Tuesday, January 26, 2016

JC Says You Can't Get the Big D: Evangelical Traumatic Flashback Corner

Angie's Story: 
Evangelical Wedding Ceremony (minus the Unity candle)
One of Jake’s constant refrains in Waterfalls is that marriage is a commitment, an unbreakable contract signed in the Blood of the Lamb to bind you for all eternity to your mate. While Christians have similar or even higher divorce rates than the general, hell-bound public, many are hardliners when it comes to breaking that unbreakable vow. My seventh grade Bible teacher was so smug when she recounted the story of her daughter-in-law sittiing her down before the wedding and saying, "Just so you know, 'divorce' is not a word in my vocabulary," which even as a seventh grader, made me think: why are you using a word that isn't in your vocabulary? We both know that you know what the word means, homegirl.

Technically, according to Le Bible, the only legitimate grounds for divorce is adultery. So some people upon hearing about a marriage dissolving for another reason, like a spouse being physically abused, cluck their tongues and say that divorce is not biblically sanctioned. (In case you were wondering these people are definite, 100% jackasses.) I've heard that this biblical standard was actually included to protect old timey Jewish women since they would be ruined if their husband divorced them. (Back then, they did not have a kicky First Wives Club to get you through your marriage ending). According to one of my teachers, divorce in the year of our Lord was as simple as a man turning around three times chanting, "I divorce you. I divorce you. I divorce you." And just like that, BAM! with no legal fees, you were back on the Jersualem market, along with the fish, loaves, and myrhh. Does this sound
made up? You betcha. But so do many of the "facts" I learned Evangelical school.

Jewish divorce circa 50 BC
When I was a junior higher, trying really hard to make corduroy overalls happen, our high school youth pastor had an affair with a high schooler. (I’ll wait until you’re done dry-heaving). He ended up leaving a wife and four kids in the lurch (and he was not the only pastor affiliated with our church/school to go down that carnal path). While everyone felt terrible for his wife, there was also an underlying sense of relief. Like, well, she gets a free pass on the big D since her husband gave her a biblical out with his a-lyin’ and a-cheatin’. 
Take your holy pass and run, beyotch!
Now if you aren’t as fortunate as this poor youth pastor’s wife, you might find yourself screwed by this strict, black-and-white interpretation of biblical divorce:

Dear God, my spouse, while remaining physically faithful to me, will not stop hitting on my 87-year-old GramGram. His ribald comments are making her very uncomfortable and when confronted about his behavior, he invites my entire family to: “Eat my shorts, dillholes!” Can I get a divorce? GOD SAYS NO!

Dear God, my spouse collects human body parts in the freezer that she keeps chained shut in the basement. She left it unlocked one day and there must be at least ten different people’s torsos, feet, and arms in there. They seem to be all different ages and races but I can’t find any of the heads. Can I get a divorce? GOD SAYS NO!

Dear God, first thing every morning, my spouse makes herself vomit directly onto my sleeping face. I’ve asked her why she does this, is it involuntary, does she have some sort of tic or past trauma that would cause her to do this to me every morning? All she says is it makes her giggle and she needs a joyful start to her day, so she’s never going to stop. Can I get a divorce? GOD SAYS NO!

Dear God, my spouse has replaced me with our golden doodle, Mitzy. She has taken my spot on the bed, and I’m relegated to the floor. He dresses Mitzy in my clothes, and when I complain, he just nudges her collar and leash in my direction. It’s been ten months now, and I’m starting to wonder if maybe I actually am a dog. Can I get a divorce? GOD SAYS NO!
Marge, I believe you and Mitzy have already met.

Commitment is great and important. Breaking up a marriage is no joke and should be done with care. But if you staunchly cling to that stipulation adultery is the only grounds for divorce, you are asking some people to live as a dog because their spouse prefers the company of their golden doodle. Don’t do that, ya dillhole!

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