Thursday, May 24, 2012

Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves

I remember asking my Egyptian roommate, a devout Sunni Muslim and one of the coolest people I was fortunate enough to room with in college, whether he ever thought about having more than one wife. Under Islamic law he's allowed to have four.  He smiled and said, "it's too much trouble."   When I asked my female Muslim friends why Islam allowed four wives for one man they'd smile and, pointedly, note that most women really only need 1/4th of a man -- which still seems quite wise to me.

In the meantime, the Christianists in America continue to make funny claims about what "Traditional Marriage" means... and then make the mistake of trying to use their bad translations of the Bible to "prove" that their narrow, 20th century, view is the only one sanctioned by God.

Regarding which:

Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches
Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.
Huh?
Time to break out your Bible, Mr. Perkins! Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)

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