Saturday, July 30, 2005

Expressing My Freedom of Religion

Although Leviticus is the main bone mauled over in the same-sex marriage debate as I discussed earlier, there are many other passages that allude to this subject. The first is in Genesis 1:26-27:
"Then God said, 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness;...
So God created humankind in
his image,
in the image of God he created
them;
male and female he created
them."
In the Harper Collins Study Bible, NRSV, the notes for these verses states, "Both man and woman are created in the image of God, who is beyond gender or comprises both." This is pretty fruity, full of seeds one can pick out and study. I'll just get the discussion going.

God is beyond gender, and if we are created in His image, then we too ultimately are more than our gender. Human obsession with all matters sexual takes us away from God's ultimate design of us. Although that in itself is a separate discussion, it may partly explain why Jesus never addressed homosexuality directly. Jesus was harsh in condemning many human behaviours and attitudes, but he did not overtly state that homosexual relations and marriage was a sin. It's interesting that and full of possibilities why not. One is that since we are created in God's image, and since we have been tossed from Eden and thus our over-riding mission is to get back in, then our focus should be more on regaining what we have lost: reflecting God's image.

God comprises both genders; thus to reflect the image of God takes the union of one man and one woman. This reasoning is why the proponents of heterosexual-only marriage use this verse to bolster their argument. Marriage is a ritual to bring one man and one woman together to create in our limited outside-of-Eden way the image of God. The goal of marriage is to fulfill God's creation of humankind. (As an aside, Zarathustra's definition of marriage may in fact be the only valid one as it comes closest to reflecting the two halves becoming one, where each half is equal to the other.) And so homosexuals are by definition unable to achieve this goal. They are only one-half of the equation. And before you cry foul, may I remind you that there is an even bigger population out there in the same boat: single men and single women. With this reasoning, singles also cannot reflect the image of God. Jesus called upon us to love one another, but he never said that following him would be easy. In fact the exact opposite. That's why he came: to bridge the gap between us and God so that, although imperfect, although single, although homosexual or disabled or alone or ostracized, we can re-enter God's kingdom and once again be in His image.

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