Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For Healthy Marriage!

There's a billboard on the Turnpike I pass on my commute every day, although I can read it only on my way home.

It's currently hosting a large bible under the sentences "IS YOUR MARRIAGE HAPPY? For a healthy marriage with great sex, look here:"

And my thought on seeing that sign is that the bible is just as much a great marriage counseling book as it is a science textbook.

Apparently the key to having a happy marriage is not to spill your seed on the ground, to shun your wife on her period and after childbirth (longer if it's a girl baby), and not to beat her with a stick thicker than your thumb. But maybe I'm just remembering the bad bits of the Old Testament. What does the New Testament say? That the woman is to the man as the church is to Christ: a follower. Christ teaches the man and the man teaches the woman. I don't see how that relationship is balanced.

I think this billboard is a symptom of the growing pressure for marriage amendments in state and federal law. Tennessee doesn't have a marriage amendment yet, but I believe there's one on the ballot for November. I'm safe in saying that the majority of Tennessee's population are Christians ranging from "unless there's football" to fire-breathing evangelicals*, so this is an issue of the tyranny of the majority. If a church doesn't want to perform marriages, fine, that's their choice. But the church mustn't be allowed to prevent or dictate to marriages performed outside of it. That's giving them too much power, and setting a bad precedent. Does the church condemn recreational drug use? Does the church condemn adult beverages? These aren't issues that have them all up in arms like the marriage issue does.

But my only power in this whole thing is at the ballot box. I'm going to make a special effort this year to discover what's on the ballot in November, and make my decision before I show up to vote.

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