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“Our Mutual Joy”

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“Our Mutual Joy” looks at marriage from the Biblical point of view as at unions that meant for a man and several women. The polygamist men had sexual encounters with women out of the wedlock but remained in their marriages since the Bible condemned divorce. The Biblical character, Abraham, is an example of a promiscuous husband who sleeps with his servants realizing that his wife Sarah is infertile. Jacob and Solomon also had children with more than one woman in their life but lived as respected kings of their land. Jesus never married and always allowed people to leave their families, and follow him as disciples. Paul looked at marriage as something that could be done as the last option when one cannot control his sexual desires. According to “Our Mutual Joy”, all these examples show faulty marriages in the Bible making it an unreliable source to give a definition to marriage.

Despite all these faulty revelations from the Bible, the article states that religious leaders still use it to define marriage, and use the notion against gays and lesbians. Attempts to legalize gay marriage have met rebellion for almost a decade among most Christians and their leaders. The climax of this rebellion hit after the legalization of marriage in California with Christians promising to hold demonstration to oppose the new law. The stunning part of these arguments from the opposition and supporters of gay marriage is the use of the Bible as their reference point in determining the legality of marriage.

Reverend Richard A. Hunter defines marriage as a man and a woman union. He uses this Biblical quote to condemn gay and lesbian marriage as an unbiblical action and a taboo in the Christian tradition. However, critics of this definition have two points that favor their support for gay marriages. They put it that the Bible does not explicitly define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Secondly, they believe that no sensible person is ready to form a union of a man and a woman due to many cases of divorce and promiscuity reported. In America, marriage has a definition that takes into account both civil and religious points of view. The civil definition of marriage defines it as an institution that offers various benefits, such as rights to share taxes, responsibilities of raising children, and inheritance. Religiously, marriage is a commitment that partners make in front of their Creator in the promise of cherishing and loving their beloved under any circumstances. The article states that this definition implies that the Bible does not give a good reason to refute gay and lesbian marriages if they promise to love and cherish their partners as their Creator does to them.

On the contrary, supporters of the same-sex unions believe that the Bible gives reasons that make the union religiously acceptable. In the Old Testament, the fundamentals of marriage stressed are those that take into account the purpose of marriage and not the sex relations involved. Alan Segal from the Barnard University suggests that marriage was meant to be a union of one man and as many women as he could afford. These are arguments extracted from the same Bible that prohibits promiscuity among the Christians. Christians counter these arguments by quoting the Book of Genesis, which says that a man and a woman shall leave their home, marry, and create their own home away from their fathers’ land. The religious leaders also use the verse that asks Christians to go into the world and multiply as a possible explanation to avoid under-productive gay marriages. However, supporters of gay marriages believe that the authors of the Bible haven’t taken into account a possibility of adoptions and the test-tube technology when they wrote such a verse in the Bible. They argue that Jesus does not mention the same-sex marriage in his teachings thus there is no reason to prohibit such unions. Jesus preaches a radical family that cares for its members and the society with God as their common bond. He proclaims that there will be no unions in heaven, thus marriage is a decision that has no impact on ones destiny. Apostle Paul confirms this further by stating that marriage is only for those who cannot control their passions. In his teachings, Jesus condemns divorce, which is also condemned by the gay couples, but is often performed by married heterosexual couples.

Supporters of the same-sex marriages also point it out that the Bible does not mention anything that involves sex between women. The reason for this omission is that lesbianism does not involve physical entry. This implies that lesbianism is not regarded as sex in the Bible, thus it is religiously acceptable. However, the Bible prohibits marriage between two men in the Book of Leviticus in clear terms. It states that marriage between two men is an abomination. Anyone who goes against the act is liable for a punishment that is not less than the death by stoning. The same Book gives procedural steps on how to makes a different types of sacrifices, which are considered to be outdated now. Gay couples, therefore, argue that chapters, which oppose gay marriages, are out of date just as those articles that talk about sacrifices.

Gays and lesbians believe that religious objections towards their actions do not quote the Bible, but use traditions and customs of the society, which keep on changing with every new generation. In that case, traditions and customs of the society promote justice. Such perceptions were held by legendary historical characters, such as Martin Luther, who believed that history is lengthy but he always favored justice. They, therefore, believe that denying gays rights to marry a couple of choice is a denial of justice that the same traditions are intended to guarantee. According to them, the Bible ought not to be used as a source of the power that denies them their rights.

The article states that marriage institution has been evolving, and is facing the same evolution towards gay marriage that is facing rebellion today. The history of marriage starts with the Biblical characters, Abraham and Jacob, who were polygamist and promiscuous to monogamy that took over in the sixth century. Promiscuity and prostitution became an abomination in the twentieth century, and this was followed by domestic violence in later years. Powers of men in the family have faced considerable reduction, and divorce rates have increased globally. These show a marriage history that will never stagnate in terms of evolution. Religious terms that are used in wedding ceremonies have also changed to accommodate the anticipated transformations of the marriage institution. An example is the term “man and wife” during the proclamation of the wedding oath. This phrase has been changed to “husband and wife,” an indication that traditions and religion expect changes that would accommodate such a union.

“Our Mutual Joy” states that the most important aspect of the Bible is the role that it gives to married partners. The Bible encourages the existence of love and union of the married partners, who will not separate for the sake of their children and other family members. Gays always refer to the Biblical narration of King David and Jonathan who lived as loving pairs. The two stood up for each other in times of happiness and trouble even up to the point of disapproval of their parents. They claim that the Bible is a summary of events, and it could have not stated events that the two did in privacy. This shows that the Holy Book supports love between two men if it is beneficial to them, and those who depend on them.

Teachings of love and togetherness are scattered everywhere in the Bible. Jesus steps towards everyone regardless of his or her status in an attempt to make everyone equal and respectable. Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman near the well, and accepts her in spite of the number of husbands and boyfriends that the woman had accommodated in her life. This shows that he had love and affection to everyone in the society. Walter Brueggemann quotes another Biblical character, Saint Paul, who states that all humans are equal in the eyes of God. Paul says that there is no difference between a man and a woman, and a Greek and a Jew before the eyes of the Creator. According to the article, this implies that Jesus would love gays and lesbians if he were around today.

In conclusion, “Our Mutual Joy” article describes marriage as a union between two partners who are bond with love and observe fundamental issues that a family ought to observe. These issues include unity, care for the children, society, and peace. Children do not need to be reproduced by men and women, as it used to be in the Biblical era. Adoption and modern test-tube technology is an option to fill the earth. The Leviticus’ verse that condemns marriage between men is outdated just as some other verses in the Old Testament are outdated. Legalizing the same-sex marriage is an act of justice that promotes equality in the society.

In my opinion, “Our Mutual Joy” is a misleading article that tries to erode the morals of the future generations. The article uses unfounded arguments in the Bible and outside the Bible to support gay marriages, which are disgust in the society. The fact that the Old Testament contains rules that are out of date does not give them a loophole to legalize gay marriages, which face a condemnation in the book of Leviticus. If we accept that such a rule is outdated, then we can have another group of believers who will rebel the Ten Commandments with claims that they are outdated. Such a move will make the whole Holy Book to be outdated, and this will lead to creation of a society with eroded and negative morals. Suspecting that the Biblical characters, David and Jonathan, had a gay relationship is unimaginable and groundless. That is a fallacy that has no proves in the Bible. Their relationship is what we can see among male friends and brothers, thus it cannot be a loophole to support gay marriages.

Christians, atheists, pagans and representatives of every religion have to accept what their God or nature intended to do during humans’ creation and/or evolution. Nature or the supernatural powers that created the humankind had a purpose that the two sexes be compatible in both life activities and reproduction. This occurs when the two lives in harmony as a couple and reproduce in legal men to women marriages.

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