Newsweek Makes Christian Case for Marriage Equality


The debate over scriptural views of homosexuality makes many people afraid that they will have to choose between their faith and their relationships. Conservative friends have told me that I am cutting myself off from the orthodox Christian community by attending an inclusive church. Meanwhile, some in that church are skittish about its historic doctrines, afraid that tradition cannot be disentangled from a legacy of institutional oppression.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one who hasn’t given up hopes of an inclusive orthodoxy. Newsweek ran a brave and controversial cover story last week: Our Mutual Joy: The Religious Case for Gay Marriage, by Lisa Miller. Highlights:


In the Old Testament, the concept of family is fundamental, but examples of what social conservatives would call “the traditional family” are scarcely to be found. Marriage was critical to the passing along of tradition and history, as well as to maintaining the Jews’ precious and fragile monotheism. But as the Barnard University Bible scholar Alan Segal puts it, the arrangement was between “one man and as many women as he could pay for.” Social conservatives point to Adam and Eve as evidence for their one man, one woman argument—in particular, this verse from Genesis: “Therefore shall a man leave his mother and father, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” But as Segal says, if you believe that the Bible was written by men and not handed down in its leather bindings by God, then that verse was written by people for whom polygamy was the way of the world. (The fact that homosexual couples cannot procreate has also been raised as a biblical objection, for didn’t God say, “Be fruitful and multiply”? But the Bible authors could never have imagined the brave new world of international adoption and assisted reproductive technology—and besides, heterosexuals who are infertile or past the age of reproducing get married all the time.)

Ozzie and Harriet are nowhere in the New Testament either. The biblical Jesus was—in spite of recent efforts of novelists to paint him otherwise—emphatically unmarried. He preached a radical kind of family, a caring community of believers, whose bond in God superseded all blood ties. Leave your families and follow me, Jesus says in the gospels. There will be no marriage in heaven, he says in Matthew. Jesus never mentions homosexuality, but he roundly condemns divorce (leaving a loophole in some cases for the husbands of unfaithful women).

The apostle Paul echoed the Christian Lord’s lack of interest in matters of the flesh. For him, celibacy was the Christian ideal, but family stability was the best alternative. Marry if you must, he told his audiences, but do not get divorced. “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): a wife must not separate from her husband.” It probably goes without saying that the phrase “gay marriage” does not appear in the Bible at all.

If the bible doesn’t give abundant examples of traditional marriage, then what are the gay-marriage opponents really exercised about? Well, homosexuality, of course—specifically sex between men. Sex between women has never, even in biblical times, raised as much ire. In its entry on “Homosexual Practices,” the Anchor Bible Dictionary notes that nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women, “possibly because it did not result in true physical ‘union’ (by male entry).” The Bible does condemn gay male sex in a handful of passages. Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as “an abomination” (King James version), but these are throwaway lines in a peculiar text given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world, a text that devotes verse after verse to treatments for leprosy, cleanliness rituals for menstruating women and the correct way to sacrifice a goat—or a lamb or a turtle dove. Most of us no longer heed Leviticus on haircuts or blood sacrifices; our modern understanding of the world has surpassed its prescriptions. Why would we regard its condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave?

Paul was tough on homosexuality, though recently progressive scholars have argued that his condemnation of men who “were inflamed with lust for one another” (which he calls “a perversion”) is really a critique of the worst kind of wickedness: self-delusion, violence, promiscuity and debauchery. In his book “The Arrogance of Nations,” the scholar Neil Elliott argues that Paul is referring in this famous passage to the depravity of the Roman emperors, the craven habits of Nero and Caligula, a reference his audience would have grasped instantly. “Paul is not talking about what we call homosexuality at all,” Elliott says. “He’s talking about a certain group of people who have done everything in this list. We’re not dealing with anything like gay love or gay marriage. We’re talking about really, really violent people who meet their end and are judged by God.” In any case, one might add, Paul argued more strenuously against divorce—and at least half of the Christians in America disregard that teaching.

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). Common prayers and rituals reflect our common practice: the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer describes the participants in a marriage as “the man and the woman.” But common practice changes—and for the better, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.” The Bible endorses slavery, a practice that Americans now universally consider shameful and barbaric. It recommends the death penalty for adulterers (and in Leviticus, for men who have sex with men, for that matter). It provides conceptual shelter for anti-Semites. A mature view of scriptural authority requires us, as we have in the past, to move beyond literalism. The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it’s impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours.

Marriage, specifically, has evolved so as to be unrecognizable to the wives of Abraham and Jacob. Monogamy became the norm in the Christian world in the sixth century; husbands’ frequent enjoyment of mistresses and prostitutes became taboo by the beginning of the 20th. (In the NEWSWEEK POLL, 55 percent of respondents said that married heterosexuals who have sex with someone other than their spouses are more morally objectionable than a gay couple in a committed sexual relationship.) By the mid-19th century, U.S. courts were siding with wives who were the victims of domestic violence, and by the 1970s most states had gotten rid of their “head and master” laws, which gave husbands the right to decide where a family would live and whether a wife would be able to take a job. Today’s vision of marriage as a union of equal partners, joined in a relationship both romantic and pragmatic, is, by very recent standards, radical, says Stephanie Coontz, author of “Marriage, a History.”…

…We cannot look to the Bible as a marriage manual, but we can read it for universal truths as we struggle toward a more just future. The Bible offers inspiration and warning on the subjects of love, marriage, family and community. It speaks eloquently of the crucial role of families in a fair society and the risks we incur to ourselves and our children should we cease trying to bind ourselves together in loving pairs. Gay men like to point to the story of passionate King David and his friend Jonathan, with whom he was “one spirit” and whom he “loved as he loved himself.” Conservatives say this is a story about a platonic friendship, but it is also a story about two men who stand up for each other in turbulent times, through violent war and the disapproval of a powerful parent…

…In addition to its praise of friendship and its condemnation of divorce, the Bible gives many examples of marriages that defy convention yet benefit the greater community. The Torah discouraged the ancient Hebrews from marrying outside the tribe, yet Moses himself is married to a foreigner, Zipporah. Queen Esther is married to a non-Jew and, according to legend, saves the Jewish people. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, believes that Judaism thrives through diversity and inclusion. “I don’t think Judaism should or ought to want to leave any portion of the human population outside the religious process,” he says. “We should not want to leave [homosexuals] outside the sacred tent.” The marriage of Joseph and Mary is also unorthodox (to say the least), a case of an unconventional a
rrangement accepted by society for the common good. The boy needed two human parents, after all.

In the Christian story, the message of acceptance for all is codified. Jesus reaches out to everyone, especially those on the margins, and brings the whole Christian community into his embrace. The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, cites the story of Jesus revealing himself to the woman at the well— no matter that she had five former husbands and a current boyfriend—as evidence of Christ’s all-encompassing love. The great Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann, emeritus professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, quotes the apostle Paul when he looks for biblical support of gay marriage: “There is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.” The religious argument for gay marriage, he adds, “is not generally made with reference to particular texts, but with the general conviction that the Bible is bent toward inclusiveness.”

The practice of inclusion, even in defiance of social convention, the reaching out to outcasts, the emphasis on togetherness and community over and against chaos, depravity, indifference—all these biblical values argue for gay marriage. If one is for racial equality and the common nature of humanity, then the values of stability, monogamy and family necessarily follow. Terry Davis is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hartford, Conn., and has been presiding over “holy unions” since 1992. “I’m against promiscuity—love ought to be expressed in committed relationships, not through casual sex, and I think the church should recognize the validity of committed same-sex relationships,” he says.

Still, very few Jewish or Christian denominations do officially endorse gay marriage, even in the states where it is legal. The practice varies by region, by church or synagogue, even by cleric. More progressive denominations—the United Church of Christ, for example—have agreed to support gay marriage. Other denominations and dioceses will do “holy union” or “blessing” ceremonies, but shy away from the word “marriage” because it is politically explosive. So the frustrating, semantic question remains: should gay people be married in the same, sacramental sense that straight people are? I would argue that they should. If we are all God’s children, made in his likeness and image, then to deny access to any sacrament based on sexuality is exactly the same thing as denying it based on skin color—and no serious (or even semiserious) person would argue that. People get married “for their mutual joy,” explains the Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center in New York, quoting the Episcopal marriage ceremony. That’s what religious people do: care for each other in spite of difficulty, she adds. In marriage, couples grow closer to God: “Being with one another in community is how you love God. That’s what marriage is about.”

Newsweek has been bombarded with mass emails from conservative churches who were outraged by this article. To send your message of support, see this page on the Human Rights Campaign website.

I commend Newsweek for their courage and thoroughness in giving a voice to inclusive interpretations of scripture. But frankly, I’m getting fed up with trying to prove that “hey, we’re Christians too!” The Biblical analysis above won’t convince everyone that this is the only legitimate way to read the verses referring to same-sex intercourse–because it isn’t. It is, however, a legitimate reading. Can we all just move on now?

Most Bible passages admit of several interpretations if they are talking about anything remotely interesting. Christians can spin out book-length arguments for and against infant baptism; the Eucharist as Real Presence or symbol; six-day Creation; the timing of the apocalypse; free will versus predestination; pacifism versus just-war theory; whether Jesus was a communist; and on and on.

These are important issues, affecting many more people than the 10% of the population who are homosexual. We may not be able to gather all views under a single denominational umbrella. Yet somehow Arminians manage to recognize that Calvinists are still Christians. Baptists acknowledge Catholics’ sincere discipleship, even if they don’t take communion together. 

But dare to suggest that there’s more than one way to read a half-dozen little verses about same-sex intimacy, and your obedience to God and Scripture is immediately called into question. You’re not just wrong, you’re disobedient. You don’t belong to the body of Christ. There can’t be any evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life.

I’d like to know why the burden of proof is on us to show that these verses should be narrowly construed, rather than on anti-gay Christians to justify their preference for laying the heaviest possible burden on an outcast minority. Why does it seem like they’re actively looking for arguments to maintain the status quo? Shouldn’t our choice of hermeneutic be driven by love and charity?

For all my fellow queer families out there: We can’t wait around for permission to believe that God’s grace belongs to us equally. We have to claim it for ourselves, within ourselves. Yes, “be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in you.” But remember that we’re the body of Christ now, and no one can take that away from us.

65 comments on “Newsweek Makes Christian Case for Marriage Equality

  1. Bill says:

    You need to try reading the bible because your arguments for homosexuality does not match up with the word of God. Paul clearly says this.. “should I continue in sin just because I am saved by grace?”
    So, clearly your wrong. Also the bible is not really difficult to interpret. The basic underlying message is this “believe in Jesus Christ”. In order to be saved you need to trust in Him alone and nothing else. That means trusting in His word. Your problem is, you are working the word of God around your beliefs instead of working your beliefs around the God’s Word. If I love the Lord then my way of telling him is to try and be more like Him. The American people will never accept gay’s as right or moral. If the gays dont like it they need to go find their own country and gay out all they want but that will never accepted in America.

  2. Father Ron Smith says:

    As you probably know, the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, are presently under siege from fundamentalist believers who are intent on separating out from their original Church bodies in order to preach a Pharisaical interpretation of Scripture – when true Anglicanism was founded on the three-legged stool of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
    The re-Asserters are intent on divorcing the Scriptures from the God-Given gift of Reason – which allows them , as they think, to exclude Gays and Women from ministry. To my mind, as an Anglican priest, this would not be the Gospel as taught and lived out by Jesus Christ – who died for the sake of the World, not just the Church.

  3. David Pratt says:

    Let me start by saying that I’m a bible teacher with what I would call a minimal-medium understanding of the scriptures, though some others would think I’d rate much higher. This study about homosexuality in Christianity is something I’ve touched on a bit. After my first time reading the New Testament it was a settled matter in my mind. It was forbidden, plain and simple. What made me look again was my surprise that ANYONE would actually look further on a subject that is so clearly addressed. This article clearly admits that,”The great Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann, emeritus professor at Columbia Theological Seminary” actually has to LOOK for a scripture that could POSSIBLY be framed in a context that, if stretched far enough from the literal meaning (what the bible actually says), could be made to show that homosexuality might possibly be accepted by God today. What about all the other scriptures that literally address the subject? You sure don’t have to look for them and stretch their meaning. At one point early on in this article it was stated that God put the bible together for a different kind of society, one much older than ours;that now-a-days we can’t interpret the bible in the same literal sense in which it was interpreted back then. This would imply that when God was giving His Word to the inspired writers of the bible, He didn’t know that the world would progress to the point that His Word would lose it’s meaning and have to interpreted figuratively to make sense. It would assume that God is not all knowing, quite an un-Christian belief. The bible itself tells us,”but the word of the Lord endureth forever,”(1 Pet 1:25). If someone TODAY has discounted THIS scripture, then it stands to reason that they would discount any scripture they didn’t agree with(and try mislead others to their standpoint). It’s really not at all surprising that some church leaders and bible scholars and many others are changing the bible to allow their sins. After all, the bible says,”For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears,”(2 Tim 4:3). The bible warns us that people would have ears itching to hear teachers that condone their own lusts. We see that everywhere now-a-days. We can find and follow a “Christian” teacher to condone near anything we want, be it homosexuality, promiscuity/fornication, smoking, excessive drinking, living for self-success and profit, even as far as marrying little girls. We must search the scriptures for ourselves and not just find a teacher who says what we want to hear. If he does that, he’s probably in error. Be on guard. Many attempt to twist scripture to say whatever they want it to say. Now, it IS true that it’s the sinners(such as homosexuals)that Jesus came to save, Praise God. Just remember the unforgettable words of Jesus when He pardoned the adulteress. “Neither do I condemn thee:GO,AND SIN NO MORE,”John 8:11)

  4. Rev. John Morris says:

    Replying to the priest. Ron, Respectfully, you have started by discredited yourself from the beginning of your article. Anyone who starts by finding a name to call others, trying to discredit them by forcing them into a pigeonhole only discredits themselves… if those listening are truly being honest in what their analysis of what you say. You speak out that it is fundamentalists who are crying out against this article, and the belief that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong. As over 80% of American citizens, less among the younger population due to teaching in the public school system that parents were not aware of.
    However, no one in their right mind believes that over 80% of the American public is Fundamentalist. A very small percentage fit that term. You have included conservatives, moderates, and a fair amount of liberals in your group “Fundamentalists.”
    If reason is indeed what you should be using, then Jesus teaching that not one jot or tittle would be removed from the word of God until all has been fulfilled declares his agreement with the Old Testament interpretation of the wrongness of homosexuality. He never spoke of homosexual rights, yet it was a part of life then.
    People are fond of discrediting the verses in Galations declaring that homosexuals (actively practicing – as you know from the tense and context) will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Not many will touch the same list used in 1 Cor. ending with, “and such were some of you.” By reason, there is a distinction between desire and acting on it. Though Jesus actively spoke on marriage and divorce, he chose not to approach marriage between homosexuals, and instead specified that marriage between a man and a woman was God’s design from the beginning, and that divorce even was never intended. Questioned further, He specified that even divorce between a man and a woman had been allowed only because the people were too callous to forgive each other.
    Paul names several other sins that if practiced habitually would preclude someone from inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. He never singled this out, it is one of many.
    When Scripture on the nature of marriage is revalidated by the very words of Christ (while homosexuality was still very much practiced by those who had conquered Israel) your reasoning on this is not feasible, nor even reasonable.
    The article is a twisted rationalization to allow people to feel good while being disobedient.
    Your comment is an attempt to discredit averyone who disagrees with you by attempting to place them in the category of Fundamentalist. What you are using is called rationalization, not reason. Further, as Paul specified when his teaching had not been covered by Jesus, while at the same time maintaining the authority of his teaching through the Holy Spirit. Your interpretation disregards all three legs of your church. Tradition, scripture, and nonbiased reasoning all support the wrongness of homosexuality.

  5. Rev. John Morris says:

    Replying to the priest. Ron, Respectfully, you have started by discredited yourself from the beginning of your article. Anyone who starts by finding a name to call others, trying to discredit them by forcing them into a pigeonhole only discredits themselves… if those listening are truly being honest in what their analysis of what you say. You speak out that it is fundamentalists who are crying out against this article, and the belief that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong. As over 80% of American citizens, less among the younger population due to teaching in the public school system that parents were not aware of.
    However, no one in their right mind believes that over 80% of the American public is Fundamentalist. A very small percentage fit that term. You have included conservatives, moderates, and a fair amount of liberals in your group “Fundamentalists.”
    If reason is indeed what you should be using, then Jesus teaching that not one jot or tittle would be removed from the word of God until all has been fulfilled declares his agreement with the Old Testament interpretation of the wrongness of homosexuality. He never spoke of homosexual rights, yet it was a part of life then.
    People are fond of discrediting the verses in Galations declaring that homosexuals (actively practicing – as you know from the tense and context) will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Not many will touch the same list used in 1 Cor. ending with, “and such were some of you.” By reason, there is a distinction between desire and acting on it. Though Jesus actively spoke on marriage and divorce, he chose not to approach marriage between homosexuals, and instead specified that marriage between a man and a woman was God’s design from the beginning, and that divorce even was never intended. Questioned further, He specified that even divorce between a man and a woman had been allowed only because the people were too callous to forgive each other.
    Paul names several other sins that if practiced habitually would preclude someone from inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. He never singled this out, it is one of many.
    When Scripture on the nature of marriage is revalidated by the very words of Christ (while homosexuality was still very much practiced by those who had conquered Israel) your reasoning on this is not feasible, nor even reasonable.
    The article is a twisted rationalization to allow people to feel good while being disobedient.
    Your comment is an attempt to discredit averyone who disagrees with you by attempting to place them in the category of Fundamentalist. What you are using is called rationalization, not reason. Further, as Paul specified when his teaching had not been covered by Jesus, while at the same time maintaining the authority of his teaching through the Holy Spirit. Your interpretation disregards all three legs of your church. Tradition, scripture, and nonbiased reasoning all support the wrongness of homosexuality.

  6. Jendi Reiter says:

    Terms like “literal meaning” get thrown around as if the Bible were not written in a cultural context then, and read in a cultural context now. Interpretation is never a blank slate. Where the traditional interpretation of a verse conflicts with factual evidence or with the Bible’s overarching principles of compassion and inclusiveness, it is not disrespectful to look beyond the apparent “literal meaning” to find a way to preserve Biblical authority without closing our eyes to the world around us. This is what modern Christians have done with Genesis 1 and evolution (interpreting a “day” as a period of millennia rather than 24 hours), and what Talmudic scholars did when they concluded that the death-penalties in the Torah were too harsh.

    I don’t feel the need to refute your ad hominem arguments as to motivation (“lust” not love?), except to say that all of us must be equally on guard against Biblical interpretations that flatter our sense of superiority or confirm our privileges, such as the privilege of being born with a socially acceptable sexual orientation.

  7. Nichole says:

    That was a great article by Newsweek! It’s high time to recognize that gays and lesbians have existed throughout history, exist now and will always be part of the diversity of mankind. It’s no sin to be gay. Love between two men or two woman is as natural as rain falling from the sky and as beautiful as mana from heaven.

    And Ruth said to Naomi: “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” Amen.

  8. Steve says:

    I began, years ago, believing that gay relationships were unfortunate – that they were against the word of God. I loved and had compassion and a welcoming embrace for the people involved, but I could not speak in any positive way about their living arrangements, nor could I recognize their relationship.

    But with further reading of the scripture I became more uncertain of this position. First of all, the references to gay relationships – or more specifically to gay sex itself – are in contexts that make it hard to still take them as binding on us today. Women speak in church and come in with their heads uncovered – both things that Paul considered to be about as bad for church, women, men, and holiness as anything else he wrote about. We don’t take all of Paul to heart – we can’t because much of it plainly is about his own preferences and prejudices, which were strong.

    The first council (in Acts) was meant to settle how one had to live to be Christian. The question was, did Christian’s have to follow all of the old law (including circumcision). The council’s words are freeing and powerfully simple, and they mention nothing about how men and women are (or are not) to be in relation to each other. They DO reference things outside the immediate question of circumcision, though, and they appear to be meant to be a complete list of things to avoid in order to be Christian. Homosexuality isn’t mentioned.

    Jesus himself never once condemns homosexuality. He does refer to adultery as sin (the woman about to be stoned), and he roundly condemns all sorts of behavior on the part of leaders and the Pharisees, but the pattern there is plain, it seems to me. Jesus hated people putting burdens on others, and he hated people excluding others from his company. He plainly flouts the laws of his day; the Jews put him to death ostensibly for that. Are we on the side of the laws?

    Jesus condemns divorce in detail. It would seem to me that it is commitment that Jesus was focused on, more than between whom.

    I’ve gradually come to believe that the scriptures do not support condemnation of homosexuals in committed relationships any more than they would support condemnation of the eating of pork and shellfish (both also described as “abominations”). I no longer believe we can base our judgments of what is right or wrong in behavior or family on words in scripture unless we take all of scripture the same way – anything else is arbitrary and probably more based on our personal squeamishness than on faith.

    So I now support gay marriage, believing that there is insufficient reason for condemning it, and believing the deepest messages of the scriptures and of Christ, which are plainly about love, commitment, faithfulness, freedom, equality of all before the Lord (including gender differences), forgiveness and inclusiveness. I don’t think the church can be truly of Christ and not include gay marriage just as church allows 2nd marriage of the divorced.

  9. David Pratt says:

    Ok..I was trying to go a little further with my approaching conclusion, but I was running outta characters, so I just left it at that, but my fears have materialized. I’m affraid my comments came accross as a bit to calloused. I was leading up to the fact that Christians who see themselves as much closer to God than sinners bound by sins such as homosexuality, should take a hard look at their own lives. One possitive thing I can truly say about this article is that as I read, I felt the Holy Ghost’s conviction upon my heart that I have really no place condemning homosexuality when I am guilty of sins in my relationship with my girlfriend that are every bit as detestable to God as homosexuality. The “evil one” binds men in sin in many ways, and the line can’t be drawn as to which is worse. I’ve done things in my past that seem to me much more horrible than homosexuality. I think as Christians, we should truly drop the prejudice(of which I have more of than I like to admit) and realize that THEY are the ones Jesus has come to save….the sinners!! I agree that a person living a homosexual lifesyle(unless a brand new Christian)cannot truly belong to the body of Christ. But I also know that when someone becomes a Christian, people grow at different rates. Even those of us who are solid members of the body can be quite disgusted at some the thoughtless ways we can sometimes treat people, and realize that we are not as close to God as we’d like to think. But the difference here is that a member of the body of Christ is immediately aware of his sin and asks God to help him surrender his ungodly ways. A true member of the body of Christ does not deny it’s sin and defiantly continue in his sin. He may continue in his sin for a while, but if Jesus is in him, he’ll move along just fine. I think the fact that homosexuals are even interested in the scriptural aspect of their orientation says alot,that there may be a true calling on their life, but not as much as a sincere desire to please God and ask His help in overcoming your sinful bondages. Homosexuality, just like other sexual perversions is a tough cookie to crack and cannot be defeated but by the power of God.
    I would love to see homosexuals begin filling true Christian churches with a real desire to know and to please Him. God has what it takes to change anyone who truly wants to be changed. There will be much opposition to you beginning on the road to righteous, but as I’ve fould out, the benefits far outweight the costs.

  10. geekgirl says:

    Dear Bill. Please rent the movie For The Bible Tells Me So. This documentary interviews scholars from many faiths, including Christian, on interpretation of the Bible. It also interviews five families of faith with gay children.
    Please also own your own opinion. You have no idea what Americans will accept and all data points to the younger generation being accepting of gay marriage. Lastly, statements like “find your own country” reveal your true feelings. Bigotry. Have you tried to look into your heart? What are you afraid of? Really question yourself. Because right now, you are a person who come across as hateful. No wonder gay people stay in the closet. They can never be 100% safe with people like you around. What would Jesus teach? Love one another. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Where did Jesus condemn homosexual behavior. Let’s also remember the Bible was not written by God. It was written by people. 2000 years ago. Their cultures were primitive and very different from those of today. Or do you also approve of slavery and sacrificing animals?

  11. William says:

    “Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as “an abomination” (King James version)”

    This is obviously someone counting on professing Christians not knowing their Bible, stating that it say’s that the book say’s this twice, but instead it say’s “. . . Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination . . .” This is found in Leviticus 18:22, right after not letting your seed parish (~18:21) and right before not practicing bestiality (~18:23).

    Enough about my ranting, the Old Testament is full of classic examples of 1 man + 1 woman marriage.

  12. All too many professing Christians appeal to the Law from which Jesus set us free, as He fulfilled the whole Law. By so doing, He left us with the Two Great Commandments: To love God and to love others! We are now no longer under the Law but under Grace!

    The Law was our tutor, or schoolmaster, to lead us to Christ (Gal. 3:24) so that we are now justified by faith (Gal. 3:25), that is, our trusting God over and above seen circumstances.

    Christians are to be agents of God’s grace in the world; show forth His love to others and not in any way judge or condemn others.

    There is only one Gospel to be found in Christianity: The Gospel of grace, or God’s unmerited favor to those who trust Him! Legalism and perfectionism have no place in the Christian life, for those who appeal to the Law, or any part of the Law, have nullified the grace of God; throw God’s free gift to us back in His face.

    The Apostle Paul makes this point crystal clear: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal. 2:21) Indeed, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Gal. 5:4)

    Moreover, the law of Love, the Gospel of grace (God’s unmerited favor to those whom He chose from the foundation of the world–e.g. Ephesians 1:4), is the only Gospel to be found in Christianity. The false gospel of legalism and perfectionism vitiates Jesus’ life, work, ministry, and Resurrection!

    The very word “homosexual” wasn’t even coined until the late 19th Century; first appeared in an English translation of the Bible in the 1946 Revised Standard Version.

    In addition, the very Greek word “arsenokoitai” was an obscure word and no one really knows what it means, save to say that the literal translation is “male beds, and to now translate it as “homosexual” does a grave injustice to the text of Scripture.

    As Peter J. Gomes points out in his excellent book, “The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart,” that I heartily recommend you read: When we read the Bible, we must seek to understand the text, what it says, what it means, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text.

    All too often, people read into the text meanings that accord with their preconceived notions of what the Christian life should consist.

    Clearly, those of us old enough to remember, saw the same mind-set that condemns homosexuality played out during the era of segregation in the U.S., where I remember White clergy and many other White professing Christians advocating segregation because “it’s in the Bible.”

    Very few White Christians would advocate segregation today! The words in the Bible are the same, but now people see those words with new eyes!

    One day, most Straight Christians will also see the Bible with new eyes, and see God’s unconditional love for His Gay children whom He also chose as His own before the worlds were formed.

  13. I submitted the following letter to Newsweek supporting their article and I’m pleased to post it here:

    Dear Newsweek:

    I am writing to thank you for your extensive coverage of marriage equality for same-sex couples in the current issue of Newsweek and on your website. It’s so important that the Bible not be continually used as a weapon against loving, committed LGBT couples who simply want what everyone does — to find that special person and build a life together.

    As you point out in your articles and your poll, more and more Americans are recognizing that these couples deserve recognition, respect and support through marriage.

    Most Americans have friends, relations, co-workers who are gay. How can we mistreat our fellow Americans by regarding and treating them as second class when they are just as human, just as good and or bad, as we? And how can we regard our own liberties as safe when the liberties of even one “class” of person is not respected. Remember that old saying from the Nazi era — “first they came for… the trade unionists but I was not a trade unionist so I did nothing … and then at last they came for me.” No matter how white or rich or male I may be, when one person’s rights are in peril, so are mine.

    Regardless of where each of us stand on the spectrum of our own religious beliefs, treating our fellow neighbors with the equality we want afforded to us is a universal truth.

    The only law of God is the law of Love.

  14. Jendi Reiter says:

    Thanks for your honest and self-aware comments, David.

  15. Jendi Reiter says:

    Samuel Kader’s book Openly Gay, Openly Christian includes an analysis of these verses in the original Hebrew, showing that they probably referred to the custom of raping captured enemy leaders in wartime, and not to all same-sex intercourse regardless of the relational context.

  16. Audrey says:

    Thanks for the updates on the Newsweek cover story on the religious case for gay marriage.
    Basically it comes down to the same arguments, some people take the Bible literally– they pick and choose with this, and other people read the Bible as a spiritual document.
    Marriage in ancient Israel has nothing to do with contemporary marriage, and I’m beginning to think that the fuss straight people are making over lesbian and gay civil rights has more to do with the destruction of heterosexual marriage in contemporary America.
    It’s a kind of fear based heterosexual panic (with 50-60% divorce rates), birth control and abortion, all of the “traditional” relationships that a patriarchal society counted on are now up for grabs.
    Hense, the over reaction to a small group of people worldwide.
    You can read each letter of the law, you can see the spirit of the law in the real life of Christ and how he actually treated real marginal people, and you can see that with each generation new groups make the Bible their own.
    I can listen to right wing Christians all day long on talk radio, and the spirit of their gay commentary is hateful, arrogant and completely and utterly uninformed. It is also completely hateful of women who are independent and not wanting some man to be “the head” of her.
    I don’t think either side will agree, but I see the Newsweek article as a valuable tool in opening up dialogue with straight people in the middle of the road.
    I see more straight people actually asking about my life as a lesbian in a committed 33 year partnership as significant. For the first time, I am having these wonderful conversations with straight people who are actually asking me questions, and seeing me as a complex human being.
    Newsweek, Proposition 8, and openly hateful Christian talk radio are actually opening up the eyes of ordinary Christians and helping them to see that each group discovers god for herself.
    Gay and lesbian and transgender Christians are here to stay, and nothing right wing haters can do or say will get in the way of our personal relationship with god.
    Women had this issue over going into the ministry, and there are people who still hate women in the priesthood. Closeted and self-hating gays will try to marry and run fundamentalist churches. I believe a lot of right wing male panic is over their fear of men having sex with men. It’s the bottom line with them so to speak. Lesbians are in a completely different category and wage war on two fronts — over sexism and womanhatred in Christian fundamentalism and against hating Bible violence against gay people overall.
    Lesbians and women will ultimately find their own way, and their own truth to god. Most of the Bible abuse is directed at gay men to begin with, and then there are gay men who completely support churches that discriminate against women… another day for that one!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am not going to go off on you, but the one thing I have a large problem with is that you are largely mistruing scripture. Romans 1 very clearly speaks of homosexuality within men AND women (you said the bible never mentioned lesbians). Paul very clearly links this behavior with people ignoring God and following sinful behavior. I know how hard it is to struggle with things the bible says that you don’t like, but I just want to say search for truth. Sin will separate you from God, so I hope you have all the facts. Romans 1 seems to be missing from your filing cabinet. Don’t take things out of context and make them fit just because you want them too. Don’t be deceived by Satan or man. With that said, good luck on your journey towards truth and may God guide your path.

  18. Follower of Christ says:

    wow

  19. Follower of Christ says:

    I am glad that I have stumbled upon a website such as this.
    It shows me how much people can twist the very Word of God.
    I am amazed, at how the desperate will try to make the Bible say what they want it to, in order to feel saved.
    If homosexuals can twist Scripture
    THIS badly, who knows what the atheists do in their common desperation to avoid hell
    (and if that’s your only desire, then you’re lost to begin with. Salvation is by faith in Christ, and is given to those that long to dwell with God, in His presence. Not to just avoid hell. NOBODY wants to go to hell, last I’ve checked)
    The Bible CLEARLY forbids homosexuality.
    If you want to vainly attempt to secure yourself with the “man wrote the Bible” arguement, then that is your problem.
    For, true Christians believe that the Bible is inspired by God Himself (consider all the prophecies that have been fulfilled, that can’t be “just written” by man, now can it?
    But here is some of what the Bible says about homosexuality.
    Jude 1:7 + “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
    “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.”
    1 Corinthians 6:9 + “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,”
    “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
    (There is much more to be said, but first you must understand that fornication is intercourse between two unmarried persons.
    Homosexuals cannot Biblically be married. They can stay together, they can be popishly announced to be married, but they cannot be married according to God. Therefore, all homosexuals are fornicators.
    There is not ONE TIME in the Bible that God says that He’s ok with homosexuality.
    If you seek to be homosexual and Christian (if you want to be saved AND live like the devil, then you, at this moment, are lost)

  20. i dont know any other way to say this but straight out and blunt…. if God intended on same sex relationships he would have created some way for them to comceive a child without the use of adoption or surrogacy. It saddens me that people can willingly twist Gods word to try and justify their convictions. I dont claim to know it all, ive only been saved a short time but even i can link the pieces and come to the conclusion its wrong. Just because some so called christian says that its ok does not justify it. one day we will all meet Jesus when we die and saying well i lived this way because father so and so said it was ok will not help anyone, youre accountable for your own life. God gave you His word to live by it not to alter it as we see fit. I pray that God will open your eyes to the truth, He wants true and faithful servants, not those faithfully committed to their sin

  21. The Newsweek article eloquently sums up my theology as a lesbian Christian. I have to disagree with Bill’s first comment that the underlying message of the Bible is “believe in Jesus Christ.” I see the underlying message as love and justice — these are what Jesus taught, lived for and died for.
    For those who want to delve into the so-called “clobber passage” that are used to condemn homosexuality, I recommend this excellent online resource. It’s a classic!
    “Homosexuality: Not a Sin, Not a Sickness” by Rev. Don Eastman
    http://www.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121
    It’s always surprising how people express hate and intolerance in the name of a religion that emphasizes love and forgiveness. Let’s all remember Jesus’ words: “Judge not, lest you be judged.”
    I’ve been immersed in progressive Christianity these days because the Jesus in Love Blog is running “12 days of Alternative Christmas Art” now through Christmas. Nine artists combine Christmas imagery with a progressive vision of gay, lesbian, bi and trans (GLBT) rights, racial and gender justice, and a world without war, poverty or environmental destruction.
    Please visit daily for inspiration in days leading up to Christmas.

  22. Jendi Reiter says:

    Your prejudice against adoptive families is insulting and unscriptural. Jesus said, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (See Mark 3:31-35.) Jesus is considered an heir to David’s line because of his adoptive father Joseph’s genealogy in Matthew 1. If God did not consider adoptive families on a par with biological ones, Jesus would not be the prophesied “son of David”. 

  23. Forgive me perhaps i should have explained a little better what i meant. i did not say anything against adoption i think that adoption is an awesome process and im glad that a family can be started in this way, there is nothing more satisfying than starting a family. What i did say is that two males or two females cannot produce a child naturally, it is through the use of adoption or surrogacy that this child is brought into their family and i feel that if God intended for there to be same sex marriages than he would have created a way for those two same sex people to produce a child of their own but he didnt therefore i dont believe God intended for this to be. And im sure God doesnt think of adoptive families to be any less beautiful than a naturally conceived family but it does prove to be a sin when someone is going against his word. Leviticus 18:22 is all the proof you should need “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” it is stated plain and simple. jesus also says in his word hebrews 13;8 i am the same yesterday today and tomorrow so if he thought that thousands of years ago than guess what… he thinks that today. What im saying is people should not change Gods word or twist His words to justify their sin….

  24. Jendi Reiter says:

    Thank you for your apology, but I continue to believe that the gospel’s attitude toward non-biological family bonds forecloses the naturalistic fallacy that the existence of a reproductive function for the genitals makes that function more “moral” or “natural” than other functions.
     
    If we’re going to argue from nature, however, consider the fact that same-sex intercourse is common in hundreds of animal species, a fact that has led some evolutionary biologists to propose that it has survival value for the species. Consider this excerpt from the Evolution 101 blog (boldface emphasis mine):

    The common argument goes like this: if evolution is true, then only those individuals who are able to reproduce will contribute offspring to the next generation. Thus, individuals who are homosexuals will not be able to reproduce, their genes will not be passed on to the next generation, and so if there is some genetic or biological reason for homosexuality, evolution should have removed it a long time ago.

    First of all, is homosexuality a specifically human behavior? If it is a fundamentally biological behavior, there should be some other species which share it. And, in fact, there are close to 500 known species which are known to engage in homosexual behavior, including elephants, dolphins, sheep, bears, deer, rats, cats, dogs, cows, rabbits, kangaroos, squirrels, whales, bats, pigs, mice, goats, as well as just about every other primate. And that’s just the mammals! There are many more birds, fish, reptiles, and even insects which have also engaged in homosexual behavior.

    So it really doesn’t seem as if homosexuality is really all that uncommon. But so what? Why should homosexuality be a trait found in so many organisms if it’s so fatal to the evolution of the species.

    Well, the answer is, as with most things I discuss here, that sex really isn’t black and white. And homosexuality isn’t fatal to the evolution of species. Remember the definition I gave for evolution way back in the first podcast- “change in allele frequency in a given population over time.” There’s a reason why I specified “population,” and not “individual.” Individual organisms don’t “evolve” any more than a single pixel makes up a picture on your computer screen. What is necessary for evolution to take place is for there to be a group of individuals, a population, within which genes can change and flow.

    Now, it certainly is the case that, for most organisms which utilize sex, heterosexual sex is required for propagation. But consider- not all species employ strictly monogamous sexual strategies. For many species, males compete for control of several females, meaning that there are many males who are left out in the cold, so to speak, with nothing but each other and raging libidos. One hypothesis fits this scenario- homosexuality occurs in these organisms to placate the male aggression that is left over after competition for females.

    But that doesn’t mean that homosexuality is always a consolation prize. Among the American Bison, male-male intercourse accounts for almost half of all mating, and not just among the losers. Both parties seem to enjoy themselves, with the subordinate male even accommodating the advances of the dominant male. The same phenomenon can be seen in bighorn sheep, where the male being mounted even adopts the arched-back posture called “lordosis,” which is typically associated with the female sexual response. Clearly, these animals seem to be enjoying what they’re doing.

    But the males don’t get to have all the fun. Female homosexuality is also common, with female antelope mounting each other in simulation of heterosexual courtship behavior when males are not present. In bonobo chimpanzees, the female-dominated social network is composed of close bonds which are shown by frequent homosexual interactions between female members of the group. In fact, more than half of an adult female bonobo’s sexual interactions will be homosexual in nature.

    So how, you’re probably wondering, do these populations ever manage to reproduce with so much homosexuality? Well, the reason is because, as I said before, it’s not that black and white. Sure, individuals engage in homosexuality some of the time, or even a lot of the time, depending on the species. But not all of the time- they still find time to mate heterosexually. Sex seems to be a very fluid trait in many animals- pretty much any sexual configuration that can be performed within anatomical limits is done by some kind of animal. Sorry to say, but although humans can be kinky, we’re just not that original.

    Now, you remember that I said that evolution takes place in populations, not individuals? Well, consider the social benefits of a population in which all members can share the close bonds of a sexual relationship, not just males and females. Clearly, in the case of bonobo chimpanzees, the bonds formed between females by homosexual relations are socially stabilizing. A stable society is much more likely to promote successful reproduction of young. Thus, homosexuality would be an evolutionarily beneficial behavior.

    But what about some molecular evidence? Well, if you’re hoping that a “gay gene” has been found you’re not in luck. One hasn’t been found, although more and more scientists are starting to look at the genetics of homosexuality. Most likely, homosexuality as a behavior is a more complex phenomenon than just blue or brown eyes- a number of factors are considered- including the number of older male siblings a person has. Scientific research out of Toronto has shown that the more older male siblings a man has, the more likely he is to be a homosexual. The hypothesis is that the mothers becomes immunologically sensitized to the successive male fetuses within her, since they contain male proteins that she is not used to. According to this hypothesis, by the time the youngest male child is being carried in utero, she has developed anti-male antibodies which effectively diminish the normal masculinization process, resulting in a tendency towards homosexuality. But there may be some other benefits to the mother- a recent study from Italy showed that the maternal relatives of homosexual men have more children than the maternal relatives of heterosexual men. If this is repeated, it would suggest that there is a reproductive benefit to women whose DNA tends to result in homosexual male children- they have more children overall, meaning that their evolutionary fitness is actually increased because of the fact that they have homosexual sons. This is a fascinating possibility, especially because a better understanding of the genes involved in this phenomenon could have a major influence on our understanding of reproduction in general, and could point towards some better therapeutic targets for women who have problems with fertility.

  25. i am still not convinced even in the slightest. What you are doing is comparing humans to animals who have no conscience, no sense of right and wrong and no ability to be convicted or make any decision about where they will spend eternity. Of course their species will not die out or remove homosexuality if there is still mating going on between male and female. You can not say that because the animals do it than it must be right, animals kill each other and mate within their own family, does that also make incest and murder okay?? No it does not but what your saying is that because the animals do it than its ok for us humans to do it also.
    Now on the case of the study of genes, i am reluctant to believe many case studies as if you want to make a point about something such as homosexuality than you can only factor in certain areas that lean toward the point you are trying to make, without even realising it. For God to say that sex between two men is an abomination but put it in our genetic material he would be contradicting himself, and i very much doubt that is the case. If its down to choosing between believing Gods word or some case study than my heart calls out to Gods word. No sin shall enter the kingdom of heaven, you are accountable for your own life…. God will not accept blame on someone else or something else….. He will say Depart from me i never knew you…..

  26. HOW DARE YOU CHALLENGE GOD!! Whoever you are, let me give it to you straight and uncut!! GOD clearly states GAY-ISM!! as an abomination. Then you say it speaks not of LESBIAN-ISM!! but it does. Dry and uncut, in ROMANS 1 verse 26 it states: FOR THIS CAUSE GOD GAVE THEM UP INTO VILE AFFECTIONS: FOR EVEN THEIR WOMEN!! DID CHANGE THE NATURAL USE INTO THAT WHICH IS AGAINST NATURE:”. Satan really got you people bound and tied with a noose around your necks killing yourselves!! It’s a shame how; no let me rephrase that. It’s sad how you scholars and so called historic researchers lean on your own understanding when GOD warns you not to!! The order in which this world was created to run NEVER!! changes. I say this because I read Lisa Miller saying common practices change. True that, but GOD’s order doesn’t!! It’s common for the sun to go up and down at a fixed time. What do you think would happen if GOD decided to change the common pratice of HIS worldly directions and orders to what HE designed? It’s common that the air is formulated just right for us to intake the proper dose of oxygen to breathe and live. What if GOD changed with time and decided to lessen that life giving oxygen for whatever reason? GOD said what HHE has joined together, let NO ONE!! put asunder!! HE joined Adam and Eve, NOT ADAM AND STEVE!! AND NOT EVE AND LOUISE either!! GOD warns against this UNNATURAL behavior many time through HIS words!! In ROMAN 1 VERSE 32 HE says:” WHO KNOWING THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD, THAT THEY WHICH COMMIT SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH!!(HE is giving you a hint right here of what your actions deserve!!), NOT ONLY DO THE SAME, BUT HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM.” HE tells you that you are destined to death and even still HE lead Paul to tell those who gave up such devilishment in 1ST CORINTIANS 6 VERSE 11 and started living as GOD commanded that they were WASHED(thru baptism!!), SANCTIFIED(made free from this sin) AND JUSTIFIED(free from the blame of that sin) in the NAME!! of the Lord JESUS, and by the SPIRIT!! of our GOD.” Point blank, GAY-ISM!! and GAY MARRIAGE!! is forbidden!! No IF’s, AND’s or BUT’s about it!! I end this saying to all of you who try to find ways to challenge GOD’s word about this. HE IS NOTHING BUT GOODNESS!! HE IS THAT LAME WITHOUT SPOT OR BLEMISH!! RIGHTEOUSESS AND SIN WILL NEVER MIX SO HOW COULD YOU EVEN BEGIN TO THINK WHAT HE IS AGAINST OR CONDEMNS HE WOULD ALLOW NOW!!!? My last words is this. When GOD came in the flesh as JESUS!! and hung on the cross, as all the sins of this world fell upon that flesh HE put HIMSELF in, HIS spiri stepped out for HE and sin will not hold the same space!! This is when that living soul(THE FLESH HE WAS IN) cried out “MY GOD, MY GOD!! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME!!?” But that prophecy would be fulfilled, HE re-entered and let the world know what HE came to do was done by saying, “IT IS FINISHED.” This is all truth and TRUTH NEEDS NO SUPPORT!!

  27. Ellen says:

    I agree wit Diana that the only law of God is the law of love. To the best of my memory, protestors waved hateful, homophobic signs at the grieving family of Mathew Shepard, the young man who was killed a few years ago in a horrific anti-gay attack. Mathew was lashed to a fence in Wyoming and left to die alone. I cannot remember the exact words of the signs, but many of them quoted the Bible. Where is God’s love in such an action, in using the Bible to justify murder, in using a Bible quotation to increase the tears and grief of a bereaved mother and father?

  28. Jendi Reiter says:

    Your comment proves my original point that arguing from what is “natural” to what is “moral” is incoherent.

    With respect to whether God put homosexuality in our genes, I and others on this blog have put forth a scholarly interpretation that reconciles the truth of science with the truth of the Bible.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The bible makes it clear from Genesis that there was only supposed to be one kind of relationship and marriage. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve or Adam and Eve and Lucy and Maria. Marriage was only meant for one man and one woman. The bible says that everything that God made was good. Unfortunately when the fall of man came all that was changed because sin entered the world. Sin is what causes homosexuality and divorce and multiple partners in relationships etc. Yet we tend to think its natural but its not. The awesome thing about the bible is that it does not cover up the sins of man. Even the greatest men of old fell. Abraham, Moses David all disobeyed and all suffered because of it. But God in his mercy lifts us back up and knows how to make something good out of a bad situation. By saying homosexuality is acceptable under God’s eyes we are twisting around his word. We need to get something straight we are not all God’s children! We are all God’s creation but until we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and walk in his ways then we are considered his children. Can we as believers live a life without sin of course not because we’re human we sin everyday but the blood of Jesus sanctifies us. Does God hate homosexuals of course not!!!!! The word says that nothing can take us away from his love, but he does hate homosexuality! Its the sin that God cannot bear because he is Holy. God say’s “be Holy because I am Holy”. We need to stop running from scholar to scholar and theologian to theologian just so we can hear what we want to hear. We need to seek the Holy Spirit and ask him to lead us as we read the scriptures and ask him to lead us to people that are filled with the Holy Spirit to give help us understand his word. College degrees and being a seminar graduate is in vain if we are not interpreting his word correctly. The bible is a complete and accurate account of life written by his servants through divine inspiration. we need to stop twisting the truth to our convenience and to our way of thinking because our thoughts are not His! My fellow readers understand that one day we will all be held accountable for what we do and if we lead people astray we will also be held accountable for that! I pray so that the Lord can remove the veil from your eyes and let you see, because even though our eyes see fine if we don’t speak the truth we are blind and one blind person cannot lead another blind person.

  30. Jendi Reiter says:

    Thanks, I added them to my blogroll.

  31. Nathan says:

    That Ruth passage is taken out of context. It doesn’t deal with female homosexuality… Ruth is quite obviously heterosexual (Naomi’s son, Boaz…).

  32. Nathan says:

    The scriptures also say in 1 Cor. 6:2, “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?” The passage you refenced above in context does not refer to calling wrong actions ‘sin,’ nor does it refer to not making a judgment of an action or activity. Rather, it deals with making a judgment of another person as to their value. Do not judge based on something you wouldn’t want to be judged by. (e.g. political, moral, or religious beliefs, physical looks, favorite football team, income level, etc. etc. etc.) What you use to judge others will be applied to you. I think it safe to say that I want God to judge me perfectly, by HIS standard. Even though God’s holiness is absolute and I stand completely unworthy by it, Christ is my Advocate, and God judges me THROUGH HIM, because He is my Lord. I have repented of my sins… He IS my Lord! As to whether or not a Christian should act if a brother is involved in sin, I Corinthians 5:1-5 states, “1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.” Not only did Paul get angry at them for allowing sin to be among them (“You’re actually PROUD??!?!?), but he compelled them to EXPEL the guy that was blatantly involved in sin. Was this because he didn’t like the guy or thought the guy was of less value? NO! Rather, it was …”so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.” God IS loving (you get that from the Bible… is that the literal part of the Bible?), but He is also Holy and the two cannot be separated? Why else did Christ come to die for our sins? Morality CANNOT be based on a human-thought, subjective standard. Hitlers revel in that concept. Rather, it MUST be based on something OBJECTIVE. Of course humans can twist things to make it say what they want, but are they really submitting to Christ if that’s the case? I (and you) do NOT get to make the rules! I appreciate that you’re taking so much time to study the scriptures, but make sure that if you apply one area that you apply all. Just because “the younger generation” thinks homosexuality is okay doesn’t make it okay. The South was overwhelmingly pro-slavery in the early 1800’s. Nazis killed Jews… and WERE OKAY WITH IT! Subjective morality CANNOT be the standard, EVER! Feel free to write me back. Have a good day!

  33. Jendi Reiter says:

    I agree that it’s not always helpful to speculate about Bible characters’ sexual orientation, mainly because people in ancient times were not nearly so free to act on personal preference in choosing a mate. The entire book of Ruth is about how women without a male partner or relative were social non-persons, condemned to poverty. She had to marry Boaz to save herself and Naomi from starvation. One hopes that she also found him appealing! BTW, Boaz was not Naomi’s son.

  34. Leigha says:

    You took the text in the book of Ruth WAY out of proportion. Ruth was speaking of her devotion to her mother in law. Besides at the end of the book, the Lord blessed her with a good husband (male). All I have to say to all of this is: We all can argue all day long on this subject, the fact of the matter will always remain…and that is the homosexuality is wrong–plain and simple. God is not going to withdraw his Word just because “people are now accepting of it”. God is the same God that He always was. And He will judge all those who are participating in homosexuality just as He will judge all sin when He returns. Just because the times have changed, doesn’t meann that God has changed.

  35. Leigha says:

    Thank you for this comment. It is soooo sad that people can take the precious Word of God and twist it to fit their opinions, and I’m just gone sayit, to fit their heathenistic desires. Thank you for your stand.

  36. EnnisP says:

    If those verses were strictly applied only to raping captured leaders in wartime (a practise Israel was not party to – in fact, in all my years studying the Bible I’ve not heard that one before) then it would by silence endorse the raping of the women who were captured, which was a common, historically verifiable practice, although was not evident during Israel’s conquest of Canaan.

  37. EnnisP says:

    Too many questions are being addressed in this thread:

    Is gay OK?
    Is gay marriage OK?
    Can gays be Christian?
    Should practicing gays be accepted in the church?

    The only pertinent question, if you wish to involve people who believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible (which Lisa Miller apparently does not) and settle the present political skirmish, is should gays be allowed to marry in the traditional legal sense.

    Answering yes to that is not an automatic yes or no to any of the other questions.

  38. EnnisP says:

    Jesus only freed us from the “curse” of the law not the law. The law is never the means of righteousness but it still represents the standard, which, admittedly, none of us live up to.

    When there is a question about morality, however, we still look to the law.

    Also, the definition of grace espoused by some people is a bit loose handed. Grace withholds judgment temporarily and offers a different outcome, if we confess, it doesn’t change the standards.

    Marrital unfaithfulnes is called adultery in both the Old and New testaments. No adulterer is referred to as “under grace.”

    And I see no connection between “racism” and “homophobia” (for lack of a better term). One is purely cultural/social and the other is sexual.

    Cultural/social issues are very broad and generally loose. They vary from one generation to the next. What is accepted socially in one generation is usually changed in the next, or eventually. The Bible recognizes culture without endorsing it. Sexual issues, on the other hand, are very intimate and personal. The two don’t mesh.

    There are no direct statements in the Bible supporting racism (as practiced in American society). In fact, there is no clear, direct statment that says any person, European, African, Asian, Indian or otherwise is better or worse than any other and there is plenty in the Bible (Old and New) that endorses openness and acceptance between races. Fairness was always the Bible rule especially when dealing with people outside the group.

    There are, however, many statements which speak to all kinds of sexual issues (“fornication,” e.g., speaks of “any” sexual activity outside a one woman one man marriage) and there are no statements which provide any relaxation on those issues. Word studies cannot raise homosexuality to the level of moral acceptability.

    The victims of racism may experience the same feeling as the victims of homophobia but the issues are entirely different.

    And if you use the argument that Christians in a previous generation were wrong about some particular issue (racism) and therefore must be wrong in this generation about a different prevailing issue (homosexuality) then we might as well throw God and the Bible and Church out the window. Every issue must be argued on its own merits.

    As I see it, the only acceptable argument for homosexual marriage (from a biblical perspective) is genetic. If a person is born with a genetic predisposition to homosexuality we accept this and work with the individual. We don’t, however, normalize it any more than we normalize any other fault (downs, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, disfiguration).

    And for that reason I have no problem with them marrying. We should make allowances for them the same we make allowances for other disabled people. It is the only civil thing to do.

    There is still a lot research to do and many questions to be considered. We cannot afford to be glib, casual or emotional regarding this issue.

  39. EnnisP says:

    Jesus only freed us from the “curse” of the law not the law. The law is never the means of righteousness but it still represents the standard, which, admittedly, none of us live up to.

    When there is a question about morality, however, we still look to the law.

    Also, the definition of grace espoused by some people is a bit loose handed. Grace withholds judgment temporarily and offers a different outcome, if we confess, it doesn’t change the standards.

    Marrital unfaithfulnes is called adultery in both the Old and New testaments. No adulterer is referred to as “under grace.”

    And I see no connection between “racism” and “homophobia” (for lack of a better term). One is purely cultural/social and the other is sexual.

    Cultural/social issues are very broad and generally loose. They vary from one generation to the next. What is accepted socially in one generation is usually changed in the next, or eventually. The Bible recognizes culture without endorsing it. Sexual issues, on the other hand, are very intimate and personal. The two don’t mesh.

    There are no direct statements in the Bible supporting racism (as practiced in American society). In fact, there is no clear, direct statment that says any person, European, African, Asian, Indian or otherwise is better or worse than any other and there is plenty in the Bible (Old and New) that endorses openness and acceptance between races. Fairness was always the Bible rule especially when dealing with people outside the group.

    There are, however, many statements which speak to all kinds of sexual issues (“fornication,” e.g., speaks of “any” sexual activity outside a one woman one man marriage) and there are no statements which provide any relaxation on those issues. Word studies cannot raise homosexuality to the level of moral acceptability.

    The victims of racism may experience the same feeling as the victims of homophobia but the issues are entirely different.

    And if you use the argument that Christians in a previous generation were wrong about some particular issue (racism) and therefore must be wrong in this generation about a different prevailing issue (homosexuality) then we might as well throw God and the Bible and Church out the window. Every issue must be argued on its own merits.

    As I see it, the only acceptable argument for homosexual marriage (from a biblical perspective) is genetic. If a person is born with a genetic predisposition to homosexuality we accept this and work with the individual. We don’t, however, normalize it any more than we normalize any other fault (downs, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, disfiguration).

    And for that reason I have no problem with them marrying. We should make allowances for them the same we make allowances for other disabled people. It is the only civil thing to do.

    There is still a lot research to do and many questions to be considered. We cannot afford to be glib, casual or emotional regarding this issue.

  40. Jendi Reiter says:

    Ennis, thank you for your respectful and sophisticated comments. While we may not agree on the meaning of homosexuality or its place in the Christian life, I appreciate your contribution to a thoughtful dialogue.

  41. Jomre says:

    Wow…So You Think That Being Against Homosexuality Is Not Rooted In The Bible, (Now First Just Let Me Say God Loves Everyone, But That Doesn’t Mean That They Can Live Any Way They Want And Still Go To Heaven!)…Well I’m Sorry But You Must Be Reading A Satanic Bible…The Real Bible Says Homosexuality Leads To Insanity And No Homosexual Will Enter Heavens…Not Only Can I Back Up How Wrong Homosexuality Is With The Bible, But With Logic And Science…If You’d Like To Know More Look Up “Nothing Gay About It” Videos On Youtube.com Or Email Me At darkkloud00@yahoo.com

  42. God is not Flesh says:

    You fill these pages with such fancy words. This website and all writings posted on it should be named, falseprophet.com

    Gal 5:16 ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.’

  43. Gaye says:

    Yes, of course gays can be Christian, God love everyone no matter what or who they are. Most gays wont want to go to church as the bible is explicit that like murder, stealing etc that it is against what God allows.. only difference is that it appears that God got so sick of men that he gave them over to their own lustful desires man to man and women to women etc, it appears that he walked away from this one but if a homosexual calls out to God with all their heart, of course he will hear..
    The Church is against all acts that God sees unfit for mankind and this includes homosexuality, bestiality, rape etc.. It would appear to me that most of the acts that God is against or the things that he doesn’t want us to do is for our own health and well being, like washing you hands after touching the sick, dying, etc, and we have only discovered this medically in the past few years..
    So perhaps the reason that the life span of homosexuals is 20 years less than heterosexuals, is because that act of homosexuality produces a massive number of diseases amongst homosexuals which shortens their life style or perhaps simply because it is not natural to stick a penis up the anus or use the tongue around the anus where the faces comes out causing cancers and other problems..
    The problem is that the media is not telling the population that there are thousands of homosexuals coming out of homosexuality and leading normal lives so homosexuals think that they are born that way and are told that that is it there is no hope of change, this simply is not true.. and yes we have some who are more effeminate than other but it doesnt mean that they are homosexuality, I do not believe that God made mistakes..

  44. john B says:

    It’s not so much will America accept “the Gays”. The truth of the matter is God does not.
    Sodom’s inhabitants received His wrath not His Love.

  45. john B says:

    Many people have come to believe that there is such a thing as Gay Christians. Churches even profess this lie in the Face of God.
    This does not stem from a misconception & misunderstanding of the Love & Grace of God. It stems from the wickedness of the human heart having become depraved by satanically inspired Lust.
    Sanctification is no longer a personal desire of the Heart grounded in the reality of God’s Holiness which calls all who name the name of Jesus to abstain from immorality, of which the act of Homosexuality is an Abomination.

  46. Mel Kesser says:

    There is only one definition for marriage and that is between 1 man and 1 woman. Those who submit to same sex marriage should turn to Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary and pray for purity. Jesus taught to hate the sin, but love the sinner. The majority of Catholics who condemn homosexuality don’t gay bash. We are worried about the gays soul when it is judged when they die because of this immoral lifestyle. It is never a sin until the gay act takes place. God Bless Everyone and all those who live a gay lifestyle are in my prayers.

  47. Kenneth says:

    Our Lord Jesus Christ & HIS Apostles taught that we are to hate the sin with all our hearts but still the sinner love with the LOVE of Yahweh, not human love. Yeshua warned us that in the end time the world would become like Sodom & Gomorrah when the Sodomists would do what they wanted to do without anyone or anything stopping them from doing it. In the days of Rome in the early church, they were transformed by the LOVE of Yeshua to give up the practices of being GAY so that they pleased their Heavenly Father Yahweh to be the kind of people HE wanted to be in Truly being made in HIS image. Yahweh said they would never be in HIS Kingdom because HE did not create them to be that way. Yahweh loves the gay people but hates the sin of Sodomy they are committing. Just like back in the first century HE wants them to be Truly transformed so that they will be with HIM in Eternity. Our LORD is not only a GOD of LOVE HE is also a GOD of JUSTICE. He cannot turn a blind eye to practices HE has condemned. Same with Abortion. The Agony of pain babies in wombs experience will be visited on those involved in aborting those babies, in Eternity. Yahweh hates SIN in every way and unless it is repented & forsaken people cannot be justified in HIS sight. They are numbered among the Foolish Ones who will be protesting when our LORD says HE does not know them. He will be very sad because HE loves them but hates what they are doing as HE hated what they were doing in Sodom & Gomorrah. Violence will be their actions in end time as it was in the days of Noah. Our LORD is not a liar.

  48. gq says:

    God doesn’t change neither do His laws change(Mal 3:6).It is we humans that try to change Gods truth for lies in order to justify our sin(Romans 1:25).What was an abomination in Moses time(Lev 18:22) remained an abomination in St Paul’s time (Romans 1:26) and would remain an abomination in our time.The Bible says: Woe unto You that put (exchange) evil for good and good for evil.”Changing attitudes”is never an excuse to disobey our maker.We shouldn’t be like satan who tried to exchange Gods truth for a lie by deceiving eve to think that what God called good was evil.We must ask Him for the grace to Obey His laws.
    Here is a nice article that addresses the issue of homosexuality from every angle:http://tinyurl.com/yl38svc

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