Posts Tagged ‘same-sex marriage’


Does “Mormon” really spell “un-American”?

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in ethics, Mormonism

NOTE: This is a special blog entry from Joel B. Groat, the Coordinator for International Ministries for the Institute for Religious Research.

Fox News ran a story last week with the headline, “Tom Hanks Says Mormon Supporters of Proposition 8 ‘Un-American’”. The article quotes Hanks as saying, “the truth is a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop-8 happen. There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them.” Now Tom is one of my favorite actors, right up there with Jimmy Stewart, but is he listening to himself? Read the rest of this entry »

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Newsweek: Where Liberal Episcopalians Get Their Theology?

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in ethics

On December 16, 2008, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, gave a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on the subject “Religion in the Public Square.” Jefferts Schori, elected as the first woman to her position in 2006, is probably going to be remembered in history as the person who presided over the disintegration of the Episcopal Church. The process of this disintegration began in earnest before her watch when the denomination appointed an openly homosexual bishop and that is now accelerating to breakneck speed.

Although Jefferts Schori’s speech made no overt reference to homosexuality, it was clearly the elephant in the room. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gay Marriage and the Haircut Argument

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in Biblical studies, ethics, Old Testament

In my previous entry critiquing Lisa Miller’s Newsweek article defending gay marriage, I briefly addressed what I called the “Leviticus? You can’t be serious” argument. This is the argument that prohibitions against homosexual activity in the Bible may be safely ignored as morally irrelevant because some of those prohibitions appear in Leviticus, which also contains other material we think morally irrelevant. I pointed out that the two texts in Leviticus that specifically condemn same-sex acts are sandwiched in specific passages focused on what even Newsweek editors would (hopefully) consider highly immoral, socially deviant behaviors. Leviticus 18 and 20 condemn not only homosexual conduct (18:22; 20:13) but also incest, adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality. Leviticus 19, the intervening chapter, instructs Israelites to love their neighbors (including foreigners), honor their parents and the elderly, show charity to the poor, use honest weights and measures, and to avoid defrauding, deceiving, oppressing, slandering, or even bearing grudges against one another.

There is a specific element in Leviticus 19, however, that Lisa Miller cited as evidence that the book’s condemnations of same-sex unions have no moral force: its rules concerning what she calls “haircuts”: Read the rest of this entry »

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In a forthcoming Newsweek cover article already online, Lisa Miller, religion editor for Newsweek, offers “the religious case for gay marriage.” Not content to argue that the Bible doesn’t condemn same-sex marriage, Miller tries to turn the tables and present a case for gay marriage from biblical principles: “Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.”

It is probably too much to hope that Miller’s article will end, at least for a while, the incessant chirping of those who advocate same-sex marriage that the Bible ought to be left out of the discussion. If it is legitimate for advocates to cite the Bible to support their position, surely it is legitimate for opponents to do the same thing.

A thorough, point-by-point rebuttal to Miller’s article is beyond the scope of this post. I will content myself with documenting some of the common fallacies in biblical interpretation and theological argumentation that crop up constantly in the debate over same-sex unions and that the article exemplifies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fallacies of Same-Sex Marriage Polemics

   Posted by: Rob Bowman    in ethics, philosophy

In an essay on BeliefNet entitled “How I Went from There to Here: Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue,” Tony Jones explains why as a Christian (of an “emergent” point of view) he has come to defend publicly the rights of gay people to get married. There are several legitimate approaches from which one might critique Jones’s piece (biblical, theological, political, etc.), but I will focus in this post on the logical fallacies of his arguments. I am putting the focus on logic here because it turns out that these fallacies are extremely common in polemics defending same-sex relations in general and same-sex marriage in particular. I am also starting with a logical critique because, frankly, I am tired of defenders of same-sex marriage claiming that their opponents have no response other than to quote the same Bible verses over and over.

Early in his essay, Jones manages to commit three logical fallacies in one sentence (one of which is repeated twice in the following sentence). Read the rest of this entry »

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