Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Bible Says - Marriage

Ruth 1:16 & 17

But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

What beautiful words. No where else in the Bible can one find such an intent promise of being faithful until death. No where else in the Bible can one find one so intent on being with the other that they are willing to change religion, location, and most importantly, place of burial. These are intimate words of love, promise and faithfulness.

These verses are often heard at weddings, as a matter of fact, I spoke these very words to my beloved bride on our wedding day on June 14th. These are TRADITIONAL wedding verses.

These words are spoken by a woman (Ruth) to another woman (Naomi)

Another passage in the Bible regarding two people of the same sex having romantic feelings for each other is that of David and Jonathan. I know that people would like to explain it away as the two of them being good friends, but that is not the language that the Bible uses when describing these two men.

I Samuel 18:1-3

1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.

2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family.

3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

If this story had been written about Jonathan and a woman, it would be considered to be one of the sweetest love stories in the Bible. Man meets woman, immediately falls in love and gives her his prized possessions. However, because it is because the King's Son and the Man after God's own heart, they explain it away as the two of them being best friends. They want to look at this a a "brotherly friendship" between these two men. The Bible language describing this relationship does not support this description.

I Samuel 20:16

So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD call David’s enemies to account.”

17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

King Saul also saw this relationship as being more than brotherly love. Jonathan's father, King Saul, mentions this relationship as being sexual.

I Samuel 20:30

Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, "Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?

31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Therefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die."

32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father and said unto him, "Why shall he be slain? What hath he done?"

33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him, whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father to slay David.

34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no meat the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.

In this Biblical text, King Saul speaks very strongly and even more significantly to the sexual relationship between David and Jonathan.

Uncovering the nakedness of a family member was a euphemism for incest in the holiness codes of the Old Testament , and Saul would not have used this phrase lightly. The implication is that Jonathan is bringing sexual shame on his family [because if this relationship continued, Saul's line would not be able to continue in royalty because David was to be the King].

From the Book The Children are Free

by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley

Lastly on David and Jonathan is what David himself says when he learns of Jonathan's death:

II Samuel 1:25 &26

25 "How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!

"Jonathan lies slain on your high places.

26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me;

your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.

In my entire life, I have never heard any man say to his buddy that he loves him more than he loves his wife...not only loves him more, but the loving was sweeter. This goes well beyond two guys being good friends.

"In this story, we have a direct Biblical answer to the question: Can two people of the same sex live in a loving committed relationship with God's favor? The answer is "yes" because Jonathan and David did and the Bible celebrates their relationship."

There is a movie out called "Elena Undone" where an observation is made by one of the characters: "...I mean who really cares who is kissing who..."

Just because two men kissing makes you feel ill, just because the thought of two men having sex is repulsive to you, doesn't mean that everyone finds it grotesque and appalling. By the way, most men don't find lesbians offensive. Actually, they find it (lesbian sex) to be quite appealing although some men would not admit that publicly. So again, I believe that this moral, self righteous judgement being put upon gay folks is less Biblical and more personal.

The great State of New York just passed a Marriage Equality law which will go into effect at the end of this months. Surprisingly, several Republicans voted for the bill to be passed I would like to quote some of their statements regarding as to why they voted for equality for all Americans:

Senator Roy McDonald:

"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing,"

"You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.

"I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."

Senator James Alesi:

"I believe that if you live in America and you expect equality and freedom for yourself, you should extend it to other people,"

Senator Stephen Saland:

“At one time I thought civil unions afforded the opportunity to provide the ability for same sex couples to attain the status they wanted,” says Saland, who voted against same-sex marriage when a similar bill was defeated in 2009. “When I came to the conclusion that civil unions wouldn’t do it, and if you really believed in fairness and equality and doing the right thing…for me there was only one answer,” Saland says. “It was purely a vote of conscience. I did what I thought was the right thing.”

His thought process evolved through research, discussions with “many, many people on both sides of the issue,” and talks with his wife and children. “I wasn’t surprised by my wife’s support and advocacy for same-sex marriage,” he says. He was, however, struck by a question posed by his kids. “What surprised me was that all of my children, a couple of whom are more conservative than I am, basically said, ‘Why do you have a problem with supporting gay marriage?’” he recalls.

Then we had the two Senators who didn't come out smelling like roses. There was the ever loud Senator Ruben Diaz who has a granddaughter who is a lesbian. The Granddaughter stood by her grandfather until one day he was at a rally against Marriage Equality and one of the speakers, a Rev. Ariel Torres Ortega, said that homosexuals are worthy of death. Granddad Diaz did not speak up to defend his own flesh and blood. This was something that even Erica Diaz was unable to accept. She spoke up against the fact that she was unable to marry in her home state. Her Grandfather says that he will not attend her wedding when she does indeed get married. Ruben Diaz made quite a scene on the Senate floor when he was out of order, spoke too long, and another senator refused to yield the floor. All in all, I was wishing he would sit down because he was making such a fool of himself.

Senator Ball, the media grabbing, attention seeking Senator who hires a film crew to follow him around, used this marriage equality vote to gain a lot of press for himself by saying he was undecided in his vote when all along he knew he was just trying to grab the spotlight. Turns out...he made himself look like the narcissistic, closed minded, prejudiced person that he has always appeared to be in the past.

The Bible does not condemn a loving same sex relationship instead it celebrates them. I urge you to do some studying on your own. The conclusions that you come to might just surprise even you.

I urge Congress to take action and repeal the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and pass the Uniting American Families Act or the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act soon. Families are being torn apart...families just like yours.

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