Same-sex Marriage & Religion

Regular columnist for the Lexington, Ky., Lexington Herald-Leader Merlene Davis wrote this in the 24 May issue: “I don’t see same-sex marriage as a religious issue,” the implication being that it’s merely a matter of civil rights. She exampled her marriage, not performed in a church and by a justice of the peace, and wrote this: “It didn’t have a thing to do with religion.” Obviously, it wasn’t a same-sex affair, so for her no marriage is a religious issue.

So…even though marriage hadn’t a thing to do with religion, she went through the usual litany of “sins” listed in the Bible that are as bad as homosexuality, perhaps never realizing that homosexual behavior and not the homosexual is the subject of condemnation. She indicated that all sins except blasphemy are forgivable, another way of saying that if it feels good do it because God is lenient.

Ironically, after insisting that religion had nothing to do with her marriage, let alone same-sex marriage, she spent a whole column discussing how religion does have everything to do with marriage, though she did digress sufficiently to insist that Romney isn’t fit to be president because of his insensitivity to the poor and elderly, which, of course, had nothing to do with her subject.

Not wishing to allow her extensive lesson in theology to be shallow, Davis strangely quoted instances in both the Old and New Testaments in which homosexual behavior is roundly condemned, even to the point of the death sentence being mandated for such aberrant behavior. She was careful not to mention Sodom and Gomorrah, however, since that exemplary wrath of God could hardly be spun into forgiveness.

Many religionists make much of the OT law being segued into NT grace, thereby excusing most anything if it feels good. President Obama’s denomination – United Church of Christ – officially sanctioned same-sex marriage in 2005. Jesus said he came, however, to fulfill the law and not negate it. He also brought up the subject of Sodom and Gomorrah in his condemnation of other worldly cities (Matthew 11). Homosexual behavior was anathema to him, totally unacceptable.

It remained, then, for the apostle Paul to explain that aberrant behavior was also to be condemned “under grace,” i.e., that God didn’t mean for the body, which is sacred because God made it in his image, to be defiled by using the elements designed for the procreation of the race in unseemly ways, such as in oral and anal “sex,” which actually isn’t sex at all, just unnatural use of body appendages and orifices.

Davis made much of the fact that the NAACP has come out in favor of “marriage equality,” whatever that is, though to her it meant same-sex marriage. What she didn’t mention is the fact that black folk don’t put much stock in any kind of marriage, more than 70% of black youngsters born with no documented father, i.e., parents who didn’t bother with marriage, which involves necessary but bothersome commitment. In 1960, about 75% of children were born to black “families” – mother, father. Things have changed.

This was Davis’s coup de grace: “Short of blasphemy, God doesn’t calibrate sins, even if we do.” She has no more idea of God’s “calibration” than an orangutan does, but she’s welcome to her own calibrations, which obviously indicate that since a murderer can be forgiven, his sin is no worse than the sins of gossiping/gluttony, which she mentions. Weird!

Blasphemy is defined as “irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable.” Violating God’s in-his-image handiwork, the human body governed through the gift of self-determination, by abusing its only instruments for perpetuating what continues in sacredness is aptly discussed in Deuteronomy 8:19-20, in which it is made clear that God can and will destroy nations that collectively succumb to defiling his creation. This country travels a moral slippery slope. One should remember the lessons of history vis-à-vis other great rotting-from-the-inside nations such as the Soviet Union, in real time.

None of this matters to Davis, of course, since it has to do with religion, which she says has nothing to do with marriage, though she devoted an entire column to biblical influence on marriage, which makes her attempt at a disconnect futile. She seemed to be preaching to herself, rather than making a point, sort of advancing the paper’s editorial stance.