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An ancient rabbinic teaching says that in creating the world, He first looked in the Torah, Scripture's first five books and their explanatory traditions.In other words, the Bible is not a set of arbitrarily imposed rules. We Americans don't live in a society governed by Mosaic law. When the Bible speaks of their moral failings in very specific ethical areas, and the consequent downfall of their civilization, there is a lesson not just for a Jewish society but for everyone. "To clarify, I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. Peterson said that Merritt put him on the spot in the interview.He said Merritt asked him hypothetically if he would marry a gay Christian couple if he was pastoring today.Just as homosexuality was once the love that dare not speak its name, there is a Bible verse that opponents of gay marriage rarely speak.It is Leviticus , which reads: "You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination." These ancient words, the Bible's most direct statement on homosexuality, need to be rehabilitated. Because American security and prosperity are linked with the sexual norms we sanction. But same-sex intimacy is unique (along with incest and sex with animals) in being pointed to as among the failings of a non-Jewish people, the Canaanites, that brought about that group's final moral dissolution.

But conservatives have gotten into the habit of explaining our doubts about homosexual marriage in highly pragmatic, rationalistic terms having nothing to do with religion.

Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore said that while he's a long-time fan of Peterson's writings he would no longer give his books to new believers for fear of confusing someone.

"Peterson is wrong about a huge issue with massive implications for the eternal lives of people and the witness of churches," said Moore, who also noted that George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards were wrong on slavery.

"So we're in a transition and I think it's a transition for the best, for the good.

I don't think it's something that you can parade, but it's not a right or wrong thing as far as I'm concerned." Today, however, Peterson issued a statement to saying he regrets the "confusion and bombast" in the wake of his comments and that he does indeed support biblical marriage.

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