Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Marriage, Marriage

Since the beginning of time, there has been an acceptable form of joining that we call marriage.
Many like myself hold that G_D is the Author of marriage, well as others believe that the concept evolved over time. Some believe G-d not only attends every wedding, but He is in the very heart of it, while others do not. Some marry to have children. Some don't feel the need to have offspring. They are still married.
Marriage, also known as holy matrimony or holy wedlock) is the social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship,  what we call family
The definition of marriage varies according to culture, but in simple terms, marriage is an institution which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged and accepted.
 This union is often celebrated during a period of engagement and  formalised during some form of  ceremony. Many cultures limit marriage to two persons of the opposite sex.
Others permit the taking of two or more wives (or husbands) some recognise same-sex marriage.
Some believe in waiting until marriage before joining in sexual love, while others see no such compulsory.
While many today marry for love (a very good reason) and less for economic or emotional reasons, such as not wishing to growing old alone, there are still places in the world that romance take a second seat.
There is the arranged marriage, where the parents discuss the union of their children, or hire a matchmaker to find their child a life partner.
I attended the wedding of a friend who's marriage was arranged by her parents. Still married after twenty, my friends tell me they fell in love on their wedding night and it has just gotten sweeter as the years have gone on.
Then there is Open Marriage. This is when the couple has chosen to invite others to share their marriage bed.
In ten countries, since 2001, Same-Sex marriages is now legal. These are the Netherlands (the first), Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland and Argentina.
A rather curious marriage is Group Marriage, better known as Polyamory. Polyamory is a union made up of multiparatners and their children.

Must make for interesting Thanksgivings to say the least.

Many of my fore-fathers (including  great-grandfathers and grandfathers) tried to use the bible to back up their claims to having more than one wife.  Better known as polygamy, this means a man has the right to take more than one wife. Men (usually) say that if Abraham, Yacob (not Issac) King David, Solomon and others had many wives and they have a divine right to also have several wives. Utah had to give up what it felt as a religious duty to polygamy in order become part of the United States. These more fundamentalist groups who believe that the church discontinued polygamy only because of government pressure continue the practice to this day.
There are other religious groups, such as many Black Israelites who hold that it is biblical to take more than one wife. In Islam, Shari laws permits a man to take up to four wives. While in Morocco, I met such a family. Happy kids running all over the place, the husband served the best mint tea I'd ever had while his four wives filled my tummy with cous-cous and tales of how they keep their children, their home and their husband in order and in line. I guess I'm too share my bed with both my husband and another woman.
Many years ago, a friend of my told me of a man who had seen me at the church I was attending at the time and he expressed a desire to meet me. He was a student from another country, here to earn his Masters in Education. I have since lost contact with Amir* (not his real name).
Amir was a tall, well build man with ebony black eyes and coco-coloured skin. Smart and funny, he loved a good laugh and a good hamburger. Within ten minutes of meeting Amir, he asked me out on a date.
I declined. He asked why. I said I'm only known you ten minutes. I don't anything about you and my mother hasn't met you yet.
Yes, I am so old fashion that at age 35 I would want my mother to check out the guy before I went out with him.
"Your a good woman. I see your parents raised you well."
Yes, it was a test.
Amir wanted to remain here in the States, but had to return to his family. As much as he wanted to bring his family to Virginia, he couldn't. Though Muslim, he was interest in other religions and soon he joined a bible study I was part of.
It was also a way for him to try and win my attention.
One evening, the subject of marriage came up. Amir stated he would like to see same-sex marriage come to this country.
Everyone in the group was shocked by his statement, knowing such unions would never be permitted in his homeland.
"Because I am then free to bring my two wives here to America and not have to put one of them aside because of your christian laws." (Christian law was his words, not mine)
Amir accepted my turning down his marriage offer graciously (I told him even if I was Muslim, I wouldn't be willing to share my husband with another) and we remained friends until he returned home and to his two wives.
Folks like me are often accuse of wanting to tell others what they can and cannot do in their own home, their own beds. Allow me to make myself clear: I could care less.
Even if it is breaking G_D and/ or Man's law, I don't have to answer for your actions.
I am not standing in front of the courthouse telling anyone they cannot marry. Nor I do not have the power to stop anyone from loving whomever or whatever they wish. I am not behind closed doors praying G_D curse the sinners. Nor I belive that this nation is an Theocracy. (a form of government believes its policies and leaders are made and Divine directed doctrine by a religious group or religion such as Spain, Morocco or Iran) Being a member of a one religion or another, even still, not believing in the Creator at all is not needed to hold a polictal office. As a jew, I am already part of the Kingdom of G_D; while living on this lovely blue ball is cool, heaven is my real home. And anyone who feels that stating my opinion is akin to shoving them down their throats, then you really don't know me.
If the Law of the Land was to change tomorrow, permitting not just same-sex marriage, but for all the forms I mention up above, you not see me rioting in the streets. Or demanding G_D send fire down from heaven. I shall continue going my merry, old fashion, frum way, making challah training my and praying for my husband to find a job. I will continue making wedding and baby gifts for friends and opening our shabbat table to all who wish to come.
I added my two shilling because as an American, I can. I have the right. What I have to say, whether others agree or don't, does matter. Yes, marrying dogs, toasters and dead girlfriends is the extreme. But no one has yet answered me about allowing brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparent-grandchild, etc allow to wed. Marrying your cousin is against the law; many want to see that changed as well. 
After all, Cain married his sister... (the bible, you know)
 When I asked, where do we draw the line, I wasn't trying to be hateful or mean. Asking questions is my way of learning, of growing. I might be right. I might be wrong. But at least I am willing to have my beliefs challenge and go along with the party line.
I do think for myself.
My challenge is; if this nation changes the law so that Heather's two mummies can get married, make it so that Omar's four mummies can married his daddy.

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