Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Myth About Marriage

The Myth About Marriage by Garry Wills | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Roman marriage image via NYRB
Those who do not want to let gay partners have the sacredness of sacramental marriage are relying on a Scholastic fiction of the thirteenth century to play with people’s lives, as the church has done ever since the time of Aquinas. The myth of the sacrament should not let people deprive gays of the right to natural marriage, whether blessed by Yahweh or not. They surely do not need—since no one does—the blessing of Saint Thomas.
Expecting most Christians to understand history, even the history of their own religion, or their own Bible is a form of wishful thinking.

1 comment:

  1. The Church wasn't really involved in marriage for many centuries. Certainly, they had preferences about who a Christian ought to marry, but they weren't involved.

    Pope Leo the Something (I'd have to look it up) in the 15th century was asked about the following scenario:

    If a man wrote a letter to a woman many miles away whom he had never met, and asked her to marry him, and she responded "Yes," and he then set off to meet her only to fall into a river and die on the way there, is the woman a widow?

    The Pope responded that yes, the woman would be a widow, that the assent to the question was all that was necessary.

    So it seems the state, the Church, and even consummation were not serious issues for marriage in the Middle Ages.



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