reality.

    Likewise, and any critical/scholarly book on biblical literary criticism will demonstrate the plethora of ‘primordial couples’ stories that predate the Hebrew Bible stories (yes, there are two: ask yourself – were animals and plants created before or after humans?). Much of the literature of the Bible is historiography, not ‘history’. While parts of the genealogies may be correct, the primordial parts are fabricated. Forget the early genealogies: who was Jesus’ grandfather (Joseph’s father)? The Bible can’t even agree on that.

    No one can prove that something that never existed does not exist. Prove that I don’t have an invisible, undetectable halo around my head. You can’t prove a negative. But you can demonstrate with substantial evidence that an alternative theory is far more likely, rational, and rooted in evidence and reality.

  67. //what did jesus have to say about it?//

    Bob, up toward the top of these comments you asked this question of one person replying to your post. And honestly, as someone with an advanced degree I would have expected you to have a better response than this…you obviously mean to imply that because Jesus didn’t comment on homosexuality that it must be okay (although we do know that he did comment that marriage is intended as a life-long commitment between a man and a woman…interesting, that).

    But the real response that comes to mind is this…Jesus didn’t specifically condemn necrophilia either. Or consensual sex with a child. Or bestiality.

    Would you use his silence on these matters to indicate that Jesus felt these were okay? The point is that your reply above is without merit, and the one who pointed to scripture’s description of homosexuality as sinful stands.

  68. Scott,

    Thanx for your comments. No, Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality, nor did he mention sex with the dead, consensual sex with a child (although to be honest, many/most marriages in this time period were between men and women/girls that had just reached puberty and were married/arranged/sold by their fathers to their new husbands. This was legal then, while I would argue highly problematic in today’s society), nor bestiality.

    (BTW, you’ve chosen some of the favorite fundy diversions. Of course, the national debate does is not arguing for the legalization of bestiality or necrophilia, but you’re welcome to argue on their behalf should you choose.)

    And yes, Jesus did instruct married individuals not to divorce. Funny that we don’t see calls for constitutional amendments to ban divorce or to ban divorced individuals from remarrying, just the gays. Interesting, that.)

    My point (I believe, I’d have to go back and re-read) is that the commenter argued that ‘Jesus said’ about homosexuality. He didn’t. And while silence on a particular issue is not necessarily endorsement, given how modern secular laws have changed over the years regarding marriage (divorce, intermarriage, etc.), we should not make special rules for gays if we’re not also going to create laws preventing the other forms of clearly anti-‘biblical marriage’ practices on marriage (like divorce).

    Or are you going to continue to cast the first (and multiple stones)…?

  69. (BTW, I always love the condescending comments against scholars such as the ‘And honestly, as someone with an advanced degree I would have expected you to have a better response than this’ above. It takes many forms. “If you had actually read the Bible,” or, “You scholars think you know everything,” or “I expect much better out of you,” etc. I’m used to it as it is a quite common rhetorical favorite of anti-intellectuals and usually conservatives (sometimes liberals) employed to make the commenter look smarter when he/she usually does not match in terms of education. It’s also a dead giveaway that what follows will usually be some attempts at an argument the commenter thinks is so compelling, so original, and so rationally overwhelming so as to end the debate forever. Of course, scholars who deal with this daily have seen every argument, but that does not stop the sanctimonious commenter from employing the rhetorical device in an effort to look smarter than the scholar.

    Scholars are usually the first to admit that they don’t know everything. They do so because the more we learn, the more we realize we really don’t know. Those who are claiming to ‘know’ the ‘truth’ are usually the uneducated employing the condescending anti-intellectual rhetoric.

    Thus ends today’s highlight of fundy rhetoric.)

  70. Scott: Thanks for admitting the Jesus SAID nothing about homosexuality. I have run into so many discussions online with pseudo-fundamentalists who argue that he DID specifically condemn homosexuality … but when it comes time to respond to my request for a chapter-and-verse citation, well, u h h h h . . . they just sorta . . . disappear.

    So thanks for that.

    Still, you furnish no support for the position that Jesus was in any way opposed to homosexuality. Just repeating that “the Bible” condemns it merely puts that position on a par with similar stands re: mixing fabrics, picking up sticks on the Sabbath, eating shellfish, killing your children for being disrespectful, etc.

    But I expect we all appreciate your conceding that argument.

  71. Bob,

    Good points on the types of marriage arrangements in the Old Testament. They all exist but not equally enforced or mandatory but I like the chart. Solid attack. You challenge well.

    Great tongue and cheek about Paul setting the biblical standard as non-marriage when he says \”Now as a concession, not a command, I say this\”. Your leap to then say let\’s drop all this silliness and have gay marriage is a hoot. Your video choices show how much you enjoy sarcasm.

    In all of this one thing stands out for me that you prove via Bible verses. Marriage is between one man and one woman and in certain cases more than one woman. That looks like the biblical standard = heterosexual marriage. So yes Lucy, we got some explaining to do but the argument for biblical marriage as being heterosexual is well reinforced by your post. Thanks.

  72. I have a few problems with your “Biblical marriage” chart. First of all, not everything the Bible mentions it necessarily condones. Such is the case for two of your “marriage models.” Abraham took concubines, but the story would not suggest that God condoned the arrangement. In fact, this arrangement led to Abraham’s mistake of trying to use the concubine to force the fulfillment of God’s promise for a son, which God intended to accomplish through Abraham’s WIFE, not his concubine. And it was Sarah’s idea, not God’s nor Abraham’s. From the story recorded, this decision brought only suffering to those involved, though God was gracious through their mistake. This is not a “Biblical” nor “God-commended” model, simply a record of the decisions one family made. This is the same story used to support “man + woman + woman’s property” model to which my previous statement applies.

    I think it’s important to note that all these other “marriages” happened after the Fall of man in sin, and that the only actual “God-condone” marriage was the one created by Him in the Garden, that of a man and woman, and that is the model to which Jesus Himself appealed to and supported (

    Someone on your blog mentioned that David had 300 wives and 700 concubines, and yet was “a man after God’s own heart.” David also committed adultery and murdered a man – sins for which he paid a great price and later repented of. It is clear that God did not approve of his multi-women marital choices either, because previous to any reign of any king of Israel, God explicitly gave a command for any Israelite king NOT to “multiply wives [nor horses, nor gold or silver – all potential power trips for king] (Deut. 17:16-18), so this “model” was not condoned by God either. It is simply recorded as a true part of the story of decisions.

    This chart also is not accurate because it makes it seems that the Bible, in each of the contexts in which it records a marriage “arrangement”, specifically states that a woman must submit sexually to her husband, which it does not in any of those passages!!
    And then there’s the fact that all those “models” or, as I say, “records” of what happened along the marriage scene in Biblical times STILL had the same basic idea of man and woman. That is a testimony still to God’s original plan, and the only record we have alongside these, of homosexuality, is of Sodom. God told the kings not to multiply wives and concubines, but He never destroyed them like He did Sodom and Gomorrah.

  73. Chris, The entire notion that you would appeal to 2000 year old religious texts to attempt to define modern marriage is the fundamental problem, especially when said religious texts endorse some of the most heinous crimes imaginable. (Really, FORCING a rape victim to marry her rapist to ‘protect her’??) THAT was commanded by GOD? Taking a prisoner of war as your wife IF she is appealing to you? THAT was ordained by GOD as acceptable? THAT is HOLY SCRIPTURE???

    In what sense are these actions EVER moral or ethical? And how is a married man knocking up his dead brother’s wife so she can have a child that will be understood to be his (the dead brother’s) child a good thing? These are the ‘biblical’ commands of God. This is “BIBLICAL MARRIAGE”.

    Simply pointing out that all BIBLICAL MARRIAGE is heterosexual does not excuse the HORRIFIC ACTS OF VIOLENCE that pass for God-ordained Biblical marriage. THIS IS THE POINT. You are looking for the speck in the eyes of homosexuals when you fail to see that BEAM of ethical and moral travesty in your own scriptures!!!

    How is conquering a foreign people and kidnapping a woman as your wife ever, EVER ethical? How can that EVER – in ANY context – be said to be moral or right behavior? OF COURSE it is ‘Biblical’, but this is the point: the BIBLE contains some of the most abhorrent ethical behavior – especially when speaking of marriage – known to mankind. And yet you want to use THE BIBLE as your guide to modern marriage???????

    Good grief. Shall we use the Bible as a guide to modern slavery? (The South managed to pull it off for a while.)
    Shall we use the Bible as a guide to genocide? (As long as GOD commands the genocide, it’s OK???)

    The entire argument is not about homosexuality, but about the attempt to use ancient scriptures to dictate modern social institutions.

  74. If I recall correctly, Sodom and Gomorrah we’re (allegedly) destroyed for violating hospitality. Apparently, offering ones’ virgin daughter to the crowd was ok with God. I doubt many would want to institutionalize That notion of maintaining hospitality.

    Net is customs in general and per this thread, marriage customs in particular have varied widely over time. Execution by stoning is biblical, but most today would find it barbaric.

  75. Oops, somehow that posted before I finished.

    To the question “what exactly is biblical marriage” it would seem fair to ask “when, where, and for who?”. At some points in time, and across several cultures, it’s been acceptable for kings to have many wives.

    Now what ?


  76. Thank you very much for the handy-dandy chart which describes the various types of “Biblical marriages.” Visual aids often come in handy when dealing with the misinformed or frankly deluded.

    I would like to add this tidbit about the Bible from Lloyd Graham, Ph.D. (Cambridge)

    “The Bible is not the “word of God,” but stolen from pagan sources. Its Eden, Adam and Eve were taken from the Babylonian accounts; its Flood and Deluge is but an epitome of some four hundred flood accounts; its Ark and Ararat have their equivalents in a score of Deluge myths; even the names of Noah’s sons are copies, so also Isaac’s sacrifice, Solomon’s judgment, and Samson’s pillar acts; its Moses is fashioned after the Syrian Mises; its laws after Hammurabi’s code. Its Messiah is derived from the Egyptian Mahdi, Savior, certain verses are verbatim copies of Egyptian scriptures. Between Jesus and the Egyptian Horus, Gerald Massy found 137 similarities, and those between Christ and Krishna run into the hundreds.”

    The Bible is almost certainly not the “Word of God,” as its stories are not even original. Therefore, the discussion of what defines biblical marriage is moot.

  77. That chart does show that “Biblical Marriage” is man-woman and/or multiple women, and that consent of the female(s) is not required (NO, a POW does not “consent” to marriage … sorry, that’s just the way it is).

    Much to the dismay of Mr Cathy, it does NOT show that “Biblical Marriage” is ONLY “one man-one woman” . . . as he has claimed. The point is that Mr. Cathy doesn’t know his Bible (any version) on this point.

  78. Those who accept the Bible (any version) as historical fact … must defend the following: that a snake can talk (Genesis, ch. 3), that Eve was created from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2, in the Second Creation Story, not the First Creation Story), that Adam lived to be 930 years old (Genesis, ch. 5), that Noah lived to be 950 years old (Genesis, ch. 9) and that he fathered his 3 sons when he was 500 years old (Genesis, ch. 5) and that when he was 600 years old, his 3, one hundred-year-old sons helped him build the Ark (Genesis, ch. 6)

    Sorry . . . I just buy all of that. . . . No, I don’t buy the idea that the air was “better back then and so people lived longer” which seems to be the explanation that is currently most popular.

  79. Yes. I always ask: at what point in history was whole scale genocide OK in it’s cultural context? When was it OK for God to order mass genocide? How is a Jew or Christian who attempts to defend God ordering genocide of the Amalekites any different from a militant Islamic fundamentalist defending his terrorist attack as the will of God against the infidels?

    At what point in history was it perfectly ethical and acceptable to own other people?

    And yet, many Christian fundamentalists today want to use these same social regulations to define modern marriage???

  80. Rape is paramount to kidnapping. Kidnapping is a capital crime according to the Pentateuch. With all due respect, I still maintain the ancients did not mean to legislate forced marriage of a rape victim to her rapist in Duet. 22:28. She did not “cry out” meaning she was complicit. As you know, there were empty openings for windows in dwellings in the ancient Mediterranean. A female under attack could “cry out” and be heard anywhere in the city. But in the country it is a “he said, she said” situation as the passage case law explains. With all due respect, I believe the chart you posted (which I like, with some exceptions) is misrepresenting the intentions and meaning of the marriage in the case law of Duet. 22:28.

    At present, I would be what you so lovingly refer to as a “fundi”. I have harmonized some of the mild cognitive dissonance your recent posted statements created over the last few days, and I have more questions. I’m sure you’ll find them sophomoric, but here goes:

    1) Given your position(s) regarding the ancient writings (the “bible”, the Koran, the Pentateuch, Bhagavad Gita, etc.) an obvious question would be: do you think there is a supreme being, a God, a divine/supernatural personality or personalities that are/is responsible for the creation of what we call reality? If so, do you believe that being(s) has/have communicated to humans in any reliable or accurate or truly clear written form? That is to say, has He/She/It used human writers as His/Her/It’s divine pen (so-to-speak) with any accuracy? Plainly stated: if God exists, wouldn’t their be some communication in relationship to His/Her/It’s creation?

    2) Generally anticipating your response to the above, my next question would be: how do you go about intellectually and personally, determining right from wrong, good from evil, beneficially from harmful, wise from foolish, “sinful” from “holy”, eternal from temporal, etc.? What reasoning parameters do you use?

    3) Corollarily, (again in anticipation of your response) what gives you the power and right to determine such things for others? More to the visceral point: have you not then become your own archetypal “god”? And being in a teaching position, creating individual godhood in your students?

    As you stated above, this your profession, and such questions are “old hat” I’m sure, but I’d be interested in your answers anyway.

  81. Dr. C: re your last comment . . . Dr. Dean Edell (radio MD show) several years ago said (for then) a very controversial thing, tongue in cheek: “We should obey the Old Testament. That is, we should only go to war when God … in a big, booming voice from the sky … TELLS us to go to war.”

    . . . I think he lost some of his radio audience as the result of this comment, but I liked it.

  82. Doc Bob — being lazy, I’ll begin with an easy assertion, one I suspect you’ll agree with…to wit: with a few obvious caveats, I’m ok with Christian fundamentalists using ‘those’ social regs to define marriage any way they choose, provided it’s for *themselves*. As has been discussed in other threads in your blog, it’s one thing to live by ones own church law, quite another to insist others do.

    On a tangent, but pertinent to this thread, what constitutes being married “in the eye of God” ? I’ll confess to some personal interest in this question as in a couple months I, an atheist, will be married to a Christian gal, the non theist ceremony performed by a female Lutheran pastor.

    So, to my admittedly limited knowledge, we will be unequally yoked, but is that not biblical as well ? The injunction, again as I understand it, is avoid being unequally yoked, it does not state not state such a marriage is invalid.

    Course, one could argue that women aren’t permitted to perform marriages, and therefore the question “in the eye of God” is moot. Ahhh, but this gives fundies still another problem (or three). One is in the improbable event there were issue, would they ( or God ) really be so mean spirited as to condemn our children to bastardy ?

    It seems there’s any number of permutations as to what exactly is biblical marriage, and for that matter, what is marriage!


  83. The chart may be accurate but your argument is not. You assume that because it happened all of a sudden its ok by God. Not the case. Try actually reading the Bible. Quit spreading stupid crap.

  84. well argued and articulated.

  85. Well Jason, suggest you try connecting at least a few dots & maybe then folks will have some idea how you’re getting from point A to B.

    Gould bless you

  86. Doc Bob – an allied question to this thread might be what constitutes “married in the eyes of God” ? For instance, what about a Christian who marries a non Christian ? Does God recognize and accept the vows of an atheist ?

    It’s a bit dicey, I think, b/c to give any answer besides “don’t know” one has to assume they know the mind of God.

    Regards, and best wishes for the dig

  87. Jason: You have misrepresented what that chart SAYS.

    The point is NOT (as you claim it to be) that “because it happened all of a sudden it is OK by God.” NOPE.

    What you find out when you actually READ the relevant passages is that God DOES give instructions which are reflected IN that chart. Well, that’s what the Bible (any version) pretends.

    And remember that what is in the Bible (any version) is not historical record but a folkloric misrepresentation of history … a rendering by religious propagandists (most of whom wrote or redacted during the Babylonian Captivity) of what they wanted to PRETEND history was. But they chose (for their own reasons) to pretend that God gave instructions re: marriage, permitted polygamy, etc. No big deal, unless you really believe that what’s in the Bible (any version) is historically accurate, in which case … you have definite problems (NO, there was no 6-day Creation, no exodus of 3 million people, no hostile takeover of Jericho, no talking snake, no Adam living 930 years, etc.)

  88. I checked that chart multiple times. It seems as if God thought about all types of marriages and relationship but failed to mention “same sex”. Without getting into the merit of the issue at hand, what is the validity of the chart other than the “in your face” value of proving that my brethren who mistakenly and misguidedly use the term “biblical definition of marriage do not know about the other types of “biblical marriage”.
    In another note, to be consistent with yourselves, are you ready to consider a “civil right” all the types of marriages described on the chart? If not, why do you consider one that IT IS NOT THERE as a “civil right”.

    I am just pointing to the fact that the chart does not help the argument of same sex marriage and in fact reinforces those who propose that same sex marriage is a slippery slope to other kinds of marriages (perhaps those indeed included in the chart).

    Now, since you don’t know my view of what you call “same sex marriage”, don’t attack me now; wait until a better opportunity when I do state my view on it.

  89. Sorry for the delay. I’m away digging and internet is spotty.

    1) Perhaps, it’s possible. Probably not. Not necessarily. (But millions of people believe this in different religious traditions.)
    2) The ethical norms that humanity has developed over its existence. You don’t need a god to have ethics or morality. The fact that we ignore slavery and kosher rules and that rules and norms change over time demonstrate that interpretation is 9/10 of the law, meaning that even theists who hold to the authority of a particular scripture don’t abide by it without imposing a modern ethic upon it, often wrapping it in his/her religious tradition. (You’d actually like Sam Harris’ ‘Moral Landscape’ if you’re interested in this subject.)
    3) I think we as a society determine what we believe to be moral. That said, a majority can be wrong, especially when said majority is relying on 2000 year old social customs to dictate modern morality. I am not a god obviously. I am one voice calling on people to think about modern ethics, and admit that said ethics are not based on the Bible, but on a modern interpretation of what is ethical, a portion of which may be congruent with biblical mandates (AND a portion of which have left behind the more abhorrent mandates of the Bible.) A teacher is not a god, and education is not indoctrination (at least when it’s done properly in a secular college (as opposed to a ‘Christian’ education that forces its faculty to promote the traditional doctrine.)) A teacher is a teacher, who encourages his/her students to think about issues and develop a response that is consistent and promotes the well being of humanity. You don’t need a god for that, you need logic, rationality, a reliance on evidence, and a community of people committed to balancing self interest with the interest of community/humanity, and not acting because a god told them to stone their children for talking back 2500 years ago ;-)


  90. Dear Bob:
    Allow me to respond to your specific response here and I will attempt to quote as much as this “rectangle” allows me:
    bobcargill, on August 5, 2012 at 12:02 am said:

    “… (Really, FORCING a rape victim to marry her rapist to ‘protect her’??) THAT was commanded by GOD? Taking a prisoner of war as your wife IF she is appealing to you? THAT was ordained by GOD as acceptable? THAT is HOLY SCRIPTURE???
    In what sense are these actions EVER moral or ethical? And how is a married man knocking up his dead brother’s wife so she can have a child that will be understood to be his (the dead brother’s) child a good thing? These are the ‘biblical’ commands of God. This is “BIBLICAL MARRIAGE”.
    Simply pointing out that all BIBLICAL MARRIAGE is heterosexual does not excuse the HORRIFIC ACTS OF VIOLENCE that pass for God-ordained Biblical marriage. THIS IS THE POINT. You are looking for the speck in the eyes of homosexuals when you fail to see that BEAM of ethical and moral travesty in your own scriptures!!!”

    Here is what I say and ask:

    I just want to know if in the cases you mentioned above the parties were willing and able, agreeable to the culture standards of those days, if you would still call “horrific acts of violence?”. Let me continue in this exploration here: What if God commanded a warrior to marry the wife of his opponent that he killed, so the woman would not be desolate and spend the rest of her life without care? Why do you imply that this was something done forcibly to the losing side and “rewarding” the winning side? Does the text say that the woman had to be appealing to the winning side? Going back to my point, what if this was commonly accepted by society those days because it was considered a moral obligation for a man to take his brother’s wife when he died, especially if she had no children ( a curse on those days)? Why do you call a moral travesty? Do you really believe that whatever divine being the Bible describes orders this to benefit one side, for sexual purposes only? Wasn’t this divine being attempting to solve a social problem rather than creating a moral one, i.e. a man marrying his sister-in-law, or marrying a widow of an opponent?

    People who call same sex marriage today as normal do because they accept as normal. How can one judge above and beyond shadow of doubt that those types of marriages were not normal on those days as well? How can you tell that a warrior’s widow would not gladly accept the taking of her captor, the killer of her husband, so as not to be despised for the rest of her life? Same as a sister-in-law? Let us (emphasis on the “us”) represent that we know more that so many more years of civilization if we don’t want to say “let’s not act as if we know more than God.”

    I have first hand experience of the disgrace that someone has to go through when his other “half” is ill and hospitals deny visiting benefits, and funeral arrangements to a person who lived with the moribund, shared a home, a bank account, bills, cars, relatives, etc. So, my issue is not their “union”. My issue is with heterophobia! Tolerance is something we give not something we demand; demanded tolerance is by definition intolerance! Gays are intolerant of everyone who does not play ipisis literis by their playbook.

    Anyway, it is just a thought… I would appreciate your consideration, though. My mind is not seared; I can learn!

  91. Ethan – I’m not sure your argument re rape helps you out much. First off, I’m not sure what you mean by “paramount to kidnapping” ? Second, it assumes the attack would have been in a windowed room. Third, it assumes she is able to “cry out”; windows aren’t much help if an attacker has a knife to your throat, or has you gagged.

    Conversely, stipulating to you are right then, quoting Dr Bob’s reply to another post:

    “The entire argument is not about homosexuality, but about the attempt to use ancient scriptures to dictate modern social institutions”

    Granted you were not talking of homosexuality; however, now we have to redefine rape of a virgin to assume it’s consensual unless she cries out? Or perhaps legislate forced marriage as the penalty for statutory rape ? Methinks the point ” …dictate modern social institutions” still stands.


  92. Dr Bob- from the same post I just quoted:

    “How is conquering a foreign people and kidnapping a woman as your wife ever, EVER ethical?”

    I’ve heard fundies argue the kidnapping, be it to slavery or marriage was moral because 1) her village being ruined she might have died( I’ve heard the same re killing babies, too) 2) it was merely the custom of the times.


  93. milton: You are avoiding the obvious, that this chart contradicts the contention that “Biblical Marriage” ONLY means one man and one woman, which is the claim that Mr. Cathy and conservative Christians make. Yes, that IS what they claim, and that IS what the chart contradicts.

    The chart never purported to demonstrate some sort of “biblical validity” of SSM.

    Conservative Christians don’t like it when people contradict what they claim … by citing to the Bible (any version) and it’s easy to understand why they don’t like it. For them, though … that is just too bad … they can adjust to the fact that their claim has been disproven.

  94. No, in our modern informed, reasoned society, we just pump the children full of pharmakeia until they end things themselves. Aren’t we enlightened.

  95. Dear Mr. Cargill,

    Being on the “opposing” side, thank you. You have certainly made me think. The feeling I get, though, is of the devil in the garden of Eden. What he said to her was true. But it was not the Truth. (I’m not calling you the devil. I hope it didn’t come across that way.) To know Jesus, is to love Him.

  96. Thank you for making me think.
    To know Him, is to love Him.

  97. science should be taught instead of religion. religion is all non sense anyway. it amaze me how some people think that they know everything when science is just aproaching the boundaries of human understanding… religion is holding us back. i dont want a dark age 2.0. in the bible i can rape a woman then pay her father to have her marry me but gays cant get married. what utter bs!

  98. An astonishingly silly post. For openers, I doubt many scientists will agree with the claim we’re “aproaching the boundaries of human understanding”.

    Second, regardless religion is “non sense” or not, it most definitely should be taught; world/comparative religions should be mandatory classes. Your understanding of history will be stunted if you’re clueless of the issues; same for little items like foreign policy.


  99. I appreciate all that is being said here, but I believed this conversation to be a “defense (or defence if you’re across the pond) of “same sex marriage” and so far, other than attack the Bible, defend science declare that “humanity evolves through existence”, I have yet to see a defense of same sex marriage defended historically, scientifically, or even sarcastically, or mockingly of religion. Let me “help”, if I may, the defenders of same sex marriages here based upon my experience as a Reformed minister who is not a full-time religion paid minister, therefore lives in the real world:
    We have to do something serious about two men, or two women that, share a life together, pay bills together, and in a common law sort of way, they BECAME RESPONSIBLE for each other’s life. When one of them is in a hospital, why is the other party not able to legally visit and signs legal documents about surgeries, etc.? If the other party dies and leaves half the life, in terms of finances, emotions etc. unattended to the surviving party, why in the world anyone, Christian or not, prevent this person for having the same rights “as if” (with huge quotation marks) they were married? This describes an experience that I witness and I can believe that some “christians” (mostly CHURCHIANS but not Christians), would prefer the surviving party to go bankrupt but not have the right to enjoy the benefits of the estate left by the dead party, especially the portion built together when both were living together?

    Does a Christian who genuinely has a bona fide rejection of same sex marriage have the right of preventing someone from organizing their lives after the death of the other important person who shared their lives?

    I can easily, comfortably and with a clear conscience continue to expound the Christian view (not the churchian view) about same sex marriage and denounce it as sin without interfering with the lives of those who are currently living this lifestyle either by discriminating them or despising them even if it is silently, let alone causing HELL in their lives as in the example above. I must say, however, that you defenders of societal evolution (since is the only argument presented here that makes sense), and current homosexuals, should live your lives comfortably and not call me a hater and disrupt by right to worship or even to be stupid, if you think that this is what I am, and leave me alone and not impose your life style on mine by wanting my Christian right of association to be negated just to marry you. There is another issue worth discussing: why is the church in the business of performing marriages if marriages today are not what they were in the Bible days?

    Yes, churchians, I have gay couples who are friends, sometimes in group gatherings with business associates they show up in our banquets and celebrations and they know my stance and I know theirs and we respect each other. Sometimes I joke with them: “if you’re right and I’m wrong, so what? Nothing changed for me either here or in eternity; however if I am right and you are wrong, then you guys are in real trouble.” It ends in a smile and life goes on for all.

  100. I certainly agree with the idea that LOTS of world religions should be taught, as a “Folklore-Religion” class.

    In high schools, each day could begin with a prayer offered over the intercom system (or whatever) pursuant to a different religious belief-system, no matter how obscure. With only a limited number of days in the school-year, it is unlikely that very many could be covered (and christianity and judaism would be “covered in a week!), but it would be an interesting experiment.

  101. Please let us know when the government “forces” you to marry gay folks.

    Hasn’t happened yet as far as I know, but if it has, please let us know.

    The nice thing about Protestantism is that you get to found a new church denomination anytime you want, and get to pretend that “this” is what “the original christians believed and practiced, etc., etc.” and get to claim that “God” told you to start your new denomination. That’s GOTTA be nifty.

    I don’t see what gay folks get mad about re: conservative denominations not liking them, refusing to marry them, … when there are lots of more liberal denominations out there that DO like them. Conservative denominations have NO problem doing serial marriages for serial adulterers, but I guess that is a different subject.

    Referring to those christians with whom you disagree as “churchians” is pretty transparent and condescending. And there IS no ONE “Christian point of view”: there are tens of thousands of “christian denominations”.

  102. cd.dedalus said on August 21 2012:
    “Please let us know when the government “forces” you to marry gay folks.”

    Would you please provide me with a direct quote of where I said such a stupid thing?

    cd.dedalus also said:

    “The nice thing about Protestantism is that you get to found a new church denomination anytime you want, and get to pretend that “this” is what “the original christians believed and practiced, etc., etc.” and get to claim that “God” told you to start your new denomination. That’s GOTTA be nifty.”

    You are using the concept of my term CHURCHIANITY and then accusing me of being condescending for using the term “churchian”. If your statement directly quoted above is not condescending and only describing the caricature of real Protestantism (which APPARENTLY you despise), I have to say that you don’t seem to be very good in your arguments. People who change their churches as one should and must change their underwear, and take extreme position in almost every issue are Churchians. Christians follow Christ, Churchians follow a like-minded group. Capisce?

    cd.dedalus goes on saying:

    “I don’t see what gay folks get mad about re: conservative denominations not liking them, refusing to marry them, … when there are lots of more liberal denominations out there that DO like them. Conservative denominations have NO problem doing serial marriages for serial adulterers, but I guess that is a different subject.”

    You obviously know nothing about the real world! Homosexuals do go to churches to disrupt their services; you clearly either prefer to ignore or are ignorant of the gay lobby (which I acknowledge, do not represent all gays) that go to non Roman Catholic ministers and ask them to marry them and upon refusal of the untrained brother, they threaten to sue the church, but often prefer just to disrupt the services.
    Again, when you say “Conservative denominations have NO problem doing serial marriages for serial adulterers, but I guess that is a different subject.” you are right and that is very sad! Now the alternative is denying them marriage because they are serial adulterers; but reflect, who and what STANDARD makes them a serial adulterer if NOT the same who calls gays SINNERS? So, let’s both of us, you and me, join together and clean the churches of sinners and then there will be no more churches… In a more mild solution, let’s tell the churches to follow the rule and not marry serial adulterers, that may placate your anger. But then again, churches will have to follow the same process of applying the rule that establishes that there are serial adulterers… Why, after all, a person cannot be a serial adulterer and can be gay? Isn’t being a serial adulterer, multiple marriages, marriages with minors, with horses and dogs the next civil right issue? I want to stop, because you have your position in gay marriage (hate the term “position” for this kind of discussion…) and you will use all kinds of strawman arguments to refuse reasoning.

    cd.dedalus continues his response:

    Referring to those christians with whom you disagree as “churchians” is pretty transparent and condescending. And there IS no ONE “Christian point of view”: there are tens of thousands of “christian denominations”.

    You just did worse in terms of Protestantism! Double standard or just “don’t confuse me with the facts”. Being condescending does not follow calling churchians people who have a form of religion but deny the power thereof no more than stating that a medical doctor, or a priest is not worthy that profession or title because they don’t follow Christ as the only document we have of the words of Christ are written. I am sure you are a follower of Christ, since you are so concerned with my alleged condescension, therefore, you are not a churchian, nor an atheist, nor an agnostic…

    Christians may call themselves Christians all they want. People go to jail every day for calling themselves lawyers, medical doctors, etc. because they don’t follow the rules of that which MAKES them lawyers and medical doctors, except that the rules for being a lawyer and a medical doctor is not being under attack for 2000 years, but the RULE to be a Christian is, it is called the Bible. That’s why there are many of them… The Muslims call one a Christian just because he was born in America… so, to GEHENNA with the term Christian… it means NOTHING today! I could write volumes about the attack on the rule book during this past 2012 years, but, then again, this is a subject for another thread.

    Thanks cd.dedalus!
    Blessings to you as in Ephesians 1:3, a book recognized as being written by Paul (ooooops I forgot, Paul did not write Ephesians, is to similar to Colossians, which Paul also did not write…)

    I quit


  103. To Milton Ameida who is a true Christian,

    True Christians think gay couples go to hell because their love is sin. Apparently, their love does not come from the same place as straight love. If you truly were a true Christian then you would know that all love comes from the same source.

    Methinks you are not opposed to gay love but are opposed to expressions of gay love. You don’t like to see gay men kissing or parading around in their skivies. But the part you true Christians find most apalling is gay sex. For some reason, this type of sex, to a true Christian, is beyond the pale. Perhaps if history had been matriarcial the most apalling sex act would have been rape? But, alas, true Christianity is patriarchal and rape is unfortunate but not a sin worthy of eternal damnation. A bigger sin than the forcible rape of a female is the expression of mutual love between same sex couples.

    The bigoted jokes you make with your gay business associates at group gatherings puts your status of true Christian in jeopardy. IMHO it is your business associates that are the true Christians. They are turning the other cheek. FYI: you are delusional if you think there is mutual respect.

  104. Milton:

    If you want to believe that YOUR version of “Christianity” is the only “true” one . . . go ahead. But the fact is that there a lots of “Christian” versions to choose from, so why shouldn’t you just deal with it ?

    And you should recognize that there are many VERSIONS of “the Bible”. The NIV just OMITS various verses in the KJV, for example. In sum, there is no basis for asserting that this or that version of “the Bible” is the “true” one, so why should just deal with that, too. Some parts of the NT (inc. the folktale of the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more”) didn’t even appear in early versions of the NT: they were “added” (including that “woman caught in adultery folktale”) later.

    Serial adulterers and serial “marry-ers” are welcomed with open arms in fundamentalist Protestant denominations (e.g., Newt Gingrich). But the gays are all going to hell ?

    BTW, Paul doesn’t speak for God. The fact that millions of believe choose to believe this — without evidence — changes nothing. After all, millions of people think that Eve was created from Adam’s rib, and had a conversation with a snake (Genesis, ch. 3), that 600-yr-old Noah and his three, 100-yr-old sons built the Ark pending the so-called flood that covered the entire earth (for which there is NO evidence), etc., etc. All nonsense.

    Your reference to “churchians” is merely an attempt to exalt yourself and your own beliefs above those of Christians with whom you disagree.

    The rest of your comment is too rambling to permit a response, so I won’t attempt it.

    REMEMBER: Truth is the enemy of all religions and all governments.

  105. cd.dedalus wrote:
    “If you want to believe that YOUR version of “Christianity” is the only “true” one . . . go ahead. But the fact is that there a lots of “Christian” versions to choose from, so why shouldn’t you just deal with it ?”

    Thank you cd.dedalus! I offer you the same courtesy… We can have a cappuccino (not the Franciscan friar), but a drink over it.

    cd.dedalus wrote:
    “And you should recognize that there are many VERSIONS of “the Bible”. The NIV just OMITS various verses in the KJV, for example. In sum, there is no basis for asserting that this or that version of “the Bible” is the “true” one, so why should just deal with that, too. Some parts of the NT (inc. the folktale of the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more”) didn’t even appear in early versions of the NT: they were “added” (including that “woman caught in adultery folktale”) later.”

    I do deal with it! I see you are a Bible Scholar… great! There are also books in the Bible that were not necessarily recognized by the earliest of all fathers… one of them nobody even recognizes the name of the writer and there is an very strong religion that used such book to establish their soteriological doctrine. But let’s not cloud the issue. I do deal with “this” as you put it. But since you mentioned it, “go and sin no more” may not be accurate with the originals, but the fact the Jesus forgave her, note please, LOGIC, FORGAVE, and let her go, why in the world someone needs forgiveness if they are not WRONG? C’mon, reflect before you answer. Unless you are prepared to show me that the text is not about FORGIVENESS… other than condemn the Jews, yes sir, the Pharisees, of their hypocrisy? So, that verse, whether in there or not DOES NOT CHANGE the thrust of the passage.

    c.d.dedalus appears to be misinformed:
    “Serial adulterers and serial “marry-ers” are welcomed with open arms in fundamentalist Protestant denominations (e.g., Newt Gingrich). But the gays are all going to hell ?”

    Two things: 1st- Newt was accepted in the “mother ship” church and I don’t use this term lightly, not ANY protestant church and pastors who do fawn on him have “ulterior” motives to say the least. But that is not to say that there is no redemption for Newt.
    2nd – Even if I had stated above and beyond shadow of doubt that in a generic, without exception way Gays go to hell, that wouldn’t have made my statement right! Remember, I am a Calvinist; by doctrinal foundation we believe in divine Election. God has His own elect. I am not a fundamentalist who believes that someone has to “inform” some denomination that they have “accepted” Jesus as their Lord, that’s not even in the Bible. Jesus spoke with dead people at least twice, if you accept that this portion, at least, is in the Bible… I don’t think you know what I believe about going to heaven and hell. Again, with a direct quote, perhaps I could explain my position, but I am still waiting for the direct quote I requested in our last interaction.

    Furthermore, I agree with you that serial-marry-ers” should receive proper counseling, proper care, be lead to repentance, which only God can do, accept some type of biblical ecclesiastical discipline before they are accepted. You “hint” an agreement with me! But to use “serial marry-ers” to argue in favor of gay marriage is not something very wise. Gay marriage is very new and reports show that, once a gay person is married, they will go to the same list of problems as the hetero-married people go and may end up in divorce and adultery. I am sure you can sharpen your arguments, but this is a lame one… it is the same as to say “the other guys do it, therefore I am justifying in doing it”. Lame!

    cd.dedalus demonstrated a double standard:
    “BTW, Paul doesn’t speak for God. The fact that millions of believe choose to believe this — without evidence — changes nothing. After all, millions of people think that Eve was created from Adam’s rib, and had a conversation with a snake (Genesis, ch. 3), that 600-yr-old Noah and his three, 100-yr-old sons built the Ark pending the so-called flood that covered the entire earth (for which there is NO evidence), etc., etc. All nonsense.”

    You accuse me of condescension when I use the term “churchian” and then you call this “sacred” belief of millions as “nonsense”? Continue to believe this way to justify whatever you want to justify, but to call “nonsense” something that one believes BY PURE FAITH with no EVIDENCE as humans call evidence, since humans KNOW IT ALL, is not a good way to defend anyone’s position.

    cd.dedalus uses clichês:
    “Truth is the enemy of all religions and all governments.” – Yeah, I agree, but can you elaborate? You don’t strike me as someone who cares for the truth. And note, I am not expressing my opinion about gay-marriage here… I have a better statement for you:

    TOLERANCE IS MEANT TO BE GIVEN AND NOT TO BE DEMANDED! I coined that phrase, so if you see it anywhere else, it is plagiarism (lol). Gay marriage defenders talk a lot about TOLERANCE as an exigence whereas calling NONSENSE other’s sacred beliefs etc.
    I loved the interaction with you. I am very comfortable to talk about this issue due to my record defending gay people, gay couples, not because they needed but because they are worth! So, tough on you if you don’t like the fact that my opinion is perhaps “hybrid” to both sides of the issue: the fundamentalist, and the gay activist.

    cd.dedalus may be correct:
    “The rest of your comment is too rambling to permit a response, so I won’t attempt it.”

    I don’t suppose that rambling is a greater sin than misquoting people. I rambled? Maybe, you misquote… We have a deuce, or as we say in the real football (soccer): we have a draw, a tie.


  106. Dear Susan Burns:
    I will just quote you entirely:
    You said:
    “To Milton Ameida who is a true Christian,
    True Christians think gay couples go to hell because their love is sin. Apparently, their love does not come from the same place as straight love. If you truly were a true Christian then you would know that all love comes from the same source.
    Methinks you are not opposed to gay love but are opposed to expressions of gay love. You don’t like to see gay men kissing or parading around in their skivies. But the part you true Christians find most apalling is gay sex. For some reason, this type of sex, to a true Christian, is beyond the pale. Perhaps if history had been matriarcial the most apalling sex act would have been rape? But, alas, true Christianity is patriarchal and rape is unfortunate but not a sin worthy of eternal damnation. A bigger sin than the forcible rape of a female is the expression of mutual love between same sex couples.
    The bigoted jokes you make with your gay business associates at group gatherings puts your status of true Christian in jeopardy. IMHO it is your business associates that are the true Christians. They are turning the other cheek. FYI: you are delusional if you think there is mutual respect”

    I hope I did not make any claims that I am a true Christian! I am someone who, would it not be for the Grace of God, would be doomed to live hell here on the earth before I even to the eternal one.

    I did not understand your response. You seem to defend the Christian position and you seem to disparage it such as in “Christianity is patriarchal and rape is unfortunate but not a sin worthy of eternal damnation.” –
    Allow me to suggest that all who defend gay marriage should get off the issue of “biblical rape”. In the O.T. in the law, God wanted the rapist to marry, BE A HUSBAND, of the his raped victim. Study the concept of “husbandry” in the ancient Hebrew language and you will see that, IN SOME TEXTS, we cannot read the Bible as a 2012 Westerner… God wanted the CRIMINAL to support his victim. But I am not going to enter in a discussion of Biblical terms here, I just want to say that “biblical rape” is not a very good argument to defend gay marriage.

    I will just tell you that I am perfectly comfortable with my stance on this issue! Matthews 6 tells me not to let my right hand know what my left does… so I will not flaunt the reasons why I am very comfortable to deal with this issue, so, I thank you for your concern for my image as a “true Christian”, but I am perfectly secure and at peace with my position. I say the same to fundamentalists.
    No the issue of “mutual love”… I have discussed this MANY TIMES… I have checked the history of same-sex relationships, both in the Roman Empire and the Greek Empire… I have something to say about this, what you call “mutual love”, but I will not. I have much respect and fraternal love for my gay couple friends, and they already know my views and we get along just fine…

    Funny that when someone has a very “soft” stance on gay marriage, but still maintains certain “old fashion” beliefs, like me, for example, and actually tries to help same-sex couples to better defend their position for their own merits, without mentioning the demerits of others, they STILL are angry at me!!! Is there any way that they can be happy? TOLERANT? Or even ACCEPTING of TOLERANCE?

    Anyway, thank you for being concerned about my image as a “true Christian.” I will keep checking and always attempting to improve, or, rather, just let God do it for me.


  107. David:

    You are still evasive. And I did not misquote you.

    BTW, Jesus did not talk to dead people (no one can), and didn’t raise anyone from the dead, or cure anyone. If you want to believe these folktales, go ahead. Same with the talking snake, the worldwide flood (that never happened), etc. Yes, all those beliefs ARE “nonsense” and there is nothing condescending about my approach. It doesn’t matter how many people believe in them, they are NONSENSE.

    I tolerate ALL religions. In fact,I even tolerate religions that haven’t been invented yet. I think that EVERYONE should be able to invent a religion (after talking to “God” or whatever), and should be able to get the tax and other legal benefits that churches now get.
    . . . am I more tolerant than you ?

    And, finally, Newt Gingrich IS loved and respected by “true Christians” in the US, no matter how many adulteries and marriages he has had or will have in the future. = Typical hypocrisy of “believers”. But don’t forget … gays go to hell unless they buy the condescending approach that they’re sinners (by being gay) and need to repent (of being gay) … and become the type of people who love and respect people like Newt Gingrich. = just more hypocrisy.

  108. Milton,

    I was not comparing biblical rape to marriage – I was comparing it to other sexual sins. It seems to me (perhaps because I am female) that rape is far more abhorrent and damaging than sex between two consenting adults. You seem to think rape is something like courtship.

    Gay people will probably not be happy with your Uncle Tom approach to equal rights. They want total acceptance – not just toleration.

  109. Thanks Susan!
    Equal rights? Hummm! Let’s see, I will leave off the fact that if we have “equal rights” then it should be “equally equal” meaning all kinds of relationships and marriages should be legal. But people often call this a strawman argument, when it is actually what they call “equal rights”. But I will ask you where is the “unequal rights” as it stands today:
    – If a man, straight or gay, wants to marry another man, a person of the same sex, it is in many cases illegal for both. Therefore there is no unequal rights.
    But I will argue, a straight man will not want to marry another man; but a gay man will. Then, it is not a matter of legislating rights, but DESIRES. I desire to have a Mercedes in my garage… So it is “unequal” for someone to be able to have one and I don’t. Just because I WANT and PREFER or have a innate predilection for something does not entitle me to have the right of possessing that something… (if one speaks of EQUAL RIGHTS, basically, although attorneys distort this term, this is exactly what it means.)

    YES! Rape is abhorrent, in any form, disguises, feigned romance, (seduction) temporary assumption of a commitment (another type of seduction), at any age, at any time towards any sex or sex orientation. I even believe that legally a woman can agree to a sexual relationship with a man and upon seeing that this man deceived her by false promises, that SHE SHOULD prosecute him for RAPE; if she loses in criminal court, she should have the right to sue him in civil court for the promises he made just to have sex with her. I also believe that even if a rapist is sentenced to prison for rape, he should, for the rest of his life, pay for the psychological care of his victim, and support her from prison. Rape is one of the cases in which “sentence to be alive” (not to live or life notice), is better than “sentence to die”; these guys need to be forced to work in some labor camp and their earnings be passed directly to their rape victims. If I were a politician I would run on this platform!

    As you your last phrase and I quote:
    “Gay people will probably not be happy with your Uncle Tom approach to equal rights. They want total acceptance – not just toleration.”

    I have gay people in my circle of friends that are perfectly happy in not imposing the kind of society that gay people want to impose on everyone else. Unfortunately because of the politically charged environment in this country today, with the supreme divider diving everyone in groups, these type of gays are not paid attention to and labeled “log-cabin REPUBLICS with emphasis on REPUBLICS. They have made provisions and contracts to bypass every single type of legal discrimination, they live well and, contrary to your proposition, don’t mind my opinions (hate the word “position” when dealing with this issue.) There are a few in the media as well, and some that even call the Gay Pride people as GAY SHAME clowns. (They do; I don’t). Check further.

    It is also symptomatic, correct and strange to me that you say that gay people do not want “tolerance”, after so many years of “demanding” tolerance (a contradiction of terms). That may mean that, when everyone tolerates them, they will accelerate their demands to full “rights”. When everyone gives them full “rights” they will demand “special rights”. Think I am a nut? Read their articles in the Internet. Some even think that the only way for gays to acquire equal rights, is the banning of ALL MARRIAGES as “legal” marriages are defined. I could post some of the articles with the author names here, but I will not spread their lustful rant. Most of these people are pretty unhappy and they will NEVER be satisfied… I have examples of this that only appear in some news venues, but there are examples that they go to a church, ask the minister to marry them and upon denial, because the minister believes in his constitutional right of freedom of association, and freedom of religion, is sued by them. Not because they want anything else other than that church to be hurt financially with legal fees to the point that they no longer be able to function as a church… Who do you think support the Freedom FROM Religion groups?

    Thanks for the interaction without ad hominen that I could perceive. You dealt with the issues and called my attention to that which you may disagree and pointed to your perceived flaws in my arguments. We both can only hope that the purported progress in society, with the inclusion of gay marriage will be the point of satisfaction for gay people. Then we will live in peace and let God sort it all out in the end. I don’t belong to the Anti-Gay Taliban, and at the same time think that Anti-Gay Taliban people are very religious but do not have very much GODLINESS; but I do know that some of the Gay Activists people are from the Gay Taliban and would kill me for tolerating them without necessarily relinquishing my faith based convictions… a the Anti-Gay Taliban, the Gay Taliban activists have shown their vitriol and hatred enough times to want to kill people like me. What a great way to die!


  110. Milt:

    “where is the “unequal rights” as it stands today: If a man, straight or gay, wants to marry another man, a person of the same sex, it is in many cases illegal for both. Therefore there is no unequal rights.”

    . . . did you actually write that ?

  111. cd.dedalus asked:
    . . . did you actually write that ?

    Of course, in ALL the States where gay marriage is against the law, it is also against the law for a straight man to marry another man… so, there is not inequality of rights… Neither gay nor straight man can marry same sex… Believe me, I checked: in those states where gay marriage is forbidden by law, the law applies to everybody. It would “unequal” if a straight man would marry another man who was gay but not a gay man marrying another gay man… Capisce?

  112. Milt,

    The point I was trying to make is that God should have condemned rape instead of gay love. He would have if he were the true God, and not just the invention of some ancient patriarchal society.I am sure the true God absolutely condemns rape and is glad when gay people find someone to love and share their lives with. The true God would have counted Lot among the unrightous because he offered his daughters to the crowd. Heterosexual males are the majority, so they invented the rules. That is why rape is a form of courtship and gay love is an abomination.

    Gay people form same sex pair bonds. Straight people form opposite sex pair bonds. Therefore, legitimizing only opposite sex pair bonds is unequal. Also, all gay people are individuals and do not all think alike. Gay people are HUMAN BEINGS so they have all the attributes, good and bad, as straight people. Except they seem to be extremely non-violent so I wouldn’t worry about being offed by the Gay Taliban.

    There is no “supreme divider” grouping people together politically. I agree our society is becoming more polarized but that is not the result of some pre-ordained plan. Society is divided along the lines of those who understand evolution and those who do not. Because of instant media, the anti-science group can no longer hide their wacky ideas. This is what is dividing society. The people that are able to understand basic scientific concepts are running as fast as they can away from the willful ignorance of those who do not.

  113. this is actually funny. when legalists resort to purely semantic arguments, you know that case is weak.
    is he REALLY arguing that a ban on ssm is ‘fair’ because it is equally illegal for straight man to marry another man? seriously? that’s the semantic argument?
    that’s like arguing that the interracial marriage laws we had were ‘equal’ and ‘fair’ because it ‘equally’ prohibited any other race from marrying white people, not just black.
    it’s a silly semantic argument. but then again, what did you expect, for their argument to make an ounce of rational sense?

  114. Milt:

    With that sort of “logic” re: “no inequality … since NO gay man may marry another gay man” … either you are a member of the clergy or should think about joining, since what you said makes no sense.

    I’m still waiting to hear from you re: whether BOTH the KJV and the NIV are “the Word of God” even though the NIV deletes a lot of verses that are present in the KJV. … or maybe you don’t think that any of this is important. It seems to me that you’d want to be really, really careful about what one would claim to be “the Word of God,’ but maybe it’s okay to pretend that there’s “no problem”. … frankly, I can’t get any Christian to face up to the issue: they just change the subject or have a hissy fit. But I’d like to hear from you.

  115. Bob:
    I actually heard that argument from an attorney who a talk show host (a very famous one…) and is a staunch defender of gay marriage, but, like me, thinks that gay people use the wrong kind of arguments (IF THEY NEEDED ANY).
    My view has reached this point, and I will drop this issue, I promise:

    Equal right is the wrong argument because there is no “unequal” rights;
    Evolution is also the wrong argument; I speak of Darwin evolution, simply because evolution may require reproduction and gay marriage is not reproductive;
    Societal evolution is the closer to a “right” argument, but I am not so sure that it is as we stand TODAY.

    I lived in Holland MI, 12 miles from the famous SAUGATUCK Michigan (there is no misspelling there…) – Because of my profession (I said in the first email that I live in the real world and am no a “full time paid minister), designing very expensive, I mean 40k home theater systems, I got in contact with the gay couples that live in Saugatuck MI. I befriended some of them. Plus I am natural of Brazil the gayest country in the world… (although I’ve been living in America for over 30 years as an American Citizen). I know a bit about gays! The HAPPIEST gays in the world, the ones who justify their name GAY, are those who live as couple, have made arrangements not to have problems when one dies or is incapable of making medical decisions, and live a quiet and fulfilled life, don’t bother anyone, do not attack the church, do not demand society to accept them, and simply believe that one day their numbers will be so large, they will be part of the scenery and no one will have a stigma anymore. They don’t flaunt their homosexuality, as much as hetero couples don’t do, fondling and french kissing in public, they are classy, then don’t act like clowns, they don’t “sweet bun” their walk, they know that they are men (when they’re men), and don’t act like women, don’t lisp their tongues, and I could go on and on.

    I think I can live with that kind of gay people and they don’t need my approval, the approval of the town vicar, the nutty pastor, or the corrupt politician. What they do after sundown is their business as much (and I have to repeat this) as hetero couples don’t announce to the world what kind of “thing” they do behind close doors.

    I used to help illegal aliens! Do you know who is a very successful illegal alien? The one who does not parade in the streets, do not booze us and drive causing accidents, the one who goes to school, learns English and are a part of the landscape. The immigration services used to tell ministers that they will NEVER bother people who adapted and lived under the law, and under the radar. One day these law-abiding citizens will be recognized! Same as gays! I think this is the same as it will happen with gays! So, societal evolution will perhaps occur, but not with the “noise” that gay people are trying to do politically today… My humble opinion ONLY!

    As to the frequent comparison of gay behavior with ethnicity, I have to strongly disagree because there is no comparison. One is born black, with black genes because his parents were black. Gays… there may be “theological” evidence that gays are born that way, but it is not fully scientifically proven yet, although many will say there is. To compare a gay person’s plight with the one of blacks (btw I am a white man of European descent, Portuguese), one must prove, in my ever so humble opinion, that he is that way because his father was, his mother was, the grandfather was and it is in his genes… Otherwise the comparison, in my so humble opinion that I say it “pianníssimo”, between ethnicity and being gay is incorrect.

    Now, I know I am a man of many words, and am aware that my last paragraph is the one that will call attention and make emotions stir up against me, but there it is. I respect everyone’s opinion, I will not be a Taliban, but I don’t have to submit to the opinion of others as much as they don’t have to submit to mine.


  116. My only comment on that chart up-top, Doc, is “Welcome to the world of Iron Age Semitic Tribal Warfare.”

  117. […] see acted out what I’ve been arguing here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here for years […]

  118. I was told by an Orthodox Rabbi that according to ancient writings – in the Mishnah, I believe – judges in the time of Noah were writing same-sex marriage certificates. The New Testament speaks about terrible times to come that will be “as in the days of Noah”. It’s interesting that at this time, same-sex marriages are being legalized. Perhaps we are now in a time “as in the days of Noah”.

  119. Milt:

    The argument that “genetic disposition to be gay isn’t proven yet” is … a religious contention, not one that is fact-based. Big difference.

    And your contention that to show that one IS so disposed genetically one must show that his/her ancestors were gay is … a bit odd. Genetic dispositions do skip generations (ditto for hair color, eye color, being left-handed, etc.), but religious folks dislike science so it’s not surprising that you wouldn’t know that since you seem to get a lot of your information from religious (i.e., fable-based) sources.

    Gay folks have the same rights as hetero folks, as the law will eventually get figured out. Too bad that you don’t like looking at them (apparently). Perhaps gay folks don’t like looking at YOU (or ME).

    ALSO: You were wise to ignore my question re: comparing the NIV and the KJV.

  120. Also, should not “celibacy” (not being married) be on the Chart as well? Per Paul, “it is good if you are not married…”

  121. First, I would like to address a couple things that I have found confusing in the above discussions:
    1) Susan Burns said:
    “Gay people will probably not be happy with your Uncle Tom approach to equal rights. They want total acceptance – not just toleration.”

    This would imply that homosexuals are not satisfied with obtaining equality under the law, but they are driving towards something more controlling, that they are driving towards forcing me to agree with their lifestyle choice. I am not going to say that this is or is not a goal that the gay movement as a whole maintains; however, this idea of wanting acceptance is as intolerant as me telling you that you have to believe that homosexuality is wrong.
    There is a line between tolerance and acceptance, and as soon as someone demands acceptance above tolerance, they themselves have passed into intolerance.
    2) cd.dedalus said:
    “Still, you furnish no support for the position that Jesus was in any way opposed to homosexuality. Just repeating that “the Bible” condemns it merely puts that position on a par with similar stands re: mixing fabrics, picking up sticks on the Sabbath, eating shellfish, killing your children for being disrespectful, etc.”

    To agree with you from earlier in the post that I cited, none of the spoken words of Jesus Christ have any direct support or condemnation towards homosexuality, such as… “And then Jesus said ‘woe to the homosexuals for they are sinners’ or ‘and let the love of any two individuals regardless of gender be glorified in marriage’”.
    However, to answer your question I could cite some Bible verses, as they have earlier in this thread, and I could attempt to explain OT vs NT and how Christians are not bound by the OT law but freed by grace (and I say attempt not on your ability to understand, but mine to explain), but then the response like before would be dismissed as Jeff’s was on December 14, 2011 by bobcargill, on December 14, as an argument about improper exegesis.
    Furthermore, the idea of quoting scripture, while good, is not received well by people who think it riddled with errors. It is not only not received well, but completely reject by those who don’t believe in a god, for this presupposition immediately renders the whole Bible ridiculous. Therefore, if you don’t believe in a god, you surely don’t believe in a devil, and if you don’t believe in a devil then to think that “this devil took the form of a snake and spoke to a man created out of dirt by a god” is logical.
    3) cd.dedalus said:
    ““The Bible” is … the Word of God ? H m m m . . . which version ? NIV ? KJV ? RSV ? other ? And that’s just the beginning of the problems.”

    There are pages upon pages written about differences in the translations of the Bible, along with the comments on who thinks which translation is better, and this often comes along with the authors explanation of why his particular translation is better than another. This puts too much emphasis on the rapture or this doesn’t explain the incarnation correctly, etc…. But the way that I understand it and how one of the churches that I have attended proclaim it is, “We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in every matter in the original writing, infallible and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16–17).” (barabbasroadchurch.com) To me this means that the final product in the original Greek/Hebrew (and I think Aramaic) was for all purposes exactly what God wanted it to be. So having said that, I believe the bibles translations into other languages are human in nature and have their faults, so to say that the NIV is the inspired infallible Word of God would be as much an error as saying the KJV is. However, this is a non-topic because the majority of people cannot agree upon the existence of God, so to argue about the infallibility of the Bible is just a distractor from the true conflict.
    4) cd.dedalus said:
    Serial adulterers and serial “marry-ers” are welcomed with open arms in fundamentalist Protestant denominations (e.g., Newt Gingrich). But the gays are all going to hell ?

    Yes, serial adulterers and serial “marry-ers” are and should be welcomed into the church. Homosexuals should also be welcomed into the church. And all sinners (liars, adulterers, thieves, murderers) deserve to go to hell. The question that Christianity deals with, is has that sinner repented and come to faith in Jesus Christ who bore the punishment of that sin when he died on the cross. The key word for our discussion here is “repented”, and if an individual lacks repentance and immovably continues in their sin then they should be cast out of the church.
    “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 12-13
    5) I realize that this well past the actual activity of the conversation, I apologize for not being timely.

  122. Correction:
    and if you don’t believe in a devil then to think that “this devil took the form of a snake and spoke to a man created out of dirt by a god” is a myth is logical.

  123. Acceptance comes from the heart so I doubt if Marx could
    ever be “controlled” into a change of heart. But perhaps the next
    generation of Marx, when they grow to adulthood, will not have the
    same bigoted attitude. We can legislate toleration in this
    generation and hopefully it will bring about acceptance in the

  124. I misspoke earlier, when I said:
    “this idea of wanting acceptance is as intolerant as me telling you that you have to believe that homosexuality is wrong.”

    I should have said, “this idea of demanding acceptance…”

    We all want others to believe what we believe (typically). I want others to come into knowledge and love of God and have faith in Jesus Christ his son, but it would be foolish of me to demand that, and I don’t, but it is something that I desire. On a similar note, I did not mean to imply that I am telling you that you have to believe homosexuality is wrong. We have free will and are permitted to believe what we choose.
    And to be clear, bigot/bigoted attitude are marked by intolerance and hate. And I do not think I have been hateful towards those I disagree with nor do I demand those outside the church to hold the beliefs that I have. Rather my goal, in reference to the topic on hand, is to uphold the ideals set forth in 1 Corinthians 12-13 and Ephesians 4:15-32, which I would summarize to: Acting in love, speak the truth; All should be welcomed into the church as they are, but they are not to remain that way; Forgive others when they fail; and Seek to build each other up in Christ.

  125. Correction to both prior posts: not “1 Corinthians 12-13”, but “1 Corinthians 5:12-13”. I apologize.

  126. . . . and whenever one feels “moved by the Holy Spirit,” one can choose to interpret this or that passage (1) literally or (2) metaphorically, (3) as a “standalone” or (4) in conjunction with nearby verses or with verses in some other book of the Bible (whichever canon thereof one likes), (5) as limited in its meaning to a specific historical context or (6) as timeless and universal, etc., etc., and the list of possible interpretation methods is very long indeed.

    = whatever makes one feel secure that one is “properly interpreting the Word of God” is OK. It’s a type of cherry-picking, a “pickandmix theology”. By claiming to know “the Will of God” and to be a member of “the Saved Club” one can mouth the words of humility (“I am a sinner, unworthy of anything”) while walking around feeling that one is specially privileged (“saved”): it’s just a way of feeling superior to others.

  127. I agree that the understanding of scripture is not an easy task. It not composed of just one form of writing, not just one author put ink to page, it doesn’t even have a consistent original language. This is why some people spend their whole lives studying and trying to come to the full understanding of the Bible. The Bible is a difficult composition to understand and that is why the process of hermeneutics is essential to come close to understanding that truth. However, to say that understanding the Bible is difficult does not mean it is impossible, and it also does not imply that there is not a correct way of understanding it. Furthermore, there are some theologies that are undisputable when it comes to discerning what the Bible teaches; while there are theologies that are not as clear. So my approach is give people leeway when it comes to the less definitive theologies and be more forceful when it comes to the clear theologies. When all is said and done, I believe that the minor theologies are there for us to better understand specific characteristics of God. The major theologies such as: there is a God, and He sent his One and only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for our sins so that we may have eternal life; those are the ones we as Christians, must hold paramount.

    So towards you comment of mouthing words of humility: yes I have mouthed words of humility at times in my life and will undoubtably continue to do so. I also believe that I have spoken truthful words of humility at times in my life. But this is not saying anything more than I am a person, and broadly: people are people, and people are bad. But to say that the entirety Christendom was generated to imbue a sense of superiority above others, I would say is false, especially since I believe there is a God. Furthermore, I am trying to argue for the tenants of Christianity because those are what I believe to be pure and true. I will concede the battle over the goodness of individuals every time because I don’t believe people are completely good. I also believe that we cannot know the actual feelings of others. We can conjecture based on the things we know, and one of the greatest sources of information that we have: ourselves. And that is why, I said, that people are bad, because I know there have been many times in my life when I have done terrible things to people that I regret doing, and specifically to the topic on hand, acted as a hypocrite by saying one thing but not meaning it and acting otherwise. All that being said; I do feel good about the promise of assurance that I believe to be my salvation which comes from Christ Jesus. And my feelings that come from believing in my salvation are exactly why I desire to do my best to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel; I want others to come to the same knowledge and assurance of Jesus Christ.

    And to be truthfully honest: I have family members and good friends who do not believe in God, and so that brings me terrible sadness because I love them very much. And however much I would like to believe that eternal salvation exists for everyone for the sake of my personal family, the Bible does not give me leeway in that. So to say that Christians in general, or me specifically, only believe and interpret the Bible in ways that make us feel good; I would say is not true.

  128. The above chart, while it looks convincing, is quite deceitful and a distortion of the truth: http://www.facebook.com/notes/set-apart-disciples/the-truth-about-biblical-marriage/1015272406628052

  129. Truth? What part of the above chart is not described in the Bible? What part is not true?

  130. We are waiting for “James” to tell us what is “deceitful and a distortion of the truth” re: that chart. It would be helpful if “James” would identify his denomination, but most religious online commenters refuse to supply that information for some reason (embarrassment? can’t spell the name of the denomination ?)

  131. Not really. Because When the new testament was created, a lot of the old testament became void. the new testament overwrites the old testament,

  132. Asher,

    Is that why Jesus said Matt 5:17 (“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them…”) and Matt 5:18 (“…until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”)

    I wouldn’t characterize that as “The Old Testament became void.”

    (And to those asking the slightly more learned question of, “Yeah, but he ALSO said ‘to fulfill them’ and ‘until everything is accomplished'”, I’d ask in return, I’d everything accomplished? Has the son of man returned?

  133. Asher,

    I think some lawyer wrote those passages: (1) they’re vague and ambiguous, (2) make reference to an not-well-defined mass whose meaning and even content was constantly being disputed (“the Law”), (3) are capable of various interpretations none of which is any “better” than any other, and (4) ultimately say nothing.

  134. WHERE in the New Testament does a list appear of Old Testament verses that are “overwritten” by the New Testament ?

    I hear this claim from time to time, but I can’t get anyone to answer this question, but apparently you DO have the answer.

    I await your response.

    This is important.

    Thanks !

  135. Reblogged this on Ammyanneammyanne's Blog and commented:
    C/O Robertcargill.com

  136. I thought that chart originated from some angry teenager’s bedroom, not a serious scholar’s office! It would be laughable if it weren’t so perniciously misleading.

  137. Iggy,

    Which of the forms of marriage below is not, in fact, “biblical”?

  138. Iggy: HOW is that chart “misleading” ?

    Do you have some scriptural basis for your charge, or . . . do you just have the charge ?

  139. The OP chart is inaccurate. For starters, where in Genesis two are any of the points present, save point number one? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Jesus clarified what God’s intent for marriage has always been since the beginning (Matt 19:4-8) — one man and one woman for life. Since the Old Law has been replaced with the Law of Christ, any regulations that existed prior to it are not in effect anymore.

  140. Larry,

    “Where in Genesis 2”??
    Is that the extent of the/your Bible? Genesis 2? Are you really isolating the entire Bible to ONE chapter??

    That’s as absurd as asking, “Where in 1 Samuel 15 does it say there’s anything wrong with genocide and infanticide?” God commanded the slaughter of an entire people, did he not?

    If you Isolating the Bible to a single chapter, you can make it appear to say all kinds of absurd things. What if we limited our definition of marriage to Genesis 38? Every childless widow would be having sex with her husband’s brother…BY LAW!

    Your argument is illustrative of the very ‘cherry picking’ I’m talking about: you want ONE VERSE to define something that has a VERY diverse definition in MANY different biblical verses.

    You just made my argument for me. Thanks!

  141. Bob, you wrote: “Is that the extent of the/your Bible? Genesis 2? Are you really isolating the entire Bible to ONE chapter??”

    First, I referenced Matt. 19. So obviously, no; I’m not just “isolating the entire Bible to ONE chapter”.

    Second, I’ll repeat the contention and question again. The chart says Genesis 2:24 specially forbids “interfaith marriages”, provides for the stoning of certain women, etc. Where in Genesis two are any of these points alluded to?

  142. Larry, I can’t tell if you are deliberately trying to misinterpret the graphic, or if you simply don’t understand it fully.

    The chart introduces the different forms of marriage described in the Bible, and offers a verse that cites an example of each.
    Beneath each example are rules/descriptions of each particular type of marital arrangement – many of which are drawn from elsewhere in the Bible.
    So no, while one verse in Genesis does not describe all that is entailed in a monogamous marriage, several other verses in the Bible do.

    Again, you seem to deliberately attempting to isolate and misrepresent some of the data, so that you can point to the data you actually DO want to highlight.
    And once again, your argument and methodology make my point for me: some people ignore or deliberately misrepresent data/scripture that does not fit with their preconceived interpretations.



  143. Bob,

    The chart is simple enough to understand. It says Genesis two somehow forbids “interfaith marriages” among other things. The chart specifies only one verse in the upper left section. I’m just going off what the chart says, and it obviously does not align with the Biblical text.

    I agree that other verses shed light on what marriage is supposed to be (Eph. 5:22-32; 1 Pet 3:1-7; 1 Cor. 7; Romans 7:2-3; etc.) Since God desires man to be saved and follow after Christ as an example and not after the Old law (1 Pet 2:21; Gal. 3:23-25; Gal. 6:2) those verses do not apply. Jesus clarified this when he contended with the Pharisees in Matt. 19. He made his appeal to the law that was given in the Garden of Eden…centuries before the Law of Moses.

    Nowhere in the Genesis two text is anything said about polygamist marriages, punishing a wife, etc. The reason these things were permitted under the law of Moses is because of the hardness of people’s hearts (Matt. 19:8). They were added because of the transgressions of man (Gal. 3:19). Yet it is abundantly clear in the Old law that a new covenant would take the place of Moses Law (Jer. 31:31-34).

    What you and others need to do is prove from the New Covenant how any of those Old Testament passages apply to marriage today. If not, it remains in the realm of human opinion (Matt. 15:9) Paul said not rightly dividing the word of truth causes one to risk falling from grace (2 Tim. 2:15; Gal. 5:4).

    BTW, even as one who holds a doctorate degree and a biblical studies scholar, it appears you are not doing too good a job with reasoning from the scriptures. Also, I wonder who is really isolating scripture to try and prove a point? Not me (Matt. 4:1-11)

    Looking forward to your response.


  144. Larry,

    Again, repeating the same flawed argument at greater length doesn’t make the argument any stronger.

    The graphic does NOT say that “Genesis two somehow forbids “interfaith marriages””. It says that the concept of monogamous marriage (one man + one woman) is first introduced in Genesis two. There there is a nice line. Below that line are different descriptions of rules that pertain to the monogamous marriage first mentioned in Genesis 2. If the graphic is too difficult for you to understand, perhaps the person who made the graphic should have cited book, chapter, and verse for each of the descriptors. Perhaps the artist could have listed EZRA 9-10 next to “interfaith marriages forbidden”. Or perhaps DEUTERONOMY 7:3. Or maybe 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14.

    Next to “marriages generally arranged” the author could have cited GENESIS 24, where Abraham’s trusted servant is sent to get a wife for Isaac.

    Next to “bride who could not prove her virginity was stoned to death”, the author could have cited DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21, where wives get executed if they cannot prove they are virgins.

    See how it works? I don’t know if it can be spelled out any more for you. You apparently don’t want to understand this, because you don’t want to believe these are all ‘biblical’.

    Not only are these all forms of ‘biblical’ marriage, but the rules surrounding monogamous marriage are often so foreign to modern monogamous marriages, that many ignore passages like EZRA 9-10 and DEUTERONOMY 7:3 and 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14 and GENESIS 24 and DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21 and COLOSSIANS 3:18 (“Wives, submit to your husbands”) and EPHESIANS 5:22-24 (“For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church…Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, subject to their husbands.”).

    Even the monogamous marriage described in the Bible is vastly different from modern monogamous marriage (unless your father arranged your marriage, your wife is subject to you in all things, and you could prove she was a virgin on your wedding day).

    I believe we’ve belabored this point beyond reasonable understanding. If you still don’t understand this graphic, it’s either because you can’t, or you won’t.


  145. Bob,

    As stated before, most of the laws governing these things were put there because man, through his sin, wanted them that way (Judg. 16:25). In fact, the children of Israel themselves thought these laws (and others) were too strict. This is why the Lord destroyed His people (Lev. 26:14ff; Deut. 28:15ff). It’s right there in the text what would happen if they did not follow the commands of God. So the children of Israel brought all this calamity on themselves, just as people in the world today bring strife and division to themselves by disobeying certain Biblical precepts.

    But all these regulations were not unreasonable; they were all geared at keeping the people holy before God (Deut. 7:6). For instance, in Deut.7:2-3, the command was not to marry people outside of the nation. But in the next few verses, God explains why. King Solomon disobeyed the precepts concerning these things and sinned by so doing (Neh. 13:24-26).

    Although you are technically correct by saying “the graphic does NOT say that ‘Genesis two somehow forbids ‘interfaith marriages'”, The chart clearly implies it. Based on this, the argument I presented is not flawed.

    This is not the only misrepresentation on the chart. For instance, Deut. 22:28-29 is cited as “proof” that a woman “must marry her rapist” First, The Greek text does not demand that it necessarily be rape. Second, the chart fails to mention Ex. 22:16-17. This is proof that the woman did not have to marry this man, if the father forbade it. The man still had to pay the price of dowry though.

    What all this means is that the chart provided in the OP is basically a lie. It misrepresents what marriage is supposed to be, contrary to the will of God. The chart is the instrument that is truly doing the “cherry picking” here, just like Satan did with Jesus in the wilderness in Matt. 4.
    So it’s not that I “don’t want to understand this, because” I “don’t want to believe these are all ‘biblical’”. I don’t believe it because the implications are untrue, and believing such will cause one to perish (2 Thess. 2:10-11).

    Thank you for you responses concerning these things.


  146. Larry,


    Your argument that “it’s not the way it was supposed to be” is moot. The fact is that Sinai happened AFTER the fall.

    According to the Bible, God witnessed the fall, and THEN gave the law. Are you arguing that the law is moot? If so, why cite legal bans on homosexuality?

    The law was the law. Regardless of his they got to that point, God established a law (according to the Bible). So if he established law, it’s either binding or it’s not. One cannot pick the anti-gay laws and say “these are the will of God”, and look at the Levirate marriage laws and the slavery laws and say, “Well, God didn’t really intend that, he just included it in the Law because [insert theological apologetic excuse here] and so God really didn’t want that”.

    And are you suggesting that the genocide against the Amalakites was the Amalakites fault? Are we blaming the victim again?

    Good grief.

    Pick and choose apologetics is what is driving the criminalization of same-sex marriage. You are grasping at straws and wasting the time of my readers. Your fundamentalist reasoning is on record here. We’ll let that be the last word.

  147. Bob,

    Your last response doesn’t address the primary issue at hand. The arguments I’ve presented are factual. Please point out specifically where any “straws” are being grasped at in the scriptures presented.

    The law is only “moot” if one chooses to disobey, but it doesn’t change the law itself. This is true concerning the laws of the government today.

    Once again, it is factual that the Old Law was superseded after Jesus death (Heb. 8:13). You (and the chart) are insinuating/claiming that the Old and New covenants are concurrently binding on Christians today, when the Bible expressly denies this. So by accusing faithful Christians (which are not that many) that they are “picking and choosing” which laws they want to obey is dishonest. By extension of your reasoning, one should not have to pay any federal income tax today, because the law didn’t require it before the ratification of the 16th amendment. “The law was the law”, after all.

    “Biblical marriage” according to the will of God is going to be defined by what the Bible says. If any of the arguments and scriptures I’ve presented are inaccurate concerning the chart, feel free to specifically point out what they are and go from there. Otherwise, this exchange is at an end.


  148. Skipping around the OT and the NT . . . and fabricating by taking a verse from here and taking a verse from there … what is then advanced as a “coherent” argument . . . is a familiar technique, but it’s intellectually dishonest. And it’s called cherry-picking.

    Just so you know.

  149. Why did you put so much time into this when you believe the Bible to be a big lie anyways? (You’ve clearly stated that you believe Genesis to be a myth). You can either believe all of it or none of it but you can’t be half way in between. I won’t go into specific verses as you are already aware the bible has many statements about all or none.

    It’s comparable to Jesus. He was either God incarnate or a crazy lunatic. Jesus was crucified because he truly believed he was God.

    I don’t blame people for thinking Christianity is crazy, but the story of creation and Adam and Eve is one of the foundations for Christianity and Christian marriage. Just because you believe this section to be a myth does not mean it is irrelevant to the christian concept of marriage.

    The story of Adam and Eve is God’s original human creation, his ideal scenario for humans to live and thrive. Through sin, we have perverted his creation which leads to several forms of terrible occurrences documented throughout history and included in the bible. The bible is filled with stories of sin, hate, lust, bigotry, murder, etc… but that doesn’t mean this was God’s original plan for humans. Sure, the concept of marriage has changed since sin entered the world and it will continue to change. But the real question is what was God’s original intent for humans? I believe this is displayed with the garden of Eden, God’s human utopia. Why else would he go into such great detail if not to define what his original intent for humans was? If you don’t believe Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden to be God’s ideal creation for humans, then the rest of the bible is just as much of a fictional fantasy. The Garden of Eden is what God intended for humans all along.

  150. Do you really believe that Adam and Eve really existed ?

    Do you really believe that Eve was created from Adam’s … RIB, while he slept ?

    Do you really believe that Adam died when he was 930 years old ?

    Do you really believe that the Bible (any of the many versions) is historically accurate ?

    Likely Dr. C has an interest in the Bible due to its great impact (there are many versions of “the inerrant unchanging” Word of God . . . even though the versions of the Word of God keep . . . CHANGING. LOL) on Western history, to today. That’s a guess, but I’d bet that’s at least one reason for his interest.

  151. It is an excellent point: unless you completely reject science and actually believe one of the creation myths in the Hebrew Bible, then how the myth defines marriage is moot.

  152. Were you there? Scientists have been proven wrong many times over the years especially in several original theories of evolution. Those have also “evolved” over time as scientists learn that the original theories on evolution they developed were 100% wrong. To call their theories 100% fact is just as hypocritical as me saying that I can prove God to you. I do not reject science and it has proven amazing and very powerful as the human race grows, but I will never stand 100% behind a man invented theory. You might turn and say the bible is a man invented philosophy, but I do believe the book is God breathed.

    Even if the story of creation is a “myth” I don’t understand why that makes it “moot”. The bible is one huge story book. Historically, the jews used stories to portray model lifestyles. Jesus himself used several stories and parables in his lifetime to display how a Christian ought to live their life. I don’t see how the story of creation is any different. Myth or not, it is still an accurate representation of what God intended for his original creation before sin entered the world. I believe the entire bible is a book of stories and your question states “what exactly is biblical marriage”. To that question, you are correct and your analysis is very good and you back up your stance very well. Marriage throughout the bible is flawed corrupt and terrible. I can’t argue with your description of what the bible displays through several varying stories. Sin is powerful and demons are real. I can’t prove that either :-)

    I think the question should really be, “what was the Jewish God’s original plan for marriage without sin?”… the answer to this question is clearly portrayed in the story of creation.

  153. . . . yes. and if one of my ribs were removed while I was sleeping, I am pretty goldurn sure I’d wake up. OUCH !

  154. The Book of Hebrews was written by . . . WHO ? No one knows. It was “accepted” into the informal “canon of the NT” at a time when folks believed that Paul was the author but . . . no one really believes that now. So the Book of Hebrews sits … without an author … or authenticity … or any claim to validity … and … and … ?

    in any event, the mere mention of “a new covenant” does not mean that “the old law” is deleted … otherwise, GOD would have said so. All it does is make reference to a “new covenant” making the “old” one … “old” . . . Lordy ! How vague can one get ? Or should I say, “vague and infinitely elastic” ? And so elastic that this little phrase is capable of “handling” any meaning that this or that preacher or cult is pleased to CLAIM it means. . . . PRICELESS.

  155. Contrary to the information on the chart, Deuteronomy 22,28-29 does not say that a woman must marry a man who rapes her. The plain meaning of the passage is that a man who “has premarital sex” with a single woman is obliged: (a) to marry her; (b) to pay her father 50 shekels; (c) never to divorce her. I don’t see anything about rape. There is no implication that the “premarital sex” between them was anything other than consensual and, if so, the safe presumption is that the woman is willing to be married to the man. I am open to correction, but I think my understanding is correct.

  156. What are you doing to end slavery today?

  157. Edward,

    I made this exact argument on August 5th, 2012, yet the chart remains unchanged. The corresponding mutilated cartoon remains posted. It is a gross misrepresentation of the text as I see it…

  158. HHEY, ALL,




















    : )

  159. Well, there’s that. And the ALLCAPS make it all the more compelling…

  160. Mr. Cargill, you’ve done well to highlight all the different variations of marriage that occur in the biblical text – that is, variations from the original ordained institution.

    But don’t get distracted by all the collateral damage that has occurred as a result of living in a fallen world. Try and go back to those first principles, elucidated by none other than the one called “my beloved son”. Mat 19:4-6 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

    We might also note that Jesus never had an issue with polygamy (or any of the other misunderstood “deviations” of marriage). Concerning your comments about rape, the Bible is actually silent about rape as we know it today. That passage about “rape” is sorely misinterpreted. The Bible doesn’t talk about the modern concept of rape any more than it talks about pedophilia.

    In any case, despite what people may make of such “deviations” in the text, any lack of understanding is no justification for challenging the overwhelming paradigm of “male and female” (even upheld by Jesus) and throwing out the baby with the bath water.

  161. Do you religious types realize that every time you mention rape your credibility goes out the window? Is the Bible silent on “rape as we know it today” because God doesn’t have a problem with rape? I am sure that “rape as we know it today” did occur in the 1st Century and was traumatizing for the female. Apparently “rape as we know it today” is OK with Jesus and God. I think we need a deity that condemns rape, slavery and pedophilia. We need a god that does not give a rat’s ass about blood purity but demands equality for all (including gays, transsexuals and hermaphrodites.)

    BTW, if God was unaware of “rape as we know it today” then he really isn’t God.

  162. Avoiding facing up to problems in “the Bible” by pretending the “real” problem is some sort of “problem with translation or interpretation” (your: the Bible is silent on “rape as we know it today”) is evasive and obviously so.

    It’s techniques like THAT one that make religious people just look silly and intellectually dishonest.

  163. Why is it “evasive”? Incorrect interpretations of the Bible obviously exist; this was mentioned by Peter and Paul in the scriptures (2 Pet. 3:16; 2 Tim 2:15). It is possible to wrest the scriptures; it is possible to wrongly divide the Word of Truth.

  164. Ms. Burns, the deity of the Bible implicitly condemns both crimes of rape and pedophilia. While there is no direct reference to a crime of aggravated rape (I know of none) or otherwise, we can infer from God’s attitude towards adulterers that rapists and the like would have felt the full force, not only of God’s wrath, but also the wrath of the ancients. If adulterers were to be stoned as prescribed by covenant law, how much more so for those who engaged in sexual acts by force. (Later on though, even the death penalty for adultery fell into disuse.) But there is no doubt that the biblical deity is opposed to rape as much (or more so) as he is to incest, of which the Bible does explicitly speak.

  165. Robert Kan:

    I guess some folks can “infer” all they want . . . until they reach a conclusion that they LIKE . . . and then they can pretend that it is what GOD “likes”.

    = the definition of “personalized religion” . Yowzuh !

  166. OK, my oversight, there is an obvious problem when there existed legal code to deal with the violent rape of a virgin betrothed (Deut 22:25-27), but no legal code to deal with rapists more generally. So apparently the ancients had license to find a virgin (not betrothed), rape her, and by doing so make her his “property” for life.

    Fooled you.

    Deut 22:28-29 If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and THEY ARE DISCOVERED, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days. (Capitals are my emphasis)

  167. “what we’re seeing in regard to same-sex marriage is that society’s opinion is changing, and the only reason to continue to restrict same-sex marriage is a desperate longing for ‘traditional’ marriage, which is how one avoids saying ‘biblical’ marriage so as to avoid separation of church and state conflicts. and the point of the article is that if we actually look at ‘biblical’ marriages, we find that the concept of one man+one woman is a myth – that’s only the way it was for some in the bible. don’t believe me? wait and see if conservatives put an anti-same-sex marriage proposal on the california ballot again. my guess is they won’t, because they know that the public is now educated enough on the issue that they won’t pass it again. watch. if it goes on the ballot it will fail, and then those who oppose same-sex marriage will no longer have the ‘will of the people’ argument. they’ll more likely simply leave things as is, and criticize ‘liberal judges’ who ‘legislate from the bench’ rather than actually try to change the law by calling for another vote. they know they won’t win, so they’ll be content to beat the drum of the issue.”

    Robert Cargill, October 2011 – way ahead of the curve.

  168. I forgot I had said that.

  169. I can’t wait till the day we start to see polygamous same-sex unions – with kids included, of course! How’s that for postmodern intellectual enlightenment?

  170. Robert, You really can’t wait for that day, or are you just being a dick?
    Besides, it’s not the ‘postmodern intellectual enlightenment’ types who seem to love polyamory, rather, it’s the ones who are opposing same-sex marriage: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/billy.grahams.grandson.tullian.tchividjian.resigns.as.pastor.after.admitting.affair/56838.htm

  171. Mr. Cargill – don’t get me wrong. I’m all for same-same marriage too, but on the proviso that it’s taken to its logical conclusion.

  172. Personally, I’m ok with plural marriage, straight or gay; but I’ve the quaint notion of *consenting adults*. For the record, I’ve a straight, monagamous marriage, and I’m content to take care of my own and let others take care of theirs.

  173. Mr. Cargill, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for same-sex marriage too, but on the proviso that it’s taken to its logical conclusion.

  174. Mr. Cargill, you asked me a question to which I answered honestly but you refuse to post my reply. So you reserve the right to try to make me look stupid (like you permitted Susan and Aristarchus to do the same). To deny my comment reflects more of you than it does of me.

    Here’s my comment again on the off chance you have a change of heart:

    Don’t get wrong. I’m all for same-sex marriage, but on the proviso that it is taken to its logical conclusion.

  175. I don’t check comments every day. Today I did.

  176. Kan is right, the logical conclusion, regardless of whether one is a SSM advocate or not, is SSM polyamory or polygamy, mainly because no one gets pregnant…but the monetary will of 3 or more to buy into a different sex to provide children is powerful. Which also shows how elitist this whole movement really is, a wealthy white race issue of spoiled people that completely undermines the whole meaning of marriage if there is really any meaning left at all. Talk about total destruction.

  177. Nah. At the end of the day, governments want marriage and married couples for political stability and economic prosperity. Governments want tax revenue and don’t want rebellions, and when you’re married, you tend to listen and care about your partner (and for some, your kids), and you tend to be more stable, hold a job, own things, and pay taxes. If you have a family–however that is defined–you tend not to lead the rebellions, because your worries and your focus tend to be on your family and not on the rebellion. Paul says something similar in 1 Cor. 7:32-34a. The military and CIA recruit single folks for this reason for certain jobs, businesses hire certain single folks for travel jobs for this reason. Etc. At the end of the day, it’s the economics.

    If there was ever a tax benefit to polygamy, it would ultimately be allowed. But the opposite is likely true, so we’ll likely not see it legalized. (Maybe, but probably not). But SSM provides stability and insures revenue income via marriage tax benefits, the state is all for it.

    So, yes, there are not only social differences between polygamy and SSM, but there are monetary ones as well.

  178. Odd, same sex marriage doesn’t affect my marriage, or it’s meaning…what am I doing wrong ?

  179. Correct. The only way same-sex marriage affects you is if you’re gay.

  180. Mr. Cargill, I concur with your economic observations. Always give the masses what they want. Ironically, this also applies to divorce, the annulment of marriage, which, if I’m not wrong, has the one of the biggest negative impacts on the welfare system of any government. If only governments could do better to promoting stable families and eradicating domestic violence.

    If there is any economic benefit to same-sex marriage, it might be to remove neglected/abused children from dysfunctional “traditional” families and place them into any type of marriage environment so long as it is stable.

  181. Obviously, we’re both doomed to hellfire; tell you what, I’ll share a bottle if you’ll bring the mixer ? Perhaps we can find a QUEER to bring ice !

    On a more serious note, if you’ll permit a short story, a defining moment leading to my current thinking about this topic occurred circa 1970. One night ( I worked a swing shift) I made a disparaging remark about gays to an older co-worker–a man in his late 20s. He smiled kindly at me and said he was an orphan with no known family. He had taken seriously ill when he was a teen. A gay couple he hardly knew took him in and nursed him back to health, asking no recompense. At the time I was nonplussed how to reply.

    Telescoping some decades ahead when the subject of hospital visitation rights became a matter of public comment, it occurred to me isn’t this what we want people to do, to take care of each other ?

    Net is I’ll claim gay marriage is a family value, and Cromwell’s Curse if you don’t like it, so there !

  182. You are right on the government making this decision as it will help fill tax coffers. For the shorter term, yes. Of the long term it is a huge and deadly mistake. SSM is not cell deep, merely heart deep. SSM heart deep friendship and relationships do not generate new taxpayers. Only cell deep relationships do, one man and one woman.

    Regardless of how fragile and imperfect M/F relationships are, divorce and otherwise, they are still ontologically and emphatically cell deep. Only cell deep relationships and marriage help and make a nation last the long term, Bob.

    If you don’t believe this, look at what’s happening in Russia and the Ukraine, which will never allow these practices, not at 1.2 replacement. Those nations are in process of extinction. And they know it.

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