Apropos that last post, I should say that I really don’t understand Rick Warren’s statement (with which I’m certain many others would agree) that
For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion – this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews – historically, marriage is a man and a woman.
It doesn’t take a particularly deep reading of our own sacred scriptures to see how wildly wrong that is. Biblically, marriage is a man and a woman, and another woman, and another woman… Mitt Romney was sorta right on that one, if you really believe your scriptures. And let’s not get started on Levirate marriage.
That’s all Old Testament, of course. Without knowing anything about it I assume that Hellenization and then Romanization put the kibosh on polygamy at some point after the Exile. Or maybe it was just relative peace—polygamy works better if there are constant wars and things to create a nice supply of widows. But the New Testament isn’t particularly friendly to “traditional marriage.” Jesus—not noticeably family-friendly—seemed to care at least as much about marriage as a metaphor as an institution. And has there ever been a less ringing endorsement of anything than Paul’s “better to marry than to burn?”
So seriously, can anyone explain this to me? It’s not a rhetorical question. I genuinely don’t understand how anyone who has read the Bible can think it even conceives of, let alone mandates, anything like what we label “traditional marriage.”