Friday, 2 March 2012

Same Sex Marriage: Pro and Con Arguments That Made Me Think

Fascinating distillation of arguments for and against same sex marriage from Richard Beck over at Experimental Theology:
This was my argument for the position that, no, same sex marriages are not 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 is creation theology.
This was my argument for the position that, yes, same sex marriages are 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.
…all here. I appreciate his reasoned, balanced, un-shrill approach. Not surprising, I suppose, since he was debating himself.

Personally, I still find the "no" argument more compelling. I have not seen this particular "yes" argument before. In my opinion, it's better than the-Bible-doesn't-really-say-that argument but it's still reaching further than I think is reasonable.