Well, it's been a long break, but I knew something would get my dander up and pull me back in.
And no, it's not the energy bill--although it might have been, but for the other news of the day.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a landmark ruling, today essentially gave the legislature six months to come up with a way to sanction gay and lesbian marriages. That's the good news.
The state legislature is considering a Constitutional amendment that would define marriage as an explicitly heterosexual union, but that's not the bad news; the measure is given little chance of passing.
No, the bad news is that this development has added momentum to the push for a similar amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It seems the Christianists in Washington are so freaked out by the prospect of a state failing to discriminate against same-sex couples, they are seriously considering a Constitutional amendment to "protect the institution" of marriage. Cooler heads have pointed out that the Massachusetts ruling, even if it were to become a national trend, does nothing to change or weaken heterosexual marriage. It's really inconsequential to anyone except gays and lesbians, who are currently denied some important rights that the rest of us take for granted--like Social Security survivor benefits, to name one of well over a hundred.
This puts me in mind of something I saw on Michael Hanscom's doubleplusgood Eclecticism blog, where it was attributed to Paul Emmons of West Chester University.
The consecration of Gene Robison as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese of the Episcopal Church is an affront to Christians everywhere. I am just thankful that the church's founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of Aragon, and his wife Anne Boleyn, and his wife Jane Seymour, and his wife Anne of Cleves, and his wife Katherine Howard, and his wife Catherine Parr are no longer here to suffer through this assault on traditional Christian marriage.
The same kind of hypocrisy is rampant among those who want to forbid homosexual marriage as a violation of the "sanctity" of marriage. I think the best strategy for fighting the proposed amendment would be to make sure that in addition to banning recognition of same-sex marriages, it reestablishes the other "traditional" aspects of marriage that have fallen by the wayside in modern times--like polygyny, permanence, and male supremacy. We should allow--no, we should demand--that the religious right show us where they really stand with respect to marriage and the Bible.
As usual, I find that someone has already said it better than I. Eclecticism steered me to this proposed amendment, which codifies marriage "entirely on Biblical principles":
1 Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. [Gen. 29, 17 - 28; II Sam. 3, 2 - 5] Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. [II Sam. 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21]
2 A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. [Deut. 22, 13 - 21] Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. [Gen 24:3; Num 25 1 - 9; Ezra 9:12; Neh. 10:30]
3 Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. [Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9]
4 If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. [Gen. 38 6 - 10; Deut 25 5 - 10]
This proposal leaves out the part that says wives should "submit [themselves] unto [their] husbands, as unto the Lord...as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything" [Eph. 5:22-24]. That's obviously an oversight; wifely submission is so central to the scriptual concept of marriage that it must be explicitly stated in any marriage amendment that gives the Bible its due. At the very least, the definition in paragraph 1 should be revised to read "a union between one man and one or more subservient women."
More later on the Bush League's gift to Big Oil. I promise.