Newsweek draws fire from conservatives for article on Gay Marriage

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    Dec 09, 2008 4:47 AM GMT
    Quoted from Yahoo News:


    capt.333ddbd649b74c75816b0b4efa0f61aa.ne

    Leading social conservatives blasted Newsweek for its current cover story, "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage," which they said misinterprets both biblical scripture and their own political movement.

    “It doesn’t surprise me. Newsweek has been so far in the tank on the homosexual issue, for so long, they need scuba gear and breathing apparatus,” said Richard Land, who heads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “I don’t think it’s going to change the minds of anyone who takes biblical teachings seriously.”

    Tony Perkins, president of the socially conservative Family Research Council, agreed, calling Newsweek’s cover story “yet another attack on orthodox Christianity.”

    “I hardly think that Newsweek is a credible venue for theological discussion,” said Perkins. “I mean, I thought it was just full of holes.”

    In a note at the front of the magazine this week, editor Jon Meacham predicted a backlash and struck a preemptively defiant note.

    “Religious conservatives will say that the liberal media are once again seeking to impose their values (or their ‘agenda,’ a favorite term to describe the views of those who disagree with you) on a God-fearing nation,” he wrote. “Let the letters and emails come. History and demographics are on the side of those who favor inclusion over exclusion.”

    And in an email to Politico, Newsweek managing editor Dan Klaidman invited further responses, writing: “The piece speaks for itself and we welcome the debate.”

    Lisa Miller’s cover story argues that the Bible’s lessons on marriage are ambiguous and lack the prescriptive clarity some ascribe to them.

    “Religious objections to gay marriage are rooted not in the Bible at all, then, but in custom and tradition,” Miller writes. “The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it’s impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours.”

    Perkins doubts that social conservatives will find this case persuasive.

    “If they think they’re going to cause Evangelical Christians or Bible-believing Christians of different stripes to somehow say, oh, the Bible doesn’t matter on marriage, I think they’re mistaken,” Perkins said. “I don’t think too many in the Evangelical world are too concerned about what Newsweek has to say.”

    What’s more, Perkins, Land and other religious conservative leaders cited textual evidence to counter Newsweek’s contentions.

    Quoting chapter and verse, Land argued that the Bible lays out a very clear prescription for opposite-sex marriage, starting with the passage in Genesis where God pairs Adam and Eve and proceeding through Ephesians, in the New Testament, when the apostle Paul compares the relationship between husband and wife to the relationship between Jesus and the Church.

    “How can you address the subject of marriage from a religious perspective and utterly ignore the two foundational texts that deal with marriage: Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5?” Land asked. “If a student turned a paper in to me on a religious argument for or against gay marriage and neglected to reference the two foundational texts, I would give them a pretty poor grade based on that alone.”

    In addition to contesting Newsweek’s specific scriptural arguments, some social conservatives took issue with the basic premise of the magazine’s story: that conservative opposition to same-sex marriage is based on specific biblical instructions.

    “I see it as an attempt to caricature and reduce to a cartoon the social conservative belief in the efficacy of traditional marriage, and try to reduce it to some formulaic, scriptural literalism,” said Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition. “There’s more of a practical, sociological foundation for why we seek to affirm marriage as an institution than I think is generally understood by those who want to legalize same-sex marriage.”

    Though Reed said he had respect for Newsweek, he said this week’s cover story was based on a “false assumption”: “We’re not trying to take the Bible and put a bill number on it and legislate it.”

    Land pointed to campaigns for anti-same-sex marriage referenda around the country as evidence that biblical instructions were not necessarily the main impetus behind social conservative opposition to same-sex marriage.

    “The arguments that are used are often not biblical arguments. They are secular arguments, arguing about marriage as being a civic and a social institution, and that societies have a right to define marriage,” Land said. Broadening the definition of marriage could “shatter” the social role married couples have traditionally played, he said.

    In an e-mail to Politico, Maggie Gallagher, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, took a similar line, calling marriage “the one necessary adult relation in society – the way we bring together male and female to bring the next generation to life in a way that connects those children in love to their own mother and father.”


    Once again, the last statement alone somehow nullifies and negates all hetero marriages that don't produce children.

    These people will stop at nothing to rationalize and legitimize their bigotry.
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    Dec 09, 2008 5:44 AM GMT
    zeebyaboi said

    “The arguments that are used are often not biblical arguments. They are secular arguments, arguing about marriage as being a civic and a social institution, and that societies have a right to define marriage,” Land said. Broadening the definition of marriage could “shatter” the social role married couples have traditionally played, he said.


    Funny... I don't see the secular arguments AT ALL.

    An hooray for Newsweek!
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    Dec 09, 2008 4:16 PM GMT
    These religious assholes really need to crawl in a hole and die.

    Kudos Newsweek. The more times the zelots get all up in arms, the better.
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    Dec 09, 2008 4:37 PM GMT
    To paraphrase an old adage. "Hell hath no fury like a Baptist whose scripture is questioned." Unfortunately a strong personal belief system with some people translates to narrow-mindedness and bigotry.
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    Dec 09, 2008 4:55 PM GMT
    Here's a link to the Newsweek article:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/172653

  • MuslDrew

    Posts: 463

    Dec 09, 2008 5:03 PM GMT
    thanks for the post, can't wait to read this!
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    Dec 09, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    Dear Sky Fairy -
    Tell me who can marry.
    Do you even care
    From your cloud chair up there?
    Because when I kiss my lover Serge
    My neighbors seem to get the urge
    To curse and act with hellfire fury
    Meant to conceal their simple worry
    That they might like it too
    Even as they cringe and go Ew.
    I tell them it's not catching
    Even if they find Serge fetching.
    But alas they pray and protest.
    Their child they think I'll molest.
    If only they knew the love I prefer
    Has 9 thick inches and chest of fur.
    Then perhaps they could pause and say
    The Sky Fairy told us you're kinda freaky, but A OK.

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    Dec 09, 2008 5:22 PM GMT
    That is very good Runinthecity. icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 09, 2008 6:50 PM GMT
    I just can't take the debate seriously anymore. The separation of church and state is no longer even part of the argument and represents a major downfall in my eyes.
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    Dec 09, 2008 7:20 PM GMT
    "Why would we regard its condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave?"

    You know, some groups might want to reconsider using their Christian faith as a basis for denying equal rights to others, lest it comes back to bite them in the ass. ... icon_eek.gif


    We dont remember it because it was so long ago, but the South had a whole biblical justification for enslaving blacks.

    noahs_curse.jpg
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    Dec 09, 2008 7:30 PM GMT
    Ya know, the war could be taken on the offensive...

    "In any case, one might add, Paul argued more strenuously against divorce—and at least half of the Christians in America disregard that teaching."

    "The Bible endorses slavery, a practice that Americans now universally consider shameful and barbaric."
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    Dec 09, 2008 8:34 PM GMT
    Good for Newsweek, and I'm even more surprised for publishing that (on the FRONT page, haha) knowing there would be a backlash. Can't wait for more journalists/companies to grow some balls. I better not hear an apology from them anytime soon, though.
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    Dec 09, 2008 9:13 PM GMT
    Where in the scripture does the Bible endorse slavery? And I don't say that with an oppositional tone, I have a Bible handy and I want to look it up and see for myself...
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    Dec 09, 2008 9:38 PM GMT
    Slaveowners are admonished to treat slaves well. I'll get you the verses.
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    Dec 09, 2008 9:40 PM GMT
    Fuck that I don't wanna be treated well. I pay good money for this shit.
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    Dec 09, 2008 9:46 PM GMT
    The problem with religious nuts is that there is no "there" left to colonize.

    When this happens (and it does from time to time) then we are stuck with decomposing brain mass in our midst and it gives off noxious fumes.

    As an example I give you Gordon Brown, Presbyterian, Scotsman, enemy of the Light Bulb.

    In other, better, times this man would not be leading a G8 nation, he would be mixing cool aid in some Guyanan jungle.

    Ughh. Kudos to Newsweek, I guess (poor Katherine Graham must be spinning in her grave).

    I am rooting for people like Elon Musk. If this guy can get his space rockets right then there is a hope for mankind.

    My vote is that we send these folks to Mars or Jupiter with a fluorescent tube under each arm.


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    Dec 09, 2008 9:50 PM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_slavery
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    Dec 09, 2008 9:54 PM GMT
    Depending upon the version/translation, slave/bondsmen/servant are used interchangeably. In the context of each, each is considered purchased property. In the last 100 years, translations have been reworded to remove the ugly stigma of the word "slave," preferring more palatable terms.

    Leviticus 25:44-46
    44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

    45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

    46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

    Exodus 21:2-8
    2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

    3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

    4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

    5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

    6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

    7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

    8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

    Exodus 21:20-21
    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.

    Ephesians 6:5
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. ( NLT)

    1 Timothy 6:1-2
    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. ( NLT)
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Dec 09, 2008 10:07 PM GMT
    Excellent post, Zee, and thanks for the link, theatre.

    From the article:

    "Today's vision of marriage as a union of equal partners, joined in a relationship both romantic and pragmatic, is, by very recent standards, radical..."

    It is sometimes difficult in our culture to remember that many aspects of Christianity that we take for granted today have no always been a part of traditional Christianity. The article was very subvert is using slavery and Jewish customs as examples.

    Of course the religious lunatics will not listen to the slightest bit of reason regarding the roots of their own history. This whole debate totally threatend their worldview. But Newsweek, as usual, tackles the story from a different angle than the traditional left-right cultural debate. It kind of reminds me of the Keith Olbermann article against Prop8.

    Perhaps we can be hopeful that these kinds of pieces will resonate with many Americans who are unsure about same sex marriage.

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    Dec 10, 2008 12:28 AM GMT
    styrgan said

    But Newsweek, as usual, tackles the story from a different angle than the traditional left-right cultural debate. It kind of reminds me of the Keith Olbermann article against Prop8.




    And this Anna Quindlen piece in Newsweek back in June is perhaps even closer to Olbermann's speech.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/139423

    Which isn't surprising just because some of the arguments seem so obvious that I'm surprised they haven't been used more widely. I do think that pieces like those by Quindlen, Olbermann and Lisa Miller may persuade some of those who are on the fence.
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    Dec 10, 2008 12:43 AM GMT
    Newsweek articleJesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family


    Luke 14:25-26Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.


    indifference doesn't quite seem like strong enough a word.
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    Dec 10, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    Too bad the people that need this information can't read. They just listen to other people read from the most popular book.
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    Dec 10, 2008 1:50 AM GMT
    If you want to read a lot of crazy, look at all the religious nuts who've left comments on the Newsweek site.