Editor's Note: Mark Osler is a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
By Mark Osler, Special to CNN
I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.
What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not ours to either give or deny to others.
A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built. Peter is a captivating figure in the Christian story. Jesus plucks him out of a fishing boat to become a disciple, and time and again he represents us all in learning at the feet of Christ.
During their time together, Peter is often naïve and clueless – he is a follower, constantly learning.
After Jesus is crucified, though, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold. This is the Peter we see in the Acts of the Apostles, during a fevered debate over whether or not Gentiles should be baptized. Peter was harshly criticized for even eating a meal with those who were uncircumcised; that is, those who did not follow the commands of the Old Testament.
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Peter, though, is strong in confronting those who would deny the sacrament of baptism to the Gentiles, and argues for an acceptance of believers who do not follow the circumcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where we find a condemnation of homosexuality).
His challenge is stark and stunning: Before ordering that the Gentiles be baptized Peter asks “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
None of us, Peter says, has the moral authority to deny baptism to those who seek it, even if they do not follow the ancient laws. It is the flooding love of the Holy Spirit, which fell over that entire crowd, sinners and saints alike, that directs otherwise.
My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality
It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.
Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether we see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. We see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.
The question before us now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage.
Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality
The answer is in the Bible. Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement. They hold out the symbols of Gods’ love to all. How arrogant that we think it is ours to parse out stingily!
I worship at St. Stephens, an Episcopal church in Edina, Minnesota. There is a river that flows around the back and side of that church with a delightful name: Minnehaha Creek. That is where we do baptisms.
The Rector stands in the creek in his robes, the cool water coursing by his feet, and takes an infant into his arms and baptizes her with that same cool water. The congregation sits on the grassy bank and watches, a gentle army.
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At the bottom of the creek, in exactly that spot, is a floor of smooth pebbles. The water rushing by has rubbed off the rough edges, bit by bit, day by day. The pebbles have been transformed by that water into something new.
I suppose that, as Peter put it, someone could try to withhold the waters of baptism there. They could try to stop the river, to keep the water from some of the stones, like a child in the gutter building a barrier against the stream.
It won’t last, though. I would say this to those who would withhold the water of baptism, the joy of worship, or the bonds of marriage: You are less strong than the water, which will flow around you, find its path, and gently erode each wall you try to erect.
The redeeming power of that creek, and of the Holy Spirit, is relentless, making us all into something better and new.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Osler.
Thank you for sharing your beliefs and a different view point.
Consider this verse from the Greek scriptures (New testament) – 1st Corinthians 5:9.
Then draw your own conclusions.
Ooops, 1st Corintians 6:9.
Mr. Osler may think he has a "christian" case for h o m o s e x u a l marriage, based on his legal training. Unfortunately he has NONE. All he has in the best case scenario is an imagination an allucination. In the worst case scenario he is a heretic of the worst kind an antichrist. His S U P I N E Ignorance of what the Bible says, not surprising!
Like I said before: leave it to lawyers to entangle language and words in such a way to ensnare the simpletons. Leading them and all those who have a SU PI NE Ignorance of what the Bible says about Marriage. This man is a heretic of the worst kind an antichrist!
I agree, no matter how much you twist the words of the Bible you can't make it moral. As admirable as this author's attempt is, the only way to take a moral stance is to throw the book away and take a rationally-based position based on reducing damage to people and society. Humanism.
lying flat on your back ignorance?
do you need a dictionary?
You religious people disgust me. If people do not adhere to YOUR faith, why do you deny them the right to marriage (ie forcing your belief onto them)? Religions don't own marriage... the ceremony maybe. But the notion of being united together because of love transcends any and all of your bigotry. None of you can really give a case without parroting old text that has far been surpassed by human progression. For example, slavery... nuff said. Grow up and stay out of peoples lives, or they might just start creating legislation that state religious people are not allowed into malls or starbucks. Don't you people have better things to do???
ausie sep tic
I think is past your bed time.
From the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:
Su-pi-ne: Main Entry:1supine
Etymology:Middle English supyn, from Late Latin SU PI NUM, from Latin, neu ter of su pi nu s, adjective
1: a Latin verbal noun having an accusative of purpose in -um and an ablative of specification in -u
As an adjective 2: exhibiting INDOLENT or APATHETIC INERTIA OR PASSIVITY; especially: MENTALLY OR MORALLY SLACK.
Your Ignorance is also SU PI NE, lacking and slacking.
I'm all about gay marriage. Gay men fix up old houses and bring up property value. And what hetero man doesn't want to see two chicks together?
Five year olds should never be allowed unsupervised access to mommy's computer. Now go play outside.
Well, actually, those are two well known phenomenon. Entire neighborhoods have been rehabilitated because of an infusion of gay owners in the area. As for the second statement.... Is there really a question?
There is no "Christian case" for gay marriage.
This is merely another postmodern strawman attempt at
Biblical revisionism and apostasy.
Don't buy into it.
In Matthew 19, Jesus clearly defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
There are no provisions for alternative pairings.
Celibate Gay/lesbian pairings are consistent with Biblical instruction. No laws are violated.
"In Matthew 19, Jesus clearly defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
There are no provisions for alternative pairings.
Celibate Gay/lesbian pairings are consistent with Biblical instruction. No laws are violated."
Your Christ does not condemn a saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand sexual orientation today. The writers of the bible did not understand that. Duh! Gays are entitled to having loving long term relationships. Your Christ also said that you should marry if you have lust in your heart which is why gays deserve the same civil rights as straights. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience.
Well said douglas. But so many will choose their own beliefs, as though they are superior to God.
1. You wrongly say "Simon Peter, the 'rock' on whom the church is built."
You can't be more wrong. Simon Peter is called what translates in that verse to a "pebble", compared to JESUS CHRIST THE ROCK ON WHOM THE CHURCH IS BUILT. The verse is saying the church is built on JESUS CHRIST THE ROCK (THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE), not on Simon Peter the "pebble".
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;"
NEW Testament, Matthew 16:18.
2. The Catholic Church has used this confusion about Peter to enable them to create a Pope (also called the "Potentate") here on earth to represent the Church in place of or as a representative of JESUS CHRIST. This is a total LIE as shown by the verses:
"That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;"
NEW Testament, 1 Timothy 6:14-15.
– A Christian.
I wonder who is the "living" voice of Jesus Christ is for you? I guess you can choose the one you like best or your own perhaps. Peter's office, as earthly head of the Church Jesus founded, is now filled by Pope Benedict XVI. An unbroken line of Apostolic Successors traced all the way back to Peter. Where Peter is, there is the "Church". Thank God Catholics do not have to wonder, search or be confused as to what Jesus is saying to us "today". His "living" voice remains loud and clear. It brings such peace and joy because the truth really does set us free.
You are like most Catholics just as I once was, but now refer to myself as a Christian not a Catholic; you don't actually read your Bible like most Catholics, instead your Catholic priest reads the Bible to you every Sunday and you are taught to believe whatever your priest says. If you don't want to read your Bible yourself you can listen to audio readings of the entire Bible for free online. Listen to people who can explain and look at the Old Testament which was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament which was written in Greek (not in English). The translations from Hebrew or Greek to English can easily be done incorrectly by no wrongful intent of the translator. Jesus Christ never said in the Bible anywhere that HE was going to establish a "Pope" to represent HIM on earth, or that any succession of "Popes" should exist. The whole reformation by the Protestants had it right when they said the Pope was basically a sham, just grabbing for power over the Church (I don't call myself a Protestant either). The Pope acting as "head" of the Church has also changed Bible Laws which The Bible itself says that no one is allowed to do. Please don't blindly put your faith in the Catholic system and just follow whatever they say at Sunday Mass, but read or listen to your Bible yourself, IT'S the ONLY source of GODS WORD. Listen to experts with knowledge of Hebrew and Greek discussing the English translated Bible (KJV) and it will open your eyes. You either believe first in THE BIBLE, GODS WRITTEN WORD to us, or you believe first in Catholicism. You need to choose the right path which is CHRIST THE WORD and THE BIBLE.
In terms of the Bible being evil (and posting your scriptures) there are times where in the Old Testament God allowed or wanted people dead. Heck...He even killed someone who "touched" the Arc of the Covenant. There are some things that we don't know why God did what He did and does what He does. Some scriptures below may help you understand this.
Romans 9:20 – But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'"
Isaiah 55:8-9 – "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord.
'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
P.S. In closing, jif you take some isolated incidents or incidents (e.g. like Jesus over turning the tables at the Temple Mount), this doesn't make Him a lunatic. HOWEVER, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE FULLNESS OF JESUS'S WORKS HERE ON EARTH...YOU SEE A LARGELY DIFFERENT PERSON ....rather than one who seemed to have some rage overturning tables. Their is RIGHTEOUS ANGER and RIGHTEOUS DEATH....that only He can approve of. So your argument about the Bible being evil is simply coming from the perspective of the Clay telling the Potter how to mold and shape or an Ant telling a Human what to do. It doesn't work that way ! It's His Rules...not ours . Who are we to be that arrogant to tell Him what is evil and what is Holy (He made us for crying out loud)
too bad none of it is even remotely true.
AMEN Michael. People seem to forget that although God is love, He is also HOLY! He cannot go against His own nature. NOT everybody is going to get to Heaven. That is the greatest lie of the devil.
Jesus was a man. A Jewish man in Judea. He clearly had a monastic bent (Esseneism being very popular at the time) but he was very much a man of his time, as well as someone a lot more enlightened than almost all Westerners were then. But you simply can't ignore his overturning the tables of the moneylenders. It got him executed. If you can reconcile the Sermon on the Mount with his rather violent disruption of the Temple, you're twisting yourself into a pretzel to do it. Everything becomes so much easier to understand when you recognize that he was a man, like an other, given to anger (righteous or otherwise) and despair. But it's his unparalleled humanity and inclusiveness that people cherish about him. If you cherish, the violence and righteous indignation over that, I'm sorry, but to me that is morally reprehensible.
This kind of ABERRATIONS & PERVERSIONS, were just a matter of time coming, to a GRECO-ROMAN civilization. Such was the ways of the spartans, greeks, romans and many others civilizations. They all were lost in the dust of history. Though their ideologies survived, mainly because they're human ideas. Men & women are as corrupt and perverted today as they were centuries ago. So their corrupt ideas follows them and their progeny.
So the question to me would be; When will this GRECO-ROMAN civilization with all its aberrations & perversions will bite the dust? Just like all the previous did! I think is just a matter of time coming.
Marriage remains what has been for thousands of years. Mostly a Voluntary Social Contract, which is a Pri vilege and an Honor as God intended it to be. Now, I said "mostly voluntary" because is a well know fact, that some have and are forced/made to marry as we speak. There are and have been many Marriages of Convenience also.
So if someone is force/made to marry someone NOT of their choosing, whether for Honor or Convenience or Traditions. Then; How can anyone pretend to call it a Right? I have a right to drive my car, it is a Pri vilege to drive my car in Government built roads. But as of now, if I don't want to drive, no one can force me or made me to drive if I don't want.
Now, though some marriages have no children of their own. The Fact is that Marriage is not only for the purpose of S E X Companionship, Convenience, more S E X but also for the greater purposes of Pro-creation and Re-production. As God Intended and Ordained.
H o m o s e x u a l marriage does NOT pro-create or re-produce. All they can do, is resort to corrupt and perverted laws/rules/regulations and governments, that allows them to adopt someone else's children. Or a child of one of the two ho mo se xu als involve in such an aberrant arrangement.
Gay marriage does NOT pro-create or re-produce : how do gays get created if they can't produce gay childen ?
I guess you haven't pass 10th grade Biology yet, did you?
I'm a Christian and although I believe some of the things you say are true, your argument is moronic.
Your personal brand of christianity may in fact say this is so. But so what – you do not speak for all people and that is what the government must do. Your religious opinions have place in society over that of other people. ALl your anti-gay stance means is that you should not be gay. Other people who are gay should be happy with who thaey are anddeserve 100% the right to marry. Fortunately many christian churches have seen the light.
Equal protection under the law, Salero. Your religious text means nothing in establishing public policy.
:-D :-D ↑↑
All I see is AD HOMINEM, gibberish, rubbish and palaverous arguing in response to what I said. Typical!
You have no authority to speak for god
"Marriage remains what has been for thousands of years. Mostly a Voluntary Social Contract, which is a Pri vilege and an Honor as God intended it to be. "
Marriage has and is applicable to many more people than christians and always has been. It's charming that christians us the custom but the do not own it and never have.
"So if someone is force/made to marry someone NOT of their choosing, whether for Honor or Convenience or Traditions. Then; How can anyone pretend to call it a Right? I have a right to drive my car, it is a Pri vilege to drive my car in Government built roads. But as of now, if I don't want to drive, no one can force me or made me to drive if I don't want."
Marriage became a right when the governemtn started attaching rights and duties to it. Denying people this is a form of discrimination.
"Now, though some marriages have no children of their own. The Fact is that Marriage is not only for the purpose of S E X Companionship, Convenience, more S E X but also for the greater purposes of Pro-creation and Re-production. As God Intended and Ordained. "
Again your god neither created nor owned marriage. People will use it for the purpose they wish and it is not of your business as long as they are not wanting to get married in your particular church.
"H o m o s e x u a l marriage does NOT pro-create or re-produce. All they can do, is resort to corrupt and perverted laws/rules/regulations and governments, that allows them to adopt someone else's children. Or a child of one of the two ho mo se xu als involve in such an aberrant arrangement."
Again it is only aberrant or pervertd in your eyes. Other people have different views including a great many christians. If you feel that your particular rules and ideas should apply to all mankind I suggest councelling as it not going to happen.
The AD HOMINEM gibberish continues. ↑↑ Typical of those who like the author of the article, their real and only take on the subject is base, baseless and based on a SU PI NE Ignorance of what the Scriptures say. :-P
I agree 100%. very well put.
Yes they do reproduce. Duh! Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.
Oh what sententious nonsense! Marriage is a civil contract, a legal reality sanctioned by the state. If you want more than that, that's your right. But, once again, don't you DARE confuse your outdated, fallible and corrupt churchy sanctions with government for the people, by the people and FROM the people.
Gays are NOT asking for Christian marriage. They are asking for a secular marriage. Deny them the Christian marriage rituals but don't deny them a legal license.
There is no Christian case for ho-mos-exual marriage. This guy wants to rewrite the Bible.
People have been re-writing the bible (and history) all the times ! Don't you think a lot has changed since the original hebrew to the various recent versions, and the Book of Mormons ??
I see that you are bloviating again, Evangelical. You are not privy to the mind of god
Still waiting on all those extra benefits you claim that gays want.
Sorry, there is no Christian case for gay marriage.
That being said, I'm a Christian and I am not opposed to gay marriage.
Laws are to protect people, not prevent them from making mistakes.
As long as another person is not harmed, I don't think we should make sin illegal.
So, gay marriage is a sin, but you have a right to sin if it doesn't hurt anybody else.
So if the sin isn't hurting anyone else then the sin is hurting them? Being with people they love is hurting them? Conversely, if it's not hurting anyone else and it's not hurting them, then how is it a sin?
It hurt us and it will hurt the next generation even more!!
How, exactly, will it "hurt us"? Provide cites.
Since you stated that Gay marriage is a sin, let them sin. –
Okay Stealing and Killing is also are sins. Are you accepting people to do it too?
Do tell us all how gay marriage "hurts" anyone, you idiot. Then figure out how stealing and murder hurt those against whom such crimes are committed.
I really have to wonder if you ever got past 8th grade, you moronic dolt.
"Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement."
But Paul and Jesus offer a strikingly clear definition of marriage. 1 Cor 7:2 – "To avoid fornication, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband." Matt 19:4-5 – "Have you not read that in the beginning God 'made man male and female' and 'for this cause a man leaves father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh'?"
"The question before us now is not whether [being gay] is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage."
Of course being gay is no bar to any of these. Any gay person who promises to repent of all sin, including gay behavior, can be baptized. Any gay person who is free from the sin of gay behavior may receive communion. And any gay person is free to marry anyone of the opposite gender that he/she likes.
Spot on. Couldn't have said it better.
Mike P: Well, it looks as if not everybody takes their moral cues from iron age hearsay
Equal protection under the law is what should control governmental action. You would have a gay person marry someone to whom they are not attracted to please "god"?
The bible is an evil book and I can't stand it when chtistians pretend that it is anything but that. I have posted all these bible verses to prove this to everyone.
You don't understand the character of God. He is just. Every example you have cited are examples of justice whereby evil was eradicated. Thus we have the judicial system, because we as a people also believe in justice and the removal evil. If you are calling the Bible evil on the basis of these scriptures, then in fact you are arguing against justice and calling justice evil.
Because the bible challenges to all mankind that why most of the people didn't want to hear the truth.Jesus say you are from your father devil.
Paul.....and you do? Can you be any more arrogant?
Ben....do Jesus say you rite like moron?
2 SAMUEL 4:12 David punished Rechan and Baanah by killing them, chopping off their hands and feet and hanging their bodies by the pool at Hebron.
2 SAMUEL 6:6-7 The oxen carrying the Ark of God stumbled, and Uzzah reached out to steady it. God punished his "irreverent act" by killing him where he stood
SAMUEL 15:7-8 God commanded Saul to attack the Amalekites and "totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."
1 SAMUEL 15:33 "Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal."
1 SAMUEL 18:27 David and his men killed 200 Philistines, presenting their foreskins to the king to win Michal in marriage.
1 SAMUEL 30:17 David killed all but 400 Amalekites, who escaped.
Ahem. The bible, which not all christians take literallly anyway, is many things – and part of it is a book of history. That David or other people did these things in ancient times proves nothing about God or people's concept of him.
Miriam – The bible is kind of a list of God's accomplishments. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
JUDGES 9:53-54 Abimelech was laying siege to the city of Thebez when a woman cracked his head with a stone. "Hurredly, he called to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say "a woman killed him".’ So his servant ran him through, and he died."
JUDGES 11:29-39 Jepthah sacrificed his beloved daughter as a burnt offering after God gave him victory in battle.
JUDGES 15:15 Samson killed 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass
JUDGES 3:29 The Lord delivered the Moabites into the hands of the Israelites. "At that time they struck down about then thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not a man escaped."
JUDGES 4:21 Jael drove a tent stakes through the head of Sisera.
JUDGES 7:19-25 Under God’s direction, the Gideons defeated the Midianites. They killed and decapitated their princes and delivered the heads to Gideon
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