The Bible is to be understood first and foremost as the writings of men (sorry women, only men to blame here) trying desperately to understand their relationship with God and with one another. What these men wrote was run through the filter of their times. Their understandings were colored by traditions handed down to them, the history of their people, and the culture in which they were raised — all of which was so very different from ours. They had no knowledge of science as do we, and such things as genetics and DNA and atomic energy were unknowns. They didn’t even realize how the universe works, that the sun does not rotate around the earth. They had to interpret God’s intent for them through what knowledge they had acquired, and what experiences they had encountered. The same is true for us today. We face the same challenges they faced, to understand God’s intent for us as we live lives very different from our ancestors.
And that brings us to today’s topic of same sex marriage. People point to the ancient understandings of human sexuality, and quote what they think are absolutes according to scripture. I will not offer a long and detailed diatribe on the issue. I will only use the following quote from theologian and pastor William Sloane Coffin:
“People who say same sex marriage makes them uncomfortable should probably remind themselves that comfort has nothing to do with the issue and that, often as not, change is discomforting. I think those of us who are straight people really need to sit down quietly and compare our own discomfort with the discomfort of gays and lesbians who for years have been excluded, isolated, silenced, abused, and even killed.”