Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report weighed in on President Obama’s support for homosexual marriage. The Los Angeles Times reports that “Colbert took the opportunity to debunk the claim, propagated by many Christian conservatives, that Jesus condemned homosexual relationships. . . . Colbert decided to go directly to the source. ‘I would like to read to you what the Jesus said about homosexuality,’ he declared, breaking out his trusty Bible. ‘I would like to, but he never said anything about it. Evidently Jesus was so filled with rage that he was speechless.’”
Let’s follow Colbert’s logic to see where it takes us. Jesus did not condemn rape, slavery, incest, or sex with animals, therefore, neither should we. What Jesus did do was affirm the marital norm of one man and one woman in a marital relationship in His discussion about divorce based on what the Bible had already codified:
And [Jesus] answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?” (Matt. 19:4–5).
The standard is one man and one woman. Any relationship that deviates from this norm is unbiblical. There was no need for Jesus to repeat every law as it was written.
In another place, Jesus slams His critics for nullifying the clear testimony of Scripture by manufacturing new laws based on “the tradition of men” (Mark 7:8), thus “invalidating the word of God. . .” (7:13). This is exactly what President Obama, Stephen Colbert, and others are doing with their claim that in their fictional world the Bible supports homosexuality and the inconceivable notion of a homosexual marriage. Homosexual marriage is a modern-day tradition manufactured by men.
Colbert can’t claim that the Old Testament is no longer applicable today since Jesus quotes from it on the marriage issue and in support of the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:36–40). A lawyer asks Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Here is what Jesus told him. The words in ALL CAPS are direct citations from the Old Testament:
“‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE Lord YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”
Jesus references the Scriptures of what we call the Old Testament in His answer about “the great commandment in the law.” And where is the great commandment found? It’s found in the same Old Testament book where the prohibition against homosexuality is found. The Great Commandment is taken from Leviticus 19:18, 34, sandwiched between the prohibitions against homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.
Colbert is a comedian of sorts. I’ve never found him to be very funny. The Times reports that he is a “practicing Catholic and Sunday school teacher.” If this is true, he needs a little more practice.