What do you get when a gay
bishop and an anti-Christian comedian discuss same-sex "marriage"?
Rest assured ... it's nothing to laugh at.
What happens when Gene Robinson, the country's first openly gay,
Episcopalian bishop, joins Jon Stewart on the Daily Show?
You get a mockery of Jesus, a misinterpretation of the Bible, and
some real howlers on the meaning of family.
Robinson joined Stewart on December 10 to promote his new book
God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage --
a book endorsed by President Obama himself.
Responding to a question from Stewart, Robinson said this about
Jesus, to the delight of the crowd: "Here's a guy who, in a culture
that virtually demanded marriage, was a single guy, spent most of
his time with 12 men, singled out three of them for leadership and
one of them is known in the Bible as 'the one whom Jesus loved.'
Now I'm not saying Jesus was gay, but let's be careful to rope this
guy in for a husband, wife and 2.2 children model for family. He
knew about families of choice, and so do LGBT people."
Talk about bad comedy, especially from the lips of an ordained
First, while being celibate was the exception to the rule in
first-century Jewish culture, it was certainly not unheard of (in
the Old Testament, Jeremiah was celibate, as were other religious
Jews in Jesus' day, like some of the Essenes). Second, it was the
norm for a rabbi/teacher to gather a group of male disciples around
himself. The fact that Jesus also had some female followers (see
Luke 8:1-3) was unusual. Third, choosing three men for leadership
in a male-led society is exactly what we would expect. Fourth, when
the Bible talks about God loving someone or someone loving God,
there's obviously nothing of a sexual nature implied. The same
applies when spoken about Jesus.
Robinson, however, has the temerity to claim that Jesus is a
poor example for advocates of natural marriage and family, stating
that, "He knew about families of choice, and so do LGBT
Which "families of choice" did Jesus know about, Bishop
Robinson? And have you forgotten, sir, how he answered a question
about divorce by asking, "Haven't you read that at the beginning
the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason
a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but
one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
This is the clearest statement about God's intent for marriage
found anywhere in the Bible, and it comes from the lips of Jesus
himself. Yet Robinson wants Jesus to be an advocate of genderless
marriage, not to mention possibly gay himself.
Jon Stewart also put his foot in his mouth when he stated, "If
you read Leviticus, eating shellfish is an abomination," which led
him to wonder out loud why religious conservatives weren't trying
to shut down Red Lobster.
His argument, of course, was that since Leviticus 18:22 says
that male-male intercourse is an abomination and it also says that
eating shellfish is an abomination, then those who claim to follow
the Bible should campaign against restaurants like Red Lobster.
The problem for Stewart is that the only sin singled out as an
abomination in Leviticus (in Hebrew, to'evah) is
homosexual intercourse. A different word is used with reference to
the dietary laws in Leviticus 11, a fact that is obscured in some
English translations. More importantly, the dietary laws were given
to keep the people of Israel separated from the nations; the laws
concerning forbidden sexual relationships applied in God's sight to
Israel and the nations (see Leviticus 18:24-30; for a one-minute
primer on this, see here.)
But the most absurd part of the dialog between Stewart and
Robinson occurred when they presented same-sex "marriage" as
something conservatives should embrace.
According to Robinson, when Americans look at gay couples and
the kids they are raising, "What they're seeing is all-American
To be sure, a large majority of gays and lesbians are not
seeking to be married and are not raising kids, and so those who
are already represent a more conservative part of the LGBT
community. And it is certainly positive to see gays and lesbians
recognize that marriage is not something to be despised, in
contrast with the extreme attacks on marriage in earlier gay
But how can Bishop Robinson possibly think that having two
daddies or two mommies equates to "all-American family values"?
Stewart is equally in the dark, saying that, "It's so surprising
to me that this is not a conservative issue, to try to bring more
people into the fundamental unit that they believe to be the
foundation of any rational structured society. More people getting
married seems better than less."
Mr. Stewart, may I point out to you that the "fundamental unit"
we believe in is not two people joining together in holy matrimony
but rather a man and woman joining together? It is the lifelong
union of a man and woman, producing children who are joined to
them, that is "the foundation of any rational structured society."
Put another way, human society was not built on "Heather Has Two
But what else should we expect? Despite Robinson's irenic tone
and Stewart's serious intent, we are, after all, talking about
Dr. Michael Brown, a Jewish believer in Jesus, is a biblical
scholar, apologist, worldwide speaker, and activist. He is the host
of the nationally syndicated, talk radio program "Line of Fire,"
and he serves as president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord,
NC, as well as adjunct professor at a number of seminaries. He is
the author of 21 books, most recently "The Real Kosher Jesus."
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