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Kevin DeYoung

Feminism, Social Issues

Five Answers from a Christian who Believes the Bible Supports Marriage Equality

marriage equality

Kevin DeYoung has asked people like me these five questions (DoNotLink). I’m assuming he didn’t intend for them to be rhetorical.

On what basis do you still insist that marriage must be monogamous?

Considering the fact that all of the passages that have traditionally been interpreted as having to do with same-sex behavior have nothing whatsoever to do with marriage, I do not even know what this question is here for. We’re re-evaluating six passages based on information a lot of us didn’t have before. That’s it.

Kevin argues that you can only construct an argument for monogamy based on a complementarian understanding of marriage, but considering that gender complementarity is a patriarchal concept and has been used to oppress and subjugate women for 2,000 years . . . yup. Not buying it, Kevin. I have an egalitarian, monogamous marriage and I don’t need gender essentialism in order for my marriage to reflect the image depicted in Scripture.

I’m going to be honest: Kevin does not seem to understand that there are things to base a system of ethics on besides “a supernatural being told me not to do this.” And, honestly, if that is the only thing you’re basing your ethics on . . . a supernatural being told a king to commit genocide. To slaughter every single infant. Having your only criteria for whether something is moral be “God said _____” is dangerous.

Saying that the gender (and the gender roles) of the people committing to a marriage before God doesn’t matter doesn’t mean we’re not still aiming for the kind of marriage described in the New Testament.

Will you maintain the same biblical sexual ethic in the church now that you think the church should solemnize gay marriages?

Kevin’s premise for this question is that “infidelity [is] rampant in homosexual relationships.” He gets this from a book called Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, which he says references a single study that proves how unfaithful gay men are. A lot of the book can be previewed, but all I can see is the book’s summary, and not the citation. I couldn’t find the study based on the information given, which seems awfully convenient. Also, citing someone else’s citation, Kevin? That is intellectually lazy.

First of all, there is a difference between open relationships and infidelity. One is about communication, honesty, and trust, and the other one is about deceit, manipulation, and trust-breaking. Conflating these two means that Kevin is being a) dishonest, or is he is b) ignorant.

Kevin also says “biblical sexual ethic” like that means anything specific. When I read what the New Testament has to say about sexual relationships, what I consistently see portrayed is don’t exploit people who cannot consent.

Don’t think that’s what Kevin thinks a “biblical sexual ethic” is, though. Maybe he means “if you rape someone, pay her father $20 bucks and marry her.”

Are you prepared to say moms and dads are interchangeable?

People are not interchangeable based on the fact that they are human beings. I don’t need my parents to adhere to a specific set of patriarchal gender roles in order to have a “family unit.” Parents should be able to find the roles and responsibilities that works for their family, and they shouldn’t have to be judged for those decisions based on cultural constructs.

What will you say about anal intercourse?

Heterosexual couples have butt sex all the time. There are specific set of concerns, which are the following:

  • Get tested. If you have an infection, get it treated.
  • If it touches your butt, it doesn’t touch your vagina. Or your mouth.
  • Butts are a little more fragile. Take your time. Use plenty of water-based lube.
  • Wear a condom.

Kevin also makes the claim that having butt sex—all on its own, with no other factor—increases your risk for anal cancer by 4,000 percent. He bases that claim on data that is 32 years old, where a few researchers looked at a database for syphilitic patients. They only used patients with syphilis as their data points. Again, either Kevin is ignorant, or he is being deliberately misleading.

Here’s the study, by the way. Because I don’t rely on what other people cite in their bigoted books for my information, when at all possible. I also don’t make it difficult for people to find the information I’m citing because that’s, again, dishonest.

How have all Christians at all times and in all places interpreted the Bible so wrongly for so long?

I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the 12.5 million Africans sold into slavery in the Western Hemisphere? Or the 4 million people owned by Americans in 1860—whose slavery was justified by their interpretation of the Bible?