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By Don Feder

December 28 , 2008




            The left can never quite decide if it hates religion and wants to destroy it, or has contempt for religion and wants to exploit it.  The French Revolution murdered priests and closed churches, but set up a Goddess of Reason in a vain attempt to harness mankind’s spiritual longing to Jacobinism.


            The Bolsheviks destroyed the traditional Russian Orthodox Church and made atheism the state’s official creed, then set up a dummy Orthodox Church composed of its lackeys.


            Hitler tried to avoid the mistakes of his revolutionary predecessors by not attempting a hostile takeover of Christianity. While the Nazis wanted clergy who would preach the doctrines of National Socialism, they were initially satisfied with pastors and priests who steered clear of politics.


The cover story by Lisa Miller, in the December 15 Newsweek – “Our Mutual Joy” subtitled “Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side” – both sneers at and seeks to subvert Judeo-Christian tradition.


A more honest approach is the atheist sign recently set-up in the capital of Washington state by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which proclaims: “There are no gods, no devils, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but a myth or superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”


 While wrong in every detail, at least the message is straightforward and consistent.


By contrast, Miller’s extended op-ed (she’s Newsweek’s “religion” editor – figures) is disingenuous, deceitful and an attempt to work both sides of the street – the Bible’s  message of love endorses gay marriage, and what the Bible has to say about the family and sexual morality is irrelevant.


The distortion starts with the introduction to Miller’s sermon by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham. When discussing homosexuality (including same-sex marriage) “resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism” and “intellectually dishonest,” Meacham tells us.


Why stop with homosexuality? Why not say that resort to the Bible’s teaching about charity, justice, the defense of the weak and powerless and war and peace – in other words, our obligations to God and man – is also the worst kind of fundamentalism? But, Meacham is willing to accept the Bible’s authority – when it suits his purposes.


Meacham’s other big argument is based on a convenient lie. “Briefly put, the Judeo-Christian religious case for supporting gay marriage begins with the recognition that sexual orientation is not a choice – a matter of behavior -- but is as intrinsic to a person’s makeup as skin color.”


But the case for sexual determinism is based on dogma, not science or religion.


Remember the hunt for the elusive “gay gene” of a decade ago. You never hear about it any more for a very good reason. Despite massive amounts spent on research, and media hype about its imminent discovery – such a gene was never found because it doesn’t exist (any more than a gene for sadomasochism, transvestitism, foot-fetishism or faith in the “politics of change”).


You might say insistence that homosexuality is intrinsic to a person’s makeup (in the absence of concrete evidence) is the worst kind of fundamentalism and intellectually dishonest.


Miller’s 2,700-word apologia advances the following arguments to demonstrate that the Bible actually has no objection to homosexuality, including same-sex marriage (so-called):

  • “We cannot look to the Bible as a marriage manual,” Miller insists. After all, Abraham and Jacob were polygamous, as were Kings David and Solomon.


  • “But we can read it for universal truths as we struggle toward a more just future.”


  • “The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it’s impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours,” except for those convenient universal truths, as determined by Miller and Meacham,


  • “While the Bible and Jesus say many important things about love and family, neither explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman.”


  • Besides, “Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments,” while “the apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust.” This is another of those have-it-both-ways arguments: Jesus and Paul really didn’t care about marriage, and if they did – so what – they were both bachelors.

This sophistry leaves one almost, but not quite, speechless. To be sure, Abraham had a concubine and Jacob had two wives. And the Bible teaches us what comes of this: marital discord, jealousy, abandonment and sibling rivalry carried to murderous extremes.


Because Abraham and Sarah didn’t trust in God’s promise, the father of the Jewish people consorted with Hagar, Sarah’s servant. According to Jewish tradition, from this union came millennia of conflict between the Children of Israel and the descendants of Ishmael.


To say the Bible approves of all the deeds it records, would mean that, because Lot – a righteous man up to a point – lay with his daughters, therefore the Bible condones incest.


How does one distinguish between universal truths which support our struggle toward a more just future, and the other stuff?


Saying the Bible “was written for a world … unlike our own,” is the same logic the left employs for reading its agenda into the Constitution. This compliments Miller claim that “the Bible is a living (read: evolving) document,” which bears a striking resemblance to the “living Constitution” argument advanced by proponents of judicial activism.


Please note, for the left, the Bible and the Constitution evolve in only one direction – theirs.


The times they are a changing’. Sandals and chariots are out, along with buckle shoes and powered wigs. Scrolls and quill pens have given way to the Internet and 200-channle HD TV.


Fashions and fads change.  Human nature does not. Biblical morality (including a preference for monogamous marriage and an aversion to un-natural acts) is an eternal code, based on man’s nature – the code and man’s nature deriving from the same source.


The Bible doesn’t explicitly define marriage as between one man and one woman?


Barry Goldwater used to say then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, the father of judicial revisionism, read the Constitution the way he read Playboy – with his wife turning the pages.


That’s the way Miller reads the Bible.


The Bible begins with one man and one woman – the first family. Genesis says woman was created because it was not good for man to be alone. 


God said a man would leave his parents and cleave to his wife and they would become “one flesh” – a unity achieved in their offspring. (Try applying that dictum to same-sex couples.) Man and woman were commanded to “be fruitful and multiply” (no, not that fruitful, the other kind).


The Bible does not begin with one man and several women, one woman and multiple men, two men, two women, Barney Frank and a baboon, or any combination thereof. It does not say a man shall leave his parents and cleave to his civil-union partner.


The Patriarchs and kings of Israel may have gotten some things wrong, but at least there was no gender confusion.


In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus sounds unequivocal on the subject of marriage: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.” The again, perhaps Jesus was speaking metaphorically.


For someone who supposedly viewed marriage as a last resort, Paul has some rather specific advice for married men: “Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.”


The law transmitted at Sinai prohibits both incest and sodomy.  “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”


The Hebrew word is also translated as “abomination,” a term of opprobrium reserved for the most grievous transgressions – sodomy, child sacrifice and ritual prostitution.


God tells the Israelites that, because the Canaanites did these things, the land “vomited them out.”


This instruction is foreshowed by the fate of Sodom (San Francisco in the desert). As related in Genesis 19, the men of the city “called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.’” In this context, to “know” refers to knowledge of a carnal nature – the way Barney Frank knew his boyfriend at Fannie Mae.


In Romans 1:26-27, Paul writes: “For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up their natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”


If you like, you can believe the Bible is myth and superstition, or allegorical tales.


But to assert that the Bible says nothing about marriage or homosexuality requires a willful blindness comparable to the failure of Congressional Democrats to see the looming mortgage crisis.


The Bible was not written for a world unlike our own, but one very much like our own.  


In Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome, homosexuality was either tolerated or celebrated. For these ancients, the idea that sex had a moral component was incomprehensible. The Bible was not written for its times, but to change its times. It should serve the same purpose today.


Finally, Miller turns the Bible on its head and spins it like a dreidel, in effect arguing: God wants people to be happy. He doesn’t want anyone to be lonely. He wants us to love one another. Therefore, by implication, He favors gay marriage.


There’s no telling where this line of un-reasoning can lead. (Love, exciting and new – come aboard; we’re expecting you.). A man and a 14-year-old girl are in love; God wants them to be happy. A brother and sister are in love; love is a good thing of which God approves. Applied across the board, Miller’s premise is a prescription for sexual anarchy.


In the screen version of the musical “Chicago,” Richard Gere plays a slick defense lawyer who helps Renee Zellweger, a brainless bimbo, beat a murder rap.


In one scene, Gere’s character says he’ll portray his client as both as “a moth drawn to the flame” and “a butterfly crushed on the wheel.” Zellweger exclaims, “God that’s beautiful!” Gere gives her a hard stare and advises: “Cut out God. Stay where you’re better acquainted.”


Miller and Newsweek take note.


This commentary originally appeared at GrassTopsUSA.com






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