The founder of the Institute for American Values, noted anti-gay marriage proponent and author David Blankenhorn has changed his opinion on the issue. In an op-ed for the New York times he wrote
“the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do.”
“I don’t believe that opposite-sex and same-sex relationships are the same, but I do believe, with growing numbers of Americans, that the time for denigrating or stigmatizing same-sex relationships is over. Whatever one’s definition of marriage, legally recognizing gay and lesbian couples and their children is a victory for basic fairness.”
In the mind of today’s public, gay marriage is almost entirely about accepting lesbians and gay men as equal citizens. And to my deep regret, much of the opposition to gay marriage seems to stem, at least in part, from an underlying anti-gay animus. To me, a Southerner by birth whose formative moral experience was the civil rights movement, this fact is profoundly disturbing.
Blankenhorn may be disturbed by the bigotry of his former compatriots, but I’m concerned about their profound ignorance. For example, consider Rev. Jim Garlow’s response to Blankenhorn’s defection:
“He’s dead wrong,” said the Rev. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, Calif. “I am a student of history. Christianity has made clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And what we have seen is that when you change marriage for some, you change marriage for all.”
Garlow is a student of history, and a preacher to boot, and he’s all adamant that Christianity defines marriage as “between one man and one woman”. That definition of marriage is a radical departure from the actual bible where many venerated men had multiple wives and concubine harems. Is Garlow preaching from the same text that demands brides who are found to not be virgins on their wedding nights must be stoned to death, at the doorstep of her father? Talk about a law on marriage that would cause all sorts of consternation if the historical view were enforced on modern society. We also know that, based upon biblical law, Garlow would insist if brothers live together, and one of them dies, that the widow must be forced to marry the surviving brother, whether he or she likes it or not.
The lesson to learn from the biblical definition of marriage is that change is absolutely crucial. Otherwise any uncouth lout could force an unmarried virgin to marry him by raping her, and paying her father “50 shekels”. Be careful which virgin you rape though, because you may not divorce that victim for the rest of your life. Lucky her!
Really basing modern societal marriage law on biblical precepts would be a DISASTER of epic proportions! It’s amazing that conservatives use the bible and the roots of Christianity to defend their very modern take on marriage, while insisting that another more modern view is heretical.