October 2nd, 2012

New Tilley Hat

The Bible on Marriage and Love

Several years ago I wrote A Response to Orson Scott Card when he was trying to defend the notion that marriage was between one man and one woman. I talked of civil contracts and thousands of years of cultural contra-indicators.

Rose is a sweet lady who has lived down the hall for longer than the 15 years I've lived here. She's a conservative Christian who, this year, will be voting for Obama but says she's going to vote Yes on the Minnesota Same Sex Marriage Amendment, defining marriage only as between one man and one woman. We have been trading Biblical citations in support of our positions. She's fond of saying, "Hate the sin, love the sinner." That's all well and good if there were sin involved, and if this were a religious discussion, but this is a civil matter and the Bible comes pretty hard on the "love" part. Here is my list, fairly quickly cobbled together for her but somewhat expanded and with links for the web.

Quotes are from Biblos, King James Bible translation because I thought it would be more convincing to Rose.

Jesus says nothing of hating gays, but talks much of love:
  • John 13:34, 35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

  • Romans 13:8-10 reads as follows (quoting Paul):
    "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

    Jesus was big on forgiveness and turning the other cheek. While I think there are limits to loving thine enemies, it's clear that you can only call yourself a follower of Jesus if love your neighbors who are following the Commandments, with love being the prime commandment.

    Some Bible (ie Old Testament) commentary on marriage:
    lots o' citations behind a cutCollapse )
    Conclusion: The Bible and the New Testament say a lot about marriage and sexual relationships, but drawing any single conclusion is specious. The moral relativists want strict adherence to one passage but completely ignore others. Their Biblical logic is flawed. Marriage is a civil matter as much as a spiritual bonding, and if you're not going to support love then you must support the contract.

    Personal observation: We are created in G_d's image. It's a grave mistake to create G_d in our image. There's much that we don't know. What we do know is that virtually all religious figures, notably Jesus, want us to be nice to each other.