Patriarchal Traditional Marriage, Equality in Marriage, Gay Marriage

bride and groom
bride and groom | Source

Old-time Morality

For thousands of years many theologians and religious body authorities have opined that intercourse is only sinless and acceptable to their god(s) when done by a male husband and his female wife with the purpose and hope of pregnancy and progeny. These authorities have had varied views about what activities and positions before, during, or after are acceptable, but all of those making this argument say that the climax must be uninterrupted and unimpeded coitus.

I have not studied those arguments in depth nor yet read the major original sources, ancient or modern. I will keep my mind open to the possibility that, when I do, they will convince me. I am sharing my considerations now as a seeker of learning, truth and meaning and not as an authority. I hope and expect to learn much from reader responses.

Orthodoxy versus Common Sense

Common sense says that this orthodox teaching is nonsense. Those making the argument traditionally have framed it as EITHER marital relations to hopefully produce children if and as God wills OR sinful prohibited sex for selfish pleasure. Not mentioned is doing it as a selfless gift of pleasure to one's mate, to express affectionate, caring, committed love, including in situations in which pregnancy is unlikely or impossible. When a wife has gone through menopause, is sex forbidden to her? Among my relations, a couple, both widowed and once each other's high school sweetheart, married when he was in his 90s and she was in her 80s. If they had sex after marriage and not for the purpose of having children, was that immoral?

The Anglican clergyman and scholar Robert Burton (1577-1640 expressed the common sense, moderate view in his book The Anatomy of Melancholy (available online at Project Gutenberg), writing: “Ambrose concludes in his comment upon [the Gospel according to] Luke, ‘They that are coupled together, not to get children, but to satisfy their lust, are not husbands, but fornicators.’ In a word (except they wed for mutual society, help and comfort one of another, in which respects ... without question old folks may well marry)...‘Matrimony without hope of children is not a wedding.’”

It’s the omission of that common sense “except” of Burton's, that third option besides “to get children” or “to satisfy their lust,” that renders traditional morality inadequate and unsatisfactory. The corollary of that “except” for folks too old to procreate is that sex in marriage to bond emotionally in a mutual expression of affection, companionship, caring, and committed love is morally acceptable. It seems evident to me that such sex is morally good and a path of spiritual growth.

The same “except” applies to a married couple in, say, their 20s when one (or each), due to war, accident, or disease, is physically unable to impregnate if male or to be impregnated if female, but is capable of intercourse or of otherwise giving and receiving the loving gift of gratification. Is that mutual giving for them a sin? Some think so. Burton quotes a saint who actually said that it is a mortal sin for any husband and wife to kiss.

Patriarchal Traditional Marriage

The orthodox view of sexual ethics has been in the context of the patriarchal traditional marriage of the past few millennia -- a relationship of ownership and domination of a husband over his wife. Remnants of traditional marriage are still commonly found in modern American marriages, and elsewhere. In a traditional wedding ceremony, the father “gives away” the bride to the groom. This property transaction is, I speculate, a remnant of the practice of the father selling his daughter to the groom for a bride price, such as for a negotiated number of goats or ounces of gold. It is still common for the bride to take her husband's last name. Some Americans still use quaint dominant-subordinate expressions like “head of the household” in reference to a husband as a matter of right of position lording it over his wife. It was less than 40 years ago that American law gave a woman the right to bank credit in her own name.

In traditional marriage, the basic concept is: this man owns this woman, given (or sold) to him a virgin by her father, and henceforth her body is his alone. Her children will be his from his impregnating her. She and they have his surname. They are bound by laws of state and religion to serve and obey him. Traditional marriage is all about domination and possession.

Traditional marriage as a relationship of domination and ownership by a man over a woman is defined and enforced by dictates of clergy. That is why orthodox theologians teach that intercourse other than in marriage for producing children is immoral. Recognizing that sex between spouses may with moral goodness be an expression and gift of mutual love, affection, companionship, and pleasure, aside from whether pregnancy and parenthood are tried and hoped for and possible, implies equality of the sexes in dignity and authority and in the right of the pursuit of happiness.

My hunch is that, through the ages, many couples have managed to create together a relationship of affectionate companionship, with the male-dominated model of traditional marriage minimized as much as possible. Different societies have varied in their mores. But these private accommodations and cultural differences have been variations within the violence and fear based social system of patriarchy that mandates and enforces the domination of man over woman. An individual man who regards and treats a woman as his equal cannot alone buck the laws of state and church that dictate otherwise. However, collective and communal alternatives are beginning to take hold.

New Traditions of Marriage

The high and low points of the millennia-long struggle for women's liberation are beyond the scope of this essay. The women's liberation movement of recent centuries, say since the publication in 1792 of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women , is bringing a new age in which the old assumptions of patriarchy, of male dominance, do not compute. People of both sexes, and of all countries, classes, and ages, struggle within and among themselves to form the social norms of the new age. In various countries, such as here in the United States, in the past half century or more, after innumerable arguments, breakups, and divorces, the marriage relationship is less and less based upon fear, force, patriarchal taboos, oppressive laws, and the pontifications of orthodox moralists. Marriage based on the domination and ownership of husband over wife is being replaced by marriage based upon mutual love, commitment, respect, and shared power. The concept of raising girls to be docile, submissive, and obedient to their husbands and of raising boys to presume their right to marital authority and to control of every aspect of their wives' lives is now seen by more and more -- maybe most -- women and men as absurd.

Efforts to continue to use the force of law to deny the free choice of marriage to two adult men or two adult women and to undo the gains of women's liberation are rearguard reactions against this transformation. There is growing consensus that the equal legal right of sound-minded adults -- whether of the same sex or of opposite sexes -- to marry is a matter of due process of law, equal protection of the law, freedom of religion, freedom of association, right of conscience, contractual rights, taking a stance on the side of love, and repudiating male privilege and supremacy.

Opinion Poll

What is your concept of marriage?

  • Marriage is passé.
  • Marriage is a socially and legally recognized equal partnership, with rights and obligations, based on mutual love.
  • No marriage except patriarchal marriage is real and acceptable.
  • Every marriage is self-defined through daily improvisation.
  • Other.
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 54 comments

Anaya M. Baker profile image

Anaya M. Baker 4 years ago from North Carolina

Thank you so much for this intelligent, insightful, and well-argued hub! I really enjoy your use of logic to make your point, and what a point it is! Voted up and awesome!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots, Anaya. Perhaps you would be willing to share it, like on Twitter, Facebook and so on.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Thanks for pointing out how the morality of marriage is actually shaped by different influences, and varies from culture to culture. Voting this Up and Useful.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks alocsin.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

This hub was extremely well thought out and made sense, but I guess I'm from the old school. I like the concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman and cannot for the life of me wrap my head around anything else being called marriage.

I do believe all people should have the same rights, but I believe homosexual couples should co join in something called a domestic union or some such. We have already blurred so many lines in our society, that I feel this would only blur them further. But then, I guess I'm just old fashioned. Great hub.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, Timetraveler2. It took me awhile to rethink the basic essentials of marriage. I grew up and lived most of my life not knowing or having knowingly met any gays or lesbians. Then I started occasionally attending a church whose minister was openly gay and in a long-term relationship. I soon learned to highly respect him as a person and a minister. Over the years since then I have gotten to know other gays and lesbians who are in long-term relationships of committed love. From these experiences I came to empathize with the wish of such couples to marry. I think of my change of perspective not as lines blurring but more like Emily Dickinson's poem:

He drew a circle that shut me out --

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

You analysis on sexuality is interesting. I appreciate your point of view. I think it is okay to connect sexuality with morality but sexuality has nothing to do with religion.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, Vinaya. I'm curious about your statement, "...but sexuality has nothing to do with religion." Perhaps sometime you could develop that thought in an opinion piece, whether as a hub, a question, or otherwise. From what I've heard and read, many of those who have and advocate a religion think that everything has to do with it. In your theology, what has to do with religion and what does not?


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This is one controversy I do not wish to engage in, I think the notion of homosexual marriage is quite ridiculous, as is the notion that 'gays' have the right to 'own' children.

No-one can claim parenting as a 'right'. The rights of the child are uppermost and I think most children would like to be brought up by their 'own' mother and father.

If nature produces some people differently that is what they must live with. Just the same as I must live with whatever nature conferred on me, sexual or otherwise.

The answers to the poll were very rewarding.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, katyzzz. Perhaps if and as you get to know same-sex couples in long-term relationships of committed love, the notion of homosexual marriage will no longer seem ridiculous.

I have not heard before of the notion of anyone owning children, except in slave-owning societies. What do you recommend I read to learn more about that notion, in general and as regards gays? I do know a lesbian couple who are raising an adopted daughter. If I am remembering right, the sociological studies that I have occasionally seen cited have found no adverse effects in persons raised by a homosexual couple. See for example http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-... Have you seen contrary evidence?

Yes, each of us must live with what nature conferred. Of what relevance is that truth to the question of whether our society should allow, recognize, and welcome homosexual marriages on a par with heterosexual marriages?


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

A wonderfully well written article on love, sex and marriage. I enjoyed reading and look forward to more of your work.


lovesleftovers profile image

lovesleftovers 4 years ago from Texas

Thanks so much for writing this hub! It seems the only argument against gay marriage is that it goes against religious doctrine. However, even if you believe God inspired the bible, the fact remains that men wrote it. The bible has been revised many times over, so one has to wonder if those changes and revisions were only to accommodate or conform to man's beliefs.

Contrary to popular belief, most gay couples are not trying to change or challenge religion, as we now currently "know" it. They simply want the same legal privileges afforded all other married couples. A dedication or domestic union would not do this.

Once upon a time women and minorities did not have many of the same rights that white men had, but that changed over time fortunately. I think it’s time for opponents of gay marriage to stop hiding behind religion and accept that the gay community is not going away.


silverstream1 4 years ago

I think that this article was extremily well thought out and written. I happen to agree with you and vinya. To me religion has no say about sexuality, or right to parent a child. Love has the true say, Look at "gay" celebritys like Sir Elton John, Ellen DeGeneris,Chris Colfer who want children with their partner and are open about their sexuality, they are Still famous despite being open and they have gained extremly loyal and supportive fans. These celebritys have made it there mission aside from their job to help and support members of the LTGB community. So how can we say that being gay bi lesbian or transgender, is a bad thing?

I have several LTGB friends at my school who are no different than any other person I know, a question is who are we to judge the love of others?


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Pamela.


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Obviously a gay couple cannot conceive children, and we all have our own 'thinking machine' which does not require the acceptance of 'strictly limited' studies, often pursued in a certain way hoping to come up with certain answers, and this data base which they used could not be representative of a 'whole' or an 'individual' I'd put my money on my thought box any time. I shall say no more, I do not want to write a book on it or be brain washed into thinking otherwise. I am so privileged to have (warts and all) been brought up by a male and female married couple. And you seem to have forgotten the rights of the child. Do your own thinking don't rush off to read and believe everything that has been written.

The parallels drawn here are totally ridiculous, and cannot be considered in the same way as this particular problem.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Good points, lovesleftovers. Marriage as a civil contract is distinct from marriage as a religious ceremony or sacrament. A government might give ministers the authority to officiate at civil marriages -- sign the required paperwork and so on --, but the two hats should not be confused. Under constitutional democratic republic government with recognized minority rights, including religious freedom, whom the state considers eligible to marry is a matter of law and policy and subject to change through the democratic process. Whether cousins can marry, the age of consent, whether interracial couples may marry, and whether same sex couples may marry have been among the criteria that have differed from place to place and have changed through time. That is a matter for public discussion, elections, legislative decisions, and higher court protection of minority rights. Whether the law should or should not include adult consenting same sex couples as marriageable concerns only civil marriage, which concerns specified in the law legal rights and responsibilities. Whom a church or other religious community chooses to marry or to not marry in a religious ceremony meaningful to that community is, short of harm consequently done to a person, none of the government's or anyone else's business but their own. For decades, the congregations within the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations have been calling gay and lesbian ministers and rejoicing at the weddings of gay and lesbian couples. (Of the six UU churches I have attended or visited in the past 30 some years, two have had gay ministers and one has had a lesbian intern and a lesbian interim minister.) UU congregations have blessed same sex marriages that have no standing under the law. All the couple gets is an emotionally supportive community. Just so, when and where same sex civil marriage is legal, a religious body that excludes same sex marriages as verboten within its worldview has no obligation to marry, in a religious ceremony sense, same sex couples. That choice is a matter of religious freedom. All this would be clearer if ministers, priest, rabbis, and so on would refuse to officiate at civil marriages and if getting married meant first a trip to a justice of the peace or judge and then to a religious community if the couple belongs to one. As for the Bible, I've read arguments finding in it justification for tolerance and for intolerance of same sex marriage. I expect that Google can find those arguments. Anyway, thanks again for your well thought through and expressed comment.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Pamela.


lovesleftovers profile image

lovesleftovers 4 years ago from Texas

You are most welcome B. :-)Thanks so much for the thought-provoking article!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting again, katyzzz. I agree completely that, after considering competing arguments and evidence, one's stance on whatever matter of disagreement should be determined by one's own reasoning, values, and conscience. No, I have not forgotten the rights of children. I agree that what is best for them takes priority. I just question, given what I have read and observed, your apparent assumption that in adoption, legal guardian, foster parent, and child custody cases, homosexual orientation is ipso facto a negative factor. If I were a judge in such a case, I would rule in favor of a homosexual couple of good character over a heterosexual couple of dubious character as shown by their personal histories. But, as you request, I will refrain from brain washing you with reasoned argument to change your opinion.


silverstream1 4 years ago

Katyzz

How can u say that a gay or les couple have no right to raise a childd? There are ways to have a child most common with gay or les couples is Adoption which is what is needed. There are so many children who don't have parents and so manyu who's parents don't diserve t be called parents. It makes no diffrence if a child is raised by a straight couple


HowToLoveOne profile image

HowToLoveOne 4 years ago from San Francisco

Very interesting. I wonder how we should view sex outside of marriage? Are humans allowed or encouraged to have sex outside of marriage? What about people that choose not to marry?


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

silverstream1, thanks for contributing to the discussion. Good points.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, HowToLoveOne. Perhaps you will explore those questions in one or more hubs.


BeenThereTwice 4 years ago

Yes, I've "been there" twice, that is married. As a young woman I never considered any other route. But now I see things differently. Nowadays it is very difficult to have a happy marriage because of the residue of the past when women had no rights. And we bought into that system too, made to feel lucky that we were married. Now there is a struggle for equality in the bedroom and in the world. We are in a period of transition and neither men nor women really know where they stand and how to achieve that

balance of equality.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Yes, BeenThereTwice, I agree.


gmaoli profile image

gmaoli 4 years ago from South Carolina

This is well drawn out article. I used to be a practicing Catholic and never could understand the church's issue with married couples who didn't have children. As you said, there are couples who are just not able to produce children, so are they inherently sinners? And what about married couples who simply don't want children at all? Should they be forced to have kids just because their religion or traditional society tells them they have to have one? It's a relief to see the modern age is becoming more open to how married people can decide for themselves how to spend their married life each other. Thank you again for putting this together!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, gmaoli. I'm glad you liked the article. And you raise good questions.


Bob Hudleston 4 years ago

Awesome article!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Bob!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Bob.


Darkproxy profile image

Darkproxy 4 years ago from Ohio

I myself don't like to use the term submit when speaking of marriage. It sounds a bit cruel but instead use chooses to follow.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Perhaps even better might be chooses to partner with.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

6-9-2012 today I did a rewrite of this hub. I hope its followers agree it is even better.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 3 years ago from North Carolina

This is a very deep philosophy and a hot societal debate. You did an excellent job presenting this material!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, tammyswallow


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Hi Brian,

I'm not sure why I chose this hub out of your other writings.

A few tidbits for thought: "Everything is a marriage." --Swami Visnudevanada; "Thou shalt not commit adultery." --Commandment 6 of the 10 Commandments; "immaculate conception" --Catholic teachings on the Virgin Mary; "Neither do I condemn thee." --Jesus to the adulterous woman; and "Save the sacred fire for the bringing forth of light bearers." --St. Germain

I do believe we have some responsibility to one another as human beings to use moderation and consideration in all our actions. The process of a government-certified, legal marriage tends to strengthen the bond between partners psychologially; however, as for the integrity of any contract: it is only as good as the people in it. Many couples, too, find the legal aspect of marriage too confining psychologically.

One has to find his or her place between the spectrum of a strict, patriarchal marriage where physical abuse was once the accepted practice if a woman disobeyed her husband and the concept of "anything goes."

It's wonderful that two people, regardless of their sex, can have a loving relationship with one another. Whether we need to formerly legalize this as a society remains debatable. With all the divorces on record, I would suspect that we do not. Legal contracts can be entered into without going to a Justice of the Peace.

And, the process of requiring a physical examination to rule out sexual diseases has its place--of course, couples can be tested without formerly registering for marriage.

Yes, a complicated subject--and you deserve kudos for tackling it.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting on, Marie.

You don't need to choose one of my hubs over another. Read any and all that appeal to your interest and curiosity, if time permits. (I wish I could write and read hubs at the same time and do both while I sleep, eat, do chores, etc.)

I agree re moderation and consideration.

What you say about the pros and cons of marriage as a contract is so, but there is no good reason for law and custom to discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them the choice to formally marry. Judges have found, and I agree, that such discrimination unconstitutionally and unfairly denies one class of adults equal rights under the law.

Not just anything goes, or should, but that two adults of sound mind have the legal right to choose to marry certainly should. Yes?


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I am impressed by your title and the comments you have presented an interesting Hub, though so much has changed now and most marriages are going by the ten commandments, Voted up!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, DDE.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

What an excellent, well-written, lucid look at something so basic and important, Brian.

Have you happened to have ever run across a book by Walter Lippman, "A Preface To Morals"? It was published in 1929; a look at the 'modern' disillusion with theological answers to life issues prevalent of that time.

Your analysis and sensitivity about the obviously still-murky area of marriage is outstanding. You've focused and clarified facts about it which are valuable. Thank you!

By way of clarification, that excellent quotation mentioned in a reply which begins, "He drew a circle that shut me out --" is the work of Edwin Markham.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks much, Nellieanna. I'm glad you like this hub.

When I had a used bookshop, I often had a copy of A Preface to Morals by Walter Lippman in stock, and so did my father before me, but I never got around to reading it. I was too busy pricing, shelving, and quoting books to have much time for reading them. Maybe I'll check out and read a library copy.

Thanks for the Edwin Markham clarification.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I can somewhat identify with that. I worked in the library in my freshman year of college. Working the stacks was a great way to become familiar with titles and authors I hadn't actually read!

It's been many years since I read "A Preface to Morals" but I get it out occasionally to look up something that comes to mind which I know is in it. Reading it all probably would have a much difference significance for me now than then. The one major impression of it I've retained is its focus on facts of life as it was evolving at the time, in an effort to highlight real meanings and lasting principles behind traditions, even when all the trappings of them were giving way and in danger of being lost.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

can somewhat identify with that. I worked in the library in my freshman year of college. Working the stacks was a great way to become familiar with titles and authors I hadn't actually read!

It's been many years since I read "A Preface to Morals" but I get it out occasionally to look up something that comes to mind which I know is in it. It probably would have a much difference significance for me now than then. The one major impression of it I've retained is its focus on facts of life as it was evolving at the time, in an effort to highlight real meanings and lasting principles behind traditions, even when all the trappings of them were giving way and in danger of being lost.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I am so glad that you visited my hub, how else would i have known of a man who believes as i do. The idea of only a man and a woman getting married is at the most unbelievable. There are different kinds of love, a man and a woman, yet when a child is born with a different urge, is it wrong? I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Gay people who through no fault of their own desire the same sex. This is not a learned way of life, it is inborn through an anomaly. Thank you for sharing......


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, always exploring, and for sharing your insights from firsthand experience.


CrazedNovelist profile image

CrazedNovelist 3 years ago from Hampton, GA

Great writing B. This was interesting to read and it kept me engaged!!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, CrazedNovelist.


HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

You have written a superb historical and analytical examination of traditional marriage and the newer incarnations of same sex marriage. I totally agree that the old patriarchal religious views are antiquated as well as wrong headed. If two people are in love no matter their sexual persuasion, they should have the right to marry and enjoy life together. Wonderful Hub, B. Leekley.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, HSchneider.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Religion isn't the problem in this world, it is the wrong interpretations of holy books that creates the problems -- in other words intolerant humans are the real problem. It is they who create war and strife.

I think religion and state should be well separate of each other and I view the word 'marriage' as a religious term. I think all unions should be civil unions unless the couple/group/or whatever, find a church that wants to bless their union with the term 'marriage.' In that case it becomes 'marriage' in the church, but remains civil union on the certificate provided by the state.

Nowadays many single mothers are considered heads of household for various purposes.

The Bible is clear that one should only marry if one cannot restrain their sexual appetite. God makes it clear that sex outside of marriage is wrong and the reason is that God considers our bodies to be His temple. He is offended when we abuse our bodies, especially when we do so in an immoral way because He lives in us. He recommends marriage and sex within marriage to people who cannot control their desire and need for sex. He prefers we remain unencumbered.

God prefers that we remain unmarried if possible so that our loyalties are not divided between Him and/or a spouse and/or children, and remain solely His.

When 2 people are married they are free to have sexual relations with each other only and in any way that does not seem degrading to either partner, and including any activity that is acceptable to both. A desire or hope for children is not required.

God did in fact invent sex and He did it for the reason you so eloquently state in this article -- to express one's love for one's (hopefully) life partner, and for reproductive purposes also, but not required.

God does frown on certain relationships, but I do not feel it is my place, nor that I am qualified to judge people who choose relationships that the Bible says God dislikes. Everyone must work out their own relationship with God and neither I nor anyone else can impose ourselves on that relationship.

So long as consenting adults are happy and harming no one, I am happy. I think people should be able to be with whomever they love and that such relationships should not be legislated.

How would it be if homosexuals held considerable power and required all heterosexuals to adhere to their lifestyles? Pretty miserable for most heterosexuals I should think. So live and let live. It's none of my business what consenting adults choose to do so long as they are harming no one.

Something a lot of people seem to overlook is that judging others in the sense of their morality is a sin too. Jesus turned no one away and He came not only to pay for our sins with His blood but to exemplify the way He expects us to live our lives. Jesus stands for forgiveness and mercy. We all need some of that sometimes and we are more likely to get it if we are generous with our own. If we are not willing to forgive other people for what we believe are sins, we will not be forgiven by God either.

Lying, cheating, misleading, abusing in any way any other person are all sins too. When do we start stoning people for these trespasses? Can we start with the bankers and politicians?

Why is homosexuality being singled out as the worst possible sin? God has no sin rating system. True homosexuals are born as they are and that is at least 99% of them.

Only humans like to stand pointing their fingers at others and accusing them of worse sins than they themselves have committed. God sends all unrepentant sinners to Hell, no hair splitting over whose sin is worse, so arguing over who is the worse sinner is irrelevant and totally a waste of time when the chips are down. Better to find a way to get along since without forgiveness a person with an unruly pointer finger will likely find him or herself spending a lot of time with that person they think is more sinful than themselves. Finger pointing is a sin.

I think when we have perfected ourselves to near the perfection of Jesus, and not until that time, then we may share our great wisdom and help others to perfect themselves -- whether they like it or not. ;)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I am so glad i returned to read another comment listed. Au fait said it all so well. Who are we to judge another? Thank's again for a thought provoking article.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, always exploring, and for mentioning the comment by Au fait.


ecogranny profile image

ecogranny 22 months ago from San Francisco

Thank you for an informative, insightful and compassionate article. It' is wonderful to see such an essay and discussion here on HubPages.

The bottom line for me is that laws based on religious beliefs have no place in society. Each individual has her or his own relationship with God. No matter how fervently we believe, imposing our personal religious beliefs on others through coercion or law is simply wrong.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 22 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, ecogranny. I have never gotten a satisfactory answer why, but this article is not allowed to have Google ads,. though clearly it does not break any HubPages or Google rules. I agree with you re law and religion.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working