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Title: The Myth About Marriage
Source: New York Review of Books
URL Source: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblo ... s%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
Published: May 13, 2012
Author: Garry Wills
Post Date: 2012-05-13 10:23:43 by lucysmom
Keywords: None
Views: 41907
Comments: 126

Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage? Certain religious groups want to deny gays the sacredeness of what they take to be a sacrament. But marriage is no sacrament.

Some of my fellow Catholics even think that “true marriage” was instituted by Christ. It wasn’t. Marriage is prescribed in Eden by YHWH (Yahweh) at Genesis 2.24: man and wife shall “become one flesh.” When Jesus is asked about marriage, he simply quotes that passage from Genesis (Mark 10.8). He nowhere claims to be laying a new foundation for a “Christian marriage” to replace the Yahwist institution.

Some try to make the wedding at Cana (John 1.1-11) somehow sacramental because Jesus worked his first miracle there. But that was clearly a Jewish wedding, like any other Jesus might have attended, and the miracle, by its superabundance of wine, is meant to show the disciples that the Messianic time has come. The great Johannine scholar Father Raymond Brown emphasizes this, and concludes of the passage: “Neither the external nor the internal evidence for a symbolic reference to matrimony is strong. The wedding is only the backdrop and occasion for the story, and the joining of the man and woman does not have any direct role in the narrative.”

The early church had no specific rite for marriage. This was left up to the secular authorities of the Roman Empire, since marriage is a legal concern for the legitimacy of heirs.


Those who do not want to let gay partners have the sacredness of sacramental marriage are relying on a Scholastic fiction of the thirteenth century to play with people’s lives, as the church has done ever since the time of Aquinas. The myth of the sacrament should not let people deprive gays of the right to natural marriage, whether blessed by Yahweh or not. They surely do not need—since no one does—the blessing of Saint Thomas.

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Begin Trace Mode for Comment # 40.

#24. To: lucysmom (#0)

Genesis 2:19 -24 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animalsr and all the birds in the sky.s He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man calledt each living creature,u that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adamf no suitable helperv was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep;w and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribsg and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the ribh x he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;y

she shall be calledz ‘woman,’

for she was taken out of man.a”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is unitedb to his wife, and they become one flesh.c

This confusion about marriage stems from the false idea that marriages are made on earth. If marriage exists as simply an earthly custom, then marriage will change as customs change.

Are marriages made in heaven? Yes! God in heaven made marriage. He declared, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” … Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man (Genesis 2:18, 22). God established marriage with the first man and first woman whom he created. Jesus confirmed this understanding of marriage. He taught, “What God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6).

God created marriage as his blessing for all people. Genesis 2:24, tells us God’s plan to continue marriage following Adam and Eve. For all time, God designed marriage for one man and one woman to be united together in a life-long relationship.

The proper understanding of marriage helps us have the proper understanding of God’s love. God established the eternal union between his Son Jesus and Jesus’ Bride, the Church who are all believers. Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. He died for the sins of his Bride. He cleansed the guilt of his Bride with the power of baptism. He lives and rules in heaven now, waiting to bring his Bride into the glory of the life to come.

God made marriage in heaven for people on earth. When the earth no longer exists and earthly marriage has passed away, God’s faithful people will enjoy a wedding feast with Jesus that lasts forever.

Had God thought another man would suffice for Adam he'd only have made another man. But then they wouldn't have been able to go forth and multiply either. They'd have died out or as we saw at Sodom and Gomorrah they were willfully snuffed out by God Himself for the abomination they had become. For their sexual perversions and evils God destroyed them.

SJN  posted on  2012-05-13   11:54:26 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  

#29. To: SJN (#24)

marriage is not just for people of your religion. Because you have a religious base for how you and others of your faith would do marriage, why do you think you should force others by law to conform to it?

Mormons believe that one can seal a marriage beyond the grave. They believe a man who keeps the covenants can get his own universe and god status whereby he and a goddess he sealed the bond with while corporeal can make baby spirits.

These spirits are meant in the Mormon faith to be plucked down to Earth to assume corporeal form and have their human lives begin.

How would you like if it they were a majority and forced you to accept the sealing concept and the added dimension of procreation in a way codified into law.

How would you as a Christian like to see Mormons who are in sealed marriages get legal advantages over your regular marriage because this was a legal standard to work with?

If you find this an odious thought, then welcome to the world much in the same way as gay couples are often forced to deal with it because of the irrational hatred and intolerant of others.

Ferret Mike  posted on  2012-05-13   12:04:31 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  

#31. To: Ferret Mike (#29)

I don't really care what other religions believe. This nation was founded on the Judeo/Christian belief. What they care to do in other nations is up to them and God will Judge all nations.

SJN  posted on  2012-05-13   12:10:11 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  

#38. To: SJN (#31)

This nation was founded on the Judeo/Christian belief.

This nation was founded by men who came from a Judeo/Christian background and choose to not codify religious practice into secular law, for instance, Americans are free to work on the sabbath if they chose and a profit can be made (all hail the god of the free market, commerce be upon him!)

lucysmom  posted on  2012-05-13   12:45:00 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  

#40. To: lucysmom (#38)

Christians are allowed to work on the sabbath.

As Christ said when asked about work on the sabbath He said if your donkey falls in a well on a sabbath are you going to ignore the donkey in the well because of the sabbath? In other words we are free to work and do what we must on the sabbath.

What our founders chose to do was make sure that the State couldn't force religion on the people.

SJN  posted on  2012-05-13   12:54:30 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  

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