Friday, September 23, 2005

Reflection Paper: Marx's Critique of the Family

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I find very much interesting in Karl Marx’s critique of the family.  Although I have read no Marx prior to this class, I had heard of the critique through secondary sources.
There is much appealing in it.  From a Christian standpoint it at first appears ridiculous.  However perhaps there is Christian support for this ideal as well.  For instance, does not Paul say that it is better not to get married?  (At this point my friends usually yell out at me that I am taking Paul out of context, and they are probably right.  Not having enough biblical knowledge to proceed much further, I will leave this point).
Another interesting passage though is when the Sadducees approached Jesus.  Since the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, they tried to trick Jesus by asking him a hypothetical situation.  They hoped that this would show the silliness of the idea of the resurrection.
The story proceeds as follows.  A woman marries a man, and then he dies.  She then marries his brother, and he dies as well.  In fact she marries seven brothers, and all seven of them die.  The Sadducees then ask Jesus, “when the resurrection comes, whose wife will she be?”  Jesus answered that in heaven no one will either be married or be given into marriage.
This is really a fascinating concept that I do not we analyze enough.  This means that in God’s ideal society, there is no such thing as marriage.  And shouldn’t we try and imitate heaven here on earth?  At the very least it takes a lot of the sacredness out of marriage, because it is only an earthly institution, not an eternal one.
Perhaps marriage was God’s way of controlling society before effective birth control was invented.  After all, a women who became pregnant out of wedlock in a patriarchal society was in a lot of trouble.  Now that it is socially acceptable for women to support themselves, and now that birth control is much more effective, is marriage becoming obsolete?  As Karl Marx noted, there is always a lot of emotion involved whenever an institution like marriage is questioned, but these questions do interest me.

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