Bits and Pieces: Marriage and Other Matters

Jig Saw Puzzle** There’s something more than a little ironic about a state like Nevada which once offered those in matrimonial distress a Quickie D-I-V-O-R-C-E defending “traditional marriage?”  For more see: The Nevada Progressive, and the Ralston Report.   Now, which Biblical definition of marriage shall we defend?

We could follow St. Paul’s epistle to Titus (Titus 1:6) in which “they” shall marry but once, having believing children who are not accused of impurity or disobedience?  However, the wife could get “put away” upon written notice (Matthew 5:31), and it’s OK in cases of immorality, but otherwise the Put-er Awayer is suborning adultery, for people who were formerly ” two become one flesh,” (Genesis 2:24).

However, things get a little more complicated in Deuteronomy (Deut 23:28) wherein if a man “comes upon” a maiden who is not betrothed, takes her and has ‘relations’ with her, and the deed is discovered, the man who deflowered her is to pay her father fifty silver shekels and take her as his wife, for life.  Really, forced marriage with the rapist?

Then there’s the matter of keeping up the family line, also in Deuteronomy (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.”  She gets to spit in his face if he refuses, and it doesn’t seem to matter if her current husband is still living.   But, should this come to blows, if she intervenes to prevent someone beating up on him and she grabs the batterer by the “sensitive parts” she loses a hand,”without pity.”  This version of marriage also appears in the infamously misinterpreted story of Onan (Genesis 38:8) wherein Onan doesn’t perform this obligation, and Thamar remains a widow in her father’s house.   The rest of the chapter reads like a treatment for a TV melodrama.

Of course, one could also “make a covenant with God” to put away “foreign women” and any kids the fellow has had with them. (Ezra 10: 2-5)

The ‘new’ tradition sounds positively Corinthian (Corinthian 1: 7-8). “The wife has not authority over her body, but the husband; the husband likewise has not authority over his body but the wife.”  That way no one’s Libido gets out of control? (Huckabee 1:23 – 2014)

** One of the topics which ought to come up in the SOFU speech is comprehensive immigration policy reform.  Those clamoring for more executive action [see Sebelius column] should remind themselves that there are limits to unilateral action, and the Congress should remind itself that there is no rational explanation for putting off the topic until after the primary season [Wash Exam],  “the Wall Street Journal stirred a lot of interest this weekend when it reported that GOP leaders are hoping to put one over on voters who oppose reform. The plan, the Journal said, is to delay a vote on a bill until after the deadline passes for primary challenges across the country. That way, a GOP lawmaker whose constituents oppose reform could lay low until the coast was clear — no primary challenge! — and then vote against his voters’ interest.”   Cute. Perhaps too cute by half.

** RIP Pete Seeger.  On January 2, 1962 his group, The Weavers, was banned by NBC for refusing to sign a loyalty oath; they’d already lost a recording contract with Decca in 1951 due to the McCarthyism of the Age.  He can now rejoin Erik Darling (August 3, 2008) and Lee Hays (August 26, 1981).

**  Get Over It Already — former Republican presidential candidate is still pouting about CNN anchor Candy Crowley’s fact-checking of him during the last debates. [Talking Points Memo]  It isn’t like she’s a graduate of Randolph-Macon with a B.A. in English, or an award winning television broadcaster or anything….like a former reporter with her reputation to protect.   <insert Troll Alert “Benghazzzzzzzzzi”>

** Reince Priebus is now trying his 7th Attempt to “reach out to members of minority groups” on behalf of the Republican National Committee. [Think Progress] The plan seems to be “get out and meet people,” however it’s often nice to have something to say about …. immigration policy reform, voting rights, women’s health issues, equality for members of the LGBT community?  But, who’s counting?

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