Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Newsweek: Gay Marriage & the Bible
In the December 15, 2008 edition of Newsweek, Religion columnist Lisa Miller takes a stab at articulating the Biblical perspective on gay-marriage. http://www.newsweek.com/id/172653
Her article begins by saying: "Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does."
Next sentence: " Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists." Woah. Hold on there...
Just when your finger comes back to the table from scratching your head...you see that it gets better: "The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered."
Wait a second... Slow down there Lisa...
And then the final sentence: "Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?" When I said final sentence...I meant the final sentence of the introductory paragraph!
I'll leave the basic theological arguments on the gay marriage issue to those more qualified than myself. But in reading this "News"week article, I am reminded of the famous standup routine of Chris Rock who finishes a commentary about the working man who comes home to an animated wife and in exasperation declares: "At least let me get my foot in the door!..."
If you make it through the rest of the article, bloggers everywhere (even the good fellows of Orthodukso!) should be empowered with a new hope that they too can aspire to be writers for a bigtime publication. Afterall, you don't need to really understand the perspectives you present, you don't need to have any in depth knowledge of the subject matter, and you don't need to provide truth in advertising. You simply need to pick a side on the most provocative subject you can find, pepper it with very bad characterizations... and come out guns'a'blazing from the get go. Sensitive topics deserve better than a hatchet job.
The blogshere is buzzing now over this article, with many in the Christian community responding in kind. The sad part is that this is probably the response Newsweek wanted all along. It's a timeless media formula to increasing traffic/ratings: 1) Pick a topic that Christians care about 2) Characterize them as loony 3) Argue in favor of the other side.
Hmm...maybe they are onto something....
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