Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why serial cheating beats open marriage

...according to Newt Gingrich: because anything other than one man and one woman is pagan.

It's pretty simple: marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a historic doctrine driven deep into the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and it's a perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism. The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors, but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization.
This man is a historian. But he doesn't know that....

1. There are multiple instances in the Bible of men having more than one wife-- at a time, even-- without any mention of it being wrong.
2. Monogamous relationships between one man and one woman were not invented in the Bible, and certainly existed outside of the historical and geographic contexts it describes.
3. When Jesus addressed the issue, he specially mentioned divorce in order to condemn it.

Wait, who am I kidding? He knows these things. A person could never have read a page of the Bible and known-- or at least, have been able to make an educated guess-- about all of them.  There is no coherent sense in which opposite sex monogamous marriage can be described as belonging to the Bible, or to Christianity, and not to "pagans" (whatever Newt imagines those to be), certainly without also such description being compelled to drag along behind it, like a ball on a chain, the fact that Newt's own behavior has been condemned just as explicitly as any other deviation from that standard.

This sin-- the sin of repeated infidelity and divorce, followed by remarriage-- is one to which Newt and his kind are susceptible, so it is ignored. Other sins, the ones that represent minor or no temptation at all, can safely be vilified as pagan, criminal, unAmerican. That's how scoundrels manage to wave Bibles-- by carefully expunging the parts that condemn their own behavior as much as anyone else's.

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