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MARRIAGE: Bible citations getting tiresome

Letter by Jim P. Borah, Tacoma on June 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm with 52 Comments »
June 14, 2012 1:56 pm

I am tired of hearing the opponents of gay marriage cite the Bible as their reason for opposition. In the Bible, God endorses a man having multiple wives and concubines. It is also in the Bible that if a woman is widowed and has not had a son, she is to marry her brother-in-law. And a man who has raped a woman is to marry said woman.

I hear no outcry for civil law to mirror the Bible on these issues of marriage. If you don’t like the idea of gay marriage then just say so, but don’t try and fool me that it is your belief in the Bible that makes it so.

I can respect your opposition to gay marriage, but I am tired of the selected reading and interpretation of the Bible.

Leave a comment Comments → 52
  1. charliebucket says:


  2. KnowsTheTruth says:

    oh God!

  3. sumyungboi says:

    The left likes to quote the bible because they think that all conservatives are bible thumpers, and there’s always Alinsky rule #4.

    Anyway, when anyone, from either side and for whatever reason, starts quoting the bible in a political debate, they’ve lost.

  4. sumy? The letter writer is pointing out the hypocrisy of using the bible quotes. Big difference. Have you noticed the letters to the editor lately (and the comments) all quoting the bible for their justification to oppose same sex marriage? Have you noticed that even after our lawmakers made it legal, the anti same sex marriage bible thumping brigade has now collected enough signatures to make the law passed, to go up for a vote with the citizens? Sure they may logically lose, but they might get their bible agenda passed while you are staying logical.

  5. sumyungboi says:

    I know what the letter writer was saying, Frida, I was adding my two cents. Recently I’d read several comments on various news sites using the bible as a tool, attempting to shame christians into a particular view. Whether that be the case, or whether we get christians using the bible attempting to spread their own word, I stand by what I said: once you start quoting the bible, you’ve lost.

  6. yungster – again missing the point.

  7. sumyungboi says:

    beerboy, you’re number two out of two leftists who can’t simply read my comment for what it is before jumping to conclusions about my meaning. Shame on you for being a blind ideologue.

  8. averageJoseph says:

    I’m tired of PROponents and b quoting the bible.

  9. bobcat1a says:

    “shame christians”? Impossible! The ones leading this crusade of intolerance have no shame. Self-righteousness is bulletproof protection from shame.

  10. yungster – Your “shame on me” makes me as happy as philichi’s claim that I am being foolish. Over on the Op/Ed section 3rdpig derides me regularly. As long as I keep receiving these put downs from posters whose reasoning capabilities are in your class I can be satisfied. Thanks!

  11. It is funny how the letter-writer derides the use of Biblical teaching by paraphrasing… Biblical teachings (rather loosely, BTW).

  12. Let’s make this easy. Everytime someone quotes the Bible as their reference to why someone shouldn’t have equal rights under the law, let’s just day “the Bible is a myth” and leave it at that.

    Trying to reason with a conservative Christian by using their own literature is like trying to teach a pig to fly.

  13. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

  14. NiceGuy (and others), I still like to quote the Bible and point out what Biblical scholars say the passages mean and offer what non-fundamentalist branches of Christianity say, and non-King James version literalists say.

    Young people and many wavering Chrisitans get bombarded with a view of Christianity that I think is coming from a point of view that is not Christ-like. Not all Christians believe the way that some people do who use the Bible to deny rights to people or who try to instill their religious beliefs into secular law.

    Christianity to me is a lot more relevant and important to turn it into a hate factory and echo how we saw it used against freedom and equality of many groups in our nation in the past.

    I agree with you that trying to reason with fundamentalists is probably not going to change their minds, but at least it will present another point of view showing Christianity as a religion of toleration, love and peace instead of hate and intolerance.

  15. Scottc51 says:

    That doggone bible can be a real buzz kill.

  16. sumyungboi says:

    beerboy: “As long as I keep receiving these put downs from posters whose reasoning capabilities are in your class I can be satisfied. Thanks!”

    Hey, whatever, man. I notice that you didn’t rebut or even address my criticism, just snark for the sake of snark. But go pat yourself on the back for being all witty and stuff, you deserve it.

  17. averageJoseph says:

    He’s a legend in his own mind sumyung.

  18. BlaineCGarver says:

    Bible beliefs are nice, but just that beliefs. Now, on the other hand, same sex marriage is far from being decided. I personally don’t “believe” that it is legal. The world is so far removed from standards, that it does no good to assume a moral basis anymore.

  19. BGC – great news – you are correct – same sex marriage is not legal – that is why some of us want to change the law.

  20. The right loves to quote Alinsky, because they have been using his ideas for decades!

  21. Bible quotations are far beyond the “getting tiresome” stage.

  22. su — the ONLY argument for sexual discrimination is biblical. it stands to reason that folks would then use the bible to discredit these inherently bigoted beliefs.

  23. “the Bible, God endorses a man having multiple wives and concubines”

    Please indicate where you find this endorsement. Don’t break your neck looking because there is no such endorsement.

  24. sozo, would you consider a requirement for a man to marry the widows of his brother in addition to his own wives an “endorsement’ of plural marraiges? Deuteronomy 25:5-10

    Would you consider the numerous passages extolling how some of the OT tribal leaders treated their multiple wives well, or rules given in the OT on how to treat current and new wives as “endorsements”? If not, then many of the passages in the Bible concerning rules for living shouldn’t be considered as “endorsements.”

    During the Roman occupation of Israel, an exception was made in the Roman law against polygamy (that was enforced every where else in the Empire and occupied territories) because polygamy was so wide-spread.

    It is because of Roman law that we have, in the Western culture, laws against polygamy, not because of Christianity. The first prohibition on polygamy in the Christian Church is documented about 1000 AD.

  25. cadana1961 says:

    For some the bible is their only source of “facts” … Now that’s down-right scary!!!

  26. aislander says:

    Can we stipulate that one’s lodestar of morality is personal and therefore valid for that person and his fellow believers, whether that be the Bible or the communist manifesto, and stop the snarky attacks?

    No one can force his beliefs on anyone else in the democratic process, and we are free as individuals to accept or reject those beliefs for any reason we choose. If we choose to reject an argument because it is biblical or because it isn’t or to accept it on those bases, those are equally valid choices.

    Nonbelievers find the Bible to be nonsensical. Fine; I feel the same way about Das Kapital, the Port Huron Statement, and Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

    A biblical argument isn’t going to change any minds that don’t already accept religion as a moral framework, so why attack religion? Make the doctrinal argument if you wish, but to try to impeach the idea of religion is simply bigoted…

  27. aislander, the letter is about using the Bible to support why gay marriage should not be approved. If people would quit using the Bible to make statements about the “fact” that gay marriage is evil, then there would be no need for pro-gay people to “attack religion”.

    If you are going to use the Bible as the support for your arguments, then expect other people to work to impeach that source of support, just like I would expect people to look at studies, evidence and other support for gay marriage to see if it is peer-reviewed, scientific and actually says what people say it says.

    No one has presented any factual and rational support for being against gay marriage. Its all been about myths or religion or “changing definitions” or totally illogical reasoning.

    I agree that the reasoning should be rational and logical based on factual support, not on religious views. Bring it on.

  28. aislander says:

    It is obvious that biblical arguments aren’t going to change the minds of nonbelievers, so it also should be obvious that attacks on religion per se aren’t going to work on believers who may be swayed by a doctrinal argument.

    For those arguments to have any effect, you would have to first persuade religious believers not to believe, and I know there are those on your side who wish to do that. Doctrinal arguments seem a more direct path to the goal, while the attacks on religion are merely annoying…

  29. aislander, “doctrinal arguments” as you call them, especially the ones who misuse what the Bible actually says, are just as annoying as attacks on religion. As I said, there would be no atacks on religion if people didn’t try to use it to deny the rights of others.

  30. aislander says:

    I tried to help…

  31. aislander says:

    I thought the purpose is to persuade, not to insult, but I forgot with whom we are dealing…

  32. averageJoseph says:

    LOL… the ones who misuse what the Bible. Sailed right past Tudds.

  33. averageJ, no sailing today, blustery winds are coming in from the right.

    I think anyone who uses the Bible to support a position for or against any secular law is misusing the Bible.

  34. averageJoseph says:

    Why, then, did you post Deuteronomy 25:5-10 ?

  35. To allow for the choices being made by society is not the same as endorsing them.

    I’ve made the point you tried to make here aislander, many times,but it doesn’t take. Nice try though.

  36. averageJ, as answer to sozo, I was asking her if she would interpret these passages as support for a contention that the Bible endorses plural marriages. I made no endorsement for or against any law concerning polygamy by that citation.

    My opinion is that polygamy harms inheritance rights, equality rights, and a host of other democratic ideals. I would never use the Bible one way or another to support or attack it if it came up for a vote on a secular law. Just as I am about gay marriage, I am open to considering facts and logic on that subject, but not Bible verses.

    Another example: my opinion is that Jesus says that divorce is a serious sin, evil and cannot exist if you are a Christian, and there are many passages of support for that view. It is not my purpose on earth to judge others and tell them how to live their life in harmony with their religious views, only in my own life and in my own church.

    I would need a lot of factual info, pro and con on the effects of divorce on people and society before I made up my mind if it were to come to a vote. It would not be based on the Bible, since such a law would not effect my own choices in life or my own religion.

  37. sozo, so the fact that God thought these men who had plural wives were righteous is not an endorsement? It certainly wasn’t any statement against, and it is hard for me to consider it neutral, either, since many of these stories were used as examples of how we are to live our lives and how God reqards those who follow his instructions.

    The Bible did make a distinction between how David and Soloman acquired, used and abused their many wives and concubines, and that is a lesson, too that is often overlooked.

  38. averageJoseph says:

    … you’re still doing it…

  39. islander — We use the biblical references for a simple reason; because the church uses the bible as it’s source of teachings.

    My dad was a pastor, he read his bible throughout the week until a message jumps off the pages.

    The preacher’s job is to interpret the words in the bible to his congregation.

    The point of US using biblical passages is very simple, we believe the church is misinterpreting the message. I still read my bible myself, personally. I don’t just trust that some preacher is on some higher plain of understanding. Most preachers don’t read Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic.

    We continually use your own book to try and open your eyes to the fact the the capital C Church is pushing the anti-gay propaganda, when Jesus himself didn’t talk that way.

    For Jesus taught “love your neighbor as yourself,” “judge not lest ye be judged,” “blessed are the merciful” and “in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 22,7,5 and 15).

    The doctrines of men, not of him.

    Paul wrote, “But now, we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not to the old written code” (Romans), and warned (Galatians), “You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ, you have fallen from grace.”

    Again, Jesus and Paul said stop it. Stop looking at the spec in your brothers eye, and focus on the plank of systemic bigotry incroaching itself in your churches on Sundays.

    We also use the Levitical code to expose the hypocrisy of trying to take the bible literally when even y’all don’t follow it’s law. The – Capital C – Church’s cherry-picking of biblical standards just doesn’t jive when you want to impose those standards as law upon other people who don’t share your rigidity.

  40. rigid interpretation…

  41. aislander says:

    jellee: I don’t have any quibble with using doctrinal arguments to attempt to sway Christian believers, as I stated above, but there are a few posters who attack the very idea of religion.

    Not only are those members not helping their cause, in my opinion, but they are the the true bigots in this discussion…

  42. aislander, I hardly think people who attack “the very idea of religion” are bigots, any more than those who attack conservative philosophy or liberal political thoughts.

    There is a big difference in attacking an idea and attacking people.

    A person would be a bigot if he attacked people who were religious and denied them equal rights because they used the Bible as a foundation for their oqn lives.

  43. aislander says:

    Struck a nerve, did I?

  44. aislander, no, just explaining my definition of a “bigot”, which may be different from yours:

    “one who exhibits intolerance or animosity toward members of a group”

    “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.” O.W. Holmes

  45. aislander says:

    It is my opinion that, when you attack the essence of person’s core beliefs regarding his nature and his meaning, you ARE attacking that person…

  46. but they are the the true bigots in this discussion…

    Typical response from PeeWee Herman “I know you are, but what am I”, children “I am rubber and you are glue”, and Jonah Goldberg “Ever since I joined the public conversation as a conservative writer, I’ve been called a fascist and a Nazi by smug, liberal know-nothings, sublimely confident of the truth of their ill-informed prejudices. Responding to this slander is, as a point of personal privilege alone, a worthwhile endeavor.”

  47. averageJoseph says:


  48. tuddo, have you ever known a good man who has made some terrible choices in life? God worked with what he had to work with. We often ask the wrong questions about what it means to be godly, I think.

    We focus on David’s adultery with Bathsheba, and the fact that he put her husband on the front lines to be killed. Yet he was called a man after God’s own heart. Why? Not because of the above, but because when he was confronted with his sin, he confessed, repented and prostrated himself before God.

    Every man and woman in scripture was flawed, marked by a sinful nature.Men engaged in conduct that both angered and saddened God, but as I said, he worked with what he had. That does not add up to “endorsement.”

  49. slander — religion is the essence of a persons core? and christians are the real victims of bigotry? really?

    no, sir. we are born as human beings. you have no option to change how you were born after the fact. discriminating against people based upon how they were born IS the definition of bigotry.

    then, later on in life, long after our birth, we are taught our (well, our parents usually) preferred interpretations of ancient texts (without considering the other options of course, since y’all seem to think that god doesnt like the way other people praise him, the rest are all going to hell for doing it the wrong way).

    no one cares what religion you practice. really, we couldn’t care less. but when you want to impose your rigid interpretation of ancient scrolls by desert-dwellers on the rest of humanity? that’s when people are forced to stand up for themselves in the face of threats BY the church.

    there is no church persecution (except islamophobia and sharia-fear mongering), there is no anti-christian bigotry by any reasonable measure. in fact, EVERY single president in this country has been a christian.

    the only people who hate religious people? they belong do a different religion. people who pray the wrong way are a threat, apparently. y’all religions fight each other while the rest of us just shake our heads and shrug at all of the meanness, while hoping to avoid random acts of theocratical imposition on the world.

  50. I’m curious. Do those of you who dislike the fact that Christians turn to their sacred writings for guidance hold –in equal contempt– Native Americans who base their lives on spiritual beliefs, or Buddhists who make choices, including voter choices, based on what they’ve been taught by gurus and mentors? Hindus, Jews, others? Or are you selective about which religions should be respected and which ones not?

  51. sozo, you would be one of the first to complain if Native Americans required you to sit in a sweat lodgve for three days before you could amrry, or require that secular laws acknowledge only their religious beliefs.

    Believe hat you will, just don’t impose that belief on othjers is all I ask.

    Denying people who believe that they are marrying under God’s blessing, like we do in our church with gays, or denying marriage to people who don’t care about your religous beliefs is an imposition on them and is theocratic.

    If gay marriage kept you from exercising your religious beliefs, required yoyu to marry a person of the same sex, or harmed you or your family in any way, I would be there supporting you in voting against it. Howeverm, it doesn’t.

    You just want to deny people who have a different belief from having liberty, freedom and an equal chance at happiness. That is vindictive and petty, and hardly Christian.

  52. averageJoseph says:

    Is their happiness hinged on a word? They have all the rights, they just can’t call it “marriage”.

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