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We US Lutherans are weathering a scathing season of debate on sexuality.
Don’t want to pick that scab and re-kindle the same tired scripts on both sides of the debate.
But I am fascinated by how little mention (during the debate) has been made of Martin Luther’s landmark essay on this very topic.
In German: Vom ehelichen Leben
English (Click on for Text) Translation: The Estate of Marriage
Never the legalist, Luther sees (in crushingly potent typically Luther-esque prose) the establishment of marriage in the Genesis order of creation.
Far from being an idle academic treatise, Luther fully intends to re-make Europe around his new non-monastic ideas. His essay is an ideological invasion.
And he succeeded.
You don’t have to read the whole thing; but a few pages will give you the idea.
We have somehow lost the idea of to-be-promoted biologically generative procreation within covenant Adam/Eve marriage families with earthly non-disposability.
We have bought into the myth of overpopulation (i.e. more people is bad), and have embraced the overuse of birth control and abortion (1/3 of conceptions in the US) as corollaries.
Luther is earthy, alive, and strident in his essay. Vintage Marty. Seriously, I dare you to read it, no matter where you stand on things.
Meanwhile, we (and most Mainline Christian groups) are dying out, only to be replaced by more biologically assertive faith families, who actually believe enough in their way of life to see it thrive.
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During the American Revolution, Tim Murphy put a bullet through Redcoat general Simon Fraser from 300 yards out.
He had a better rifle than any of the British regulars.
Arguably, it was the turning point of the war. It was his own gun; it did not belong to the government or the US Army.
Can you imagine our government today allowing the present-day Tim Murphys of our nation to own a rifle that could mix it up with world-class military?
Guns are not just for sporting purposes. They are not just for self-defense against household intruders. They are, in the thinking of the Revolutionary days which crafted, eventually, the Constitution, to encourage citizens to have their own (military grade) guns so that militias could be called up in times of social and political unraveling and stress.
The organized government, in their thinking, should not have a monopoly on force. They had seen how the British had abused that.
The two coins of the military gun realm are the AK and the M-16. In their military form, they are illegal in California, where I live. No Tim Murphy would be possible here if the conditions called for one–whatever current equivalent of the Redcoats could and would march at will, without citizen opposition.
Handguns, on the other hand, are legal almost everywhere, with a permit. And they serve no Constitutional military purpose. Go ahead and even try to hit anywhere on a target with one; they aren’t very useful. It is handguns which are the source of much suicide and drug murder.
Not likely, but what if order disintegrated in our nation? Things are certainly at least a little edgy right now. If the government were unable to maintain order, then only our surliest drug lords would be well armed. Mad Max anyone?
Not saying I want to ban handguns and allow AK’s and M-16’s. Just trying to reframe the conversation away from just hunting and self-defense against burglars. Neither of which were on the minds of the framers of our Constitution.
And what about Christians? Should we always be against the use of force?
The Amish are admirable in their pacifism. But is that workable for the whole society?
And do we want the government to have a monopoly on force?