640px-rorschach_like_inkblotsvgSarah Ball and Anne Underwood have a nice take down of religious right arguments against gay marriage in this weeks Newsweek.

In the Old Testament, the concept of family is fundamental, but examples of what social conservatives would call “the traditional family” are scarcely to be found. Marriage was critical to the passing along of tradition and history, as well as to maintaining the Jews’ precious and fragile monotheism. But as the Barnard University Bible scholar Alan Segal puts it, the arrangement was between “one man and as many women as he could pay for.”

I’m often led to wonder just what Bible these people are reading. They seem to treat the text as a sort of Rorschach to justify whatever hateful prejudice they wish to support. Thus, during the Civil War the Bible was used to support slavery. Now it is used to support the persecution of homosexuals. I’ve even seen it used to support war, torture, and capitalist free market economies. It’s difficult not to conclude that much of Christianity is the greatest of conspiracies against Christ. How, after all, are we to get from the words of the man who gave the Sermon on the Mount to present day doctrines among Christian fundamentalists? Of course, as an atheist I tend to think of Jesus as more a political figure fighting on behalf of the marginalized and promoting peace or strategies for minimizing conflict, than as a divine figure, but all the same.

At any rate, read the rest here. If you’re truly masochistic peruse the reader comments attached to the article.

Yesterday, NPR’s Fresh Air also had an interesting interview with Frank Shaeffer who was instrumental in politicizing evangelicals and has since denounced the movement. The interview is well worth a listen.

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