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2271Re: Critique of Newsweek's biblical arguments on gay marriage

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  • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
    Dec 23, 2008
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      Heinz,

      I think we have both now stated our positions and presented our
      arguments on this issue, and I'm ready to move on to other things.

      In Christ's service,
      Rob Bowman



      --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Heinz Schmitz"
      <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
      > <faithhasitsreasons@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Heinz,
      > >
      > > I had written that "the New Testament everywhere assumes that a
      > > believer should be monogamous (e.g., Matt. 19:1-10; 22:23-28;
      Luke
      > > 14:26; 1 Cor. 7:2-4; Eph. 5:23-33; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)."
      > >
      > > You replied:
      > >
      > > << Even personally looking at the Scriptures you quote, I am
      still
      > > left with the fact that there is not a single verse from the New
      > > Testament that prohibits polygamy. Jesus referred to the OT which
      > > allowed for polygamy. Simply because one man and one woman and
      being
      > > single may have been preferred, this does not in itself mean
      polygamy
      > > was condemned. >>
      > >
      > > In the Pastoral Epistles, monogamy is one item in the lists of
      > > characteristics exemplifying general good character that is
      expected
      > > of church leaders. These are not extraordinary qualifications but
      > > rather the expected behavior of solid Christian persons (e.g.,
      not a
      > > drunkard, not violent, hospitable). The Jews by this time were
      almost
      > > entirely monogamous (there were isolated exceptions), which was
      > > widely and generally understood to be the norm, which is why
      Jesus
      > > always assumes monogamy in his comments on marriage. Paul found
      it
      > > necessary to mention monogamy in reference to church leaders
      because
      > > Timothy and Titus were pastoring churches with large contingents
      of
      > > converts from paganism, where polygamy was more significant--but
      even
      > > here, monogamy was the norm in the Greco-Roman, Hellenistic
      culture.
      > >
      >
      > Yes, the early Christians adopted the pagan practice of monogamy.
      The
      > ancient pagans generally disapproved of polygamy, although they did
      > not actually consider it illegal, and it was unscriptural only for
      > church leaders.
      >
      > > You had written:
      > >
      > > << I am only arguing in favor of gay marriage. >>
      > >
      > > Okay, I'm going to give in and ask: Is there some reason why
      you're
      > > so concerned about arguing in favor of gay marriage?
      > >
      >
      > Reply: I suppose in the past Christians would ask what possible
      reason
      > anyone would argue in favor of equal rights for women, Jews and
      blacks
      > as well. Denying marital rights for gays diminishes everyone and
      makes
      > a mockery of the statement "with liberty and justice for all."
      >
      > > So I replied:
      > >
      > > "Fine and dandy. Please proceed, using only arguments that will
      show
      > > support for gay marriage while not being equally useful for
      > > supporting incestuous marriage."
      > >
      > > You now reply:
      > >
      > > << I am not and will never argue in favor of incest, and it is my
      > > mistake to have allowed your use of the slippery slope fallacy
      for
      > > this long. >>
      > >
      > > Huh? I never said that you were arguing in favor of incest. You
      > > agreed, however, that your libertarian principle implies that the
      > > government should not prohibit incest.
      > >
      >
      > Rob, I am thru allowing you to use the slippery slope fallacy.
      >
      > >
      > > I wrote: The fact is that Paul was no misogynist, and I dare say,
      > > since you used to study the Bible, you know it (Gal. 3:28; cf.
      Rom.
      > > 16:1-3, 6-7; Eph. 5:25-33). You replied:
      > >
      > > << Take the immediate verses in Ephesians and you have several
      verses
      > > that have been a bane in the side of women for millenia.
      > > "The goal in Paul's exegesis appears to be, without I hope being
      > > unduly harsh, greater conformity with the Jewish (or Palestinian)
      view
      > > of subordination of women (1 Tim 2:11ff; 1 Cor 11:7ff, especially
      vv.
      > > 10,12 {1 Cor 11})." Peter Richardson, "Paul Today: Jews, Slaves,
      and
      > > Women," Crux 8 (1970): 37. >>
      > >
      > > The Internet is wonderful, isn't it? I'll bet you got this quote
      from
      > > an article by Wayne House, in which House actually debunks
      > > Richardson's assessment:
      > >
      > > http://hwhouse.com/Current%20Articles%
      20Downloads/Theology/paul.htm
      > >
      > > If you didn't, you should read it.
      > >
      >
      > The internet is great Rob, and the Bible is still a misogynistic
      book
      > (see http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/womenbible.htm ) and why
      not,
      > it was written by primitive savages and clearly reflects their
      > worldview. Yes, you can point to cutesy scriptures about women, but
      > none of this does away with the bad ones.
      >
      > > It is therefore a complete misnomer to refer to polygamy as
      > > a "different form of marriage." It is not. It is a different form
      of
      > > household, but not a different form of marriage. The concept of
      > > marriage is the same: a union between a man and a woman.
      > >
      >
      > You're just arguing semantics here.
      >
      > << In Tibet prior to the Chinese occupation, about a quarter of
      > marriages involved brothers sharing one wife. >>
      >
      > >Everyone seems to agree that polyandry is extremely rare in the
      > >history of the human species and that Tibetan polyandry is notable
      > >precisely because it is so exceptional.
      >
      > Reply: Yes, Rob, you have an explanation for any different form of
      > unions in the past so as to brush them all away, but the Ozzie and
      > Harriet "traditional" marriage is really only a late invention in
      > human history. My point stands that marriage has been an evolving
      > institution. Again, we are at a point in history where people can
      > actually marry for love and I say let them.
      >
      > >
      > > << Stop the hate, let love in and make this a better world for
      > > EVERYONE. >>
      > >
      > > I fail to see how it is "hate" to dispute the validity of gay
      > > marriage.
      > >
      >
      > Reply: And many bigots of the past felt they were even acting
      > altruistically. Those who committed cruel acts in the past in the
      name
      > of religion probably felt they were working for the greater good.
      > Christianity has always been the enemy of social and moral progress
      > and when someone like you perpetuates the idea that others should
      not
      > have the same rights as you, then you also create the notion that
      > others are inferior to you, making criminal acts against such ones
      easier.
      >
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