Linds Lets Loose: Marriage existed before Christianity

Lindsay Kriz

There is ancient belief — a belief especially prevalent in the United States currently — that homosexuality is a sin because of a verse in the Old Testament.

Leviticus 18:22 proclaims that “thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.”

This single sentence is one that many major religions, in this case Christianity, use to justify a belief that homosexuality is wrong and therefore gay marriage is wrong— some very vocally.

But what so many who are against gay marriage for religious reasons don’t seem to grasp is that marriage existed long before Christianity.

In my art history and ancient history courses, there are constant examples of marriages occurring in civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt, where marriage between siblings was not only seen as normal but necessary.

Jacob from the Bible married more than one woman, which was also considered normal.

During these times, Christianity obviously did not exist, as Christ was not even a twinkle in his mother’s holy eye.

So the question we face is simple: if marriage existed before Christianity did, why do the Christians in our nation believe they have a monopoly on the right of marriage?

I’ve given this topic some thought, and have narrowed it down into two basic reasons.

The first is that a majority of Christians who morally oppose gay marriage are firm believers in the idea that this country was founded on Christian principles, and that is how it should remain.

These people, by principle, will automatically be opposed to gay marriage because it is against what their chosen religion teaches.

The second reason is that there are many who care more about the Bible’s stance against gay marriage than other sins.

These people, I have seen from experience, tend to ignore the other sins the Bible condemns, including Leviticus 19:28 which says “…do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord,” and Malachi 2:16, which reads “I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel.”

So one can imagine my confusion about this second group of people, who fight so strongly against some of the Bible’s points but so freely forget others. When I asked my Christian family members in the past why some of the Bible’s laws were ignored I was told they were “outdated.”

Today my childhood values remain unclear. If some Biblical laws are considered outdated, why are so many quick to keep God’s supposed anti-gay marriage stance modern and perpetuated? I’m afraid I do not have a solid answer to this question.

The facts, however, are solid.

We know marriage as an institution existed before the time of Christ and Christianity, and gay marriage is a right available to men and women in 13 states.

Many religious members believe gay marriage will cause the disintegration of the institution of marriage as set up by Christianity and will argue that marriage is not a fundamental human right, but a Christian one. How can Christianity claim solidarity over something far more ancient? And why do members of one religion in America — albeit the most popular — suddenly feel they have the authority to decide on who is and who isn’t allowed to legally marry?

Perhaps the issue here is not whether gay marriage is wrong, but about misplaced judgment over people’s personal lives, who realistically, will never actually affect the lives of those who oppose gay marriage in the first place.