Last night I caught the first half hour of ABC's Nightline news program. They are doing a series on the 10 commandments and whether or not the commandments are still relevant today. Are you shaking your head wondering if they are thinking straight? I was too! Especially when they began the topic for the day: Commandment #7 (I think) -Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.
They had a panel of 4 "experts": 1) A woman with an "open marriage" who has a husband, a 12 year old daughter and a girlfriend, 2) A man who professes to be faithfully married (with 2 daughters) but who runs a website to help people commit adultery- and yes, he advertises but no, he said it is not OK if his wife were to commit adultery but has no problem helping other people wreck their lives, 3) A priest of some Christian religion, and 4) a former sexaholic who is now reformed and somewhat religious.
Panelists 1&2 were arguing that adultery is healthy for marriage because... well, I couldn't really say why they thought it was, they just figured that it was going to happen anyway so by having an "open marriage" or by embracing adultery openly it removes so many of the bad feelings surrounding it like, uh, guilt. They said it makes marriages healthier and is actually better for the children, too.
The priest was as dumbfounded by this reasoning as I am. He refuted panelist #1's claims that we have made marriage too strict and ideal- what with the whole fidelity thing and all (I am sadly not exaggerating this conversation). People did not "make" marriage, God did. He went on to say, despite shock from panelist #1, that he holds everyone to the same standard not just people who share his religion. The temerity of the man to hold everyone to values that were established thousands of years ago, by God nonetheless! Even if you are not religious, you would think that if you love someone enough to marry them, you would not want to hurt them so cruelly. After all, marriage is not just about love it is about trust and respect- as my mother the therapist always says. Actually John and I have an agreement if one of us ever cheats, the other is authorized to kill them. Maybe they should add that to the marriage vows.
Basically the argument of #1&2 was that times have changed so the concept of marriage should change with it. Panelists 3&4 held that adultery hurts marriages and all the people involved, especially the children. I turned it off in disgust before the Nightline Moderator drew any conclusions and decided to abolish commandment #7.
My conclusion: whoever came up with the idea to make the 10 commandments debatable should be shot- along with panelists 1 and 2. Next I am sure they will be debating about the whole Thou Shall Not Kill thing. Heck, it happens all the time, might as well embrace it!