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Charisma Denounces Incest, Ignoring God-Approved Incestuous Relationships in the Bible

biblical marriage
Biblical Marriage, God’s Unchanging Moral Standard

According to Jessilyn Justice, a writer for Charisma News, the United States is facing a perversion tsunami. Several weeks ago, the Daily Mail reported that a man who was given up for adoption now wants to have a sexual relationship with his birth mother. Monica Mares, 36, gave Caleb Peterson, 19, up for adoption at birth. She was sixteen at the time. Nineteen years later, mother and son reconnected, fell in love, and are now facing criminal charges due to their incestuous relationship. Here’s what the Daily Mail had to say about their relationship:

GSA [genetic sexual attraction] is defined as sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings or half-siblings, a parent and offspring, or first and second cousins, who first meet as adults. Mares said: ‘He is the love of my life and I don’t want to lose him.My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us not courts, or jail, nothing. ‘I have to be with him. When I get out of prison I will move out of Clovis to a state that allows us to be together.’

Incest is a crime in all 50 states, but the specifics of the laws and punishment vary greatly from state to state. Mother-of-nine Mares said she would even give up the right to see her other children if she was asked to choose between them and her lover. The couple who currently live separately in Clovis, New Mexico – and are banned from having any contact with each other by the courts – first embarked on their love affair towards the end of last year.
The couple was charged with incest – a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico – following the February 25th incident. They were arraigned and appeared jointly in court in April – but were held in custody for breaching their no-contact order. They were released on $5,000 bond and now face a trial by jury in September.

Currently Mares is not allowed to see any of her children or have any contact at all with Peterson.Yet she maintains that is has all been worth it. ‘It is every bit worth it,’ she said. ‘If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him. ‘It hurts he is far away. It hurts really bad. I wish I could see him, talk to him, but I can’t risk it.’

Peterson said he started falling love with his mom about a week after meeting her – but claims as he grew up with an adopted parents he never really saw Mares as his mother. ‘I never had anyone cook me meals or give me anything,’ he said. ‘I never got anything my entire life and she went out of her way to make me happy and after about a week or so I started having feelings for her and I guess I fell in love. ‘It went beyond a mother-son relationship I never really viewed her as my mom. In certain aspects I do but mostly I don’t. ‘I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn’t see her as my mom, it was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn’t feel wrong, it felt normal.’

Peterson claims it was him who made the first move not his mom. He recalls: ‘We were hanging out just talking and I looked at her and she looked at me and I kissed her. ‘It was a real kiss it had feelings behind it, there was a spark that ever since then it just stayed. ‘Honestly I never thought we would get into trouble for our relationship. We were both consenting adults – when it comes down to it.

‘She’s adult I’m adult I can make my own decisions. I never thought it would blow up into something like this.’
Despite the immense opposition to the couple’s relationship, Mares and Peterson do have supporters in the community – including Dayton Chavez, Mares’ ex and father to two of her sons Moses, nine, and Joseph, 12.

He said: ‘I’ve told them I still love you guys either way. I support them. ‘I would like to see the government get out of their business and let them live a normal life – let them live how they want to live. ‘It would be different if it was a domestic violence situation but it’s not. ‘My point of view is they need to be allowed to live just how they are that’s what America is built on.’
The couple – who both have roots with Native American Apache tribes – is also being supported by Cristina Shy who runs, a support and advocacy website for related couples, also known as consanguinamorous people.

Cristina, who is involved in an illegal relationship with her half brother in Minnesota, said: ‘Our whole community is watching this case and looking for updates. ‘It needs to be brought to the attention of everybody in the country and people need to start thinking differently. ‘It was the same with gay people just a few years ago and now they can get married they are accepted. ‘Well why not consanguinamorous people like us? We are all adults. We are not pedophiles, there’s no domestic issue we are in love, we want to be together but we are related. That shouldn’t be a deciding factor.’

Most readers of this blog likely think — at the very least — that this is a bizarre story. I have mixed feelings about the mother/son sexual relationship, but I suspect my discomfort is the result of my Fundamentalist Christian upbringing. If I believe that consenting adults should be free to have sex with whomever, wherever, and however, then, despite my conflicted feelings, I really should have no legitimate objection to Mares’ and Peterson’s relationship.

As soon as this story hit the news wire, Christians such as Jessilyn Justice were screaming, SEE! This is what happens when we let same-sex couples marry, legitimize homosexuality, and allow Transgenders use the bathroom of their choice! Unable to comprehend any other sexual relationships beside what they “think” is decreed in a bronze age religious text — the Protestant Bible — people such as Justice warn others about the dangers of the slippery slope that ultimately leads to every sexual perversion imaginable. Why, what’s to stop people from marrying their dogs, right?

Justice focused on the incest component of this story:

Paul specifically warned about the evils of sexual immorality throughout his letters to the Corinthians and Romans.

Now, perversion rises as a mother wants an incestuous relationship with the son she gave up for adoption, according to The Daily Mail.

“If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him,” 36-year-old Monica Mares tells the online paper of her son, Caleb Peterson.

The couple faces a charge of incest, according to the Clovis News Journal. If convicted, they face hefty fines and years behind bars.

“I never had anyone cook me meals or give me anything,” Peterson tells the Daily Mail.

He continued: “I never got anything my entire life and she went out of her way to make me happy and after about a week or so I started having feelings for her and I guess I fell in love. It went beyond a mother-son relationship. I never really viewed her as my mom. In certain aspects I do but mostly I don’t. I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn’t see her as my mom, it was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn’t feel wrong, it felt normal.”

Perhaps the book of Romans is at play here, as Paul warned in chapter 1 that God would give people over to the lust of their hearts.

I find it laughable and quite entertaining that Justice opposes incest, yet she worships a God that used incest to advance his divine agenda on earth.

The Bible — the original Kinsey Report — certainly condemns incest. God, the arbiter of all things sexual, had this to say in his inspired, inerrant, infallible word:

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness. The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. Leviticus 18:6-18

See! God says incest is a sin! Right there in the B-i-b-l-e. End of story. Later in Leviticus 18, God also condemns homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, and having sex with a woman when she is menstruating. In Leviticus 20, God says certain incestuous relationships — along with adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality — are capital crimes punishable by death. Strangely, if a man has sex with his uncle’s wife or has sex with his brother’s wife, their immorality is not punishable by death. (See Wikipedia article on Incest in the Bible.)

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul rebukes the Church at Corinth for having in its membership a man who was having sex with his mother. 1 Corinthians 5:1 states:

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

Paul commanded the church to excommunicate the man, delivering him to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. Surprisingly,  Paul considered the incestuous man to still be a Christian (To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus).

The Apostle Paul, along with Jessilyn Justice, seems to ignorant of the fact that the Big Man Upstairs approves of incest — at least in certain circumstances. Here are six of the numerous incestuous stories recorded in God’s perfect Word:

  • Genesis 4-Where did Cain’s wife come from? Either Cain had sex with an unnamed sister or he had sex with his mother Eve.
  • Genesis 9-Ham has sex with his father, Noah.
  • Genesis 19-Two daughters have sex with their father, Lot, a man the Bible says was a righteous man.
  • Genesis 20-Abraham has sex with his half-sister Sara.
  • Genesis 38-Judah has sex with his daughter-in-law Tamar (the daughter of adulterous, murderous David, a man after God’s own heart).
  • Exodus 6-Amram has sex with his father’s sister Jochebed. She bore him two very famous sons, Aaron and Moses.
answers in genesis incest
How Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis “Answer” the Incest Question

Christians are certainly free to object to incestuous relationships such as the one mentioned in this post. However, they don’t get to claim the high moral ground, saying that God says incest is a sin punishable by death. As I have clearly shown, God, at certain times and in certain circumstances, approves of or ignores incest. So much for God’s law being the perfect moral standard for all peoples, at all times. Evangelicals box themselves in when they demand that the Bible be recognized as the sole arbiter of morality. They are forced to come up with all sorts of creative ways to “explain” away the contradictions and absurdities found in the Bible. Christianity would be better served if Christians just admitted that there is some crazy shit in the Bible — especially in the Old Testament; and that the morality code of ancient sheepherders and fishermen has little relevance today.

If you have read this far, please allow me to reward your diligence with a video that I think you will find quite funny.

Video Link

Should Monica Mares and Caleb Peterson be legally allowed to have sex and/or get married? Please share your opinion/sermon/rant/exegesis in the comment section.


  1. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Still laughing at the end video. Thanks!

    The only problem with sex between biologically closely related ***adults*** is the potential for pregnancy and birth defects. What happens when the birth control fails, and the woman involved doesn’t want an abortion? There’s a real risk of torturing some innocent offspring for their entire lives. I think that might be a significant enough risk to warrant banning those kinds of incest that set up that situation. But I do so reluctantly, because I hate the idea of limiting people’s actions based on risk assessment. Still, sometimes necessary.

    Beyond that, I can’t see any justification for objecting to any consenting relationship between adults.

    I think throwing people in jail for it is ridiculous. Don’t we have an overcrowded jail problem? How about a permanent restraining order as a first step?

    Now, mind you, I have a very negative attitude towards a woman who would put a lover ahead of her children. But that’s how my own ethics roll. You take responsibility first.

  2. Avatar

    This issue hits close to home for me, maybe too close. Frankly, incest is rampant in my family. I was sexually molested by a family member from the age of 6 to 15. My biological maternal grandfather went to jail for molesting his oldest daughter, which is why I have to say biological; his 8 children were put up for adoption while he was in jail. Which leads to the third case of incest, the children of two of those siblings, who are biologically first cousins and now actually married, though they first met as adults in their late thirties after previous marriages. (They were allowed to marry because prior to even meeting, both had been sterilized, so there was no chance of children.) While the first two cases are clearly wrong (they involved minors, for starters), I have been able to accept the relationship of my cousins, though I only see them every few years and didn’t grow up knowing them at all, which undoubtedly helps.
    I am personally repulsed by the idea of this couple, but personal repulsion isn’t grounds for outlawing something. I’m also repulsed by the idea of having sex with someone who is young enough to be my son, but would never say that there should be limit on the age difference of a couple either. I think in this case, it is wrong, in part because the son is only 19, which is still quite young, in spite of how he feels right now, and because the possibility of children is not addressed, as Karen did above. Finally, as a mother, I do not understand how any sexual attraction could remain after learning that the young man was her son, even though she didn’t raise him. Clearly. this issue is one that has too many personal issues involved for me to be anything close to objective, so I will not condemn it, but I cannot condone it either. I abstain.

    • Avatar

      —“Finally, as a mother, I do not understand how any sexual attraction could remain after learning that the young man was her son, even though she didn’t raise him. “—-

      Of course, the fact that she didn’t raise him and he didn’t know her at all is how these things tend to happen. The program running in the back of your brain normally tells you to look outside your own household for a mate. Makes sense. But that was never in play here. Not sure how common psychologists would say this is, because I’m not one.

      You also get the reverse “Brady Bunch” situation, where completely unrelated children are brought into the same household and raised as if they were siblings. The human brain still instinctively tells you to look outside your own house for sex, so Greg and Marcia don’t look at each other as potential sexual partners, even though they’re close to the same age and completely unrelated, so logically there shouldn’t be any problem.

      • Avatar

        The Brady Brunch never went there, it couldn’t, that was not the scope of the show. In fact the most interesting things about a step family were never covered in that. They just seemed like a seamless family with the same issues everyone else had (no blonde vs. brunette conflict that I remember anyway). A missed opportunity. (We also assume both of the Brady adults are widowed not divorced)
        Greg and Marcia were old enough (in High School) that if there was attraction there would probably be action.

        • Avatar

          Maybe, but my hunch is the frequency of such real-life encounters is less than would be expected if the unrelated subjects weren’t raised in the same house. Like I said, there’s that instinctive part of your brain that says “don’t touch and look elsewhere” even when your logical brain knows, “yeah, but we’re not actually related.”

  3. Avatar

    Many cultures have rules around first degree relatives getting married, these rules might have come about when people observed the results in the children that came of these unions. Cousin marriages have risks as well, mostly in the concentration of recessive genes raising the risk of a child actually being afflicted with something like sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis.

    I found this, explaining why and what the risks could be. In cultures that practice cousin marriage regularly one might be a lot more closely related than first cousins.

    • Avatar
      Becky Wiren

      I’ve also seen evidence that states that in fact, first cousins having children is far enough from incest to produce healthy children. There might be a risk of increased genetic problems, but the increase is small.

      TBH, when I went over to my friend Google, tons of links and not all are in agreement. It would probably be most helpful to consult an actual geneticist. Also, 19 states allow first cousin marriage without restriction.

      This thing of parent child sexual relationship does give me unsettled feelings. And the mother sounds obsessive, being willing to leave all her other loved ones for her son? Ugh.

      • Avatar

        First cousin marriage isn’t particularly problematic if it’s isolated. Inbreeding over successive generations is a problem. If first cousins marry for several generations, their genetic diversity gets closer to that of siblings.

        The Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints are almost all related to one or more of the sect’s four male founders, one of whom carried a recessive gene for fumarase deficiency. Through years of first-cousin marriage in a group with very little genetic diversity to begin with, the sect now has more than half of the world’s fumarase deficiency sufferers.

  4. Avatar

    I would hardly say it is fair to site Genesis 19 as a proof text for God approved incest. Lot’s Daughters are clearly the villans of the story and Lot is effectively date raped. That God doesn’t get involved does not mean the writer imagined him approving their actions.

    • Avatar

      Well it always helps to blame the women. After all, we’re all Eve’s right?

      Gen. 19:8

      – so he offers his two virgin daughters for “whatever you like;”
      – apparently offering his virgin daughters for mob sex is not wicked

      • Avatar

        Sorry Zoe you are right, how sexist of me to blame the women for getting him drunk and sleeping with him against his will – I am sure Lot was asking for it. You know walking round in a short tunic like a slut.

        As for verse 19:8 I agree with you. But my point wasn’t whether Lot was a good guy or not but whether the story condones incest. One of the sons of the incest is Moab father of the moabites. This is Hebrew propaganda – essentially mocking their enemies saying you are descended from a daddy – Daughter union.

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

          And the first-born said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

          And they made their father drink wine that night: and the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

          And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

          And they made their father drink wine that night also; and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

          I don’t see anything in this story that says Lot was forced to have sex. Since drunkenness often leads to impotence, I have my doubts that Lot was oblivious to what was going on.

          Besides, Lot was culpable for his own behavior. He willingly drank to excess. That the daughters saw this as an opportunity to have sex with their father begs the question, why? Perhaps, the daughters thought the world had been destroyed by God and their father was the only male left to further the human race. Or it could have been payback for Lot offering them with nary a thought to the men of the city. Perhaps Lot should consider himself fortunate that they didn’t cut his dick off.

          I have said all this to say that I don’t see Lot as a victim here.

          • Avatar

            Since the story is just an ethnic slur against the Moabites and Ammonites, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that the details don’t make sense or the characters in the story don’t act like real humans would act.

            How can the daughters claim there were no men left in the world when they just left an inhabited town that wasn’t destroyed by God? Etcetera.

            That’s the great thing about fiction – you can just make the people in it do whatever you need them to do to make the joke come out right, even if it’s clearly ridiculous.

  5. Avatar

    Fair point well made about him not being a blameless victim. But ‘he knew not when she lay down or when she arose’ is written twice emphasising that he didn’t know he was sleeping with his daughter. He was taken advantage of. Did he deserve it after how he acted… maybe. And maybe that is the point.

    Let’s be honest – the story is made up. Lot probably never existed.You are right he would have been impotent in reality but it is a fairy tale.

    But the question is why did the writer/editor of Genesis include the story? Was it a ‘go and do likewise’ story? Did the writer/editor intend it to teach Israelite girls how to treat their dads? Does it teach that incest is ok?

    As I said before it is telling that the union leads to the Moab nation. It is an origins story. And one that degrades Israel’s neighbours – as in they are a bunch of Father fuckers.

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Bruce Gerencser