For the life of me I don’t know why this argument keeps coming up. I thought most (intelligent) people had this discussion years ago. But it seems that a certain holy roller in Kentucky has brought it back to the top of the dung heap – at least on Facebook.
Kim Davis, Rowan county Kentucky Clerk of Court, has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay and straight applicants since the Obergefell v. Hodges because her religious beliefs prohibit her from recognizing gay marriages. She has been in contempt of state, federal, and even Supreme Court court orders to perform the legal duties of her government office, and on Thursday Sept. 3, 2015 she is scheduled for a court appearance on contempt of court charges.
Somehow this has opened the Big Ass Can Of Worms among the Facebook debaters about who gets to define marriage, and, as I did in an earlier blog in response to a Facebook post, this blog is written directly for another Facebook debater, Brody Herring.
My short answer, Brody, was not accurate.
I have a funny feeling you don’t care about how marriage morphed over time from a financial and property transfer transaction to an expression of love between two adults. My bet is that you want to use the tired canards that the God of the Bible ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman, and we are a Christian nation created under and guided by the Biblical God’s word and with his blessing, and traditional marriage is the cornerstone of a civilized society; therefore, the homosexuals and liberals have no business redefining marriage. Amirite?
So let me try to answer your leading questions before you spring your “gotcha”.
According to the Biblical rules of marriage, if your married brother died you are required to marry his widow as long as they didn’t have a son.
According to the Biblical rules of marriage, if your wife couldn’t prove she was a virgin when you married her, she would be stoned to death.
According to the Biblical rules of marriage, you could not marry someone of another religious belief.
According to the Biblical rules of marriage, you could have a few wives (up to 700) as well as concubines.
Over the centuries, those Biblical rules of marriage set forth by the God of the Bible and his spokesmen changed. In fact, most of them were abandoned completely.
For almost 200 years in the US, traditional marriage was between one man and one woman of the same race. In fact, in the mid 19th century, marriage was restricted to one white man and one white woman. Slaves were not allowed to legally marry – although some slave owners did allow ceremonial marriages thinking that the marriage would lessen the likelihood of a slave running away. Then, in 1967, the US Supreme Court decided 9-0 in Loving vs. Virginia that the Virginia law making interracial marriage illegal was a violation of the US Constitution thereby nullifying the miscegenation laws of 16 US states.
In modern Western culture marriage is indeed a religious act for those who attach religious significance to the act. For some marriage is a ceremonial expression of a commitment of two (and even more) people. For others it is purely a civil arrangement that affords certain legal and financial privileges and advantages. As for who created it and what the “rules of marriage” are, that is matter of history – social, cultural, religious, and political. If you are truly interested in the history of marriage, I suggest you download this book to your Kindle – Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.
In 21st century America, marriage is the legal recognition of the combining of the property of two legally consenting individuals. Anything beyond that is whatever those individuals attach to it – whether it is a 500 person high Catholic mass with a sit down catered reception, to standing in front of an Elvis impersonator badly singing Love Me Tender. The rules of marriage, of weddings, are not applicable to all people at all times. Just like the things we hold most dear in this country, we are free to define our marriages according the dictates of our conscience, our faith, and our custom. If you can legally sign a contract, you can get married however you and the person you love want.0