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When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite 
11th-Dec-2009 10:47 am
Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual. Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

Original Article or Read more...Collapse )
10th-May-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Be careful. You can prove anything with the bible.
10th-May-2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
How can you say none of these sources are biblical? That's very confusing, considering the early church didn't have a "Bible". The original "Bible" was a compilation of oral tradition folklore that was collected over hundreds of years, people finally got around to writing them down, and eventually they became the "Bible", making them "biblical". Most in the early church could barely write, let alone read or use reason. It's the difference between the original "Sleeping Beauty" and the sanitized Disney version of "Sleeping Beauty". "Fairy Tales" were also an oral tradition of folklore that weren't written down until hundreds of years after they came into existence as morality tales,they were compiled by the brothers Grimm and eventually they became "Fairy Stories". And if you want to be really technical? You've read the story of Lot in the "Bible",yes? Well I guess because incest is o.k. with "God" in the "Bible", then, like Lot, all fathers should let their daughters get them drunk, have sex with them and they should have babies with their fathers. Because after Lot's wife is magically turned into a pillar of salt, that's what happens. Once his "sinful" wife is out of the way, he has babies with his daughters and God does not punish any of them. There's also the part before that where he offers up his daughters to be raped by a crowd of rowdy drunkards because he doesn't want them to touch his precious "angel" that "God" supposedly sent to him. And the "angel" is o.k. with that deal. God seems pretty okay with that deal as well, since the "angel" was HIS emissary. That's pretty "biblical". So, "biblically" it's acceptable to give your unwilling daughters' vaginas to mean drunks as trade, and it's acceptable to get your dad drunk, fuck him and then have his babies. Why don't you use your brain and common sense for something other than a toilet, please.
10th-May-2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
10th-May-2012 06:30 pm (UTC)

the original cited article was removed afer december 19 2009 - the above link is the archived version from the wayback machine over at archive.org

10th-May-2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
I've said for along time that same-sex attraction transcends both time (humankind's history) as well as nature. This is just further proof.

Thanks for this post and the links. I'm writing about it and will post on my blog later today.

Mo Rage
the blog
10th-May-2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
Just because it's not in the bible doesn't mean it didn't happen Phillip (duh). You missed the entire point.

The bible is full of absolutely absurd ideas and contradictions. I'm not saying there aren't some good values/lessons we can all take from the bible, but there are tons of terrible and absurd things written in there as well.

In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.

If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
MARK 10:1-12
Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.
MARK 12:18-27
If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.
I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.

Lastly, you saying, "...as far as the Christian faith is concerned, it remains unacceptable." is just completely false. I am Christian and belong to a Christian church that is 'Open and affirming' when it comes to homosexuality and same sex marriage.

11th-May-2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
Right on, Casey!
10th-May-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Moreover even if some people did believe these things? What does that prove? That there were heretics? Not telling anyone anything new the church has dealt with Gnostics, manicheans, pelagians, semi pelagians, Lutherans and modernists. Groups of people have deviated from church teaching for millenia, it is what the church actually taught that matters and that teaching is clear from the apostolic age. Though I do not accept that these were carnal same sex unions.

Edited at 2012-05-10 07:40 pm (UTC)
10th-May-2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
i like this article a lot. yes
10th-May-2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
**Please stop using the man-made bible and scripture to hide behind to disguise your hatred. Not only is is unbecoming of all you, it's not very Christian-like either.

The bible is not God. The bible was written by mortals.
For that matter, the church is also run by mortals.

The church excommunicated Galileo for saying the Earth was NOT the center of the universe, and it took them 600 years to apologize and restract that statement... and put Galileo back in GOOD GRACES AGAIN. *Raises arched eyebrow* as IF the Church could dictate to GOD who was in His good graces, and who was not.

Likewise, *anyone* who thumps their thumb to a man-made book, and DEMANDS that the scripture IS God, also is delusional to think that THEY TOO can dictate to GOD who should be in his good graces and who is not.
11th-May-2012 03:04 am (UTC)
Whereas God should be dictated by your personal opinions? I think not, if the bible is divinely inspired the only one who is delusional and foolish are those who ignore it, thus we should try and work that out rather than pointing fingers and accusing people of setting limits on God.
10th-May-2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
This needs to be brought to the forefront.
10th-May-2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
I know a few people that need to read this.....
10th-May-2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
All I can say is you can't fix stupid, and the Christian population is proving themselves to be just that!!!
11th-May-2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
Hey John, please don't lump ALL Christians into the same pool of stupidity....it's like saying that ALL Americans are stupid due to the ridiculous actions or beliefs of a hateful faction like the Tea Party. Responding to bigotry with bigotry only makes us all bigots as well as hypocrites. Peace.
10th-May-2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
The link to the original article is now broken. Before I post a link to this....don't suppose you would be able to re-find a copy of the original? Or site your sources better, so that people know exactly which document says what, and where that document is now stored?
10th-May-2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
It's at the bottom of the first page. Someone included the other link to it.
11th-May-2012 12:03 am (UTC)
The argument presented in this article is that Christianity is not adhering to its roots by condemning homosexual unions. Christian texts and Church teaching (orthodox and Catholic) have been quite explicit on this point throughout the ages. Sources given by other posters show this quite well. Separation of Church and State, whether or not who's right (other than the professor's presented argument) have absolutely nothing to do with this article. The lack of actual sources provided in the article should alone be a red flag. Casually referencing the existence of texts in the Vatican is one thing, actually citing it would be much better. Regardless, I fail to see what the big deal is - the professor is clearly wrong.
11th-May-2012 12:09 am (UTC)
The only thing this research demonstrates is that the same deviant perversions of God's plan cycle around again and again and again. There is nothing new under the sun, not even man's attempts to change what God calls right and wrong.
11th-May-2012 03:28 am (UTC)
What it demonstrates is that Christian churches once condoned it. That's all it's trying to show.
11th-May-2012 12:20 am (UTC)
thank you for this excellent article! a question for you: when i clicked on your "original article" link, it was disable, 'file not found'. was that link to an original article that you wrote? or to professor boswell's article? i am very interested in the sources- might you have a handy bibliography? thank you so much! misti
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