The Newsweek cover story on "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage" has understandably raised the ire of religious conservatives. As many have pointed out (as did Mollie Hemingway, our new columnist, on the GetReligion website yesterday and today), the so-called case is not much of a case, and at many points, seriously misrepresents the views of those it argues against.
It starts at the beginning:
Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does … . The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered.
This is astonishing, for it not only misrepresents religious conservatives, but also Jesus and Paul—all in one fell swoop.
"Have you not read," Jesus once said, "that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matt. 19, ESV).
"Husbands, love your wives," Paul wrote, "as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members ...