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 polygamists.

_Leviticus called being gay “an abomination,” but Miller argues that it spends more time discussing how to bargain for a slave, yet we give that no serious contemplation.

Finally, Miller 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.

Today's marriage, 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 author.

Christianity 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 “I mean, I thought it was just full of holes.”

But whatever social conservatives call it, they cannot call it inaccurate.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on 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?