The Words of the McLeod Family
ACLC Executive Committee Member Dr. Lonnie McLeod on Gay Marriage
March 2, 2004
Gay Marriage: Rev. Dr. Lonnie McLeod, Jr.
Many who support the right for gay persons to marry point to the Bible as a book that is ambiguous on its definitions of what constitutes a "family". They rightly state that the Bible is about community, spirituality and moral commitment to the group. But they err when they say that those of us who oppose gay unions being called "marriages" are victims of tunnel vision.
The way families are put together varies throughout the Bible. Family in the Holy Scripture is not a concrete structure with immovable parts. Abraham had several wives. Jacob fathered twelve sons and an unknown number of daughters by four women that he cohabited with simultaneously. King David and Solomon both had harems and these are only the few of many non-monogamous families, because polygamy is spread throughout the Old Testament. But there is no evidence that these families allowed man and man, or woman and woman relations to be defined as a family. Ruth and Naomi did not settled down and form a lesbian relationship, but instead they searched until they found Boaz.
I am reluctant to look totally at the Old Testament for my objection to unions between gay people being considered a marriage. Frankly, some of the Old Testament references do not quit fit my Christian notions as to how I am to treat other people. I am commanded by Christ to love my enemies and for me this means loving the enemies of my Christian position that marriage must be exclusively between men and women of the opposite sex. The Holiness Codes in the Old Testament forbid a variety of sexual activity, i.e., "any one guilty of adultery should be put to death" (Leviticus 20:10) Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery and spared her life. Therefore, the same Holiness Code that prescribes death for "man lying with man", must be read at in the light of Jesus' love. However, loving the sinner, does not mean loving the sin.
Many scholars of the Old Testament claim that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by God was due more to the cities inhabitants inhospitable attitude toward the stranger than God's hatred for homosexuality. While these scholars may or not be correct on their position about inhospitality, the fact remains that the straw that broke the camel's back was the threat of homosexual rape of the two angel/men.
In the New Testament the Greek word that the Apostle Paul used to describe a male homosexual can also be translated "pedophile". The taking of young boys as lovers was widely accepted in Greek culture. Some argue that Paul was only condemning the pedophile and sex with children. In my opinion that argument is specious at best, Paul's letter to the Romans in, chapter 1:24- 30 makes it clear that he is speaking of adult men and women in homosexual relationships.
In a free democratic society one does not gain his or her political and civil rights from religion and the church. However, in America the church not only has the right to speak out about immoral practices, we have an obligation to deny the gift of blessing to gay unions as marriages. Marriage must remain a union between man and woman. Regardless of the fluidity of Biblical marriage it was always heterosexual and so it must remain.
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