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MARRIAGE: Christians with secular views on gay marriage

Letter by Richard H. Overman, University Place on Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:17 am with 45 Comments »
January 24, 2012 12:31 pm

Sexual liberation has been for many years a central goal of those who speak for the secular and irreligious political left, and it is not surprising to find this segment of American culture now pressing for “gay marriage” as part of its crusade for “human rights.”

What is (or should be!) surprising is that a number of Christians also support “gay marriage.” This is a curious fact, and it shows that many contemporary Christians have only very shallow roots in their religious tradition, while down deep they are much more in sympathy with the frankly secular currents of American life. One might even suggest that these folks are now, perhaps unwittingly, undergoing “re-baptism”in these more secular waters.

Leave a comment Comments → 45
  1. Maybe some Christians are just better at separating Caesar and the Church.

    There is nothing in any marriage equality act that requires any religion to change their views on gay marriage or to force either churches or individual pastors to perform such marriages.

  2. Fibonacci says:

    Richard
    I am religious and my personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman, but that is MY religious belief and I have no right to try to impose that on others. We have a gay couple that is part of our social circle and they went out of state and got “married”. Now, I may not consider them married, but they do and I have to respect what they feel even if I don’t feel the same way.

  3. What is even more surprising is that there are some self-proclaimed Christians who pay far more attention to the Old Testament and letters from Paul than the words actually attributed to Christ.

  4. Richard, what should be even more surprising is the number of Christians who eat shellfish!

  5. And divorced Christians! Who would have thought that Christians would so readily violate the Old and New Testament prohibitions on divorce, or even live in the same country with people who are divorced.

    “Good Christians” ought to change the Constitution to say that if it isn’t in line with their version of the Old or New Testaments, then the action is prohibited.

    I guess according to this letter writer America should be a theocracy instead of the secular nation Christians now live in.

  6. BlaineCGarver says:

    Let’s leave religion completely out of it and concentrate on purely science ONLY…..if all the little boy monkeys only boinked little boy monkeys, there would be no humans, would there?(and dang few monkeys)

  7. Blaine – your grasp on science is ……….

    but it does seem that you do seem to accept evolution – I’m thinking there are probably some sanctimonious Christians who would see that as your “second baptism” into humanism.

  8. TacomaDad79 says:

    If Christians didn’t evolve their thinking, and the Church didn’t evolve their thinking we would still be in a society that used the Bible to defend racism, slavery, sexism, etc.

    Please keep in mind, that it was only a few years ago that people were quoting the same book to defend segregation of blacks and whites. You can replace the words ‘gay marriage’ with ‘interracial marriage’ from letters to the editor 50 years ago and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

  9. In Richard’s view there are apparently only two kinds of Christians.

    1. Christians who, like him, believe in the entire Bible as every word in it being the “literal word of God” in both Old and New Testaments. (Do those kinds of Christians eat ham or bacon? They really shouldn’t y’know.)

    2. Bad Christians who don’t believe in the same way he does. He says these Christians have “shallow roots.” (These kinds of Christians DO eat ham and bacon, and probably even lobster when they can afford it.)

    There are a lot of other variations of Christians, like those of us who realize that:

    1. Christianity is what it is because of Jesus, The Christ, and so the word of Jesus is the word of God, and Christianity is called Christianity, because Jesus is called The Christ.

    2. The New Testament, in the Four Gospels, is where you will find the word of God as given us by and through Jesus, The Christ.

    3. The Old Testament is the portion of the Bible that describes the history of the Jews, lists Jewish laws, and is not really Christian at all. (Although it is Christian heritage, because Jesus was born a Jew. He had to be. At the time of his birth there were no Christians.)

    4. The part of The New Testament, after the first Four Gospels, are mostly interpretations by men of the words and teachings of Jesus. Thus, if there is a conflict between what Jesus is recorded to have said in the Four Gospels, versus what Paul or someone else may have written in one of the letters or books in the remainder of The NT, then Jesus’ words wins out every time – no contest!

    Richard’s claim that Christians who don’t believe as he does have “shallow roots” is really an unfair and wrong statement. Just as is his refusal to accept same-sex marriage as a basic non-religious human right.

    Besides all that, the proposed change in Washington state law, to allow same-sex marriages, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any religious aspects of marriage. So, what’s the problem here anyway? There is none actually!

  10. BlaineCGarver says:

    bB, if you leave out spelling, I’ll whup you in IQ any day you want to try….Oh, anagrams, too…I suck at anagrams…. Why not stop with the personal comments? Instead why don’t you give an example of why I was wrong*******************crickets*******************thought so.

  11. Good comment muckibr. I was ready to explain the very thing about the New Testament because of all the ignorant comments about Christians, and here you explained it way better than I could have ever done so, thank you and God Bless.

  12. You will have to excuse bb Baine, he always has his head in the clouds, or somewhere ??? It seems bb is just a liberal contankerous type of a guy that can’t help himself when it comes to making himself known on this thread and arguing with anyone that proclaims to be a Christian and/or conservitive.

  13. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Blaine:

    To use your analogy: if all the little boy monkeys wanted to boink other boy monkeys but were prohibitted from doing so, what makes you think there would be any more monkeys at all — or humans for that matter?

    Your question presumes that gay people will somehow miraculously start making babies with members of the opposite sex if they aren’t able to have sex with each other — as if sex and marriage were dependent on one another.

    No one is saying that homosexuality is dominant within our species, or even close to being so. It’s just a trait that some people are born with (somewhere between 4 & 10% of the population). Even with the most conservative estimates, being gay is more common than having red hair.

    Removing that fraction of the populace from the gene pool would have abosolutely no effect on the procreative abilities of a world with 7 billion people in it. It wouldn’t even effect that of a world with around 300,000,000 in it, as there was around the time of Jesus.

    Arguing that homosexuality would end procreation for the entire human race — much less even affect it — is asinine.

    The rate of infertility in heterosexual couples throughout the world is somewhere between 6 & 10%, and no one suggests that those people should be prevented from getting married, even though their numbers are equal to or higher than that of homosexuals. Face it: your “scientific” procreation argument fails. The only reason anyone opposes marriage for same-sex couples is bigotry.

  14. Thought provoking letter Richard.

  15. Thank you Darlin! I recall that I kind of got off to a bad start with a response I made to one of your comments a while back on another topic. (And I was proven to be kinda wrong.) I am hopeful that my comments since, and this one above, have redeemed me a bit in your eyes.

    And, I’m also hopeful that others will begin to understand that there are Christians in this world, country, and state who are a little more open-minded than they might think a Christian could be.

  16. ManuelMartini says:

    Marriage isn’t about procreation.

    Ask Bristol Palin. She isn’t married.

  17. PumainTacoma says:

    Might as well redefine everything…spouses, sexuality, gender. I vote for polygamy. A spouse to clean, one to cook and one to do yard work, too. Why limit the right to marry as many times as you want. Who says I can’t marry 3 times all at once. In fact, why not add in reproductive rights like the man (or is he a woman?) with the womb in Oregon giving birth… what else can we throw into the mix of sexuality to confuse the whole world existence. I assume the GLB group would argue the Oregon man or woman needing similar rights over needing a good psychologist.

    Call it a civil union. Sign the paper and call it good. But I don’t think someone’s sexual preference should change the definition of marriage. If you care enough for your partners why not make civil unions enough, why destroy everything about the union of marriage.

  18. menopaws says:

    Here we go again…….Another writer explaining to all of us why our beliefs are wrong………Explaining how his views of God and religion are the right ones….and the rest of us are NOT true believers. Puffed up little people who thinks the Lord only speaks to them………Wow! Get yourself better meds……

  19. ManuelMartini says:

    Many religions have had poligamy as part of their faith, as have made women a property.

    Good luck, Pumain. I’m certain there is a line of women just waiting for the opportunity to be your “equal”.

  20. slugoxyz says:

    I guess my biggest problem with the letter is the writer’s assumption that they know the will of God. I do love a Christian that is absolutely convinced who is going to heaven and who isn’t. Me? I tend to believe that is more in deed than your rote memorization of writings that occurred hundreds of years after the fact. I’m not saying the Bible isn’t based on truth. I prefer to believe it is although I can’t prove it and therefore am in no position to tell anyone they’re wrong about their belief in a creator or the Son of god.

    Having said that; I don’t think allowing gays to be married means it will soon become mandatory so if boy monkeys boink (colorful term – I like it) other boy monkeys, it will not become mandatory so the monkeys will likely go on as a species. Besides, if you really are a homophobe, you should wish marriage on all gays since it makes so many people miserable. Heck! If you hate gays, you should force them all to get married! What are you all so afraid of? Are you afraid that two same sex people get to be in your club? The marriage club? What did you do to qualify for the “marriage club”? Knock up someone or get knocked up? Really? That’s the level of sophistication it requires to be married? Oh yeah… Two people who love each other… no wait… They have to be opposite sex and likely later opposite interest and views and direction of growth and 50% of them must end in divorce. Yeah. That’s it. Let’s keep marriage exclusive so just the majority can screw it up. Sorry. Cynical I know.

    Is it really about God or is that just the best argument you have? I don’t think God really cares who is legally married in the State of wherever. I believe he cares about who is caring for someone else. Who is raising a family with their children’s needs ahead of their own. Who is contributing to society in a constructive and benevolent way? If that is the case, there are a lot of heterosexuals who shouldn’t be allowed to be married.

  21. You are welcome Muckibr and you sound like a good common sense person. I do enjoy your posts very much and our little disagreement has long been forgotten :)- All the Christians I know are open minded and hopefully do not put a lot of stock in what the nasayers post.
    Just one more thought on same sex marriage. Maybe slugo has a point. Have you ever known a man and woman that lived together for years, then married and the whole thing fell apart? Just thinking about that.

  22. I was going to comment on slugoxyz’s comment as well, but as with my first encounter with you Darlin, I recall I kinda disagreed in the past with slugo… and was not sure how he would take it if I agreed with his basic thesis here.

    I do agree with much that slugo… has written, though I hope that people don’t get married and end up having bad relationships, or feel like they are members in some kind of sufferer’s club. However, I do know someone very well who has been married three times.

    None of his marriages lasted more than 3 years as I recall, and the last one didn’t even make it through the first year. Then he found someone he could live with. They move in to one house together, and had a son. They have been together for over twenty-five years now, and have never been married to each other.

    Sometimes formal civil or religious marriage just doesn’t work out for some people. I don’t know why. Should they be condemned for “living in sin?” No way! They should be praised for developing a great relationship and raising a terrific kid who has turned into one of the finest young men anyone would ever want to know. Kind of like what slogoxyz says in his final paragraph.

  23. Oh Blaine…..we will have to add delusional sense of grandeur to your list of issues.

    So….if we leave out everything that you don’t know and make sure the test is based in what you focus on…you’ll “whup” me in IQ.

    Do you even know what an IQ test measures?

  24. Not all Christians share the same theology or understanding of God and Christ. There are all sorts of Christian sects, so it is erroneous to assume that all Christians believe this or that.

    I do not think that Christians who affirm gay marriage have shallow roots. They question the authority of scripture perhaps, or they cherry pick which parts of scripture they like and toss the rest.

    Some apparently even do what bboy seems to think is appropriate and honor only those things attributed to Jesus himself. Of course in doing that they tend to cherry pick HIS remarks as well, conveniently leaving out references for instance to Hell.

    None of us can be absolutely certain that we have read and understood scripture exactly right despite the certitude with which some here speak. All we can do is prayerfully consider what we read and discern and live with integrity and candor.

  25. alindasue says:

    xring said, “Maybe some Christians are just better at separating Caesar and the Church.”

    xring started the comments with this and I think that pretty much summed the situation up.

    The United States of American is a country where we all have the freedom to worship according to our beliefs. In order to preserve our religious freedoms, we have to allow others their freedoms as well. That’s why the legal definition of marriage needs to be as simple as possibly without telling people who they can or can’t marry.

  26. sozo, I am sure that if I ask you just a couple questions, you will answer them honestly.

    1. Do you believe that all The Bible, Old Testament and New, is the word of God and the law of God that must be followed as written?

    2. Do you eat ham, bacon, or any seafood that does not have scales and fins like lobster or crab?

  27. 3. Do you believe a woman has a right to teach or to have authority over men and that they should keep silent? Timothy 2:12,

    4. Do you believe women should remain silent in the churches and not be allowed to speak? 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

  28. Gotta wonder how many “defense of marriage” zealots can somehow turn around and support Gingrich’s bid for president….

  29. Muckibr, your questions imply a shallow reading of scripture; a lifting of lines out of context to make a point. They also demonstrate that you do not understand the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. I don’t even want to dignify these questions with an answer to be honest.

    I believe that when you read the entire Bible with the intention of viewing it as a single narrative, you will find out how it is possible to view things as I do, and as many other intelligent, well-read students of scripture do.

  30. BTW all I was trying to say before is that the label, “Christian” is ill-defined in our culture. Use the term among some folks and it means “evangelical zealot,” while others us it to describe any group that recognizes Christ as the Son of God. Still others go by “Christian” in the cultural sense of the word…they were “raised in a home that practiced ‘Christian principles'” so they assume that makes them Christian.

    The spectrum is wide which explains how some who consider themselves Christians take the more liberal position regarding gay marriage AND abortion.

  31. ManuelMartini says:

    “Muckibr, your questions imply a shallow reading of scripture; a lifting of lines out of context to make a point.”

    Better get out the decoder ring, muckibr, so that you don’t make THAT mistake again.

    Interesting how Christianity “annoints” certain people with a better understanding of its mythical text, than others.

  32. sozo, “I believe that when you read the entire Bible with the intention of viewing it as a single narrative, you will find out how it is possible to view things as I do, and as many other intelligent, well-read students of scripture do.”

    So you believe that only you, and people who believe as you do, are the intelligent and well-read Christians who understand The Bible. Very narrow-minded and judgmental. You know that you are being very hypocritical by making such a blanket statement as that, don’t you? You just may be more of an “evangelical zealot,” than you think you are or will admit to.

    I have often said, in these blogs and elsewhere, that people are entitled to their own opinions on The Bible. I just believe the way I do, from the study of The Bible and Christianity I have done. Everyone, regardless of whether you think so or not sozo, is entitled to their own beliefs. I believe I can honestly say I will never see things the way you do. I could never be so closed-minded. But, thank you for being so blunt.

  33. slugoxyz says:

    Holy smokes. Muck agreed with me. I can die happy now…later better than sooner.

    Sozo – face it. Your sense of elitism stems from fear. Whether you admit it or not, you discount all others because you seem to think that in order for you to be right, everyone else has to be wrong. Open your mind a little. You only think you’ve found the truth because you’re a little too lazy to keep searching. Maybe…just maybe, there is more to it than your translation. Maybe the Big Boss Man allows for some latitude here since we all come in different shapes, sizes, colors and creeds. Maybe fretting over whether two guys or two girls want to be married is NOT where our worries should be placed. How about electing someone to get us out of this financial mess? Gay marriage? Fine. Pay me for the license and let’s get to the real business at hand. Like I said before. If I allow gays to marry, it doesn’t mean I have to be gay right? It is probably not indicative of a sweeping movement to bat from the other side of the plate does it? Oh all right. Because I’m a little old to switch. Maybe we should think about letting women vote too. Maybe… We can let people of color serve in the military while we’re at it! Hey! We may be on to something. Gay marriage won’t bring upon the destruction of this modern day Rome. Don’t you know? X-Box will.

  34. slugoxyz, Yes we agree on something, and I agree with your latest comment as well, nicely done! But, don’t get your hopes up too high. You know what they say: Even a broken watch is correct twice a day!

    (This may be one of YOUR two times today. Just kidding!)

    Take care my friend! Keep on bloggin!

  35. “So you believe that only you, and people who believe as you do, are the intelligent and well-read Christians who understand The Bible.”

    Not at all. I allow for the possibility that my understanding may be erroneous. I’m just trying to get you, muckibr, and others, to stop lifting single lines from scripture to make your case — as opposed to thoroughly exploring the bigger picture. If you do, I believe you wll find that there is no mammoth hypocrisy being committed by folks who eat shellfish AND believe it is wrong for a man to have sex with another man.

    I don’t know if I’m right about this for sure, but given MY personal studies, prayer and dialogue with gays and non-gays alike, including beloved family members, it’s where I stand at the moment. Do I need the approval of others? Nope.

  36. “I’m just trying to get you, muckibr, and others, to stop lifting single lines from scripture to make your case”

    sozo, if you really read any of my comments that reference Bible passages, you would know that as a general rule I don’t do that.

    And, I never ever said you need anyone’s approval to believe as you do. Never said that, ever.

  37. Blaine – reread your “challenge” to me and it seems that your grasp of internet postings is less than complete. In order for the :::::::::crickets chirping:::::::::: line to be effective you really have to give your “opponent” some time to respond to you.

    One would think that someone with the high IQ that you claim to have would understand that.

  38. OK

    .Let’s leave religion completely out of it and concentrate on purely science ONLY…..if all the little boy monkeys only boinked little boy monkeys, there would be no humans, would there?(and dang few monkeys)

    Since the percentage of those who identify as gay, lesbian or bi-sexual in our nation is less than 4% it follows that monkeys would have a similar low percentage of “little boy monkeys” who demonstrate an interest in “boinking” other little boy monkeys (the percentage would be even less if one believes that homosexual behavior is a choice rather than a genetic pre-disposition).

    Since the percentage of gay monkeys is so tiny it follows that Blaine’s premise is, on the face of it, completely disconnected from what science demonstrates is within the realm of possible scenarios and therefore demonstrates a less than complete grasp on science. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that my response was accurate:

    Blaine – your grasp on science is ……….

    but it does seem that you do seem to accept evolution – I’m thinking there are probably some sanctimonious Christians who would see that as your “second baptism” into humanism.

    Now….if you think I should somehow arrange to take a test of my IQ that “left out spelling” in order to compete with Blaine, I would have to conclude that, like Blaine, you are putting forward an unsupportable premise.

  39. Now that beerBoy as weighed-in, may I offer this to Blaine’s original comment, which was:

    BlaineCGarver
    JAN. 24, 2012 AT 12:27 PM
    “Let’s leave religion completely out of it and concentrate on purely science ONLY…..if all the little boy monkeys only boinked little boy monkeys, there would be no humans, would there?(and dang few monkeys)”

    ANSWER: Blaine, human beings did NOT evolve from monkeys. If you think we did, then you completely misunderstand Darwin, and you should probably get your IQ retested. Monkeys could have gone completely extinct for any number of causes, and there would still have been a human evolution from earliest man to modern man.

  40. Well, I find it interesting that we would look to the animal kingdom to attempt to normalize infrequent occurances of human behavior.

    Monkeys pick nits off each other and eat them, male lions eat their offspring, dogs eat p00…

  41. Yah Blaine! Now even SPeters thinks you were being GOOFY to bring “monkeys” into this discussion!!!

  42. SPeters. I agree. I’ve said for years that looking to nature as a foundation for establishing moral standards is absurd. I’m especially amused to think of how we’d apply the fact that certain female spiders use their male counterparts for sex and then kill them. Let’s do that.

  43. It’s just bizarre that someone would actually use abnormal animal behavior to justify abnormal human behavior.

  44. See Blaine! Now even sozo thinks you mentioning monkeys is GOOFY! And SPeters admits that he (SPeters) is abnormal. (Who didn’t already know that?)

  45. That’s your lamest most juvenile yet bro.

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