- December 17, 2013
Post submitted by Sharon Groves, former HRC Director, Religion and Faith Program
For LGBT folks and allies the holidays are often rough. When we’re least expecting it – while watching a football game, opening presents, preparing a meal – the insults come seemingly out of nowhere. And so often, we shy away from responding because we know the retort will invoke God and the Bible. Try to engage in a real conversation from a place of confidence, integrity and even, if you’re not feeling it, from a place of compassion and love.
All week long, HRC is offering tips and strategies to help guide you through what may be a difficult holiday season, as part of our Religion & Faith blog series, “Debunking the Myth: How to Stand Your Bible Ground This Holiday.”
Today, let’s discuss the cliché that often comes up during discussions of marriage equality: “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
This kind of statement is usually backed up with Genesis 1:27-28 ,“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply. “ Or, Genesis 2: 22-23,“And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’” What is read into these statements is an assumption that God’s creation of Eve as a partner for Adam precludes any other kind of loving relationship. This reading is not substantiated in this story.
You might say something like: “I agree with you that God created Adam and Eve and that he called it good. There is no question that God celebrates in Genesis the love between a man and a woman. But there is nothing in the creation story about loving relationships that are “not good” – in other words, couples who are unable to have children, people who are single, or LGBT couples. “
Follow-up: When we assume that celebrating Adam and Eve means that all other forms of relationship are “abnormal” we short circuit the loving relationships that are so central to the text between Jesus and his disciples, between Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, and many, many more.
Reclaiming the Bible: Ask them if they will read Genesis 1 and 2 aloud with you. You’ll be amazed by the beauty of these versus. What is the overall picture painted by this story? For instance, over and over again we see the refrain, “God created the world and God said it was good. “ What is good about the world? What is good about our humanity? How do we better live into God’s blessing of the world?
Use this as an opportunity for a discussion of the mystery of creation in all its manifestations.
Have you tried this strategy out? Let us know in the comments below how it worked out or if you had a different kind of Bible conversation. Though this series is intended for Christians in anticipation of the Christmas holiday, stay tuned to the HRC blog for more religious series.
And for more resources from HRC’s Religion and Faith program, visit http://www.hrc.org/issues/religion-faith.