Friday, July 06, 2018

Gay Marriage and Gluttony

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Ann Arbor book store
More than once, over the past several years, I've had a Christian object to people such as myself (or Michael Brown, or Wesley Hill, et. al.) who reason that, as we see things, gay marriage is not something God approves of. They point out that there are many things God does not approve of, such as gluttony. Their question is something like this:

"Why single out the sin of homosexuality, when you're not saying anything about sins like gluttony?'

My response is: Because I hear no significant voices with the Christian community arguing for and advocating gluttony as God-approved. That gluttony is not a God-behavior is a non-issue. Were someone to promote it as an intrinsic good, then some of us would want to respond. To think we should not respond, and just keep our mouths shut, would be  unreasonable and unfair.

It is precisely because there are those within the Christian community who advocate gay marriage as acceptable that many of us choose to respond. To muzzle us at this point feels mean-spirited and oppressive. We are being culturally forbidden to disagree. To accuse us of being "hypocritical" because we defend a biblical view of sexual morality while not paying as much attention to sins like gluttony is to commit a tu quoque fallacy. 

I want a civil dialogue. For how to do this, see Princeton jurisprudential scholar Robert George's The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis.

A final note: for years, in my church, I have preached through the biblical texts, verse-by-verse. In that way everything eventually gets addressed.

And, BTW, Michael Brown has recently published his book on his battle to overcome gluttony - Breaking the Stronghold of Food