03 December 2009

marriage 'defended'

One can say a lot of things about marriage. Some of those things are even true.

This week we have the news media rush to tell us much more than we have a need to know about Tiger Woods, his apparent willingness to have sexual relationships outside his marriage, his wife's apparent fury, and the car crash that made the world very aware of their issues. WGN, one of the premier talk and community radio stations in the western world has been discussing the question, should Mrs. Woods stay or go. My question is why any of us think we have a right to an opinion?

On the East coast we have the pathetic homophobes who are the majority in the New York Assembly Senate. What they want to say about marriage is amazingly un--Biblical and intolerant. They want to claim it can only exist when one man marries one woman, for a while. It can re-appear if that putative one man marries another one woman after dumping the first one woman.

On the West Coast, we have someone saying something that almost makes sense.  It is time to ban divorce.   If it is so clear to California voters that those they consider unworthy must be denied marriage to, "defend" it; then clearly the over 50% divorce rate has to be addressed too. In short put up or shut up.

Of course the frequently divorced and remarried bishops of AC-NA, like the Republican Party operatives and governors so frequently caught in the wrong beds, are not going to "defend marriage" if dong so impacts their own standing. Hypocrisy thy name is "family values!"

I suppose I have to give some credit to Nigerian and Ugandan conservatives.  They have to deal on the ground with the reality of non-monogamous marriages among converts. They do so with some grace and compassion. Both churches require the families to stay together so that the wives and children are fed and protected and at the same time prohibit men with multiple wives from either marrying more or becoming clergy. If one begins with the assumption that marriage should be monogamous (not particularly Biblical but as a premise) and protecting women and children was a major point of the Gospel (which actually is Biblical) then the approach makes sense. For all my problems with the Central African uber-Calvinists I think they are on a moral plain well above their American co-conspirators.

Poor marriage.  Not recognized as a sacrament until the 13th century, and then by the same folks who brought us 'papal infallibility' and other myths.  "Defended" by homophobes and philanderers. One wonders if it can survive.

But wait, there is one more thing to say. Massachusetts, where the liberals defeated the 'defenders' and 'gay marriage' is lawful, is the State with the lowest divorce rate. Marriage seems to do rather well where its 'defenders' fail.

Perhaps that is what we really need to say about marriage. It is best served not by exclusion and self-anointed defenders but rather by open loving people regardless of their sexuality who actually enter into it and live it. I can at least contemplate the idea that not all of those people will fit the one man - one woman model.

Looking at so-called "Christians" who think the Gospel calls them to attack others over the way they live and love, I think I can say the same thing about the Kingdom of God. Both would be better served with fewer 'defenders' and more participants.



Fran said...

Oh Jim - great piece on this topic. When will we learn?


At this point it is just stupid.

This morning I was flipping through radio stations, which I do not do often. In any case, one of these dopey morning shows played a mix tape of bad phone messages by/from cheating hetero males. Including Tiger - yes.

I have to admit I stopped and listened to it...

And we wonder what is wrong.

Erika Baker said...

Fewer defenders and more participants - what a wonderful phrase! This is an inspired post, thank you.

St Laika's

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