Biblical literalism vs. gay marriage

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The Rev. Don Portwood, co-pastor of Lyndale United Church of Christ in South Minneapolis, noted that the same passage of Leviticus that criticizes sex between two men also bans sex with a woman during her menstrual cycle, "but I don't hear anyone proposing a constitutional amendment against husbands having sex with their wives during menstruation."

The gay divide: Bible and tradition vs. civil rights


I am not sure why I have not been really interested in this debate re: gay marriage. It may be because I think the conclusion should be obvious. However, I am always interested in the use of the bible. While I would argue the biblical writers had their reasons for condemning some same-sex practices—I would also argue that their reasons are different than those put forward by the Christian right—reasons that have nothing to do with the world in which we live. What kind of argument is the Rev making above…it seems to me he is not dealing with the text…only saying we ignore one part and not others… Ok, so then, why not enforce it all? This question makes us deal with the texts and the hermeneutical issues—that is, pushes us beyond mere rhetoric.

I don’t have much interest in the whys and wherefores of what was on the the mind of an ancient desert tribe. Though I’ve posted a number of links to scholarship in the area.

The pastor was pointing out that Christians pick and chose the Bible verses with unreasonable slicing and dicing. No surprise, that is the history of theology.

There are people who want more literalist enforcement of OT laws and covenants: they are called theonomists.

Hermeneutics is mostly wishful thinking, re: The Invention of Ancient Israel.

My lover is a Christian. We’ve agreed to not talk about it (I’m an atheist). I support his faith. People who use theirs to defend ugly prejudices I have no traffic with or pity for.

Kind Christians don’t interest me. I’m merely glad they are humane. The rest, well, honestly I’d as soon see them dead and gone.

Christians don’t interest me, eitheróat least, the general, religious version. That’s why I like Derrida.

Yes, I got the pastorís argument….I am just sick of it. It’s trite and does nothing b/c it’s not really an argument…well, it just leaves one nowhere.

I agree with you re: ancient desert scribes—we don’t have access to their motives. However, it seems to me, that the bible, like it or not, is something everyone of us should be concerned about—given that it has been and is used in ways that shape “American policy.” I am not saying one should give a damn about it otherwise—although, I may say that in another context.

Thanks for your response; I enjoy your blog—esp. what you wrote re: faggy fags (how Details mag. would translate your nelly gay guys). My boyfriend is a nelly, and I love him. He’s not a “Christian” yet has a wonderful way of respecting my work and me….I respect his art; he’s a hair colorist.

This is a hard subject for me because I am a Christian but also believe that love is love. I know what the Bible says but in my heart always feel there is more than meets the eye. My brother is gay and is happy. Personally I can’t see him any other way. I wish there was even ground. I guess one of my issues is with allowing gay marriages is taking away from religious freedom (any religion..Muslim, Hindu, Christian, whatever)..why not allow civil union through Justice of the Peace? or if there is religion that allows it ..go for it? Maybe that would be a step forward?

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