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Biblical authority, Homosexuality

Are Christians who oppose gay marriage today like those who opposed interracial marriage 60 years ago?

racism

Have you heard it said: “don’t be on the wrong side of history, again”?  It’s an emotional plea to your inner pride.  How about this reply: “I’d rather be on the wrong side of history, than on the wrong side on the last day of history”.

About 60 years ago another civil rights issue dominated the political sphere: interracial marriage.  Christians were shown to be bigoted and racist who opposed it.  They spewed Bible verses from the Old Testament that clearly showed that God did not want his chosen people mixing with other cultures.

So, are we who oppose gay marriage today following in their folly?  No.  Why?  Cause they were wrong.

I wonder if the proponents for this fight against interracial marriage understood the cultural setting for the verses they were using? Were they aware that even IF this was speaking about interracial marriage it would no longer apply under Jesus’s new covenant? In the Old Testament, God’s people (the nation of Israel) was to be set apart. Now we are working to blur the distinction. We are to love our enemies now… a way different command than the Old Testament times.

Basically those Christians who were interpreting those scriptures towards interracial marriage were incorporating man’s ideas about evolution into the matter. According to evolution different races of men would have arisen at different times in different parts of the world, and so it is easy to make an argument that one might be better than the other (Hitler did it on this reasoning). According to the Bible these different “races” developed after the Tower of Babel as different language groups spread out across the world and adapted to their environment. These Christians were ignoring Babel because they personally preferred the evolutionary explanation which allowed racism.

Today’s civil rights issue is not the same as 60 years ago.  Many comparisons can be drawn due to it being of the same nature (marriage) but this time Christians are justified in using scripture for their position.  60 years ago they were abusing scripture by picking and choosing while ignoring other parts.  I’ve always said I have no problem with a particular interpretation of scripture as long as it does not contradict another part.  60 years ago their interpretation contradicted other parts of scripture.  Today’s fight does not.

 

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

24 thoughts on “Are Christians who oppose gay marriage today like those who opposed interracial marriage 60 years ago?

  1. Should a church be able to refuse to marry a gay couple? Should they be able to refuse a black couple? An interracial couple? A couple who doesn’t want children? A couple too old to have children? A disabled couple? A couple with a large age difference? This is where it becomes very problematic.

    If a church can refuse to marry a gay couple, can they refuse them “membership?” Can a restaurant refuse to host a gay wedding? Can they turn away gay patrons? Can they turn away a specific race or religion from entering? Does this “right to exclude” apply to any institution? This is a dangerous path.

    When does “freedom of religion” stop?

    If it doesn’t stop at discrimination against others, where does it?

    At ritual sacrifice? Child abuse?

    If you want to suggest that in a “completely free” society, any individual or organization can choose who they provide their services to, whether it’s a coffee shop that won’t serve black people or a church that won’t marry lesbians or a moving company that won’t move handicap people, that is consistent logic, but I don’t think you would suggest something so inhumane.

    If you do think that as part of a society, and members of a state, we should protect people from being discriminated against, than why is religion exempt from that?

    This is the ongoing battle in Judeo-Christian-Islamic countries.

    Does religious freedom trump human rights?

    If Muslims believe that women are inferior, and should not be educated, should we respect their treatment of women in Muslim countries as acceptable? If they don’t allow women into mosques, is this acceptable under the banner of religious freedom?

    If Hindus believe that certain people, including children, are “untouchable” and should be left to die, should we find this acceptable?

    If Christians in the United States want to refuse to marry gay couples, should we allow this under the guise of respecting their religion?

    If I am an extremist and want believe I have to kill others to reach heaven, should I escape trial?

    This really is the argument about gay marriage (and abortion, and women’s rights, and minority rights, and economic disparity, etc.)

    It’s about individual freedom and collective wellbeing.

    What is problematic for me is that I don’t think the “individual freedom” argument is consistent.

    I can consistently say that no person, organization, institution or business should be allowed to discriminate against anyone on any basis in regard to the selling of their services or good, or in regard to their hiring practices.

    I don’t think anyone with a religious argument can consistently say the opposite. You might agree that a café shouldn’t be allowed to refuse to serve black people, or force them to use a separate water fountain. You might agree that a company (or a lender, or a landlord) shouldn’t be allowed to exclusively sell to or rent to or provide funds for men, refusing any women. You might agree that a restaurant shouldn’t be allowed to not seat handicap people.

    But you would still argue that a religious institute has the RIGHT to refuse to marry gay people. That is inconsistent.

    If I am wrong, and you think people and businesses should be able to discriminate as they please under the guise of “freedom…”

    Well, just think about that.

    That’s not the America I want to live it.

    Posted by bearprint | March 28, 2013, 3:31 pm
    • Thank you for your comment. You certainly raise some important points. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “If I am an extremist and want believe I have to kill others to reach heaven, should I escape trial?” That is what moral relativism leads to. When we say this is a secular society, that idea eventually fails. Its like Dostoevsky said: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” Christians don’t pull us away from that attitude by failing to stand up for something like this, we aide it. In the end it doesn’t matter what is fair, it matters what is right.

      Posted by Tim | March 28, 2013, 3:45 pm
      • THE AUTHOR SAYS “60 years ago they were abusing scripture by picking and choosing while ignoring other parts.”

        Like interracial marriage I challenge any Christian to show me where the Bible condemns abortion, masturbation, premarital sex, drugs, gambling, drinking, smoking etc. The bible is silent on these issues.

        Yet Christians are pretty sure they are right on all these issues and aren’t shy about using the Bible to twist God’s word when it suits their purpose.

        At the same time, when the Bible IS UNAMBIGUIOUS…they will often do the exact opposite.
        Example
        1. Divorce was condemned by Christ 4 times in the New Testament. He was very clear on the matter Yet 25-30% of evangelical Christians are divorced. And yet you don’t find Christians urging politicians to pass laws against divorce, do you?? Why?? Because many Christians are divorced AND THEY DON’T WANT TO ALIENATE them. Better to ignore Christ’s words and keep up with current morality.

        2. The Bible clearly defines the subservient rule of a woman. “The man is head of the woman”. “God created man but women was created from a man.” “Women should keep silent and asked their husband if they have any questions.” etc. But you won’t find any Christians trying to keep women out of politics or from being heads of male dominated companies…or even being the breadwinner in the home. Or even being ministers in Churches.

        That’s because…once again They don’t want to ALIENATE women….even if it means ignoring the Apostle Paul.

        The Christian position on Gay Marriage will change over time. It’s guaranteed.
        Because if Christians have learned anything…it’s that Morality is always relative.

        Posted by Milo Bendech | June 26, 2015, 11:49 pm
        • I agree with you that the church (as a whole) dropped the ball long ago on divorce. The church became afraid that discipline or stricter enforcement would push people away. The church became more about numbers of people in the seats rather than quality of people in their ranks. That is unfortunate, but that doesn’t mean the church should back down now on gay marriage. To correct our wrongs, perhaps we should do what we should have done with the rise of divorce and be more vocal. I also agree with you that gay marriage will become accepted more and more in the “Christian” church, but that doesn’t make it right just because it becomes more widely accepted.

          Posted by Tim | June 30, 2015, 3:09 pm
          • Or perhaps the church just realized that trying to force people to stay together isn’t always the best move. Sometimes people are better apart than they are together. It’s not always fixable if there was an inherent incompatibility in the relationship that didn’t show up until later. I think a big problem for divorce in christianity is that a lot of them don’t try living as roommates first to see if they’re compatible. I know it can be frowned upon, but I think it would save a lot of potential problems. There are certain things you just can’t learn about each other until you live together, and if you wait until you’re married then you might be stuck with a problem that will only make both of your lives worse.

            Not always the case of course, but it’s common enough that divorce makes more sense in those cases than trying to force something that would often end up hurting both parties more than the divorce itself.

            Posted by Andy Gilleand | June 30, 2015, 9:17 pm
            • There is an “inherent incompatibility” is EVERY relationship. It’s pride, the source of every sin – and everyone sins every single day. Every relationship is doomed from the beginning. It takes REALLY HARD work to make even one relationship work. Cohabitation is frowned upon between two romantically connected people for obvious reasons. Perhaps compatibility shouldn’t be based on personalities, but on purpose/mission. Most people are living two separate paths – and they may or may not know this when they get married. Even in a case where someone gets married and they are on two separate paths, I still wouldn’t advocate divorce – I would push for reunification of goals and recommitment to vows. I promise that ANY relationship can be saved (outside of abuse) if the two want it. If they don’t want it, then that’s another issue all together – that’s the person giving into the false worldly concept that we are supposed to be happy all the time and follow where our heart leads. The Bible tells us up front that we will not be happy all the time and our heart is deceitful and leads us astray.

              Posted by Tim | July 1, 2015, 9:42 pm
              • No, I’m talking about personality differences that aren’t compatible. Has nothing to do with sin or pride. Some people just don’t work great together. That should be obvious. But it’s not always obvious until you start living together. Also has nothing to do with constant happiness either.

                Posted by Andy Gilleand | July 1, 2015, 10:12 pm
                • I have a hard time believing the personalities are THAT different if the relationship actually survived to the point of getting married. Through my experience I’ve learned that pretty much ALL personalities clash – you won’t get away from that by divorcing someone and going after someone new.

                  Posted by Tim | July 1, 2015, 10:16 pm
                  • A lot about a person’s personality you never experience until you live with them. And yes all personalities clash at some times, but the idea is to be with somebody that has a lot more good experiences together than bad.

                    Posted by Andy Gilleand | July 1, 2015, 10:20 pm
                    • But your still basing the relationship on your happiness together. That’s not gonna work. It will be unhappiness MOST of the time with MOST relationships. And if that’s why you leave, your going to be disappointed on the other end.

                      Posted by Tim | July 1, 2015, 10:26 pm
                    • Couldn’t respond to the other comment properly for some reason, but in good relationships it’s not mostly unhappy. There are unhappy moments in every relationship of course as everyone has bad days, but when there’s good compatibility, things are generally pretty happy, or at the very least, mostly not unhappy. The problem is just that you have so many people settling for less. I don’t particularly see any good reason for staying with someone if for the most part it’s making your life worse.

                      Posted by Andy Gilleand | July 1, 2015, 11:03 pm
                    • What you are saying obviously makes perfect sense in a worldly worldview, but the Bible calls us to higher standards. The Bible calls us to honor our commitments even when we don’t feel like it. A Biblical Christian puts others ahead of their own feelings and doesn’t make life choices based their feelings.

                      Posted by Tim | July 1, 2015, 11:09 pm
                    • I’m sorry but it is just bad for both yourself, your spouse, and everyone around you if you choose to live a miserable life just because of commitments.

                      Posted by Andy Gilleand | July 1, 2015, 11:14 pm
                    • Oh, I don’t condone living a miserable life either. I don’t care what anyone who is not a Christian wants to do, your advice is probably right for them. But for a Christian our happiness and joy comes from the Lord, it isn’t based on our happiness in our marriage or anything else – so the Christian should not be miserable even if their marriage is bad.

                      Posted by Tim | July 1, 2015, 11:28 pm
                    • a bad marriage can lead to a miserable life though even if other aspects of your life are otherwise good

                      Posted by Andy Gilleand | July 2, 2015, 12:23 am
                    • You’ve already said that… and I was trying to explain how living in accordance with God’s love and God’s is the real source of joy. See this post (https://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/finding-real-joy/) for more on that concept. If you base your joy on your marriage, your going to be let down – yes. The joy of the Lord is much different than any joy from any other source. It is sufficient to cover all other pains.

                      Posted by Tim | July 2, 2015, 12:37 am
                    • If you’re happy with god but not happy with your spouse, then what’s the point of staying married? It’s just a source of potential extra unhappiness. Even if god’s love helps make up for it, it’s still there and just adds extra unnecessary difficulty to your life when there are plenty of people who find the right person who don’t have nearly as much difficulty when they actually find someone that’s better compatible with them.

                      Posted by Andy Gilleand | July 2, 2015, 3:05 am
                    • What you are saying to your potential future spouse is: if you don’t make me happy I’m leaving you. I’m just saying if you go into marriage with that concept, it will likely fail.

                      Also “According to statistics gathered by US Attorney Legal Services, living together before getting married doesn’t accomplish the goal that couples think that it will. A couple who does not live together prior to getting married has a 20 percent chance of being divorced within five years. If the couple has lived together beforehand, that number jumps to 49 percent.”

                      http://divorce.lovetoknow.com/Divorce_Statistics_and_Living_Together

                      AND “Many people see remarriage as a fresh new chance at happiness with a partner whom they should have chosen in the first place. But the statistics reveal that second or later marriages are much more likely to end in divorce.”
                      http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/04/why-second-marriages-are-more-perilous/

                      Posted by Tim | July 2, 2015, 12:10 pm
  2. The idea that human “races” are a result of different species independently evolving at different locations (known as the “multiregional hypothesis”) has long been abandoned in favour of the out of Africa model, which claims modern humans appeared in Africa and then migrated around the world. Fossil and genetic data overwhelmingly supports the out of Africa model, showing the first modern humans appeared in Africa and we’re all descended from an African population. In fact I just finished a post on the subject.

    Although the acceptance of out of Africa was relatively recent (1980s) the idea is actually quite old, being first proposed by Darwin himself.

    Posted by Adam Benton | March 28, 2013, 6:20 pm
    • Well there’s no way to really know since the flood jumbled up any prior evidence right? 🙂 Perhaps the ark landed in Africa?

      Posted by Tim | March 28, 2013, 6:30 pm
      • Depends on when you think the flood happened. Answers in Genesis argues it occurred before the Pleistocene deposits which were lain down during the ice age. Since the out of Africa migration occurred in the Pleistocene under their view the stratigraphy etc. would be reliable. I’d be willing to wager that others would disagree with them.

        At any rate, hard to see how the flood can jumble up genetics. African Noah anyone?

        Posted by Adam Benton | March 28, 2013, 6:41 pm
  3. It’s exactly the same.

    People back then misinterpreted scriptures and took them out of historical context, and ignored their proper translations. The same exact thing you’re doing here. You’re abusing scripture just as they were.

    See:

    http://www.psa91.com/resource/bible_homo.pdf

    there is no good argument for the position that the bible condemns homosexuality as a sin. All arguments fall apart.

    —–

    There are different races. Period. Different races does not mean the same thing as different species. Races are simply a group of biologically similar people within the same species. Different races does not imply superiority of some races over others.

    —–

    The people who supported slavery used bible verses that support slavery. The people who supported banning interracial marriage would use things such as the “Mark of Cain”, which many people believe is where the races began. They believed that god turned Cain’s skin black so that any of his descendants would immediately be recognized as a descendants of Cain.

    People used scriptures from Genesis where god says we need to stay with our kind to imply that whites need to stay with whites and blacks with blacks. They used scriptures where god banned his people from marrying outsiders. They used part of 1 Corinthians 6:14 “and what communion hath light with darkness”.

    I could go on and on. These scriptures, when read in certain ways, can seem to mean god forbids interracial marriage. Traditional interpretations supported this. It had nothing to do with science , it had nothing to do with evolution, it was simply the “traditional” interpretation. Much like the “traditional” interpretation on the verses people use to condemn homosexuality, even though, when put up to the same kind of objective analysis (as shown in the link above) those arguments don’t hold up.

    Posted by Andy Gilleand | March 29, 2013, 4:23 am
  4. I can’t believe I read this post. It drips with legalism and personal interpretation. You said, “60 years ago they were abusing scripture by picking and choosing while ignoring other parts. I’ve always said I have no problem with a particular interpretation of scripture as long as it does not contradict another part.” Really? Except the part about loving God and loving others. Oh you are doing that? Ask the LGBTQ if they experience love through all this. Judging your neighbor? Leaving the Holy Spirit to guide in all truth instead of you? Believing the church has finally arrived at the correct interpretation? You believe this is right because you’re here now. Reread your 4th paragraph: you totally contradict it. Ugh. Who looks more like Jesus: those who reject gays? (Never saw Jesus do this.) Or those who love their neighbor whoever that might be? (As demonstrated so remarkably by the good Samaritan.) I know… I’m wasting my breath. Sigh. I’m going to bed. The only things worse than reading that post was commenting on it.

    Posted by Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts | October 15, 2013, 6:04 am
    • I believe this post was about rejecting gay marraige, not rejecting gay people – perhaps that was your interpretation. In fact, I have a whole other post on why we should embrace gay people. I apologize if you confused the two.

      Posted by Tim | October 15, 2013, 12:51 pm

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