My law on marriage

If we are to take the Biblical view, that marriage is between a man and a woman, we must look at what Biblical marriage stood for. Christians who oppose gay marriage, if they are going to use to the Bible to try to justify their prejudices, must be consistent and follow through with the Biblical guide to marriage. So perhaps we should use the Bible to structure a new Federal law on the Defence of Marriage. Let’s call it, Futile Democracy’s Defence of Marriage Act 2010. I took it upon myself to write it up:

Section 1 define marriage:
A marriage is defined as a union between a man and a virgin woman.
Deuteronomy 22:13-21
A marriage is also valid, in the eyes of God and so the eyes of the United States Congress, if it is between a man and his sister.
Genesis 20:1-14
The union also permits the man to take concubines whenever he sees fit.
2 Sam 5:13
2 Chron 11:21

Section 2 relating to women as captives:
If a man within the United States of America finds a desirable woman in a room of captives, he is entitled to marry her on the spot, without her consent.
After marrying a captive, it is required, by the consent of the United States Congress, that the man must first take her home, and shave her head.
Deut. 21:11-13

Section 3 relating to women as property:
Trading in women, is a perfectly acceptable form of property dealing, within the United States of America.
RUTH 4:5-10
Wives must not speak, or offer opinions, especially in Church, except in the company of her superior (husband) at home.
I Corinthians 14:34-35
If a man rapes a virgin, he shall pay fifty pieces of silver, and then marry her.
Deut. 22:28
If a woman is kidnapped at a party, this shall not fall under the law of the United States forbidding kidnapping, as long as the man marries the kidnapped woman.
Judges 21:19-25
When at war, is it permitted that you destroy their cities, kill all men and women and male children, take the female children for yourselves, and marry them.
Judges 21:7-23
Purchasing children of foreigners is acceptable in God’s eyes. You may marry them, as they are now your property.
Leviticus 25:44-46

Section 4 relating to adultery:
The punishment for adultery is stoning to death.
Death shall not be enforced before a quasi-trial is given for the wife. If the parents of the wife can prove that the wife is a virgin by spreading the cloth worn by the wife on a table to the City Elders, the husband must pay compensation to the parents and the wife is not permitted to see her parents ever again.
If she is found guilty, she must be put to death.
Deut. 22:22-30

Section 5 relating to pregnancy:
If a wife gives birth to a boy, she must spend a week in isolation because she is, by decree of the Congress of the United States, and God Almighty, unclean.
If a wife gives birth to a girl, she must spend two weeks in isolation, because she is, by decree of the Congress of the United States, and God Almighty, very very unclean.
Leviticus 12:5

Section 6 relating to the death of a husband:
Definitely don’t marry your dead husband’s brother.
Leviticus 20:21
Definitely do marry your dead husband’s brother.
Deuteronomy 25:5-10

Section 7 on divorce:
If a citizen of the United States of America abandons his wife and children, for Jesus, he will be rewarded.
Matthew 19:29
A woman who is divorced for a second time or widowed by her second husband, must not remarry her first husband.
Deuteronomy 24:3-4
Divorce and remarrying, is committing adultery against your first husband or wife in the eyes of Jesus and the United States Congress. This isn’t a law as such, just to let you know, if you get divorced, we think you’re scum.
Mark 10:2-12

Section 8 conclusion:
Marriage within the United States of America, is hereby described objectively as a union between a man, brother, rapist and a virgin woman, another woman, another woman, a few more women, a hostage, a rape victim, and the female children of parents who have just been slaughtered.
But NEVER let a homo marry. This is unnatural and immoral.

I think that just about sums up exactly what the new US law on Defence of Marriage should consist of, you know, if it really is about pleasing God, and not about simply being horrific bigots.

I found this poet, Alvin Lau, in a powerfully beautiful poem exploring the bullshit of Christian homophobic attitudes that are prominent on the American Right wing. I cannot think of a better way to put into words exactly how I feel on the subject of gay marriage, than Lau does:

13 Responses to My law on marriage

  1. Stephen says:

    Why not leave “marriage” to the churches, and have a new definition of “a relationship of commitment” – overseen by the state – and which carries all the tax benefits etc.

  2. “I’m not allowed to say i’m married, because the Church doesn’t like that i’m gay/an atheist/in love with a non-christian.”

    Marriage is a part of our lives, far beyond the reach of the Church now. Like Christmas, it isn’t just a Christian thing any more. It goes deeper than that.
    Let’s not forget that “marriage” existed before Christianity.

  3. Stephen says:

    OK then, pass a law saying that what the churches do is different from state marriage and get them to call it something else. It is a nonsense trying to keep the state / church management of relationships in line.

  4. Charles says:

    Westboro Baptist Church

    The most hated christain church, even other christains hate them. They hate a group of people they call “fags”.

    “Views on homosexuality

    The church runs numerous Web sites such as, and others expressing condemnation of homosexuality.

    The group bases its work around the belief expressed by its best known slogan and the address of its primary Web site, God Hates Fags, asserting that every tragedy in the world is linked to homosexuality—specifically society’s increasing tolerance and acceptance of the so-called homosexual agenda. The group maintains that God hates gays above all other kinds of “sinners” and that homosexuality should be a capital crime.”

    “Views on religions

    Westboro Baptist refers to Catholic priests as “vampires” and “Draculas” and talks of Catholic priests sucking semen out of male children’s genitals like vampires suck blood from their victims. In addition, WBC calls Pope Benedict XVI such epithets as “The Godfather of Pedophiles” and “Pervert Pope”. In April 2008 the WBC protested Pope Benedict XVI during a papal visit in New York City.


    Though the main purpose of the Priests Rape Boys website is to criticize Catholicism, the WBC also criticizes several mainline Protestant churches on the website, including Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Baptists. Their preachers have shirked their responsibility to tell people the truth about sin, and instead lie to them about what the Lord their God doth require of them.

    Eastern Orthodoxy

    The WBC claims that Orthodox Christians are indistinguishable from Roman Catholics.

    So what if our guys flushed copies of the Quran down the toilet? We hope they did. They probably did; We hope they flush more. Mohammed was a demon-possessed whoremonger and pedophile who contrived a 300-page work of Satanic fiction: The Quran! Like America’s own whoremonger and pedophile wangled his own hokey Book of Mormon!


    The WBC maintains a God Hates India webpage where they state that “80% of India’s population claim to practice Hinduism … “A country full of idolatry inevitably results in a nation full of fags and fag-enablers, because that’s what happens when you depart from the Living God!”

    the only true Jews are Christians. The rest of the people who claim to be Jews aren’t, and they are nothing more than typical, impenitent sinners … the vast majority of Jews support fags. In fact, it is the official policy of Reformed Jews to support same-sex marriage. Of course, there are Jews who still believe God’s law, but most of them have even departed from that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Jew or a Gentile…as long as you believe in Christ.”

    Views on race and ethnicity
    On the subject of neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other violent extremist groups: “We don’t believe in physical violence of any kind, and the Scripture doesn’t support racism. … The only true Nazis in this world are fags.”

    Views on Barack Obama

    The Westboro Baptist Church believes that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and that he forms an Unholy Trinity with Satan and Pope Benedict XVI, who they believe is the False Prophet.”

    Many westboro baptist church websites seem down atm, not a great loss to the internet.

  5. Amy K says:

    1) What exactly is Charles trying to say?
    2) I have gay friends that go to church just like the straights there, with no mockery or disdain. And one of them is pagan.
    3) I think it’s terribly appropriate that section 8 is… section 8. (military craziness reference!)

    Your post on HIAA is gone, but I wanted to *like* this!

  6. […] of marriage has changed vastly over the centuries. The Bible (as pointed out on my blog on Biblical marriage) is quite clear that marriage is between a man, brother, rapist and a virgin woman, another woman, […]

  7. Mike W says:

    @Stephen wrote “pass a law saying that what the churches do is different from state marriage and get them to call it something else”.

    People currently get married under state license and then have an optional wedding ceremony at a church. In many places, non -church weddings are the norm.

    The churches only get a say in their own ceremonies and have no business in anyone else’s. Christian churches no more recognise Jewish/Hindu/…. marriages even less than they do same-sex marriages but they don’t cry out for a redefinition of marriage for them.

  8. AvenueJay says:

    Your lazy interpretations of the Bible verses you picked are very flawed. In fact, they’re very misleading.

    Section 1

    Deuteronomy 22: 13-21 does not define biblical marriage. It talks about a specific situation: the process for when a husband falsely accuses his new wife of not being a virgin. At worst, these verses suggest that a marriage between a man and a virgin woman is valid. There is nothing in these verses that suggests that it is final the biblical definition of marriage.

    Genesis 20:1-14
    These verses do not say marriage between a brother and sister is acceptable. This is the account of how Abram lied by telling the monarch that his wife, Sarah, was his sister. Please note that God prevented Sarah from committing adultery by revealing Abraham’s lie via speaking directly to the monarch.
    There is nothing in the Bible that proves Abraham and Sarah were siblings. Your conclusion that biblical marriage includes marriage between siblings because Abraham lied about Sarah is absurd.

    2 Samuel 5:13 & 2 Chronicles 11:21
    These verses obviously show that polygamy was practiced during David’s reign. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that these verses define biblical marriage.

    Section 2
    Deuteronomy 21:11-13
    I think you’re missing the point of this passage. The point of allowing soldiers to marry a captive woman before sex was to prevent rape. The head shaving is symbolic of the captive woman becoming part of Israel. This is relevant because Hebrew soldiers would have been barred from (1) having sex outside of marriage and (2) having sex with non-Hebrew women.

    Section 3
    Ruth 4:5-10
    This passage has nothing to do with “trading in women.” It has to do with a specific proposed real estate transaction regarding a specific plot of land involving a specific group of people. This is the second most misleading thing you’ve written in this blog entry.

    Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 NIV) Your interpretation of these verses is the most misleading thing you’ve written in this blog entry.

    Judges 21:7-25
    This is about how Israel departed from God’s law. So the practice you described was not prescribed by God.

    “ ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NIV) Again, this doesn’t say what YOU say it says.

    I would keep going but I’m getting frustrated. It’s very annoying to see such distortions.

    I’m going to bookmark your blog entry as an example of how people can conveniently distort bible verses.

  9. Congratulations on identifying the entire point of the entry.

    Yup, I absolutely took all of those verses out of context, and attributed their very loose meaning, to the World today. Of course the writers didn’t expect that people 2000 years later might follow their lead on any of those.
    Taking verses out of all context, is what Christians have done brilliantly over the years to justify submission to a King, to justify oppression of women, to justify slavery, and now to justify homophobia. You are correct, every one of those passages I mentioned is out of context. I am simply providing consistency, and taking the whole practice of out-of-context-scripture to it’s logical conclusion.

    That’s the point of the entry.

    If people are to take Biblical passages entirely out of their social and historical context, to justify their own unjustiable prejudices toward gay people, and claim ‘marriage’ as a Christian tradition between one man and one woman, excluding everyone else; then they must be consistent in their laziness. And to follow through with their laziness, would mean a law on marriage based on the points I set out. Out of social, historical, and geographical context entirely.

    The Bible – all of it – should be studied for its historical value, not for a model on which to base an entire moral system in the 21st century.

  10. AvenueJay says:


    I think we both agree the the bible defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, only. I think we can agree that it does not include same sex marriage. If you find something in the bible that defines marriage as a union between two people, regardless of gender preference or identity, please share.

    Since I’ve never seen or heard an argument that the bible permits same sex marriage. So I don’t think people who rely in the biblical definition of marriage are being lazy in their interpretation of the biblical definition of marriage.

    Besides, I get the sense that you would gladly point out the irony of a person who is guided by biblical principles deciding that the biblical definition of marriage is inadequate. But you can’t have it both ways; you can’t mock people for strictly interpreting the bible’s definition of marriage AND criticize them when you think they don’t follow the bible strictly enough.

    But here is my biggest problem with your blog entry: you say that the bible says things that it does not say. To me, that is very misleading. Again, you can’t have it both ways; you can’t mock people for being absurd by being absurd.

    If you can answer my specific critique of your blog entry, that would be great.


  11. “I think we both agree the the bible defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, only.”

    – No we don’t. The Bible does not “define” marriage. It gives precedents in a historical context. You are being wildly manipulative in your assessment if you are honestly telling me that the ‘God’ of the Bible is clear that the only marriage acceptable to him is between one man and one woman. If you are going to suggest that it actually defines marriage between a man and a woman based on precedents set in historical contexts, then you must be consistent – again, the point of the blog – and accept that it also “defines” marriage as legitimate if it’s between a man and the girl of a family he has just slaughtered, a man and several women (the Holy Spirit even sanctions polygamy in 2 Chronicles 24:2-3 – because apparently taking two wives is ‘right’ in the eyes of the Lord) etc. You are EXACTLY the type of person this blog is aimed at. You are taking passages out of context to suit your own prejudices, and then absurdly complaining that i’m taking other passages – the ones you don’t recognise as legitimate, because they don’t sit well with you – out of context. You accuse me of being absurd, which is incredible hypocrisy really. For example. When talking about Deut.22 you say:

    “There is nothing in these verses that suggests that it is final the biblical definition of marriage.”

    – Suddenly, you are against taking historical precedents set in the Bible as a definition of marriage. And yet just now, you have said:

    “the bible defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, only”

    ……. based solely on historical precedents. You disagree with your own position. It’s truly astonishing to witness.

    The Bible says nothing of gay marriage. To restrict the rights of a loving couple, because of what the Bible doesn’t say, is a fucking disgrace. It doesn’t say a lot of things that we do in every day life.

    “you say that the bible says things that it does not say.”

    – No I don’t. But I suppose it beats claiming something must be wrong, simply because the Bible doesn’t actually mention it.

    “Again, you can’t have it both ways; you can’t mock people for being absurd by being absurd.”

    – I’m not being absurd. I am mocking people who take Biblical passages out of context, solely to suit their own putrid prejudices. If they are to do that once or twice, then they must be consistent. And that’s the point of the blog. I am being very consistent in my argument.

    Whether your prejudices accept it or not, the Bible neither condemns nor condones same sex marriage. It says nothing on the subject. It does not, in any way, define marriage in a way that transcends the context of the time period. But if you are going to continue to make very weak statements by using out of context precedents, then I will continue to do the same to show just how bigoted and moronic that process really is.

    “If you can answer my specific critique of your blog entry, that would be great.”

    – Done.

  12. AvenueJay says:

    First, it looks very easy to call a reader a hypocrite when you put words in his mouth.

    Secondly, It looks even easier to assume a reader’s beliefs and call him prejudiced.

    Thirdly, I have not taken any verse out of context. In fact, I’m the one who read all of the chapters surrounding the verses you cited and the preceding chapters of the verses cited so that I can put the verses you cited in their context. So I’ve done the opposite of what you’ve accused me of doing.

    Anyway let’s take a look at your “two wives, no problem” examples. Your examples include only Kings; David and Joash. They were kings of Ancient Judah. Your examples did not include anything that says that everybody is allowed to practice polygamy. So I will agree that the historical precedent here is that Judaian kings are allowed to practice polygamy. I will go even further and say that these examples do not permit marriage between a king and a man. But, It is a logical leap to say bible believers are hypocrites because they reject polygamy even though it is was practiced by kings of ancient Judah AND reject same sex marriage. It’s also a leap to say that we should reject biblical marriage since many people reject an aspect of it. Only an inflexible person would suggest something like that.

    None of your examples define marriage. None of your examples can be used to absolutely define marriage. Deuteronomy 22 does not define marriage. It only talks about should be done when a man accuses his new wife of not being a virgin. That is the context of the quote you picked. There is nothing in Deuteronomy 22 that says that Deuteronomy 22 is the final biblical definition of marriage. We have to look how the bible treats marriage over the centuries of the history it records. So when I say “the bible defines marriage,” I mean the bible as a whole, not the bible a selected by me.

    I am all for using history and context to increase understanding. In fact, my BA in History and student loan debt prove that. So let’s look at the bible as a whole and put it in context.

    There is not one example recorded in the bible of God approving of same sex marriage. You also have to admit that every example of marriage recorded in the bible is between men and women. You also have to agree that the bible (a) disapproves of same sex intercourse [Leviticus 18:22] and (b) encourages and celebrates sex between husband and wife. [The entire book of Song of Solomon; 1 Corinthians 7:2] So, if the bible talks about marriage between men and women (and not men and men or women and women) and the bible disapproves of same sex intercourse, how can the bible be (1) considered to have no definition of marriage and (2) considered “silent” on same sex marriage? It can’t be.

    Polygamy, marriage outside of one’s ethnicity or religion, marriage within one’s family, all of these things have come and gone in biblical marriage. One thing that is constant is marriage is the union of a bride and groom. The bible is not silent on the issue of same sex marriage and it does define marriage, even you don’t like the presentation of that definition.

    Now, what do you have to say about my statement that you cite verses and tell your readers that those verses says things that those verses do not say? I have not avoided any verse you cite. I have no problem discussing a verse that you think is problematic. But I do have a problem with you misleading your readers about what the bible says.

  13. Words fail me. Again, you’re missing the point. I took them out of context. Absolutely. They relate to bronze aged mythology and morality, and have absolutely no place today. Including Leviticus’ anti-gay sex verse – which you apparently have decided to take as transcending all time.
    You then claim that none of my quoted verses define marriage. You’re right, they don’t. The entire Bible doesn’t define marriage. But again, it gives historical precedents. I cited Deut. 21:11-13. Here, it very much sets the precedent that if a Christian is at war, he is allowed to marry a captive:

    “10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. “

    – If my friend in Afghanistan kidnaps an Afghan girl and marries her, I will tell him that he can count on your support.

    I particularly find your defence of this passage nauseating:

    “The point of allowing soldiers to marry a captive woman before sex was to prevent rape. The head shaving is symbolic of the captive woman becoming part of Israel. “

    – Marrying a captive, and only allowing her to leave if she doesn’t please you, means it isn’t rape? Thank you for that insight. Turns out the passage is even more putrid than I intended to suggest originally. The point remains, and you have not disputed it with your rather vile description of the verse; that it sets a precedent. I was right. The Bible says I am allowed to marry a captive of a nation I have just helped to destroy, If I want to. I was right. Your attempts to defend the verse, and provide a wider context (which, you didn’t achieve) to prove I’d invented it, only sought to make it sound even more vicious, yet still as definitive as a rule can get.

    “Deuteronomy 22 does not define marriage. It only talks about should be done when a man accuses his new wife of not being a virgin. That is the context of the quote you picked. “

    – That sounds like a bit of a definition to me. You basically just said “It’s not a definition, but you should definitely do this….. if she’s not a virgin. But it’s not definitive…. but it is. But it isn’t. Get it?”
    Do you know what else sounds pretty definitive to me? My mention of Deut.25:5:

    “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.”

    – Is this also not a definition, but a definition, but definitely not a definition? Here God makes it an obligation, that you must marry your dead brother’s wife, if you live together. There is no choice. The lack of choice makes it definitive.

    Let’s again, be consistent (you are becoming more absurd with each passing comment…. but it gets better). You suggested that polygamy is only permitted for Judaian Kings (though, the Bible never actually says that. You apparently want the Bible to name every individual person on the planet, for the rule to become a moral precedent set in the Bible). Shall we also see whom else commits polygamy, with absolutely no condemnation from God?
    Lamech, a descendent of Adam and Eve. He has two wives, and carries on the lineage through the, Which, suggests much of the human race (if we are to go by Biblical creation) are the result of polygamy. God fully approves.
    Abraham has wives and concubines. God fully approves.
    Moses has two wives. Fine by God.

    “If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.”

    – Exodus 21:10. A rule on how to treat another wife. Which tacitly implies taking another wife, is perfectly acceptable.
    Judges 8:29-32 – Gideon has many wives. God doesn’t get angry, or suggest that only Judaian Kings may have many wives. He’s indifferent. Says nothing. Doesn’t condemn nor condone. The list goes on and on. So, again, be consistent. If you do not support gay marriage, then you must support Polygamy. Though I suspect you will take each polygamist in the Bible, and provide your own odd and unique interpretation as to why they’re just a one off, and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    You are a very very typically manipulative, pick and choose, invent your own rationale (i.e – polygamy only acceptable for Kings of Judah – despite that not actually being what the Bible says, whilst accusing me of citing verses that don’t say what i claim them to say …..) to justify your prejudices. My argument remains the same. You are being wildly inconsistent.
    Leviticus 18:22 actually only disapproves of male gay sex. Not women. I mean, you will find justification in the verse for disapproving of female gay sex, by applying your own absurd logic – which isn’t actually mentioned in the Bible.

    “There is not one example recorded in the bible of God approving of same sex marriage.”

    – So, you wish to stop two people in love from marrying each other, because God doesn’t mention it in the Bible? That’s genuinely your rationale for opposing gay marriage? What a crock of shit. It must have God’s approval in the Bible for it to be morally acceptable? Does that apply to everything in life? As already seen, I look forward to your support for polygamy on the basis that God approves of it in the Bible.

    “Polygamy, marriage outside of one’s ethnicity or religion, marriage within one’s family, all of these things have come and gone in biblical marriage. One thing that is constant is marriage is the union of a bride and groom. The bible is not silent on the issue of same sex marriage and it does define marriage, even you don’t like the presentation of that definition.”

    – Amazing logic. Just amazing. You appear to have re-written the Bible to sort your own bullshit. The Bible says nothing of same sex marriage. Absolutely nothing. Nor does it define marriage. It sets precedents, and it compels. But those precedents must all be placed within the context of the cultural and social time period. You cannot pick and choose. You must be consistent. You, are the least consistent person I’ve ever spoken to about this subject.

    Mentioning Leviticus 18:22 as a definitive anti-gay Biblical passage, whilst on a quest for context is hugely hypocritical despite your attempts to suggest you’re not being hypocritical. Leviticus (as you will know, what with having a History degree!) is a restriction placed on ancient Jews. It also condemns eating pork (which i’m sure, being so consistent, you don’t), tattoos (of which I have two….. I am going to hell, with all the gay people and, well, decent people), fabric blends, anyone who has had a testicle injury, and shellfish. It is an archaic book that cannot be used as a book of morality, or for any definitive purpose today. Your doing so, whilst demanding context from me – hypocrisy beyond belief.

    What we can say of gay marriage, is that the Bible doesn’t mention it. Doesn’t condemn it, doesn’t condone it. It is neutral on the subject. So, we should use human rationale to provide an answer. Two men getting married does not hurt you. It doesn’t hurt Christianity as a whole. It does nothing to offend you. The Bible is neutral on the subject, so ……. fucking think. There is more in the Bible that suggests polygamy is perfectly acceptable, marrying a captive and forcefully shaving her head to – amusingly – stop ‘rape’, and that men have a duty to marry their dead brother’s wife in the eyes of the Biblical God, then there is to suggest that gay marriage is unacceptable.

    You have yet to tell me where I quote any verse that doesn’t say what I suggest it says.

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