Want to see something stupid? Of course you do.
Well, I can always find stupid. Here’s N.T. Wright thoroughly Godwinning the topic of same-sex marriage.
Wright is considered a big deal in theological circles: a very intelligent and perceptive theologian loved across ideological and denominational lines. And here he is peddling an absolutely terrible argument.
- Same-sex marriage is redefining words.
- The Soviet Union redefined words.
- The Soviet Union is baaaaad.
- Therefore, same-sex marriage is wrong.
The whole process of writing law is partly one of defining and redefining words. Theft means something. Then we find a bunch of weird edge cases and the language is confusing and unhelpful, so some nice lawyer rewrites it all. Ideally, we move in a more wise and sensible direction.
In 1990, in the case of R v R, the definition of rape changed so that a man forcibly having sex with his wife against her consent became rape. Being married no longer meant the law could assume consent. It turns out this is a good thing. I wonder if Bishop Wright thinks this kind of redefinition is bad. And if he doesn’t, whether he has a principled reason why the judges in R v R redefining rape is fine but the legislature redefining marriage in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act is wrong. I’m guessing the answer will take the form of special pleading and Jesus, as it always does.
If seeing people rip into him about it is your bag, there’s plenty to read.