Gay marriage has become the most important domestic social issue facing twenty-first-century Americans particularly Americans of faith. Most Christians are pro-marriage and hold traditional family values, but should they endorse extending marriage rights to gays and lesbians? If Jesus enjoined us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and the homosexual is our neighbor, does that mean we should accept and bless gay marriages? These and other, related questions are tearing many faith-based communities apart.
Across the country, states have voted, courts have debated, and churches have divided over the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. Amid the uproar one perspective is decidedly missing: that of thoughtful, pro-marriage Christians who, informed by their faith, are struggling to make sense of this issue. What God Has Joined Together? is an effort to bridge the divide between marriage-supporting and gay-supporting people of faith by showing why both sides have important things to say and showing how both sides can coexist. Drawing on scientific research as well as on the Bible, the authors explain that marriage is emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually beneficial for everyone, not just heterosexuals.
They debunk myths about sexual orientation, assess claims of sexual reorientation, and explore what the Bible does and does not say about same-sex relationships. The book ends with a persuasive case for gay marriage and outlines how this can be a win-win solution for all.
Coauthors Myers (who serves on the board of the National Marriage Project) and Scanzoni (of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus) "take marriage... [and] our Christian faith seriously." Bringing together those two commitments to build a Christian case for gay marriage, they begin by arguing that marriage is good for society: marriage correlates to longevity; boys raised by married parents are less likely to commit crimes; married moms are less prone to depression than single moms and so forth. Why, the authors ask, should these good things be reserved for heterosexuals? They then consider what Scripture has to say about sexual orientation, rehearsing the by now familiar arguments that Jesus has nothing to say about homosexuality, and though the Bible does talk occasionally about homosexual sex, it does not deal with "loving committed homosexual relationships." Myers and Scanzoni's tone is calm, respectful and balanced. For example, though they present some of the latest scientific evidence about the causes of sexual orientation (including a chart of "mental rotation scores by sexual orientation"!), they also freely admit that scientific studies on this issue are still in the early stages, and that even conclusive scientific information "cannot... resolve values questions." With its traditional defense of marriage and its progressive embrace of same-sex relationships, this book cannot be pigeonholed, and that in itself is refreshing. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.