Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You are a Product of Incest

Knowledge is power, my friends.  I am often surprised at how little people know of their genealogical roots and about certain other matters regarding them.  Let me make a statement of fact.  Even if we were to pitch the idea of Adam, Eve, Noah, and the flood out the door, there is no human being today that is not in some manner the byproduct of family marriage.  And surprisingly, that isn't a matter upon which one should become inflamed or disgusted.  Read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Martin Chuzzlewit by Dickens, or The Minister's Wooing by Harriet Beecher Stowe and you will find that even in the 1800s people so frequently married their relations that no one batted an eye.  Have you ever watched Gone with the Wind?  Ashley marries his cousin Melanie.  No one thinks it out of place.  Indeed it is said "The Wilkes's are always marrying their cousins." 

Well perhaps you have studied your pedigree back a hundred years or more and found nothing.  Not far enough.  Consider the Middle Ages.  For hundreds of years people lived in the same town marrying people in that town, scraping out meagre lives.  How many thousands of familial marriages took place?  In the last one hundred years this practice has fallen from vogue but many societies have even forbidden the marriage outside of a family for financial, political or religious reasons.  We cannot consider it religiously immoral - the prophet Jacob in the Bible who married two of his first cousins is only one example among many.

So why are we such prudish germaphobes?  I don't know.  Perhaps we think that mental retardation follows such a match?  I have familial marriages in my own line of extremely recent date.  Does insanity run in that branch of the family?  No.  But geniuses do.  I bring this up because believe it or not it has long been a topic that people around me have discussed and I have therefore had to deal with the question hundreds of times.  The only answer I can find to our general distaste for the practice is that society teaches us that it is weird or wrong.  But society has been mistaken before.  I personally reserve my horror for things that more powerfully merit it.

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