Monday, March 21, 2011
Divorce and religion
One of my first 'issues' with religion happened when I was a young social worker in Alaska. A woman I was counseling was in a very abusive marriage and needed a nudge to go against her church's edict against getting a divorce. She was also afraid of using contraceptives, but did not need to face the possibility of getting pregnant at a time that she was processing a divorce. The typical advice of church leadership was to not get a divorce AND not have contraception while working through what to do. This was based on Biblical passages that allowed divorce for women ONLY due to sexual infidelity. The same clergy laid on guilt by claiming that if she got a divorce, she would be committing adultery if she ever remarried.
This type of thinking did not allow for any kind of common sense to guide the decision-making process.
I have come to the realization that 2,000 year-old Biblical writings simply were intended to deal with tribal politics and could in no way deal with what people face in today's cultures. Efforts to get Biblical passages to give modern guidance simply fail in may respects.