Ribs, Women and Marriage

It is always interesting to read what someone says about what I have to say. 

Mark at Chesterstreet didn’t really like the fact that I looked at what his good buddy, Peter LaBarbera, had to to say (Professor Kevin’s biblical blunder). Peter makes his living out of bashing gays and lesbians.  He has done it so much (at least 15 years by his own account!) that he can’t think of anything else except for rubber, whips, AIDS and whatever else Peter LaBarbera thinks ‘gay’ means.  I write about Peter LaBarbera because I just can’t imagine that someone can make his living off of hating other people. But then again, when I think about it, hate can move the world and lots of people support hate because it is easier to deal with.

But let me say a few things in regard to what Mark had to say: 

Paul didn’t write Genesis–yes, that is correct, but I never said he did.  People like Mark, however, believe that God wrote the entire Bible, including what Paul wrote.  People like Paul are just conduits (Mark–look it up if you don’t understand what that means) for the word of God (or did they just write what they felt like that that later became the Word of God???  Now that would make for some interesting conversation.  I can’t wait to hear what Mark has to say about that one).  Of all people, Mark should know that nothing in the Bible is opposed to itself (at least that is what most people like him believe). 

People like Mark and Peter and their good friend DL Foster are hypocrites. They blather on and on about the evils of homosexuality.  They’ve been addicted to homosexuals and their ‘lifestyles’ since I began reading their blog.  I don’t know why and I won’t even try and guess where their obsession comes from (well, I know that DL Foster has to continually prove to the world that he is no longer gay, so I can at least understand where he is coming from).  They are hypocrites because their precious bible talks a lot about many other things that they don’t want to deal with, like the fact that God hates divorce.  Why don’t they dedicate their blogs to something God hates, rather than what they are obsessed about?  Why don’t they spend their time trying to make sure that heterosexual married people stay married?  Why don’t they spend their time trying to make sure that people who get divorced can’t have children or prevent them from adopting?  Oh wait, that wouldn’t be very pc, would it?  Divorce is ridiculously common nowadays and these so-called Christians aren’t up in arms about it despite what Christ and what God has to say about it.  No, it is far easier to attack gays and lesbians (and I am still looking to see where Christ says anything about gays and lesbians).  That is really what I meant in that message to Peter LaBarbera.  He, like Mark at Chesterstreet and DL Foster, pick and choose.  That isn’t a surprise to me–I have spent many, many years studying Christianity and that Christians pick and choose verses.  All the controversies in the Church are all about reading the bible and what is supposedly the correct reading and what isn’t.  They stand in a long, boring line of people who continually say the same things, over and over for centuries. 

Let’s look at 1 Cor. 6 again and this time I will print out what Paul has to say:

6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 6:16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, "The two shall be one flesh."6:17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

So let’s see.  Paul says that a man who has sex with a prostitute becomes one flesh with the woman.  Paul here is using the verse from Genesis, not as a symbol for marriage because certainly a prostitute and a man aren’t married, but yet they are one flesh.  One flesh in sex–not one flesh in marriage. 

Besides, Paul is certainly no example for those who are married.  He wants people who are unmarried and who are widows to remain unmarried, like he was.  It is only when the unmarried can’t control themselves sexually that he wants them to marry (1 Cor. 7:8-9).  That doesn’t sound like a good excuse to marry someone…(and I should say that Paul thought he was living in the end times–whoops–he was certainly wrong on that account!).

And Gen. 2:24 is interesting all by itself.  The first woman was made from the rib of the first man, therefore (the story goes) that is the reason why when a man leaves his family he attaches himself back to the woman (really his rib) from which she is from.  That doesn’t sound like a reason for marriage to me.  I think I know my anatomy pretty well, and I’ve seen some videos of human births–women don’t come from the ribs of men anymore.  It appears that this only happened for the first woman.  Marriage=ribs?  Do people really believe that Eve was fashioned from the rib of Adam? That God actually did surgery on Adam, took out one of his ribs and then carved it into the female form and then breathed life into it–and she magically became the size of an adult woman, fully formed and able to speak?  Maybe some do…

It doesn’t quite fit the other creation story from the earlier part of Genesis where God said:

1:26 "Let us make humankind in our image."  I haven’t heard anyone yet say that God looks like a rib…Or wait, maybe Paul said that somewhere and I just haven’t read it yet.

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3 Responses to Ribs, Women and Marriage

  1. Robert says:

    What the Bible does not record is what Adam said when he woke up from his sleep. According to sources, he woke up and saw this strange, yet hot figure and looked up to God and said "Whoa Man!"….therefore that is how the name Woman came into being!
     
    Now as far as your use of this verse to say it was about sex, is very interesting. I never looked at it that way, but I think you offer a good point. Certainly a simple study of Genesis shows the writer (Moses, supposdely) did not believe that "to be one" meant to be a man and a woman in marriage, as the writer calls her his "wife", therefore they are already married, he would be talking about sex, joining together, and based on the Paul writings we have to assume he also saw it as sex.
     
    Great post!

  2. Kevin says:

    Hey Rob–about the reading of Paul\’s account of Gen. 2:24:  There is a really good article written by Prof. MaryAnne Tolbert.  She writes "The Bible and Same-Gender Marriage."  She states the argument about Paul much better than I do.  You can find it here:
    http://www.clgs.org/marriage/lecture_tolbert_wisconsin.html
    Here is what she says (towards the end of her article):

    "While Jesus\’ use of Gen 2:24 does seem to imply that he thinks the verse describes marriage, Paul also quotes this same verse from Genesis when he is trying to persuade the men of the Corinthian community to stop visiting prostitutes; Paul says, "Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, \’The two shall become one flesh\’" (1 Cor 6:16). Rather plainly for Paul in this case, Gen 2:24 does not refer to marriage or any kind of kinship relationship but instead to sexual intercourse itself. Moreover, when Paul quotes Jesus\’ views forbidding divorce (1 Cor 7:10-11), he does not cite Gen 2:24 as a supporting argument. Thus, Paul explicitly uses Gen 2:24 in describing prostitution but avoids using it when discussing marriage, divorce, or remarriage. Evidently, for him marriage is not what Gen 2:24 concerns."
    The rest of the article is really good.

  3. Robert says:

    Thanks for that article. As a history and Biblical History enthusiast (which might make me a boring person), I found that article to be very well done because she did go through the history of Marriage. It\’s funny when I think of it, we as a soceity find ourselves thinking we are so advanced, yet in ancient Greek and Egypt, Hetersexuals and Homosexuals lived together in harmony.

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