Monday, January 31, 2011

Marriage one man, one woman?

In class we talked about the concept of how do we define a person. As part of our discussion Dr. Corsini showed us a clip from an interview done with the Hensel conjoined twins. The clip made me very interested in the Hensel twins, so after class I googled them to learn more about them. While reading up on them I read a article that said that they possibly could be engaged.
The article on their possible engagement made me think deeper about what we talked about in class about what is a person. In class we decided that a person is a being that has both a material (like a body) and an immaterial (like a soul) part to them. So therefore we would tend to classify the Hensel twins as two people. But I wonder how that works with all of our Christian beliefs.

I wonder because it is a popular Christian belief that marriage is to be between only one man and one woman, but how can that work with the Hensel twins? The way I see it they only have two options at marriage:

1. The two of them marriage the same guy, but that would go against the whole one man and one woman thing.


2. Each twin marry a different guy, but since from the waist down they are one they would both commit adultery while consummating their separate marriages. Also that would be only if they by chance got married at the same time. If not when one of them got married and went to consummate it, the other would be having premarital sex.

So, we said in class the Hensel twins are two people. Are they two in marriage?


  1. I enjoyed reading your post, DHart. I did some research to see if there were other conjoined twins that have been married. On May 11, 1811, the famous Chang and Eng Bunker Siamese twins were born.

    In 1843, Chang married Adelaide Yates and Eng married Sarah Ann Yates who were sisters.
    Chang and Adelaide had seven girls and three boys. Eng and Sarah Ann had six boys and five girls.

    Since society treated these twins as two individuals, I think they were also considered two separate married individuals.

    All info was taken from the following website on 11 FEB 2011:

  2. LIsa, weren't Chang and Eng only conjoined at the waist? They had separate organs (except for the liver I believe) and bodies( 2 sets or arms, 2 sets of legs, etc.) so that isn't quite the same. Abbey and Brittany share everything from the waist the question still does remain whether one will commit adultery or not.

    Good post by the way.

  3. "Are they two in marriage?" Certainly. Married or single, they still have two minds, two wills, two sets of emotions; two souls. The complicating issue isn't whether or not they are two people, it is that they are two people who cannot be separate from each other. They certainly have two bodies, but they are both incomplete and one or both of them would die if their bodies were separated. Having an incomplete body does not make someone less of a person, but it certainly changes their life.

  4. This story would have most counselors (Christian and secular) wondering what would be the most effective approach to the problems that the must face. From a Christian perspective, I agree that they are two individuals. They have two heartbeats and two brains. This would imply that they each have a free will. Now, if the twins are saved and have a heart for God, the most important challenge they will face is completing God’s will. Due to the circumstances, they must diligently seek His will on what decisions they must make when it comes to marriage and what marriage entails. On one hand, there are instances in the bible where God made exceptions in situations like the Jacob, Leah, and Rebecca story. On the other hand, in 1st Corinthians, Paul related to the church that it is good for us not marry. So maybe it is not in God’s will for them to become married. Maybe this is a part of their testimony? Information and advice like this will be only provided through a Christian counseling session. When the twins get to this stage in this life, it will be imperative for them to seek professional counseling, Christian counseling would be ideal.


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