Monday, December 8, 2008

The News from Newsweek

The new issue of Newsweek is catching some flack. The usual suspects are calling for boycotts. The cover story is gay marriage.
Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. 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. 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. 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?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so....
First, while the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman. And second, as the examples above illustrate, no sensible modern person wants marriage—theirs or anyone else's —to look in its particulars anything like what the Bible describes....

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.
Full credit to Newsweek for daring to challenge the hegemony of the religious right in political discourse. Thanks to Ann for bringing this to my attention.

11 comments:

Jase said...

I've never really understood why when there is a list of things Abram/Abraham did wrong regarding sex, it's always omitted that he prostituted Sarah not once, but three times for his benefit. Now, THAT is traditional marriage.

Padre Mickey said...

Doesn't having a Biblical Marriage mean that I'm allowed concubines?

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I e-mailed Newsweek to thank them---and bought a subscription and told they why.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

"them"--told THEM why Sigh.

Counterlight said...

I actually bought one right off the rack at a news stand at Penn station. Read the "Editor's Desk" section toward the front. They ran with this knowing that they will get a lot of heat for it.

Good for them!

JCF said...

They're facing a backlash (from the Fundagelicals, duh).

So email 'em to backlash the backlash (i.e., to PRAISE Newsweek's job well done!). Susan Russell is publishing this address:

tom.ascheim@newsweek.com

A quick note of thanks is all it takes! :-)

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I just used Susan's link to write them.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Anonymous;

You are on the wrong thread!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Susan Russell's link did not work ;-(

David said...

Email sent to tom.ascheim@newsweek.com and subscription renewed!

IT said...

Anonymous was me, I guess the paste didn't work. I've deleted that one. Here's the right link:

editor's letter