No Case for Homosexuality in Bible

In the latest issue of Newsweek, editor Jon Meacham explains: “To argue that something is so because it is in … Continued

In the latest issue of Newsweek, editor Jon Meacham explains: “To argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt–it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.” Indeed, he continues, “this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism.” Curiously, he intends this as a defense of Lisa Miller’s cover story, which announces that we should approve homosexual marriage because the Bible tells that Jesus would want us to.

On any plane of argument, the contradiction would appear stunning, but, then, neither Jon Meacham nor Lisa Miller are engaged in argument. They’re speaking, instead, in familiar tropes and fused-phrases and easy clichés. They’re trying to convey a feeling, really, rather than an argument: Jesus loves us, love is good, homosexuals love one another, marriage is love, love is loving–a sort of warm bath of words, their meanings dissolved into a gentle goo. In their eyes, all nice things must be nice together, and Jesus comes to seem (as J.D. Salinger once mocked) something like St. Francis of Assisi and “Heidi’s grandfather” all in one.

In truth, of course, Meacham and Miller actually know what everyone else knows: The Bible offers no support for homosexual marriage. Christianity teaches love, mercy, and forgiveness for those who do bad things, true enough. Look, for example, at the story in the Gospel of John where Jesus offers his divine love, mercy, and forgiveness to a woman guilty of adultery. He shamed those who would stone her. He taught us all that we are sinners and often hypocrites. And then he told her, “Go and sin no more.” He did not reinterpret the Old Testament to proclaim adultery another life-style choice.

Miller demolishes the distinction between sin and sinner, thus eradicating any real conception of sin and guilt. But without sin and guilt there is no need for forgiveness–and no basis for morality. An amoral world may be a quite suitable environment for gay marriage, but it is hardly the kind of world in which most Americans want to bring up their children.

Those who tried to live by the Christian understanding have come to amazingly similar conclusions about what God wants in marriage. We have had centuries to try out many different ideas and test them against the text of the Bible and experience. Only traditional marriage has stood. The Orthodox of Russia came to the same conclusion as the Roman Catholics of Italy. The Pentecostals of Kenya came to the same conclusion as the Reformed Christians of Scotland. Over time, different accommodations have been made to extreme or difficult situations, but the ideal has been clear: God’s will is for marriage to be a covenant between a man and a woman. Nothing else will work.

The case for gay marriage in the Bible depends on the trick of taking a single idea and insisting that anything in the book that disagrees with it must miss the “spirit of the book.” Do not underestimate how comforting this method of reading is. It allows us to pick up any text and discover that it agrees with our own insights. Of course, it also traps us in our assumptions and prevents any different voice from being heard. Reject the Bible, if you will–but don’t pretend it means just what you want it to mean. The plain fact is that when the Old Testament talks about homosexual behavior, it condemns it. And when, in the New Testament, the followers of Jesus encountered homosexual acts, they quickly and universally condemned them.

Proponents of homosexual marriage suggest that the Bible has been twisted to support many dubious moral positions, which is true enough–and the metaphor most often used in this context is race. Didn’t some Bible readers once condone negro slavery? Well, some Bible readers today object to same-sex marriage.

The comparison is facile and self-congratulatory. As the vote in California this November revealed, it is overwhelmingly rejected by African-Americans, who are, after all, the ones who should know. For that matter, the racial epithets hurled at African-Americans in California after the election suggests that gay activists aren’t serious about the comparison, anyway. It is, for them, merely a handy stick with which to beat those Newsweek dismisses as fundamentalists.

And yet, there is a comparison to be made between advocacy of African slavery and same-sex marriage–though it works the other way around. Christian slave owners had to read race-based slavery into the Bible, and their arguments resemble in form all the other attempts–ancient and modern–to read into scripture what they wanted to find there.

Suppose we were to take the Bible seriously–where it agrees with us, and where it doesn’t. We might do this not merely because the Bible asserts that God inspired it. Rather, over centuries, against critics who have used arguments and torture against Bible believers, we have developed reasons for our knowledge that the Bible is God’s word. Through the long years, the Bible has been found to describe the human condition with force and accuracy: We will die, we are sinners, we exist in a world we did not make, we live through both joys and sorrows, we must train our children to carry on the work of this world, and we sense from time to time a higher reality beyond ourselves. Further, the Bible points us to the person of Jesus Christ, whom the practical experience of millions has found the best and highest hope of an answer to the human condition.

One thing the Bible never suggests is that the world must work the way we desire it to. Jesus loves us enough not to let us do whatever we want. Every generation attacks biblical ethics in some new way, but the Bible endures. Hypocrites pretend they have no sin. Hedonists pretend their sins are good. Honest people repent.


Joseph Bottum is editor of First Things: A Journal of Religion, Culture and Public Life. John Mark Reynolds, an evangelical, is associate professor of philosophy at Biola University. Bruce D. Porter is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • markinirvine

    Biblical pronouncements are a fine foundation for religious belief and practice. If we start allowing religion to creep into the law, where and when can we stop it? I’m not saying that any religious group or faith should or can be forced to provide official church recognition to m/m or f/f unions (or anything else that church prohibits, condemns, abhors). But if we allow Biblical religious texts to become the basis for justification of the granting or denial of rights under civil law, what is to prevent some other religious faith, say one that YOU don’t believe it, from creeping into law in the same way? Would you like Sharia to become a legal standard for the administration of American law? If not, then I suggest that you should be equally opposed to MY faith becoming such a foundation, or your neighbor’s faith. Constitutions protect minorities from the tyranny of majorities. You may not like that, but that is how we all remain safe from government interference in our personal, individual lives.

  • coloradodog

    Suppose we don’t take the Bible seriously? Does that make us subject to the judgment and control of those who do? – not in the original plan for America but, indeed, in the necochristians’ plans for their own private theocratic Jesuslandia.I’m always amused by neochristians who quote the Bible to prove their argument assuming those whose minds they are trying to change automatically take the Bible seriously as well. How can one take seriously a book so full of contradictions, ancient stories and customs no longer followed by even practicing “Christians” and cherry-picked by the likes of Dobsonites for their own hateful political agendas? It’s a boring old dead book manipulated by charlatans.

  • iamweaver

    The posters of this article miss the point.My problem with these kinds of arguments is that, when questioned, no one seems to be able to draw the connection that absolutely, positively must be made for every assertion made in the New Testament outside of the Gospels (and, of couse, any claims made by someone claiming to be a Christian). How does Homosexuality’s condemnation stack up against “Love thy neighbor as thyself”? Don’t tell me what Paul said, please – tell me how it stacks up against what Jesus taught.

  • iamweaver

    A side note – when attempting to answer this question, don’t make the elementary logical error of refuting homosexuality by relating it to sexual immorality in general. That only proves sexual immorality in general to be sin, and applies equally to homosexual and heterosexual behavior.

  • globalone

    Weaver,I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to get at. I love my best friend as much as any of my brothers, despite the fact that he struggles with pornography. I love one of my brothers unconditionally despite the fact that he has turned away from Christ.Loving one another and holding each other accountable for one’s actions are not mutually exclusive.

  • schaeffz

    As mentioned by a previous responder, you guys seem to equate sexual immorality with “being” homosexual. Clearly, divorce has gained a level of acceptance, even in fundimentalist churches, where it is no longer immoral or sinful. Yet, in my 59 years, I have seen friends and family members deeply hurt by divorce, and I define “hurt” as “sin”. I have also seen divorce bring healing from hurtful marriages. Likewise, I know homosexuals who live deeply hurt lives due to their behavior. A number have died of AIDs. Also, I have seen homosexuals in life-long monogomous partnerships who are blessings to their families, friends, and the community. My wife and I were Foster Parents for 10 years, and we saw much “sin” committed against innocent children. Some as adults have recovered and some have not. My two daughters are adopted, and they have had to deal with the “sin” in which they came into the world, and are still effected by it. Yet, they have been a blessing to us and all others who have been involved in their lives. One daughter has repeated her birth-mother’s “sin” and got pregnant at age 19. She instead has chosen to raise her daughter, now three years old, and my grand-daughter is a blessing to all of us in her family. My daughter turned her sin around. My other daughter is gay. She has not sinned in action tho, in my judgement. She has considered her homosexuality a gift from God and has been a very loving servant working with handicapped and elderly. She has been seeking that life-partner, just as I have, and I completely understand her God-given right to that partnership. I am Christian, but have seen enough of real life to know in my soul that the words of the Bible CANNOT be taken literally, epecially as applied to the loved ones in my life. God is Love, as John says, and that is my life’s experience. These guys, Bottum, Reynolds, Porter, whoever they are, do not know that God of Love that I know, at least from their legalistic, unloving words here!

  • jimfoxvog

    “How does Homosexuality’s condemnation stack up against … what Jesus taught”?From Matthew 19:To me it would seem that Jesus’ argument against divorce holds with the same strength against same-sex marriage.If one’s purpose in life is to please God, then I don’t think one should choose a same-sex marriage. To others, what Jesus said shouldn’t matter.

  • iamweaver

    globalone writes:”I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to get at. I love my best friend as much as any of my brothers, despite the fact that he struggles with pornography. I love one of my brothers unconditionally despite the fact that he has turned away from Christ.”Homosexual behavior is classified by most Christians as sin. In order for it to be sin, it absolutely must meet one of the two “litmus tests” provided by Jesus: “Love your neighbor” (intra-human relationships) or “Love God” (divine-human relationship).My problem here is that I don’t see how a loving, long-term, monogomous homosexual relationship meets the first litmus test, and I cautioned against treating destructive homosexual behavior as being fundamentally different from destructive heterosexual behavior (as in – if you rail against casual homosexual physical relationships, the problem there is casual sex, not homosexuality itself, since the exact same arguments hold when looking at heterosexual relationships of that kind).

  • justillthen

    “Miller demolishes the distinction between sin and sinner, thus eradicating any real conception of sin and guilt. But without sin and guilt there is no need for forgiveness–and no basis for morality. An amoral world may be a quite suitable environment for gay marriage, but it is hardly the kind of world in which most Americans want to bring up their children.”This is just another cheap attempt to make homosexuality some catalytic agent that will bring about the destruction of the world as we know it. There is no eradication of sin and guilt here, and it is just dramatics for these authors to suggest it. And the idea that sin and guilt are the basis for morality is absolutely stunning, and extremely telling of the fundamentalist worldview. Not just fundamentalist, certainly the Catholicism that I was raise with. But using sin and guilt as the basis for morality is itself somehow amoral.Morality was around long before Abraham was said to have talked to God. And Gods’ fun there was to test loyalty by having him kill his son. Maybe it IS the God of Abraham, destructive and vengeful, that is amoral. Seriously. Look at the examples.No wonder Bush insisted on loyalty as paramount, even over substance. And no wonder he sent us headlong into war in the cradle of civilization. The bible told him so. Sin is the disconnection of the individual from the Divinity from which we are born, but have forgotten. Sin, if there is such a thing, is staying lost of the Omnipotence that we were created from. Sin is forgetting.

  • Gavin082

    Just for the sake of argument, let’s compile a list of EVERYTHING for which the Bible does not make a case:-Representative GovernmentI for one am starting a signature drive to have a ban of shellfish put on the ballot next election…

  • sloppyjoeblow

    The religious debate on gay marriage should really start with the question:Is homosexuality a choice?If you say NO, that there is no choice in this matter, then it concludes that homosexuals are, in fact, born gay and so there can be no moral argument against them marrying the one they love. If you say YES, homosexuality is a choice then you must believe that everyone claiming to be gay has 1) physiologically been twisted into being gay 2) made the conscious decision to be gay, or 3) surreptitiously been indoctrinated by others to be gay: Number ONE above was discounted years ago by psychologists, who were the one’s that originally led the charge on this claim. In trying to prove a connection between homosexuality with a domineering mother and/or the lack of a father, the exact opposite was found. As for point TWO above, I challenge anyone to find a dozen gays or lesbians that made a conscious choice to be gay. Instead, what you will find are those who speak of their difficult realizations that they were gay and living in a society that would shun them. And then there’s number THREE, which is just absurd. If you think gay people are lurking around corners trying to convert innocent children from straight to gay, then I would put you in league with those that claim the moon landing was on a stage in Hollywood.

  • coloradodog

    Unless Godly Bible believers can just pick and choose which verses they want to suit their own agendas, here’s God’s way for them to keep gays out of their churches (and maybe even out of America altogether):Deuteronomy 23:1Brother Porter’s Mormons have already electroshocked gays to “cure” them so God’s mandate in Deuteronomy 23:1 wouldn’t be a stretch for them.

  • justillthen

    “The case for gay marriage in the Bible depends on the trick of taking a single idea and insisting that anything in the book that disagrees with it must miss the “spirit of the book.”””Do not underestimate how comforting this method of reading is. It allows us to pick up any text and discover that it agrees with our own insights.”It is comforting, and true, and we are back to what Jesus is said to have taught. Love is comforting, and worthy of standing up for. And dying for, as they suggest.What happened to men of God that are Men of God?

  • fgiles

    Many of the commenters so far have confused ‘Love” with ‘Approve of’. They are not at all the same thing.

  • iamweaver

    Folks keep reversing the whole “love thy neighbor” thing. The problem with condemning homosexuality as a sin is that I have never, even once, seen any kind of evidence that a stable, long-term homosexual relationship harms either partner. If it’s not an action that clearly violates this principle, then it is not a human-to-human sin. Period. The most that can be made of homosexuality in this case is that it is, somehow, a divine-to-human sin, and these kinds of sins will not, and never should be, codified into US law – any more than remembering the Sabbath or worshiping God alone.

  • psimpso2

    This author neglects to address the most fundamental aspect of the Joy article: that contemporary Christians pick and choose what aspects of the SAME passages to believe and which to blatantly disregard as well as the hypocrisy of allowing divorce, which is widely and universally condemned in the Bible with far higher incidences of condemnation.Despite the fact that numerous major players in Christian history (as mentioned in the Joy article) were polygamists is glossed over by this author and every other fundamentalist argument. They irrationally declare, as this author did: Once again ignoring the first prophets and that nearly all of the Judeo-Christian society at the time functioned in the same way.Nor does he acknowledge the various other ways in which “God’s will of marriage” has changed both legally and religiously from means of property to partnership.Mindless, far-right wing rhetoric.

  • central1942

    If God created everything and everyone on earth, then the “different” folks were created by God. Certainly God did not create “those who sin” without some reason. It is said Man was given the power of choice “to see how Man would behave”. This could not be true, because if God is all-knowing of everything that was, is now, or ever will be, then God would know in advance the decisions which Man would make, or God would see that the decisions were the correct ones. This being the case, God would have no reason to play “board games” with Mankind, because God would know the results without such games. Those who claim to know that the bible says is true, without exception, had better go back to the drawing board and come up with some “truths” which would be somewhat more logical.

  • central1942

    If God created everything and everyone on earth, then the “different” folks were created by God. Certainly God did not create “those who sin” without some reason. It is said Man was given the power of choice “to see how Man would behave”. This could not be true, because if God is all-knowing of everything that was, is now, or ever will be, then God would know in advance the decisions which Man would make, or God would see that the decisions were the correct ones. This being the case, God would have no reason to play “board games” with Mankind, because God would know the results without such games. Those who claim to know that the bible says is true, without exception, had better go back to the drawing board and come up with some “truths” which would be somewhat more logical.

  • norriehoyt

    “No Case for Homosexuality in Bible”No case for Mormonism, Catholicism or Protestantism either.

  • ashleybone

    Please remind me why I’m supposed to care what these bigots think.

  • irabird

    Meacham and Miller, unwittingly, while unsuccessful as biblical scholars, have exposed fundamentalism’s ‘dirty little secret’–’the Scriptures’, Hebrew and Christian, betray an often bewildering diversity on many topics-violence, war, sexual behavior, property, etc. To argue that ‘the Scriptures’ consistently teach marriage to be between one man and one woman is patently false. To argue that, because of that ambiguity, ‘the Scriptures’ endorse gay marriage is also patently false. Here is where common sense and human wisdom can come into play to find a policy that is best for a civil society to adopt. Churches and denominations are damn well free to set up their own policies. When these authorities argue that ‘race-based’ slavery has to be read into ‘the Scriptures,’ they speak truth. Remove the phrase ‘race-based’, however, and they speak untruth. ‘The Scriptures’ are too diverse for such shennanigans!

  • Chops2

    It seems to me that while marriage was once a religious institution it is no longer. Marriage brings with it legal rights which is a matter for the state. If someone is religious, then they should seek the approval of their church seperatly from that of the state sanctioned marriage. As religious denominations should not be bullied into accepting gay marriage, likewise the state should not be bullied into banning it.This it seems is the essense of the seperation of church and state.I am married and my marriage is a commitment to my wife, period. If gay and lesbian couples wish to do the same then so be it, the definition of marriage has been altered regularly over history so why not. My marriage has nothing to do with a god, gods or whatever amount of deities humanity seems to think exists at any given moment.For what its worth.

  • CCNL

    And after all of the previous rhetoric, once can summarize that gay “marriages” simply simplify and somewhat sanitize what are still “yucky” acts caused by a variant gene(s) and/or hormone imbalance. One wonders if stem cell research will find a cure?? Hmmm, would the embryos formed from the sperm of gay guys and the eggs from gay gals make more ethical embryos for this and other types of research??

  • markinirvine

    Why is it important to you (you know who you are) to prevent people who love each other and want to marry from doing so? Don’t change the subject to human-animal, human-inanimate object, human-human-human couples, but stick to the question: why do you think that you have (or should have) the right to use civil law to prevent people who love each other and want to marry from doing so? How specifically and personally would m/m or f/f marriage harm you? Try to answer without resorting to a religious reason (because not all Americans share your religious beliefs, and you can’t use civil law to impose your religion on anyone).

  • markinirvine

    The scribes of the religious texts were ignorant of many things when they took down their supposedly divinely-inspired dictation. We no longer worry much about eating pork, or rabbit or shellfish, or about making clothing out of several different kinds of fibers. If people don’t choose their sexual orientation, but are essentially born with it, who are you to say that m/m and f/f pairings are unnatural?

  • Farnaz2

    First of all, there is no “JudaoChristian” tradition, so let’s just please stop that nonsense right away.There is Judaism and there is Christianity, and then there are branches within the two. As for the Bible, yer Christian Testament says that regardless of the good you may do, you’re damned unless you believe in JC. If you do believe, doesn’t matter what you’ve done. Very nice. Truly lovely. Shall we legislate it?Also your Christian Testament says nothing about pizza. Does that mean we can’t have pizza?Point is who cares. Secular society. If Christian churches want in on the action they can perform some sort of after-the-fact sanctification or whatever service after a civil marriage ceremony. Churches should have no role whatsoever in marriage as a legally binding contract.The gay marriage (non)issue is secular. Has nothing to do with anybody’s sacred text, “New” [sic] Testament” included. And I mean included, get it?

  • cletus1

    I think the state ought to get out of the marriage business and leave it to contract law. As to the Bible, it should be irrelevant to the entire discussion. If there is a sound policy basis for the prohibition, people can make it. Otherwise, it’s really nobody else’s business whether two gays get married. Gay marriage will be in most states by the ballot box within 20 years, I’m guessing. It will pass next election in California if someone puts it on the ballot, since Obama will not be running and you won’t have as high a black turnout.

  • observer12

    I believe that most state driving manuals neither condemn nor condone gay marriage. The same is true of stock market predictions, weather forecasts, our kids’ report cards, etc.I’ll keep looking, though, since this reading matter has as much relevance as the Bible to gay and/or straight marriage.

  • iamweaver

    Syllogizer writes:”Swapping out the well-tested institution for the completely UNTESTED “gender-neutral” marriage is as reckless as kicking down the one remaining support pillar in a beach house precariously perched on a cliff over the sea.”There is no “swapping out”. The institution of heterosexual marriage isn’t changed one jot, any more than the institution of citizenship was changed when it included the tenant as well as the landholder, or women as well as men. Well, I stretch the truth here, of course – the institution of marriage has never been a fixed thing, anyway, despite your attempts to make it appear so. But I digress. The rights and responsibilities of the partners engaging in a marriage remains identical. The possibility of direct male-to-female sexual contact producing offspring isn’t there, but Christian vows of marriage have not a single mention of this “requirement” – and rightly so, as the traditional joining of couples together is primarily for support and encouragement, not spawning offspring, as confirmed by Genesis 2.In many respects though, this argument is pretty useless. What you propose, simply put, is turning fellow citizens into a second-rate class. Unless you have *proof* that their actions cause this terrible societal stress that you imagine (and I say, “imagine”, because epistemological studies show no significant differences between long-standing homosexual and heterosexual relations), you have no right to enforce your personal standards on another person. And you show no proof – only vague conjectures based on nothing concrete.

  • agkcrbs

    How does gay marriage hurt me?First legalize it, then protect it, and then my recitation of scripture — what once brought joy, discipline, and humble conviction to the soul — becomes hate speech, and I am punished for my religion, when before the only punishment I had to endure was the atheistic slander of my rage-consumed countrymen.What scripture teaches even more bluntly than straight marriage is that men and nations reject God’s word at their own peril. The time is not yet, because articles like this are still being written. But when your hearts do begin to fail you someday, please remember these impenetrable opinions of yours. God may show mercy to the penitent even in the eleventh hour.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    This was written by ignorant and childish men who do not know what they are talking about. They are three men of widely conflicted groups, that have ZERO ecumenical interest EXCEPT when it comes to gay-bashing; then of course, they are one for all and all for one. Isn’t that pitiful?These people in their exploitation of Biblical scriputre to further their own political anti-gay agenda make me sick.

  • bill3rdad

    Remember Norman Vince Peale?

  • MarkFoxenberg

    Just some thoughts.Someone said, “Your religious beliefs don’t give you the right to interfere with someone else’s personal decisions.”Are someone’s secular beliefs allowed to interfere with someone’s decisions? Law is all about one person’s values winning over another’s. I noticed that no one really came up with a Biblical basis for homosexual marriage. They really just trashed religion as a whole and Christianity in particular. But no one contradicted that the Bible is against homosexuality. You can agree or disagree with the practice of homosexuality itself. But you cannot deny that the Bible is against it. There is way too much hatred on here too. And yes, homosexuality is often singled out in a way that adultery is not for example. I am convinced that if Jesus walked the earth today he would be outside of gay bars talking to gay people. Jesus ate with sinners and loved them. But his love certainly would reach out to homosexuals to set them free of their particular sin. I lived that life for thirty years before coming back to the Church. Love does not mean approving of what everyone does, but it does mean that we have to give them the respect an adult deserves, and the love that a lost child does too. Human freedom does not mean that we should do anything. Real freedom means freedom from the bondage of sin, and one of the sins Jesus warned about was fornication, i.e., all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Love between people of the same gender is fine, even physical love. But genital sex shouldn’t be a part of that. That’s what the Church teaches and what I try to live by.

  • observer12

    WWTCD? What would Tom Cruise do? Does anyone stop, think, and consider this question?

  • observer12

    MarkFoxenberg:But genital sex shouldn’t be a part of thatI don’t know how to tell you this. I really don’t, but married men and women routinely have sex orally and anally. Word has it that this is the preferred mode of the three wise men who authored the essay under discussion, but I haven’t been able to verify it through direct observation.Do you want to put cameras in everyone’s bedroom and send out the Annulment police to arrest all married and unmarried heteros whose sex practices don’t meet your specifications?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    It is obvious that the currently sitting Pope is gay, isn’t it? Only people in denial would not get this, right? So, how does this square with the Pope’s characterization of gay people as “intrinsically disordered?”Mormons make a big deal, always emphasizing that they do not now practice polygamy. But they did in the past And the revered church fathers were promiscuously polygamous. Mormons have no credibility to comment at all on other people’s marriage practices, none, zero, nada. What part of that don’t Mormons get? Mormons are very big, very, very big on interpreting the Bible in creative ways to get them wha t they want, and even to have visions, and angellic visitations, and even the appearance of whole new scriptural texts to get them what they want. There is nor credibility in their argument against gay marriage.And Evangelicals are single-handedly responsible for the destruction of marriage through their casual acceptance of divorce and remarriage, and by their high abortion rates. And Evangelicals accept only two Christian sacraments, baptism and communion, but not marriage. So, again, the hypocrisy of Evangelicals pulls the rug out from under any credibility that they might have in their anti-gay agenda. All three of the groups represented in this essay are crippled with arrogance, hubris, and hypocrisy. There is not one single ounce of truth in anything that they have said here; it is lie on top of lie.

  • observer12

    Far be it from me to cast aspersions or anything else, but word has it that the three wise men who posted the essay under discussion are on the down low.

  • sparrow4

    markfoxenberg wrote:”Are someone’s secular beliefs allowed to interfere with someone’s decisions? Law is all about one person’s values winning over another’s.I noticed that no one really came up with a Biblical basis for homosexual marriage. “2 things- Law is not a matter of whose values win out. Law is the establishment of rules so that our pluralistic society can function. Secular beliefs do not interfere with your religion- you have the right to practice your personal and private religion. – but not to think it can be imposed on everyone in the public arena. You don’t have to like gays- they certainly don’t have to like you. But bible or not, they are entitled to the same rights under the law as you.And so what is if there is no case for gay marriage in the bible. The bible is not the law of the land-thank goodness because if it was we’d be stoning adulterers to death, cutting off thieves’ hands and fining rapists instead of putting them in jail. We’d still have slavery. Since we have obviously don’t live according to biblical law, for practical and humanitarian reasons, a biblical justification for gay marriage is unnecessary. the bible is not the constitution.

  • AMERICANDUDE

    This comment is in response to Danielinthelionsden’s post. Daniel, I think you should re-examine how you use hypocrisy to discredit the arguments of others. Just because someone is a hypocrite does not mean what they say is wrong.A person is correct in saying murder is wrong even if that person him/herself is a murderer.Sometimes the testimony of alcoholics is the best deterrent for others not to abuse alcohol.If an educator abuses his position to molest his students, this does not mean education itself is bad.Hypocrites are bad because they do not practice what they preach. If this is true, then what they are preaching must be good.However, you are correct that such a hypocrite has no right to take the moral high ground, or use “holier than thou” arguments.Ideally, we Christians do not and should not ever claim we have achieved the moral high ground, or use “we are holier than thou” type arguments (This does not mean that there is no moral high ground or that there is not one who is holier than us). As Christians, we confess first and foremost that we are sinners, that we fail to live morally perfect lives. In specific reference to this issue, all Christians are sexual sinners. However, Jesus Christ did live a morally perfect and holy life, and his death and resurrection makes possible redemption through repentance. This means that even though we will continue to fail to be morally perfect, moral perfection is still worth pursuing. By the grace of God we can and will improve, and be finally perfected in heaven.I am not justifying hypocrisy. The polygamy of the Mormons, the divorce of evangelicals, and the pedophilia in the Catholic Church are all sexual sin. They are failures of those who follow Christ to live in accordance with the ideals of marital/sexual relations. However, such failures do not in any way deny the existence of such ideals, nor do such failures provide justification for others to fail as well.Homosexuals, for example, cannot justify their sexual sin by pointing out the sexual sin of everyone else. The failure of others does not justify one’s own failure, and it completely misses the point: which is to succeed. The only justification/redemption from failure is through repentance by the one who has not failed, Jesus Christ.

  • furtdw

    No Gay marriage!

  • furtdw

    For danielinthelionsden.You wrote:”It is obvious that the currently sitting Pope is gay, isn’t it?”No, it isn’t obvious.You have no idea what his sexuality is … hetero or gay.

  • IamGod1

    Yet another example of using “god’s word” to attempt to defend prejudice. To suggest that God gives a flip about whether one engages in sex with same or opposite sex individuals is absurd. If God truly supports homophobic bias than he/she/it is no God worth following.

  • ebleas

    MarkFoxenberg wrote: This is true to some degree, if you define values and moralities as the difference between right and wrong. Under this broad definition, even a speeding law has some “moral” component. But the primary purpose of any law should be to protect its citizens. The state has a duty and obligation to restrict activities that it deems harmful to the society at large. But herein lies the problem. What danger does gay marriage present to a society that does not exist in a conventional marriage? Those who propose that gays be denied a right granted to the rest of the population need make a clear and logical case as to why this would be harmful to society.Laws need to have a purpose, since they are generally restrictive by their very nature. They tend to restrict or set bounds on freedoms. For example, I have the right to drive a car, but laws set bounds on how fast I can drive. Enacting a law simply because a segment of the population does not like it or considers it “yucky” is not sufficient reason for denying people a freedom based solely on their sexual orientation.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    For Furtdw, …the Pope sure seems gay. Whether he is or is not, it seems pretty odd for such a gay-acting fellow to behave in such a vindictively anti-gay way. That is part of the problem with Catholic Church, it is twisted into tortured contradictions, which undermne its credibility.For Americandude,…because you misunderstood me, and because you just don’t get it, let me spell it out so that you will not misunderstand:Gay people are not bad, they are not sinful; they are not perverted. When you vilify and demonize gay people in the name of Jesus and God, then you are spreading false doctrines. You can listen to false doctrines all you want, and can repeat them over and over to yourself and to others, but that does not make a false doctrine true.These Conservative maniacs (and that is what they are) think they are better than other people; they walk around with sure knowledge that gay people are “perverted.” Perhaps they should look in the mirror. Perhpas they should look up “narcisistic, stuck-up snob.”

  • ebleas

    Syllogizer wrote: Gay marriage does not seek to “replace” conventional marriage. Where does this mindset come from? They simply want the same rights as heterosexuals. No one who is straight is suddenly going to decide they want to “become” gay if we allow SSM. Get real.Regarding the rearing of children, do you have any specific references or studies that demonstrate that children reared in a SSM are any worse off than those reared in a conventional marriage or by a single parent? I can provide a plethora of data demonstrating the opposite. For example, The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health issued a report in 2002, the most recent comprehensive review of gay-parenting studies. It found no meaningful differences between children raised by gay parents and those raised by heterosexual parents.And even if it were to be shown that gays and lesbians are worse parents compared to straight parents, would this be sufficient reason to prevent them from becoming married? Marriage today is no longer solely focused on the rearing of children. Many couples, for example, choose not to have children for various reasons (perhaps they think they might not be “good parents”). Should such couples not be allowed to marry based on their desire not to have children?

  • ebleas

    DanielintheLionsDen wrote: Now they want ALL their rights; there is nothing complicated about it; it is happening, and it is going to happen.And there are many heterosexual people who see the glaring prejudice and injustice presented against the gay and lesbian communities. And we will do everything in our power to correct this injustice. It is only a matter of time.

  • arosscpa

    Many of these comments portray a misunderstanding of the Catholic Church’s understanding of sexual orientation. Homosexual orientation is not sinful in itself, but the orientation points to the effects of sin that infiltrate all of nature. The issue for Catholics is simply this: intimate genital activity is proper only within sacramental marriage. Anyone engaged in sexual activity outside of a sacramental marriage commits sin. And sin is sin, one form not particularly worse than another. (pedophilia and incest being more sinful not because of the activity, but because the victim is less able to consent.)Celibacy, whether practiced by a layperson in the Maryland suburbs or by the Holy Father in Rome, is daily living out of the teaching of the Church on sexuality. It is certainly a mystery to those not participating in the gift of Faith, and it is often a mystery to Catholics obliged to it. Many Catholics (St. Augustine comes to mind) reject celibacy for substantial periods during their lives. More often, many of us poor sinners find ourselves capable of living only in serial celibacy. It does not lessen the obligation and beauty of the call to the celibate life, nor does it mean we reject the purpose, meaning, or form of the practice.

  • ebleas

    AMERICANDUDE wrote:But you have to understand that not everyone follows the tenants of your religion nor believes in your God. As such, your arguments against SSM from a biblical standpoint are meaningless for such people. You are certainly free to practice your religion and object to SSM for yourself personally and even your friends and loved ones. And I support your freedom to do so. But when your religion promotes the classification of a group of people as somehow morally inferior deserving less rights than others simply because of their sexual orientation, I think it is high time to take a hard look at the usefulness of said religion and it’s teachings.

  • HillMan

    There are quite a few errors in this piece.First, the suggestion that all Christians have always agreed on marriage.Simply not true. Let’s not forget that ‘Biblical’ marriage included the forced marriage of underage girls and polygamy.Funny how Christianists overlook that.The slavery argument is weak and misleading also. Slavery in the Bible wasn’t specifically race-based. But in practice it often was. Particularly as it was practiced by Romans.In any event slavery was most definitely condoned in the Bible. “Slaves, obey your masters”. Doesn’t get much clearer than that.And let’s not forget that Paul forcibly returned a runaway slave to his master.Last, Prop 8. Better, more recent data shows that African Americans didn’t vote against Prop 8 in as high of numbers as originally reported. And the Prop 8 proponents used a lot of deceitful practices in their campaign.And the supposed ‘racial slurs’ used by gays against blacks after Prop 8? VERY isolated, at best.And FAR less common than the hate and bile that Christians aim at gays on a daily basis.

  • grashnak

    From the article:Its important to note the sneaky point he is making. The bible doesn’t condone “race-based” slavery. It condones slavery, just not slavery based on race. Equal opportunity slavery.And this is supposed to make us feel better?

  • HillMan

    “I love my best friend as much as any of my brothers, despite the fact that he struggles with pornography. I love one of my brothers unconditionally despite the fact that he has turned away from Christ.”And are you actively fighting to deny these two guys the ability to marry who they love? Are you actively fighting to make sure they can’t get adequate health care coverage? Are you actively fighting to destabilize them economically, in these tough economic times?No? Why? Because they aren’t gay?Funny how heterosexual sins are ‘condemned’, but you dang sure aren’t out there ruining heterosexual’s lives and making them suffer economically because of it, are you?

  • HillMan

    “And there are many heterosexual people who see the glaring prejudice and injustice presented against the gay and lesbian communities. And we will do everything in our power to correct this injustice. It is only a matter of time.”This is so very true. And we thank you very much for that.

  • paulc2

    This Newsweek article is trying to make the case that the Bible supports same sex marriage. This is a case of that very selective reading and interpretation that people can get into without understanding the Catholic tradition that supports scriptures. Without that, people are free to read into the text anything they want. Here is a great case in point. The authors ignore the direct condemnation of homosexual sex in both the Pauline epistles and Leviticus and focus on the more general term of “Love your neighbor”. Well, loving your neighbore never requires you to have sex with them.I know that the gay community longs for legitimacy and understanding from society. The bible clearly says to love your neighbor so we should be sympathetic to their problem. But it also says that homosexual sex is a perversion and as much as this hurts those that practice homosexual sex, they can not change the biblical truth, nor can we as a society.

  • FreedomRawks

    I’ve been in a few of these discussions over at Townhall.com. The demographics of the readers there obviously make my opinion in support of gay marriage in the minority but it has helped me to understand where the arguments of those opposed to SSM come from and what they are based on. Almost all will reply to my comments with one quote or another from the bible, or just a general condemnation of SSM and homosexuality in general based on the bible. Personally, I think that using the bible and quotes from it to support your argument is irrelevant and a little insane. How do you respond logically to someone who does that? Logic and reason doesn’t seem to play a role in their decision making process outside of (the bible says so = I say so). There’s no room for argument or compromise, regardless of my own belief in the validity of the bible and Christianity. Some will argue that it’s unnatural and one man even tried arguing that if we removed the prohibition on SSM, we would have to allow fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and brothers and sisters to marry. There is a persistent unshaking belief that children raised by a homosexual couples are damaged and hurt even though all the studies I’ve seen(and I’ve seen none to the contrary) show that to be untrue.I guess my point is that the argument against SSM is almost never grounded in reality but rather argued from the point of view that the bible is the end-all be-all when it comes to life and laws. I can understand how and why that belief is held by Christians and other religious groups, I just don’t think it has any place in an intellectual discussion because when it comes to government and especially when it comes to laws that deny rights to people, we need to be having a conversation that involves facts.

  • coloradodog

    paulc2 writes:This Newsweek article is trying to make the case that the Bible supports same sex marriage. This is a case of that very selective reading and interpretation that people can get into without understanding the Catholic tradition that supports scriptures. Without that, people are free to read into the text anything they want. Here is a great case in point. The authors ignore the direct condemnation of homosexual sex in both the Pauline epistles and Leviticus and focus on the more general term of “Love your neighbor”. Well, loving your neighbore never requires you to have sex with them.My reply is that the “understanding the Catholic tradition that supports scriptures” is, in fact, “.. a case of that very selective reading and interpretation..” I’ve never met two neochristians who believe everything exactly the same and with that, “..people are free to read into the text anything they want.”If you want to cherry-pick Leviticus does that include or not include verse 19:33 for example?

  • markinirvine

    “How does gay marriage hurt me? – First legalize it, then protect it, and then my recitation of scripture — what once brought joy, discipline, and humble conviction to the soul — becomes hate speech, and I am punished for my religion, when before the only punishment I had to endure was the atheistic slander of my rage-consumed countrymen.”Nobody is prosecuting scripture-readers under hate-speech statutes for reading Biblical passages that condone slavery, or that blame the Jews for Christ’s death, etc. You worry about this only because you want to go out in public and criticize gay people for not adhering to your Biblical views, and to try to persuade them to be and do otherwise. You’ll continue to be free to do that, but you’ll find yourself being increasingly ignored as a wacko who can’t accept that the world does not see things the same way you do. The boogy-man of hate-speech prosecution is a red-herring that ignores the First Amendment.

  • thebobbob

    “He did not reinterpret the Old Testament to proclaim adultery another life-style choice”. This statement points to the flaw in the argument; that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice”. It is NOT. Science backs up the biological basis of homosexuality and reduces anti-gay intolerance to bigotry.If it’s all or nothing for The Bible then pull out Leviticus and let’s start stoning adulterers (a clear prescription) and pork eaters.

  • ebleas

    “There is a persistent unshaking belief that children raised by a homosexual couples are damaged and hurt even though all the studies I’ve seen(and I’ve seen none to the contrary) show that to be untrue.”This argument just seems to be a bit of a red herring, so I’ll harp on it a bit. First, as noted above, there is substantial evidence that children raised in a same sex couple environment are just as well adjusted as those raised by a tradition two-sex couple. But even if we could show that some children raised by a same sex couple did develop issues such as gender role / identification, would this be enough to outlaw the practice? I had two friends who were therapists who treated people infused with guilt as the result of being raised in a very strict religious environment. Their descriptions left no doubt in my mind that such an environment can be damaging to the children involved. Should we outlaw the marriage of two extremely religious people using the same logic? Prejudices have been largely shown to be the result of indoctrination. Should we therefore outlaw two members of the KKK from marrying and raising children for the same reason? I choose to raise my children without religion; many would see that practice as abhorrent. Should I be prevented from rearing children? And the examples could go on forever …The reality is that we are free to raise our children in a manner we personally see fit and according to our morals and standards. It is only when there is a clear case of physical or mental abuse involved can the state step in and overrule the parent’s rights to raise their children according to their beliefs and standards. And I have just seen no evidence that raising children in a same sex couple environment produces the kind of abuse that would warrant state intervention.

  • markinirvine

    “Same-sex marriage cannot mirror that ontological relationship the the way male-female matrimony does, hence, same-sex sacramental marriage is an ontological impossibility.”Speaking of ontology, let’s not forget that the existence of God cannot be empirically proved. That doesn’t prevent me, BTW, from believing that God exists. It does cause me to try to be “humble” when I presume to tell people what they should and should not do and when considering what behavior should and should not be permitted and/or prohibited using the force of civil law.

  • ebleas

    aaglaas wrote: I would hope that the following from the blog is made up, but something tells me it’s real:midevil Nov 13, 2008 | 1:10 AM Chuck_U_Farley Nov 14, 2008 | 9:39 PM

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLThe hope of stem cell research is the eventual understanding of the genetic controlling mechinism, as yet, unknown, that differentiates the origniating “stem cells” of the fetilized egg and subsequent zygote, so that these stem cells form all of the many different organ systems and tissues of the body, with all their variety of functions The hope is that, if you have diseased or damaged tissues, these tissues can be regenerated from your own body by mimicing the stem cell mechanism of cellular differentiation.If you have liver damage, new liver tissue can be re-generated. If you have a spinal chord injury, new nerve tissue can be be generated. I you have a damaged heart from a heart attack, new heart tissue can be generated. If you have juvenile diabetes, the missing tissues in your pancreas can be generated. Any tissues damaged by cancer, or caner related surgery or chemotherapy can be regenerated with new tissue. This is the great hope of stem cell research.So how is there any hope in stem cell research for “curing” gay sexual orientation? I think that sexual orientation is much more complicated than merely replacing some diseased of defective tissues. It is a much more complex set of characterists than racial skin color, or hair texture. How does stem cell research hold out any promise for changeing gay people into straight people? And since being gay is not even a disease process in the first place, why waste valuable research funds on curing it, when it would be better to spend the money on heart disease, or diabetes, or breast cancer which are real diseases.So, CCNL, what is your reply to this?

  • SpiritualMongrel

    The world will only improve when we think differently about ourselves. The human race will be stuck in our current state of spiritual evolution until we learn that the answers to God and the universe are not found in a book.These ancient understandings on sin, God and the afterlife will only get you so far. It is similar to learning math. If you drop out after the 3rd grade you will understand a little but there is much more you need to learn. What we need to learn is not contained in religious text. We need to find it.Apparently there is so much more or God is a crappy technical writer because the manual is utterly confusing as proven by the interpretations of religious text that read like the menu at Ben and Jerry’s. Or perhaps he’s like that really good school teacher who won’t tell you the answer, but wants you to figure it out for yourself. The complexities of existence are far to complex for yes and no answers which is whyI guess it comes down to who wants to learn more and who is content with the 3rd grade. In the 3rd grade, we make fun of gay people.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLThe hope of stem cell research is the eventual understanding of the genetic controlling mechinism, as yet, unknown, that differentiates the origniating “stem cells” of the fetilized egg and subsequent zygote, so that these stem cells form all of the many different organ systems and tissues of the body, with all their variety of functions The hope is that, if you have diseased or damaged tissues, these tissues can be regenerated from your own body by mimicing the stem cell mechanism of cellular differentiation.Damaged liver tissue could be re-generated to cure liver failure. Damaged nerve tissue could be be re-generated to cure spinal chord injuries. I you have a damaged heart from a heart attack, new heart tissue could be generated. If you have juvenile diabetes, the missing tissues in your pancreas could be generated. Any tissues damaged by cancer, or caner related surgery or chemotherapy could be regenerated. This is the great hope of stem cell research.So how is there any hope in stem cell research for “curing” gay sexual orientation? I think that sexual orientation is much more complicated than merely replacing some diseased of defective tissues. It is a much more complex set of characterists than racial skin color, or hair texture. How does stem cell research hold out any promise for changeing gay people into straight people? And since being gay is not even a disease process in the first place, why waste valuable research funds on curing it, when it would be better to spend the money on heart disease, or diabetes, or breast cancer which are real diseases.So, CCNL, what is your reply to this?

  • FreedomRawks

    Same sex marriage may be condemned in multiple books of the bible(a fact as you correctly stated), but with all due respect, so what. It’s a book that some believe in, and some do not, and it most certainly cannot be used to dictate laws that affect everyone, including those that do not believe in it. I know that a lot of our morals and some of our laws are the same as they are from the bible. For example, do not steal and do not kill. Those laws have been around long before the bible was written and were not original to the bible. The bible really does not put forth any laws that weren’t already around beforehand that our laws are based on. We may use the bible as a guide but our Constitution and our laws are not religious in nature and they shouldn’t ever be used to directly reflect religious views. I find it rather disgusting that you consider homosexual sex to be in the same catagory as stealing or killing. Stealing and killing cause harm to others, homosexual sex does not. Even the example you made of running around nude is irrelevant because nobody is proposing that we allow homosexuals to run around nude. Whether you agree or not, allowing SSM’s would not affect your life except for maybe the energy you use worrying about it and fighting against it. That it why it is silly that it is against the law. I realize as long as the bible is used by the majority to suppress a minority, same-sex marriages will be prohibited by secular laws. I also know that will change in the future. My point in my original post was this. We need to be looking at the ways that SSM would tangibly affect our country and society because we need to have a pretty good reason for denying rights to a group of people when others enjoy them. I realize the bible may be the source of the morals that a great many have, and that those morals stand in opposition to SSM, but that is not enough. We need proof that SSM would undoubtedly harm our society more than just making people uncomfortable. As of now, we have laws that were voted on by a majority in the individual states but those laws will not stand forever. You and I may disagree on SSM but we can both agree that younger voters are always more socially liberal than the generation that comes before and that it won’t be long before the first anti-SSM law is voted down. That will be a great day in America.

  • FRIENDENEMY

    Gay Marriage is a Civil Rights issue and we need to pass laws that protect gay boys and girls so they no longer have to grow up feeling alienated and feel safe in our society.

  • Alex511

    fr coloradodog:>..Loving your neighbor does not include condemning, judging and excluding them. Hate is not a Christian value (in spite of what Dan Quayle. Fallwell, Robertson, Dobson and Sarah Palin tried to tell us.Oh, so VERY true. dobson is by far the worst of the crowd, and still believes that his false “reparative therapy” actually works, when any REPUTABLE therapist will refuse to use it, because it’s UNETHICAL. He doles out the purple koolaid to the sheeple, when he should have his FCC license revoked, as well as his psychological one, which he probably got from a gumball machine.

  • globalone

    Freedom,I applaud the civility of your post and appreciate the conviction of your beliefs. It is a refreshing change from the “fly off the handle – name calling” theatrics exhibited in this forum by others.But I digress….You stated, “We need proof that SSM would undoubtedly harm our society more than just making people uncomfortable”If this were true, if the argument for SSM were about harm vs. being uncomfortable, then why have restrictions on nudity during prime time television hours? Why have restrictions on speech? Was saying the “F” word on TV harmful in 1960 but not so today?Or has our social norms progressed to the point that such vulgarity should be accepted because the Jerry Springer crowd can’t converse otherwise.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Bottum, Reynolds, and Porter are small men with small minds who would make God as small as they are.If any man-made theology contradicts common-sense, or if any verse of the Bible is interpreted to conradict common-sense, guess what wins out? I will give a clue: it is not screw-ball pi-in-the-sky theology.

  • MarkV3

    I thought homosexuals saw their relationships as special and unique…. why now the push for “equal” and “same”? Does the celebration of “diversity” really logically end in “sameness”? And what “right” is presently absent that the changing of the definition of marriage will all of a sudden confer upon the recipient??

  • sparrow4

    ” CCNL :ccnl- you really cannot be serious. No one want to look like that much of an imbecile. to paraphrase the UNCF: You really are a waste of a terrible mind.

  • sparrow4

    “paulc2as for marriage- marriage is a sacramental and civil joining of two lives. If only people who can procreate were allowed to get married you could claim, yes that is its sole purpose. But it isn’t. Our understanding of human relationships has changed over the course of 2000 years, our needs have changed, and our laws are written for plurality. You seem unable to acknowledge or understand that. It would seem the closest nation to your way of thinking is probably Iran- in the regions where the taliban abound.

  • solidplantdan

    How completely ridiculous all of this is. I am a christian, in a conventional mariage and feel no the slightest bit worried that gay marriage will hurt that. What about lies, incompatibility, and infidelity? Those are the real dangers to marriage. So the Bible says things against gay marriage. in the same sentances it talks about witchcraft. Do any of you out there really think god is stupid enough to think witches are real? If so please subscribe immediately to some form of birth control, so that I will not have to deal with your half retarded progeny. On the other hand you could be an intelligent person and realize the bible is about 5% word of god 80% good ideas(even good psychology), and the rest is pure BS made up for political reasons at the time by rabbi’s and political leaders(AKA Kings,nobles, etc.) Once again I am a christian and consider christ to be the ultimate example of acts of good, but anyone interpreting the Bible litterally is certainly an idiot!

  • cabings

    DanielintheLionsDen said:”If any man-made theology contradicts common-sense, or if any verse of the Bible is interpreted to conradict common-sense, guess what wins out?”Are you calling homosexual “marriage” common sense? It doesn’t make sense, and it’s not all that “common” seeing how most states have already voted not to change the definition of marriage. Even in California the majority disagrees with it. The people have spoken. Belittling those who disagree with you does not make your argument correct.

  • onofrio

    The Bible, and the Christian tradition at large do not endorse homosexual partnership. They probably never will. Taking solace in Jesus’ silence on the matter is cold comfort, methinks. Whenever he does mention sexual partnerships, he seems to have a fairly standard hetero model in mind, and monogamous and married at that. Why should so much hang on the silence or noise of an ancient thaumaturge anyway? Many gays remain strongly attached to Christianity, which to me just seems like self-torture. Friends, just leave it! It doesn’t want you, and it won’t change. It has a vested interest in not changing. Vote with your feet. If God is as good as the Christians say, and if Jesus is truly the friend of the marginalised, then acceptance or non-acceptance by the “Christian” churches doesn’t count for much anyway. The fact that representatives of Mormonism, Protestantism, and Catholicism have joined forces to write this blog demonstrates how bankrupt its central thesis is. These denominations still formally view each other as heretics, or at the very best quasi-Christian. In theological terms, they remain at war. Yet they find common cause in opposing same-sex marriage. They can’t resolve their own differences on Christology and ecclesiology, yet they expect the rest of us to take them seriously when they make alliance for this “higher cause”. I would remind them that the Pharisees and Herodians also buried the hatchet.And why should the Mormons be taken seriously about anything at all? The whole basis of their identity is a completely bogus set of “scriptures” that they persist in seeing as divinely inspired. Joe Smith = a Yankee Mohammed, with his polygamy, angelic interviews, and straight-from-heaven magic book. I call BS on all pontifications the Mormons make, and view any Protestant or Catholic entente with them as “stooping to conquer”.They just want same-sex marriage to go away so they can concentrate on their age-old theo-political oneupmanship.

  • CCNL

    Sparrow, Sparrow, Sparrow,Have you donated some of your eggs for the “correction”???

  • CCNL

    Odd that the official representatives of the RCC who are On Faith panel members do not weigh in on this subject more often.e.g.Thomas J. Reese, Jesuit and Senior fellow Woodstock Theological Center William J. Byron | Catholic Priest, ex-President of Catholic UniversityThomas G. Bohlin | U.S. vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei

  • markinirvine

    Will someone please explain why we should let any religious faith/tradition dictate what civil law should be?

  • velskama

    The only thing I disagree with is this quote: “Jesus loves us enough not to let us do whatever we want.”I think Jesus does exactly that: he lets us do whatever we want. He just doesn’t let us pretend that anything we happen to want at any given moment is right.John in his first epistle says “We all have sin, and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (chap. 1, verse 8). Jesus loves us despite our sins, but to us all he says, “go and sin no more”. Shouldn’t we at least try to follow that, instead of coming up with ever more sophisticated arguments claiming that there is no such thing as sin.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Cabings said: Yes it is common sense. Most people who promote an anti-gay agenda are a little nutty, in my opinion. If gay people are allowed to legally marry, I think you would not even notice anything about your life change. You would even probably feel better, because you could relax and stop worrying about such a non-issue.Being gay is not big deal, except for all the people who seek to promote their anti-gay agenda.

  • lepidopteryx

    solidplantdan : Witchcraft is a religion – there’s finally even an appropriate marker for the graves of Wiccan soldiers in military cemetaries. But I agree with you that the Bible should not be the arbiter of who is and isn’t allowed to legally marry. After all, Witches are allowed to marry, despite the fact that the Bible says they shouldn’t be allowed to live. Inter-faith couples are allowed to legally marry, even though the Bible forbids it.

  • opalshell

    I am not sure of the education level of the person who wrote the article in Newsweek…but dur! The bible DOES condemn homosexuality…along with a list of other sins. How about this verse:1 Corinthians 6:8-10 (New International Version)8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. 9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”Or perhaps:Galatians 5:20-22 (New International Version)20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Our Lord and Saviour is VERY specific…the road IS narrow and FEW do find it.

  • rcnewell660

    I was happy to see that someone else has taken the time to create a response to the absurd positions of Newsweek’s editors, Meacham and Miller. However, I think this BRP response is “too soft” on the perpetrators who are trying to mold and elicit nation and world support for their biases and subjective interpretations of the Holy Scriptures with reference to the so-called “Religious Case for Gay Marriage,”—-when, in all reality, there is none!!!I am writing a lengthy rebuttal to them atthis time, hoping that they will “open their minds” to the real truths about marriage, the family, the Jewish faith, and immoral practices —-that both Jesus and Paul condemned as well as other prophets and apostles—down to our time since Joseph Smith!! Robert R. Newell, retired professor of education, BYU-Hawaii

  • FreedomRawks

    RedStateLegal,Please elaborate for us on how gay marriage would undermine gender equality. I’m not sure how it would and I couldn’t find any writings on your site that explains your position. I just can’t really see how two men or two women getting married would make things unequal for heterosexual men and women. It would only make women unnecessary for a male SSM to work but that’s moot because women are already not a part of a male same sex relationship and I fail to see how it would affect a heterosexual woman in a heterosexual relationship.Please explain.

  • FreedomRawks

    Opalshell, I really really doubt that the bible as it was written in biblical times said homosexual as the term homosexual and heterosexual were not even around yet. More likely these words were added by whoever interpreted the version of the bible that you are quoting from and therefore you really don’t have any definitive idea what the original text actually meant.

  • Raycol

    Your readers can see http://www.GaysAndSlaves.com for why the Biblical condemnation of homosexual practice does not apply today.

  • athelstane

    StephenRhymer said:”Abortion is very personal and very private.”With all due respect, there is nothing personal or private about taking another innocent human life.These relentless attemps to “privatize” morality are problematic enough on their own terms, but the real problem is that most often they simply refuse to take the arguments made against (say) abortion seriously or engage them at all.

  • TheTruthIsDifficult

    I have to wonder if Joseph Bottum actually has read the entire Bible or just the parts of it he likes. The point of the Newsweek article was that the Bible does not support one woman one man marriages. The Bible supports one man multiple woman marriage. Adam and Eve lived together, they were not married because the Bible does not say they were. It is really strange that so many conservative Christians use the Bible as a basis for one woman one man marriages, yet there isn’t one passage in the Bible that explictly talks about what is considered traditional marriage today.

  • jmbr1

    I appreciate the religious arguments against homosexuality, however, religious arguments are not the real basis for our government, or any government, to reject homosexual “marriage.” Official recognition of homosexual marriage has been and should continue to be rejected because it is bad public policy. Society exists because of the heterosexual union, i.e. marriage. It is the source of life. The homosexual life style is a rejection of the perpetuation of life and therefore society. This is why the homosexual life style is antisocial. It is against society. The government should not put its seal of approval, and thereby endorse, such a life style by legalizing gay marriage. To do so is to make the rejection of the perpetuation of society official public policy. Good government’s role is to promote the “general” welfare, to promote those policies that will produce a vibrant, growing and healthy society; to do the greatest good for the greatest number. It is not to make a hand full of people feel good about the choices they’ve made.

  • manaen

    thetruthisdifficult, Re: your comment 12/12 @ 8:17pm, “It is really strange that so many conservative Christians use the Bible as a basis for one woman one man marriages, yet there isn’t one passage in the Bible that explictly talks about what is considered traditional marriage today.”

  • TheTruthIsDifficult

    “”A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (KJV 1 Tim 3:2)”There is no Tim or Timothy 3:2 in the Bible. And regardless if there was, that line you quoted is hardless a description of guidance on how marrige should be formed. It’s just a statement that this particular man, a bishop, happens to have one wife. The rest of the Bible description of marriage describe a marriage of one man many wifes. If any determination of marriage is made based on the Bible it should be based on what the majority of the Bible says. Not on one line here or there.

  • Fitz4

    THETRUTHIS DIFFUCULTApparently the truth is indecipherable to some. You have picked up a Bible and decided to do your own interpretation…fine.But the likes of Joseph Bottom has not. He is working within a tradition of interpretation that is thousands of years old. It’s called Christianity. Christianity has not condoned or permitted polygamy since Jesus Christ. That’s simply a historical fact. So I don’t know were that leaves you and your interpretation.

  • lds4gaymarriage

    “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (KJV 1 Tim 3:2)”This verse in NO WAY promotes monogamy. If monogamy was the known and practiced norm in the church, why would this verse even be needed or the topic addressed?Back in the day, Jews often had more than one wife. Most of the earliest Christians were Jewish converts. Obviously there were congregations that had polygamists. Paul’s words simply state that a polygamist shouldn’t lead the congregation. The verse in NO WAY prohibits it, but rather simply forbids bishops from it.Why? because if he had more than one wife, his time would be taken up more and more and his ministry would be neglected. Monogamy became the norm for Christianity due to the influx of Gentiles from Roman territories. The Romans were monogamists and soon the monogamists were greatly outnumbering those who believed polygamy was acceptible. The church may have simply requested that members be monogamists in order to not offend other converts or prospective members (see 1 Cor. 10). Since the churches were in Roman territory, polygamy may have been outlawed as it is today and the church simply complied with the laws of the land.