Tuesday, September 20, 2016

No, Trevin Wax, Genesis Creation Accounts Aren't About "Family Structure" — And, Yes, Polygamy (with Concubinage and Slavery) Is the Default Notion of Marriage for Eons in the Old Testament

As I've mentioned to you previously, I find myself in this pre-election season spending more and more of my online time sharing information in my Facebook and Twitter circles. And that accounts, in part, for my relative silence on this blog, where I have long tried to write something more substantive than people normally share on social media — and where I continuously fall behind with thanking you for your outstanding comments here. I really am grateful for them and apologize that I haven't been taking time to acknowledge them.

Here's something I shared this morning in response to commentary that Trevin Wax has just published at Religion News Service, taking Tim Kaine — as a Catholic — to task for his defense of same-sex marriage:

Trevin Wax argues — ludicrously — that Tim Kaine's stress on "God saw that it is good" in the Genesis creation accounts "mangles the bible." Then — ludicrously — he goes on to argue that a correct reading of Genesis sees God establishing a "family structure" with Adam and Eve. 
Genesis never uses the words "family" or "marriage" in these creation stories. If we're going to be silly enough to imagine these stories are literally true (and Wax's ludicrous reading runs in that direction), then we have to imagine God establishing a "family" with Adam and Eve that can perpetuate itself only through incest, since there are no other "families" in the world at this time, and brother must mate with sister to carry on this "family." 
It would be nice if, just once, Trevin Wax mused a moment on his astonishing privilege as a straight heterosexual man — privilege that has opened doors for him to spread around nonsense like this on the pages of Religion News Service, God help us all.

National Catholic Reporter did not endear itself to me last month by picking up another RNS article by Wax, which I read as an attempt of a conservative white evangelical opposed to same-sex marriage and the pro-choice position to keep waving a red flag about abortion in the face of Catholic voters, after it has become apparent that a majority of Catholic voters are pro-choice — despite what the hierarchy wants to tell Catholics to think and do politically about this issue. Not long after NCR published this essay, Wax published another at RNS taking a cheap (and absolutely undocumented) shot at Hillary Clinton's "dishonest character."

If Trevin Wax represents the face of white evangelicals with whom the U.S. Catholic bishops — and, to its great discredit, National Catholic Reporter — expect me to ally myself as I make my political choices, I'll gladly forgo that political alliance, which reeks of misogyny, homophobia, male entitlement, and heterosexism. There has to be a more viable understanding of Christianity in contemporary American culture than the one Wax is defending, as he tries to discipline Catholics like Tim Kaine who are not even part of his own faith community, and who represent an understanding and practice of the Catholic faith that commands respect, it appears to me, pace Trevin Wax.

No comments: