Somehow, I doubt that Newsweek arguing for a low view of marriage is going to be very effective in combating the argument of religious conservatives that same-sex marriage will result in a lower view of marriage. It apparently didn't notice that it was actually proving its opponents right.
Of course, the whole assumption that the Bible has a low view of marriage will come as news to people who actually read the thing.
But the sorry state of Newsweek's actual arguments has been been well put by Christianity Today magazine:
This is astonishing, for it not only misrepresents religious conservatives, but also Jesus and Paul—all in one fell swoop.
"Have you not read," Jesus once said, "that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matt. 19, ESV).
"Husbands, love your wives," Paul wrote, "as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' " (Eph. 5).
Where, oh where is this supposed New Testament indifference to marriage? Christ deserves our primary loyalty, yes, but the New Testament never suggests an indifference to other loyalties, to family, to neighbor, to the world.
In fact, marriage is the very analog for the relationship between Christ and the Church, which makes it that much more amazing that a writer for a major news magazine could say something so utterly ridiculous. Does Newsweek really think that if two men decided they wanted to get married in first century Jerusalem, no one would have batted an eyelash?
The article is quite frankly an intellectual embarrassment and will probably redound to the discredit of case for same-sex marriage generally. But what has been just as interesting is the response to it. Christianity Today magazine, which has gotten more and more "moderate" as the years have gone by, has thrown down the gauntlet on this issue with its recent editorial and related articles.
This seems to be a sign that the mainline evangelical community is not going to lay down and play dead on this issue. For those of us who have counseled resolve in the face of what we have suspected may be ultimate defeat on this issue, this could be a sign that the tide may be turning.