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Austin Cline

Why Do You Really Oppose Gay Marriage?

By April 11, 2006

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People who oppose gay marriage offer lots of different reasons for why they don't want it to become legal. A great many of those reasons are either religious or rely upon religious premises - but does that mean that the real reasons are genuinely religious? Could it instead be that there are other reasons and religion is just being used as an excuse?

Leonard Pitts Jr. made such an argument in a column in the Miami Herald. Pitts observed that many people use the Bible in their arguments against gay marriage, but they donít follow many of the other commands in the same Bible ó giving rise to the supposition that the Bible isnít the source of their objections:

So donít hide behind the Bible. Letís just be honest here, you and me. Why do you oppose gay marriage, really? It just feels wrong to you, doesnít it? At some visceral level, it just seems to offend something fundamental. ... I will, though, point out that once upon a time, the same gut-level sense of wrong -- and for that matter, the same Bible -- was used to keep Jews from swimming in the community pool, women from voting and black people from riding at the front of the bus. All those things once felt as profoundly offensive to some people as gay marriage does to you right now.

People tend to forget just what prejudice in the past has done, refusing to acknowledge that their own prejudices might not be any better than the prejudices of others. People also tend to forget ó very conveniently ó just how many prejudices and how much discrimination in the past were firmly rooted in Christians' interpretation of the Bible. Both slavery and segregation were, for Americans, a part of what they considered a traditional Christian worldview. Opposition to both was treated as opposition to Christianity and a godly order for human society.

 

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Comments
April 12, 2006 at 12:15 pm
(1) Kafir says:

It seems to equate to grabbing at straws for people to find any sort of justification, be it bible-based or even legally based, to enforce a position solely caused by a visceral aversion to it.

June 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm
(2) emilee says:

wow. totally just realized that people use the bible to defend their position against gay marriage because it’s EASY. a lot of people aren’t (openly) gay, so they have no trouble upholding the bible’s words. no meat on fridays? not so much (because, you know, they need their protein….)

June 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm
(3) seriously? says:

There is a big difference between sinning and living in sin, because we all sin and its impossible to be perfect and follow all the commandments, but we should try daily. I think the writer knows that.

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