Friday, March 9, 2012

Seven Quick Takes: on the sanctity of same sex marriage and other matters


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What is the underlying theology that informs the discussion on the gay marriage and the sanctity of same sex intimate relationships?  Below you can find three paragraphs that may clarify it.

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Richard Beck's summary on why same sex marriages may not be reflective of the image of God:
Same sex marriages are not in the image of God because when God created humanity in God's image Genesis 1.27 says "male and female he created them." Thus, the model for marriage is Adam and Eve. The basis of marriage is biological complementarity. This understanding is supported in Romans 1 where Paul describes same sex relations as "unnatural." In light of this, the command God gives to marriage, as a reflection of God's image, is reproduction ("be fruitful and multiply"). Obviously, same sex marriages are not based on biological complementarity and cannot procreate. Thus, same sex marriages cannot reflect the image of God. The theology informing this understanding iscreation theology.
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Richard Beck's summary on why same sex marriages may be reflective of the image of God:

Same sex marriages are in the image of God because the model for marriage is Yahweh and Israel rather than Adam and Eve. Thus, the basis of marriage is grace and election, God choosing Israel from among the nations. The primacy of election/grace over biology is supported in Romans 11 where God is found "unnaturally" grafting the Gentiles into the covenant with Israel. In light of this, the command God gives to marriage to reflect God's image is covenant faithfulness. Obviously, same sex marriages display the grace of election and can model covenant faithfulness. Thus, same sex marriages can reflect the image of God. The theology informing this understanding is salvation history.
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Dana Ames and her understanding of the Orthodox framework
The model for marriage is Christ and the church.  The basis of marriage is the union of like and unlike.  The command that reflects the image of God is to "love one another the way I have loved you" - self-giving love in humility unto death (all kinds).  The theology informing this understanding is the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinitarian Godhead. (Genderedness does not have to do with being made "in God's image" because God is incorporeal; Jesus was incarnated as a gendered male not because maleness is somehow a part of the Godhead, or better than femaleness, but in order to accomplish what he had to do, and saying and doing what he did as a woman would have just gotten him ignored and banished, not necessarily crucified.  His entrance bodily into history was in "the fullness of time", and that can't be ignored.)
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Do you have your own summary and understanding? I will be happy to hear from you in the comments!


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Since we are talking about our underlying understandings that inform theology, specially in on gay issues, I strongly recommend you to read "Voiceless". It has an extremely well written summary of the the state of the current discussion in the form of a debate between 4 different approaches on homosexuality. I will certainly write more about it in a later post.

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Finally, I need to fill this last take, don't I?. Here you have a very impressive 3minute speech of Zach Wahls talking about family.



I liked the sentence of "not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realised independently that I was rise by a gay couple". 

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