The Religious Case for Gay Marriage

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posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 09:35 AM
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The Religious Case for Gay Marriage


www.newsweek.com

Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so....

..... The argument goes something like this statement, which the Rev. Richard A. Hunter, a United Methodist minister, gave to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in June: "The Bible and Jesus define marriage as between one man and one woman. The church cannot condone or bless same-sex marriages because this stands in opposition to Scripture and our tradition."

To which there are two obvious responses: First, while the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman. And second, as the examples above illustrate, no sensible modern person wants marriage—theirs or anyone else's —to look in its particulars anything like what the Bible describes. "Marriage" in America refers to two separate things, a religious institution and a civil one, though it is most often enacted as a messy conflation of the two. As a civil institution, marriage offers practical benefits to both partners: contractual rights having to do with taxes; insurance; the care and custody of children; visitation rights; and inheritance. As a religious institution, marriage offers something else: a commitment of both partners before God to love, honor and cherish each other—in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer—in accordance with God's will. In a religious marriage, two people promise to take care of each other, profoundly, the way they believe God cares for them. Biblical literalists will disagree, but the Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2,000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history. In that light, Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be (civilly and religiously) married—and a number of excellent reasons why they should.....
(visit the link for the full news article)



(fixed link)

[edit on 7/12/08 by Jbird]




posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 09:36 AM
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As the article points out:


"Marriage" in America refers to two separate things, a religious institution and a civil one, though it is most often enacted as a messy conflation of the two. As a civil institution, marriage offers practical benefits to both partners: contractual rights having to do with taxes; insurance; the care and custody of children; visitation rights; and inheritance. As a religious institution, marriage offers something else: a commitment of both partners before God to love, honor and cherish each other—in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer—in accordance with God's will.


And what most gay activists are focused on are the rights that come with marriage/civil unions.

The article goes on to suggest that:

Religious objections to gay marriage are rooted not in the Bible at all, then, but in custom and tradition (and, to talk turkey for a minute, a personal discomfort with gay sex that transcends theological argument).


What goes on in the heart is far more important than what goes on in bed and funnymentalist objections to some form of gay marriage/civil union speaks far more about their uncomfortableness and disconnect with sexuality than it does about gays themselves.

www.newsweek.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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I am against homosexuality
I believe in freedom though, so to each his own

however gay couples should not be allowed to adopt
I am super strongly against that



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by grover
 


good one :-)



As a civil institution, marriage offers practical benefits to both partners: contractual rights having to do with taxes; insurance; the care and custody of children; visitation rights; and inheritance.


I emphasize contractual rights because, that's what it is regardless - a contract - between two consenting individuals

since we supposedly have a separation of church and state going on here -

and since - regardless of your religious beliefs - or which church marries you - you are in fact required by the state to file for a marriage license - how can the state determine who is or isn't allowed to have such a contract based in any way shape or form on religion?

regardless of what people consider to be normal - or not - how can any two individuals who wish to "incorporate" - be refused the right - based on something that comes down to personal belief

neither the Federal government - or the States - are in charge of belief

are they?

and are they also in charge of determining what's normal?

if the argument is to be made that any marriage can only be a real marriage if it's between a male and a female - the only possible explanation behind it could be that it's necessary for procreation

if that's so - then, every couple applying for a marriage contract should be obligated to sign said contract with the promise that their intent is indeed to procreate

if they don't meet the requirements of that contract - the union should be dissolved

marriage, after all - is not about anything else but making babies - and that can only happen between two consenting and government approved adults with all the appropriate working parts

not love, companionship, shared resources...

it only exists to continue the species within a system that can be monitored and controlled

so much for romance

and in a country where we are supposedly free to believe and worship as we choose - no one faith can be used to explain or determine anything

once again - faith shouldn't be involved in government decisions at all - if you're a stickler for detail

we don't burn people at the stake anymore - because we're pretty sure they're not really witches - and even if they are - they are free to make that choice

we don't put people in stocks any longer and throw stones and old food at them because they cheated on their spouse

we don't have slaves anymore - because - well, we finally realized it was wrong

there were even people who were at one time not even considered to be human

turns out they really are

times change - eventually


[edit on 12/7/2008 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 12:02 PM
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Well said. The following is an essay I wrote on the subject awhile back:

You don’t have to be gay in order to sympathize with them over the prejudice and hatred that they face, or for any other discriminated against minority for that matter. Just a modicum of charity and simple human decency will do.

The amount of abuse that gays receive, just for being what they are, both as children, and as adults is terrible. I have witnessed it first hand and nobody should have to go through that.

The depression and suicide rates among gay teens are appalling. I knew a boy who blew his brains out after his good church going parents disowned him for being gay.

My late wife and I gave refuge to a young man after his parents threw him out because he was gay. Afterwards, I made sure my stepsons clearly understood that there was no difference between them being picked on because they were black and Chinese; and somebody else being harassed because they were gay. Both are wrong.

A former coworker’s fundamentalist parents, refused to have anything to do with him after he announced that he was gay, even unto death. They wouldn’t even consent to his burial, and his grieving lover had to go to court to beg for permission to lay him to rest.

I don’t care what church you go to, such behavior is mean spirited, hateful and wrong. And, no amount of Bible thumping will change that. The Bible has been used to justify many things, not all of them good, just or moral. Remember slavery?

Jesus enjoined us to love one another, to “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”.

Jesus taught us to “judge not lest we be judged”.

Jesus urged us to be more concerned about the beam in our own eye than the mote in our neighbors.

Jesus told us to “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. And yes he told the woman to “go now and sin no more”, but not before asking her who remained there to judge her, and when she said no one my lord, he replied, and neither do I. And, if Jesus would not pass judgment, then who are we to do so?

Jesus had harsh words for the sanctimonious, the self-righteous and the arrogant letting it be known in no uncertain terms that he was not impressed by their piety. He preferred to sit down and break bread the sinners and the outcast instead.

And, how would Jesus react the Fred Phelps of the world who said nothing about the sin and brutality of Matthew Shepherd’s murder yet protested his life with “God hates Fags” placards at his funeral?

I have known plenty of good and decent gay couples that have been together for decades and obviously love and care for each other deeply. Excepting sanctioned vows, they are as married as any I know. And, I have known married couples that violate the sanctity of those vows from the moment they get up in the morning to the moment they go back to bed.

I have known gay people who were the salt of the earth, and some that were total jerks. Just like the rest of us. And, I will no more pass a value judgment on them simply because they are gay than I would anybody else. How people behave towards their fellow human beings is what is important, and that is what they should be judged by.

I am not anti-Christian, far from it. I do my best to live the life of tolerance and compassion that I believe Jesus taught us we should live. But, I have little patience with those who insist that their version of Christianity is the only authentic one and that if you do not believe as they do, you are damned. I have a hard time believing that Jesus would be more impressed with dogma than empathy. Of course these are the same people who claim that it is you who are bigoted if you do not tolerate their prejudices. No bigotry should ever be tolerated, and it is a travesty of true spirituality to attribute any prejudice to God.

I learned long ago that what goes on in the recesses of the human heart is far more important than what goes on in bed. I learned that compassion and mercy have far more soul than dogma and doctrine. I learned that tolerance and charity open the heart and that fear and resentment closes it. I learned that hatred poisons the spirit. And, I learned that to change the world you must change hearts and minds first. I don’t expect to change anybody’s heart or mind but I can hope and I can try. “If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

Without compassion, we are no better than our prejudices.

[edit on 7-12-2008 by grover]



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by grover
 


Amen

where are the abolitionists when you need them?

just outnumbered I guess - for now



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 12:19 PM
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i have a major issue with this country not letting homosexual couples marry. we should all be on equal footing...it really bothers me the way homosexuals are treated like second class citizens..stripped of right(s) just because of sexual preference. it is major BS



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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I don't care for you religous Zealot's and you History buff's concerning marriage.
I truly feel that if 2 souls truly loved each other the Marriage is a spirtual bond. And no Man made paper or ring, or cult like ritual could ever express the true bond of marriage.

If they want a paper ring and ceremony than so be it.
Thats all superficial anyway. It's what they trained you to belive marriage is.
Trust me, it's not.
Next thing you know you will need a liscencse to say you love someone.
Untill then I love you all.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by ModernAcademia
I am against homosexuality
I believe in freedom though, so to each his own

however gay couples should not be allowed to adopt
I am super strongly against that


CPS takes 1.4 million kids a year from parents. You don't think some Gay's could do a better job than CPS?
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES WILL KILL AND ABUSE YOUR CHILD
They are 5 to 1 more likley to abuse a child than straights.

I say give them a chance, give peace a chance.
It's love that matter's, not who sticks what into whom and where... Or even the lack of any sticking of stuff into people. Maybe they do some thing like put a sheet between them and cut a small hole for.... WHat? The straights do that?
Oh never mind then.
Surely you would rather have a gay have your child over CPS?
Please answer



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by grover
 


Although I agree with the posts about Civil and Religious Ceremonies and Contracts I would have to say that if the Church is really a Christian Bible believing Church it can not marry homosexuals. But I am not personally against civil unions other than for one reason, but this reason is also the reason I am not against them.

Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed until their Government recognized their Homosexual marriages, this was enough for GOD to destroy them forever. I think our government is corrupt as hell and denies many their Rights and Individual freedoms and from that point I wouldn't mind civil unions and in fact think it's only fair to the Constitution. But against GOD's laws and would probably bring GOD's judgment upon the U.S. in full force, which I am awaiting anyways, SO:

I say let's get this party started right now!!!



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:04 PM
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I have to admit, you people have some compelling arguments, making me think about it, and I usually don't like this subject at all- because frankly, I am a straight male.

Can one of you explain to me what you feel when you see a beautiful woman? (assuming you are male of course) Nothing? Disgust? Hatred? No desire whatsoever?

One thing I have never understood is how any of you can come to grips with the fact that had a man and woman not made you, you wouldn't be here right now. Do you feel no need to pay back the piper, so to speak?

The natural, intended consequence of having sex is conception. There is responsibility with that. Bigtime. And yet homosexuals are able to avoid that responsibility entirely. Just doesn't seem fair to the rest of us here, even though yeah there are contraceptives. Yes I know there are other responsibilities with it such as disease, but for the purposes of this discussion it's not an issue, because that's an issue either way.

But anyway, I thought the arguments for the religious case for gay marriage were interesting reads. And particularly that a state could get involved in any way making a religious decision. They shouldn't. Or should they? Couldn't it be argued that because that marriage is guaranteed not to biologically produce offspring, as well as having to deal with difficult social integration issues, that they should have some say? I dunno, tough subject. But interesting post.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:08 PM
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I think it's very interesting that you support civil unions - but you also believe that it's right for God to destroy a nation based on those same civil unions

I really hope you understand that I'm not picking a fight - I'd just like to understand

it's just such an amazing contradiction within one individual

for yourself - how can it be OK - and not OK at the same time?



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by theindependentjournal
reply to post by grover
 

Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed until their Government recognized their Homosexual marriages, this was enough for GOD to destroy them forever.


What?

NO WHERE in the Bible does it say that... in fact nowhere in the Bible does it suggest the sins of the cities of the plain (as they have been called) were homosexual in nature.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
Can one of you explain to me what you feel when you see a beautiful woman? (assuming you are male of course) Nothing? Disgust? Hatred? No desire whatsoever?


As a bisexual male whose overall preference is towards women I feel the same things you do... that is if she'll let me.


The big difference is that on occasion I am attracted to a man and have no problem with it, if they are willing.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


when i see a hot woman i might feel lust or some sort of desire. what does that have to do with anything?

it's sad that as a nation we stand in the way of homosexual marriage. i also feel that they should be able to adopt.
they are capable of loving and caring for a child just as much as a hetero couple is.
we as a nation should be sick to deny those rights to them based on their sexuality.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


:-)



The natural, intended consequence of having sex is conception. There is responsibility with that. Bigtime. And yet homosexuals are able to avoid that responsibility entirely.

Just doesn't seem fair to the rest of us here, even though yeah there are contraceptives. Yes I know there are other responsibilities with it such as disease, but for the purposes of this discussion it's not an issue, because that's an issue either way.


you have no idea how heartening it is to hear even one person state that their main cause for concern here is a kind of envy

I also like that you took the time to consider any of this at all - you actually thought about it

from my point of view - it's about civil rights - plain and simple

we are each of us guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (promising actual happiness is beyond the powers of even our beloved constitution)

those rights should apply to everyone equally

when the opportunities and freedoms of choice that exist for most citizens are denied to any individual or group - no matter the reason - it compromises the rights and freedoms of us all

I would love for my fellow man to be able to look at any other living human being on this planet and recognize that person as an equal - but, I know that's not realistic

so instead, I have to insist that we each stand by and abide by the laws that we have all agreed are the very reason our country even exists

I realize I can insist all I want - but in the end I'm probably being just a little naive

oh well... :-)



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:43 PM
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In addition to everything already stated in this thread, I also feel that the religious angle makes for a compelling legal argument. If marriage is being put forth as a religious institution, then homosexuals shouldn't be bound to any (federal) law regarding marriage, because "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Of course, we're dealing with state law, not federal law. An argument could still be made that the implied intent of the drafters of the bill of rights was that no such law should be made, period, but that's highly debatable, and if ruled as such, could be seen to undermine states' autonomous regulations (which the ability for states to make is something else guaranteed in the Constitution.)



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis







so instead, I have to insist that we each stand by and abide by the laws that we have all agreed are the very reason our country even exists







don't lump me in there. i didn't/don't agree with a lot of the laws that are on the books including not letting homosexuals marry/adopt



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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Tolerance. Understanding. Acceptance. Indulgence. Concession. Agreeable.

Fine words.

How about abomination? Filth. Unholiness. Aberration. Offensive. Odious. Aversion. Repugnant.

Funny how after extended bombardment, we can gradually find ourselves incrementally accepting things that previously we found intolerable.

That speaks so well of us. Today gay marriages. Tomorrow - bestiality. We sure are selective as to what we find right and wrong, and unfortunately, it's always a sliding scale.

Enlightened? No. Enlightenment is another word for lack of character.

Killing is wrong. OK. Killing murderers is acceptable. OK. Killing unborn or even partial birth abortions is acceptable. OK. Killing out of passion is acceptable. OK. Killing because this person pissed me off is OK. Hate crimes? Acceptable. How about killing of those who bring our society down? Acceptable. Once you start, then who's going to be so enlightened as to know where to draw the line?

Our moral anchors are not anchors at all, merely a sea sheet. No anchor means eventually anything is acceptable. Fine. The moral basis that built this country is sliding right out of sight. There's no right, no wrong, and anyone who says so is the problem. Unenlightened. Restrictive. And we don't want any restrictions, do we? OH? Just the restrictions YOU want in place.

The One who doesn't change has spoken. His words, His rules.

Grace? Everybody's forgiven no matter what? You better get back and do some more reading.

As soon as this is generally accepted, our country is going to be placed in mortal danger. From the one who has given us to much, such opportunity, and which we have turned out backs on.

Nah. Do what you want.

Everything has a price. And it will be paid in full. Up front, as you go along, or at the end, but the full price will be paid.

And I don't think anyone can afford the cost of this utter abomination. But you do what you want. You have a choice.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
from my point of view - it's about civil rights - plain and simple

we are each of us guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (promising actual happiness is beyond the powers of even our beloved constitution)


Ok, so let's say that your happiness is comprised of a situation where you are part of a gay marriage, and as many want, have adopted kids. And your kids go to school with my kids.

And let's just say that my happiness is comprised of a heterosexual marriage with normal kids. That I want to grow up normally, and who have an interest in maintaining a biological family tree, because hey, we were blessed with some damn fine genes.


Now clearly, we have a bit of a problem here with people who have chosen to give up their option to continue their biological lineage. (And here as another question, I'd like to ask, has that thought ever crossed your minds? That with a gay marriage you are in a sense letting down your biological family to continue its lineage?)

So who's civil rights prevail? I want my children in healthy heterosexual relationships, and influence to the contrary, ESPECIALLY at a young age, can be very detrimental to that. Now once they are of age, of course, their business is their business. So again, who's civil rights prevail?


those rights should apply to everyone equally


Well sure, but how do you do that in the common scenario presented above? The point is that it becomes more than just a religious issue. There are social issues that society, and hence government, must weigh in on, because it can affect everybody.


when the opportunities and freedoms of choice that exist for most citizens are denied to any individual or group - no matter the reason - it compromises the rights and freedoms of us all


Well I have just pointed out one scenario, and there are others, where there may be good social reasons for that denial. Criminals are denied freedom for example. Blind people are denied driver's licenses. And on and on.

It's a complicated situation, for sure, and there are no easy answers.





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