Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

complementarity

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 28, 2008

Mark Steyn backhands the Brits for their capitulation to political Qur'ectness:

You can't (for the moment) marry multiple wives within the United Kingdom, but if you contract a polygamous marriage in a jurisdiction where polygamy is legal, such as certain, ahem, Muslim countries, your better halves (or better eighths?) are now recognized as eligible for British welfare payments. Thus, the concept of "each additional spouse" has been accepted both de facto and de jure.

Steyn's witty wording inadvertently puts into sharper relief some aspects of the theology of marriage. A man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. Would there be any wife to wife one-flesh-ness between a Muslim's multiple brides (or, to take an OT example, between Jacob's wives Leah and Rachel)? Hard to see how.

More debatable is his contention that a Muslim holding a full house might refer to his "better eighths" rather than "better fifths." Would it be a different man made whole in a different way by each of his four wives (wedded either serially or concurrently) so as to produce eight marital relationships? Or does the hub to which the spokes are attached remain constant (so as to produce five)? Most Britons must realize that neither understanding is easy to reconcile with the traditional Christian notion of the nuptial bond. But come to think of it, Henry VIII had his own ideas about marital cleaving, didn't he?

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