Religion and Gay Marriage





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Published on May 15, 2012

In which John discusses marriage equality, what a traditional marriage actually is, and what role (if any) theological understandings of marriage play in the legal definition of marriage. Let's continue this conversation in comments, but in doing so, let's remember that nerdfighteria is about respect and generosity. Thanks.


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Comments • 13,300

Groucho Marx
I am a conservative christian.  I believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, not taken out of context, but the new and old testaments taken as a whole.  Whenever I make choices in my life, great or small, the Bible is the principle thing that informs my choices.  I believe sexual relations outside of the parameters described in the Bible, ARE in rebellion to God's will, my definition of sin.  BUT...these are my beliefs, my choices.  The laws of this country do not exist to force others to conform to  my beliefs.  The laws of this country exist to protect people and property.  No one needs protection from consenting adults in the privacy of their own home.   All of us need protection to pursue the mandates of our conscience, so long as we ourselves are not harming other people or their property in that pursuit.  As much as I believe that homosexual relationships defy God's will, I also believe so called anti-homosexual marriage laws violate freedom of religion.  Ultimately, people marry based on their own specific set of morals, beliefs and ethics, and while some are uncomfortable calling this their religion, I believe they are in the same family and should be protected in the same manner. Examples of sexual practices that should be prohibited by law:  pedophilia, bestiality, rape, any form of prostitution that is exploitive.  Why these and not gay marriage?  Simple.  The law is to protect people and property.  Homosexual adults are consenting and of an age to consent.  The other sexual practices I listed harm someone who does not consent, who is vulnerable and needs the protection of the law. Examples of sexual practices that violate my personal beliefs about God's law, but that should NOT be prohibited by law: adultery, sex outside marriage, homosexual sex, prostitution where the prostitute is not being exploited or coerced, but is in charge of the transaction.  (The assumption being with all of these that all parties are consenting adults.)  Why?  There is neither property or a person that needs to be protected by the law.  ( On a side note, bigamy, where all are adults that consent, should be lawful. I think it's impractical, and I can think of a few notable examples in the Bible where it made for some pretty toxic family dynamics, but I digress...) We need to realize in this country that while we do have a right to our constitutionally-protected freedoms, we do not have a right to be un-offended.  The law does not exist to make you feel like everyone agrees with you and prevent another person's viewpoint from hurting your feelings.  I write this to Christians, Atheists, Homosexuals, Heterosexual, whatever... "Tolerance" is not demanding that everyone conforms to your version of rightness, AND DEMONIZING THEM WHEN THEY DON'T.  Tolerance is respecting the rights of all people in this country to have their own life and own opinion, so long as they are not physically hurting someone (I'm sorry, words definitely hurt but it is impractical in most cases to legislate hurt feelings), or destroying others property.  And remember that generally offensive opinions are a TWO-WAY street.  Usually if someone's opinion or choices offend YOU, YOUR opposite opinion or choices are equally offensive to THEM.  We need to celebrate that we have the privilege of being an diverse country because that means our own person is provided for, and bear patiently the inescapable side effect of a generally free society: hurt feelings when others think we are wrong-- being respectful to each other anyway!  (And prosecuting the crap out of someone when they are not good stewards of those freedoms--whether it's firing a gun into a church or beating a LGBT person, or any person!!!)
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For all those who see the latest comments, let this be a warning: DON'T SCROLL DOWN. Don't. If you are a good person, you'll be very brought down by the stupidity, and if you are a bigot, your small dried up brain will hurt from the arguments against your point. There is only pain in this comment thread. Leave, for your own sake.
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"Oh yeah, that one recent North Carolina law that's hugely upsetting." Video from 2012, yet still topical. ಠ_ಠ
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Mary Bach
Damn, North Carolina, back at it again with the bigotry
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Sitara Grey
I would like to point out a very important fact, there are the 10 commandments and there is the bible. The commandments state: You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make idols. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet. The most frequently quoted line in the bible that states anything about gay sex/marriage is by Leviticus 18:22 "You shall not lie with a man as you do a woman, it is an abomination." However when we take a closer look we realise that the Levitical laws were rules limiting the "Ancient Jews", in the new testament Jesus Christ throws out these laws along with the laws that forbid eating pig, these laws no longer apply to the christian/catholic world.  The 10 commandments simply state (in terms of sex), by the word of Our Father that adultery shall not be committed and one MUST be married before sexual relations arise. These were the words of the lord. Now how many may I ask of you work on a sunday? How many of you say "Oh My God!", how many of you have not honoured your parents, how many of you have lusted after another when already committed, how many of you have stolen, how many of you have lied and how many of you have had sex before marriage. If we are to talk about the sanctity of marriage in terms of the bible then those who have had sex before marriage and who have committed adultery should be stoned. If you are to use the bible, a book that endorses love, forgiveness and kindness, to hide behind your own personal prejudices is to not live by the word of God and by doing so are the least respectful of your religion.  To disallow two people to get married but to go ahead and eat pork is the highest form of hypocrisy. Do not use the bible to justify your personal prejudices, God is the almighty loving being and to discriminate a group of people by using him is the severest form of sin.
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MayMay Malamute
John Green for president.
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I am not against non-traditional marriages. I am very opposed to theme weddings.
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Angie Valentine
.. Okay.. So.. Gay people.. Shouldn't get married cause it's against YOUR religion.. So.. Basically it's the same as not being able to eat a cookie cause someone decided that day they were going on a diet. And for you people who say ' Gay marriage is a sin!' Guess what.. So Is getting divorced but no ones getting bullied at school cause their parents are getting or is divorced. I state my case goodbye 
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Crystal Moon
Ok, I am a Christian, but I support Gay Marriage. Yes, almost unheard of I know. But I have researched everything I could in the bible that apparently states gay's aren't allowed, the only things I've found is that one cannot bed with another of the same gender for LUST ONLY. Which is the same for EVERYONE! So the whole, 'The bible says NO on getting married because you love the other gay person' is wrong. The bible only says no to having sex with someone strictly for Lust and not for actually Love. So if you actually love the person you're marrying, I really hope so, than go crazy. Also, the bible speaks of giving forgiveness and kindness, so every single Christian/Catholic hating on gay people for going against the bible are also going against the bible as well. I have stated my case, go nuts.
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I'm neither religious or gay, but i want to say something. As John said, their marriage doesn't affect yours. The bible was written a really, really long time ago, and i think it's weird some people still consider living after it. The People who wrote the bible had great points back then, but they doesn't fit in todays society anymore. You can still marry the classical way and be happy, others may arent. All religious people say god loves everyone, and i think that's true, becaue your sexual orientation doen't define you as a human being!
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