Religious fanatics would have us believe that marriage is an perpetual institution. It involves a man taking a women who then becomes property and bears his children, who are also property(the ten commandments of Christianity tells us, for instance, that a wife is equivalent to an ox, and that children must obey their father). This bond is a sacrament and exist for as long as they both shall live. For those that believe the earth is 7,000 years old, this is not too much of a stretch.
For the rest of us, archaeological and anthropological evidence provides a much more complex situation. It is suggested that in early nomadic society pairings did occur, but women were much more independent. That, because care for more than one infant was difficult for the woman and provided undue burden on the tribe, women would have the responsibility of doing what they could to only have one infant at a time, perhaps even killing a unwanted baby to save the family unit.
The Hebrew scriptures tell us that as some point women became property and could be murdered in cold blood if they did not do what their husbands wanted. This was a change that occurred in the past several thousands years, creating a situation where religious powers who change the rules to serve their current goals, even if those goals mean that the family was no longer a viable unit.
Much of the debate of the past 40 years in the United States has been who can have sex with whom, and what women are allowed to do not only with their bodies but with their lives. This, plain and simple, is a power game played by the religious terrorists to control the lives of Americans. If the women has to have kids, the men have to work to pay for the kids and the women, we can only marry who we are told to marry, then what freedoms to we have to live, what flexibility to we have to keep the family together, or to form units that are cohesive over the long term? We don't and the family suffers so that religious terrorists can prosper.
About two weeks ago was Loving Day. This was the day back in 1967 when SCOTUS proclaimed that the religious oppressors could no longer tell us that we had to marry within our race. This law meant that Mildred and Richard Loving could not raise their family in peace. The police came into their house arrested them and scared the children all in name of religious hate. Religion almost destroyed a family so that religious terrorists could tell us with whom we could or could not have sex.
This is a recurring theme in the crusades against the good and honest people of Americans. The fight is not about family, it is about sex. The crusades do nothing to help the family. They force women to have children not because they care about the family, but because religious crusades always needs children to die in the war to oppress the individual. They force men to work and given them the women in exchange to create a situation where the men do not feel oppressed. Furthermore, how can women defend themselves if she owned by another?
As an example of this focus on sex, not family, and let me stress I am not picking on the Lutherans, let look at these minutes United Lutheran Church in America. In 1930, marriage was a sacrament, a person who was divorced for reason other than adultery was only to begrudgingly let into the church, and only the innocent party can remarry. Nothing about children. Nothing about a husband beating or refusing to feed the kids. Just that divorce should be avoided, and the innocent party can remarry.
What do we take from this. That the church wants to control who we have sex with. For The Church, they also want to make sure that if we have sex it is for kids, presumably, as mentioned, so the crusades can be stocked, but this is Martin Luther, not a pope. Luther is cool is sex for pleasure. So long as the church approves of your partner.
By 1936, there was a realization that marriage was a process, so marriage counseling was recommended. Also, a pastor only had to be convinced that a person wishing a second spouse was the innocent party, no longer that it was granted on scriptural grounds. The decay of the family is now evident. A person can cheat, blame it on an ugly spouse, and marry the fornicator.
We see an evolution of these concepts, no on the basis of the family, but on the basis of controlling who we have sex with, on the assumption that unmarried people do not have sex. In 1940 they recognize the importance of the family, not only a sexual partner, in that families should worship individually, something I think is very important, but does not require an oppressive religious organization.
In 1956 some interesting verbiage appears in the minutes. First it is clear that marriage is simply a way to control sexual partners.
God has established the sexual relation for the purpose of bringing husband and wife into full unity so that they may enrich and be a blessing to each other. Such oneness, depending upon lifelong fidelity between the marriage partners and loving service one of the other, is the essential characteristic of marriage. marriage should be consummated in love with the intention of maintaining a permanent and responsible relation. Continence outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage are binding on all.Then they talk about procreation, which is reccomended but not required
Procreation is a gift inherent in the sex relation. In children the one flesh idea finds embodiment. Children bring great joy to marriage and reveal how God permits men to share in his continuing creation. Married couples should seek to fulfill their responsibilities in marriage by conceiving and nurturing their children in the light of Christian faith.This is interesting because in terms of marriage many will say that man and women is superior to a man and a man or a women and women because the former can procreate, but really no protestant religion would say a couple was not blessed under god simply because the did not create children. In reality, there is some basis in the bible to say that a couple without kids might as well not be married, but that has not be the thinking for a while.
What I find the real gen is this passage
While it is the Christian teaching that marriage is a life-long indissoluble union and that divorce and remarriage do violate God s order, nevertheless, God in his love does accept the sinner and deals with him according to his need. The church has recognized that marriage may be a remedy for sin and has seen in such Bible passages as Matthew 5:32, 19:9, and I Corinthians 7:15 the possibility of remarriage, but it also knows that the final basis of decision is loving concern for man in his actual situation.
So for divorce the almighty is loving and does accept a sinner, but for homosexual relations the almighty does not? Why, because of procreation? That is not an issue. Because of living in sin? Homosexual behavior is no more a sin than breaking a promise made in front of the church simply because your spouse is no longer cute enough.
No, the only thing too many religions are concerned with is bigotry and controlling who has sex with whom. As George Takei recently wrote is was not so long ago when it was illegal for a Asian to be married to a white person. No he is gay Asian married to white man. How far we have come by bravely standing up to the religious terrorists who want to dictate what adults do one random days, when adults are expected to be home, and who adults choose to fornicate, if we do.
Secular society is doing fine protecting the family. Kids are being well cared for by single parents, same sex parents, parents of different races, even parents who are young and accidental. It matters not who has sex with whom, simply that we build structures to support whatever family comes our way. It is wasteful to say this family is good and that family is not. What children need are absolute love and absolute support. What parent need is the recognition that they are, to coin a phrase, doing the almighty work, the best they can. What they don't need is someone asking the court to break up families because they do not look the way religious terrorists think they should.
The only truth is that love is love, no matter who, no matter where. And a child know when it is there. Clergy that marry heterosexual couple, especially those that are divorced, but not homosexual couples, really need to ask themselves why they are concerned about who is having sex rather than who is raising the kids.