This morning, CNN hosted Jonathan Dudley, a graduate of Yale’s Divinity School and the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics. Dudely argues that conservatives who are opposed to gay marriage shouldn’t takes the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality “as timeless and universal,” but treat other “unnatural” condemnations as “culturally relative.”
“In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them ‘unnatural,’” Dudley writes in an article for CNN. “Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: ‘Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” Few Christians would answer that question with a ‘yes.’”
During this morning’s segment, the CNN anchor even joked that if she took the bible word for word, “I would be stoned for planting strawberries next to my corn and my husband would be my master”:
DUDLEY: I’m not arguing that the Apostle Paul, who is the New Testament author who wrote about same-sex relations, I’m not arguing that they are okay, what I try to point out int he column is that he condemned a lot of other things that Christians don’t condemn today…There are also very strong condemnations of divorce throughout the New Testament, that the Evangelical community and a lot of other communities that oppose same-sex marriage read pretty leniently.
Dudley also argues that opponents of marriage equality have themselves altered the “traditional” definition of marriage. “For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church,” Dudley notes before asking, “How does that sit with ‘family values’ activism today?”