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Give it up to the Lord

When a panelist on the Drum last night said that John Howard didn’t call for a plebiscite to change the marriage act to specify it as a union between a man and a woman, former Howard government minister Jackie Kelly stridently interrupted, shouting that it was Jesus who said marriage must be between a man and a woman and that it has been this way for two thousand years.

It is hard to know where to begin dealing with a statement like that.

The bible does say in Leviticus that homosexual behaviour is an abomination. It says the same thing about eating pork or shellfish, charging interest on loans, and a whole bunch of other restrictions that were a part of the Old Testament Law Code. It also says that homosexuals should receive the death penalty. Paul also says that men having long hair is “unnatural” and that women shouldn’t speak in church. Does Ms Kelly think those laws from thousands of years ago should also be enforced?

Genesis 2:24 states: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” This statement is made in the story of Adam and Eve. Does Ms Kelly want us to reject evolution and accept that tale too? And what of Cain who must have married his sister? Does that mean incest is ok?

For most of Church history, matrimony had been celebrated without clergy and was done according to local customs. The church did not get involved until the Middle Ages.

Another bizarre objection raised by Ms Kelly was that the plebiscite was too vague in that it did not discuss what would happen if a gay couple split up…what would happen to any children?

Apparently Ms Kelly does not realise that we already have laws that deal with marriage breakups. Perhaps she thinks we need different laws for homosexual couples in that regard too.

She also dragged out the slippery slope argument in which we will apparently end up marrying our vacuum cleaners unless the good Christian folk save us from the degeneracy that will inevitably eventuate should we allow gay people to marry their partners.

Marriage is a civil union. If some want to also have a religious ceremony, that is their choice, but if the arrogant stupidity displayed by Ms Kelly last night is any indication of how this discussion will progress, it won’t just divide the community on the issue of marriage.

This debate has every chance of turning even more people away from religion due to the sheer idiocy of the arguments they are bringing up. This is discrimination, pure and simple.

If it troubles you that loving couples may be given the right to marry, “give it up to the Lord”. You have no right to inflict your opinions on the rest of us.


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  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I flit stations between SBS and ABC at that time of the night coz I enjoy challenging the players on ‘Letters and Numbers’.

    However, I did see some of Kelly’s apologist speak.

    Tonight, when I was flitting, I saw the young woman in the hijab talk down the other female MSM apologist, who was similarly trying to mount an argument why SSM was too scary to be allowed. Good job on the part of the young woman, I thought.

    Also, I applauded the man (sitting opposite to Bob Carr) for raising another salient point about children born as same sex attracted and the continued abuse of their human rights knowing that, if the discrimination continues, they won’t be able to aspire to have full lives like any other child.

  2. Ginny Lowndes

    And am I allowed to sacrifice a bull in the backyard of my strata complex the way god & the bible said I could? No. I am so pissed off about political correctness and the nanny state I think I’ll sacrifice a few thousand virgins to express my displeasure.

  3. helvityni

    Jennifer, I’m with you here; Bob Carr is confident the plebiscite will go with the yes vote: if he is so confident, then there is no reason for the costly plebiscite, Australia is ready to say YES now. The nice Irishman made a lot more sense, as did the gentle sensible Muslim woman. I don’t know who the other strident Liberal woman was.

  4. kate ahearne

    Thanks for this, Kaye. As always, you have written so well. The slippery slope argument needs to be addressed in the most powerful possible way. People who use this argument are basing their case on an unacknowledged assumption – that homosexuality, like bestiality is unnatural, sick and disgusting. Unacknowledged assumptions are at the bottom of many an illogical/fallacious argument.

  5. Kaye Lee


    The slippery slope argument is ridiculous but what really worries me is the kids and not only those of same sex couples. Kelly made quite a deal of it – whether they were “biological” or not and if that would cause problems if couples split up. Two of my nephews are adopted and of an age where they are asking a lot of questions eg the boys were born in the Philippines and they saw on the news something about American police shooting ‘brown’ people to which the little one said “I am brown”. Are they now going to wonder about being the “non-biological” children of their parents and if that means something? They know they are adopted and their birth stories. They should not be made to feel different.

    I cannot see how the No campaign can be anything other than hurtful and destructive with many unintended consequences.

  6. paulwalter

    That is a pic of Jackie Kelly.

    You obviously got to watch her and that slithering Murdoch hack Tory Shepherd on the Drum last night.

    The country is threatened with Tea Party obstructionism of the sort we saw applied to Obama in the USA.

    This country is hostage to mad Christian Talibanists, a virtual fundamentalist Theocracy under current conditions.

  7. paulwalter

    Ginny Lowndes, sounds interesting..let us know if you need some assistance.

  8. Wayne Turner

    Jesus. She should stick to her husband handling out dodgy election pamplets.

  9. helvityni

    I too am willing to help, Ginny, but I’m not so confident I can find enough virgins in today’s overly-sexual world…

  10. Carol Taylor

    An objection of mine to this plebiscite (I have a number of objections), but this is one: the wording of the question which is:

    “Do you support a change in the law to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

    Reading this brought to mind other questions.

    Do you support a change in the law to allow – blacks to ride in the front of the bus.
    Do you support a change in the law to allow – women to work after marriage.
    Do you support a change in the law to allow – blacks to attend the same schools as whites.
    Do you support a change in the law to allow – people of color to use white toilets.

    The mere suggestion of having to ‘ask permission’ infers inferiority and superiority. One goes to the Head Master to ask permission, one goes to one’s boss to ask permission. What else do non-Anglo, non middle age white men, non-Christians, non-heteros need to ask permission of their superiors for?

  11. helvityni

    Wayne, I wonder what Jesus would say about those dodgy pamphlets….

  12. Kaye Lee


    Apparently the Nationals, god bless them, insisted on including the words “a change in the law to allow”. In my opinion the question should read “Do you support ending discrimination and changing the marriage act back to two people”

  13. economicreform

    “And what of Cain who must have married his sister?”

    Did marriage exist in those days? Surely not. And how do you know that Cain had a sister? All we know from the scriptures is the name of two brothers – Cain and Able. And even if Cain did have a sister, why do you assume the incest was with her? Incest between mother band son is not unknown.

  14. Jason

    Jesus was just a human if he ever existed so why do people hold on to one mans old words translated as Chinese whispers over 2 thousand years is beyond me. Equality for all! No excuses.

  15. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, I don’t think that they could have come up with a worse, more condescending question if they had tried. Yours is much, much better. In fact the current question greatly offends me, that I should have the power to decide whether or not two consenting adults should or shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Who would be so egotistical to think that they should have this power.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good point, Carol. ‘Normal’ people treat each other as equals. Abnormal people think (or don’t think) they have the right to force their attitudes onto others. The plebiscite is affirming their self-entitled belief they can decide how another person lives.

  17. wam

    Beauty, Kaye.
    I think Carr’s opinion is right for 2016 and I hope his and your view prevails. But if “This debate has every chance of turning even more people away from religion due to the sheer idiocy of the arguments they are bringing up” is put next to Australians electing the coalition then by Feb christ will be saving us again.
    Billy is well and truly wedged. He cannot condemn the question to 2019. Perhaps he and the dilubrankims could give a free vote and we can see the extent of the task.

    ps ginny talking about bulls and virgins these religious nutters believe their god allows no challenge to the concept bulls do and the cows don’t except some cows who are exceptional.
    pps The question I ask xstians is ‘Do you expect to have sex in heaven’? It is hard to keep a straight face but the only answer I have got is ‘yes’. Another is for fun: ‘Personally god by not decreeing we could decreed we should not fly.’

  18. kerri

    FYI the strident idiot on The Drum tonight was Rebecca Weisser. A Murdoch hack/columnist.
    Watching Rebecca Weisser on the Drum tonight bleating about how there are three people involved in same sex parenting. The two same sex parents and the missing father/mother.
    And that there are rights and responsibilities for that missing parent.
    It never ceases to amaze me how these same old arguments get dragged out ONLY for SSM.
    Surely IVF involving donor sperm/egg has a “third ” parent too?
    What about divorced couples and blended families?
    Does this mean people kind enough to help couples facing infertility now have responsibilities to the children they frequently have no interest in?
    Does a gesture of kindness and generosity now involve a binding role for the rest of the child’s life?
    These people are idiots and homophobes and frankly will pull anything out of their arses that they think will frighten people into supporting their discriminatory drivel and we have a cabinet who just voted to give them $7m to peddle their illogical crap??????

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Spot on, kerri.

  20. Gangey1959

    I’ll give up eating ham and bacon and pork if the Bank will give up charging me interest.
    Little johnny didn’t ask Australia for our opinion before he f*cked around with the existing definitions either.
    Save us some dollars, and VOTE. It’s called ”Doing the job you were hired to do”. Or piss off and let someone competent have a seat.
    We need a plebiscite, (or at least the preceding disinformation campaign for $15mil) like we need another fta or a french built submarine.

  21. Max Gross

    FFS! Find a brain! Ms Kelly is clearly another of those rare “woman of calibre” nthat proliferate thropughoout the LNP!!!

  22. Sean Stinson

    I watched this episode – must have been feeling particularly masochistic. To set the record straight [sic], Jesus said nothing of the sort, nor did he make any reference to homosexuals in any of the gospels. He did however say ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, meaning treat others the way you would want to be treated.

  23. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Sean.

    That is Jesus’ greatest message, IMO.

  24. kate ahearne

    Thanks for your comments, Kaye. Yes and yes. Is there some way that a person can post a ‘reply’ comment? It would be good to be able to reply to the actual comment or even just click a ‘like’.

  25. Carol Taylor

    economicreform and,

    “And what of Cain who must have married his sister?”

    It’s a question that every Sunday School child embarrasses their teacher with – if there was only Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel and Cain killed Abel, then who did Cain marry? Indeed, if this was the sum total of human beings on the planet then we all have to be the descendants of some sort of incestuous relationship. But of course there are few people these days who take the Bible literally and realise that it’s part of the folk lore of the Jewish nation. Most cultures have their creation stories and this is but one.

  26. Carol Taylor

    Jennifer, I would second that – well said Sean. The only reference Jesus made was pertaining to eunuchs (who were not necessarily castratees but simply not interested in women) and that they were ‘born that way’. And for a 2000+ old Jewish bloke, this meant being gay was ‘God’s Will’ and therefore must be respected.

  27. the Lion

    Jackie can we ask you what you think of Abraham and Sara’s Marriage, them being half brother and Half Sister, same Father different mother, was there father in a Polygamist marriage, How about Solomon 400 wives wasn’t it and 700 concubines, Polygamy on Steroids! Maybe we should return to old English marriage law before Parliament stepped in, would you be happy to have the law that an ecclesiastical court had to rule on whether a four year wife could inherit her husbands estate! Biblical marriages were such wholesome things weren’t they! Or maybe Jackie would be happy if a raped woman was forced to marry her attacker and no that isn’t a matter for the Koran as is often said but old testament Duet, 22:28/ 29.

  28. Florence nee Fedup

    These families, relationships already exist. will continue to exist if SSM plebiscite is passed or not. Children already live in these families. Many whose parents tried to live in so called “normal relationships”.

    How many follow a religion, let alone attend church on Sundays. I would guess, a minority of the population. Even then, many wouldn’t be Christian.

    Today it is a minority who choose a church to marry. Many families choose not to.

    If above is true, who will decide what is the yes and no case. Is there one.

    No one has the right to demand how I live or I the right to tell others.

  29. Fizzelen

    Lets add some more useful questions
    Do you support a change in the law to revoke special pensions for former, current and future politicians?
    Do you support a change in the law to revoke special super annunciation rules for former, current and future politicians?
    Do you support a change in the law to revoke the tax free status of commercial entities owned by religious organisations?
    Do you support a change in the law to revoke the tax free status of religious organisations?
    Do you support the introduction of an federal independent commission against corruption?
    Do you support a royal commission into the banking and finance sector?

  30. Bob Kledge

    Gee… I hope Jackie Kelly never comes across Richard Carrier on You Tube. Or sees any of his books in the store window.

  31. lawrencewinder

    Jackie Kelly’s competence in theology is equivalent to her effectiveness as a parliamentary representative.
    The Historical Jesus taught only one thing, “Love one another.”
    This campaign is the end of the last vestiges of the Liarbril Party… it will finally destroy them and only leave the rabid “right” sitting on their petty, narrow minded, “principled” rumps observing the world passing them by.

  32. paulwalter

    No. Not the sharpest tool on the rack is she, Lawrence.. More like dummer than a sack full of hammers.

  33. kerri

    Watching Rebecca Weisser on the Drum tonight bleating about how there are three people involved in same sex parenting. The two same sex parents and the missing father/mother.
    And that there are rights and responsibilities for that missing parent.
    It never ceases to amaze me how these same old arguments get dragged out ONLY for SSM.
    Surely IVF involving donor sperm/egg has a “third ” parent too?
    What about divorced couples and blended families?
    Does this mean people kind enough to help couples facing infertility now have responsibilities to the children they frequently have no interest in?
    Does a gesture of kindness and generosity now involve a binding role for the rest of the child’s life?
    These people are idiots and homophobes and frankly will pull anything out of their arses that they think will frighten people into supporting their discriminatory drivel and we have a cabinet who just voted to give them $7m to peddle their illogical crap??????

  34. paulwalter

    Kerri, I only caught a bit of it..Weisser is another one who induces a knee jerk of the mute button for me. Bob Carr’s irritable out burst at John Barron right at the end on psychopath bosses, stunned me- how have the mighty fallen to this?

    But the final nail was Weisser in the back ground, smirking for pure malicious joy at Carr’s ;nonsenses and Barrons surprise.

    How did Murdoch accumulate such a cluster of genuinely vile people around his cause?

  35. Miriam English

    There is very good evidence that Jesus never really existed. The stories are rehashing of legends that resurfaced several times hundreds of years earlier in various other cultures. They all have a messiah who is born of a virgin and who performs miracles, including healing people and raising a person from the dead, he had 12 apostles who were often fishemen. He was always killed ritually, often with a couple of common criminals and rose from his tomb after a few days, then went to be with the god(s).

    Lambie is just being a stupid little lambie with her poisoned and stunted mind, hating people who are different.

    What amazes me about the whole marriage equality thing is that Howard’s initial change to the marriage laws was illegal. The constitution explicitly prohibits our government from making laws with religious intent. That rewriting of the law was clearly religiously motivated — you only need to hear Howard’s own words on the topic. It should be undone purely from that standpoint.

    We shouldn’t even be arguing about whether any people are “allowed” to have full rights.

    Personally, my feeling is that anybody who argues that another person should lose rights should be automatically be stripped of those rights themselves. So someone who argues that gays are unfit to marry should lose legal standing for their marriage or be denied future marriage if currently single (at least until they recanted). Anybody who wants to keep refugees locked up should be forced to exchange places with those refugees. I would especially like to have that one laid on those arseholes in parliament. I dislike all drugs (I don’t even use caffeine), but I’d love to see all the jerks in government who are in favor of the imbecilic and incredibly harmful “war on drugs” to be locked up for drinking alcohol (probably the most dangerous of all mind-altering drugs) and smoking tobacco (kills more than 5 million people each year!), and marihuana, ecstasy and heroin users to be set free. Anybody who works to have poor people heavily taxed and have wealthy people go tax-free should lose ALL their wealth, which should be distributed to the poor. It would be heart-warming to see some of those parasites try to make ends meet on the dole.

  36. Kaye Lee

  37. paulwalter

    hahaha..good one.

  38. Ian Enting

    Remember that this is the Jackie Kelly implicated in faking election material linking labor to Islam and who, with Denis Jensen and two others signed off on a climate denialist minority report on geothermal energy. “Duller than a sackfull of hammers ” – I love it

  39. oldfart

    I think we all need to take a breathe and clearly state what this plebiscite is about and it certainly is not primarily about same sex marriage. It is about a group of politicians so afraid of having their snouts removed from the trough by their string pullers if they voted for the laws to changed back to what it was pre Howard. They are to scared to vote. So much for representing the people.

  40. townsvilleblog

    My objection is to Kelly using Jesus as a reason that SSM should not proceed. If the plebiscite were to take place I would be voting ‘yes.’ Not because of anything Jesus said in excess of two thousand years ago, but rather because in the 21st century, we should be civilized enough to think for ourselves, without relying on unconfirmed authors writings from a bygone era.

    Surely we can make a mature judgement using our own sense of right and wrong? I believe every human being should be treated equally, unless they have acted contrary to ‘our’ law. People such as paedophiles should be gaoled for many years without parole.

  41. keerti

    If the census ever gets completed and the results analysed we are likely to see a continuation of the drop in the number of christians. As an agnostic I resent christians continually trying to make their strange cloudsitting god the arbiter of mine or anybody else behaviour!

  42. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I like what Fizzelen said @ 10.39 pm last night.

  43. bobrafto

    Recently I created a satirical pic of Adam & Eve which was prompted from a poll in the US where the finding was that 54% of the population believe Adam & Eve existed and I presume they also believed in a talking snake.

    I posted the pic on Fb and was deleted and I was blocked for 24 hours.

    If nudity offends don’t click on the link.

    Adam & Eve and the Talking Snake.

  44. Miriam English

    Ummm… I just realised I got Jackie Kelly and Jacquie Lambie mixed up. Oops. Damn. In my partial defense, I was up most of the night.

  45. helvityni

    No worries Miriam, I often get Mal and Tony mixed up. 🙂

  46. Zathras

    Another example of someone using religion not as a reason but as an excuse for personal prejudice.

    Why not take it all the Biblical way and call for the righteous slaughter of all homosexuals and a return to witch burning as a bonus?

    Selectively quoting from a misused documented mysogynistic slaughter-fest for support can be a problem. I wonder how Kelly feels about the Bible describing her as property – like oxen – and whose value to her father as a rape victim is 50 sheckels?

    Marriage was an agreement between families based on property and religion was given the franchise to minimise partners reneging on the deal for fear of some divine retribution. Now it’s a binding legal contract.

    Apparently how she feels about herself is of far more importance than the life-long decisions made by people she will never meet and would affect her in no way whatsoever.

    Until any religion contributes to society in the form of taxation, it should have no say in how that society functions.

  47. Kaye Lee

    As with any organisation, religion can make rules for its members. But how come they get to impose their rules on non-members?

  48. Florence nee Fedup

    kerri, those kids exist whether there is SSM or not. They are a reality today.

  49. Jaquix

    I would like the law to be changed so that everyone had to go through a “civil ceremony” at a Registry Office, to register their partnership. That makes their position clear, in the eyes of the law (and perhaps we should dispense with the emotive word marriage which the religious seem to have taken as their own invention, and change it to be called a “civil union”. Any time after that they can go off and have their own “personal celebration” either in a church, or a beautiful beach or garden setting, or even around their own backyard BBQ with friends and family.

  50. helvityni

    I have to say that there’s something the Liberals do extremely well; bullying. It starts at school, gets worse at work places, reaches its zenith amongst their politicians.

    It happens between neighbours; I have just witnessed an ugly case of how a poor single mum was bullied by a couple Blue-ribbon matrons for parking her car wrongly….in their eyes.

  51. Graeme Henchel

    Thankyou Miriam English for that bit of information about the constitution. I had not heard that argument before so I researched it and found that you are 100% correct.

    Section 116 of the Australian constitutions states “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

    Those opposing equal rights for the LGBTI community, specifically the right to be “married” on the basis of religion are in fact acting unconstitutionally. The constitution does give parliament the right to make laws about marraige (51-xxi) but according to clause 116, it can not base that law on “imposing any religious observance”. Defining the meaning of “marraige” on the basis of religious lore is unconstitutional . John Howard’s change to the law was unconstitutional and should be struck out.

  52. Kaye Lee

    When introducing the 1961 Marriage act, the federal Attorney-General Sir Garfield Barwick at the time stated the main purpose of the legislation was to:

    “Produce a marriage code suitable to present day Australian needs, a code which, on the one hand, paid proper regard to the antiquity and foundations of marriage as an institution, but which, on the other resolved modern problems in a modern way.”

    The Marriage Act as originally enacted in 1961 did not contain a definition of marriage. Delivering the second reading speech, Attorney General Barwick said:

    … it will be observed that there is no attempt to define marriage in this bill. None of the marriage laws to which I have referred contains any such definition.

    On its passage through Parliament, Senator Gorton, who was responsible for the carriage of the Bill through the Senate, remarked:

    […] in our view it is best to leave to the common law the definition or the evolution of the meaning of ‘marriage’ as it relates to marriages in foreign countries and to use this bill to stipulate the conditions with which marriage in Australia has to comply if it is to be a valid marriage.

  53. Geoffrey England

    I watched the execrable Jacqui Kelly comments on The Drum, and I nearly swallowed my tongue when she shouted that jesus said that marriage was between a man and a woman….lordy lordy, her statement merely confirmed what i suspected all along about her, that she is bereft of intelligence, and morals.
    Her shrieking tanty exposed her as an eminently suitable candidate for shock therapy. And then to top it off she snidely said” well I certainly won’t be voting for it….” My response….CARE FACTOR? ZERO
    What a fecking whack job she truly is. What a piece of excrement…and in the words of our PM, it was ever thus.
    I have one thing to say to you ms Kelly……Feck off back to the petri dish from whence you sprang.

  54. jimhaz

    To convince them to change their minds, I’d give them all (LNP religious ministers) the same treatment their priests used to brainwash them in the first place. Lots and lots of lies, rote learning and punishment.

    (Ahh my post worked, had trouble earlier this week)

  55. Kaye Lee

    There have been a few glitches in the last week jimhaz.

    The state has no place in defining marriage other than the civil processes. They are lawmakers, not judges of morality.

  56. Miriam English

    This afternoon I was around at a technophobic friend’s, helping him with his computer. He had the radio on one of those oldie goldie stations, playing early Beatles and such. The “news” came on and I heard the announcer talking about the plebicite say that “all Australians should have the right to vote on the question”. It was a good thing I wasn’t drinking from my water bottle just then as I would have sprayed his computer. What assholes — both the politicians and the radio station. The sneaky bastards are twisting the language attempting to make people want the plebicite, as if it is their duty to screw over the gay community.

  57. Matilda Lawson

    We do need to avoid dragging the Adam and Eve story into the discussion, even tongue in cheek. It’s a myth. A creation story, like the creation stories every culture has. It muddies the waters.
    Let’s stick to the main game, which is that people should have equality under the law.

  58. michael andersen

    Jesus the thief. Reply to
    Sean Stinson
    NO, this is not one of jesus messages, Confucius wrote it 500 years before jesus “was” born, and many others before him.Google.

  59. silkworm

    With the plebiscite funding debate, we now see the real reason for the plebiscite. It is simply an underhanded way of giving more money to the religious groups.

  60. Miriam English

    silkworm, true. The plebicite is a sneaky way of funneling money to religious extremists.

    Unfortunately it also has the purpose of diverting attention away from the mess the government is in. Hopeless, strife-torn governments tend to do this, especially authoritarian ones. When they find themselves in trouble they start a war (external or internal) to distract people from the real problems. Hitler did it with the Jews. Thatcher did it with the Falklands war. Reagan did it with the war on drugs. Nasty little Johnny Howard did it with the refugees and the Iraq war. Abbott did it with the refugees and tried to do it with Syria. Turnbull is doing it with gay marriage (trying to blame the poor floated like a lead balloon).

    This government is up to their chins in shit… and it’s rising. That’s why they’ll keep fostering division and hate, damaging our society. They’ll step on us (the LGBTI part of the population) in order to keep above the rising shit. It will eventually backfire of course. It always does. But how much more damage will they do to Australian society in the meantime?

  61. Kaye Lee


    The reason I mentioned the Adam and Eve story is because it is that one line in Genesis that religious people quote when asked where does it say that marriage must be between a man and a woman.

    That and Matthew 19:4-5, “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’?”

    What they don’t do is give the full quote from Matthew 19 which was actually an answer about divorce.

    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

  62. Möbius Ecko

    Why do all images of Adam and Eve show them with belly buttons?

    Think about that.

  63. paulwalter

    “…because your hearts were hard..”

    Absolutely enjoyed the Miriam anecdote re the technophobe. Idenitfied with it and will be smiling for a little while.

  64. Miriam English

    Kaye, funny thing is, I recall reading somewhere that strongly Christian people have a much higher than average divorce rate. I’ve often wondered if it is because they tend to be so intolerant and make it so very clear that they value a figment of their imagination (their god) over their spouse.

    And thanks Paul. Although I wasn’t smiling at the time, I did later.

  65. Kaye Lee

    I would suggest if you can’t have sex until you are married and you can’t use contraception or have an abortion, a lot of religious people married too early for the wrong reasons. Having children young kept many women isolated and dependent. Plus the boys let out after six years of boarding school were pretty wild, drinking, rugby and rooting.

  66. Michael Taylor

    On top of that, Mobius, where did their son find a wife?

  67. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I think you might find clerics explain those annoying technical questions with the analysis that the Bible uses parables often instead of ultimate truths to explain the Meaning of Life.

    Just saying.

  68. Annie B

    Great article here by Kaye – and many thoughtful and interesting comments.

    Zathras’ comment ( September 14, 2016 at 9:07 am ) rang bells. … Particularly the point about marriage, which in those very olden, uneducated days of barely understood legends …. was indeed not of love, but decided upon the basis of property, religion and very often standing in the community ( class distinction we would call it now ) . … There are many references to just that, in the Bible.

    The Bible was written over dozens ++ of decades ( New Testament ) and many centuries ( Old Testament ). Many brighter sparks of the times, used parables ( agree JMS ) to accentuate a moral or lesson that the more power prone people of those times, wished to impart. Some of it was good – some of it bloody awful, but none of it is applicable to todays’ world – except for the positive inclinations and advice of help, understanding, compassion, love and kindness towards others – whoever said it. ( positives which seem to be going horribly down the gurgler these days ). … It is up to the reader / observer to attach importance to negativity or positivity – as they are inclined. Jesus himself laid down a few thumping great warnings of retribution – throughout the Gospels ( if M, M, L and J are to be believed in their story tellings – spaced many many years apart in their writings I might add ). … Was there plagiarism there ???

    Every book ever written has an opening chapter ( or chapters ) to capture the readers interest. I have no idea if that was ever the writers of Genesis’ intention ( history ) – but the Bible I guess, had to start somewhere. And so – Genesis was probably written to try to explain the inexplicable – the beginnings ( Adam and Eve ?? ). … The Bible began to ‘evolve’ – and went on ‘evolving’. …. At some stage the heavy, self-interested hand of latter humanity intervened – and ‘decided’ which writings ( of all available in many languages even back then ) would be applicable for the good of particularly Christians who followed on after Jesus’ time. …. [ I believe he did exist – was scholarly, exceptionally shrewd in his assessment of human nature, was a normally raised Jewish man who wanted a better deal of life for those around him – he was radical, and quite possibly the first socialist ( or even communist ) …. but I do NOT believe in the way he is portrayed and preached about, today. ]

    Science has so many more comprehensive answers to the beginnings of life – but how that equates to ‘marriage’ is a mystery, and will remain so – because there is little to no emotion in science – it is factual [ at stages ], until challenged and changed if agreed. … an ongoing pursuit.

    Personally I believe the words ‘marry’ and ‘marriage’ should forever be wiped from the English and other languages ( although it will most likely never happen ) … as it relates only back to ancient scripture and at that is dubious in the extreme. …….. The word used perhaps should be ‘union’ … or if one wants a prettier word ‘unification’. Whichever way it cuts, it is a ‘joining’… of two humans, to be registered as such with the Bureau of Births, Deaths and Marriages ( Unions ) for legal reasons. …… and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with politicians or plebiscites, or the passing of the buck to the Australian people to have to decide.

    If the current government find it so easy to change many many words to suit themselves – in proposed legislation, in the way they address the Australian people, why can’t they just change the wording of the formal document that must be signed by all intending to be ‘joined in unity’ … to just that, with the same legal ramifications attached ? …..

    Because they don’t actually WANT to ?

    End of.

  69. Miriam English

    Well said Annie, though I don’t believe Jesus ever existed. Well, maybe way, way back before the first iteration of the legend of a prophet born of a virgin who had a bunch of apostles, performed miracles, brought a guy back to life, was killed and rose a few days after, there might have been someone, but after several rehashings of the legend, no. There is absolutely no corroboration from any writers at the time that the Biblical Jesus existed, and don’t forget that the Romans were obsessive record keepers.

    One other thing in your reply bothers me, Annie. You say that “there is little to no emotion in science – it is factual…” I don’t understand why people think this about science. There is a heck of a lot of emotion in science. Science is driven by a passion and joy for knowledge. Branches of science study the actual organs of emotion, elucidating how and why they work so we can better understand and savour them and use that knowledge to avoid the pain that comes when they malfunction. People (such as the amazing Dan Gilbert — definitely watch his talk) study happiness to find out how we can bring about its rewards more reliably as opposed to the usual awful hit-and-miss approach. Morality is now being scientifically studied too, which brings great hope as it peels away all the prejudices and misleads, delivering something that may serve us all instead of only those with the money or influence to buy its benefits.

    Science is simply a set of techniques and criteria for getting at underlying truth by stripping away our biases and the distortions imposed by our cultures and perceptions. It is about giving proper recognition to our emotions and letting them serve us to our greatest benefit instead of setting them loose to swing the rudder any which way, tear up the sail, and kick holes in the hull. Science is really about maximising sanity — being able to enjoy life for what it really is, rather than being scared of shadows and depending upon ephemeral, often imaginary things for our pleasure.

  70. Annie B

    Miriam … thank you for your reply, and your observations on science.

    I think perhaps my wording about scientists was off – I should have chosen another word perhaps – to describe the fact that scientists must focus on facts, while they uncover more facts – while many of them passionately debate one another over findings. However, emotion is kept out of their work – much the same as for doctors ( who are also scientists ) … they cannot allow emotion to cloud their words or their demeanour when telling someone they have 4th stage cancer, and answering the question “how long have I got”. … Many of them answer that these days with the truth “I do not know” … and they don’t know.

    Some however rely on statistics, so put a date ( 3 months / 6 months etc. ) into the patients mind, which will never be removed for their time remaining, simply in order to answer the question. … I have much anger about that approach, with good reason. No doctor should ever try to second guess the demise of a person, based on damned statistics. The weakest minded of doctors often fall back on this ( and the following has been said to me ) … ” medicine is strictly based on statistics.” …. which is BS for the most part when it comes to patients and their life expectancy.

    Science is analytical, and while scientists of course do have emotions and passion about their work, they cannot begin to write / record findings, based on feelings alone – they must document and provide proof of their findings, whether or not those findings end up being totally accepted, or later abandoned or changed, for whatever reason. There is absolutely no doubt that scientists embark on their careers, from a deep thirst for knowledge – truth – and realities … and they must engage strong self-discipline.

    That’s actually what I was trying to convey.

  71. Annie B

    Miriam …. re Jesus – was he or was he not ?

    I think a Jewish man existed as explained in my other post, and he was known as Jesus by the Christians who followed after. … He had soooo many other monikers throughout the Bible … including that of Rabbi.

    What I cannot believe however, is the alleged rising on the 3rd day. … Crucifixion was rampant in those days, the Romans used it constantly and vilely, to punish even minor criminals. … The times were barbaric to say the least. … Calvary ( Golgotha ) where he was hung between two others, began the story. .. He was seen as, and known as a Jew ( and named “King of the Jews” on his last day ). That was allegedly a Friday. … It is required of the Jewish faith – then and today – to bury or inter in some way, the body inside 24 hours from death – however, Saturday being the shabbat he could not have been buried then ( today, they hold the burial over until the Sunday – as Shabbat is a day of total rest ). Counting from death, at 3 pm Friday to 3 pm Saturday = 1 whole day, 3 pm Sat > Sunday = 1 whole day. … yet somehow Christians have come up with “and He rose again on the 3rd day ” … well that would the Monday in anyone’s language. I know I push the boundaries of semantics here, but it has never ever made the slightest bit of sense to me.

    It is my belief that he did not in fact die on the cross, but was placed in a cold cave to die in peace, or live, by those who loved him. And I rather think he did ‘rise again’ but not from being dead, but by recovering just enough to live on for a while – for how long however, is anyone’s guess. …. He may or may not have had Divine help – the thing is nobody really knows what actually happened … Legends sprang up of course, and this is where blind faith comes in. Rather think ‘blind faith’ is a somewhat dangerous thing – in the hands of some people, particularly today. …. Mystery is like some magical pull to many – and gives rise to beliefs that are way out of kilter. Modern day mystery that intrigues, contain conspiracy theories. How are they so different in terms, to the unprovable stories in the Bible.

    Guess it’s possible that one day we will ALL know … it just hasn’t happened yet.

  72. Miriam English

    Annie, 🙂 I agree with what you said about scientists having to avoid entangling their emotions in their results. Sorry, I misunderstood.

    Also I totally agree with your statement regarding Jesus, “nobody really knows what actually happened”. I’m inclined to think the Biblical Jesus didn’t exist. There are too many screwups in the accounts. One apostle says (if I remember right) that he was crucified before the passover and another after it. There are disagreements as to what his last words were, how many women went to the tomb, how many days after the crucifixion, how many angels were in the tomb… this is the central story, mind you. Without the resurrection there would be no Christian religion, yet every account disagrees with every other on virtually every aspect.

    But, in the end, as you say, I can’t really know. I wasn’t there. We’ve all seen that game we called “Chinese Whispers” when I was a kid (I don’t know what it’s called now). The accounts were written many decades after the events they supposedly depict. Goodness knows how messed up they became in being passed on. One thing is pretty certain the accounts by the apostles were almost certainly not written by the people they’re named after. They were most likely all taken from a single account and mutated until they were written down. The similarity to the old legends of a prophet born of a virgin, etc, etc, etc are too strong to believe.

    On the other hand perhaps there was some young hippie revolutionary who, in the words of Douglas Adams, “had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change”. Maybe there was; maybe there wasn’t. Certainly a lot of people want it to be true.

    My favorite story in the Bible is about a bunch of townspeople bringing an adulteress to Jesus, telling him that according to religious law she should be stoned to death, and Jesus telling them that he who was without sin should cast the first stone, but we know that it’s a forgery. It wasn’t in earlier accounts. It was inserted by a medieval monk. And we know Paul never met the person he wrote so much about. It’s unquestionable that he made most of the stories up, from his point of view with the best of intentions, but still… lying for god. Okay, Paul may have been an epileptic and not realised he made it up…

    I just wish Paul could be dropped from the Bible. It would be a much nicer book. Gone would be much of the misogyny, the sexual screwups, the kowtowing to authority. What a pity they didn’t accept sweet Pelagius who was called a heretic because he thought that doing good was enough. We would have a New Testament filled with kindness and charity. Instead they chose Paul because of his mean and angry fundamentalism and the fact that he scared lots of people into building churches all over the Mediterranean.

    Dropping the nasty, crazy Old Testament would be good too. Our world would be much nicer without it.

    (Hope this makes sense. It’s late and I’m almost falling asleep.)

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