Christians are always telling us that they are standing up for traditional marriage. But for years I wondered whose tradition they are talking about. Of course, “Christian tradition” is the prompt reply. But, as usual, I doubt it. Is there really such a thing? Well, not really. Were there any marriage traditions before Christ? Well, of course. So wouldn't it be better to speak of Biblical tradition? Perhaps.
But, most clerics know that this is a bit tricky, because most Biblical marriages bear little resemblance to contemporary white weddings so loved by modern Evangelicals. The institution of marriage around the world is so diverse as to be mind-boggling. One thing I can say that is universal – in nearly all cases, it is a heterosexual endeavor. In most every nation, state, province, principality, and humjungin' little backwater town, gay people are forbidden to marry. This is true in Hindu India, Buddhist Thailand, Communist China, tribal Africa, Catholic Brazil, and in many places in the red-white-and-blue USA. But for the moment, let's do what Americans do best – forget that the rest of the world exists, and concentrate on ourselves.
The thing that really gets the American Christian's goat is the sight of same-sex couples in full wedding regalia kissing right there on camera, in front of a majorly pissed-off God and an equally – if not even more – furious collection of screeching televangelists, Republicans, and little old ladies with large Bibles.
White weddings are – as they pompously proclaim – for straight people.
I have been hanging out with gay people for many years now, and have a point of comparison not afforded to Bobby Joe and Suzy Mae from Liberty Baptist Tabernacle of Wetumpka, Alabama. They are told that premarital sex is a sin and is absolutely forbidden. Theirs is to meet – date without touching lips or any other body parts. Then – with the grace of God and time – they have the big, expensive, elaborate white wedding with lots of flowers, draperies, and very ugly dresses for the bridesmaids ... and powder blue tuxedos (with ruffles) for the groom's entourage. Then, after all the folderol, finally, they get to enter the world of sexual bliss in a state of holy matrimony.
Looked at from the perspective of a shoe salesman, this is the dumbest thing in the world. ...Wait, let me get this straight (so to speak). The potential buyer gets to look at the shoes, but cannot touch or try them on for size. Then, he must buy the shoes. He pledges to wear that particular pair of shoes for the rest of his life. If they do not fit, too bad. He may not try on or wear any other shoes, ever. In fact, he cannot even think of or fantasize about another pair more to his liking.
Gay people – and gay men in particular – hold the opposite point of view. Hell, no! What? Buy the shoes without even trying them on? Buying them and then committing to wear them, and none others, forever? Who ever invented that idiocy?
Christians point to the Bible, but as usual, they would be wrong. The Bible prescribes no such doofy way to approach marriage. Given, it is still a heterosexual domain, but with a significant difference. Whereas Fundamentalist preachers shout, froth, and foam from pulpits across the nation, proclaiming that “marriage is between one man and one woman” ... they either are not reading their Bibles, are ignoring them, or are downright lying. I subscribe to the latter.
Much to the shock and chagrin of our holier-than-thou neighbors, friends, and families, the Mormons had it right in the first place! Monogamy is not the Biblical guideline for marriage ... polygamy is!
It is quite easy to check this out. In fact, it is so simple as to be no fun at all. Just google two words: Biblical polygamy. Oh hell, just go directly to Biblical Polygamy.com and be done with it.
All the patriarchs of the Bible had multiple wives and mistresses, concubines, and all manner of sundry sexual outlets. It isn't even a challenge. So, next time you hear a preacher or preacher-wannabe go on about one man one woman, check to see if your own shoes are pinching...