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Marriage matters

"Marriage matters" Continued...

Issue: "The yoot vote," Aug. 4, 2007

WORLD: You note that, compared to animals with their estrus cycles, humans have "a lot more sexual heat, desire, and intensity, not for the purpose of multiple partners and sexual freedom, but to reinforce that most middlebrow and unhip of institutions: Mom and dad nagging the kids about finishing their homework. Such is the crooked path of human evolutionary adaptation. Mother Nature must have a sense of humor." Is Mother Nature rolling in the aisles, or do you think God might have had something to do with it?

BLANKENHORN: Maybe I should have said what the Founders said in the Declaration of Independence: "Nature and Nature's God."

WORLD: You also write, "I know what the Bible says about homosexuality. I disagree with the Bible on this point. Or, if you'll permit me, I believe that Jesus' teachings are inconsistent with the idea that today in the United States we should judge people as blameworthy just for being gay or lesbian." Since Jesus explicitly says that humans are "blameworthy" when we commit adultery, are you saying that sex outside of marriage is fine for homosexuals but not for heterosexuals-and why do you think that the teachings of Jesus are inconsistent with those of the rest of the Bible?

BLANKENHORN: Unless I'm mistaken, Jesus' teaching about adultery concerns the proper conduct for married persons. I don't recall Jesus ever saying anything one way or the other about homosexuals (who do not marry).

I know that many Christians believe that any sex other than sex between married spouses is wrong. I respect that view, but I do not share it. I'm not trying to say that Jesus is necessarily on my side on this particular point, either; I'm just telling you what I believe.

There are many statements in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures), forcefully denouncing homosexuality. There are also numerous statements in the Bible that seem to endorse, or at least accept with equanimity, the possession of slaves, the practice of a man marrying more than one woman, and the practice of punishing people by stoning them. I personally do not view these particular biblical statements-regarding homosexuality, slavery, polygamy, or stoning-as authoritative instructions (in the way that Jesus' teachings are) conveying God's desire or plan for human social conduct. I know that many intelligent Christians disagree, but that's the best I can do for myself on this difficult subject.

WORLD: You state that if gay marriage becomes legal throughout the United States, statements such as "every child needs a father and a mother" will "probably be viewed as explicitly divisive and discriminatory, possible even as hate speech." On what evidence do you base this prediction?

BLANKENHORN: In Canada and Europe, there have already been a few cases in which pastors are threatened legally as a consequence of teaching traditional Christian doctrine on marriage. If I say publicly "every child needs a father and a mother," and if the laws regarding marriage and parenthood no longer support that proposition, it seems quite likely that my comment will be viewed by some as offensive, and maybe even legally beyond the pale.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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