Thursday, April 30, 2009

Which Type Of Marriage Would That Be?

One of the topics this blog will focus on quite frequently, not because it affects me per se, but because of the intolerance from those that oppose it all in the name of their religion, is same sex marriage. With that in mind, I was doing some research for a topic concerning the neo-con's contention that allowing gay to marry would somehow affect their marriage when I came across an article that defines marriage in the biblical sense, all 8 types!
1. The standard nuclear family: Genesis 2:24 describes how a man leaves his family of origin, joins with a woman, consummates the marriage and lives as a couple. There were quite a few differences between the customs and laws of contemporary North Americans and of ancient Israelites. In ancient Israel:
* Inter-faith marriages were theoretically forbidden. However, they were sometimes formed.
* Children of inter-faith marriages were considered illegitimate.
* Marriages were generally arranged by family or friends; they did not result from a gradually evolving, loving relationship that developed during a period of courtship.
* A bride who had been presented as a virgin and who could not be proven to be one was stoned to death by the men of her village. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21) There appears to have been no similar penalty for men who engaged in consensual pre-marital sexual activity.
2. Polygynous marriage: A man would leave his family of origin and join with his first wife. Then, as finances allowed, he would marry as many additional women as he desired. The new wives would join the man and his other wives in an already established household. Polygyny was practiced by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, until the practice was suspended, a least temporarily, in the late 19th century. It is still practiced by separated fundamentalist Mormon groups which have left and been excommunicated from the main church.

There are many references to polygynous marriages in the Bible:
* Lamech, in Genesis 4:19, became the first known polygynist. He had two wives.
* Subsequent men in polygynous relationships included:
o Esau with 3 wives;
o Jacob: 2;
o Ashur: 2;
o Gideon: many;
o Elkanah: 2;
o David: many;
o Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth;
o Rehaboam: 3;
o Abijah: 14.
o Jehoram, Joash, Ahab, Jeholachin and Belshazzar also had multiple wives.
* From the historical record, it is known that Herod the Great (73 to 4 BCE) had nine wives.

We have been unable to find references to polyandrous marriages in the Bible -- unions involving one woman and more than one man. It is unlikely that many existed because of the distinctly inferior status given to women; they were often treated as property in the Hebrew Scriptures.
3. Levirate Marriage: The name of this type of marriage is derived from the Latin word "levir," which means "brother-in-law." This involved a woman who was widowed without having borne a son. She would be required to leave her home, marry her brother-in-law, live with him, and engage in sexual relations. If there were feelings of attraction and love between the woman and her new husband, this arrangement could be quite agreeable to both. Otherwise, the woman would have to endure what was essentially serial rapes with her former brother-in-law as perpetrator. Their first-born son was considered to be sired by the deceased husband. In Genesis 38:6-10, Tamar's husband Er was killed by God for unspecified sinful behavior. Er's brother, Onan, was then required by custom to marry Tamar. Not wanting to have a child who would not be considered his, he engaged in an elementary (and quite unreliable) method of birth control: coitus interruptus. God appears to have given a very high priority to the levirate marriage obligation. Being very displeased with Onan's behavior, God killed him as well. Ruth 4 reveals that a man would be required to enter into a levirate marriage not only with his late brother's widow, but with a widow to whom he was the closest living relative.
4. A man, a woman and her property -- a female slave: As described in Genesis 16, Sarah and Abram were infertile. Sarah owned Hagar, a female slave who apparently had been purchased earlier in Egypt. Because Hagar was Sarah's property, she could dispose of her as she wished. Sarah gave Hagar to Abram as a type of wife, so that Abram would have an heir. Presumably, the arrangement to marry and engage in sexual activity was done without the consent of Hagar, who had such a low status in the society of the day that she was required to submit to what she probably felt were serial rapes by Abram. Hagar conceived and bore a son, Ishmael. This type of marriage had some points of similarity to polygamous marriage, as described above. However, Hagar's status as a human slave in a plural marriage with two free individuals makes it sufficiently different to warrant separate treatment here.
5. A man, one or more wives, and some concubines: A man could keep numerous concubines, in addition to one or more wives. These women held an even lower status than a wife. As implied in Genesis 21:10, a concubine could be dismissed when no longer wanted. According to Smith's Bible Dictionary, "A concubine would generally be either (1) a Hebrew girl bought...[from] her father; (2) a Gentile captive taken in war; (3) a foreign slave bought; or (4) a Canaanitish woman, bond or free." 1 They would probably be brought into an already-established household. Abraham had two concubines; Gideon: at least 1; Nahor: 1; Jacob: 1; Eliphaz: 1; Gideon: 1; Caleb: 2; Manassah: 1; Saul: 1; David: at least 10; Rehoboam: 60; Solomon: 300!; an unidentified Levite: 1; Belshazzar: more than 1.
6. A male soldier and a female prisoner of war: Numbers 31:1-18 describes how the army of the ancient Israelites killed every adult Midianite male in battle. Moses then ordered the slaughter in cold blood of most of the captives, including all of the male children who numbered about 32,000. Only the lives of 32,000 women - all virgins -- were spared. Some of the latter were given to the priests as slaves. Most were taken by the Israeli soldiers as captives of war. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes how each captive woman would shave her head, pare her nails, be left alone to mourn the loss of her families, friends, and freedom. After a full month had passed, they would be required to submit to their owners sexually, as a wife. It is conceivable that in a few cases, a love bond might have formed between the soldier and his captive(s). However, in most cases we can assume that the woman had to submit sexually against her will; that is, she was raped.
7. A male rapist and his victim: Deuteronomy 22:28-29 requires that a female virgin who is not engaged to be married and who has been raped must marry her attacker, no matter what her feelings were towards the rapist. A man could become married by simply sexually attacking a woman that appealed to him, and paying his father-in-law 50 shekels of silver. There is one disadvantage of this approach: he was not allowed to subsequently divorce her.
8. A male and female slave: Exodus 21:4 indicates that a slave owner could assign one of his female slaves to one of his male slaves as a wife. There is no indication that women were consulted during this type of transaction. The arrangement would probably involve rape in most cases. In the times of the Hebrew Scriptures, Israelite women who were sold into slavery by their fathers were slaves forever. Men, and women who became slaves by another route, were limited to serving as slaves for seven years. When a male slave left his owner, the marriage would normally be terminated; his wife would stay behind, with any children that she had. He could elect to stay a slave if he wished.

So when they complain that gay marriage would somehow affect the sanctity of marriage, which marriage are they referring to exactly?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Of Course Johnny's Not A Hypocrite

Our beloved Senator John Thune is not happy and Barack Obama is as usual the target of his displeasure. This time it is Obama's fault that Sioux Falls isn't getting a handout.
Senator John Thune criticized President Obama for not including the Big Sioux Flood Control Project in the stimulus package. Thune says the lack of funding for the project shows that President Obama does not think the residents of Sioux Falls are a priority.

So Johnny, weren't you just ripping Obama (stacking $100 bills 689 miles high) for putting future generations in debt because of the stimulus package? So which is it, not enough stimulus money or too much?

If you are really worried about Sioux Fall's flood control problems, why don't you take care of it the old fashion way, with an earmark...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another Bad Bush Policy Goes Away, Sort Of

A federal judge has lifted former President Bush's gift to the religious right and removed the over 18 age restriction on over the counter sales of the Plan B contraceptive pill. The ruling which the FDA says that they will not appeal now makes the drug available over the counter to those 17 and over without a prescription.

Those not of the far right political persuasion will surely look on this as a good thing though the FDA's own medical reviewers have already recommended that the drug be available to all without any age restrictions. So while this is a move in the right direction, there is still a ways to go.

Read the whole article from the AP.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cure For Most Common Cause Of Blindness?

If you were to listen to some folks, embryonic stems cell therapy is immoral and to top it off there has yet to be any usable medical breakthroughs from the research anyways.
BRITISH scientists have developed the world’s first stem cell therapy to cure the most common cause of blindness. Surgeons predict it will become a routine, one-hour procedure that will be generally available in six or seven years’ time.

The treatment involves replacing a layer of degenerated cells with new ones created from embryonic stem cells. It was pioneered by scientists and surgeons from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London and Moorfields eye hospital.

Okay well maybe there is that...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Oh Geez, Who Would Have Thought?

While Conservatives were busy throwing tea into tiny lakes and calling it a non-political/non-partisan event aimed at protesting taxes. Taxes that actually went down for 98% of them by the way. It was business as usual for those circumventing the 4th amendment.
The two New York Times journalists who broke the original Bush-era NSA wiretapping story in 2005 have published fresh revelations of new abuses of the program, which include alleged access to Americans' domestic communications and an attempt to wiretap a member of Congress without a warrant. The article reports that "officials with both the House and Senate intelligence committees said they had concerns that the agency had ignored civil liberties safeguards built into last year’s wiretapping law."

What a suprise. Who would have thought that the NSA would continue to do whatever they wanted and that the recently passed FISA update was a bad idea? Oh that's right, I did.

And as before, will this get the same outrage as other circumventions of the Constitution? Probably not as no one is attempting to delay, even for a day or two, John Q Public's right? to purchase an AK47 for "home protection".

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So Much Spin I Almost Hurt My Neck Reading It

More proof that just about any issue will be spun by the Religious Right to tie into their anti-abortion agenda. This time it is President Obama's handling of the Somali pirates kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips. From the FRC: (emphasis mine)
Despite what some say, Captain Phillips is alive today because his government acted in the interest of preserving life. Our President also sent a strong message that the change in American leadership does not mean a change in U.S. terrorism policy. It emphasized the excellence of our military and reaffirmed a core value of our nation--life is worth defending. We commend President Obama for acting decisively to protect Captain Phillips. I must add, however, that this incident also serves to highlight an unconscionable contrast that exists in our culture and epitomized by this administration. The President moved heaven and earth to protect an American captive while turning a deaf ear to the cries of the unborn.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Breaking News From Mr. Obvious!

Thanks to the folks over at the SDGOP funded Republican Tide, we learn that Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is a Democrat. (oops, looks like they pulled the post for some reason, maybe they needed to do more research to prove that Sandlin is actually a Democrat)
According to the Washington Post in this Congress, Herseth Sandlin has voted with her party and Nancy Pelosi 96.6% of the time.

And wouldn't you know it, after some tireless research (3 milli-seconds worth) I was able to uncover that John Thune is actually a Republican!
John Thune has voted with a majority of his Republican colleagues 94.8% of the time during the current Congress.

And to put a cherry on top of today's breaking news, it was discovered that Fox News is biased. The latest example has Neil Cavuto pointing out that his network tirelessly covered the Million Man March so why wouldn't they spend so much time covering the upcoming "Tea"bag parties!
The problem, as News Hounds points out, is that the Million Man March took place on Oct. 16, 1995. According to the News Corp. website, however, Fox News did not begin operations until Oct. 7, 1996 — almost a full year after the March. Cavuto joined the network a few months before it launched — in July 1996. Before joining Fox, he was at CNBC.

I do believe these could be considered stating the obvious don't you?

Update: Pat Powers picks up the Republican Tide's slack and has posted the press release here.

Update 2: The Republican Tide has reposted the press release here and this time they even added a nice pretty picture of the newly? outed Democrat. Oh the humanity...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sad On So Many Levels

Sad not only because of the news of her untimely death at 57, but also that she was living in a trailer park at the time of her passing.
Marilyn Chambers, star of such golden age classics as Behind the Green Door and Insatiable, was found dead Sunday in the mobile home where she had been living for the past several months. She was 57. Chambers was found by her daughter, McKenna. No cause of death is yet known, and an autopsy will be performed.


Tin Foil Hats

The video below via, god help me, Little Green Footballs, documents a recent get together for a “Project 912 Glenn Beck Tea Party”. How would have thunk that these "tea parties" were actually about:

- Burning books that discuss evolution
- Government brainwashing using digital converter boxes
- Communist plot to bring down our economy...started in the 1950's!

And here I thought it was only about folks being worried about Obama somehow totally destroying our perfectly fine economy only 3 months into his Presidency. Afterall the original tea party was all about taxation without representation and we all know that, oh I forgot we did just have that election last November didn't we?

Where is my tin foil hat again?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Couldn't Have Created A Better Title If I Tried

Though I am sure the OneNewsNow article author had a different meaning in mind when she penned the title, it describes the subject quite well.

Intelligent Design for dummies

Fighting An Unarmed Man

Movie reviews used to be enjoyable to watch especially when they were given by Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. Unfortunately Gene passed away awhile ago and more recently Roger Ebert suffered health issues that have forced him off of TV. With that being said, while Roger can no longer speak, his mind is still sharp as a tack. Just ask Bill O'Reilly after he placed the Chicago Sun Times on his "Hall of Shame" list calling for advertisers to boycott the paper because they had the audacity to drop his column.

Here's a snipet from Roger Ebert's response to O'Reilly but I would suggest you read the whole thing, especially the out of touch with reality and the mouse part, here.
Your column ran in our paper while it was owned by the right-wing polemicists Conrad Black (Baron Black of Coldharbour) and David Radler. We dropped it to save a little money after they looted the paper of millions. Now you call for an advertising boycott. It is unusual to observe a journalist cheering for a newspaper to fail. At present the Sun-Times has no bank debt, but labors under the weight of millions of dollars in tax penalties incurred by Lord Black, who is serving an eight-year stretch for mail fraud and obstruction of justice. We also had to pay for his legal expenses.

There is a major difference between Conrad Black and you: Lord Black is a much better writer and thinker, and authored a respected biography about Roosevelt, who we were founded to defend. That newspapers continue to run your column is a mystery to me, since it is composed of knee-jerk frothings and ravings. If I were an editor searching for a conservative, I wouldn't choose a mad dog. My recommendation: The admirable Charles Krauthammer.

Maybe O'Reilly should stick to having his producers ambushing those who call him out for what he is, a coffee mug hawking, talking point squawking hack. It's obvious he is over-matched when he takes on someone on their own turf.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Too Close For Comfort?

I am guessing the news coming out of Iowa today will be grinding on the nerves of our local homophobic bloggers as our neighbor to the Southeast becomes just the 3rd state to allow same sex marriage.
The Iowa Supreme Court this morning upheld a Polk County judge’s 2007 ruling that marriage should not be limited to one man and one woman.

The ruling, viewed nationally and at home as a victory for the gay rights movement and a setback for social conservatives, means Iowa’s 5,800 gay couples can legally marry in Iowa beginning April 24.

There are no residency rules for marriage in Iowa, so the rule would apply to any couple who wanted to travel to Iowa.

With the lack residency requirements, maybe Iowa will start a new cottage industry catering to residents of the 47 states still living in the dark ages?

(h/t - Dakota Women)

UPDATE: The far right reaction is swift and predictable

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scared Stiff

If this doesn't scare the faithful into keeping it in their pants unless they are looking to procreate than nothing will.

scary

(h/t - Pharyngula)