Where’s the outcry against Jewish marriage?

Let me preface this by emphasizing that this isn’t an argument for or against gay marriage.  This is an expression of cynicism towards the biblical argument against gay marriage.  Most Christians in the United States believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible and tend to use that as the basis for their position.  Putting aside the separation of church and state doctrine invoked by the Supreme Court since 1848, basing one’s position on scripture alone does not definitively lead to the conclusion that gay marriage should be illegal.

There is nothing in the Bible that even mentions same-sex marriage.  While true that there is mention of “standard” opposite-sex marriage, there are also numerous verses in support of polygamy (Exodus 21:10, Deuteronomy 21:15).  This immediately breaks down the theory that “Marriage has always been defined under God as the union between one man and one woman.”  Some argue that the New Testament rebukes the so-called injustices of the Old Testament, but Jesus Himself stated that no Old Testament law should be abolished (Matthew 5:17-18).  In either case, it’s established that the definition of marriage throughout the Bible is not consistent.  With regards to homosexuality, the scripture does suggest that those who engage in gay sex are sinful.  This alone is not a sufficient condition to condemn gay marriage, because many other types of sinners are routinely married with no objection.  In fact, the Bible teaches that every man is a sinner (Romans 3:23).  Some might argue that the difference lies in the severity of the sin.  If we’re to believe that all homosexuals go to Hell, that still doesn’t justify precluding them from marriage:  “The one who does not believe [in Jesus] has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God” (John 3:18).  Where’s the outcry against Jewish marriage?

Now, there are those who would claim that the reason Jews can get married but not gays is because marriage is associated with sex, so to allow gay marriage would somehow be condoning gay sex (alas, Jewish sex in itself is not a sin).  As any married person would testify, associating marriage with sex probably isn’t the most valid notion.  Being married does not require that sex is taking place.  However, if sex is taking place, the Bible implies that it should only occur between married couples (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).  So, disallowing those who engage in gay sex to marry actually leads them to more sin:  they’re not only participating in the sinful act, but they’re doing so without being married.  If gays were married, they might or might not have sex, but any sex they did have together wouldn’t be out of wedlock.  From a biblical perspective, that has to be the preferred option.  In fact, Christian values place emphasis on stability within the family structure:  Jesus frequently spoke out against divorce (Luke 16:18, Mark 10:9-12, 1 Corinthians 7:10-13).  A true Christian would want to encourage homosexuals to have that same stability, especially since it’d have the effect of containing — as opposed to spreading — their immoral act.

Furthermore, the passage most commonly used to condemn homosexuality is a blanket statement that casts judgment on any form of sex not lending itself to procreation (Genesis 38:9-10).  Using the story of Onan “wasting his seed” as grounds for opposing gay marriage is logically equivalent to being against anyone who’s ever masturbated or received oral sex getting married.  The same passage was cited by the church for ages to argue against the use of birth control.  Recently, the Vatican relaxed its position, admitting that using condoms was preferable to having unprotected sex with an STD.  Why?  They realized that no matter what they said, people were going to have sex.  The righteous position was therefore to preach responsibility.  Similarly, there will always be gay people.  A ban on gay marriage isn’t going to make gay people stop being gay.  So shouldn’t it follow that the church would encourage gay people to be gay responsibly (with one committed partner)?

Again, this is not about whether gays should be allowed to marry.  Obviously, I don’t believe there should be an outcry against Jewish marriage, either.  I’m just using the hyperbole to demonstrate how the Christian perspective that uses the Bible as its sole point of reference to oppose gay marriage is faulty at best — even if we are to assume the scripture is true.  It’s predicated on cherry-picking the passages that offer vague support to the position, then making objectionable presumptions about the text.  Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that it’s likely the position was taken first, and the Bible was scanned for ostensible evidence second.

As a side note, I find it ironic that Hip Hop has always self-identified as liberal, yet our lyrics most often champion homophobia, gun ownership, big business, and amassing a personal fortune at the expense of others.  Maybe it’s time we looked in the mirror ourselves.

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5 Responses to Where’s the outcry against Jewish marriage?

  1. Jenna says:

    I’d say this: Government can’t control whether or not the church – or churches – tolerate gay marriage, so we should leave the churches alone. I say this only because I really don’t think we have a chance at scraping away anything there. I grew up in the Catholic church. These people can be crazy, and are very resistant to change.

    The Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that marriage is a “fundamental right,” and I could not agree more. That being said, why don’t we aim for “civil unions”? We could get married in a church all day long and it means nothing until it is acknowledged by the state … so why not mandate civil unions and put it back in the hands of the state to regulate?

    Liked the post. Very awesome.

  2. Pizon says:

    Yeah, I was only speaking on the biblical argument against gay marriage. I was also raised Catholic, and see nothing in the Bible that suggests Jesus would categorically oppose it. That said, I do believe we should keep government and religion separate. When it comes to marriage, there is a civil component and often a religious component. No church should be forced to recognize any marriage. That’s entirely at the church’s discretion. The question is whether the government should deny people their civil rights. I don’t believe it should. I don’t even see this as being a “gay versus straight” issue: I just believe everyone should have the same basic entitlements. If a man and a woman can get joint tax benefits, so should any two people — whether they’re straight, gay, married, or single. The extent of their relationship isn’t really the government’s business. This is all beyond the scope of my original post, however.

  3. Jenna Again says:

    I totally agree, and I understand what you are saying (in the biblical context). I think that everyone *should* have the same rights, regardless of who they hook up with. If a couple wants to be a couple and wants that commitment that we associate with marriage, let’s let them have it – regardless of what we call it. Who are we to judge? Let adults do what adults will do, you know?

    I hope we will see changes soon. I was sad about Prop. 8. I think it’s bull scrocca if you ask me.

    It is a confusing, complicated, tough issue … but something needs to be done to address it, because, as you said, a segment of society is essentially being denied their civil rights.

    I think Jesus Christ would say, “Let love rule.” :O)

  4. Gabriel Scala says:

    I’m so glad we’re related. 😉

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