Monday, May 14, 2012

Garry Wills on Christianity & Marriage

In the NYRB blog, Wills gives a brief but eye-opening history of marriage in the Christian tradition. He wrote this in light of Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage and the continuing debate in this country about that. (Obama, of course, following Joe Biden on this!) The blog speaks for itself, but beyond the issue of gay marriage, it's a reminder that all human institutions have a history and are marked by change. We only know of the passage of time because of change. We have to understand that all human institutions, including religious institutions and beliefs, change with time. Fortunately, most now agree that the slavery, polygamy, and genocide favorably referenced in the Bible are wrong. This is, of course, a historical development. We need to consider how core messages worth keeping can be separated from the baggage of past human cultures that we can no longer endorse. Gay marriage is such an example.

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