Exhausted as I am right now, I am trying to catch up with the blog, and I enjoyed Sarah’s post about marriage.

Earlier, I read a collection  of biblical quotes that Bruce Bawer put up on Facebook titled “Traditional Biblical marriage”:

“Lamech [Noah’s father] married two women, one named Adah, the other Zillah.” (Genesis 4)

“Sarai brought her slave-girl, Hagar the Egyptian, to her husband and gave her to Abram as a a wife.” (Genesis 16)

“When [Rachel] gave [her husband Jacob] her slave-girl Bilhah as a wife, Jacob lay with her, and she conceived and bore him a son.” (Genesis 30)

“Esau took Canaanite women in marriage: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite and Oholibamah daughter of Anah son of Zibeon the Horite, and Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebaioth.” (Genesis 26)

“When brothers live together and one of them dies without leaving a son, his widow is not to marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother is to have intercourse with her; he should take her in marriage and do his duty by her as her husband’s brother.” (Deuteronomy 25)

“Sons were born to David atHebron. His eldest was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel; his second Cileab, whose mother was Abigail widow of Nabal fromCarmel; the third Absalom, whose mother was Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth Adonihah, whose mother was Haggith; the fifth Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital; and the sixth Ithream, whose mother was David’s wife Eglah.” (2 Samuel 3)

Interesting, but no matter how relevant any of it is, none of the above is binding on American citizens, who are not bound by religious writings unless they so choose.

I’m reminded of another oft-quoted passage from Leviticus:

    Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:28

That has been taken by some to mean that followers of Leviticus should not get tattoos. By all means, if you have religious objections to tattoos, don’t get one. And even if you don’t have religious objections but don’t like tattoos, then stay away from the tattooists’ needles.

Are religious writings binding on the government in a country founded on religious freedom? I think they are not, and while believers in religious law can obey them to their hearts’ content, they have no right to impose them on anyone else.

I don’t see why this should be so complicated.