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"Defending gay marriage" from "How Would God REALLY Vote? A Rebuttal to David Klinghoffer's Conservative Polemic"

"Defending gay marriage" from "How Would God REALLY Vote? A Rebuttal to David Klinghoffer's Conservative Polemic"

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Published by Larry Yudelson
In this excerpt from "How Would God REALLY Vote," Larry Yudelson rebuts the arguments against gay marriage made by David Klinghoffer in his book, "How Would God Vote: Why the Bible Commands You to be a Conservative"
In this excerpt from "How Would God REALLY Vote," Larry Yudelson rebuts the arguments against gay marriage made by David Klinghoffer in his book, "How Would God Vote: Why the Bible Commands You to be a Conservative"

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Published by: Larry Yudelson on Mar 17, 2011
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05/03/2012

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Marrying for Love, Mating for Life
t seems incredible. Just 40 years ater the tonewall Riots launchedthe Gay Pride movement, the legal right to marriage has been ex-tended to same-sex couples in two states, with the legal equivalent inseveral others.ow have societal attitudes changed so ast?Maybe because the basic argument or equality is so strong.ven Klinghoer, writing with the avowed goal o providing “Bib-lical” wisdom and scriptural rather than political reasoning, has di-culty making a case against gay marriage. s we’ll see, he spendsa good portion o his ten pages explaining the reasons
in favor 
o gay marriageand while he ultimately dismisses them, we’ll see or our-selves that he’s actually tracking in some spectacularly fimsy anti-gaarguments.
 
54 Larry Yudelson / How Would God REALLY Vote
Klinghoer divides religious arguments permitting gay marriageinto three groups:irst o all, some argue that on same-sex relation-ships the Bible doesn’t mean what it seems to mean.econd, others preer to say that while the passagesdenouncing homosexual practice really do mean whatthey seem to mean, that act shouldn’t deter us romaccepting the liberal view on the issue. Why? Becausebiblical teaching itsel would even mandate that thetroublesome verse may be disregarded. ird, anotherview admits that the Bible may reject same-sex love,but insists that we are justied in dismissing its view because nowadays we understand things about sexual-ity and society that the scriptural authors did not.
1
Klinghoer omits an important ourth argument: Why should secu-lar marriage depend on a Biblical imprimatur? ne can imagine situa-tions (same-sex, or religious intermarriage, or even interracial couples)in which one cleric might reuse to ociate, but some other religiousgure, or the state, might perorm a valid marriage service or the hap-py couple. ometimes you just have to nd the right vendor.n general, those o us who keep Biblical commandments do nottake it upon ourselves to orce our private observances upon others. urpractice o our religion is between us and our God. We preer the ree-dom to worship as we see t, and champion that right or others, eveni they believe dierently than we do. is is one o the reasons thatJews have historically cherished the separation o hurch and tate.t has allowed us to be both good mericans and good Jews. n othercountries, at other times, we weren’t always so lucky.We’ve already dismissed claim that same-sex marriage is harmulto societyhis response to the third group o pro-gay marriage argu-ments. s we saw in the last chapter, that claim was predicated on an
1
p.38
 
55Marrying for Love, Mating for Life
understanding o marriage that refects neither Biblical nor sociologicalrealties.s or his second set o objections, which would dismiss the biblicalprohibition against homosexual acts as inapplicable or merican soci-ety, Klinghoer explains:ommenting on the original text in eviticus, thenotorious verse 18:22”You shall not lie with a manas one lies with a woman, it is an abomination”JacobMilgrom points out that it occurs in the context o specically Jewish legislation. us the name o the in-tended recipient o the commandment against homo-sexual intercourse is Jews, not gentiles. ndeed, verse18:20 warns married couples not to engage in sexualintercourse when the emale partner is menstruating, aeature only o Jewish law.o, these rules apply to Jews alone, and
not 
to the greater mericanpopulace.But in basing his opinion on the usage o the word
toevah
, “abomina-tion,” which he explains as “designat[ing] a range o morally culpableacts,” Klinghoer makes a telling and unorgivable error, completely ignoring the “ritual,” and thereore a-political, nature o many o the“abominations” discussed in the Bible.e eort to categorize the orahs commands as ritual or moral laws,(with a claim that
toevah
reers only to the latter) is problematic becausethe Bible makes no such distinctions between “ritual” or “moral” dicta. commandment is a commandment is a commandment. e rabbisdealt with problems like these by erasing the dierences between theorah laws, claiming that one could not speak o relative rewards o asmall commandment and a greater one. or the rabbis, small laws exactthe same meticulous adherence as the bigger, fashier laws.

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