Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Newsweek takes a stand

My friend Mario used to kvetch that it was all well and good for the news media to present both sides of an issue in the name of being fair, but there also comes a time when you just have to take sides for what is right and true. He always felt that some things are not subject to opinion, and the media should develop the backbone to say what's what.

Mario had a great point. Working with him for five years helped me develop a more critical eye regarding all current events. So, I was thrilled to read this from Jon Meacham's Editor's Desk column in this week's Newsweek:

No matter what one thinks about gay rights—for, against or somewhere in between—[the] conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism. Given the history of the making of the Scriptures and the millennia of critical attention scholars and others have given to the stories and injunctions that come to us in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.

The whole column is great. Meacham is one of my favorite authors. I've talked about his writing on this blog many times. Sometimes I'll be reading some great article about faith in America, and I just think, who wrote this? And it turns out to be Meacham.

Here he is, allowing both himself and his magazine to take a stand, like Mario says they should. The interpretation of scripture that precludes gay marriage is just a wrong interpretation. It flies in the face of human history and biblical precedent. And Newsweek is not afraid to say so.

More power to them.

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At 12/10/2008 01:19:00 PM, Anonymous Dennis R. said...

Forgive me for disagreeing here:

"to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition"

To say that we cannot using the Bible is unworthy of the Judeo-Christian tradition does not make sense. The Bible is the backbone of the Christian tradition. Without it it falls apart.

At 12/10/2008 02:20:00 PM, Blogger azk said...

I must disagree as well. Jon is an intelligent man who often writes thoughtfully on faith. But his lead in editorial to the article is simply the worst piece of writing he has ever done. He does not reason at all in this piece. Jon (and Lisa) make gay marriage the epistemology and then interpret the universe through that lens. This is like the Bush administration saying there are indeed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and then interpreting all the intelligence in light of that belief. Jon is smarter than than and I just cannot understand why as the editor of a magazine like Newsweek he would publicly write something full of name calling and lacking depth. For his own sake and for the sake of healthy dialog on this issue he really needs to resist throwing hand grenades into this debate.

At 12/10/2008 03:08:00 PM, Blogger PCarino said...

I liked Meacham's editorial, too, but perhaps the commenters above would prefer this thoughtful and compassionate piece published in the same magazine. It is deeply compassionate toward all involved.

At 12/12/2008 11:04:00 PM, Anonymous Debra W said...

Wow, the article that PCarino linked is amazing. (COVER STORY: GAY MARRIAGE
Our Mutual Joy in Newsweek December 6th issue). WHat a beautiful and reasoned response to this topic. I admit that it took me a while to figure this out in my own thinking, but the question came to me, "what does God know about sex or marriage for that matter?" I know that it is purely a human activity and institution, subject to our thinking about it. And I don't believe God is aware of or concerned about a human or mortal existence, but only about Her children as She created them in all their spiritual, perfect, continuous, permanent and beloved glory!

I love how well reasoned the article was and that it included the fact that we have already rewritten the definition of marriage many times since Biblical times and as recently as the 50's was it...to include interracial couples. Brilliant.

Is anyone else reminded of "Imagine all the people...living in harmony..."?

Love you Laura!!


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