Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Religious Right Definition Of Marriage: One Man With One Woman At One Time

I can't help but wonder if Sarah Palin carried Newt's marriage record if she would have ever been considered for VP.

I came across this bit of information on Religion Dispatches.  Joanna Brooks writes that according to the head of South Carolina's Southern Baptist Convention, Christian conservatives will have an easier time fumbling (compromising themselves) their way through the fact Newt is a serial monogamist, than they will that Mitt is a Mormon.

.....But just as Romney’s numbers were picking up again and I was preparing to sound a note of caution about over-hyping anti-Mormonism, this little gem came across the wire: the new head of South Carolina’s Southern Baptist Convention (the largest religious group in the state) says that for many faith-motivated voters, Mitt Romney’s Mormonism would be a greater moral problem that Newt Gingrich’s serial adultery.
Rev. Brad Atkins told a local South Carolina newspaper franchise that conservatives could “process and pray” their way through Gingrich’s adultery but will “struggle to understand how anyone could be a Mormon and call themselves a Christian.”

This just days after Romney scored an endorsement from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Conservative pastors are pitting the specter of popular anti-Mormon sentiment against the Republican establishment, and legitimizing that sentiment in the process. It’s quite a spectacle, and quite a mess the GOP has on its hands. Is this what happens when you outsource a political party’s grassroots operation to the religious right?


I don't know why anyone would be surprised the religious right is trashing Mitt Romney for not being a Christian.  All one has to do is look at what the religious right has done with President Obama.  For many of Newt's followers President Obama is a Muslim who was never an American citizen.  Quite a convoluted way of avoiding the whole issue of Obama is of mixed race.

I don't believe the issue has anything to do with who is actually Christian, but whether they belong to the tribe.  In this sense Newt has always belonged to this particular tribe, and so of course the tribe will overlook his multiple marriages, but can't quite get over Mitt's non tribal Mormonism.  Newt seems to hold the position of the brother who went off to college and that no one quite gets anymore.  Never the less, he is still the brother.  Mitt on the other hand, is foreign to the family and therefor all the values and ideals held by the family.  Almost as bad as that Obama guy.  Joanna is right, the Republican nomination process is becoming a spectacular mess and one that's getting queasier and queasier to watch.

But the other thing I found queasy in this article is how plastic the need for the 'one man one woman' definition of marriage seems to be for the religious right.  I guess it really means one man with one woman at one time.  The least they could do is add that to the definition of marriage.  They would look far less hypocritical.  As it stands now they just look provincial and tribal.  Maybe in the final analysis that's the whole message of the current Republican party.  It's certainly one of the strongest messages being sent by Roman Catholic leadership, no matter if it's dressed up as Catholic identity and religious freedom.  It's still fearful provincial tribalism rejecting the truth the real world is bigger and more diverse than they can handle. 



  1. The Tribal angle...thanks...I have been having trouble putting my finger on it; but you just said what was not quite of the tip of my tongue for quite awhile

  2. Not to try to be deliberately random but, you should really see the article at Religion Dispatches "Benedict, Bourdain and Krampus." The author fascinatingly delves into what may be a huge part of Benny's latent psyche...


  3. Kallisti, I read that article early this morning and wished I had the time to post on it. I agree that this may be a huge part of Benedict's latent psyche. The time this happened is such a huge part in neural and personality development. I kept putting myself in his place at five years old, and I know I would have a very hard time getting over that particular performance--especially by nuns.

    My own memories contain nothing of that kind of 'coal in the stocking' thing. Christmas was all about Santa and giving and Jesus coming.

  4. Merry Christmas Colleen.
    Sorry for lack of comments but I do read !! -I am very tired these days.
    Blessings and Peace to you.

  5. Blessings back atcha Phil, and much peace too. This is a tough time of the year for me too. In my line of work very few of my clients have any family left to celebrate Christmas with and so I become kind of a family for them. Tonight, I left a fellow staff member with a Group Home full of clients who know what we offer ain't Christmas at home, but it's better than Christmas alone. For some that's enough, but for others, well, it's going to be a very long weekend.

  6. Merry Christmas Colleen!

    Merry Christmas to all the other members of this community.

    Peace and Joy,


  7. Merry Christmas to you too Paul and may there be many more of them.

  8. First, a Happy New Year to all.

    Now the support for marriage, here:

    "Islam allows a man to marry several women, provided he commits to supporting all of them. Christianity recognizes only the union between a man and a woman. State law merely prohibits some practices, such as bigamy and incest, without specifying what the institution of marriage is. In a complex situation such as that of Nigeria, where half the population is Muslim and Catholics are 23 percent, there is unanimity at least on the fact that the marriage is the union between a man and a woman. The bill that aims to ban same-sex marriage, in fact, has found within the country the unconditional support of all the political forces, all the religious leaders, both Christian and Muslim, and civil society. Now, however, it may not be approved due to pressure from the West."

    Serial monogamy including two divorces ? That's OK. Despite the teaching of the Bible & the Church.

    Have four wives simultaneously ? Hey, knock yourself out. Forget the teaching of the Bible & the Church.

    Want to marry someone of the same sex? Eughhh - get lost. The teaching of the Bible & the Church is very clear, and must be obeyed.

    Talk about hypocrisy. Apparently relativism is fine and dandy for a Gingrich or when dealing with Muslims - but not when talking about gay marriage. How is the Church's position to be defended, when it is full of these contradictions ? What matters is to ban gay marriage - even if that means being pals with Muslim regimes that persecute the Church (&, indeed, gays). This is not a moral position - this is chaos.