Biblical Law, American Law, and the Debate Over Gay Marriage

1 Jun

It seems inevitable, whenever I read a Christian perspective on Gay Marriage that God’s Law will be invoked.  It’s usually invoked with a “slam dunk” sort of statement.  You know, that “God’s Law clearly states homosexuality as a sin” sort of argument.  Since homosexuality is clearly stated as a sin in God’s Law, then Gay marriage should be off the table.  You can see an example of this type of discussion here.

But there is a problem with this argument, even from a Biblical viewpoint….let me explain.

Biblical Pick ‘N’ Pull

There is a  problem with invoking God’s Law as support for issues of American Law.  First off, there’s the constitutional issue of religious neutrality.  Most Christians skirt this issue without much thought, so I won’t waste my time on that one.

The main problem for arguing that God’s Law should apply to American Law, is that according to God’s Law, you are required to follow every jot and tittle.  Not just the laws that you like.

So in the case of homosexuality, it is most clearly condemned in the book of Leviticus.  I have seen it referred to many times when Christians discuss Gay marriage.  But here’s the rub.  Leviticus clearly condemns homosexuality as an abomination, deserving of death by stoning.  Do Christians really want to apply the full force of Biblical Law  to American Law?  If not, than why not?

To be fair, some Christians do think we should be executing Gays…but it seems most Christians adopt a much lesser version of disapproval.  Most invoke a type of “love the sinner, hate the sin” type of ethos and would never dream of actually killing Gays.  They say God will take care of that in the afterlife, if they don’t repent.

The other issue, is one of consistency.  What about other laws in the Bible ?  Shouldn’t they be regarded as well? Leviticus 19:37  says ‘Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.’ If we are to be consistent, then we are obligated to follow all of God’s law, not just the ones that support arguments against Gay marriage.

Here’s just a few…

Men can not clip their sideburns  (I guess Elvis was on to something)

No one can ever consume pork or shellfish (There goes the roadside diner)

No one can work on the Sabbath (Oh, and the penalty for this is death)

Children who curse their parents are to be stoned ( Stoned with rocks, not weed…)

Rapists are to be punished, by forcing them to pay the victims dowry and marry their victim (don’t think this is the type of Biblical courtship that most women have in mind)

I could go on with a couple dozen more verses that I suspect, very few Christians would actually want as American Law.  If you don’t believe me, go check out the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and then get back to me.

All or Nothing

It seems to me the scriptures are clear.  You can not apply a pick n pull approach.  Either you obey all of the law or none at all.  You can not argue that God’s Law should apply and then make exceptions that do not suit you.  That’s why I find it intellectually lazy when Christians do so.

It’s all or nothing…and I find that most Christians would rather be called pagans than be forced to obey all of God’s Law.  As the New Testament declares, the law was a burden that neither they nor their forefathers could bear.

If this is the case, then why should homosexuals be forced to obey God’s law?

9 Responses to “Biblical Law, American Law, and the Debate Over Gay Marriage”

  1. Ahab June 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Sadly, fundamentalists of all religions have always cherry picked what scriptures they want to follow. Most holy texts are so full of contradictions that it’s impossible NOT to selectively choose what passages to follow.

    Oh, and the next time a fundie quotes Leviticus when condemning homosexuality, ask them if they’ve ever had mildew in their bathroom. If so, quote Leviticus 14:33-53 to them and see how they react. 🙂

    • christianagnostic June 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Mildew…uh,oh…I’m a little late on my spring cleaning. Better go take care of it, just in case…

  2. freedom June 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Good topic – America is not a place of Biblical law. Nor should it ever be. The people that want it are the same people that will saw Jesus fulfilled the law, yet the want to bring it back thinking we need those laws for God to bless our country. We were founded as a country without a nation, state sponsored religion. The reason is that the founding fathers (many of whom were Deists) saw the damage that a state sponsored religion can do. Even the puritanical founders eventually came to agree with that. Yet, today we have a whole bunch of evangelicals that want biblical law……

    Reminds me of when I was younger and lived near the kingdom of Pat Robertson aka Regent University AKA CBN University. There were a group of students that wanted Biblical law restored. They had a plan – move to Montana, get elected to office and start to pass Biblical Law. Once Montana was under Biblical law, the rest of the country would follow. Others called it “The Montana Conspiracy”

    BTW – I am serious, there was a small group of people that wanted to do that – I had friends that attended Pat Robinson U and didn’t agree with that group.

    One last thought – we now also muslims who want to implement the even more restrictive islamic law in the US. That also needs to be spoken out against.

    • christianagnostic June 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      As far as Muslims (or Christians in Montana), we just need to stay true to the principle of religious neutrality.

      Just seems ironic to hear Christians, who say they believe in the New Testament, arguing for going back to the Old….I just don’t get it.

  3. acme June 5, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    I’m glad I found your blog from TWW — and know more about where you are these days. This is an issue close to my heart — I’m so proud of my daughter for being a fierce ally for GLBT friends. Love you, Musicman!

    • christianagnostic June 5, 2012 at 6:17 am #

      acme…thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!! TWW has been very kind to let me have a dissenting voice. I appreciate all that they do, even though I’ve landed on the other side of the fence, so to say.

      Glad to hear about your daughter on behalf of her GLBT friends…would love to hear more, if you care to share.

      peace to you guys….MM/CA

  4. Chris June 23, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Firstly, you’re wholy judging Christians. You can’t sit there and say Christians do this or do that because it varies by individual.

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