Alex Frantz has a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles.

1 Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives.

2 A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden.

3 Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce.

4 If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother’s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law.

Footnotes in original deleted.

It’s a mite Old Testament, but worth considering.

FILED UNDER: Religion,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I don’t get why this is worth considering.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Heh. It’s not in the sense of it being good public policy, of course. But makes an interesting point about using literal interpretations of the Bible as a basis for modern law. There’s obviously a lot of it–mainly the Old Testament, of course–that we’d now consider rather barbaric.

  3. Jimbo says:

    Maybe, but you don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

    I know what marriage is, you know what marriage is, so why try to muddy the waters by claiming it is something that it is not?

    If two gays want to shack up and play house, I could not give a rip one way or the other, but that will never be marriage. Do they want equal rights or do they trying to co-opt the language?

    Quit hanging out at Cal Pundit man, it’s warping you. 🙂

  4. James Joyner says:

    Heh. Just being fair and balanced.

    Personally, I’m rather squeamish about the idea of gay marriage and really don’t see why they need to use the term. But, for the life of me, I can’t find a logical rationale for my opposition.

  5. Kevin Drum says:

    Hey, Jimbo, don’t blame me for James’ faults. I’ve got enough of my own.

    Besides, I’m a civil union guy. As long as you’re OK with giving gays inheritance rights, insurance rights, visitation rights, and so forth, I’m fine with keeping the language pure.

  6. Jimbo says:

    Uh oh! Smacked down by the Kevin Meister! 🙂

    Yes, to all of that by the way, and I will even give you one better and say you should not harass them in any way either.

    In exchange for all of those concessions, I want the word “GAY” back! 🙂

  7. melvin toast says:

    Classic example of a little knowledge being a stupid thing.

    I’m not going to go into a detailed analysis but how do you marry a widow with children if you’re not allowed to marry
    a non-virgin? Where the children conceived immaculately?

    If you actually read the Bible, you’ll also see that the
    “prohibition” against divorce is only in a specific case as a punishment for slander.

  8. Hermetic says:

    It’s also wildly inaccurate, based on the actual text. There’s no prohibition against marrying a non-virgin (except for priests (Kohanim)) If you read the passages he cites for No. 2, the woman is to be killed if she has deceived her father and her husband about being a virgin.

    In addition, there is no prohibition against divorce, and specific mechanisms to allow it. The old testament quote he gives for No. 3 is taken out of context.

  9. melvin toast says:

    Human nature is an interesting thing. If Maureen Dowd
    had written the original piece, everyone would be
    scanning the sources looking for the Dowdifications.

    But since the claim confirms the preconceived notion
    of many, that the Bible is archaic, *BANG*, we accept it
    as accurate. Why wouldn’t it be? The Bible is barbaric!
    It must be if it prohibits eating pickled pigs feet… I mean
    what’s better than pickled pigs feet. Barbaric I tell you!

  10. The Following commentary has more to do with the Canadian Government’s stand on Same Sex Marriages. Please note… I do believe that Gays and Lesbians have the right to legally be joined to each other and share all the things that come with that legal union that heterosexual couples do.

    The whole reason that the religious institutions of the day are so against anything that isn’t heterosexual is the “sex” part. Any Christian denomination that follows the Bible will refuse to marry a homosexual couple because the practice of homosexuality is forbidden in biblical teaching. Since it was the Churches’ right to marry before there was ever a charter of rights, before there even was a Canada to speak of, it seems unfair to call the union of two men or two women a “marriage”. I understand the committment that gay couples have toward each other is as deep and at times deeper than any heterosexual committment, but I believe that the term marriage should not be used so loosely to describe the bond, committment or legal status of homosexual couples. The word union has been suggested as a legal term to be substituted for “marriage” in these instances. I would suggest that the civil ceremony of creating a personal union and the subsequent legal committment be recognized as legally the same as a marriage for the purposes of benefits, obligations, welfare status and income tax status, etc., ad nausium…. (this part here applies to the experiences I have personally been thru and have first hand knowledge of in Ontario, Canada)To be fair, men who share an apartment, or women who share an apartment should be treated with the same consideration or lack of it that a man and woman would be subject to. The sticking point for me is that since the Harris government made it illegal for a woman on Social assistance to share residence with a man who might be her boyfriend and is NOT the legal parent of any of her children (if she has any), and has determined that this couple is living commonlaw if they have been living that way for over 6 months, I think that the same is fair to be said of men living together or women living together….. with or without children. And if this isn’t legally enforcable and two men can claim the maximum welfare cheque and live singly sharing a residence, the I say the whole idea of women being forced to “oust the boyfriend” or face poverty with one income (his)is a prejudicial and inequitable sham! Never should the government be allowed to predetermine our legal status by looking into our bedrooms! It should always be our choice to commit, no matter who we are or our sexual preferences.