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.
Ho-hum. This argument, when examined in light of Scripture, falls so flat on its face that even Joan Rivers' plastic surgeon couldn't fix it. Without going into detail, if you read the FULL accounts of these stories, you find that they paid a steep price for their adultery/polygamy (Abram + Hagar = Ishmael; David's adultery with Bathsheba led to Absalom's revolt; Solomon's polygamy led to the troubles he outlines in Ecclesiastes. I adressed the issue of polygamy here.)
She then goes on to equate the "plight" of homosexuals being "denied the right to marry" with the battle over slavery in the US. I will not even dignify that crass accusation with comment.
Then she comes out with this gem:
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.
Uh...yeah...right. She might want to actually read the Bible before she comments on it. Matthew 19:4-6--And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who madethem at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Who has she been having Bible study with? Jack Black? "A MAN shall be joned to his WIFE." These are both in the SINGULAR. Man. Wife. No plurals. 1st Timothy 3:2, 12--A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior...Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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.
There ya go, folks! The very reason that Satan has spent the last few thousand years asking man the same question he asked our first parents, "Hath God indeed said?" After all, if God didn't write it, if these are simply the ideas of men, then these ideas can change, they can say anything we want themt o say, and we can pick and choose which parts we want to believe (A concept one of our brothers in Christ calls "Dalmatian Theology"). Even her line of thought doesn't make sense (A liberal not making sense. Kinda like calling rain "wet."). One man-one woman was written by...polygamists? Sheesh!
Then comes this doozy. If you haven't figured out that this woman has absolutely no idea what she's talking about, here comes the air-tight, slam-dunk, bloody-knife-in-OJ's-trunk proof:
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)."
Yes, you may now dismiss and ridicule this woman. Go ahead, laugh, drop your jaw, slap your forehead, and scream..."WHAT DID SHE JUST SAY?????". Hey, uh, Lisa, you might want to try Romans 1:26--For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. What, you think that refers to woemn working outside the home? I don't have an Anchor Bible Dictionary, but if someone does, could you please look up what it says about this? Because I doubt that a work the size of the ABD could omit a fact that is as plain as that.
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 [progressive scholar, that is--ed.] 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."
That, right there, is the heart of the pro-homosexual argument these days. That Paul was not speaking against ALL homosexual acts--just the worst ones. Uh...yeah...right. Anything to make the Bible say what it doesn't say. Oh, and while we're on that subject, Ms. miller, of course, throws in the tired old "Jonathan and David loved each other" tripe. Her rationale?
David rends his clothes at Jonathan's death and, in grieving, writes a song:
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
You were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
More wonderful than that of women.
Here, the Bible praises enduring love between men.
And yet here the Bible condemns homosexual sex between men.
She of course fails to mention Philemon 1:15-16--For perhaps he [Onesimus] departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. And Ms. miller could have brought up Jesus' famous questioning of Peter's love for his Lord--"Do you love me more than these?" (John 21:15-17).
This is the love that existed between Jonathan and David--the love that is to be shared by all those whom God has called to be His children, the love that is to manifest itself in our actions toward one another.
So, yeah, basically, this is just another smear job cooked up by some liberal who doesn't have time to acquaint herself with the truth of Scripture, and only wants to pick and choose what parts she wants to believe, what ways she wants to believe it, and which schoalrs agree with her pre-formed conceptions of what God said in His word (as well as her own precionceived ideas about whether the Bible is indeed the word of GOD). Sloppy writing, a lack of scholarship. Basically, you could find the same thing by scraping off the bottom of your shoe. Al Mohler sums up his review of this wretched article quite forcefully:
Disappointingly, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham offers an editorial note that broadens Newsweek's responsibility for this atrocity of an article and reveals even more of the agenda: "No matter what one thinks about gay rights—for, against or somewhere in between —this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism," Meacham writes. "Given the history of the making of the Scriptures and the millennia of critical attention scholars and others have given to the stories and injunctions that come to us in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition."
Well, that statement sets the issue clearly before us. He insists that "to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt." No serious student of the Bible can deny the challenge of responsible biblical interpretation, but the purpose of legitimate biblical interpretation is to determine, as faithfully as possible, what the Bible actually teaches -- and then to accept, teach, apply, and obey.
The national news media are collectively embarrassed by the passage of Proposition 8 in California. Gay rights activists are publicly calling on the mainstream media to offer support for gay marriage, arguing that the media let them down in November. It appears that Newsweek intends to do its part to press for same-sex marriage. Many observers believe that the main obstacle to this agenda is a resolute opposition grounded in Christian conviction. Newsweek clearly intends to reduce that opposition.
Newsweek could have offered its readers a careful and balanced review of the crucial issues related to this question. It chose another path -- and published this cover story. The magazine's readers and this controversial issue deserved better.