“Marriage” to an Animal?

“Marriage” to an Animal?

Richard Hollerman

For some years now, there has been much discussion about homosexual unions that the government has now labeled as “marriage.” Supposedly, this unnatural combination allows two men to enter into a union or two women to enter such a union—and legally this has been called a “marriage.”

We know, of course, that marriage involves two people of opposite gender. Even The Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines “marriage” as “the social institution under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments.” We know, of course, that it does take more than this in God’s sight for two people to marry.

Jesus Christ said, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5). The Lord continues, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (v. 6). In God’s sight, a man and a woman are to be joined together for life. This constitutes “marriage” from the Creator’s perspective. Of course, we also learn in Scripture that the two who are thus joined must not be united to another person.

When we read of a union (called a “marriage”) to an animal by a human being, there have been instances of this n mythology. One report puts it this way:

The practice of animal-human marriage has made appearances in several mythological stories and folklore, and is often understood to mean a deity-human marriage involving gods or heroes.[2] The Chinese folktale “The Goddess of the Silkworm” is an example of a tale where a woman marries a horse.[2] A similar Irish legend tells of a king who marries a horse, symbolizing a divine union between the king and the goddess of the land.[3] Also the indigenous Cheyenne have a story of animal-human marriage in “The Girl who Married a Dog”.[4] In addition, there are many Native American stories about people who married animals. In these Native American myths, animal spirits frequently assume human form.[5] They are not seen as literal animals, but representatives from the animal kingdom.[5] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human%E2%80%93animal_marriage).

All of this involves mythology rather than actual cases. But have there been bestiality practices, with claimed “marriage,” recorded in history? The same source says this:

Although it is uncertain if there is a legal basis for marrying an animal, several individuals claim to have done so. The Sudanese goat marriage incident made big headlines in 2006 when a man was forced to marry a goat after being caught in a sexual interaction with the goat.[6] Other reports of marriage include animals such as dogs, cats, frogs and a dolphin. [7][8][9][10][11][12]

Other incidents of human animal relations took place in 2010, when 18-year-old Balinese man Ngurah Alit was found having sexual intercourse with a cow, who he claimed flirted with him.[13] As part of a Pecaruan ritual, the man was forced to marry the animal.[13] The ceremony was thought to cleanse the village of the immoral act of bestiality.[13] The cow was drowned in the ocean, while Alit was symbolically drowned as well.[13] (Ibid.)

We know that these sorts of relationships are condemned as something immoral and unnatural in Scripture.  But what about examples in today’s world?

Just this year, a story came out, taken from an earlier story of two years ago (which originally came from a French satire!) in which a Norwegian woman married her dog. The article went viral! But apparently it was false.

A story does come to us in which there has been an animal-human relationship:


‘Dogs are better than men’

Rachel Hosie

A woman who married her dog says that despite people thinking she’s mad, he’s “perfect” for her. 43-year-old Wilhelmina Morgan Callaghan, from Northern Ireland, married her dog Henry eight years ago. We all know a dog is man’s best friend, and Callaghan credits Henry’s loyalty for getting her through some tough times.

“Things have fallen apart somewhat since we married in 2009,” she said. “I lost my job in a morgue, so was forced to become a freelance embalmer, there is not much money in that, and then my house flooded. “But Henry has been great throughout – he is so loyal.” She added that she calls him “Ri” which means “King” in ancient Gaelic, “because he is like a king – my king.”Henry is a Cork-born Yorkshire terrier that Callaghan adopted in 2009 from a friend who’d had a litter of puppies. After reading about people marrying their pets online, Callaghan decided she would do it too. It’s not legal to marry a pet in the UK, so the “marriage” is a spiritual one, although Callaghan takes it seriously and has a certificate too.

. . . . There have been plenty of other cases of people marrying their pets – a woman in Lanzarote married her two cats after splitting from her partner of seven years, for example, and a Dutch woman married her dog after her first husband, a cat, died. Callaghan is totally committed to Henry. “Unlike other marriages which fall apart, I know I’m with Henry for life,” she said. “People may think I’m barking mad, but he’s perfect for me.”


We know that such a relationship is wildly immoral and unusual, but apparently it is true!

Another account mentions this sin: “People Who Had More-Than-Platonic Relationships with Animals” https://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-had-relationships-with-animals/jacob-shelton

Another report puts it this way:

Is it legal to marry an animal? Human-animal marriage is not specifically mentioned in national laws – meaning technically that there’s nothing to stop you entering a state of holy matrimony with your dog, cat, hamster. rabbit or whatever species you favour. However the act of bestiality – of engaging in sexual acts with an animal – is illegal in many countries, including the UK, where you could face a two-year prison sentence for committing such acts. Sorry, this video isn’t available any more. Also bear in mind that such a marriage would be spiritual and symbolic rather than legally binding. (metro.co.uk/2019/07/31/legal-marry-animals-inanimate-objects-10493582/?ito=cbshare)

But there have been instances in which a person married an “inanimate object.”  For instance, someone “married” the Statue of Liberty recently! In 2017, someone “married” the Santa Fe train station! In 2007, someone “married” the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.  Another person, some years ago, “married” the Berlin Wall (in 1979)! According to reports, a Hindu custom is for a woman to “marry” a tree! (metro.co.uk/2019/07/31/legal-marry-animals-inanimate-objects-10493582/)

Even in the Scriptures, sexual relationships with an animal was a known sin, one that was capital in nature!

We read in the Law of God (the Law of Moses): “Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 22:19). “You shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it: it is a perversion” (Leviticus 18:23; 20:15-16; Deuteronomy 27:21). There seems to be no exceptions—the one who has sex with an animal is to be put to death!

Why is bestiality condemned so strongly? First, it is an unnatural perversion. Clearly, human beings were designed/intended to mate with other human beings, not animals. In the creation account, none of the animals were “suitable” for Adam (Genesis 2:20). Second, bestiality represents the ultimate of sexual deviancy. The fact that the animal was to be put to death (Leviticus 20:15-16), despite the fact that it would be “innocent,” indicates how wickedly perverse bestiality is. Third, and perhaps most importantly, bestiality essentially denies the uniqueness of humanity which God created in His image (Genesis 1:27). Bestiality lowers humanity to nothing more than an animal, a beast which is unable to distinguish right from wrong, natural from unnatural, love from lust.

The New Testament nowhere mentions bestiality, but that should not be interpreted as an allowance for bestiality or a weakening of how strongly God condemns bestiality. While the Old Testament Law was fulfilled with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15), the Law, in most instances, is still a guidepost for what is right or wrong, moral or immoral. Unlike some of the other Old Testament commands, there is nothing in the context of the biblical condemnations of bestiality that in any way limits the applicability to Israel as a nation or to any particular time period. While the death-penalty aspect of the command does not need to be enforced, the fact that bestiality is still a horrible, disgusting, perverted, and abominable sin is abundantly clear. (www.gotquestions.org/bestiality.html).

Besides this prohibition in the Law of Moses, we know that the New Testament (New Covenant) writings also forbid such a perverse practice. Paul, for example, classifies as “deeds of the flesh” to include “immorality, impurity, sensuality” (Galatians 5:19-21; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). From this, we see that not only is fornication, adultery, and such sins condemned, but all sexual impurity is likewise forbidden. A few years ago, we were shocked to learn that the United States government “opened the door” to bestiality in the Armed Forces! That’s right! Apparently, bestiality is allowed in the military, as wicked as this may be. We wonder whether other countries, particularity in Europe, may also permit this immoral sexual activity!

But in the case in which we began these comments, it is not just practicing a wicked and perverse sexual activity, but it has been called “marriage”—marriage to a dog!

We may frown upon or condemn such a bizarre practice as “marriage” to an animal or sex with an animal, but let’s recognize all that Scripture says about such immoral and wicked relationships. The relations between two humans of the same gender is wicked and unnatural. The relations between a person and another person who has no right to marriage is likewise evil! Yes, it is evil to participate in the kind of relationship described in this article, but it is also sinful to do what millions of people in America, Europe, and other places do!

Let the follower of Christ remain pure and uncontaminated by the sins of society, particularly sexual perversity! Let God’s people remain holy in an unholy world! Let the world involve itself in all sorts of immoral relationships, but the true Christian will shun such activity and maintain his or her purity! “Pursue” holiness “without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14b).

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