Most fundamentalists take a literal view of their holy book, believing that every word of it is ordained by their god. They deny the collective wisdom of generations, accumulated over millenia since the writing of their particular holy book, in the name of "tradition".
By choice, they become frozen in an ancient time and culture and are unable to acknowledge that sometimes tradition is stale and morally immature.
Slavery is a tradition.
Treating women as second class citizens is a tradition.
Marriage between one man and one woman is a tradition.
In all of these cases, the majority opinion has changed based on the cultural values and norms of the time. Tradition has been tossed out the window in the name of social enlightenment and progression.
I love it when people deny gays the right to marry, in the name of defending "traditional marriage". Not only have other traditions changed over time, but marriage itself has changed and is hardly the 5,000 year old institution that people claim it to be.
[b]A 5000 year old look at marriage...
I just can't seem to get this quote of Rick Warren's out of my mind probably because he is one of the many who finds the Bible inerrant and "the true church" infallible:
"I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage," Warren told Beliefnet.com's Steve Waldman. "I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage."
Inerrancy is the view that when all the facts become known, they will demonstrate that the Bible in its original autographs and correctly interpreted is entirely true and never false in all it affirms, whether that relates to doctrine or ethics or to the social, physical, or life sciences.
Infallibility means, literally, immunity from error. In Christian theology, the term is applied to the whole church, which, it is believed by many Christians, cannot err in its teaching of revealed truth because it is aided by the Holy Spirit.
I guess why the above quote from Rick Warren won't get out of my head is because if he believes in maintaining the 5,000 year old definition of marriage, then it would logically follow that he believes in the 7 types of marriage found in the Bible then his last statement is false and he cannot truthfully oppose marriage between a man and several women.
Or if he does not believe in a marriage between a man and several women, then he cannot believe the Bible is inerrant.
The 7 types of "marriage" in the Bible...
The nuclear family:
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
The Levirate family:
The brother-in-law or close relative of a widow was to marry her and if she had had no children then if she and the brother-in-law had children then those children would legally be considered her dead first husbands. Deuteronomy 25:5-10
The polygamous family (really Polygynous as men could have many wives but there is no record of women having more than one husband at one time):
Genesis 4:19 has the first mention of polygynous marriage: And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
There are many instances in the Bible about multiple wives, the most famous found in Genesis 29-30, the story of Jacob and his two wives and 2 slaves whom had children with Jacob, where each of the sons becomes the head of the 12 tribes.
Genesis 36:2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite. King David had many, many wives, documented in 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles 1 Kings details King Solomon's wives who numbered over 1000.
A man, a woman and her slaves:
Again in Genesis 29-30, Jacob not only had two wives, his wives each gave him their slaves to have sex with him and bore several children to him. In Genesis 16 Sarah gave her slave Hagar to Abram so that they could have a child. The slaves would have had no say in this at all, so today we would consider this rape.
A male rapist and his victim: Deuteronomy 22:28-29 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
His punishment other than the 50 shekels was that he couldn't divorce her, how kind......
One man, one or more wives, and some concubines: Concubines were often given to the husband to sleep with as a surrogate mother if the wife was barren, Genesis 22:24; 35:22; 36:12, Genesis 16:1-3; 25:5-6; 1 Chronicles 1:32
According to Smith's Bible Dictionary, "A concubine would generally be either (1) a Hebrew girl bought...[from] her father; (2) a Gentile captive taken in war; (3) a foreign slave bought; or (4) a Canaanitish woman, bond or free."
A male soldier and a female prisoner of war:
Numbers 31:1-18 describes a war against the Midianites where they killed all but the virgin girls, in 31:16-18 we see that the girls were spared so they could be "wives" of the soldiers: Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
Other types of marriage and the two forbidden marriages are also mentioned in the Bible:
The owner of slaves could also allow two slaves to marry, but when the man's 7 years were up, he could leave a free man, but the wife and children remained property of the slave owner. If the former slave so chose, he could stay with his wife and children and work for the slave owner. (male slaves were only required to be slaves for 7 years, whereas female slaves were slaves for life.)
Forbidden marriages were between the Israelites and anyone of another faith. Somehow this passage got warped into some States past laws forbidding interracial marriage. The other marriage forbidden was between close relatives, incest.
In the Book of Ruth an example of early wedding vows and where the idea of "till death do us part" comes from, can be found in Naomi's declaration to Ruth "Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; Jehovah do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me." [/b]