ok, caveat, this is an essay about american politics and theology.
feel free to skip it if you're interested in neither.
the united states, as you might know, is embroiled in a huge debate regarding gay marriage.
simply: some people are for gay marriage, some people are opposed to gay marriage.
again, simply: some people see marriage as a basic civil right to which all americans should have access (i admit, i fall into this camp) , and some people see marriage as an institution that should only exist between a man and a woman (this is generally the right wing and republican view) .
the republican/right-wing/evangelical perspective is, ostensibly, informed by the bible.
they state that god (via the bible) established marriage as an institution for men and women, and not for same sex couples.
i'd like to say that theologically that's not the most tenable position, especially as regards the teachings of christ (which is, in theory, the primary basis of republican/right-wing/evangelical theology) .
see, jesus never mentioned homosexuality, and he certainly never mentioned gay marriage.
so when evangelicals are expressing a theological objection to gay marriage they're primarily basing it on some arcane scripture in leviticus and some some aspects of the epistles.
but jesus, as far as we know, never mentioned homosexuality. or gay marriage.
so it's kind of a stretch for christians to say that gay marriage would be an abomination, as jesus never mentioned it (again, as far as we know).
oddly enough what jesus did mention is divorce.
he forbade divorce.
but yet the evangelical and religious right are seemingly sanguine about divorce.
in fact, many of the heroes of the religious right (ronald reagan, newt gingrich, etc) were (and are) divorced.
yes, it's odd, the republicans and the religious right are convinced that gay marriage is scripturally offensive even though jesus
never mentioned it, but they're untroubled by divorce even though jesus forbade it.
personally i think it's up to the individual. if someone wants to get married, well, fine. if someone wants to get divorced, well, fine.
it's up to the individual.
but the religious right have a long, odd tradition of ignoring the actual teachings of christ and basing their world view on things that christ never mentioned.
like family values. christ never mentioned family values. in fact he had way more use for his friends than his family, based on new testament quotations.
christ did speak extensively on war (bad) , violence (bad) , charging interest (bad), judging (bad), oppressing the poor (bad), accumulating excessive wealth (bad), being spiritually arrogant (bad), hating (bad), etc.
which is very odd, as the republicans and the religious right are oftentimes seemingly ok with war and violence and charging interest and judging and oppressing the poor and accumulating excessive wealth and being spiritually arrogant and hating.
it's very odd, right? that the religious right are worked up over things that christ never mentioned, but actively involved in practicing and condoning the things that christ actually criticized or condemned.
faith is personal, of course. everyone should be allowed to believe as they see fit, and everyone should be able to identify their belief system as they see fit.
but i see it as being endlessly strange that the religious right and republicans actively practice what christ preached against and actively get worked up over issues that christ never mentioned.
isn't that odd?
it's still one of my hopes that at some point some journalist will simply ask some members of the republican religious right, 'what in the teachings of christ is the foundation for your world view, and how do you reconcile the right wing agenda with the teachings of christ?'