I saw a news article today that got my skeptical juices flowing once more. It was a story about a clerk in Indiana who was refusing marriage licenses to homosexual couples because “the US was founded on the biblical principle of one man and one woman in marriage”.
There are two things wrong with that statement, and those two things get down to some foundational beliefs many have. This is a perfect example of how ignorance (not stupidity, simply “a lack of knowledge or information”) perpetuates prejudice and gives it “authority”.
1. Biblical Principle?
The first issue is the “biblical principle of one man and one woman in marriage”. As far as I remember, there is only one scripture that says anything about “one man and one woman”, and that is 1 Tim. 3:2-12, where it discusses the qualifications of deacons and bishops. I’m sure if there are others someone can correct me in the comments and I’ll update this.
Of course, I hear a lot about an “unspoken” biblical principle of “one man and one woman” based on Genesis; it was “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”. But, of course, it would have to be; if you are going to create a new species then you need a mating pair. The example of Adam and Eve is a biological necessity, not an example of anti-homosexual sentiment. You really don’t want to use Adam and Eve as an example of “God intended it this way”, because that means God intended incest. He only made one mating pair, and yet here we are, all 7 Billion of us, so…
But if we want godly examples, let’s look at people God (the Judeo-Christian Yahweh, God of the Bible) liked. King David was a “man after God’s own heart” and he had seven wives (plus concubines, which are basically sex slaves). God chewed him out over Bathsheeba, but only because of the way he got her (arranging her husband’s death and all). And then there’s Abraham, “father of the faithful” and the “friend of God”; he only had one wife, but it was his half-sister, so if we want to talk “biblical principles”…
2. Founding Principles
It appears there is no biblical principle of one man and one woman in marriage, but even if there was it has nothing to do with the Founding of the United States.
Of course, many of the Founding Fathers were Christian while others were Deists (belief in a Creator who made everything, set up physics and chemistry and stuff, then takes a hands-off approach–no Commandments, no Miracles, etc). But it really doesn’t matter, as they kept religion out of the Constitution. “God” is not mentioned. Religion is mentioned only to say, in Article 6, that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”.
Then there is the 1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Furthermore, Congress ratified the Treaty of Tripoli (peace treaty between the US and the Barbary Pirates of North Africa). In that treaty was Article 11, which said “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen…”. That means that we are not automatically hostile to you just because you’re of the Muslim religion since we are not a Christian nation.
And your Point is?
All this means that the Government has no place Legislating Religion.
The bible says that God considers homosexuality a sin: “thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is an abomination”. And the New Testament tells us that “abusers of themselves with mankind” and “effeminate” are among those who “shall not inherit the Kingdom”.
But the bible calls lots of things sin that aren’t against the law. Where is the law based on “thou shalt not commit adultery”? Where is the law against idolatry? Having private religious belief, and making the country into a Theocracy, are two very different things.
But what happens when the Government does something contrary to your Religious Belief, like legalizing same-sex marriage? If you believe same-sex marriage is a sin, don’t do it. Simple. However, if you work for the Government, you can either quit as a matter of conscience, or you can ponder Rom. 13:1-5 (Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God…), and ponder over the fact that there is no “biblical principle of one man and one woman in marriage”, and further ponder the reality that the United States is not a Theocracy and give the people their marriage license.