Conservative’s Choice Of “Traditions” Is Arbitrary; Gay Marriage.

Carle Zimmerman of Harvard was a towering figure in sociology.  He spent a year here at North Dakoat State University.

About a decade before he was here, he published a more or less forgotten work on marriage, Family and Civilization .  If we would dig that book out today, we would stop all the foolish talk that gay marriage violates “tradition”.

Opponents cannot seem to stop the growing acceptance of gay marriage.  This is because proponents use a powerful argument.  It is that gay people are unfairly excluded from social and economic benefits of marriage.  Opponents are left with nothing but the “tradition” argument.

Carle Zimmerman’s 1947 book presents an honest record of “traditional” marriage.  One of the traditions was practiced by pre Christian Roman barbarians.

This was the practice, under the control of tribal officials, of cousin marriage which was carried on for many centuries.  Cousin marriage was necessary to carry on blood lines which determined who belonged to what group.

When the Catholic church came along and was able to wrestle marriage away from tribal government, it said cousin marriages would have  to stop.  Over several generations the practice ended.  When it ended,  organizing society around blood lines ended also.

Cousin marriages is only one of many “traditional” marriage customs.  Another is polygamy.

Opponents of gay marriage need to either come up with some argument other than tradition.  Or, they could simply acknowledge what seems the obvious, gay marriage will be the accepted by the majority.

20 Responses

  1. Henry

    From Jon’s article, I guess we now need to “evolve” back into a tribal culture where bizarre marriage practices occur.

    Using Jon’s argument, we really could trace back even further into history for bizarre marriage practices. It usually escalates to strangers surrounding your house making unusual demands at the threat of force. Sorry, I don’t want that.

    1. Stan

      They also threw children into the statue of the god Moloch which was a furnace. Do we really want to go this route? So 2000 years isn’t long enough to make a tradition?

      Seems that cousin marriage wasn’t that good of an idea in the first place. What it promoted was dynasties which sooner or later took on the trappings of gods and really put the hurt on their people. Don’t forget the self selection for transfer of genetic deformities and diseases. No need to add mental illness to the list. See Caesar, Caligula.

      1. T

        Jon was not implying that we return to polyandry or polygyny. He was merely stating that the argument that marriage has always been between a single man and a single woman is a weak argument. Serial monogamy, as we practice it today, is a relatively recent addition to human marriage practices (see The Old Testament, Bible).

        1. entech

          King David was married to Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacha, Haggith, Abital and Eglah during the 7-1/2 years he reigned in Hebron as king of Judah. After David moved his capital to Jerusalem, he married Bathsheba. Each of his first six wives bore David a son, while Bathsheba bore him four sons. Altogether, scripture records that David had 19 sons by various women, and one daughter, Tamar.
          He married Bathsheba after seducing her away from her husband Uriah and ensuring that Uriah died in battle.

          A fine example on which to base a tradition of monogamy.

          1. T

            Lest we forget King Solomon and his 700 wives (and 300 concubines) 1 Kings 11:3. With that many birthdays and anniversaries to remember no wonder that passage ends with “and his wives led him astray.” 🙂

          2. T 2:19 When you think about it, those men in the Bible, with their many wives, concubines and slaves lived well. One can see why they came up with the idea of scaring the masses with messages of sin, hell, fire and damnation to hang on to what they had.

  2. entech

    Wow, this is really informative. To justify the ban on “Gay” marriage we say how bad other things have been.

    Marriage of close relatives leads to all kinds of nasties, Caligula etc. does this explain why, starting with a tiny gene pool, (can’t get much smaller than one, Eve was created from Adam so the gene pool was one) things fell apart so much that it was necessary to correct it all with a mass drowning. Of course, there wasn’t really much of a gene pool after the flood either.
    There was no thought of dynasties and carrying family lines in biblical days either, couple anomalies the family line of Lot was probably sinful in the extreme, and the hoopla needed to have a certain person come from the line of David when lineage was traced through the mother and the mother gave birth through abiogenesis.

    It usually escalates to strangers surrounding your house making unusual demands at the threat of force. I did already mention Lot in a different context.

    Nowhere in Jon’s introduction does it say that any of these things, cousins etc. were good, bad, indifferent, successful or failures. Only that there is more than one “tradition”. Why the frantic need tu quoque.

    1. Henry

      “Why the frantic need tu quoque[?]”

      Please tell. You brought up the sin of Lot in a format consistent with tu quoque. Tu quoque would be misapplied to what I initially said. I am agreeing with Jon that historically, some “marriage” practices were twisted. Nothing new under the sun. Again, we want to “evolve” back to tribal culture?

      1. entech

        Not really, the implication was that you ban Gay marriage because your tradition is against it, this is followed by pointing out that other traditions exist. From this starting point you and Stan start to denigrate traditions except your own.
        You say that you agree with Jon that some practices were twisted, please tell me were Jon said they were twisted, I thought he was being neutral and pointing out that there are many traditions.

        I used tu quoque in the final paragraph, not referring to anything in particular, not even suggesting that it was the tu quoque fallacy, which would have involved you saying that what Jon said had to be wrong because believed these things were good, not so.
        As you have cleverly and appropriately changed it yourself to ‘e tu brute’ at another time, my inference was that anytime there is even a vague attack on one of your shibboleths, the immediate response is to say “you too” and you do, support, advocate something that is worse, this is a frantic defense IMHO. The fallacy would be if you (not you personally, but generically) were to say that because of the viewpoint or action then the statement of the opponent could not be relied on. You are too clever to do that, but as a good rhetorician you manage to imply it.

        1. entech

          and you do, support, advocate something that is worse, badly phrased, not that you support but that you introduce something that can be seen as worse.

        2. Henry

          “I used tu quoque in the final paragraph,”

          Please don’t forget about your “Lot” example you provided. “You too” right in the face of Judeo-Christians.

          1. entech

            Which of the Lot references did you mean? The offer of the daughters to those surrounding your house making unusual demands at the threat of force (not exactly strangers but strange neighbours) or the continuation of the family line by incest. I don’t suppose you can blame the daughters too much they did suffer pretty extreme parental sex abuse.

            On the charge that I was using this as an example of “you too” I suppose my example could be seen like that, however, as my whole thing was an attack on the propensity of Christians to provide examples of others wrongdoings to “take the pressure off” it becomes a little circular, but Christians are used to that.

  3. In my opinion, those who use the ‘tradition’ argument are simply looking for an acceptable excuse to mask their hate.

    As Jon mentioned the list is virtually endless of what traditional marriage was at one time or another. I personally like the part where men sold their daughters as wives for financial or political gain.

    People that pretend to work to protect the sanctity of one man one woman marriage need to work to make divorce illegal and stop worrying about what those good looking boys next door are up to when the lights go out.

    1. Mac 9:46 “use the ‘tradition’ argument are simply lookig for a acceptable excuse to mask their hate.”

      Those who hate gays and thus want to prevent them from any number of aspects of life they themselves enjoy, including marriage, it would be much more honest if they would say, “Let’s have marriage laws the way I want them.” That, instead of their false use of the term, “tradition”.

      1. Wanna B Sure

        Jon; To use “tradition” is the weakest argument, and shallow. This use of “tradition” is not defendable. It may sound good, but it is meaningless, and has no theological, or doctrinal support.
        To accuse someone of “hate” across the board, is equally shallow , meaningless, and just as hatefull. one candisagree, yet nothate. WBC, and others similar would be an exception by their very own words. To make these general accusations is divisive, and has the strong possibility of eliminating any constructive dialogue.

      2. entech

        Jon, interesting responses to your “those who hate gays and thus want to prevent …”.

        Who hates gays? Where to start WBC must top the list: and you only need to read remarks from high ranking theologians to the ill educated, Homosexuals and paedophiles are the same is a classic, Homosexuals break up “real” marriage and are contributing to the divorce rate, some would even say contribute to abortion and the illegitimate birth rate. All false and desperate attempts to justify hatred.

        To say that the words “those who hate … ” is “across the board” is a gross exaggeration, amongst those who do not hate are the increasing number of churches that approve of gay marriage and even have gay clergy. These “gay friendly” churches are spoken of approvingly by people who support their openness and with almost equal hatred by those who do at all approve.

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