If there is one thing that brings together Abraham’s deluded children, it’s when people question that we should have to live our lifes based on and governed by the biblical Genesis account, in particular this verse:
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
That’s it, folks. That’s why today, in the year 2011, so many people are prepared to discriminate against same-sex couples. Because it says so in Genesis. Most people are a little bit less strict when it comes to taking the talking snake literally, or the apple/tree of knowledge fairy tale, or the story of 6-day creation, but there you have it. GLBT folks can not get married in many places because of that passage in a fiction story collection from the Stone Age (or its derivatives, that stole the story from it).
There are more countries or states where it is legal to marry your first cousin, than places where you can marry your loving same-sex partner. That’s another tradition out of the Bible.
I read today that Australia’s Christians, and in particular the most outspoken bigots among them, Jim Wallace from the ACL and the fine Pastor Daniel Nalliah from CTFM, seem close to apoplexy in their fake selfrighteous outrage. “Father” Daniel tells us:
Someone came up to me at a social function last Saturday said, “What’s happening to our nation? The Labour Party is bad. The gay people are terrible because they got what they wanted.” I remained silent for a while and then this person said, “What do you think?”
I responded, “If someone has a lion as a pet, lets it run loose around their garden, but they happen to leave the gate open and the lion gets out and attacks people, ‘Who do you think is responsible??’”
In the first place there should have been no lion at a home. However, the bigger problem and the one to be blamed is the owner who left the gate open because he was the gatekeeper.
Well, we the Church are called to be the gatekeepers for the Nation. We should not wait until something happens, but see it coming from afar and stop it as soon as possible.
Churches are not so much the gatekeepers but rather the gravediggers for our nation, as far as decent human beings are concerned. And I’ll take tasteless analogy for 1000, Alex. But we shouldn’t expect anything decent or dignified from Nalliah.
What gets me, and what should not be lost on those Christians and other religious people who are maybe undecided on the issue, or those who are prepared to question their decision to discriminate against gays and lesbians based solely on what they have been told is the word of their god, is that there is no commitment in the Bible to monogamous one man-one woman relationships after the Genesis account.
There is endorsement in the Bible of polygamy (Lamech, Esau, Jacob, David, Solomon, Jehoram, Ahab etc) and concubines (Abraham, Gideon, Caleb, Jacob etc), of raped women having to marry their rapist (Deut 22:28-29), of women having to marry their husband’s brother if they didn’t have a son (Genesis 38:6-10), the virgins from captured tribes have to marry and sexually submit to male soldiers (Numbers 31), female slaves were to marry and sexually submit to male slaves, and so forth.
And there is of course the frequent incest and marriage to half-sisters/half-brothers (Ham and his dad Noah and/or Noah’s wife, Genesis 9:20-27, Amnon and Tamar in the book of Samuel, Lot and his 2 daughters, Genesis 19:30-38), cousin, aunt and niece marriage (Nahor and Milcah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaak and Rebekah, Esau and Mahalah, Amram and Jochebed etc).
We must note 2 things here. One, a marriage between unrelated men and women of comparable social standing was the exeption, not the rule, in biblical times. The one man-one woman-as-the-core-family-upon-which-society-rests is not to be found in the Christian Bible. And secondly, while some passages in the book can be construed as forbidding homosexual acts between men (eg Leviticus 20), there is no mention of homosexuality between two women or other non-binary couples (such as intersex or transsexual) at all in the Bible, nada, zip (Don’t come to me with Romans 1, the only ones who get punished there are the men). So on what grounds do moderate Christians, or for that matter, their fundamentalist counterparts, justify the discrimination against lesbian women or other non-binary couples? If indeed for Christians it all depends on what is written in their holy book, then is it asking too much to verify that the bigotry they elect to show and act or vote upon is indeed backed up by the text?
See, for me as a nonbeliever it is relatively easy. I see no harm for any two loving people of the same sex to be having the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples, and therefore I see it as a duty of the state to ensure that any two unrelated people of any sexual makeup who wish to do so, have the right to get married. I have no religious dogma to get out of the way, no poorly translated and transcribed, often historically dubious scripture to consult, I can use the morality and decency that I come equipped with as a human being, and judge the evidence that is available from those countries where same-sex marriages are already legal, and where no detrimental effects have been observed, to make that decision.
Scripture is a terrible advisor on anything at the best of times, but when it comes to same-sex marriage, or the “tradition” of one man-one woman marriage, that book does not support what Christians are telling us in public with regards to the current debate.