COVER: THE RELIGIOUS CASE FOR GAY MARRIAGE
NEWSWEEK POLL SHOWS TWO-THIRDS OF PEOPLE WHO SEE GAY MARRIAGE AS A RELIGIOUS MATTER OPPOSE IT
The Newsweek cover article on 06 Dec 2008 entitled “Our Mutual Joy“ by Lisa Miller resulted in a strong response from the Christian Churches, and Christian Right organizations and Websites. Strongly disagreeing that the biblical position is not clear on homosexuality, the objectors were not able to provide very specific arguments but generalized comments on the lack of theological educational qualifications by Newsweek for such an article and that the article and magazine is of liberal persuasion. The dissenters also argued that that Newsweek did not directly refute the 6 clobber messages. However, Newsweek showed that the Christian Right trump card of the biblical argument may be inconsistent, biased, and subject to a high degree of reasonable doubt using the bible as a common reference. Valid doubts were raised. The judgment and condemnation against gays as a capital Sin means that there is no room for any reasonable doubt
Instead of the Liberals attacking the bible as a valid reference to come against gays, they are now starting to use it as a common reference. That is a very disconcerting precedent for the Christian Right who has hitherto faced arguments only from a human Rights basis and by those who does not believe the bible as an absolute reference. However, we are not anywhere near the truth, just two opposite sides of a wide debate where the real context, truth and message of the bible is being repackaged to suit once argument.
One does not need a Doctorate Degree in Theology, or be a Pope or bishop to come against the arguments against Gays because it is a weak argument and subject to inconsistencies. It is interpreting specific verses at face value, but albeit very selectively and inconsistently which the Newsweek article did its best to highlight. However, the Newsweek article appear to side stepped the cultural and religious and historical background of these clobber verses. The reason is simple. The Newsweek writers were of liberal persuasion, and the real reason for the homosexual acts is of religious action and faith in other gods and not of sexual orientation. As the Liberals believed that all religions lead to the same God, using this argument would lead to acknowledging the Jewish God, as The God in a multi god environment and exalt the Jewish nation worship of this God.
The Apostle Paul however, did not have such liberal or conservative persuasions. He was unapologetic in his condemnation of the religious conservatives, calling their insistence on following the Law as unnatural, by reminding them their straight ancestors engaged in unnatural Homosexual sex in the worship of the then predominant fertility gods whilst claiming to be righteous and law abiding. Therefore, their law following only led to condemnation, Paul asserts in arguing for the supremacy of Grace in Christ Jesus versus trying to abide by the Law to gain salvation. The Conservatives were loathed to interpret the bible as such because of their strong insistence on the 10 commandments. Paul is saying man could not follow the law, it is unnatural and impossible to follow the law. It only leads to sin.
Paul was talking to the religious Jewish conservatives about the grace of God versus the law. He was condemning their religious arrogance, and self righteousness. Paul had not even visited Rome and so his letters to Rome were in the context of his battles with the Judaist in the other cities, and nothing to do with homosexuality. He was not talking about the pedeastry in Rome, as alleged by the Liberals, because he has not even visited the city and he was not addressing the Roman native population. He was addressing to the Jews in Rome.
The Newsweek article again did not address the real truth because it would mean implying that there is only one true God and the worshipping of other gods are unnatural, just as straight men having sex with men in their faith of these gods are unnatural. The truth here is not about homosexuality or about paedestry but about worshiping the true God, the creator, instead of “the creature”. In the historical and cultural context, Paul was using the analogy to the worship of Baal, where the Jews had mass sexual orgies, predominantly heterosexual, but Paul was highlighting that their faith in these gods was such an extent that they were willing to have sex with men which was unnatural for straight men just as their worship of these Gods which were unnatural.
The Newsweek article uses the well known liberal argument that it was being inhospitable that was the real sin. However, the bible is very clear. The entire population – ie straight men (women not including – since they were property of the men), came down to have carnal sex with the visitors. It was not a sexual orientation based on love, but rather pure sexual violence, intimidation, and in the social context of making a strong statement of who was in control. For the men, being rape was worse than death because it lowers one social status to women, an object being controlled. In the prisons around the world, the violent men would rape the weaker ones to exert authority, power and control, and not because they were gay or because of sexual orientation. To assert as in the Newsweek article that this was due to being inhospitable is just unsupported but worst is the Christian Right assertion that the city was invaded by Gay people, and once homosexuality is legalized will slide to become Sodom and Gomorrah. The problem of Sodom, and Gomorrah was pure wickedness and cruelty, how we treat each other without humanity, dignity or respect, some say how we treat gays. The Christian Right blames it on Gays because, it reflects how they treated women. Why did Lot offer his two daughters to “gay” men? Obviously, they were not gay. It was about a patriarchal society which the Conservative Christians so busy to defend lest we have women priests, bishops, archbishops.
We often read the bible, to find what we wish to see, and hear. We often only see what we would like to see. The Newsweek article ended with the love of God for all humanity and that we are all God’s creation, but missed the central point of the whole bible which is was arguing from, that a loving God send His Son, to give us a chance and an opportunity to return to Him, lest we will be condemned because as loving a God as He is, He is also a righteous God. Grace was given, in God’s abounding mercy to forgive and to bless. Without this, why need the Cross, why need the Church, why need the Gospel.
We often only see what we would like to see. The Christians are so afraid of the simplicity of their faith to “only believe” that they insist that the Law and that it will never “passed away”. The law will not passed away, because if it did, then there is no need for Christ’ redemptive purpose and death and resurrection for us at the cross, once and for all eternity. If there is no law, then there is no basis for whom we shall be condemned as sinners. Ie there is no need for a savior since there is no basis for which we have sinned if we do not have the law. The insistence of the law and the fears of Christians that just to believe is not sufficient, is exemplified by the condemnation of gay people for breaking the law. The Christians never looked at the context, religious nature, and the culture, of the bible but only saw what they would like to see. However, we are keepers of the Holy Book, we are keepers of the bible. When we so blatantly misinterpret the bible, when even Newsweek can find obvious loop holes and inconsistency, we are bringing the bible and the Christian Faith to disrespect and mockery. We are making the bible, the Word of God, a mockery.
We saw what we wanted to see. Our self righteousness and arrogance so blind us to seeing what was never the message in the bible against the gay community. In our fears, in our religious self righteousness, and arrogance, we have made a very serious mistake and will have serious and eternal consequences. We have killed many lives and many others condemned to live in a life in the closet without their loved ones, and without God.
The magazine “Christianity Today” calls for conversation with those who held similar views with “Newsweek”. But they too missed the point. Imagined, a group of robbers came to your house. They stationed themselves there, claim ownership due to their religious faith and stole your life and your processions by reason of their faith beliefs, and when you protest, they asked for a conversation to see what they may like to give back. It is arrogance to have a conversation; it is not a debate of differing believes as claimed by Obama. Thank God, that the Law will never pass away. The Law of God, and the demand for justice and compensation against the Christian Community, will keep increasing until one day, it will not be an issue about gay marriage, but to give a reason for why Christians themselves not go to jail, and into their own closet.
We saw what we wanted to see. But one day, we will seek Him, but He may not be found for the blood cries out just as we tried to sought God in the Dark Ages but found only a silent void. The blood of Gays has been crying out, for a thousand years, through the persecution of gays (on the basis of Christian religious faith) in the middle ages, when they hanged those committed for buggery (Buggery Act of 1533, by Henry the VIII) until 1861, and through the Death Camps of Auschwitz where gays were picked up and put to death in the death cambers (in a majority Christian country by Hitler who though he was doing God a favor). The cry for justice, the cry of compensation cannot be denied by a righteous God.
As a whole Christians have made a very big capital mistake, when there was never any room for error. Our arrogance, pride and self righteousness have prevented us from acknowledging this error and seeing the truth. It is not for Gay groups to educate us or to start a conversation, but it is a time to repent that our worship our God may not be in vain due to our blood stained hands, and when the Holy Spirit takes His presence away.
Create in me a clean heart God
Cast me not away from your presence
restore unto me the joy of thy salvation