April 6, 2006

Hey Christians:

So I'm in a class on the Protestant Reformation right now. Here is your boy Martin Luther on marriage. I think it makes an interesting parallel to the issue of gay marriage today:
Now we read nowhere that the man who marries a wife receives any grace of God. No, there is not even a divinely instituted sign in marriage, or nowhere do we read that marriage was instituted by God to be a sign of anything...

Furthermore, since marriage existed from the beginning of the world and is still found among unbelievers, it cannot possibly be called a sacrament of the New Law and the exclusive possession of the Church. The marriages of the ancients were no less sacred than are ours, nor are those of unbelievers less true marriages than those of believers, and yet they are not regarded, as sacraments. Besides, there are even among believers married folk who are wicked and worse than any heathen; why should marriage be called a sacrament in their case and not among the heathen? [...]

[T]hey [Christian dogmatists] clung to the mere sound of the words, no, to their own fancies. For, having once arbitrarily taken the word sacrament to mean a sign, they immediately, without thought or scruple, made a sign of it every time they came upon it in the Sacred Scriptures. Such new meanings of words and such human customs they have also elsewhere dragged into Holy Writ, and conformed it to their dreams, making anything out of any passage whatsoever. Thus they continually chatter nonsense about the terms: good and evil works, sin, grace, righteousness, virtue, and wellnigh every one of the fundamental words and things. For they employ them all after their own arbitrary judgment, learned from the writings of men, to the detriment both of the truth of God and of our salvation...

"There shall be those that give heed to spirits of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, forbidding to marry." ( 1 Timothy 4:1 ff.) What is forbidding to marry if it is not this to invent all those hindrances and set those snares, in order to prevent men from marrying or, if they be married, to annul their marriage? Who gave this power to men? Granted that they were holy men and impelled by godly zeal, why should another's holiness disturb my liberty? Why should another's zeal take me captive? Let whoever will, be a saint and a zealot, and to his heart's content; only let him not bring harm upon another, and let him not rob me of my liberty!
So marriage isn't really instituted by God at all, it depends on the fancies of sanctimonious asshats for its divine pretensions, and liberty in marriage trumps zealotry. And this was all in 1520 CE. And you haven't learned.


  1. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Well, thank God I'm Catholic. One thing though - remember that Luther wanted to strip the Church of all power, and one way he wanted to do this was by bringing the number of sacraments down (I believe he said there was only 2). The Church was the sole purveyor of the sacraments, thus ensuring them a strong position of power over their believers. Removing marriage from the sacraments thus had a strong appeal to Luther because he could further strip the Church of its authority in that realm.

    One more thing - it's really quite disingenuous to rely on what Martin Luther said about marriage back in the 1500s. I'm pretty sure that he never could have fathomed gay marriage, and if he had, he probably would have thought it a strong abomination that would warrant death.

  2. Well, I was being flippant, but what I really mean is that the arguments that Luther made against the way the established Church tried to control grace/the Divine through instituting and codifying sacraments and other practices—those same arguments can be used to attack the position of Christianity today regarding marriage.

    My point was not that Luther would support gay marriage, but that some of his arguments would lead in that direction.

  3. Anonymous3:16 PM

    You religious people are all idiots. Who gives a shit? No such thing as 'God' exists. Get it through to your thick heads.

  4. Anonymous5:37 PM

    No God fo sho, but there is a Piss Christ.