Shameless Popery has published an extraordinarily enlightening piece that not only deals with the shallowness of the flowchart above but also deals with the oft repeated claim that Christ’s alleged silence on an issue suggests that Christians should not and indeed cannot oppose said issue:
But there’s a second problem with this claim. It assumes that the Bible is essentially a rule book full of Thou Shalt Not’s. But it’s missing that both Jesus and St. Paul present a positive view of marriage. That is, Scripture shows us what marriage is, which is why we can also say what it isn’t.
This is important, because as we saw from the attempts to work around St. Paul’s prohibitions, the same-sex marriage side is essentially arguing: “but here’s an arrangement nobody had thought of back then!” With a positive view of what marriage is, we can easily establish whether some new sexual variation is compatible with marriage or not.
As part of a good Facebook thread on this topic, my friend Peter Ascik (a seminarian for the Diocese of Charlotte) explains:
Jesus does indeed comment directly on the nature of marriage in Matthew 19, and he reaffirms that marriage is founded on the sexual difference of man and woman (Matt 19:4-5), which is itself grounded in God’s creation of humanity in his image (Gen 1:27; Gen 2:24). St. Paul reaffirms the foundation of marriage in the doctrine of creation, again grounding it in the sexual difference of man and woman, (Ephesians 5:31-32), and teaches that it is a symbol of Christ’s union with the Church.
Jesus and St. Paul explicitly teach a doctrine of marriage that is incompatible with gay marriage. Even if Leviticus and Romans were silent on the subject of homosexual acts, the New Testament teaching that marriage is founded in the creation of male and female would be enough to reject same-sex marriage.
And Princeton’s Prof. Robert George chimed in to point out that this witness to marriage doesn’t start in the New Testament, and isn’t confined to Christianity:The Biblical witness to marriage as a conjugal relationship first appears in Genesis 2. It is restated in various places, including in the teaching of Jesus. The same basic idea appears in the thought of Greek and Roman thinkers and even some teachers from the Eastern traditions. What, in fact, makes no sense is the idea of non-conjugal marriage–marriage as mere sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership. That explains why it has no patronage in the great faiths or traditions of philosophy.
George’s contribution is also important because it’s a reminder that even though you can’t be an orthodox Christian or Jew and accept gay marriage, you can reject gay marriage for entirely non-religious reasons. All you have to do is understand what marriage is, or understand that men and women are different, and that children deserve a mother and a father. Believing in Scripture will get you to that point, but you can get there apart from Scripture (or faith) as well.
So the gay marriage view that’s supposed to show that we’re a bunch of Biblical hypocrites more accurately shows that the best argument against Jews, Christians, and anyone holding to any of the great philosophical traditions, is just to shout us down and call us nasty names.
Of course, I skipped completely over Shameless Popery’s shameless dismantling of the flowchart so do yourself a favor and go read the whole thing, then do society the favor the next time someone shoves this or similar flowcharts in your face or when they smugly remark, “Jesus never said anything about gay marriage… or homosexuality”and point them to this piece.
Thank you. And thank the good folks over SP. Great stuff over there.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.