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Protestants living in dark ages over gay marriage vote

ONCE again, in the equal marriage vote, most unionists have given Ulster Protestantism a bad name by revealing themselves as reactionary dinosaurs out of touch with tolerance and liberalism and holding back the inevitable tide of progress.

They claim to be Christians and, indeed, we hear endless allusions to the Bible by Protestants, whose understanding of it is, however, highly selective, or reliant on passages read in church by ministers.

Far from sanctioning marriage only between one man and one woman, as is repeated ad nauseam, the Old Testament is riddled with examples of divinely sanctioned polygamy.

In Exodus 10:21, a man may marry an infinite number of women. Thus, Abraham had several wives. In Samuel, King David, a man "after God's heart", had at least eight wives and 10 concubines. Solomon (1 Kings 11:3) was even more busy - he had no fewer than 700 wives and 300 concubines - and still had time to write a Book of Songs.

Of course, in what was a highly patriarchal culture, we are talking exclusively about polygyny (a man having more than one wife), not polyandry (a woman having more than one husband). The latter is an adulteress and all such should be put to death. We have moved on from the sexism of biblical times to legal equality between men and women.

Likewise, Protestant Christians should join the modern world in embracing marriage as a union of love between two people - irrespective of sexual orientation.

BRIAN McCLINTON

Lisburn, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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