Saturday, May 19, 2012

We Can Quote The Bible Too

Every so often, someone has the nerve to quote the Bible during an argument over a political issue. Cue state Representative Andy Gipson:
In a May 10 Facebook post, Gipson called homosexuality a "sin," citing Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26-28:
Leviticus 20:13 reads: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
Shall we indulge him? Shall we see what else the Bible says about marriage?

(Deuteronomy 22:13-21) A marriage shall be considered valid only if the
wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed.

The picture above is one of my all time favorite quotes. It captures, somewhat perfectly, how sexist and vile the Bible actually is when it comes to marriage. But let's not stop there.
(Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. 
Get that? Having trouble getting a woman to fall in love with you? Simply rape one (so long as you can afford it).
(Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)
If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife. 
 And there's this:
Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)

But that’s not all. In biblical society, when you conquered another city, tribe, or nation, the victorious men would “win” their defeated foes’ wives as part of the spoils. It also commanded levirate marriage, the system wherein, if a man died, his younger brother would have to marry his widow and produce heirs with her who would be considered the older brother’s descendants. Now that’s traditional marriage!

Later Islamic and Jewish sources, unclear on these parameters (the prophet Muhammad, of course, had several wives), debated whether it is permissible for a man to marry a three- or four-year-old girl. St. Paul, meanwhile, said that marriage was a compromise between the ideal of celibacy and the unfortunate fact that people like to have sex. Fortunately, we pluralists can appreciate both those religious traditions which advise men to marry little girls and those which tell them not to marry anyone at all.

We should laugh hysterically at anyone quoting the Bible as an argument for preserving "traditional marriage." We should also be furious with them for promoting rape and polygamy.

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