...ya miss me? ;-)
Well, one thing I have discovered in my Internet "diet" (I won't say I was off the Internet completely, because I was checking my email and my facebook page every so often) is that, while you can certainly spend too much time on the Internet, it's also very difficult to live 100% without it nowadays. As an example, I spent part of August writing fiction for the Brokeback Mountain fanfic community i am part of, and you would not believe how frustrating it is not to be able to quickly check some fact without the Internet handy. For example, for one chapter I needed to understand exactly how one makes a Molotov cocktail, since one of my main characters has one thrown through her kitchen window (remember folks: conflict drives plot).
Anyways, to get the ball rolling, I wanted to highlight something that I found on my one of my favourite browse-through sites, metafilter. A comment on a recent post about polygamous Mormons has put into writing something that I have often used in my arguments against those who want to deny same-sex marriage rights to queers because the Bible lays out the guidelines for a "traditional" marriage. I have argued that there has NEVER been a "traditional" standard of marriage, that it has varied a lot in differnet cultures and eras, and this commenter backs my assertion up:
I'd like to point out - because I've not been given a chance to yet on metafilter - that whether you're a fundamentalist Mormon, a fundamentalist Baptist or a fundamentalist Presbyterian, there is simply no valid argument to be made for "traditional" marriage by drawing on scripture. None. Not in the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. The Hebrew Bible is quite possibly the worst place to start - the language it was written in doesn't even contain a word for "wife." It has the designator "his" - as in, "his woman," even for "his first," or "his second" woman and so on. But there's no word for wife. Women are purely property - utterly in the same sense as "his oxen" or "his seventy two slaves and fourteen comely eunuchs." The New Testament is an even worse place to begin - if that's even possible - Paul sure as hell didn't want us getting married. ESPECIALLY (you can tell I'm using science) because the world was about to end - which is what most fundamentalists believe! He says, "Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife." He goes on - "Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as thought they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as thought they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away."
He also states clearly that marriage is not a sin - but there are plenty of things that aren't considered sins in the Bible (drinking wine in moderation) that fundamentalists avoid.
This has always been something that bothered me.
Of course, I suppose I shouldn't look to the fundies for a bastion of clear scriptural interpretation.
So far that one comment has received an amazingly high number of "favorites" among metafilter readers; obviously it's struck a chord.