Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Response to a Biblical Response

Note: I'll clean up the formatting later, but wanted to get this posted as soon as possible. You can read my closing comments here. For an index of what's been said before, visit here. lgp

Guest Blogger, aTypical Joe:

For as long as it's taken me to respond to Lyn's Biblical perspective post, he might well think me AWOL! I assure you I'm not. I've been mulling it over for way too long, trying to decide how to respond. It's a tough one. Starting with his opening paragraph and the first of his two assumptions:
Any productive biblical discussion on the issue of homosexuality flows from two assumptions. First, participants take the Bible seriously, ie, both sides recognize the inherent authority of Scripture when properly interpreted. And second, they seek to apply what the Bible teaches in obedience to God.

We could go back and forth on the term "properly interpreted" for a good long time no doubt. So here goes... I accept scholar Bart Ehrman's contention that scribes -- through both omission and intention -- changed the Bible.

Ehrman, raised as an Evangelical Christian and now the chairman of the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, presented the results of his years of research reading the texts in their original languages in Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.

Of course, one answer to that might be that those scribes were heavenly inspired and directed by God.

I was raised with an understanding of the Bible as metaphor, that the lessons taught were relevant precisely because they could adapt to all of today's circumstances. And so I'd like organized religions, as some have, to embrace gay marriage and together we all learn from the Bible.

Then there's my understanding of God. In an All Things Considered segment, John Haught, a Georgetown University theologian and author of the books "God After Darwin" and "Deeper than Darwin:"
A God who really wants the world to become something distinct from God is going to give a kind of liberal leave to that world to meander around, to experiment with various possibilities, to become itself in the presence of God... The idea that God is primarily a designer is entirely too stiff and dead and lifeless a concept to represent the biblical understanding of God.

That's about all I can say. With those as my beliefs I am in no position to argue the particulars of Lyn's Biblical perspective. It's his. I respect it. He has every right to have and to hold it.

But in our debate, it is NOT my position that the state should, could or would impose gay marriage on any religion. Rather, it is my position that because Lyn is so forthrightly rooting his argument in his religious beliefs, his position appears to be that the state should, as it does now, impose a religious belief, his religious belief, on me.

aTypical Joe
News, views and musings from a gay New Yorker living in the rural south

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