2008-DEC Newsweek article
in support of same-sex marriage
Topics covered in the article: Part 2
This is a continuation of Part 1
Topics covered in Lisa Miller's article:
- She suggests that religious conservatives are not opposed to SSM
because of the Bible; their objections come from two sources:
- Custom and tradition.
- Discomfort with the idea of two men or two women engaging in sexual
- Miller notes that many passages in the Bible relate to human slavery,
execution of adulterers, hatred of Jews, and other practices
considered immoral by today's ethical and religious
standards. We now ignore these passages. She suggests that we do the
same for references to homosexuality in the Bible:
"A mature view of scriptural authority requires us, as we have in the
past, to move beyond literalism. The Bible was written for a world so
unlike our own, it's impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to
- She notes that the cultural understanding of marriage has changed in
recent decades towards a union of two equal partners.
- The courts support women who are victims of spousal abuse.
- Opposite-sex marriage ceremonies used to refer to "man and wife" but
now specifies "husband and wife."
- "Head and master" laws which gave the husband control over the
family have largely been repealed.
- The implication is that SSM is perhaps the next step in the evolution of
- She quotes Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann, emeritus professor at
Columbia Theological Seminary, who refers to the inclusiveness of the early
Christian movement. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor
Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus
Christ." In contrast with most religious conservatives who argue against SSM
from proof texts, he said that the religious support for SSM: "... is not
generally made with reference to particular texts, but with the general
conviction that the Bible is bent toward inclusiveness."
She concludes her article by writing:
"The practice of inclusion, even in defiance of social
convention, the reaching out to outcasts, the emphasis on togetherness and
community over and against chaos, depravity, indifference—all these biblical
values argue for gay marriage. If one is for racial equality and the common
nature of humanity, then the values of stability, monogamy and family
necessarily follow. ... 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—and no serious (or even
semiserious) person would argue that." 2
"More basic than theology, though, is human need. We want, as Abraham did, to
grow old surrounded by friends and family and to be buried at last peacefully
among them. We want, as Jesus taught, to love one another for our own good—and,
not to be too grandiose about it, for the good of the world. We want our
children to grow up in stable homes. What happens in the bedroom, really, has
nothing to do with any of this."
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Lisa Miller, "Our Mutual Joy," Newsweek, 2008-DEC-15, at:
- Actually, there are probably many Americans still opposed to inter-racial marriage:
- In 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized inter-racial marriages in an
ironically named case "Loving v. Virginia," 72% of American adults opposed such marriages.n
- In 1991, only seventeen years before this Newsweek article was published, those
adults opposed to inter-racial marriage finally became a minority.
- More information about inter-racial marriages in
Copyright © 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2008-DEC-12
Latest update: 2008-DEC 12
Author: B.A. Robinson