Saturday, August 04, 2012

"Biblical Marriage" Concept...

Well, with the recent Chick-Fil-A crap going on, I figured I'd just mention something obvious, that I learned in church last week...

The conservatives ramble on and on and on about marriage being "sacred" and "between one man and one woman." We'll leave the majority of the biblical citations alone - those showing that a man can have more than one wife (simultaneously) and is entitled to lie with his concubines, his slaves, prisoners of war, etc. Those are just "piffle" compared to the conservatives' strong moral assertion that marriage is SACRED, BY GOD, AND WE ARE THE STANDARD-BEARERS.

This inspite of so many Republican politicians being "caught with their toes tapping in the bathroom" among other things. And they don't resign. They keep going - which amazes me, because it serves that old adage, I guess. "If you repeat a lie long enough it becomes the truth." So conversely, if you ignore the willful disregard for the "sanctity" of their own marriages, then I suppose their constituents can as well. Remember, Newtie Patootie said he was compelled to have multiple affairs because of his "patriotism." And now as a converted Catholic, he and Calista (wife and former mistress while prior wife was dying of cancer) are paragons. I guess.

Anyway, on to church. We have recently been attending St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church and have truly enjoyed the switch from Catholic to Episcopal. It was a little strange at first, but we have rarely felt so welcomed and so embraced.

So we went last Sunday and the first lesson (First Reading in Catholic) was 2 Samuel 11:1-15... which I am telling you now that I absolutely do not remember in all my zillion years as a Catholic. At least not in this fashion.

This reading tells about David and Bathsheba. The following part caught my eye: "...he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, "This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house..."

Wowza. Period and extramarital sex all in a few sentences. And then, farther along in the reading, David gets Uriah drunk  so he and Bathsheba can play footsie together, Bathsheba becoming pregnant after the first round of sex. Then, David --- who, if you remember, is the David who slew Goliath, the poet, the writer of psalms.... David sends a letter, delivered to the battle commander by Uriah, who was apparently illiterate. The letter said "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die."

Add "murderer" to that glowing description of David.

My point is this. Well, two points. First, I've never quite heard this version, though I've seen the Hollywood movie. Second, let's add this to the pantheon of verses that really rather bash traditional marriage. I'm pretty sure Uriah wasn't keen on just letting Bathsheba go. Cultural differences of which I may be ignorant may play in here --- David was the Big Cheese. Perhaps whatever (or whoever) he wanted, he got and Uriah didn't have a choice.

But let's just suppose for the sake of argument that Bathsheba and Uriah were for the most part, contentedly married. Then, some Big Cheese summons her out of her purifying bath (sorry, the period thing still kind of blows my mind) and has sex with her. She's married. He knows that. And he goes ahead with his own selfish wants and desires.

This hardly sounds like a good biblical argument for 'traditional marriage.' It sounds like those folks were pretty randy and surely not as straight-laced and conservative as today's conservatives would like to portray them - or themselves, for that matter.

Either way, the Bible is open to interpretation. And without doing too much scholarly thinking, I'm thinking David didn't exactly respect the "traditional" marriage. He didn't have any qualms about seeking out a woman he wanted. And getting her. And then killing off her husband, if not by his own hand, by his own command.

This section alone kind of blows the conservatives' argument out of the water. And it's not the only one.

Gay marriage will happen in some form or another. There's so much science out there proving that it's not a "lifestyle" but a biological trait. It seems that with our economy in a snail's-pace recovery, a huge budget battle looming, wars on 2 fronts... with all that going on, Congress and the conservatives have this stuff to argue about?

How about, just for fun, you folks get the jobs done that we need you to get done? Oh, maybe they really ARE, since Mitch McConnell said that his job was to make President Obama a one-term president. But I think that with the "do-nothing congress" we're now seeing, Mitch may be sweeping out some of his buddies with that same broom. People are fed up with the wrangling and lack of action.

I think - and I hope - that we're past looking at the shiny objects distracting us, and we're paying attention to what matters: getting our country going again. Moving forward instead of staying in limbo arguing about stuff that in the end won't change anything.

1 comment:

chris said...

I can't understand why more Americans aren't fed up with our politicians focusing on these distractions instead of doing their jobs - I know I am!