The Gospel According to Mark recounts the circumstances that led to the beheading of John the Baptist by order of Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee.
“Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Phillip’s wife; for he had married her. Because John had said to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’”
Beau Biden, the eldest son of former vice president Joe Biden died of brain cancer in May 2015. Not even two years later, Beau’s younger brother Hunter has left his wife Kathleen and their three daughters for an unGodly “romantic relationship” with his dead brother’s widow, Hallie.
“Hallie and I are incredibly lucky,” said Hunter, “to have found the love and support we have for each other in such a difficult time, and that’s been obvious to the people who love us most. We’ve been so lucky to have family and friends who have supported us every step of the way.”
That includes Joe Biden, the cafeteria Catholic, who said that he and wife Jill have given Hunter and Hallie their blessing. “We are all lucky,” said Joe and Jill, “that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were trying to put their lives together again after such sadness.”
Well, Hunter’s wife Kathleen, to whom he remains legally married, is hardly lucky. Not when her husband left her for his dead brother’s widow (whom Kathleen reportedly loved like a sister).
And the three daughters of Hunter and Kathleen – Natalie, Finnegan and Maisy – and two children of Beau and Hallie – son Hunter (named after his uncle) and daughter Naomi – certainly aren’t lucky.
Not with the “role strain” they will suffer with Hunter continuing to be the uncle of Hallie’s son and daughter while also assuming the role of their stepfather, and Hallie continuing to be the aunt of Hunter’s three daughters while also assuming the role of their stepmother.
Years of therapy almost certainly await those poor children.
Of course, the family and friends of Hunter and Hallie who have supported their unGodly coupling every step of the way will dismiss as “judgmental” those who suggest the unseemly “romantic relationship” between still-married Hunter and his dead brother’s widow an affront to God.
Just as Herod Antipas took umbrage to the suggestion by John the Baptist that it was unlawful for the king to have a “romantic relationship” with Herodias, his brother’s wife.
But Hunter and Hallie are as guilty before the Lord as were Herod and Herodias. Because their coupling was conceived in adultery. And their anticipated matrimony will be anything but holy.
Yet, Hunter and Hallie delude themselves that they have not sinned before the Lord.
After all, Beau succumbed to brain cancer before Hallie fell into the arms of her dead husband’s brother. And Hunter separated from his wife Kathleen five months after Beau’s burial, which, to Hunter’s mind, made it okay for him to romance his sister-in-law Hallie.
Well, Hunter and Hallie may eventually wed. But their marriage will never enjoy the favor of the Lord until they confess their sin. For as the Scripture promises: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”