Secular interpretations of scripture

No, I’m not going to hijack this family-news oriented blog (well mostly) and turn it into a political blog. But this posting on Pyromaniacs really gets me going (in sympathetic ways). I’m going to post a quick excerpt here:

The blogosphere is absolutely a-twitter over that Newsweek essay reproaching the conservative view of marriage — and rightly so. I mean, we have all read at least this much of this piece of writing:

Let’s try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel — all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments — especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. “It is better to marry than to burn with passion,” says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple — who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love — turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so.

And most folks responding have sort of lost it in various ways because let’s face it: if anyone read Hamlet or Harry Potter with the critical finesse exercised in this paragraph, well, one would think they were reading something from a blog with only 5 or 6 readers — not from a magazine which people would (and did) pay money for.

I’m not posting this today to get into gay marriage. I honestly haven’t yet finished the post at Pyromaniacs. What really caught my interest was the final paragraph there where Centuri0n (as Frank Turk calls himself on the blog) sums up my feelings about the media’s handling of scripture.

Nearly every time I’ve seen or read a story about the Christian view of something that is composed by the media, the story reads as if the writer has taken less than 10 minutes to research what the Bible says on the topic. I don’t know why that has to be. There are lots of Christian folks that could be interviewed to get a more studied view. And I would think that such reporters would be laughed out of the business if they played that fast and loose with other literature (as Frank points out).

Anyway, it’s a huge irritant to see Christian positions attacked in such a blatantly straw-man way.