Re: Family (a definition)

Juli Kuhl (
Tue, 23 Jul 1996 18:27:16 -0400 (EDT)

And what cost to our society when "families" so loosely defined evolve
periodically into new liaisons when partners are exchanged for new partners?
EG, a man and a woman are "committed" to each other (or, OK, two men or
two women), declare themselves a family with or without children, and
next year one of the partners decides he or she is now in love with
another partner - gay straight or both. The economic impact alone will
sink our already badly listing "ship" if you want health care, palimony,
financial support for the children, disability benefits, unemployment
perhaps, etc..

Seems to me the OT does not *prescribe* polygamy, it merely *describes* it,
and the Bible as a whole defines family as one man/one woman with or
without children. (Bro/sister can certainly be a family; so can cousins
forty times removed, incestuous uncles with their neices and nephews, and
lesbian aunts with someone else's progeny. The list of "creative"
sinful relationships is almost endless, and Leviticus merely outlines the
basic principles of unhealthy liaisons, presupposing heterosexual fidelity.)
I don't see any point in coming up with "proof texts" because it would
take a lot more time than I have right now; and besides, as Mark Twain is
alleged to have said, "a man convinced against his will remaineth
un-convinc-ed still".

So there: I've stuck my neck out good and long so you can all chop
away at it! Happy headhunting! :)

Juli Kuhl

On 22 Jul 1996, John W. Burgeson wrote:

> Dean Ohlman writes: "I guess I am too conservative and too tied to biblical
> ethics to think that any-
> one on a forum like this could even hold that there is such a things as a
> "marriage" between homosexuals and that "the family" is anything other than a
> mother, a father, and at least one child. While we may call other aggregations
> of individuals "families," the procreational grouping of husband, wife and
> their natural offspring must always remain the basal definition. (Of course, I
> am not denying here the idea of "extended family" or families that have lost
> children or gained them through adoption, etc.)"
> Welcome to the real world, Dean.
> When a man & woman are married -- are they not a "family" right away? Must they
> wait for offspring? What if none appear?
> When two elderly brothers, having lost their spouses, or, perhaps, having
> never married, form a household & hold all things in common -- are they
> not a family?
> What if the "two elderly brothers" are unrelated to one another?
> What if they are sister & brother?
> I have not, in the above, touched on issues of sexuality. That is not the issue.
> The issue is the human rights of any "bonded group" to be recognized as
> such, and share in the priviledges & responsibilities of such. Those
> include tax status, hospital access when another family member is ill,
> inheritance, etc. etc. that we "heterosexual married folks" take for granted as
> "our rights."
> Peace
> Burgy