I would like to open up a channel for discussion on something that has puzzled me for a while. I was recently reminded of it while reading a comment by Two Dogs on Imara's post "Low Down" , about men living a bi- sexual lifestyle. The comment made by Two Dogs had to do with his judgment of people who live together. Two Dogs stated that "living together " doesn't count as a committed relationship. To this, I asked Two Dogs why he felt this way. I also asked him other questions concerning his Catholic faith, such as , if one sleeps with another person out of wedlock , why is it considered a sin? I also asked him if living together was "in sin" , what was the "sin" part of it , the sex? I have yet to receive an answer from him. This is typical when he has no good rhetoric to spew.
I would just like to briefly go over my understanding about the institution of marriage and it's history. If one has belief in the Christian Bible, then one would know and understand the story of Adam and Eve. These two humans were supposedly the first beings to walk the Earth. According to the story, God first made Adam, then fashioned Eve from Adam's rib. They were NOT married , and if the story is to be believed, all human beings came from these two people. This would mean that these two sinners had sex out of wedlock. Also, while searching through the Bible, I came across a list of forbidden sexual relations that one is supposed to adhere to if they believe in Christianity. It lists sex with one's mother, sister , neighbor's wife, aunt, pet , sister in law, daughter in law , daughter , grand children, during menstruation, and with another man as forbidden. No where does it list sex with someone not related to you and not married, of the opposite sex as forbidden. These rules were supposedly dictated by Jesus, who stated that these were his rules , and not the word of God. I must also note that these rules were written for a man to abide by. It does not address a woman's relations because at the time the Bible was written, a woman had no rights and was considered a man's property.
It is also written in the Bible that marriage was an agreement between a man , and his wife's father . This institution was equivalent to slavery in the sense that a man who married a woman, had to trade a set number of cattle and a different assortment of farm animals in order to claim rights to his wife. This was strictly prearranged by the man and the wife's father as a transaction of property. After such a transaction, the woman was then the legal property of the man without consent or approval from the woman. This practice still goes on today in some countries around the world.
Marriage was primarily devised as a way for society to transfer property, protect bloodline, and provide a secure environment for perpetuation of the species. Throughout history, marriage has slowly evolved into what we tend to think of today as marriage. In the past , and even today, marriage was arranged by families for economic reasons, without consent from the two parties. It was in 866 when Pope Nicholas I declared that marriage must be performed with the consent of both parties in order to be valid. Even today , this is not always the case because prearranged marriages are still common in some cultures. Marriage was often performed without witnesses or ceremonies. It wasn't until 1563, when the Council of Trent declared that marriage should be performed in the presence of a priest, and at least two witnesses. There are several different types of marriages that exist . Polygamy, polygyny(my favorite), polyandry, endogamy, exogamy, common law marriage, and monogamy are all types of marriages still practiced today all around the world.