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Who knew? Same-sex marriage not only makes baby Jesus cry, it’s actually harmful!

Luckily, we have “How gay marriage harms people” to set us straight. Each argument is numbered below, followed by a rebuttal.

1. Marriage is part of God’s creation plan

“The Bible says that marriage is rooted in God’s creation of mankind (Matthew 19:4–8).”

The Bible also says that marriage should be avoided. Paul said, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry” (1 Corinthians 7:8–9). This is one more example where the Bible is a sock puppet that can be made to say just about anything.

Marriage as one of God’s sacred gifts to mankind is a new idea. Marriage wasn’t a Christian sacrament until 1215, and that was only to give the church the power to annul marriages that made political alliances it didn’t like. For this and other reasons, biblical marriage is not a pretty picture.

2. Marriage is one man and one woman

“Throughout Scripture, it is clear that marriage is a lifelong, exclusive covenantal union of two people—a husband and a wife.”

Wrong. God gives polygamy two thumbs up. He said to David, “I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.” (2 Samuel 12:8). This is God making clear that he had no problem with polygamy.

One Christian response is that God was simply working with the imperfect customs of the time, and that’s why God didn’t prohibit slavery or polygamy. But it’s ridiculous to imagine the perfect plan of an omnipotent god hobbled by the primitive morality of an Iron Age people. He didn’t have any problem putting the Ten Commandments into action immediately, and God imposed the death penalty for violating most of the Commandments. If polygamy were bad, God could’ve said so.

Second, if “God was bound by the customs of the time” doesn’t constrain you from rejecting slavery and polygamy today, then you’re not constrained to abide by other nutty Old Testament rules like prohibitions against homosexuality. You can’t have it both ways—God’s clear preferences in the Old Testament either bind you or they don’t.

 If you are honestly concerned about attacks on marriage (rather than being a moral busybody, which is what it looks like), same-sex marriage is the good guy in this story. It is trying to expand and support marriage, not attack it.

3. Because of the children

“The production of children requires both a man and a woman. So there cannot be any such thing as gay marriage, because marriage requires husband and wife.”

Well, that was a leap. Children do require a man and a woman, but they don’t have to be married. And how are children relevant? Reread the Christian marriage vows—there’s nothing about making babies.

And if marriage = babies, why focus on the tangential issue of same-sex marriage? Far more straight couples have a fertility problem than there are potential homosexual couples, and many straight couples simply don’t want children. Why not complain that they are the ones who don’t understand what marriage is about? Or if you’re fine with childless straight couples, why not be consistent and accept childless gay couples?

The answer for those keeping score at home: they reject only gay childless couples because the “marriage is all about the babies” argument is just a smokescreen.

Here again, the Bible is no friend to the Christian bigot. Paul says, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman” (1 Cor. 7:1). So much for the celebrated role of procreation.

The Bible also uses marriage as a metaphor for the relationship of Jesus to the church. Is making babies the point of the Jesus/church marriage as well, or can marriage be about something more?

See also: 20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted

4. Homosexuality is harmful

“Homosexual activity is harmful and destructive to oneself and others.”

Why? How? This statement is supported by no argument, so it doesn’t need an argument to be dismissed.

5. You can’t just redefine marriage!

“If we abandon the Bible’s teaching on marriage and just make up new definitions as we go, then why couldn’t marriage be redefined in other ways?”

Someone’s not paying attention. Marriage has been redefined, and in your lifetime. Mixed-race marriage is now legal. Divorce has become no-fault. Marital rape is illegal.

Different states even have different rules defining marriage—whether you can marry your first cousin, whether a blood test is required, waiting period, residency requirements, rules for divorced persons, and so on. No, the definition of “marriage” isn’t fixed, so don’t get your knickers in a bunch because marriage has changed yet again.

6. You’ll make broken homes

“The more we move away from the biblical teaching on marriage, the more we’ll have broken homes, because other arrangements simply do not work as well as God’s design.”

In the United States, the Constitution is completely secular, and aligning laws with “God’s design” isn’t a thing. The First Amendment prohibits your impression of God’s wishes from being the basis of any law. This is fortunate since the more religious a Western country is, the worse its social conditions tend to be.

Another problem with your desire to guide America with biblical principles is that the Bible’s punishment for homosexuality is death. There is no crime without a punishment, so your hypocrisy is showing if you tell us that homosexuality is bad because God says so without also demanding God’s punishment.

Finally, and despite your best efforts, same-sex marriage doesn’t affect you at all. If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get gay married. If you are honestly concerned about attacks on marriage (rather than being a moral busybody, which is what it looks like), same-sex marriage is the good guy in this story. It is trying to expand and support marriage, not attack it.

You want a problem? Divorce is a problem. Focus on why marriages fail if you want to help them.

The final three arguments plus a surprising interpretation of the Bible’s anti-gay verses in the next post.

Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things.
One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in Hell.
The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on Earth
and you should save it for someone you love. 
— Butch Hancock

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CROSS EXAMINED After graduating from MIT, Bob Seidensticker designed digital hardware, and he is a co-contributor to 14 software patents. For more than a decade, he has explored the debate between Christianity...