Newsweek Sermon of the Week
In a “if you can’t beat’m join’m” approach, the would-be preachers over at Newsweek have taken the Sunday Sermon to the people in their new issue.
In a thinly veiled propaganda piece, Newsweek, the latest in a long line of same sex allies in the old media, tries to score points against marriage advocates by advocating the Bible…. sort of. Ignoring mountains of facts decrying the myth of healthy gay marriage, they attempt to reinforce the idea that the only thing standing in the way of true love and equality is religion.
This new attack on religious Christians is a cheap appeal to the sense of goodness and fairness that Christians have for the world, and especially for those who hold different views. Newsweek, take note: the bible teaches tolerance, not acceptance.
Imagine the outrage if the media were to start parsing the Torah or Koran to change votes! No, it would never happen, that’s acceptable diversity. It’s only politically acceptable to rage from the bully pulpit at those hateful, bigoted, lousy Christians right?
Twisting scripture to fit a political agenda is nothing new, but I have to say, this is a new low for Newsweek and the mainstream media.
Our Mutual Joy
Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.”
December 15, 2008
by Lisa Miller
“….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?”
….aaand that’s about all I can take of that. Ozzie and Harriet?? Please tell me how this tedious stretch of a lecture could have made it to the front pages of Newsweek…..I can’t bear to post the whole tome here, so if you need some more speechifying…have at it!
Newsweek’s pseudo-biblical tedium drones on unaltered here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/172653