Response from Newsweek Religion
Editor Lisa Miller's cover story that examines the Biblical relation
to gay marriage has been so overwhelming that Newsweek stopped
taking comments on it at its website.
Gay groups, of course, praised her
arguments, while social conservatives and religious leaders alike
have pretty much panned it.
In the piece, titled Our Mutual Joy,
Miller explains that the institution of marriage is
continually evolving, that “traditional marriage” as we think of
it today did not exist during Biblical times, and that the Bible
supports an argument for gay marriage.
Here's the Cliff
Notes version of the story:
_Models of marriage
in the Old Testament include polygamist and incestuous relationships.
_In the New
Testament, Jesus remained single and “preached an indifference to
earthy attachment – especially family.”
_Texts that hail
the union of one man and one woman were most probably written by
being gay “an abomination,” but Miller argues that it spends more
time discussing how to bargain for a slave, yet we give that no
reasons that the social conservative argument that the tradition of
marriage is somehow rooted in the Bible is insincere at best. “The
Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it's impossible to
apply its rules, at face value, to ours.” For instance, the Bible
endorses slavery, provides conceptual shelter for anti-Semites, and
recommends the death penalty for adulterers.
in fact, bears little resemblance to Biblical marriage – monogamy
has replaced an adulterous husband, whose title of master has evolved
to equal partner in the 20th century.
“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,” Miller submits.
“Being with one
another in community is how you love God. That's what marriage is
about,” says the Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the
Interfaith Center in New York.
People get married
“for their mutual joy,” she adds.
In harsher times,
I'm certain the story would have been called blasphemy. But social
conservatives lowered their rhetoric to simply dismissing it and its
Today called it “an attempt to marginalize the opposition,”
calling Miller “ignorant” and gay rights activists “terrorists.”
Americans For Truth
About Homosexuality President Peter LaBarbera called it “a
scandalous hit piece.”
And Tony Perkins,
president of the socially conservative Family Research Council,
called the article “yet another attack on orthodox Christianity.”
“I hardly think
that Newsweek is a credible venue for theological discussion,”
Perkins told politico.com. “I mean, I thought it was just full of
But whatever social
conservatives call it, they cannot call it inaccurate.
Hirschfield on Beliefnet.com admitted as much while dissecting the
piece. “So the short answer as to whether one can make a
scriptural case for gay marriage is definitely. But the fact that
one can make such a case does not mean that one should or that such a
case is the only 'proper' interpretation of the text. The same
infinite text which makes the case for gay marriage can be used to
argue against it.”
Wasn't that the
whole jist of the article?