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View Diary: Huckabee: Gay Marriage Would End Civilization (491 comments)

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  •  Who said heterosexual marriage was ever (11+ / 0-)

    sacrosanct in earlier civilizations?

    I think codified heterosexual marriages were one of the CHANGES that occurred in various civilization over time to protect property interest via inheritance and dowries. It didn't spring from some sort of religious or ethical concerns but was based in good old wealth.

    I bet that there were civilizations were homosexual unions were recognized and accepted.

    I think, therefore, I snark. Anon.

    by byteb on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 11:50:51 AM PST

    •  I don't have cites, but one of my gay friends who (8+ / 0-)

      ...converted to Catholicism (!!!!) and I had a discussion about this very aspect one evening over coffee, and he was telling me that he had studied the history of Catholicism extensively. He puts me to shame, because not only is he an observant and churchgoing Catholic (I'm a recovering Catholic "reborn" as an atheist), but he also knows damn much more about the religion than I ever learned, and that's with 9 years of parochial school and 3 years of Latin. :p

      He read somewhere that even Catholic priests in the Dark and Middle Ages were allowed to get married and have kids, and even have gay partners; but then the peeps in the Vatican saw that they were losing money on the spousal/partner/children support and put a stop to that noise. It was all about the money, never about the "sanctity," according to my converted Catholic friend in Seattle.

      •  Back in the day, marriage was business. Period. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bramish, boofdah
        Women were a commodity traded for a goat or some chickens or a piece of land or to cement an alliance. In return, the man received a (hopefully) good breeder who could provide offspring to help gather wood, hunt, farm, protect the group from predators..survival was hard then. Also female babies were not completely useless because they could be bartered in a marriage pact.

        Religions dressed up the business part of marriage...and the past century or so, marriage has been portrayed as hearts and flowers and the hope of society. But society has changed and we don't need hunters or wood gatherers and female children to barter for land.

        If gay marriage is recognized, it's because the survival mechanism of marriage has changed. Children are not required nowadays. The sky will not fall if gay people live and love and marry each other.

        I think, therefore, I snark. Anon.

        by byteb on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 12:31:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't feel bad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bramish, boofdah

        Converts always know more than those of us who were baptized into it with little or no choice.

        My parents had me baptized at eight days old, I was confirmed at 13, and wized up and left the faith when I was 16.

        They didn't TELL us about those historical things when I was growing up. They didn't even encourage us to read (or own) the Bible. Everything was interpreted through our priests.

        But your friend is correct for the most part. It wasn't just the "support" of survivors -- it was their right to inherit church lands. When the church realized how much property they were losing through rights of inheritance, they put a stop to the practice of married clergy.

        •  Inheritance is a factor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boofdah

          but it applies more to the monks, since monasteries own their property (a monk from a wealthy family would often bring a donation of land with him when he joined, plus monasteries were the frequent recipients of bequests). Priests used Church property which was owned by the Church as a whole, and so much harder to pass on to a descendant. So monks always had to be celibate.

          As I mentioned in my other comment, it was when the monks started to take over (Pope Urban II was an abbot) that you really begin to see priestly celibacy.

          The plural of paradox is paradise.

          by DanK Is Back on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 12:40:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's not so much that they were "allowed" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zeke L, bramish, boofdah

        as the authorities decided not to notice. John Boswell has an excellent book (Same-Sex Marriage in Pre-Modern Europe) which describes, among other things, Church rituals for the ceremony. (It is not clear whether these unions were expected to be physically consummated.)

        The issue of clerical celibacy (straight version) is complex, and not really enforced until monks, who do have to be celibate, started gaining more influence in the Catholic Church (in the XI century, more or less). To this day, priests in the Orthodox confession can be married when they join the priesthood, but IIRC they cannot advance higher in the hierarchy, and they cannot marry after they become priests.

        I recall reading a plaintive sermon by a Spanish priest in the XVI century, pleading with the mistresses of the clergy not to dress so provocatively when they came to church. That, it seems, was the most he could hope to get.

        The plural of paradox is paradise.

        by DanK Is Back on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 12:36:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good info. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boofdah

        I was not familiar with that information, but coming from a Gay American Catholic Scholar, I feel comfortable that it must be true.

        Similarly, I have discussed the Rethugs claims that being a Gay American is a choice and have been informed by Gay American Scientists and otherwise that it is definitely not a choice. Of course the Rethugs hate science, so they refuse to listen to such evidence.

    •  And Keeping A Mistress On the Side, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, drbloodaxe, LynneK

      or more than one, was also SOP.  

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