Monday, July 21, 2014

Alliance Defending Freedom on "Right" to Anti-Gay Discrimination: "Objections Based on Race Are a Lot Different from Objections Based on Sexual Behavior and Morality"

Attorney Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguenin as she claimed the right to refuse to photograph a same-sex wedding because it violated her faith, tells Greg Stohr of Bloomberg

Objections based on race are a lot different from objections based on sexual behavior and morality. The Bible is clear about sexual morality. It’s clear about marriage being between a man and a woman.

Discrimination against people on racial grounds as one cites the bible as one's warrant: wrong. 

Discrimination against people on grounds of sexual orientation as one cites the bible as one's warrant: right. 

Because "the Bible is clear about sexual morality. It's clear about marriage being between a man and a woman." 

Has Tedesco even read the bible? Does he know that 

1. It takes slavery for granted (see: both Old and New Testaments) and upholds it as an ethically permissible practice — and so its texts about slavery were cited for centuries by bible-believing Christians who practiced slavery as their warrant for practicing slavery?

2. The descendants of those same slaveholders in the American South justified Jim Crow laws and legal segregation by citing biblical texts that, as they imagined, prohibited racial mixing (see: Bob Jones University v. United States)?

3. "The church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters" (see: Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" with a note of thanks to Fred Clark)?

4. The "sexual morality" about which the bible is "clear" includes our fathers in faith passing off their wives as their sisters so that those wives will be made concubines by powerful men who will then spare the lives of these patriarchs (see: Genesis 12:10-20, 20:1-6, 21-22-34, 26:1-33)?

5. The "sexual morality" about which the bible is "clear" includes concubinage, concubinage connected to slavery, and polygamy (see: entire Old Testament)?

5. The "sexual morality" about which the bible is "clear" includes the right of a husband to divorce his wife or wives by speaking words of divorce if she or they displease him (there is no reciprocal right for a wife) (see: Deuteronomy 24:1)?

The bible is clear about marriage being between a man and a woman? 

1. 2 Chronicles 13:21: Abijah "married fourteen wives."

2. Genesis 16:1-3: Abraham, who is married to Sarah, marries Hagar; Genesis 25:1: Abraham, who is married to Sarah and Hagar, marries Keturah.

3. 1 Samuel 25:39: David takes Abigail as his wife, having previously married Michal (1 Samuel 18:27), and then, well, one loses count of all of David's wives as one reads his story in the Jewish scriptures. 

These are just the tip of the iceberg among passages one might cite from throughout the Jewish scriptures showing that our fathers in faith practiced polygamy, and connected polygamy to concubinage and slavery and the view that women are property on the level of herds of goats. It takes very little effort to find those passages. They're everywhere in the Jewish scriptures. 

Do people who say ever so glibly these days that the bible is "clear" about "sexual morality" and that the biblical pattern of marriage is "between a man and a woman" ever read the bible about which they're so clear? As they glibly discount the obvious parallel between the way in which bible verses were spouted to support slavery and then racial segregation by denying that any such parallel exists, do they know anything about history?

Just wondering. Out loud, as usual.

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