The Origins of Modern Monogamy
This post is written in response to an attack levied against a post written here over the weekend by an anonymous "Christian." It is not going to deal with the usual thematic content of this Blog. If you are here looking for our usual discussions of how our polyamorous family deals with life, or some more lurid descriptions of BDSM practice, or our usual discourse, you may want to not read this but go on to some of our earlier posts or to browse our archives. There is a lot there.
This is a continuation of the discussion of the definition of polyamory and the attempts by the predominate activist Christian movement in the United States to recreate the United States into a theocratic imperialist state.
It's not just Christians or some modern silliness. Through out time and through out all cultures marriage has always been seen as a union between man and woman. So drop the foul act against Christians. It was the same 2000 years ago in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia-- practically everywhere, the same 1000 years ago, 500.. and so on. Everywhere you look, all over the world, in most every culture, through out time that is how it has been. "
Factually, Christianity grew out of Judaism. Jewish society, both pre-and post Christ, was polygamous. The great prophets of the Old Testament had dozens and in some cases hundreds of wives not to mention many concubines and slaves whom they "knew." Christ was born into a polygamous society. He died in a polygamous society. The first five centuries C. E. the early Christians, true to their heritage and teaching, practiced polygamy if they chose to. Generally, polygamy was socially preferred and was certainly economically efficacious.
In 325 A. D. the Roman Emperor Constantine, faced with an empire coming apart at the seams because of infighting between Christian and more traditional believers in the Roman Pagan State religion, convened the Council of Nicea. The Council was tasked to create a new hybrid Roman State religion that would bring the warring factions into one common worship and preserve the Empire. They revised and created the first State sanctioned scripture, creating numerous theological constructs out of political necessity, which lack any basis in history or documented religious teaching. These included the teachings that Jesus was the son of god, that he was born to a virgin, and that he was killed and rose from the dead, and that he considered himself a savior. The Council created the first State operated "Christian" Church. They created the first paid clergy.
At the end of their process they codified their new religion in a statement of belief, "The Nicene Creed." All Christians were required to accept this creed. It is passed down to us today verbatim and is chanted each Sunday in nearly every Christian Church with those, who bother to think what its words mean, having no idea that there is no basis for its theological precepts, other than the need to resolve a political crisis in the fourth century Roman Empire. Those who adopted the Nicene Creed became Christians. Those who refused, wanting to adhere to the teachings of Christ and the disciples, were called "those who chose....choice makers." The Latin for Choice maker is hereticus (plural heretici). They were heretici the first "heretics." Heretics were proclaimed enemies of God and the state. The Romans and the newly reborn Christians then banded together to persecute their formerly Christian brethren with a ferocity that made the persecution of the early Christians by Rome seem benign. Nicene Creed Christians have been true to that "faith" ever since.
The important aspects of history to the Council of Nicea discussion is that a Central Holy Roman Church was created that paralleled the Roman Imperial Government. The new Church had aspirations to gather wealth and power over all the world rivaling the government. It was challenged though. It could not levy taxes. It could not make war. It could not usurp property. It negotiated a dispensation. It was legislated that the assets of anyone who died without heirs would inure to The Church. This could be most helpful but there was a problem. Society was still polygamous. If you had many wives and dozens or even hundreds of offspring there always was an heir standing in line in front of The Church to inherit assets unless very exceptional circumstances occurred. While The Church could not levy taxes it could define religion.
It was decreed by the Holy Roman Church in the fifth Century that marriage could only be between one man and one woman. The Church had no previous theology upon which to base this. It was a step that would create huge intestacy and ergo wealth for the Church. Over the two subsequent centuries it enriched the Church beyond the Roman Empire or any previous political, social, or religious institution.
Monogamy is a much cherished concept within Christianity. It's basis is economic. It has no theologically historical basis in our culture. Additionally review by objective Bible scholars can find no Biblical texts that speak to the number of men and women able to enter into marriage. Neither of course, does the Talmud. Interestingly the Koran does address this but it permits both monogamy and polygamy and counsels the relative merits of each type of marriage.
The statement that, "Throughout time and throughout all cultures marriage has always been seen as a union between one man and one woman," is a lie. It is not the Judeo Christian tradition prior to the 600's and thereafter only to create intestacy to fatten the coffers of the Holy Roman Church. It is not even spoken to in the inherently corrupt post-Nicene Council Christian scripture. It is not the practice of the Moslem world and has not been for thousands of years as well. Very basic sociological research will easily reveal that adherence to monogamy is a social aberration throughout world culture, not a norm. Anyone looking back upon our society in centuries hence will certainly look upon our "monogamous society and legal system" with over half of all marriages ending in divorce to be followed with one or two or three or four subsequent marriages and statistical trends towards non-married cohabiting households appearing to tend towards likely eclipsing married co-habiting households in the decades ahead, as an exercise in denial and hypocrisy.
So anonymous Christian if you are still about, I've given you a small portion of the basis of debunking the lies you've expressed here, and are too cowardly to even sign. What basis do you have? I agree there are "foul attacks" made on Christianity. I've made none. I've explained historical facts........truths. The most foul attacks on Christianity occur weekly from pulpits, and in legislatures and Congress, and in posts like yours.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined. Link