I’ve never considered Newsweek any sort of authority on theology, primarily because they’re not. Dedicating a section of your magazine to religion doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about…especially when you’re well-known for being absurdly biased.
I’m biased, by the way…just not absurdly so.
Back to the point. The bad logic in this article should be obvious to all, but – I’m sure – some will miss it. Here’s the rundown:
- Newsweek claims that the Bible doesn’t actually condemn homosexual behaviors.
- Newsweek claims that even if the Bible does condemn homosexual behaviors, it doesn’t really mean it.
- Newsweek claims that since many people routinely ignore the Bible’s instructions on divorce, we shouldn’t bother paying attention to the parts about homosexuality.
Yep. It’s that bad. Here’s a quote for #1:
It probably goes without saying that the phrase “gay marriage” does not appear in the Bible at all.
Ah, the old ‘argument from silence’. Since the Bible doesn’t mention reverse mortgages, it has nothing to say about reverse mortgages. Such arguments ignore the actual content of the Bible and paint it as irrelevant to modern concerns. As anyone who’s read it with an open mind can tell you – whether believers or not – the Bible contains useful instructions on virtually every issue modern man runs across. There’s nothing new under the sun.
Here’s #2…talking about the New Testament passages where Paul strongly condemns homosexual behavior:
…Paul is referring in this famous passage to the depravity of the Roman emperors, the craven habits of Nero and Caligula, a reference his audience would have grasped instantly. “Paul is not talking about what we call homosexuality at all…
Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the text to substantiate such a view. It’s simply made up, imposed on the text, and accepted as true. Just as unfortunately, many will read that and say “Hmmm…I didn’t know that!”.
Here Newsweek tells us (#3) that we shouldn’t bother applying Old Testament passages about homosexual behaviors:
Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as “an abomination” (King James version), but these are throwaway lines in a peculiar text given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world…
Their argument is that, since few people follow the Levitical instructions for cleanliness or for sacrificing animals, the portions that mention homosexual behaviors are “throwaway lines”. That’s a ridiculous claim, of course. Each passage must be taken in context to see to whom it would apply.
The Bible endorses slavery, a practice that Americans now universally consider shameful and barbaric.
The Bible does NOT endorse slavery as Newsweek’s readers would understand it. Had they done their homework, they would have seen that the kind of slavery that the Bible talks about is more like employement than enforced servitude…but it’s always been a stretch to think that Newsweek’s religion department would do their homework.
For the record: homosexual behaviors have been around for millenia, and my opinion won’t change that fact. To be honest, I really don’t have a serious objection to homosexual having civil unions or marriage ceremonies. Here’s what I do object to:
- I object to ignorant and biased people pretending they know what the Bible teaches.
- I object to politically-motivated loudmouths pretending there’s any scientific evidence that anyone has ever been born homosexual.
- I object to people who have no interest in God telling impressionable people what God does or does not expect of them.
To all of my gay friends: I love you. I don’t condemn you. I accept you as you are…but you already knew that, didn’t you?