Same-sex marriage

Plato did not object to homosexuality nor homosexual unions. In fact, Phaedrus (Greek: Φαῖδρος), in Plato’s Symposium (ll. 256 ff.), spoke openly on the power of male sexual relationships to improve bravery in the military:

… he would prefer to die many deaths: while as for leaving the one he loves in a lurch, or not succoring him in peril, no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born

(See: Plato, Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον; 178a-180; cf.   http://sparks.eserver.org/books/plato-phaedrus.html; for the complete text on-line see: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/plato/p71sy/)

Aristotle stated that the Cretans encouraged homosexuality as a population controller on the island community in his Politics (Politics, Bk. 5, chap. 9, ll. 1311: the only concern was for “modesty” that no physical display be public [including with heterosexuals)].   Plato is quoted as commenting:

Homosexuality is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love-all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce.

(See: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/1979boswell.html.)

According to Plutarch:

Homer’s Nestor was not well skilled in ordering an army when he advised the Greeks to rank tribe and tribe… he should have joined lovers and their beloved. For men of the same tribe little value one another when dangers press; but a band cemented by friendship grounded upon love is never to be broken.”

(See: Plutarch Pelopidas 18.) 

Homosexual love was considered the highest form of love as even the gods practiced it, as was the delight of Achilles and Patroclus as cited by  Æschines (See:  Cassius Maximus Tyrius [Μάξιμος Τύριος; 2nd century CE], Διατριβές (Dissertations), xxiv. 8, ed. Didot, Dissertations de Maxime de Tyr. Paris, Bossange, Masson et Besson, XI.–(1802) reprint 1842; cp. Tou Maximou Tyriou Logoi. Maximi Tyrii Dissertationes. Oxoniæ, e Theatro Sheldoniano, 1677. cf. http://www.sacred-texts.com/lgbt/pge/pge05.htm).  While the majority of people seemed to have believed that bisexuality was the norm, there were those who preferred to be exclusively heterosexual or homosexual. For example, a debate between homosexual and heterosexual love was included in Plutarch’s Moralia (See: Eskridge, William N. (Oct 1993). “A History of Same-Sex Marriage”. Virginia Law Review 79 (7).

Augustine of Hippo was a man of many facets and faces. While he was bisexual (Confessions 3.1) and mourned the loss of a “loved” friend (Confessions 4:4-6), he later condemned bisexuality and homosexuality as the sex act did not lead to procreation, and all non-hetrodox sexuality ((De haeresibus, written in 429).  He refers to “sodomites” (Heresy 18) not as homosexuals but as people who give too much time to the pleasures of the flesh as he found power of sensation and lust or inordinate desire (between vis sentiendi and vitium concupiscendi) self-corrupting and moving people away from god.  Augustine wrote: “Carefully distinguish these two things and you will not mistake or distort things … (because) the sensation of the flesh is one thing the lust of the flesh another” (Opus imperfectum contra lulianum 4, 29 and 69).

While many argue that Augustine of Hippo condemned gay marriages (not homosexuality in particular) he wrote on marriage and how it dealt with Jesus of the Bible and his ministry to women (See:  St. Augustine, “Homilies on the Gospel of John; Homilies on the First Epistle of John Tractate VIII,” in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Authors, vol. VII, ed. Philip Schaff (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991), p. 58, 59), Augustine was ambivalent on the nature of marriage.  Augustine upheld the “goods” of marriage, i.e., procreation, marital fidelity, and the sacramental bond, in his treatise on the subject. At the same time, however, he proposed that there could be a perfectly valid marriage without sex like that of Mary and Joseph, whose relation endorsed marital affection, the sacramental bond, for he wrote that the purpose of marriage was not to enjoy the “fleshy” delights of the body, because “intercourse of the mind is more intimate than that of the body” (Ref. Elliott, Dyan (1993). Spiritual Marriage: Sexual Abstinence in Medieval Wedlock, Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 43). 

Augustine’s objection to sexual (vaginal) intercourse were esoteric, and his detractors (who were many and in numerous nations and bishoprics) were explicit, as was the redaction by Bishop Fulgentius of Ruspe who wrote :

“Since husband and wife cannot come together without lust (sine libidine), when they have intercourse in order to procreate children, for this reason the conceiving of sons born from their flesh cannot be accomplished without sin. In this event it is not the act of procreation (propagano) but lust which passes on the sin. Nor is it the fruitfulness of human nature that causes men to be born with sin, but the foulness of lust which men possess as a result of the most just condemnation of that first sin.”

(Fulgentii, Liber de fide ad Petrum, 2, 16; PL 40, 758: “Et quia dum Bibi invicem vir mulierque miscentur ut filios generent, sine libidine non est parentum concubitus; ob hoc filiorum ex eorum carne nascentium non potest sine peccato esse conceptus, ubi peccatum in parvulos non transmittit propagatio, sed libido; nec fecunditas naturae humanae facit homines cum peccato nasci, sed foeditas libidinis, quam homines habent ex illius primi justissima condemnatione peccati … propter originale tarnen peccatum, quod naturaliter obstructi filii sunt irae….” (Cf. Eph. 2:3). 

Augustine had love of rhetorical exaggeration and his zeal in controversy led him to make sweeping statements that were open to mistaken emphasis and to misinterpretation.  What Augustine actually wrote was: “So it is not because it is a sin to engage in conjugal intercourse that men are conceived in iniquity and nourished in sins within the womb of their mothers; rather what is thus produced is the product of flesh that has been punished. For the penalty of the flesh is death and indeed its own death is present within it…. This chaste action within marriage has no fault; rather, the first source of sin carries with it a proper punishment.” (See: Enarrationes in Psalmos, 50, vers. 7, 10; PL 36, 591-2:

“Non ergo in iniquitate concipiuntur homines, et in peccatis in utero a matribus aluntur, quia peccatum est misceri conjugibus; sed quia illud quod fit, utique fit de carne poenali. Poena enim carnis mors est, et utique inest ipsa mortalitas. . . . Opus hoc castum in conjuge non habet culpam, sed origo peccati trahit secum debitam poenam.”)  Augustine was actually more cautious, and warned about too quickly seeking an immediate answer from Scripture.  

St. Augustine was keenly aware that Scriptural interpretation was not easy. Augustine argued that individual Scriptural interpretation was dangerously prone to zealous subjective argumentation. As a result, he advocated a liberality of interpretation wherein the Church could be a home to a variety of interpretations. (See: Augustine: On Christian Doctrine [3.27.28] and Confessions [12.31.42].) In the commentary on Genesis, however, he warned that idiosyncratic and headstrong interpretations of difficult passages were downright harmful to the progress of the faith because they revealed the infatuation of the interpreter more than the truth of Scripture.

In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find treated in the Holy Scripture, different interpretations are sometimes possible without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture, but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture. (De Genesi ad litteram, Book I, chapter 18)

For “evangelicals” to boldly proclaim that they knew precisely the Scriptures intended and based their hatred on those select verses was anathema.  Augustine wrote:

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, this is a disgraceful and dangerous things for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumable giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these subjects; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of the Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.” (See: Augustine, De Genesi ad litteram, Book I, Chapter 19.)

It must be remembered that Augustine was writing to a limited audience: to the church in Hippo (Africa).  There was not yet a formal “church” and the bishop of Rome was not recognized as a pope nor a senior leader among the various sects of christians (chrestaenos, etc).

Not until the Emperor Constantine create/establish the Christian church in the fourth century when he called his warring bishops to his Council of Nicaea, was there any concern–and the christians (all sects) within Rome had little problem welcoming or marrying homosexual couples, declaring “love is open to everyone and is without restriction.”  This only changed with the advent of the Imperial Church that became more intolerant than its pagan predecessors (cp. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3802.htm).  Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans declared the death penalty for a male who aped the role of a bride after receiving a “handsome gift” of sacks of coins from Christian bishops. This became a part of the official law (Theodosian Code 9.7.3) but not because of the act itself, but  because of “a change of roles”:

“When a man marries [a man] as a woman offering herself to men (quum vir nubit in feminam viris porrecturam), what can he be seeking, where gender has lost its place; when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know; when Venus is changed to another form; when love is sought and not found?” 

It had nothing to do with two men who acted as men and did not pretend one was a woman or wife. (Cp. Theodosian Code 9.7.6: All persons who have the shameful custom of condemning a man’s body, acting the part of a woman’s to the sufferance of alien sex [for they appear not to be different from women], shall expiate a crime of this kind in avenging flames in the sight of the people).  The fact that the regular and order clergy (priests and monks) elected to ignore the law and episcopal letters (the fact that so many laws were passed and bishops continued to escalate their writing condemning “the unnatural vice” is testimony to its existence and increase) can be seen in the Rule of Benedict of Nursia who openly plagiarized “Saints” Basil, John Cassian, and Augustine in his Chapter XXII, where he required that “monks” must sleep in “separate beds”, clothed and with lights (candles) burning in the dormitory, and under no circumstance were “young men” to sleep next to one another but to be separated by cots containing elder clergy.  This dream held by Benedict, however, found its reality only in Gaul.

Benedict’s call for strict control of “touching” was repeated by the graft-engorged “Saint” Isidore, who entered a monastery c. 589 and succeeded his brother as Archbishop of Seville (nepotism was rampant at this time and remained so for over one thousand years), where he created his Etymologies praising soldiers since they “do nothing” effeminate (miles quia nihil molle faciat).

In the Early Middle Ages, homosexuality and homosexual unions (not sanctioned by most churches) was so rampant that the church in Rome and other bishoprics began a bombardment of leaflets, proclamations, and “penitentials” and other manuals to aid priests in giving “spiritual advice” to laity by detailing the various categories of sin that would lead to various afflictions in an afterlife world–and prescribing appropriate penances that ranged from prayers to good deeds to endowing the church with various amounts of money, lands, and other goods.  The Janus nature of the Roman church became apparent when monks were treated more leniently than the laity, while “youth” were given the shortest penances and had to pay the least “gift” for such sins as masturbation and “buggery” (the actual term–meaning Bulgarian). 

The secular arm of the law found it profitable to capitalize on sins but exacting fines, deprivation of property, and physical pain for such “homosexual” behaviour as oral or anal sex by either the same or opposite gender. (See: Bullough, Vern L. (1976).  Sexual Variance in Society and History. New York: John Wiley, p. 353; and Boswell, John (1980). Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  p.177.)

Leo’s stand did not change until the advent of the fiery Gregory VII (1073-1085; also known as Hildebrand) introduced startling innovations in the church. Quickly Gregory VII demanded clerical celibacy of all members of the clergy–thereby admitting that few were celibate. (One of the main reasons for establishing celibacy as a rule for monks and priests was to make certain that they did not have children and bequeath any wealth to them–this is known as mortmain, and first appears in 1250 CE  as the condition of lands or tenements held without right of alienation, as by an ecclesiastical corporation; inalienable ownership. It is from Old French mortemain meaning  “dead hand,” which began with the Middle Latin mortua manus. It is not sanitized to mean “inalienable ownership” until the mid-15th century.

Gregory, a theological neophyte, demanded that priests put away their wives and concubines (the fact that he ruled against clerical marriages and concubinage shows how extensive and prevalent both were, as previous popes ignored the issue, realizing that celibacy was an unnatural act and out-of-place in an emerging society of realistic approach to human sexuality). More surprising was that this new pope (who had been anything but celibate before rising to the papal throne), launched not only a moral crusade against sex (except when the sexual act culminated in the procreation of children who could be sent to convents and nunneries as babies to become future monks and nuns and priests) but called for a spiritual and physical battle against Greek Orthodox, Muslims, Jews, heretics and “sodomites” (the latter word meant anyone who had a strong sexual “addiction” or enjoyed repeated penetrations and/or orgasms–its identification with homosexuality came quite much later.  It is from the Ecclesiastical Latin: peccatum Sodomiticum, or “sin of Sodom” referring to Genesis  19 (a city on the Plain) but as for it referring to the sexual oral or anal act (sodomy) this is rejected in Ezekiel 16:49; Specific sins which Sodom is linked to include adultery and lying (Jeremiah 23:14), impenitence (Matthew 11:23, careless living (Luke 17:28), fornication (Jude 1:7 KJV), and an overall “filthy” lifestyle (2 Peter 2:7), which word (“aselgeiais”) elsewhere is rendered in the KJV as lasciviousness (Mark 7:22; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:19; 1 Peter 4:3; Jude 1:4, or wantonness: (Romans 13:13; 2 Peter 2:18).  The mistranslation is common in most Christian cults as at http://www.antiochian.org/homosexuality). 

What is unique in these arguments is that they have no support in the original Gospels.  The Jesus of the New Testament never mentioned “homosexuality” (the word did not exist at that time; it does not appear until the nineteenth century and then to define an interest in a person of the same gender) nor “sodomite”. Nor did Jesus ever marry (a strange occurrence or anomaly since Jewish society expected all males to marry once achieving “manhood” and was not an Essene; nor is there any record of Jesus having a girlfriend. Instead, the only two individuals he claimed to love were both males: Lazarus (who disappears once he is resurrected from the grave; John 11:5) and “John the Beloved” who slept or rested his head on the chest of Jesus (John 20:2). All of Jesus official Apostles were men, as were the 70 disciples of Luke 10:1. As for marriage (a “wedding feast”: γαμήλια γιορτή), in the New Testament it is but a public recognition of two people agreeing to form a union (the Scriptures do not state it was between a man and a woman: Matthew 22:2, 4, 9, and 25:10; John 2:1-2) as it had been a declaration of cohabitation in the Old Testament (שכיבה or בעל if one was to be subjected/enslaved to an owner baal) where the wife is property הבעלים של רעיה), the rubrics for later marriages between male and female come with the writings of Saul of Tarsus who was not an original disciple nor whose selection by Jesus was not publicly witnessed.  The “wife” mistranslated in most modern versions of Genesis 2:24, actually is “woman” (אישה) who is subjected like a slave to a man (cf. Genesis 2:25). This same misogynism appears in Colossians 3:18 (γυναίκα) whose vagina is the property of the man who owns here.

Before the ancient Jews (Apiru) moved into Canaan, migrating from India, same-sex marriages were common and openly accepted. The Midrash teaches that the Canaanites would write marriage contracts for men with men and women with women: “A man would marry a man, and a woman a woman.”  (Cp. BT Sotah 10a; Seder Olam Rabbah 2.)  No god or goddess (the Canaanites were worshippers of the goddess Asherah (Hebrew: אֲשֵׁרָה‎ also known as Astarte; cf 2 Kings 23:4-7; and, Isaiah 17:8 and 2:8), a Semitic mother goddess (cf. http://www.dhushara.com/book/orsin/asherah.htm), condemned them, nor killed them–that was done by the followers of the Wanderers (Jews) who ultimately married their agricultural god to the Canaanite goddess who was known no later than 1200 BCE as rbt ʼaṯrt ym, rabat ʼAṯirat yammi, ‘Lady Athirat of the Sea’ and was worshipped for being able to “walk on the sea” and “calm storms at sea” while preaching to her disciples while standing on the deck of a ship. (See: Driver, G.R. (1971), Canaanite Myths and Legends, Edinburgh: T & T Clark.; cp. van der Toorn, K., Becking, Bob, and van der Horst, Pieter Willem, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, pp. 102-105, 146, 148, 603 sqq.; cf. Binger, Tilde (1997). Asherah: Goddess in Ugarit, Israel, and the Old Testament.  Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press; and, Hadley, Judith M. (2000). The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press; cp. Ide, Arthur Frederick (1991). Yahweh’s Wife: Sex in the Evolution of Monotheism; A Study of Yahweh, Asherah, Ritual Sodomy and Temple Prostitution. Las Colinas: Monument.)

From its beginning in Jewish and Christian history, “marriage” was more concerned with property and keeping wealth within a family and making certain that the family stay within its own group. ancient Hebrew law required a man to become the husband of a deceased brother’s widow (Genesis 38:8-9 [however, Onan was condemned because of coitus interruptus] this is later replaced with the prohibitions of Leviticus 18).

A more fundamentalist interpretation, plagiarized from the Old Testament by the Remembrancers of the Qur’an/Koran is لوطي lūṭiy (literally meaning “of Lot’s people”) is used as a highly derogatory and religiously charged term for gay men in Arabic, which culminated in Shari’a law requiring the hanging of “homosexuals” of any age (include five-year-olds if found sleeping naked with a member of the same gender).  However, with Gregory VII speaking out so forcefully shows that the practice was not only prevalent but increasing, as it was considered a form of birth control used even in marriage (See: Flandrin, J. L. (1969), “Contraception, marriage et relations amoureuses dans l’Occident chrétien,” in Annales. Sociétés, économies, civilisations 24, pp. 1370-1390; and Flandrin, J. L. (1972) “Mariage tardif et vie sexuelle: Discussions et hypothèses de recherche,” in  Annales. Sociétés, économies, civilisations 27, pp. 135-178. Ref. Bleibtreu-Ehrenberg, Gisela (1978).  Tabu Homosexualität – Die Geschichte eines Vorurteils (“The taboo of homosexuality: The history of a prejudice”), 1978, p. 187; Goodrich, Michael (1976). “Sodomy in Medieval Secular Law,” Journal of Homosexuality 1:295 sq, and Goodrich, Michael (1976). “Sodomy in Ecclesiastical Law and Theory,” Journal of Homosexuality 1:427-434; Payer, Pierre J. (1984). Sex and the Penitentials: The Development of a Sexual Code, 550-1150 (Toronto: Toronto University Press); and, Kuster, Harry J. (1977). Over Homoseksualiteit in Middeleeuws. PhD dissertation, University of Utrecht.) Despite all papal pronouncements against homosexuality, it continued, flourished, and was found even in the upper ranks of clergy throughout the church (cf. Russell, Kenneth C.  (1982), “Aelred, the Gay Abbot of Rievaulx,” Studia Mystica 5/4: 5164.)

It wasn’t until the “Sentences” of Peter Lombard, in the middle of the 12th century, that marriage became a part of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Christian Church (Salisbury, Eve, ed. “The Trials and Joys of Marriage, Introduction” in TEAMS middle English texts. Medieval Institute Publications. Originally Published in The Trials and Joys of Marriage. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 2002 on-line at  http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/salintro.htm).

By the Middle Ages the Christian church had devolved so deep into self-loathing and hatred, that “doctors” of the church, such as Peter Damian, wrote the Liber Gomorrhianus, extended its attack on both homosexuality and masturbation, equating them with the most evil of vices. Damian, however, was recognized only for being a zealot and not a great authority on scripture or on understanding reality. Thus Pope Leo IX (1049-1051) acknowledged his Liber Gormorrhianus but only in a polite note that states that Damian was a foe of carnal pollution–but giving Damian no further recognition nor even suggesting that Damian spoke for the Roman church. Leo, like popes before him, was willing to let the moral status quo in the Church remain especially since so many the ranks of priests, monks, and nuns were homosexual.

“Sanctifying” two people of the same gender has nearly always led to recognition of the couple as being married (“bound together”) from the earliest times through the early Middle Ages in East and West.  (See: Lahey, Kathleen A., and Alderson, Kevin (2004). Same-sex marriage: the personal and the political. Toronto : Insomniac Press.)  There was no true opposition until the late fourth century CE for even the emperor Nero had married a man as did Elagabalus (cf. http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/BIB/Homosexuality_in_the_Middle_Ages.htm, N47). It was then that the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans (whose conversions were more politically than spiritually motivated since the bishoprics poured increasing amounts of “tithes” into their private coffers) decreed the draconian prohibitions against gay marriages in the infamous Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) issued in 342 CE–but the law was not universal, as it prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome (where the bishop of Rome, Julius I, was known more for graft than grace and pandering than piety) and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed.  Pope Julius I was in a unique position to influence the corrupt joint-emperors, as he had demanded that the world submit to Rome in the Arian controversy (Julii epistle ad Antiochenos, c. xxii) and was able to get bishops from Egypt to Constantinople to recognize him–an authority the venal emperors lusted for openly.  Even after the passing of the Theodosian code the Christian emperors continued to collect taxes on male prostitutes until the reign of Anastasius (491–518).

There are significant number of same-sex marriages in mediaeval France. There the union of two men was known as a “brotherhood” and of two women as a “sisterhood.”  The “brothers” pledged to live together sharing “un pain, un vin, et une bourse,” (one bread, one wine and one purse). The “one purse” referred to the idea that all of the couple’s goods became joint property. Like marriage contracts, the “brotherments” had to be sworn before a notary and witnesses–as had been the situation for at least one-thousand years.

Marriage became more than just an exchange of promises to stay with and protect and nurture the partner with the advent of secular (seventh and eight centuries) and ecclesiastical laws (twelfth century), but were instrumental is maintaining and expanding empires, assuring a manor lord or king of a continuing supply of fighters, and a growing number of tax payers, while for the church it meant more contributors to Peter’s Pence and to the church coffers while giving the sacerdotal system further mind control by the invention of new sins and additional horrors in a church-created hell and purgatory.  For example:  The civil or lay model of marriage as supported by the French aristocracy was intended “to safeguard the social order,” while the ecclesiastical model was created to “safeguard the divine order.”   The lay aristocracy, which had operated under customary laws for centuries, sought to protect a patriarchal controlled system of marriage in which young adults had little choice of marriage partner, as with individual choice the “rights” of the parents to auction off to the highest bidder the hand of a son or daughter would diminish and disappear–and thus empires (such as that of the Plantagenets, expanded greatly under Henry II through his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine, or the contract between Henry VII with the crowns of Castile and Aragon for their daughter Catherine to first marry his son Arthur (19 or 20 September 1486 – 2 April 1502; he married at age 14)and later Henry (VIII) at age 18, but the marriage languished as Henry was slow in paying the rulers of “Spain” the dowry demanded). Instead, marriages were arranged by parents seeking beneficial social and political alliances with other households sometimes not very far removed from their own. The system was designed primarily to control the patrimony and maintain the economic position and legitimacy of children born to wedded couples.  The church demanded that the weddings take place in front of the church door, and the couple recognize the obligations of this marital arrangement was payment of the conjugal debt, which required each spouse to fulfill the other’s sexual demands even when one partner was unwilling–and have children born to the union baptised–with a gift to the officiating priest and a gift to the church in which the baptism took place–guaranteed (See: Georges Duby, Medieval Marriage: Two Models from Twelfth-Century France, Trans. Elborg Forster. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, p. 3).

The Reformation was a new channel to unleash hatred against homosexuals. “Reformers”, most who had “close male friends” before they became protesters (Protestants) were quick to rally around those demanding the execution of homosexuals. Chief among those who defended the battering and bashing of homosexuals was the one-time Augustinian preacher-predator Martin Luther who married the Roman Catholic nun Kathrine, who wrote: “The vice of the Sodomites is an unparalleled enormity. It departs from the natural passion and desire, planted into nature by God, according to which the male has a passionate desire for the female. Sodomy craves what is entirely contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversion? Without a doubt it comes from the devil. After a man has once turned aside from the fear of God, the devil puts such great pressure upon his nature that he extinguishes the fire of natural desire and stirs up another, which is contrary to nature.” To this group he even assigned those who would not attend his sermons, those who rose up against excessive taxes by the nobility, and those who sought separation from his Evangelical Church (Lutheran).  See: [Luther, Martin] Plass, Ewald Martin (1959). What Luther Says: An Anthology; compiled by Eward Martin Plass. Saint Louis, Concordia Pub. House [c1959], Volume 1. p. 134.

1 Comment

Filed under Church history, Homosexuality, Roman Catholicism, Uncategorized

One response to “Same-sex marriage

  1. Sodomy, in translation, means “a sexual addict” and is referencing both genders. It did not nor does it mean “anal intercourse” until the late 19th century. The concept of “Sodomites” (taken from Genesis 19) reflects on the “city of flesh” (Sodom) where Lot offered his daughters “to do with as you want” and it includes bisexuality, heterosexuality, and homosexuality. The problem with this is that “sodom” was a perjorative term, and the “sin” of Sodom is best defined in Ezekiel 16:49 — and it has nothing to do with sex.

    As for the bishop of Hippo (I assume you are referring to Augustine)–he accepted sex for procreation, but like “St. Paul” argued that it was best to remain a virgin for Christ–eventhough, as he notes in his book City of God, he had numerous concubines, and even fathered at least one son (Adeodatus) and was not unknown to the fleshpots of his day.

    There was no “Adam and Eve” any more than there was an “Adam and Steve” for the accounts in Genesis 1-3 (there are two different versions of creation and the order of the creating of items when you read carefully/slowly), as these “names” were never names of people. “Adam” actually translates as “of the ground” or “firm” and “Eve” means “life/life-giving” and is a reference to the development of crops, for the “god” that walked the ground was actually plural in number (elohim) and translates as gods/goddesses and is a tale taken from Babylon and Egypt where the leaders of society had conscript/slave labor take care of their gardens and fields (Genesis 1:24).

    Your link is entertaining, but lacks scholarship and knowledge of original languages. Instead of using such poor translations as NIV (which actually adds words to the text) or the ever-popular KJV, etc. do read the record in the original tongues and preferably study the scrolls, not some printers error. Thank you for your interesting comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s