Monday, March 03, 2008

Obama cites Sermon on the Mount to support same-sex unions


In an Ohio speech, Obama cites the Sermon on the Mount in his support of same-sex unions:
I don't think it [a same-sex union] should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans.
The presidential candidate and aspiring Biblical interpreter said he thought the gospel passage, which doesn't say anything about homosexuality, was clearer than Paul's statement, which does say something about it--a novel hermeneutical approach to be sure.

Here is what Paul says about it in his letter to the Romans:
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Paul, however, is not running for the Democratic nomination, and would apparently have trouble winning it if he did.


Jos76 said...

Most Fundamentalists are completely unaware of the historical context of the bible. They are just told what to believe, mostly by people who prey on them and have no theological training. Every theologian agrees on the importance of reading and understanding the Bible in its historical and cultural context. When considered in this way, the life of Jesus and everyone in the old testament is unimaginable in modern times, though the teaching of Jesus are beneficial when understood in our time in history. I am a convinced Christian and I don't agree (call me conservative) with all of the fundamentalists that promote murder, polygamy, torture, incest, and idol worship. If you want to be a Fundamentalist and disregard the historicity of the Bible, then you agree with all that is in it and thus know that many sanctioned people of God in the Old Testament had several wives, had sex with their children, and killed their relatives (the poor kids that did not obey their parents). Oh wait, they probably don't agree with that. It is convenient to use the historical argument for that, but not for the issue of homosexuality. Please worship God and follow Jesus out of love and devotion, rather than what is convenient for you.

Stevo said...

I seriously question the faith of anyone who refers to a passage of the Bible, especially one from the first chapter of Romans, as obscure. In fact, now that I think about it, Paul's letter to the church at Rome has to be one of the most profound and meaningful books in the Bible... but that's beside the point.

The real issue is the definition of marriage. If a homosexual "union" is not marriage, then what exactly is it? Heck, why doesn't everyone just form a political "union" with their best friend and get some kind of benefit for it? If a relationship does not have the God-given ability to produce fruit (thereby giving back to society), then it should generally not be recognized by the government.

One Brow said...

If a relationship does not have the God-given ability to produce fruit (thereby giving back to society), then it should generally not be recognized by the government.

Do you oppose the marriage of a heterosexual couple when one of them is infertile (say, from age, an accident, etc.)? If not, please distinguish the "fruit" that couple can supply versus the homosexual couple.

Martin Cothran said...

As far as I can tell, opposition to homosexuality falls into one of three categories: the theological, the ontological, or the teleological.

The theological is usually based on fairly clear Biblical statements about it. This is the argument of those who quote the Old Testament or the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. Your choice against these arguments is either to reject the Bible altogether (the argument of non-Christians) or to reject the parts you don't like (theological liberals).

The ontological reasons have to do with your view of what man is, and the fairly clear distinction between males and females--and the equally obvious differences (you might say even say "compatible differences") between them. This is the argument of those who point out the plumbing issues involved in homosexual sex, which are countered by those who simply reject the reality of gender, or who try to make some wacky distinction between sex and gender--in other words gender is a "continuum" rather than a "distinction".

The teleological reasons have to do with what humans, and their organs are obviously for. This was what was behind George F. Will's comment several years ago: "The rectum is not made for sex." To which the only valid response is, "Duh", to to which some have simply responded by denying the obvious function of human organs.

If you don't accept the reality of a divine revelation, or you don't know the difference between boys and girls, or you don't accept that things have a purpose, then you can accept homosexuality pretty easily--but I'm not sure your much good for anything else.

Because of these fundamental differences in worldviews, the debate over homosexuality ends up being a shouting match over a philosophical chasm.