Monday, February 1, 2010

With Apologies...


I have been looking at the second chapter of Genesis, which I maintain is not a historical account, but a description, in story form, of the human condition. Adam and Eve are us.

When God makes Eve from Adam’s rib, Adam, delighted, exclaims:

“This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh….” (Genesis 2:23)

Then the narrator comments, “For this reason, a man leaves his mother and father and clings to his wife and the two become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

This describes what is, for the vast majority of humans, their experience of being attracted to the opposite sex. Please note, however, that this is a description and not a prescription.

Sometimes this passage is taken as a mandate for heterosexual marriage, or a sanction against homosexual attraction. A bumper sticker slogan says, “It’s Adam and Eve NOT Adam and Steve.”

Yes, God made Adam and Eve (us) and most Adams are attracted to Eves. We can all agree that this is a good thing. If men and women were not attracted to one another, none of us would be here. Even Big Gay Steve can get on board with that idea.

But, here is the thing: God made Steve too. God made some Adams to be attracted to other Adams. Genesis 2 describes a norm, but does not prescribe that norm.

God, according to Genesis 2:18, made Eve because it was “not good for the man to be alone.” Human beings are made to live in intimate and caring partnership with one another. Most of us desire partnership between an Adam and an Eve. Some of us, however, desire partnership between an Adam and a Steve.

It is not good for Steve to be alone, either.

The Scripture quotes, as usual, are from the New Revised Standard Version. The illustration is my own mash-up of the elder Cranach's Adam and Albrecht Durer’s Adam. "Big Gay Steve" is a reference to the character Big Gay Al on South Park. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've watched South Park, but I assure you that I did not laugh.


1 comment:

  1. The Bible [King James version of Ecclesiastes] makes a good case for gay marriage - from chapter 4 - "9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
    10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
    11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
    12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."