Alex Blaze

Yes, there is a Biblical argument for same-sex marriage

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 10, 2008 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Media, The Movement
Tags: Concerned Women for America, homophobic behavior, Jim Burroway, LGBT, lilsa miller, marriage, Newsweek, peter labarbera, Prop. 8, queer

Lisa Miller wrote up a defense of same-sex marriage from the Biblical perspective in Newsweek earlier this week that I haven't had a chance to link to. It's a lot of the same arguments that queer, Christian and Jewish theologians have been making for a while, but presented in a mainstream, Serious Publication. So it got some attention, and is worth the read if you're not familiar with those arguments.

Today Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin has excerpts from just a few of the fundies who are pissed off at this article. And you all probably already know what I'm thinking: if these folks are getting their collective panties in a bunch over this, then it's probably the right direction to be going in.

Here's what Peter LaBarbera had to say:

At right is a Newsweek graphic for its new, scandalous hit piece in support of homosexual "marriage." It appears the magazine's Religion Editor, Lisa Miller, is now a theological expert -- declaring that -- contrary to 2,000 years of Church history -- the Word of God actually supports homosexual "love" and thus same-sex "marriages." Albert Mohler takes Miller's piece apart HERE. Readers might also check out Professor Rob Gagnon's website to learn what the Bible really says about homosexual practice.

American liberal media bias is out of control. Somebody get Newsweek's religion editor, Lisa Miller, a job with the "gay christian" (small "c") activist group Soulforce, where she belongs. Kudos to Albert Mohler for refuting her nonsense. And once again, American Family Association (AFA) provides a valuable service by helping Americans confront liberal media bias -- in this case, Miller's embarrassing attempt t0 make a Biblical case for sodomy-based "marriage."

Yes, the same publication that pushed the "Larry King did it to himself by being so femmy" meme and eHarmony's fundie science on same-sex relationships (same writer!) is obviously in the back pocket of the homosexual agenda. Then again, if everyone less homophobic than Peter LaBarbera joined up with SoulForce, well, er... well, SoulForce would be the first LGBT nonprofit with 99% of the population in its ranks.

Here's the Concerned Women for America:

It would be a major undertaking to identify all the ways in which the article is Biblically inaccurate or theologically distorted. From beginning to end the article is an embarrassment for Newsweek and unworthy of any national publication of merit. We could begin with the fact that the Bible is quite clear about the relationship that constitutes marriage - the New Testament even compares the relationship between a husband and wife to the relationship between Christ and His Church.

Could the fact that they're pissed off mean that they realize it's a good argument?

For years they've tried to push a "secular" argument against same-sex marriage - the definition of marriage is "one man/one woman," children are better off with opposite sex parents, society will crumble if the fundamental unit of the heterosexual, nuclear family is diminished (so I guess society has already crumbled?).

But, really, what's been motivating them is that feeling of "ick," their knowledge that the oppression of women would be harder to enforce with legally recognized families that defy heterosexual norms, and a general cultural unease around sexuality (especially sodomy). Then they wrap these feelings in their religions to justify their baser motives to themselves

Later, the media savvy of the bunch made up lame secular arguments that don't hold up to the scrutiny of a fourth-grader's logic. But that's where we often get stuck and get lost, since it's a red herring for the most part. What we need to be responding to is their justification narrative for all those negative feelings: religion.

Jim has a few other fundie responses, and they're worth reading, for humor value if nothing else. When we start responding on Biblical grounds, their heads explode. That's a good sign that it's a good direction to go in.

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Terrific piece, Alex. And many kudos to Newsweek.

I love it when the fundies get up on their high horse about the "accuracy" of their Bible, which is so full of contradictions, confusions and curious omissions that it has kept serious scholars arguing for centuries.

How quickly the fundies forget that they are using the exact same arguments as were used to prevent interracial marriage in the 60's, i.e. that the children (oh it's always about protecting the children, nothing to do with fundamental rights), the children are so much better off in a same race marriage, they are less likely to become criminals and have developmental problems growing up, not to mention all that finger pointing and humiliation...

Great article!

Hey Alex, I don't mean to nit-pick because I know you are a thoughtfully inclusive writer, but... the term religious includes more than the Abrahamic traditions. Wicca, Buddhism, Hindu, are religions too as are the faiths practiced by the first peoples of the world. I know that you understand this, but someone who reads your title may not. Thanks :)

Thanks, Greg. You're right, and I changed the word in the title to "Biblical." It's far more accurate.

I think it was more correct the way it was, actually. Christianity and Judaism are both religions; hence there is a religious argument for same-sex marriage. Biblical is incorrect since the Bible isn't the Jewish holy book. The Bible is the Christian holy text - the Old Testament and the New Testament.

By the way, here is the link to the article for those of you who haven't read it. It isn't anything particularly new, but it is still a great read.

Thanks. I was just going to go fetch the link and add it to Alex's post when I noticed he'd left it out. You'd better be careful, bittergrad, you'll work yourself into a job around here if you keep up good work like that! *grins*

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | December 10, 2008 7:55 PM

The fundies are always upset about something. I can't imagine leaving a life consumed by such bitterness.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 11, 2008 2:19 AM

...Or fear that they are losing the ability to control others. Well done Alex.

The Newsweek article does one thing very well: it turns the bible-based arguments against same sex marriage on their heads and shows that there is plenty of bible-based evidence to support same sex marriage. It contains some swift de-bunking of erroneous assumptions and exegesis. It is clear, brief and useful.

Perhaps we should start a fund to get Peter and his friends into therapy so that they may deal with some of that pent up anger, fear, and frustration.

That much angst just can't be good for someone.

Religion is a legalistic term, my faith is not a religion, it is a set of beliefs some of which are shared by others, some of which I have learned on my own through meditation and contemplation. I call myself "wiccan", because that is a group that I share some of the core beliefs with, such as the witch's rede or law, and it is an easy label that most people know. Faith however, has little or nothing to do with religion.

Just the fact that not all christians share the same beliefs as those who advocate the exclusion of gays should be evidence enough that their opposition comes not just from interpretation of scripture, but from a deeper, more personal source.

Great reporting Alex.

If there is a biblical arguement for same sex marriage I hope no ones daft enough to use it.

The most important thing about this article is that some of corporate press sees a connection between the Obama/mormon/catholic axis that defeated same sex marriage and the newly reignited GLBT struggles. They’re weighing in on our side to help put out the flames because social struggle makes them nervous. Newsweek’s intervention is welcome because it undercuts the right wing and exposes superstition driven opponents of same sex marriage, like LaBarbera and Obama as bigots.

Still, this article ignores the central political question. Total equality, whether it’s called marriage, partnering or civil unions has to apply to everyone equally. Anything short of that is second class citizenship, and that’s a very dangerous status to be in.

We need a federal constitutional amendment guaranteeing our rights along the lines of the 14th, 15th and 19th amendments and the proposed ERA.

The various and sundry versions of the bible that Newsweek quotes, as well as the quran, the book of mormon and L. Ron Hubbard’s dianetics are at best badly conceived fantasies based on Sumerian and Egyptian fantasies plagiarized by Moses and Abraham. At their worst they’re a compilation of prehistoric, treacherous codes of conduct. And a terrible waste of paper and ink.

What I don't understand is why you are trying to be biblically correct and care what the bible has to say for or against same sex marriage if you aren't following Jesus in the first place? Why should you care what the Christians think? Who are you trying to justify your life to if you aren't serving Jesus? I mean no disrespect, it is just something to give some thought to.

May I please clarify. I understand why many people get upset with Christians. May I also clarify, many Christians' actions are not actually Christ-like? Whoa, imagine that. Many Christians who call themselves Christians don't even know Jesus or what He stands for? They pretend to or think they know. The only way to really know who Jesus is is to find out for yourself by getting into what so many people don't like: the Bible. Now, here's a controversy. Or is it? Did you know the Bible is deemed as accurate as any other piece of history today? It passed many, many thorough tests and it is the best selling book, non-fiction, year after year after year. Not everyone is going to like what's in it, so of course there are going to be controversies surrounding it and people trying to discredit it. Sometimes, many times, I believe some who call themselves Christians use it against people rather than for them.
I'm not upset, as a Christian woman, with the article (that I still have yet to find) written by Lisa Miller. Not in the least, because I, personally, cannot make anyone believe a thing. But I know what I believe. And it's simple. My job is not to go around judging other people or hating them for what they do. But I'm tired of being labeled as one of those "Christian haters" when not all who follow Christ hate people who don't. I don't hate anyone, and there are (believe it or not) some REAL Christians out there who don't hate anyone either. The sad truth is, those Christians giving the rest of us a bad name are getting all the publicity. What about those of us who do actually care about people?
The fact is, everyone on earth has a need. We were all created, we all sinned, we are all in need of a Savior. Period. What we choose to do with that is up to us as individuals. There's no use in trying to argue people one way or the other. But understand this, there is consequence for sin - all sin. Just like a judge would find a murderer guilty (or should), we are found guilty. Jesus paid the price so we wouldn't have to. Sin is sin. There is not one worse then another. So the choice is up to us. Do we want to recognize that we've fallen short, or do we not want the redemption? And if you're an atheist, well, here's a site you may enjoy: