On "Confronting Religious Denial of Gay Marriage"

The Bible, Human Rights, and Gay Marriage

The video below features Catherine Miles Wallace, who "is a cultural historian on the faculty of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University." In it she is interviewed by Wipf and Stock Publishers about her book, Confronting Religious Denial of Gay Marriage - Christian Humanism and the Moral Imagination.

The following is my commentary on some of the points made in the interview below.

A Note on Applying Commandments

Skip to 4:00 for the relevant part of the interview.

The Torah doesn't say that two men shouldn't marry each other, it says that a male should not lie with a man as he lies with a woman (Leviticus 18:22). The application of that commandment only implies that two men shouldn't get married because one purpose of marriage is sexual activity, but the root prohibition is sex between men, which is, let's be honest, happening outside of marriage.

A general note when studying Scripture; the observance of any commandment cannot violate the observance of any other commandment (which seems pretty obvious if you think about it). If true, then the application of "loving your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18) cannot violate "you shall not lie with a male as with a woman." From a theological perspective virtue cannot occur within a sin: it would be utterly foolish to say that suggest that being faithful to your mistress is a virtue.

Further, Jewish thought considers violating a negative commandment to be worse than violating a positive one. This is because violating a negative commandment requires an action, while violating a positive one simply requires the absence of an action. Leviticus 18:22 is a negative commandment, and 19:18 is a positive commandment, so in the event that they conflict and you "have to" violate one, you violate the positive one to avoid a greater transgression.

The Bond Between Mother and Son

Skip to 7:00 for the relevant part of the interview.

Wallace rhetorically asks in her interview, "how can gay marriage be bad for children?"

A lot of research indicates that the bond between a mother and child, whether a boy or a girl, is absolutely necessary for the healthy and positive development of that child in almost every way. Say what you will about the rights of gay (wo)men to get married to each other, children will most likely suffer from that environment.

It's interesting that the importance of this bond is uniformly recognized by professional psychologists and psychiatrists. While none of these studies say anything about gay marriage, everything they do say indicates that gay marriage will most likely be detrimental to the children in that marriage. Note that these discoveries were made free of the agenda to detract from gay civil rights; they were made through the methods of inquiry commonly used in their fields.

See the following links below:


Skip to 12:00 for the relevant part of the interview.

The purpose of the prohibition against homosexual sex is not that it prevents the propagation of the human race. The reason for this is that the propagation of the human race is covered by the commandment of "Be fruitful and multiply." (Genesis 1:28) This indicates that the purpose of Leviticus 18:22 is altogether different, and Judaism permits sexual activity between spouses even when pregnancy is impossible. This is related to the idea that it creates accord between a husband and wife, as Genesis 4:1 says, "Now the man knew his wife Eve..." The verb "knew" is used both euphemistically and to indicate that the act was an inherently positive one that brought them together.

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