Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ParticiPaction a la Hal Johnson

I received this Newsweek article from a friend, and thought it really thoughtful and well-written. There's lots I could say about it, but am more interested in your thoughts and reactions . . .

Gay Marriage: Our Mutual Joy

7 comments:

chrish said...

If I posted a link that is a fine interaction with this article, would people read it? I mean, I could rehash the response, but this writer does an outstanding job, and I would hate to misrepresent anything he said.

So, for those interested, I would send you here.

bre said...

Thanks for posting this, Chris. Yes, people will read it. At least I did.

A few quick responses;
- Although I appreciate Mr. Tuck's response - on a basic level, I find the Newsweek article somewhat more persuasive and thoughtfully laid out.
- I strongly question Mr. Tuck's representation of "Ms. Miller and her Tribe of Social Liberation Kin('s)" marraige as a need for a social contract which allows one person to hold rights over another. This is a grave misunderstanding of queer and feminist liberation theology, and I lament that Mr. Tuck reduces the viewpoints of the Kinship to such a statement
- I think Mr. Tuck has perhaps misread or misunderstood the point of the Newsweek article; he claims that the Kinship quoted above is concerned only about their desires in marriage and not God's desires. I believe Ms. Miller was articulating the opposite point; that perhaps God's desire for marriage is not as black and white (or Man and Woman) as the church has defined it to be.
- Finally, I love respectful dialogue about this and other issues. I found Mr. Tuck's response somewhat thoughtful, if not misguided, until the last three paragraphs. I find his closing words to be arrogant, disrespectful, and decidingly unChristlike in spirit. To label those who do not agree with his position as "stupid. . . and evil" cuts me at the core of why I am often ashamed of identifying myself with North American Colonial Christianity. The lack of grace and humility expressed in these paragraphs saddens my soul, and does not contribute to Christian unity.

Again, thanks Chris. I appreciate your posting.

chrish said...

Bre,
Thanks for reading that article. I, too, enjoy respectful discussion (dare I say debate?).

His comment about the "stupidity and evil" position is more designed as a contrast to the previous paragraph. Go back and re-read it. He hasn't called anyone stupid; he's suggesting that, in the preceding paragraph, the position could be called hypocrisy, and in the second (the stupid and evil one), it's in asking the gov't to allow someone to have something that person sees as stupid and evil. That goes back to Ms Miller's assertion at the beginning about the "Biblical" understanding of marriage. Someone who asks the gov't to allow something she sees as being stupid and evil is... well, foolish, I think is the point.

I think Mr Turk is quite aware of Ms Miller's point regarding God's desire for marriage, and I think, he does a good job of articulating their difference in position. He says that the understanding for marriage as being one woman and one man comes, not from a social construct, but from the words used by God to describe the people He is creating, and the sort of people that result.
I find that much more compelling than an argument from mere biology. That God created, in the beginning, a man and a woman - and then that Jesus affirmed that relationship as being the one in which a uniting into "one flesh" occurs, should be a clear indication as to what God intended to be marriage.

peaball said...

Hey friend,

Your blog is too good.

I have yet to read both articles in full. I just wanted to say I'm glad you posted this and started off the discussion. And I, as always, think you're courageous for being willing to brave controversy for the sake of justice and truth.

in Christ,
peaball

bre said...

thanks again Chris.

I understand the contrast and perhaps even the purpose of the "stupid and evil" paragraph in question, but can't agree less with the premise. And can't ignore the connotation of "stupid and evil" towards those labelled as "they." I don't think those choice of words are an accident. At best the words are misleading; at worst they are hurtful and soul-damaging. If this truly was his point, I think he could have framed it in a less confrontational and belittling manner.

Thanks for your clarification on the second matter; I don't think I made myself clear on the first post. I would have like to have seen Mr. Tuck speak directly to Ms. Miller's points; namely that "biblical objections to gay marriage are rooted not in the Bible at all . . . but in custom and tradition." I would have liked to have him speak to this directly - I think Ms. Miller offers a strong argument that seems to have been largely ignored in Mr. Tuck's response. I would like to hear his response to that conclusion of hers which is, I believe, at the core of her thesis.

Many thanks and happy day,
bre

Zac said...

While I don't quite have the energy here to discuss this to the extent it deserves discussing, I will provide a link for all interested to a slightly longer, but I think very much appropriate, attempt by Rowan Williams at putting this discussion in perspective:

http://www.igreens.org.uk/bodys_grace.htm

I particularly like this:

"Same-sex love annoyingly poses the question of what the meaning of desire is in itself, not considered as instrumental to some other process (the peopling of the world); and this immediately brings us up against the possibility not only of pain and humiliation without any clear payoff', but - just as worryingly - of non-functional joy: or, to put it less starkly, joy whose material "production" is an embodied person aware of grace. It puts the question which is also raised for some kinds of moralist by the existence of the clitoris in women; something whose function is joy. lf the creator were quite so instrumentalist in "his" attitude to sexuality, these hints of prodigality and redundancy in the way the whole thing works might cause us to worry about whether he was, after all, in full rational control of it."

Z

Peaball said...

As an Anglican, I have to admit that I'm sort of proud to be part of a church whose global leader writes about the clitoris. Seriously, when does that happen? Not to be ecumenically supremacist or anything. :-)

And I think Rowan is mostly right on this front. Also his eyebrows are kind of crazy.

God doesn't create junk, and yeah God's reasons are beyond us but certainly there has to be a reason why so much beauty, love and grace can emerge from same-sex relationships, desire, pleasure and commitment.

I don't think it's possible to remain morally critical of homosexuality if one is in authentic, deep relationship with queer people - or is even vaguely honest about all the sides of ourselves and every desire we have that can't be categorized as completely straight.

I just thank God for the gorgeousness of diversity - sexual diversity being one facet of the human rainbow - and the gift of people being liberated from millenia of stigma and taboo. God HAS to be working in that liberation because true liberation is always from God - that's what S/He is about at heart - and I have seen this liberation with my own eyes - in my close friends, in my church, amongst those LGBT Christians who have blessed my journey so far, and for my own exploration and struggle with who God wants me to be.

God wants us to be true to what we're created to be. And if that's true, then God wants the same blessings to be granted to people regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, class. It seems simple to me.

Anything less is less than what Christ wants.