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View Diary: Can Marriage Be Saved From Southern Christians? (284 comments)

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  •  the arguments it forbids only anal [rape] (1+ / 0-)
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    The primary dissenting opinions that I've heard of argue that that the passage in Leviticus only forbids anal penetration (obviously for hygiene reasons) and that other forms of homosexual sex were OK ... or even more restrictively, that it only forbids anal rape as a display of dominance.  The logic behind the second is that in those days, there was no such thing as "marital rape": a man could have sex with his wife whether she wanted it or not.  The implication was that, not unlike Greek ideals of homosexual love, sex between men had to be consensual: a man should not force himself upon another man as he legally could with a woman.

    This still ignores the requirement to execute both of the men involved, rather than only the top as punishment for rape or for fear of transmitting disease.

    •  It's a stretch. (2+ / 0-)
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      naus, skohayes

      Especially in light of the Romans 1 passage in the New Testament.

      I think Cathleen Falsanii did a great job covering this issue in a recent blog post.  Check it out.  She graduated from a conservative Evangelical school in the Chicago area and later became the religion writer for the Chicago Sun Times.  Very smart cookie.

      Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen.

      by Benintn on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 02:56:37 PM PST

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      •  male prostitution interpretation has some merit (2+ / 0-)
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        emsprater, Benintn

        Early in Caligula's reign, before he went insane, Suetonius wrote favorably of Caligula banishing from Rome a class of people called spintriae, whom Suetonius refers to as "perverts" or "deviants", and whom Caligula actually wanted to have killed.  The word is usually left untranslated, and there is no consensus as to what it means, but one possibility is that it refers to male prostitutes, specifically those who bottomed for other men.  

        While the ancient Greeks believed that men were attracted to beauty first and foremost, and ancient Roman society generally allowed men to do as they pleased with their slaves (including male ones), effeminacy was no more popular back then than it is today.  The idea of a free man adopting a submissive (i.e. feminine role) in sex with another man would have been beyond the pale even for decadent ancient Rome.

        •  Then again, why execute both men? (0+ / 0-)

          Biblical Israel obviously saw something wrong with both parts of whatever was going on.

        •  And of course, Paul as a Jew would have (0+ / 0-)

          all kinds of culturally-constrained hang-ups over sexuality, and all kinds of concerns about the immorality in the Greek-Roman culture around him.  So, while he was "preaching Christ to the gentiles" and didn't require the obedience to food laws or the bloody self-mutilating practice of circumcision, Paul felt that it was important to maintain some relatively conservative sexual ethics.

          What's missed in all this is I Corinthians 7, where, in addition to saying that one spouse's body belongs to the other (basically...), Paul says that he thinks "all men should be as I am" and remain unmarried.  He sees Christ's return as immanent and therefore believes that getting married is a constraint to the pure pursuit of God's coming Kingdom.

          Paul's eschatological belief led him to take a position which, in retrospect, undermines the very notion of marriage as a sacrament, and which seems to challenge the Catholic teaching about marriage and its value.  Catholics have historically split the difference by saying that vocations can be either directed toward matrimony or directed toward monastic practice.

          There's a big long history of "sex is yucky" teaching in the church's history which contemporary Christians are trying very hard to forget and/or unlearn.

          Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen.

          by Benintn on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 03:17:10 PM PST

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          •  which leads into why Cathars rejected marriage (0+ / 0-)

            children, and householding as 'worldly' and therefore evil.  The Gnostics too rejected marriage and procreation as trapping souls in the prison of matter.  Both were persecuted into extinction by the Catholic church.  Hinduism strikes a balance of sorts: arguing that they were all parts of the life cycle to which young people would be drawn and should be supported, but that empty nesters if you will should withdraw from the world and seek God.

    •  That's one interpretation (1+ / 0-)
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      like much of the contentious passages of the Bible there are multiple experts opining on the author's intent, and the accuracy of subsequent translations made over the centuries.

      My deepest gratitude to all the Kossacks that supported my fundraiser for marriage equality in Delaware.

      by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 02:59:40 PM PST

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      •  Which turns into this: (1+ / 0-)
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        "I'm full of the Holy Spirit!"

        "No, I'm full of the Holy Spirit!  You're apostate!"

        "No, I am convinced of my faith through the conviction of the Holy Spirit!  Your conscience is seared and you're beyond hope!"

        And then it turns into a big ol' pissing contest, which is why, in the end, so many conservative Christian couples get divorced and so many church splits happen...

        Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen.

        by Benintn on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 03:03:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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