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Jesus Had Two Dads…

… And he turned out just fine.

There is a phrase that has been doing the rounds in gay Christian circles for a while now: “Jesus had two dads, and he turned out just fine.” Is there any scriptural basis for this? Yes, of course there is. It is right there in Matthew chapter 1. Joseph’s role in Jesus life was so important that his lineage was traced through Joseph, not Mary. Joseph wasn’t merely some human caretaker, he was Jesus’ human father. At the same time, God was Jesus’ father in a much more literal sense than he is our father, so there is no doubt that, for mainstream Christians at least, Jesus did have two dads.

Does this have any relevance to the debate surrounding same-sex couples and adoption? Yes and no. Both of Jesus’ fathers were involved in their own way during his childhood, but it isn’t really a model for a same-sex couple raising a child. It is more like a father, mother, and step father all raising one child together. While that is a laudable thing, and not just because it is a reminder that not all successful families have the same nuclear structure, it isn’t the same as a same-sex couple raising a child.

But I can think of one person in the Bible who definitely had two dads. Can you guess who? Answer will be in the next blog post.

Did David and Jonathan Have Sex?

My talk, Jonathan Loved David, has been discussed over on Stafford Carson’s blog. Some of the commenters are concerned about whether or not David and Jonathan actually had sex, or perhaps I should say that some of the commenters are concerned about whether or not I think they had sex. The simple fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter, and it’s none of our business anyway.

Sex is almost always an immensely private part of a relationship, but for most people it isn’t a defining part of a relationship. Two people can form a couple – a romantic couple, a married couple, etc. – with or without a sexual component to their relationship. If you want proof that David and Jonathan had sex before you acknowledge them as a couple then you should ask yourself if you want proof that David and Michal had sex before you acknowledge them as a couple as well. If not, why not?

All too often, people (both Christian and non-Christian) speak about opposite-sex relationships in terms of love, affection, and commitment, but they speak about same-sex relationships in terms of sex. In another blog post, Stafford talks about the importance of conversation and discussion between gay people and orthodox Christians. I agree that is important, and for that dialog to happen orthodox Christians have got to start acknowledging that, aside from the genders of the people involved, same-sex relationships are the same as opposite-sex relationships. The basic emotions that Stafford feels when he looks at his wife Patricia are the same basic emotions that I feel when I look at my husband Michael.

David Loved Jonathan in a Same-Sex Relationship – talk during Belfast Pride 2011

Faith and Pride’s inaugural event kicks off on July 24th with Andrew McFarland setting out to demonstrate that the language used in the Bible to describe the relationship between David and Jonathan is the same as the language used to describe the relationship between husband and wife.

Speaking before the event, Andrew said:

The evidence is compelling. David and Jonathan spoke about each other as if they were spouses, and aspects of their relationship only make sense if you see them as a couple.

The whole context of their relationship – they even had a formal covenant between them because of their love – suggest that they were more than just friends.

Members of the public are very welcome to come to the event which is being held in All Souls’ Church, Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, at 7pm. The second talk of the evening will be by Paula Rita Tabakin who will explore homosexuality from a Jewish reform perspective using texts and traditions.

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