If the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage in 2015, how will evangelicals respond?

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(RNS) Ten years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian Americans can be wed in 35 states and the District of Columbia (Florida will boost that number to 36, starting Tuesday). This year, the Supreme Court may put an end to the skirmish by legalizing what progressives call “equality” and conservatives dub a “redefinition” of this cherished social institution.

Two advocates for gay marriage join the March for Marriage as its participants head toward the Supreme Court to oppose same-sex marriage. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Two advocates for gay marriage join the March for Marriage as its participants head toward the Supreme Court to oppose same-sex marriage. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

The court last ruled on gay marriage in 2013 when the justices gutted much of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor and delivered a massive blow to anti-gay marriage advocates. Since then, the court has acted by not acting — in effect, doubling the number of states where gay marriage is legal, from 17 to 35, by refusing to hear a slew of appeals last year.

In November, the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld gay marriage bans in four states, which will almost certainly require the high court to decide the issue once and for all.

Conservative Christians have been among the most ardent opponents of gay marriage and rights for decades. How will they respond if the Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal nationwide?

The answer, it turns out, depends on which Christian you’re speaking to.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has become a leading face for the next generation of Christians opposed to gay marriage. He expects the court to take up marriage this year, and is not optimistic about how they’ll rule given the Windsor decision.

Even so, he doesn’t think such a ruling will make a whit of difference for most of his fellow evangelicals.

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

“Evangelicals are, by definition, defined around the Bible and the gospel,” Moore said. “The Scriptures are clear on what marriage is, and clear on the sin of sexual expression outside of the marriage covenant of a man and woman.”

If the court were to “redefine marriage,” Moore said Christians should “be ready to offer an alternative vision of marriage and family” that doesn’t include same-sex unions. Interestingly, his vision would be promoted primarily within the church rather than changing laws through political action.

“We must articulate these truths about marriage in our gospel witness, and we must embody these truths in churches that take marriage seriously,” Moore said. “This means we must start teaching our children a countercultural word about what it means to be men and women, about what marriage is, and that must begin not in premarital counseling but in children’s Sunday school.”

He contends that anyone who supports gay marriage is not an evangelical.

Ryan Anderson, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation who co-authored “What is Marriage?” with Princeton scholar Robert P. George, is a powerful voice among young conservatives. Anderson thinks the court is “very likely” to take up same-sex marriage in 2015 given the 6th Circuit decision, and he believes the decision will come down to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has authored the court’s most significant gay rights decisions.

Anderson (a Roman Catholic, like Kennedy) said the majority of evangelicals will remain opposed to gay marriage regardless of the ruling. But he believes the law can serve a “pedagogical function,” so legalizing gay marriage could “change the public understanding of behavior.” While Anderson won’t predict how conservative Christians at large would react, he said much depends on the behavior of LGBT advocates.

At 31, Ryan Anderson has become one of the leading millennials debating gay marriage. Photo by Benjamin Myers

At 31, Ryan Anderson has become one of the leading millennials debating gay marriage. Photo by Benjamin Myers

“We’ll have to see how gracious or vindictive voices within the LGBT community are in their responses,” Anderson said. “Will they become a live-and-let-live movement or a stamp-out-dissent movement? If there’s respect, there’s likely to be less pushback from conservatives.”

Anderson and Moore represent a sizable chunk of the Christian population — a majority of evangelicals and half of practicing Catholics oppose gay marriage — but they are not all of it. In recent years, many Christians, particularly younger Christians, have changed their minds on the matter. From 2003 to 2013, support for gay marriage among white evangelicals more than doubled, and support among Catholics rose by 22 percentage points.

Brandan Robertson, national spokesman for the group Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, an organization that believes “you can be a devout, Bible-believing evangelical and support the right of same-sex couples to be recognized by the government as married,” also believes the court will take up the issue this year.

“Christians are increasingly saying that they need to stand up for LGBT equality no matter what they believe theologically,” he said, “and they are doing this not because they are American, but because they are followers of Christ.”

Though Robertson is strident in his support of “marriage equality,” he shies away from addressing whether homosexual behavior is moral, or sinful — representing many Christians who draw a distinction between civil marriage and Christian marriage.

A man holds a gay pride flag in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday (June 26, 2013) after the court decided to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

A man holds a gay pride flag in front of the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013 after the court decided to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network and author of “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate,” believes a Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage is inevitable. While his organization seeks to welcome Christians from a range of perspectives, his comments about marriage mirror Robertson’s.

“There is a distinction between Christian marriage in the eyes of God and civil marriage in the eyes of the state,” Lee said. “My hope is that Christians will continue to see that what the state says marriage is may not line up with what the church or God says.”

Conservatives are changing their minds, albeit slowly, about homosexuality, but are shifting more rapidly on gay marriage.

Even though about half of conservative Christians now believe that gay marriage is inevitable, don’t expect them to slip quietly into the night. Progressives may have the momentum, but conservatives still have a majority. Look to evangelicals to shore up the theology around holy matrimony, and fight to defend their religious liberty rights to oppose same-sex marriage.

“A Supreme Court ruling might be the last word in legal terms,” Moore said, “but it is hardly the last word in cultural or spiritual terms.”

KRE/AMB END MERRITT

  • Ben in oakland

    How will evangelicals respond?

    By focussing on their own families, by minding their own business, by ceasing fear-mongering, by judging not lest they be judged, by treating others as they would like to be treated, by outlawing divorce, by forcing people who bring children into the world to marry each other rather than someone else, by condemning the many people sitting in their pews who have divorced for reasons other than adultery and opposing their re marriages, by forcing people who bring children into the world to support those children, and by stopping making up crap about gay people and then using the crap they just made up as justification for weaponizing the bible.

    In other news, the Titanic sailed safely into port, Dewey defeated Truman, the Roman Catholic Church took full responsibility for centuries of covering up child molesting priests, and Pat Robertson pulled yet another sparkly rainbow unicorn out of his butt.

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  • Larry

    I would love for you to be absolutely correct on this one. My inner pessimist however doesn’t let me. My feeling is they will do what such people traditionally do when dealt with judicial defeat, play dirty.

    We are already seeing their reaction with the nonsense “religious freedom” bills. Those bills designed to permit discrimination against gays in various areas and make a mockery of civil liberties. Of course the rationale behind such bills is really, “it only counts when your Christian”. Every other faith would be expected not to be able to ignore “laws of general application” in support of their religious beliefs.

    After these bills die ignominiously in state legislatures or judicially, you would probably see more collateral attacks on the civil liberties of gays. Possibly administrative/procedural chicanery which limits access to gay couples getting married or having their families legally recognized.

    In about 50 years, the revisionist lying will be at its peak and the SBC and other evangelicals will take credit for marriage equality and deny their role in opposing it. Much like what they did with the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s*.

    *There is nothing more dishonest and ridiculous than Christian conservatives trying to take credit for the Civil Rights Movement. Their group was largely formed from the white racists who split from the Democrats in protest of desegregation

  • Frank

    What the SC does is irrelevant. Homosexual behavior is still sinful and marriage is still between man and woman. These truths will never, ever, change.

  • Alfrom Florida

    While the Christian communities that oppose gay marriage will continue to differentiate between state defined marriage and Christian marriage(between man & woman etc), the track record of the activist gay community suggests they won’t be satisfied with that. After all, they are winning in the courts but not in the mind & hearts of the majority of American citizens. If all they wanted was equality, they would have been satisfied with civil unions. They will demand that all churches perform gay marriage ceremonies and that will never happen in the evangelical or Catholic communities. Even Kennedy can’t make that judicial fiat. Sooner on later, reality will have to be dealt with.

  • Ben in oakland

    Reality may indeed have to be dealt with, but obviously, not within your posting.

  • The Great God Pan

    You forgot to mention that “civil unions” were never actually on the table, so any notion of “accepting civil unions” was always purely hypothetical anyway. Nearly all of the state voter initiatives that outlawed same-sex marriages also outlawed parallel legal arrangements, whether they were called “civil unions,” “domestic partnerships,” “zamflamfloogles” or anything else. Even in states where this was not the case, such as California, attempts were still made to get rid of parallel legal arrangements on the grounds that they clearly constituted de facto marriages.

    Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    That particular red herring is getting pretty old and smelly. T

  • ben in oakland

    It may be getting old and smelly, but if it’s all you have, even an old and smelly fish gives you something relatively soft to cuddle with.

    reality has too many hard edges.

  • Diann

    Of course the Supreme Court, with its majority of life-appointed Republicans, will do this. It will make whoever runs as Republican president in 2016 look real good, because the Court will have made this issue a non-issue as far as “their” candidate is concerned. To religious folks who voted Republican during these midterms, especially you Southerners who acted like voting Democrat was the most horrible thing to do ever because of this issue – In case the Repubs’ handing you a Mormon and Catholic team in 2012 didn’t wake you up to the fact that they truly could care less about you, watch how they deal with you from the bench.

  • Larry

    If you want to differentiate between the rules of your little social club of a sect and civil law, the clergy always have the option of not becoming state licensed officiates. You can be married in the eyes of God all you want at that point.

    “They will demand that all churches perform gay marriage ceremonies”

    The only people who care if your church performs gay marriages are those in your congregations. That is between the clergy and the people they profess to serve.

  • Larry

    Always good to trot out the Dan Savage quote about civil unions:

    “But now that we’re winning marriage—now that victory is assured—the pope is willing to maybe think about supporting some type of civil union scheme. I’ll say to the pope what I said to my evangelical Christian pal: that f****ng ship has f****ng sailed.

  • Ben in Oakland

    I seriously don’t know whether to agree with you, laugh, applaud your perspicacity, or get on your case.

    Seriously.

  • Jack

    Ryan Anderson is very naïve if he thinks that LGBT activists and their supporters will adopt a “live-and-let-live” attitude if the Court rules in their favor.

    While I have no doubt that most gay people would support “live-and-let-live” if the Court renders a decision in their favor, one would have to be a complete fool to believe the same for the political activists and their supporters. They occupy a completely separate world, a world which makes its bed with the radical, intolerant far left which brooks zero dissent on any issue at all. Such activists are illiberal people who will not rest until all dissent is shut down. If a single minister, priest, or rabbi in a single town utters a single word against gay marriage, they will be after him….just as the radical left goes after people on a host of other issues that have nothing to do with gay marriage.

    There is liberal and there is radical left….two different worlds and ways of looking at dissent.

    Moore and the rest of them need to wise up and fast. The road warriors of the extreme left want to crush them completely until there is nothing left of them.

  • Neon Genesis

    You’re an absolute liar and a bigot. Gay marriage has been legal in the UK for almost a year now and I have yet to see Christians preachers being thrown into jail for preaching against gay marriage. If anything, the radical right is on the rise in the UK with extremist conservative political groups like UKIP winning more elections in spite of the legality of gay marriage. In all of the states in the U.S. where gay marriage has been legalized, I don’t know of a single case where a Christian preacher was arrested for speaking out against gay marriage. So until you come back with some actual proof you’re a liar and I thought the bible said liars go to hell.

  • Jack

    Alfrom Florida, most gay people, no matter what the decision will be (and I expect it will affirm gay marriage), will likely support “live-and-let-live,” but I don’t believe for a single second that the far-left political activists who claim to act in their name will do likewise. They will try to bully every American into supporting whatever it is they back. They will attempt to destroy any form of political, economic, or cultural opposition. Their track record on other issues makes that very clear.

    Their goal is totalitarian — to crush dissent and dissenters of every kind. They do not support liberal democracy, but radical tyranny. Unlike old liberals, who had a natural sympathy for the average person, these are sneering elitists with contempt for fellow Americans who are not like them. Not just their ideas, but their tactics, are quintessentially Marxist and fundamentally anti-liberal and anti-democratic.

    After World War II, their political ancestors sought to seize control of American politics and culture, but liberal groups such as Americans for Democratic Action were formed to stop them. Not long before his death, Kennedy biographer Arthur Schlesinger, a founder of ADA, warned about their resurgence and their advancing political correctness over free speech and other human rights. He called it the “new McCarthyism.”

  • Jack

    Thank you for highlighting my point, Neon.

    There is no way in the world that the radical left is going to stop at gay marriage unless people who care about human rights, straight and gay alike, stand against the radical left. You have to be completely ignorant of the way it works on other issues to deny that.

    And any place in the world where there is freedom of any kind, it is because most people across the political spectrum pushed back, and hard, against the extreme left (and right, obviously).

  • Ben in Oakland

    Now I have some time to take this apart. So many delusions, so many misrepresentations, so little time.

    ” Conservative Christians have been among the most ardent opponents of gay marriage and rights for decades. How will they respond if the Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal nationwide?”

    Well, the short answer is grifters gotta grift, bigots need a targeted class of wholly imaginary inferiors, and homo-hatin’-homos got hate the gay people that don’t share their pathos or their pathology. And of course, there is no shortage of so-called Christian so-called conservative so-called politicians and political operatives who will continue to use the gay issue in their personal quests for power, money, and dominion—at least over their own demons.
    You might call it FOX NEWS among the SHEEP.

    The longer answer is to look at the model of the anti-abortion industry, which has been milking the anti-abortion conservative Christian cow for 43 years, and they are still swimming in the butterfat of the land. They have made abortion more difficult to get, true, but that just feeds and annoys the cow, and has probably had only the most minimal effect on the number of abortions. 43 years, they haven’t stopped but a few abortions at best. 43 years, and the abortions have continued by the millions. 43 years, and they haven’t done a thing towards preventing the need for abortions—like family planning, encouraging college and careers for young women especially, and responsible sex education. In fact, they have fought against these things, allegedly for moral reasons, but with the regrettable side effect that it all just feeds abortion rates. Now will they step up to the plate and use some of their millions to provide financial and adoption support for women to take their babies to term.

    What a scam! They do everything to fight abortion, but accomplish nothing to stop it! It’s perfect!

    Closer to home, we have Brian, leader of the NOM-Nuts, and indeed, himself the Chief NOM-Nut. Brian’s organization has been around since I think 2007. Then, they had a very high, high budget. There were at the time I think 4 states with marriage equality. FOUR. The NOM nuts won a few victories at first, including Prop. 8, courtesy of a large cash and manpower contribution from Mormonia.

    And then they started to lose, and lose big. They have lost just about every single battle since, electoral, legislative, and judicial. There are now 36 states with marriage equality, and every reliable poll shows that the anti-gays are losing ground on this subject by the month. What a track record! But the donations are falling, and the big donors are not entirely idiots. And yet, as far as I know, Brian still gets his 250K each year—for failing spectacularly, as if God himself were against him. NOM has since merged with the rest of Antigay, Inc. and is attaching itself to any and all antigay related issues, lobbying foreign governments to step up the repression, and paying for junkets to France and Russia.

    So, to answer this initial question, what will they do? Unfortunately, they will continue to grift: to try to accrue money, power, and dominion on the backs of innocent gay people, our families, our faiths, and our children. They will continue to build their congregations, to accrue more money and prestige and influence among their fellow travelers, to conspire with like-minded theocratic politicians to establish their particular and peculiar version of faith, with its concomitant bank accounts. They will continue to try to convince a farmer in Kansas that the marriage of two guys he doesn’t know in New York is far more important than banking law or farm policies, and he will remain convinced even when the bank or Big Agri possesses his former property. A good portion of them, like a certain still-breathing fossil on TV, will continue to tell lies, make up stuff, and monger fear in order to justify their egregious actions against us, and of course, to maintain the flow of power the money. A certain class of them will continue to use innocent gay people to exorcise their own personal demons.

    In other words, the same old stuff they have always done, as long as they perceive there is something to get out of it, as long as the cost isn’t too high to them personally, and, most importantly: AS LONG AS THEY CAN KEEP THE FIGHT ALIVE, WITHOUT ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHING ANYTHING.

    A small portion of them—the decent, caring, kind, compassionate, and open-minded ones—will re-evaluate their former position and come to repentance.

    Far more interesting is the implications of what they say about what they will do. But that will have to wait until Part 2.

  • DianN

    “Road warriors of the extreme left” my hiney. There are plenty of homosexual Republicans, too, and you know it. This ain’t no “extreme left” agenda. The only difference between “the left” and “the right” on this issue is that “the left” have seen same-sex couples as human beings worthy of dignity while “the right” have hypocritically used it to hoodwink Evangelical Christians in order to get their votes (midterms=heyitworked!).

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  • Neon Genesis

    The next battle will be over the “religious freedom” to discriminate bills as we saw in Arizona last year. The Religious Right has hardly given up the fight. They’re just changing their tactics. They’re also exporting their bigotry overseas to places like Uganda and Russia.

  • The Great God Pan

    Don’t look now, but the “radical left” (they’re called “social justice allies” these days) don’t support same-sex marriage. They view it as a bourgeois affectation, and they view gays who support it as racist, elitist sell-outs.

  • Larry

    Considering you are stumping for the legalized discrimination of a group of people, common sense would dictate that the opposition is not likely to give your position even the slightest bit of respect.

    After all you are trying to attack the basic dignity and ability of people to live in a sane fashion. Its not a subject likely to garner polite discussion.

  • Larry

    Freedom to do what Jack?

    To bar people from marriage, employment, forming families, housing and business because one is gay. Freedom to treat gays like crap under the color of law.

    Guess what? Your interests here are not worth a pile of manure here. You have no rational or secular purpose in your position. It has no business being respected under our laws.

  • Larry

    @Ben in Oakland

    My only regret is that there is no option here to upvote here. You nailed the issue right on the head.

  • bqrq

    Frank – thanks for speaking the truth. Those who practice, promote and push sexual immorality on our children will eventually die and be forgotten, but the Word of God will endure forever.

  • Jack

    You completely missed the point, Larry. When we see the same tactics used on an issue as were used on countless unrelated issues, tactics that have been used all over the world for the better part of a century on other issues, and tactics that are the modus operandi of a very specific political ideology that few if any of us support, we all ought to step back and ask who’s really driving the car and whether we’re headed for places few sane people, no matter what their view are on this one issue, wish to go.

    Democracy is not just about result but about process….not just about what we do but how we do it. There is a certain personality to democracy, as there is to its totalitarian foes. Anyone who has spent even a day in a totalitarian society, or remembers what it was like when totalitarians were seeking to take over a society they later won, knows exactly the point here. I’ve met enough people who have fled from such societies to be attentive to the differences.

  • Jack

    Freedom for you, me, or any person to say whatever the heck they wish to say on any issue, in any venue, so long as nobody is advocating physical harm to others.

    Reread the other posts. You know exactly the point, so quit playing stupid, Larry.

  • Jack

    DianN, reread the posts. The point goes way beyond positions on any one issue. It’s how each side sees its opposition on issues.

    Read what I wrote about Arthur Schlesinger. I realize history is boring as heck for some people, who would rather be reading People magazine and seeing what their favorite celebrity has been up to, but that doesn’t change the realities it unveils and teaches.

    Ditto for civics. Comedians like to poll people on the street by asking them basic civics questions and get a good chuckle about their ignorance of the way our democracy works, and it is funny at the moment, until you realize the implications.

  • Ben in oakland

    Personally, jack, I would expect a lot more from you than this. From Doc and frank– no, they will never be any better. But you?

    You create a bogey man called “far left political acitvists”. You then tell us what they will do. What about the “far right political activists” who created mcCarthyism?

    at least you admitted that the average gay activist is not ryan Anderson’s worst nightmare.

  • Ben in oakland

    Jack, as long as you don’t include the radical right every time you mention the radical left– not just at the end, and not just parenthetically– you are undermining your own position.

    For a lot of people on the radical right, plain old middle-of-the-road, fiscally conservative, socially liberal, out and proud, happily married me will be considered on the radical left.

  • Jack

    Pan, that’s an interesting contention. Show me some articles and let’s see. I’ll bet the people you’re referring to are infintessimally small in numbers and influence on the far left.

    But my point goes beyond which position anyone takes on any issue.

    It has to do with how they are conducting themselves on issues.

    This is not an argument for Marquis of Queensbury rules. People have the right to act as they please, so long as they don’t advocate violence. But it is an argument that some types of conduct, when repeated on issue after issue across the decades, are revealing. Certain kinds of tactics should cause us to take note and ask, “what’s wrong with this picture” and, if we’re historically minded (ie we care to recall what happened yesterday and the day before), “haven’t I seen this picture before?”

    It’s the “haven’t I seen this picture before” that’s the real question here.

  • Doc Anthony

    Honestly, HERE is the answer to Jonathan Merritt’s headline question.

    “Even though about half of conservative Christians now believe that gay marriage is inevitable, don’t expect them to slip quietly into the night. Progressives may have the momentum, but conservatives still have a majority. Look to evangelicals to shore up the theology around holy matrimony, and fight to defend their religious liberty rights to oppose same-sex marriage.

    ‘A Supreme Court ruling might be the last word in legal terms,’ Moore said, ‘but it is hardly the last word in cultural or spiritual terms.'”

    Concisely and correctly stated. That’s the answer to to the headline question, no matter how many gay activists want to complain about it. The war goes on, sorry.

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  • Larry

    No Jack, you just lack perspective here. You are so busy tarring and feathering marriage equality supporters that you don’t bother to see what you are really in favor of here. What you are in favor of is repugnant to civil liberties, democracy and the religious freedom people like yourself like to invoke as excuses for bad behavior.

    Do you honestly think you can have a polite discussion about trying to treat people badly under the color of law? You have a point of view, but its not one that really has anything worth respecting. You are entitled to give your point of view. You are not entitled to be treated well for having it.

  • Larry

    Nobody is stopping you. Here or any place else*. You can say whatever hateful, discriminatory things you want. You are also free to deal with the social consequences such things may bring. You know that is the case, if you insist on maintaining this fiction of being silenced, there is no point in continuing the discussion. You are just slinging fiction.

    *Another rhetorical fallacy invoked here, the Strawman. Arguing a position which is not taken by the opposition or against a fictitious issue.

  • John Howard

    I think you are correct, and that will become even more obvious when we get Congress to pass the Natural Marriage and Reproduction Act that prohibits labs making offspring of gay couples using stem cells and protects the right of everyone to have their own natural children with their spouse. The elite will reveal themselves to be eugenicists and Transhumanists who think marriages don’t have a right to have babies and that labs can do a better job making better people. They are already starting to insist on artificial wombs, because women cause “massive damage” to their babies when they live their lives while pregnant. And they certainly insist on being allowed to make babies however they want them, including using stem cells to create offspring with the same sex. They are crazy and the world will start to see their priorities.

  • Jack

    If there’s one thing that should be obvious by now, Larry, it’s that few of regular posters, myself included, are one-issue people. We voice our opinions on a host of subjects, even on this religion board. I’ve managed to smuggle in subjects on issues ranging from economics to how to help the needy — and so have you..

    It is exactly from that vantage point that I can see bigger patterns, not just on what’s being said but how it is being said. I’ve made my point without a shade of subtlety, so it’s rather mystifying that it keeps sailing over your head. Maybe it’s because you refuse to deal with it. But if I’m correct, that’s very short-sighted indeed.

  • Ben in oakland

    Oh, good, now we’re on to part 2– or as we say in gay land, part deux.

    Let’s start with Russell Moore, a snake oil salesman if there ever was one. “If the court were to “redefine marriage,” Moore said Christians should “be ready to offer an alternative vision of marriage and family” that doesn’t include same-sex unions. Interestingly, his vision would be promoted primarily within the church rather than changing laws through political action.”

    First, of course, there is the whole “redefinition” meme, a distortion, if not an outright lie, if there ever was one. But grifters gotta grift, no? First and foremost, courts, legislatures, and the people have decided to include gay people in the institution of marriage. Not one heterosexual marriage has been redefined, harmed, or changed, or affected in any way as a result. Not one heterosexual has been forced to marry someone of the same sex. Not one heterosexual couple has been denied their thoroughly heterosexual marriage. Not one heterosexual couple has had their marriage fall apart because of mine.

    So what has been redefined? Not marriage, but gay people. Gay people, no matter how noble, have been redefined as no longer the moral, social, legal, cultural, familial, religious, spousal, sexual, and HUMAN inferiors of ANY heterosexual, no matter how base. (Except by you, Frankendoc. We know that, so spare us.) That even includes a fornicating, adulterous, thrice married former republican congressman who is apparently forgiven the veritable forest of marital sins in his own eyes, leaving him free to discourse on the speck-like sins of my multiple friends who have been together longer than all THREE of his marriages combined.

    For years, Moore and his ilk have ordained marriage to be god-defined only, despite the obvious: marriage in the west is a CIVIL arrangement, with religious involvement completely optional, and has been for over 200 years at the minimum. You want a LEGAL marriage? Get a CIVIL license. You want RELIGIOUS marriage only? Fine, but eschew the legal rights that go with it. (But you won’t, but are more than willing to eschew them for US). They have also claimed repeatedly, without the slightest shred of actual evidence, but a great deal of distortion and fear-mongering hyperbole, that gay people not only want to force churches that despise them to marry them, but will in fact use the courts to do so, will gut the first amendment, will destroy religious “freedom”, will put Christians into box-cars en route to the ovens. And of course, laugh evilly because that’s what we DO!

    For years, we gay people have been saying some very simple truths, and Moore is finally, FINALLY, admitting that we have been telling the truth all along. (That of course implies that he has not, but we will see no admission there). This is all about a CIVIL MARRIAGE license, a legal contract which creates legal next of kinship, a new legal family, and which has attached to it a range of legal and social rights, benefits, obligations, status, and responsibilities. Religious participation in civil marriage is wholly optional, and your church can within its wall define it however it wishes. But for those of us who want it, there are plenty of ministers and rabbis, temples and churches, indeed, whole denominations that are willing and eager to provide this to us. Why do we want this? Because our families, faiths, loves, lives, children, freedom, and assets are every bit as important as those of 9 times married Larry king, three times married Newtie, four times married and childless Windbag. Religion is completely optional, not required.

    So what is Moore actually proposing? Nothing! Nothing of any substance or merit, other than to acknowledge finally the reality that he has been avoiding for years, and proclaiming for years is threatened. “Moore said Christians should “be ready to offer an alternative vision of marriage and family” that doesn’t include same-sex unions. Interestingly, his vision would be promoted primarily within the church rather than changing laws through political action.”” Feel free, Mr. Moore, but first a correction. “Christians” of YOUR type and mindset. This is no different than what you have been offering. and more importantly, we have been telling you for years: ‘HAVE AT IT. WE DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO IN YOUR CHURCH. JUST KEEP YOUR CHURCH AND YOUR PURELY THEOLOGICAL CONCERNS OUT OF OUR LIVES AND FAMILIES AND CHURCHES.”

    “A Supreme Court ruling might be the last word in legal terms,” Moore said, “but it is hardly the last word in cultural or spiritual terms.” Legal terms are what we’re interested in, so have at it. The legal decision will end most of the cultural ferment on the issue. As for spiritual terms? You mean RELIGIOUS terms, because there is NOTHING spiritual, let alone moral or holy, in antigay prejudice. After all, it only took your denomination 130 years to apologize for your support of slavery and Jim Crow. But grifters gotta grift. And most of the objects of your grift really don’t care all that much about it, except when the grifters rile them up. In another 10 or 20 years, most of the opposition to my marriage will be dead, and the young people simply won’t care. In 50 years, you’ll apologize. In 100 years, you’ll claim you were at the forefront of ending homohatred.

    Grifters gotta grift.

    Now onto Lyin’ Ryan. ” While Anderson won’t predict how conservative Christians at large would react, he said much depends on the behavior of LGBT advocates. At 31, Ryan Anderson has become one of the leading millennials debating gay marriage. “We’ll have to see how gracious or vindictive voices within the LGBT community are in their responses,” Anderson said. “Will they become a live-and-let-live movement or a stamp-out-dissent movement? If there’s respect, there’s likely to be less pushback from conservatives.”

    Grifters gotta grift, liars gotta lie, political operatives gotta operate, and a certain class of so-called Christian– aggressive dismissive, vicious, dishonest, fear mongering, spiteful, despiteful, motivated by an overweening lust for power, money, and dominion, and a wholly unwarranted faith in their completely imaginary superiority—have to claim that THEY are OUR victims.

    We have always been a live-and-let-live-movement. The anti-ex-gay industry has not. Their pushback– read attack– came provoked by no more than our existence and our refusal to be cowed any more by the likes of them. Respect had nothing to do with it. These have been vicious and virulent ever since the Orange Juice Princess raised her well-coiffed reptilian snout above a Florida Swamp 36 years ago, and for the decades or millennia before that.

    We don’t care about your demand for graciousness, because it has always been there. We don’t care about your dissent, and it is merely more of your self-proclaimed victimization in the face of your political losses that claims that we wish to stamp it out. Could it be that this is just another case of projection onto gay people of the tactics and mindset of the anti-ex-gay industry? Of course!

    For 2000 years, they have had their way with our lives: jails, lies, distortions, murders, executions, beatings, scapegoating, vituperation, vilification, blaming us for every possible social ill. Everything that they have said or done has been intended to harm us and our families, to put us back into the closet, to make our lives as difficult, unpleasant, dangerous, and expensive as possible. In the course of not merely the marriage wars, but for the last 45 years of the modern gay rights movement, they have called us threats to everything that is good, holy, moral, and god-like. They have, with no compunction and even less logic or evidence, called us threats to marriage, children, family, heterosexuality, morality, faith, freedom, God, and Western Civilization. They have called for our deaths, our deportations, our imprisonment. They have claimed that not only were we molested as children, but that we molest children. Pat Robertson has claimed gay men have special rings to infect heterosexuals with AIDS. Dan Cathy has claimed “we are shaking our fists at god!” Harry Mihet of the Liberty Counsel says that says homosexual activists are likely very happy because the “destruction of marriage has been their goal all along.” Imagine, destroying marriage by getting married? It’s just like destroying wealth by putting money in the bank. They have claimed, like Anderson, that we wish to crush faith, freedom, and dissent.

    How have we responded to this barrage of hate and lies? Let’s see. There have been a few very, very minor incidents. An old lady got a cardboard cross knocked out of her hands. A couple of people were told by gay friendly institutions that their antigay personalities were no longer required. A couple of wedding vendors have been told they must comply with religious and sexual orientation non-discrimination laws. But on the whole, the incidents have been few and far between, especially when compared to the daily barrage of lies and fear mongering presented by the anti-ex-gay industry. Not one church has been sued, though there was a report of a gay couple in England who were thinking about it. (For the record, I emailed them and told them they were DEAD WRONG and should desist). And, oh yes, couples that have been devoted to each other for longer than all seven of the Limbaugh-Gingrich nuptials combined have gotten married. Gay couples with children—more than 70,000 in California alone– have been able to provide their children with the legal protections that having married parents will give them.

    Quelles horreurs!

    But back to Anderson. What exactly is respectful, let alone moral or Christian, about your hate, despite, fear-mongering and lies? The anti-ex-gay industry (see part 1) has made a fortune out of demonizing me and mine. When you and your ilk, Mr. Anderson, have spent literally decades doing so, I guess that respect and tolerance have a wholly different meaning when they come out of your pie hole. I suspect that they really do think that we are no better than they are. But we are. No churches have been sued, no so-called pastors arrested. The leaders of the anti-ex-gay industry have not been hounded, attacked, or beaten, denied participation in society, or indeed, have anything worse happen to them than being publicly disagreed with. Yes, a few people have lost their jobs because their employers decided they didn’t wish to have bigots representing them to the public. But compared to the number of gay people who have lost theirs due to antigay bigotry, or kicked out of the military, or denied the right to see their life partners by a hospital because they weren’t family, those numbers are indeed small.

    Quelle horreur again! And as so many so-called Christians have told me, disagreement isn’t hate. And once their ability to harm me and mine via public policy and secular law has been neutralized, I have no problem allowing even the most virulently anti-gay liars, Pharisees, and hypocrites to live their anti-gay lives and spew their virulent hate to their hearts’ dark delight. In fact, I want them to do so. I want the anti-gay wedding vendors to proclaim the validity and solidity of their faith my refusing to bake a cake for me, and to suffer the social and cultural consequences for doing so. (Melissa Sweetcakes admitted that the boycotts by the general public have harmed her business. It wasn’t us. There aren’t enough of us to harm her business).

    So pardon me, Mr. Anderson, but I will not be schooled by the likes of you in matters of civility and respect. I will not be schooled by the leaders of the anti-ex-gay industry, by paid spokesbigots, by liars and prevaricators, by revilers and slanderers, by adulterous fornicating former Republican Congressmen, by child molesting priests, by deluded but still breathing old fossils, by fear-mongering Southern Baptists, and by homo-hatin’-homos about morality, faith, freedom, respect, civility, kindness, or any other virtue. When you stop attacking and demonizing me and mine, I will be happy to let you slither back into the swamp of your hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

    In fact, if you ever manage to recover from your bad case of moralizing busy-body-ness, I will be happy to send you a card congratulating you on your return to moral and spiritual health.

  • Larry

    You are wasting time on a nonsense position. Nobody is silencing you or trying to.

    What you think is sounding in your head as profound or relevant to discussion is a phony issue and an irrelevance. You are trolling on a strawman argument.

  • Jack

    Here’s my take on all of this:

    While the article asked what evangelicals and other opponents of gay marriage will do assuming SCOTUS invalidates all state laws against gay marriage, my implied question is what the radical left is going to do. And my answer is that there is no way in the world that they will stop at gay marriage, unless they are successfully countered. Even if every gay person in the country told them to stop, they would not…..because in truth, they care as much about gays as they do about blacks, women, immigrants, or any other group they latch onto and ride to their desired destination of maximum political power.

    Their aims go way beyond any one issue, including this one. On this issue, they will do exactly what they seek to do on every other issue — they will use every tactic at their disposal to silence every form of dissent.

  • Johnny Garza

    If the government can define marriage any way it wants (ignoring science, history, and God’s definition), then why can’t those who want Covenant Marriage be able to contract for a marriage where adultery is punished by forfeiting all monetary benefits, child custody, and where rights are defined using Biblical standards, that way we all get free choice.

  • Jack

    Ben, that’s all the more reason for you to be as wary as I am. If you are basically middle-of-the-road on most issues, and even conservative on fiscal issues, what I’m saying should be quite familiar to you when you look at issues other than gay marriage. I know gay people who sound exactly like you do on those issues, and for that reason, are just as concerned as I am about what I’ve raising in my last few posts.

  • Jack

    Ben, if you are as you say, truly “middle-of-the-road” on other issues, and I believe you are, you should see the problem staring you in the face when looking at those issues. If you are, as you say, a fiscal conservative, or even a fiscal moderate, and you voice such views, you will face the full fury of people who want to shut you and others like you down. Again, this is not about one issue at all. I’m only bringing it up in the context of this issue because that’s what the article is about. I have seen the same thing on virtually every issue, from economics to foreign policy….and you’ll also miss my point if you think I’m saying it is a liberal vs. conservative thing. It is not. It’s a radical left vs. everyone else sort of thing. And everybody else means everybody else, not just conservatives, but moderates and conventional liberals. And it is not about positions on issues so much as attitude toward debate and dissent on issues…..It is about a democratic vs. a totalitarian approach to politics and ultimately governance.

  • ben in oakland

    Go for it, Johnny. no one is going to try and prevent you from getting married. and if you want covenant marriage, contact your legislators and raise money and get a law passed. But please don’t insist that everyone MUST have a covenant marriage,

    BTW, no one is ignoring science. science says that gay people exist. And as I have written extensively, and as Russell Moore admits finally, this is about CIVIL marriage.

  • Jack

    Nice try at personalizing, Larry. Really cute……(NOT) Of course nobody is silencing me. I never said they were. And why would I? I’m voicing my opinion as I type.

    It’s not about me or about any one person. It’s about all of us on all sides.

  • R.E.

    Yes, religious freedom is in jeopardy as are parent’s rights, and children’s rights and women’s rights. This is movement poised to great damage to the weakest in society. I was raised in a same sex “family.” I am not a Christian, have no connection to NOM or any other organization. I do belong to a growing group of adult children raised in LBGT that are against any same sex adult arrangements including marriage that carries with the expectations of children.

    Children Rights–this is where all attention should be focused moving into the future– protecting women’s and children’s’ rights. People need to realize that LBGT is a male dominated and a very misogynistic movement. Larry, Ben please do tell, how exactly is a same sex couple is going to form a “family.” We, the adult children raised in the culture and community have some problems with that idea that we want to talk over. Since we are the most qualified—In fact unless you were raised in a same sex “family” you have Zero experience and are trafficking in more fabrications—color me shocked.

    Here’s what we think: children have basic human rights–to be born free, to not be bought or sold and to have a mother and a father. Adults do not have any right to children. Adults only have reproductive rights over their own body and a consenting partner–how ya going swing that Larry without taking the basic human rights of other people, namely women and children? You can’t.

    You think “freedom” means live humans will be delivered to your door because it is so unfair that heterosexual reproduce. This movement traffics in distortion and phony victimhood.—history, concepts, reality and human rights are corrupted to serve a wealthy male dominated group, but it a very fragile narrative. They well practiced and can mock and smart-ass the Christians—for LBGT it is shooting fish in a barrel, but there is a growing number of adult children of same sex “parents” who are weighing in and greeting with threats, harassment and abuse. That should be telling. We are saying No. No. We, those of us who grew up in same sex households are opposed to what Larry so cavalierly throws out–“form a family” we know the fraudulent politically motivated studies that reach inaccurate conclusions.

    Children suffer and they need a mother and father. They are “just born that way.” Children’s rights need to be the focus not some absurd notion that people have a right to children because they don’

  • Ben in oakland

    Robert Oscar Lopez, is that you? Or Doug Mainwaring? Because it sure sounds like you.

    If I have time later, I will respond to your patent nonsense.

  • Larry

    Just some small problems with the Covenant Marriage.

    “Changing the definition of marriage” for gay marriage is done for equitable reasons. Denying child support/alimony/visitation can’t be considered equitable acts. In virtually every way it is malicious and harmful in intent and practice in comparison to the transgression.

    Denying child custody and support is not something which is allowed in any kind of pre-nuptual agreement.Some states do not allow agreements to deny alimony either. There is little compelling reason for states to change their views on this because they have interests in not having children living in poverty or denying parents contact with their children (absent really powerful reasons to the contrary).

    Virtually anything else, including Biblical standards being used for dispute resolution between divorcing spouse is perfectly legal as a form of contractual agreement. This is how Jewish and Sharia courts operate in the US and every other democracy.

  • Larry

    Your claim to be an adult child of a gay couple sounds like nonsense. All it can mean is one of your parents divorced and married someone of the same gender when you were an adult. That just makes you sound like a bitter bigot.

    ” Larry, Ben please do tell, how exactly is a same sex couple is going to form a “family.””

    R.E., gay couples ALREADY FORM FAMILIES. Its called medical science, adoption, stepchildren and surrogacy. Under no circumstances are non-biological children of a family considered not proper children. Neither are non-marital children of a couple. Your denial of the existence of gay families makes your entire argument a load of dishonest crap.

    You don’t give a damn about children. Certainly not the ability of children to have their parents raise them in a sane manner without unnecessary bigoted and nonsensical legal complications.

  • Larry

    Your words

    “Their goal is totalitarian — to crush dissent and dissenters of every kind.”

    “They will attempt to destroy any form of political, economic, or cultural opposition.”

    That is what you claim. That you are being silenced or expect to be. Jack, you are a very poor liar.

  • John Howard

    Here is what they will demand next: The right to create babies together, by any means they feel like. Such as this: http://www.digitaljournal.com/science/lab-grows-proto-egg-and-sperm-cells/article/422577

    And let me quote a recent tweet to me:
    “I can have my own child using a surrogate and there’s nothing you can ever do.”

  • Michael

    Get this published!! Bravo!!!!

  • Michael

    And gay children? They don’t suffer?

  • Robert Tisinai

    Ben, if that is R.O. Lopez, he’s forfeited any credibility on this issue through his profound denial and ignorance. Here’s how he describes his upbringing:

    “Between 1973 and 1990, when my beloved mother passed away, she and her female romantic partner raised me. They had separate houses but spent nearly all their weekends together, with me, in a trailer tucked discreetly in an RV park 50 minutes away from the town where we lived. As the youngest of my mother’s biological children, I was the only child who experienced childhood without my father being around.

    “After my mother’s partner’s children had left for college, she moved into our house in town. I lived with both of them for the brief time before my mother died at the age of 53. I was 19.”

    What an awful childhood. The secrecy, the isolation, the self-shunning. The fear, the constant separation from one’s friends, the inevitable sense imposed on a child that his life is somehow wrong.

    But then Lopez gets it exactly wrong:

    “In other words, I was the only child who experienced life under “gay parenting” as that term is understood today.”

    But of course, Lopez’s experience is exactly the OPPOSITE of how “gay parenting” is understood today. In fact, his experience, with its distorting, stunting, secretive shame — is exactly what same-sex marriage is trying to prevent.

  • Larry

    And (making a huge assumption since nobody is actually trying to develop this due to practical concerns according to your own article)….this harms you and society how?

  • John Howard

    I agree with you, children’s rights are where the attention should be focused. Same-sex marriage means violating children’s rights and human rights in general, because it denies that people have a right to marry and procreate naturally. When people say that same-sex couples have the same rights as married couples, that not only demands reproduction rights using surrogates and artificial wombs and purchased or engineered gametes, but it also denies that married couples have a right to procreate together naturally, which is a huge insult to everyone’s humanity.

  • John Howard

    It wastes money, destroys the environment, diverts medical resources, confuses children and increases social costs, legal costs, courts costs. It in no way benefits me, that’s for sure, and it in no way benefits anyone. But your question is offensive on a deeper level, as if I would have accepted slavery and racism because it didn’t harm me as a white person.

  • Ben in oakland

    Thank you. And if I ever do, my husband will thank you!

  • Ben in oakland

    And every heterosexual can make the same statements and they will be equally true.

  • Larry

    No it doesn’t. In fact, the technology enhances the ability of heterosexual procreation according to the article.

    You are a loony.

  • Ben in oakland

    Rob– I know that. you know that.

  • Ben in oakland

    “Same-sex marriage means violating children’s rights and human rights in general, because it denies that people have a right to marry and procreate naturally. ”

    and this word salad is a huge insult to the intelligence of a box of rocks. But here you are.

  • Ben in oakland

    Larry, this guy has been flogging this extremely dead horse for as long as I have been commenting on the internet. It’s the perfect merger between Reynolds Aluminum and haute couture.

  • Neon Genesis

    Another liar for Jesus and I don’t believe for a second you have no connection with the Religious Right.

  • r.E.

    They want women to be provided to them as reproductive slaves. They are misogynist of the worst order–sociopaths.

  • DianN

    Jack, I hope my reply to you is taken with the deep concern with which it is shared.

    First a bit of my story.

    I am a believer. I have worked in two Christian businesses. One had a pro-homosexual atmosphere (because of a high placed homosexual within management) and the other one was pro-heterosexual (think ‘Tea Party’).

    I managed to be too conservative for the first job, too liberal for the second.

    At both places I was vilified and subjected to harsh treatment for my views. One place trashed my personal belongings, and one place trashed me personally (one way they did this was by insinuating that I was a lesbian).

    So when you talk about facing “the fury” of those who are on the left, I would like to remind you that the right has an agenda, too. And my experience has been that they act with awful fury.

    I wonder sometimes if the homosexual manager of the job I worked at, was a Christian. He said he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. He worshiped in my denomination. Although he became angry with me and acted badly, so did the conservative people I worked with.

    Now, two questions: is anyone reading this questioning the conservative Christians’ Evangelicalism yet? Why not? After all, they treated me despicably, too.

    But this is one of the problems. No matter how meanly I was treated, no matter how meanly we on the conservative side treat homosexuals and lesbians, our Christianity is never called into question. In fact, it seems like the more right wing we are, the less our Christian beliefs are questioned. Military heavy- handedness (even to the use of torture); usury on credit cards and other loans (29.9% interest if you are even LATE on a payment); constant attempts to repeal the ACA (a law which provides coverage for people with preexisting conditions – but OMG it provides birth control, too); the defunding of school systems nationwide (because a people who can’t read the Bible will be able to know the Savior, right?); continual attempts to dismantle the Civil Rights Act; continual war; the gutting of company pensions and Social Security (even as the baby boomer generation comes to retirement age) – every one of these things can be justified and voted for by Evangelicals, and their Christianity will never be doubted. Only the homosexuals’ and lesbians’ salvation experiences will ever be decried. As Dr. Moore said in this article, people who dare to even support same-sex “marriages” are immediately non-Evangelicals.

    Let that sink in. You are a believer in Christ. You have trusted Him as Savior. You could literally vote hell on earth for millions of human beings, but it’s when you vote for a person or party that supports same-sex unions that your faith is questioned.

    Meanwhile, Evangelical Conservatives think nothing of getting together with Catholics – who, if I read my Bible correctly, have it all wrong where salvation, marriage and the priesthood is concerned – but, wait a minute, they vote Republican, so let’s put all our Gospel disagreements aside and work together. Ditto the Mormons (who actually will tell you that it’s their own good works and not Christ’s finished work on Calvary, that fits them for heaven). But let’s not dig too deeply there…after all, Mormons are heavily conservative and pro-family…so what if their doctrine keeps millions in darkness and despair? Eternally?

    Personally, Jack – and whoever else is reading this – we are missing it. We are trying to change the world on the outside when God is interested on the inside. He doesn’t want Jack afraid of “the left” and He doesn’t want me despised because I voted for the party with the ACA.

    Truly, I thank God for the freedom in this country. Freedom to be all I can be in Christ my Lord. Freedom to love Him and then you. Freedom to call you wrong in your doctrines, freedom to vote for a person or party that my denomination may very well be biased against; and freedom to do this without recrimination and fear.

  • Larry

    …and they only exist in the self-published science fiction novel printed on loose leaf paper which John Howard tries to sell at gun shows and Tea Party rallies.

  • Ben in oakland

    Well, you still haven’t answered my question, but with this comment, I am now absolutely sure you are he.

    someday, Mr. Lopez, you will be honest. But not today.

    BTW, regarding reproductive slaves, the same could be said of heterosexuals. But when they do it, it’s for the greater glory of God.

    A nice little shout out to DiaN below, who gives this an A-1 analysis.

  • James

    Nobody will have to demand that all churches perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. Eventually (it will take some time), Christians everywhere will come to understand that opposition to marriage equality is incompatible with the Gospel of Christ. At that point, Christians everywhere will joyfully celebrate the weddings of their gay and lesbian friends and family members. It may take a few decades, or even a few generations for some churches, but it will happen.

  • James

    Oh, come on, Ben. Don’t be shy. Tell us how you really feel. 🙂

  • Gregory Petersong

    It’s so amazing to me that scripture is always so clear when it comes to privileging white evangelical men like Mr. Moore at the expense of others.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Oops, that Peterson.

  • Jack

    Larry, you need to read words and sentences with your mind, not your emotions. Read to yourself what you rightly quoted from me. I am highlighting the aims of the radical left.

    Aims.

    Aims….as in goals, objectives….what they are driving for and working toward.

    It is good to listen to what people say and take them seriously unless we have a good reason not to. When I listen to them, I hear fundamental opposition to basic human rights, starting with freedom of expression, when it comes to their opponents. Based on their stated admiration for totalitarians of the past like Mao and Che and Ho and their behavior toward dissenters today, there is no doubt that if they achieved lasting power they would do what these dictators from the past did in country after country. They would become dictators themselves. If they could, they would imitate their idols and liquidate their foes, starting with liberals, whom they fear more than conservatives because liberals held their predecessors in check for over a half century, as I have mentioned, preventing them from seizing control of a host of institutions, from labor unions to political organizations and groups. When Ronald Reagan was a liberal Democrat and head of the Screen Actors Guild, he stood up to them and saved that union, although he and others were threatened with bodily harm many times.

    In the late 1960s and 1970s, some of these people went underground and formed violent groups like the Weather Underground and launched a wave of bombings. They cheered the deaths of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., whom they deemed “fascists” because they stood up to them and their bully-boy tactics.

    In answer to Ben’s earlier question, yes, of course, the far right of fascism is just as evil and just as opposed to freedom and democracy. But just as it’s wrong for conservatives to lump liberals in with Marxists, so is it wrong for liberals to lump conservatives in with the genuine far right — ie with certain militia groups and others whose stated aims involve the violent overthrow of the government. A liberal is not a Marxist nor is a conservative a Fascist.

    Right now, the far left is more of a direct threat than the far right, but that can change at any time. No illusions there. In WW II, Nazism was the immediate threat to the world, but once we destroyed the Nazis, Communism became the principal danger to freedom and peace.

    So this is nothing new…..it’s a long-term threat that began long before any of us was born.

  • Jack

    Is this the same Dan Savage who wrote for the Village Voice eons ago? I wonder if he still does. I recall a friend from college who worked for the Voice showing me this fellow’s columns and just thinking, “leave it to the Voice to publish this.” I didn’t want to offend my friend, so I kept that opinion to myself.

    What came to mind was PJ O’Rourke’s comment that some people on the left have a toddler-like view of freedom – – thinking it means you get to spit on the sidewalk, roll in the mud, piss all over yourself, and yell gibberish at passersby. That’s actually what came to mind.

    In a bizarre way, Savage was ahead of his times — merging the sexual with the political and throwing in a large dose of now-obligatory faux-rage for good measure.

    I’m assuming this is the same Dan Savage you’re talking about, but I could be mistaken..

  • Jack

    DianNe, you’re right to say we should not replace the Gospel with political tests in deciding who’s a Christian. I have made those points with Christians I know on both the right and the left. We all have our own political opinions, but the bottom line is that God is not a Republican nor a Democrat. He is not a liberal or a conservative. He is beyond our categories. He can’t be put in a box. As CS Lewis once said, and I’m paraphrasing a lot here, Heaven may be a bit irksome for both left and right. People on the left will think it too traditional, but people on the right will think it too egalitarian.

    I detest totalitarianism no matter who’s advancing it. Put me in a room with Fascists and once we’re done talking, they would probably call me a leftist, because that’s what I would be compared to them. Put me in a room with Marxists and their radical left sycophants and I will be called Fascist before we’re done.

    I’m too young – as are most people — to have lived in a time and place where Fascism was the hands-down, #1 threat. But in my lifetime, the threat was from the other side. It’s for real, and pretending it isn’t is just as wrong as when America pretended Fascism wasn’t a very big problem back in the 1930s, when Nazi sympathizers attracted huge crowds, even in New York.

    I read your stories and I agree with your basic point. We can argue on a number of the particulars, as our politics differ, but that’s never been my point in these posts The point I was trying to address had nothing to do with positions on issues, but the way they’re discussed, because that reveals something disturbing that goes far beyond any one issue.

    You’re basically saying in your post, “Whoever is hearing this really needs to listen well to what I’m saying.” Got it. But it works both ways. My eyes should not glaze over when you relate a personal story that makes your point and say, ‘”that’s just an anecdote,” nor should your eyes glaze over when I draw on history to make my point, as if to say, “who cares what happened years ago?”

    It is not trite to say that people do need to hear each other better. I agree.

  • Keith Maxwell

    Truth? You can’t stand the truth…that you hide behind your god to speak reveal your loathing.

  • Jack

    Ben’s post makes me feel a little less guilty for my lack of brevity. It makes my posts look terse.

    I’ll read it now.

  • Keith Maxwell

    I find this entire “exchange” depressingly intolerant. Intolerant. I find intolerance in the selfish rejection of others’ values. I find intolerance in the the cowardly reliance on biblical authority for prejudice.

  • Keith Maxwell

    Christians! Are your words the words that your Savior would utter? Think, Christians?

  • Jack

    In terms of style, very well-written, but in terms of substance, it’s preaching to the choir…..a mirror image of the side you’re opposing, at least as it once operated decades ago when it had the cultural swagger and the wind at its back that you now have….and the same formula used, with one side damned as utterly corrupt and evil, the other side praised as pristine pure, without spot or blemish.

    It’s in classic polemical style…..and I mean that neither as a compliment nor a put-down. It is a type of opinion writing.

    But like all polemics, it’s not the real world, because in the real world, people are not stick figures. Moore doesn’t have horns, a tail, and fire spewing from his mouth….and you are not St. Ben the Martyr, writing his final words before being led away to the stake.

    Once gay people cowered in a corner because the weight of the culture was against them. Now people like Moore is doing likewise because the culture has shifted.

    It would be nice if someday we have a world where nobody has to cower in a corner.

    But I don’t see a hint of that happening. For one thing, that’s not the way human nature operates. And I see little in your post that contradicts that thought.

    Tellingly, you were most exorcised when mentioning Anderson……because he struck a nerve. He knows darned well, and you do, too, that he will experience the graciousness of Attila the Hun, not from gays in general, but from activists specifically. I wish Anderson were wrong, but he is correct. What’s heading his way is not an olive branch but a sledgehammer.

    And again, your own post points to it. You talk about graciousness, but where is it? Show me. I didn’t see it in your post toward him or toward any opponent of gay marriage. If you were he, would that be reassuring? Unwittingly, you validated his concerns by the very tone and tenor.

    You may answer, “I don’t have to be gracious toward these bigoted SOBs.” True. You don’t have to at all. But again, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t on the one hand protest his concerns in one sentence as unfounded, and yet in the next few paragraphs, validate them almost completely by ripping him apart. You’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting. Your post undermines your argument against his fear.

    It’s like a side in a war saying it’s for peace and then going after the other side with a meat ax.

    That said, it works as a polemic — powerful and eloquent. But if the goal is to convince, that would require a different style. One example would be to present the other side’s best arguments fairly and honestly and then refute them point by point. Of course that would require an extraordinary confidence in the unassailability of one’s position.

  • Stephen

    Not really. Look, I’m a gay man and I’m married. Our marriage doesn’t affect anyone but us. I don’t care what you think of me. The next push will be to end discrimination. Too many young people kill themselves. Too many men and women live in fear of being ‘found out’ and punished, losing their jobs, family, and friends. That does still happen. It’s worst where the Southern Baptist Convention holds sway. Peoples’ attitudes are changing and as more of us are able to come out and live openly they’ll change faster. The headlines and pictures on the front pages of newspapers across Florida celebrating marriage equality will change things faster.

    I have no idea what any of this Marxist stuff is supposed to mean. It’s just silly. I would have thought the traditional American point of view would be to welcome marriage equality as an expansion of civil rights to a hitherto abused and oppressed minority.

  • Stephen

    I made a copy. I hope you don’t mind.

  • Stephen

    Anderson makes his living slandering and vilifying his fellow citizens who happen to be gay. Let him get some kind of useful job and we can all get along just fine.

    I see that you’re an expert. Congratulations.

  • am

    If you believe gay practices are ok, go ahead and live your life. Christians believe it’s wrong and we’ll speak truth even in the face of a culture that embraces error. This is what a Christian does. You attack our beliefs, but yet you ask for tolerance for what you believe. Doesn’t add up. Live your life and leave us alone

  • am

    Clearly you don’t understand the gospel of Christ.

  • Pluto Animus

    Catholics have nothing to worry about.

    Gay people will not treat Catholics with the hatred and contempt that Catholics have shown gay people for 2000 years.

    That’s because, unlike Catholics, gay people aren’t hateful piles of garbage.

  • Frank

    One in the same. He is still a joke.

  • Frank

    Uninspired and irrelevant, unfactual rambling. Well done now take off that aluminum foil hat. No wonder no one takes you seriously.

  • Frank

    Be careful. The truth is a threat to people living the way they choose instead of the way they should.

    Keep speaking the truth!

  • Frank

    Yup. Go and sin now more. If you love me you obey me. That’s what a man leaves his mother and father and is bonded to his wife. Yup.

  • Jack

    Okay, Steven, how about we take your idea and make it more inclusive:

    Let every head of every nonprofit advocacy group on all sides “get some kind of useful job and we can all get along just fine.”

    That would help cool down the fires of the culture wars and perhaps make it easier for ordinary people — ie those who don’t get paid to fan the flames on hot-button issues — to have rational and mutually respectful discussions about these issues.

  • Jack

    Sorry, I meant “Stephen,” not “Steven.”

  • ben in oakland

    And you have disappeared, Mr. lopez, as I knew you would. So I won’t bother with the really long response to your vitriol and craziness. Just this:

    “I do belong to a growing group of adult children raised in LBGT that are against any same sex adult arrangements including marriage that carries with the expectations of children.”

    A growing group? how many of you are there? What is your organization’s name? Or have you just managed to find the three other people in the country who were raised by gay parents who are unhappy with their parents?

    If so, you can join the hundreds of thousands of adults raised by heterosexual parents who think the same thing.

    And for our Christian readers? Again the slander and reviling, and not one of you is calling this joker out on it.

  • ben in oakland

    Thank you, Frank. I’m glad you read it and saw that I referenced you.

  • ben in oakland

    Feel free. It’s why I write.

  • Frank

    Well said but don’t expect a fool to get it.

  • Jack

    Gregory:

    “[Bla bla bla]….privileging white evangelical men….[bla bla bla].”

    Gregory, what does any of this have to do with race?

    You’re presumably male. Are you white? Well, based on your definition of privilege, that makes you rather privileged yourself.

    Now go to your room and meditate on how guilty you need to feel as a result.

    And try to erase from your mind the blindingly obvious fact that one’s race or gender has no rational relation to the content of one’s character.

    You can do it…..I have faith in you….

  • Larry

    As I said before, religious freedom means never having to give a crap what you think God says on a given subject. Least of all under compulsion of and force law. You are not entitled to have your irrational and sectarian beliefs part of our laws. Doing so is establishment of religion, which is strictly forbidden.

    Live your life and remember that your religious beliefs do not require the support of public servants and taxpayers.

  • Larry

    So in response all TrollFrank and AdHominemJack have are insults about the author. Nothing to the sum and substance of the quote.

    Civil Unions were never on the table for the anti-gay crowd, nor any form of reasonable compromise. Asking for one now, when they are facing total political defeat is ridiculous. Conservative Christians have a zen for revising their own history. Truth of the matter is they never sought any kind of reasonable discussion on the subject when it was appropriate. No need for it now.

  • Mary de Angelis

    Well done.

  • Mary de Angelis

    You have your truth. Only God is The Truth.

  • Larry

    You mean the same gospels of Christ people were invoking when they said God forbade interracial marriages.
    http://www.openbible.info/topics/segregation.

    They got over that in about 50 years. Now those same religious inspired bigots pretend they supported such things all along. Acting on behalf of God means never having to be honest with yourself and others.

  • Jack

    Be patient, Ben. I just read it now.

    As I read it, several thoughts came to mind.

    First, is he who he says he is and is he telling the truth about his experience?

    If not, he’s a fraud and that’s that.

    But if he is who he says and it telling the truth, he certainly has a right to be heard, as does any adult with the same upbringing but who has an opinion that opposes his.

    Let’s hear from all sides. And if he’s right about the numbers of people with his experience and negative reaction, let them form an organization….and let people with the same experience but who report opposite, positive results form one for themselves, too.

    And let the chips fall where they may.

  • jimu

    If our laws do not care about what is morally righteous, why is murder or theft against the law? Or perhaps you want to make the case that murder and theft is not morally unrighteous, but against our particular set of laws that are not based on anything righteous or unrighteous, right?

  • ben in oakland

    No, Jack, I have to disagree. Polemical, absolutely. But the rest, absolutely not. I have that patience, and the confidence in the unassailability of my position. I don’t get criticized for failing to tell the truth, but for failing to be considerate enough of the delicate feelings of people who call me a threat to everything that is good and holy.

    “and the same formula used, with one side damned as utterly corrupt and evil, the other side praised as pristine pure, without spot or blemish.” I don’t earn my living demonizing other people, engaging in political campaigns based upon lies, distortions, and half truths, to harm the lives of people I don’t know, know nothing about, and who have done me no harm. I don’t do it in the name of conservatism or religion. And I certainly don’t adopt the position of my political opponents and pretend that that’s all I ever wanted. I don’t condemn Moore or Anderson for anything more than that– hypocrisy and weaponizing the bible. I’m sure that they are very nice people, as long as one is not in their cultural crosshairs. As I have said repeatedly, here and elsewhere: if the antigay would shut up, focus on their own families and lives, and stay the hell out of mine, I would have no issue with them. But they don’t.

    “Once gay people cowered in a corner because the weight of the culture was against them. Now people like Moore is doing likewise because the culture has shifted. ” Moore is hardly cowering. He has a platform and a nice salary. and win or lose, his life remains unaffected. Ditto Anderson.

    “Tellingly, you were most exorcised when mentioning Anderson……because he struck a nerve. He knows darned well, and you do, too, that he will experience the graciousness of Attila the Hun, not from gays in general, but from activists specifically. I wish Anderson were wrong, but he is correct. What’s heading his way is not an olive branch but a sledgehammer.” He has not experienced anything of the sort. He continues to slander and defame gay people. He earns a living at it. As I said, and which you didn’t refute, the antigay have spent decades and millennia lying about us and our lives with the most horrible reviling and slander imaginable. You want to talk about Atila the Hun and a sledgehammer? Let’s talk about THAT. Again, if these moralizing busybodies would just shut up and stop attacking us, you would be amazed at how quickly they would be forgotten.

    “That said, it works as a polemic — powerful and eloquent. But if the goal is to convince, that would require a different style. One example would be to present the other side’s best arguments fairly and honestly and then refute them point by point. Of course that would require an extraordinary confidence in the unassailability of one’s position.”

    I have done exactly that. I have presented their own arguments with their own quotes. I have pointed out the dearth of fact, logic, and experience behind their positions, fairly stated. I have been doing this for over 40 years. And the response has always been the same. “oooh. GAy! ICKEEEEE. And so does GOD!”

    I think you must have missed my point, among the weight of the polemics.
    Antigay people earn a living by attacking and demonizing us, by opposing our full participation in society, living our lives authentically, as we are made. We are not asking for anything but equality before the law, an end to legalized discrimination. not special rights, but equal rights. We are literally fighting for our lives, the right live them as we see fit, for the legal protections which are granted automatically to Charles manson and his child bride, for example. We are fighting to end aids, discrimination, child suicide, destroyed careers and families.

    If we lose, we lose everything.

    what is Moore fighting for? religious dominion over our lives, and the “truth” of a demonstrable set of lies, as his admission above so clearly demonstrates. What is Anderson fighting for? Political and religious dominion over our lives. and a paycheck. And what happens to them when they lose?

    Nothing. They just go back to living their lives and collecting their paychecks.

    When are you going to stand for the truth, instead of giving the anti-ex-gay industry a pass for what they have done to us? Unless, of course, you believe what they have to say. Or what john howard says. Or what Robert Oscar lopez has to say, comparing gay people to slavers.

    Jack, of all of the many regular posters here, I think you are one of the few moral and thoughtful ones, which is why I bother to engage with you. But I also think you have blinders on, because you are not gay and you haven’t experienced what the average gay person experiences every single day.

    you haven’t been beat up for walking down the street. you haven’t had people claim you are a child molester and a danger to children every day of your life. you haven’t been fired from a job or kicked out of the military simply because someone found out that you like other men. you haven’t been called sick, perverted, and disgusting, an abomination unto god himself. your kids haven’t been taken from you, you haven’t been kept from the bedside of your dying wife, you haven’t been defined as a threat to western civilization.

    None of that.

    You have absolutely no idea how furious most gay people are for the daily lies, hatred, and attacks on our lives. I can assure you, if that fury were actually made manifest as sheer, raw, uncontrolled energy in the world today– not that it ever has, and it never will– there would be nothing left of the anti-exgay industry but a few smoldering ashheaps.

    But no. That’s not us. We just go back to living our lives, extending far more graciousness to our declared (and not by us) enemies than they have ever even thought of extending to us.

  • Jack

    Keith, people differ on many things. And in societies that protect freedom of expression, they will readily express those differences, including their differences with you. Calling them “intolerant” just because they oppose you on something is the lazy person’s way to avoid the difficult exercise of debate and discussion.

    Nobody ever said that living in a free society would always be fun for everybody all of the time.

    As for the “tolerance” question, Reinhold Niebuhr once said that the true test of tolerance is whether we respect the humanity and dignity of people who disagree with us on issues that matter most to us.

    If we don’t, we are not tolerant. If we do, we are.

    But far too often, “tolerance” means tolerating only those who share our own pet opinions and is worn as a pretentious badge of superiority over those who dare to disagree with us….whom we then assign the label, “intolerant.”

    Obviously that drains the word of meaning…..of course we’re going to be “tolerant” of people who mirror our own opinions and values. Who wouldn’t?

    Again, the answer is the Niebuhr tolerance test — do we affirm the humanity and dignity of people whose opinions oppose our own on what matters most to us?

    Do we truly believe in their right to freedom of expression — or do we seek to shut them down, by law or through marginalization?

    Is freedom of expression only for those who agree with us or is it for those who disagree as well?

  • ben in oakland

    A small addition.

    36 years ago, I was fighting against the Brigg initiative– a Christian based campaign of lies and slander, which would have enabled the firing of any gay person in the school system who was found out, and any other person who supported them.

    I used to occasionally have an encounter with an old, catholic woman whose name was, I think, mary. she was the spokesperson for the other side. she would come all of her lying materials, calling us threats to family and fiath, enemies of god, child molesters and mass murderers. At the end of one of our debates, she came up to me, and said, “Write to me. I would like to establish communication with you. I care.”

    So I wrote to her. I politely showed her every place her material failed in facts, logic, experience, and compassion. I was far kinder than I am now on this subject. But I was firm.

    The next time I ran into her, I asked her if she had received my letter and read it. Her response? “I don’t have time to read trash from homosexuals.”

    Not all bigotry is hate, Jack. As I have said repeatedly on these pages, a good deal of it is one’s completely unwarranted belief in ones wholly imaginary superiority as a Christian, a moral person, and a human being.

  • ben in oakland

    Absolutely, Jack. Except that the anti-ex-gay industry is full of such frauds, such liars, such prevaricators, such grifters, and such vicious bigots. What do you have to say to hit-and-run artists who makes these comments, and then disappear? What do you think about what he did say, comparing gay men who want fmailies to slavers?

    let me refer you to eliel cruz’s column on the failures of ex-gay therapy. No less a person than the unfortunately named david Pickup showed up, claiming once again that his authentic gay therapy really works. when challenged, he simply disappeared, as does lopez when he is challenged.

    what do you say to that?

  • Jack

    Pluto, reread your last sentence — carefully this time.

    It has enough unintended irony to fill up a continent:

    “Nah, I won’t hate Catholics…..who BTW are hateful pieces of garbage.”

    Your sentence self-destructs.

  • Jack

    Good questions….

    The initial ones are easy…..

    Hit-and-run artists shouldn’t be hit-and-run artists. If you believe in something, stand up for it and keep standing. Pretty simple. I once knew a kid in summer camp who specialized in smacking people’s heads from behind and then running away. I’m not a violent person by nature, but at one point, I got him in a headlock and hurled him to the ground. Enough was enough….

    I’m aware of the failures of at least the most well-publicized therapy and would assume that other programs that resemble that one would show similar negative outcomes.

    Any therapy program of any kind should be subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny. Who wants programs that don’t work? I have a good friend who is a psychology professor and tries to hold his profession’s feet to the fire on science’s behalf — on everything. He is doing the Lord’s work on exposing quacks and frauds across the psychology and counseling fields.

    The real question is what psychology should do for those people who are gay but, no matter how much affirmation they get, keep insisting to anyone who will listen that they don’t want to be gay.

    Another way of asking that question is to ask whether the psychology profession should reject any and all attempts to come up with programs that do work.

    If we believe that people have a right to be who they want to be, especially in an area as fundamental to one’s identity as one’s sexuality, what do we do? Do we try to help them? Or do we turn them away?

    We decided that issue on transgender-ism many decades ago, at least sixty years ago. If someone wants to have a sex change, and wants it badly enough, we give it to them.

    That being the case, I don’t see how the psychology profession has any other choice than to find a way of helping those gay individuals who for whatever reason don’t wish to be gay. Part of that means exposing quack therapies that don’t work, but the other side of the coin would involve finding therapies which do work. Ideology should play no role here. All that would matter is what works and what doesn’t work for those individuals, however few or many they may be, who are asking for help and who reject repeated attempts at being affirmed in their current state.

  • Jack

    And yes, in case you’re wondering, my thoughts allow for a conclusion — assuming it’s an honest conclusion based on science, not ideology or political correctness — that no therapy works….meaning that there is no evidence that the outcomes are any different for those in therapy from those who are not.

    That may well be the case…..but I am frankly a bit skeptical that psychology will conclude that too hastily due to political pressure. The key, again, is to let science be science and let conclusions be based on science alone, not ideology. In the culture wars, we have two sides with equal axes to grind and who need to get out of the way on this.

    As a Christian who believes that to be human means to have a soul as well as a body, I believe psychology is limited in that the soul cannot be proved scientifically, let alone studied scientifically. Science studies matter and energy, and if a soul exists, it is by definition beyond both and hence is incapable of such study.

    And that’s where, believing as I do, I think God comes in.

    When the dust has settled, it just might be that for people who are gay but keep telling us they don’t want to be, it’s a matter that goes beyond science and thus any therapy or technique which attempts to use science.

    That could well be….but again, this is no excuse for short-circuiting the process of scientific exploration on the issue.

    If it is the case, though, then for those of us who believe in a God who can literally do anything, we believe He can help a person who is gay but insists he doesn’t want to be and is looking for someone to assist him.

  • Jack

    Keith, meet Pluto….

    Do you agree with his words and the way they’re expressed?

  • Ben in oakland

    I don’t agree with Pluto at all, any more than I agreed with Jerry Falwell (possibly it was his statement during anita Bryant’s campaign, or perhaps it was her) when he declared gay people were human garbage.

    But I certainly understand where he is coming from, and quite possibly, why. What excuse do the liars and prevaricators, the liars and slanderers, have? What harm have we EVER done to them?

  • Jack

    Ben, how about we all agree that no human being is garbage, and that even though passions on all sides of any issue can lead to such language, it is wrong and always should be condemned?

    People will say rough things to each other in the course of debate and conflict, but two things. First, certain words like “garbage” which are completely dehumanizing should be avoided. Second, lesser words of insult may be impossible to avoid, but at least let’s not be calculating about it and wield them deliberately and strategically or make them a regular part of our vocabulary. A good analogy is swear words. I can sometimes swear like a sailor when frustrations reach a critical point, but I never use swear words as part of casual conversation or as part of some strategy of communicating.

  • Jack

    Stephen, if you wish to know “what any of this Marxist stuff is supposed to mean,” talk to politically aware gay people who on the one hand are for gay marriage while on the other hand are disturbed by the radical left desire to push far beyond gay marriage and the traditional gay rights agenda and shut down freedom of expression and religion.

    Although I am straight, I have acquaintances who are gay and who share my deep wariness about the radical left in this country on a host of issues.

    The way I see it, and from my discussions with like-minded people who happen to be gay, there is a division in the gay community between two views. The majority view is what I call “just-leave-us-alone-and-let-us-be” view. They don’t want to go beyond gay marriage and clearly specified civil rights.

    The minority view, the one that has been influenced by the identity politics of the extreme left, goes beyond “leave-us-alone” libertarianism and makes the essentially unlimited, totalitarian demand, characteristic of the radical left on all issues, that dissenters be silenced by any means possible. This view doesn’t stop with rights advocacy. It demands that everyone agree with it.

    This differs from the first view which says, “I don’t demand that you accept and applaud me because I don’t need either from you; I only care that you will not deny me my rights.”

    The first view is one of limited, tangible demands. The second view is one of limitless demands, including the creepy demand that everyone think and believe the same thing or else.

    Reasonable people have been on both sides of the debate for decades over the first view — on what rights mean and how far do or should they go.

    It’s the second view that is incompatible with a free society and that has been smuggled in from Marxism, which polices thought and expression.

    This split between wanting tangible, limited goals involving laws and legislation and wanting the unlimited ability to destroy freedom in the name of combating all bigotry cuts across many issues facing our country, not just this one issue.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Jack, we can both easily agree to that, and that is why I’m willing to engage with you, whereas with certain others, ummm, not so much. You are open to seeing things differently.

    I agree with you up to this point, and, well, after this same point as well: “and that even though passions on all sides of any issue can lead to such language.” Falwell didn’t make his comment in the heat of a moment, or of passion about an issue. And coming from a Certified Professional Christian such as he, it was not only unconscionable, but completely expected. Inherent in the statement is how Falwell saw us. He made no secret of this, as his duet with that Still Breathing Fossil after 9/11 clearly demonstrated. But he would be sure to talk about his love, because that is what people like him do.

    Not that Anita Bryant was any better, saying something like this out of the passion of her campaign. “Homosexuals cannot reproduce, and therefore they recruit.” It was well known, even back in her time, that this was all more lies and defamations. She was told this. She could have looked it up. I DID, and long before the internet. But she persisted anyway. Her intention was to harm and defame. but she also talked about how much she just loved her dem homosexuals.

    Of course they both loved us. They just hated our child molesting, family destroying, morality degrading, disease spreading, marriage mocking– and on and on and on– ways.

    Here’s what ties the two together, quite apart of course from their political agendas and proximity in place and time. And also ties the two of them to a legion of people just like them. This is what enables them to use phrases like human garbage, to accuse us as a group of crimes against humanity simply because we exist, to lie about us and do it with the intent to harm us, our children, and our families. And worst of all, to do it ALL in the name of a God with whom they clearly over-identify on a far too-personal level.

    I said this to you in another comment, but I’m going to repeat it.

    Not all bigotry is hate. A good deal of it is the unwavering, unwarranted faith in an otherwise completely imaginary superiority, always present and assumed, as a moral person, as a Christian, and as a human being…

    with all the concomitant benefits and privileges that ought legally to attach thereto.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Live our lives and leave you alone?

    Can you tell me the last time gay people initiated a legal campaign to deprive any heterosexual or any Christian of equality before the law?

  • Ben in Oakland

    Jack, you keep talking about all of these radical left wing activists, the intolerant far left, and their goals and agendas.

    I’m seriously asking: Who are they? what are their names? What are their positions relative to power, money, and influence? What have they accomplished? Why is it a threat?

    give me some examples.

  • Pingback: Dear Christians, You Don’t Get To Beat On People, Lose, And Demand Respect | The Simple Humanist()

  • Jack

    I don’t think that’s accurate, Larry. I recall many years ago that James. Dobson (!) was lambasted by some for supporting civil unions. I think several others in the Religious Right camp came out for them as well. Again, this was a very long time ago, not within the past several years, that such support surfaced.

    I recall having a conversation with my late doctor, who was a modern Orthodox Jew, about current events in which he brought up the subject. This was about a decade ago during the 2004 presidential election. He himself was criticizing evangelicals for supporting civil unions. He said that this was a wimpy middle-ground solution and that society should decide one way or the other in terms of gay marriage. He himself was torn on the issue, as he had gay friends in the medical field.

    Interestingly enough, one of his other patients, who was also Jewish but more secular, vehemently disagreed with him and said civil unions were the answer and that the evangelicals were correct to be supporting it.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Now I have some time to finish my our conversation, Jack.

    “Any therapy program of any kind should be subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny. Who wants programs that don’t work?” The anti-ex-gay industry wants those programs, and they don’t want them subjected to any kind of rigorous scrutiny. Because they really don’t care all that much about people, and certainly not about real gay people, but about power, money, and religious dominion. I wrote extensively about this in the eliel Cruz columns on ex-gay therapy and its failures. The few times ex-gay therapy has been studied, it has failed. The BEST actual study– as opposed to the self-aggrandizement of Holy joe Nicolosi– was jones and yarhouse. Despite the thousands and hundreds of thousands of claimed gay-to-straight conversions, they were able to find only 100 study subjects. Of those study subjects, only 13 claimed conversion, a conversion which the authors themselves described as “difficult, ambiguous, complicated.” In other words, no one changed. Is your sexuality difficult, ambiguous, and complicated as a straight man? No? Neither is mine.

    “The real question is what psychology should do for those people who are gay but, no matter how much affirmation they get, keep insisting to anyone who will listen that they don’t want to be gay.” There are several answers to this, starting here: The problem isn’t their sexual orientation, but their self-hatred. That doesn’t get addressed in these change-orientation efforts. Rather, contrary to all established psychological practice, it gets leveraged to produce more self-hatred, especially when the therapy fails, as it does 99.9% of the time.

    But let’s take the question as face value. According to the Religious Right, people like Russell Moore, for example, homosexuality is simply a matter of behavior. All you have to do is change the behavior. So no gay sex, no gay romance, no gay family, no gay movies, friends, books, movies, porn. Voila! You’re no longer gay.

    Except that is an obvious lie. 99.9% of people who want to change don’t. But at least they are not acting gay, even though they are as gay as ever. But it does solve the problem about being gay, as long as you believe that homosexuality is all about behavior. But then, so would heterosexuality be all about behavior.

    So changing behavior isn’t going to work. Can orientation be changed? We have the evidence of the catholic and Mormon churches, virtually every scientific, sociological, and medical in the West and the civilized world, the failures of Jesus to change anyone, and the testimonies of millions of gay people that it cannot. We have the testimony of Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and NIH, that while it is possibly not genetic, it is definitely hard-wired.

    So here is another false avenue.

    “Part of that means exposing quack therapies that don’t work, but the other side of the coin would involve finding therapies which do work. Ideology should play no role here.” You cannot “find a therapy” to cure something that isn’t a disease, unless you are willing to admit that the disease is not sexual orientation, but self hatred. The religious profession has been trying to “cure” us for 2000 years, with the only result being jailings, murders, beatings, suicides, broken families, addictions, and social ostracization. The psychological profession has been trying for over 100 years, with ever more ridiculous causal theories and even more detached-from-reality “cures”.

    Here is how ridiculous the question is. Let’s design a “therapy” to change someone from heterosexual to homosexual. It ought to be possible, if orientation is mutable.

    You wrote this: “but I am frankly a bit skeptical that psychology will conclude that too hastily due to political pressure. The key, again, is to let science be science and let conclusions be based on science alone, not ideology.”

    This is what is constantly claimed by the anti-gay right wing: political pressure, political correctness, and political bullying is what has caused the scientific, medical, and social sciences to change their stances on homosexuality for the past 70 years. The immensely powerful Gaystapo has struck again, even in 1973, a mere 4 years after the modern gay rights movement began. Absolute nonsense. It couldn’t possibly be– oh, I don’t know– SCIENCE?

    here’s the reality: The science has been in for some time, as Francis Collins and the experiences of millions of gay people attest. Only the religious right and their fellow travelers among the ultra-conservative have been pushing an ideological position on the subject. That homosexuality is an evil, it’s a choice, and it ought to be suppressed legally and politically if it cannot be “cured”.

    Here is what you keep missing. The bible says that anything asked for humbly and sincerely in prayer will be answered by a loving god. Yet, that loving god seems to be completely absent when it comes to changing anyone. 99.9%, according to the head of Exodus.

    science for well over 100 years has not been able to come up with a cure. Jesus for 1950 years has not been able to come up with a cure. David Pickup, with his “authentic” therapy, can not only not come up with a cure for anyone else, but he cannot even cure himself. And he runs like a little girl every time he is confronted.

    “In the culture wars, we have two sides with equal axes to grind and who need to get out of the way on this.” Absolutely not. We didn’t start this culture war. We have not made war on Christianity, marriage, family, children, faith, faith, morality, or anything else. We have demanded an end to an ancient, vicious, and durable prejudice that serves absolutely no good end whatsoever, and is intended to harm us.

    my pro-gay statements are not based upon ideology, but upon the facts of my life and the lives of the hundreds or thousands of gay people I have known in my life. They are based upon reading literally thousands of books on the subjects of psychology, sexuality, religion, and politics.

    Here is the “ax to grind” of the anti-ex-gay-industry: power, money, dominion, all based upon the ideology that heterosexuality and conservative Christianity are superior to everything else, and OUGHT to have political hegemony over the lives of everyone.

    Here’s my “ax to grind”: leave us the hell alone, focus on your own family, stop lying, and stop using our lives as your (not you personally) pathway to power, money, and religious dominion. Stop trying to harm innocent people whom you don’t know and know nothing about in order to promote your religious, social, cultural, and personal psychological agendas.

    simple enough?

    which one of these positions is moral?

  • Ben in Oakland

    And for all of you good Christians here, please note that this person has disappeared.

  • Ben in oakland

    Jack, here is an interview with Dobson by Stan Guthrie of Christianity Today on 7/1/04:

    Why do you support the FMA?

    We must be allowed to define marriage in the Constitution via the amendment process. That is the only way to prevent activist judges from redefining it for all of us, as they have done in Massachusetts.

    What is your strategy for passing the FMA in Congress and the state legislatures?

    We must put as much pressure as we can on Congress to do the right thing. When the amendment gets to the states, it will likely be ratified quickly. People understand the dangerous implications of this experiment.

    Why don’t you support stronger language that would ban civil unions?

    There is no backbone on Capitol Hill for a stronger amendment. We will have to defeat civil unions individually, at the state level.

    You have said that failure to pass the FMA could lead to the destruction of the American family. How so?

    A mother and a father form the bedrock of the nuclear family. This has been true in every culture, throughout history, since the beginning of time. No society in human history has ever defined marriage as anything other than between men and women.

    Some conservatives say the FMA has little chance of passage. What’s your reading?

    We have no choice but to try. It will be a tough fight in Congress, but marriage and the family deserve our best defense.

    You have said that if the American family fails, Focus on the Family would have no real purpose. Would you close up shop?

    The family is created and ordained by God. It will never fail, but it can suffer great harm as a result of man’s efforts to redefine it. Love for God and for our neighbor demands that we protect people from this harm.

    How many years are you willing to devote to this cause?

    As many as it takes.

    ————————————–
    Dobson’s “support” was nothing of the kind, simply an admission that he couldn’t win on a complete ban at the federal level. Focus on the anus was responsible for the first defeat of civil unions in Colorado two or three years ago.

    but i’ll tell you what civil unions are, so you can understand our point of view. Civil unions are a clear recognition and an admission that we gay people have a moral, civil, legal, familial, cultural, constitutional, and religious claim on the heterosexual majority.

    They are also a clear statement that under no circumstances will gay people, no matter how noble, EVER be recognized as the moral, civil, legal, familial, cultural, constitutional, and religious equal of any heterosexual, no matter how base.

    Cases in point: Charles manson and Richard Ramirez. Heterosexual Murderers can have a legal marriage, but my friends who have been together for 45 years cannot.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    Jimu, we make laws against murder and theft because they actively harm people, not because of worthless concepts like “moral righteousness”. Your moral position is completely irrelevant to everyone else; causing or not causing harm to others matters.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    “The Truth”? That’s only what EVERY SINGLE RELIGION EVER has claimed.
    And every one of them, including yours, is wrong.

  • Jack

    Ben, I’m thinking about your words, “not all bigotry is hate” and I still don’t know if I agree or disagree. Let me think about it.

    Assuming that what you wrote about Anita Bryant and Falwell is accurate, and my hunch is that it is, I think what they’re missing is that most gay people basically want to be left alone. That is what I here, again and again….and again……and again…. from people I know who happen to be gay. While I disagree on issues, I have made it a point to sit down and just listen to what they have to say. And I have.

    Here is what I see as a result of keeping my mouth shut and listening:

    The overwhelming majority of gays are not doing stupid things like dressing up as nuns, calling themselves names like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and harassing churchgoers on Sundays. They are good citizens who leave people alone. They cringe when “activists” claiming to be speaking in their name have pulled such stunts.

    They despise identity politics games where some of these same “activists” speak of them like they were a nation within a nation. They don’t see it that way at all, and want to be treated simply as Americans.

    They don’t want these activists to go on perpetual witch hunts in their name, attempting to ferret out any and every instance of fellow Americans who happen to disagree with gay marriage. They support same-sex marriage obviously, but they want is that right secured and then to go on and live their lives. They don’t support never-ending totalitarian campaigns that seek to force every American to stand up and applaud. They don’t need or seek approval or to force universal agreement with them. They don’t want to go after freedom of expression.

    They are, in other words, libertarian, not totalitarian. And they absolutely despise thought police types who seek to monitor heterosexuals for every errant word spoken. Most are politically liberal, yes, but most are against the far left precisely due to the reasons I’ve cited.

    And like me, they see the far left totalitarian types operating not just in the arena of gay issues, but across the board. Most of the ones I know remain Democrats, but three have become Republican in the last few years precisely due to what they see as the anti-libertarian impulses of the far left wielding increased influence.

    They see Al Sharpton and like-minded people doing the same thing in the black community as like-minded people are trying to do to the gay community — launching permanent campaigns, purportedly against bigotry, but in reality to keep the fires burning, for their own benefit.

    And they see the same thing happening to the cause of feminism, where the achievement of tangible, legal, but limited goals of traditional feminism is being supplanted by unlimited demands of radical individuals that dissent by shut down and people be subjected to a permanent campaign of what amounts to propagandizing and total re-education.

    What they want, from what I can tell, is the limited, tangible goal of securing what they see as their civil rights. What they do not want is to force everyone in the world to applaud. They want basic rights and then they want to be left alone.

    That is a good summary of what I have heard…..and I will bet anything that what I have heard represents what most think.

  • Jack

    Ben, I’m facing the same problem you are with time, so I get it. That explains my occasional tardiness of response, too. Responding to the many posts which are littered with obvious errors in fact or logic and can be easily countered doesn’t take me much time. But responding to your posts is more time-consuming because there is lots to hear and lots to think about and say. Take that as a compliment because that’s what it is.

    In some areas, we just disagree, period. We disagree not only on issues, but in tenor, tone, and even tactics. I hope we disagree agreeably, but if we don’t, so be it. Sometimes that’s just not possible. And I don’t buy the view that we differ simply because you’re living these issues, since you are gay, and I am not, because I am not gay. Maybe I’d buy that view if I lived in the backwoods rather than where I do and never met and befriended fellow human beings from various walks of life who happen to be gay and who sat me down and convinced me to listen to nuance. But I don’t…..and I have. I have had enough sense to shut up and listen to them. And hopefully I’ve learned something.

    With your permission, I will be glad to copy your posts and show it to some of them. I will delete “Ben” or “Oakland” if you wish. If you prefer I don’t, I won’t. No problem.

    The reason I say this is that while gay people I’ve met obviously are for same-sex marriage, most don’t see themselves as you seem to see them. They see themselves as just people who happen to be gay. They see themselves as Americans who happen to be gay. They see themselves as doctors or teachers or lawyers or actors or businesspeople or civil servants who happen to be gay. They don’t see their gay identity as akin to being part of some separate nation, ethnicity, people group, or even subculture. They are fiercely independent-minded to a man and to a woman (at least those I have known). They don’t want me or you or anyone to tell them how to think and what to think and what sort of politics to embrace. They are open to what science says and doesn’t say on the nature/nurture debate. They say they have no stake in the outcome because either way, they insist, their claim to civil rights remains firm.

    Maybe the people I have known over the years are the exception, but frankly, I don’t think so.

    I think there’s the same split in the gay community between most people and the professional activists as there is between African Americans and feminists on the one hand, and the Al Sharptons of the world on the other.. Most people — gay, African American, feminist, or none of the three — who have regular jobs or careers simply want clearly specified rights and then just want to be left alone and, equally important, to leave others alone. Most want the professional activists to go home and contribute to society in other ways once hard-fought battles have been won.

    That, in any event, is what I have heard over the years and keep hearing today. I have tried above to summarize what I have heard expressed to me, often emphatically. Those I’ve had the good fortune to have known remain focused on civil rights but they are resentful of and even embarrassed by some of the people and groups which claim to speak in their name. They feel that they are “ghettoizing” them and trying to force them into a permanent adversarial relationship with the rest of society through their permanent, Sharpton-like campaign against the rest of America.

    I feel somewhat of an obligation to say all of this because I realize how persecuted gay people have been through time and I want to convey at least what those who I know want others to know about them, including what they want and what they don’t want. At least those I know feel they are not being represented accurately, either by folks on the right or the far left.

  • Jack

    Read my more recent posts, Ben. They may be a bit hurried due to time, but hopefully they help answer the question.

  • Susan Russell

    “My hope is that Christians will continue to see that what the state says marriage is may not line up with what the church or God says.”

    Fair enough. And my hope is that some Christians will get over the fantasy that they get to speak for ALL Christians on Christianity in general and on marriage in specific. There are Christian individuals, clergy and whole denominations supporting marriage equality with all their hearts, souls and beings — not in spite of their faith but because of it. To neglect to include that dimension in the story is a huge miss.

    The Reverend Susan Russell
    All Saints Church, Pasadena CA

  • IT

    Actually, no, “Christians” do not believe it’s wrong to be gay. Many Christians , indeed, entire denominations , are fully inclusive and welcoming of gay folks and call gay couples to live with the same fidelity and honor as straight couples.

    You may disagree with them, as you are entitled to do–but you are not entitled to claim that you speak for all Christians. You only speak for a particular subset of Christians.

    And while we are on it, let’s remember that religious freedom (the right to practice your faith) is not the same as religious privilege (imposing your faith on others in the public sphere). Our civil life requires us to get along with each other, whether or not we agree with each other. So, an avid atheist can’t deny public service to an evangelical, and the same should apply in reverse.

  • IT

    Actually, around 56% of Americans approve of same sex marriage. Majorities of Roman Catholics and mainline Protestants, too. But regardless, no church can be forced by law to perform any marriage. That is why for example orthodox rabbis can’t be forced to marry interfaith couples, and why Roman Catholic priests can’t be forced to marry divorced people.

    Besides why on earth would any gay person want to force a church to marry them? Church weddings are about standing before shared faith community as well as before God. If a gay person isn’t welcome to your community, what would be the point?

  • IT

    I agree.

  • Jack

    Ben, I’ve since looked this up, and what led people to believe Dobson was for civil unions was his proposed federal “marriage amendment” which was phrased in a way that allegedly opened the door for civil unions. And that is presumably why I was hearing talk that he favored them.

  • Jack

    Rev. Russell, please relay your sentiments to the National Council of Churches or the World Council of Churches when both bodies pretend that there is one and only one Christian opinion on other issues, from wealth and poverty to war and peace.

    Most Christians in fact do not believe the medievalist view that the cause of people being poor is other people not being poor, nor do they believe that the United States is some evil, imperialist nation responsible for all of the world’s woes, nor do they believe that the state of Israel is the bad guy and Hamas the good guy in the Middle East.

  • Ben in Oakland

    With one possible exception, I have never heard of a single gay couple who has the slightest interest in anything of the sort.

    It’s just yet another right wing meme “the gays are gonna getcha.” Another way to spread fear with imaginary consequences.

  • John

    I’m a Christian and you don’t get to speak for me.

  • Ben in oakland

    I don’t have time to write right now, jack, but i’ll answer just a bit.

    The civil unions solution is the perfect example of bigotry being tied up with superiority. “Civil Unions are good enough for the likes of you.” says the Christian who would Never accept one for himself. Says that Christian who thinks that marriage is too good for me, but being perfectly content with the marriages of Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez, or fornicating adulterous former republican congressmen.

    The people who claim that gay people are really just heterosexuals who have been so perverted by their animal lusts that we couldn’t possibly know anything about our own lives.

    The people who claim that I must get right with god, as if god is confiding in the likes of them about his relationship with any other person on the planet.

    Ryan Anderson, who has repeatedly said that my quite legal and quite real marriage is not a REAL marriage, and he will devote his life and career to destroying that which he believes isn’t real.

    The posters on these very pages who claim that we’re just pretending to love, just pretending to have relationships, just pretending to have families and children and faith.

    Cardinal George, who claimed that gay people wanting to be married had lost touch with their humanity. Yup. Nothing says that so clearly as wanting legal recognition and protection for a relationship that has lasted for decades.

    that’s just for starters.

  • Ben in oakland

    Pluto, a majority of catholics in America support gay rights. your statement is both wrong and defamatory.

    We gain nothing with such statements except more animus.

  • Ben in oakland

    Only a brief comment, jack.

    Some years ago– and I don’t know if this has changed– NCC would not allow the gay-oriented Metropolitan community Church to join. Baptists and Mormons and catholics, all of whom think the others are going to hell, had no problem sitting next to each other.

    but the thought that gay people could be sitting next to them and not cowering in fear– well that was just too much. The idea of uppity queers, like uppity negroes, was just too much for them.

    A friend of mine was present for that debate. It was sickeningly hypocritical enough that he abandoned his plans for the ministry. A year later, he had abandoned being a Christian.

  • Jack

    Very interesting, Ben.

  • Ben in Oakland

    DianN– I truly want to thank you for this comment. It was absolutely priceless in the very best sense of the word. You have called out the hypocrisy of evangelical Christianity on this particular subject with a freshness and directness that I have to admire, because you did it from within the faith. I doubt I could have come up with this on my own, but I will certainly remember it. As an atheist, I can do it only from outside.

    It’s the sort of thing that long ago led me to suspect that Christian support for this ancient and vicious prejudice and nothing to do with Christianity, and everything to do with prejudice.

    Again, thank you.

  • Ben in Oakland

    I did read your posts. World communism has been dead for 25 years. The Weather Underground has been gone for 35 years. Al Sharpton is a buffoon, and I agree, he is in it strictly for himself. But what do you say about Brian Fischer, tony Perkins and the rest of their ilk, the ones with a theocratic vision for america? You don’t have to answer. I know you don’t like them either.

    I agree 100% with you. Fascism, whether coming from the left or the right, from believers or atheists, is indeed the threat. But so are the people who claim that the gay agenda, which is simply an end to legalized discrimination, is an exercise in Fascism. They are just not a threat to other conservative Christians.

    More when I respond to your later comments.

  • Ben in Oakland

    I have to disagree with a good deal of this comment, Jack. Starting with this: you didn’t say any of it wasn’t actually true. Yes, it is highly polemical, because I am tired of listening to people defame me and my life and the lives of millions of people like me in their quest for power, money, and dominion. But I’m not writing for the choir; I’m writing for the many people who read but don’t post, who are trying to make up their minds.

    And it is not the mirror image of the people I oppose, because I’m not trying to harm them, or limit their rights, or lying about them in order to accomplish either. I have not damned anybody as utterly corrupt– not moore and not Anderson. (Of the two, I actually prefer Moore). I WILL call them on their hypocrisy, their revisionism, and their willingness to hide behind their faiths. All of my attributions to the anti-gay theocrats, including the remarks about the box-cars, are documentable quotes.

    I long ago made a commitment to stick to facts, logic, and experience. I have proclaimed my interest in freedom quite clearly. Believe whatever you like, but keep your purely theological concerns– and that’s all the anti-gay religious right has is theological concerns– out of secular law. Quoting me: “And once their ability to harm me and mine via public policy and secular law has been neutralized, I have no problem allowing even the most virulently anti-gay liars, Pharisees, and hypocrites to live their anti-gay lives and spew their virulent hate to their hearts’ dark delight. In fact, I want them to do so.”

    and I do.

    You wrote: “Tellingly, you were most exorcised when mentioning Anderson……because he struck a nerve. He knows darned well, and you do, too, that he will experience the graciousness of Attila the Hun, not from gays in general, but from activists specifically. I wish Anderson were wrong, but he is correct. What’s heading his way is not an olive branch but a sledgehammer.” No, he knows nothing of the sort. Where is this massive flood of revenge that has flowed over people like him? It doesn’t exist. Where are the police reports for the alleged threats? Where are the arrests and convictions? When it has been claimed in a court, it has been thrown out for lack of evidence.

    As Larry has well noted– and I don’t always agree with him– The oppression of Christians because they no longer have dominion over my life– as you wrote, the culture has shifted– is now the meme, as is the “threat” to religious freedom. If all of this were actually true, it would be well documented. There have been a few “things”, truly. But only a few, and this is a mere trickle compare to the flood of damage they have wreaked. What we have are a few wedding vendors who claim to be Christian, who claim to deserve the special right of being able to ignore anti-discrimination laws, because gay people are just so gol-durned ickeeeee!

    I am an activist, and have been for over 40 years. I could care less about Anderson or Moore. What I care about is that they earn their livings harming me and mine, with no benefit to anyone except themselves. What you term my lack of graciousness, I term calling a spade a spade. as I said, I made no untrue statement.

    I’m not willing to be “nice” anymore to people who lie and slander me and mine, who call me threats to children and civilization itself, an enemy of God, a force of evil. But at the same time, I can assure you of this: if they stopped doing that, I would no more care about them than I care about a hemorrhoid that no longer hurts.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Jack, you absolutely have my permission to show my material to your gay friends. The only reason I don’t put my full, real name out there is because of the threats and vituperation I received when I did. I wasn’t worried about them in the slightest, but I’m also not interested in having that kind of ugliness show up in my life.

    You wrote: “The reason I say this is that while gay people I’ve met obviously are for same-sex marriage, most don’t see themselves as you seem to see them. They see themselves as just people who happen to be gay. They see themselves as Americans who happen to be gay. They see themselves as doctors or teachers or lawyers or actors or businesspeople or civil servants who happen to be gay. They don’t see their gay identity as akin to being part of some separate nation, ethnicity, people group, or even subculture.”

    I have always seen gay people as simply people who happen to be gay, not as any special tribe. I don’t know where you got any other idea. But I also have seen gay people as a particularly targeted and victimized group, especially by the religious Right. This is incontrovertible, and the lies, the hatred, the slanders, and the intended harm are what I stand against.

    “They feel that they are “ghettoizing” them and trying to force them into a permanent adversarial relationship with the rest of society through their permanent, Sharpton-like campaign against the rest of America.” I can only speak for myself, my husband, and the people I know. None of us want the adversarial relationship; that is being promoted solely by the religious right. They’re the ones claiming WE are the threats to all that is good and holy, that WE are the threats to freedom and religious liberty. I’m not a huge fan of anti-discrimination laws, or at least of their use when other alternatives are available. But trying to find exceptions to them merely underlines why we have them in the first place. And as long as conservative religionists claim that their religious preference gives them the special right of ignoring those laws, but would scream loudly if those protections were removed from them, I can’t take their tears too seriously.

    But you are right. we want to be left alone. The question is, when will the religious right leave us alone?

  • Ben in Oakland

    Jack, A response to your posting beginning with “I’m thinking about your words”.

    You wrote: “They support same-sex marriage obviously, but they want is that right secured and then to go on and live their lives. They don’t support never-ending totalitarian campaigns that seek to force every American to stand up and applaud. They don’t need or seek approval or to force universal agreement with them. They don’t want to go after freedom of expression.”

    I too don’t know of a single gay person anywhere who wants Americans to stand up and applaud. That is yet another right wing meme that has no relevance to what is actually happening. I’m not interested in their approval, let alone their applause. What I want is an end to legalized discrimination IN ANY ASPECT OF LIFE.

    I want an end to the lies, the slanders, the vilifications, and the calls for our deaths and/or imprisonment. But I don’t want these people to be silenced. far from it. I am too great a believer in free speech, and I believe thoroughly that that answer to bad speech is not suppression, but MORE speech. But more speech is what they will get from me, and they will get the truth. I’m sorry if that offends them– no, actually I’m not sorry– but their offense, like their obsession with what I do with my dangly bits, is their problem.

    I also want an end to the silence of the Christians who claim “We’re not all like that”, but who have nothing to say about the falwells, Bryants, Perkinses, and robertsons who are exactly like that.

    But that’s up to them.

    “The overwhelming majority of gays are not doing stupid things like dressing up as nuns, calling themselves names like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and harassing churchgoers on Sundays. They are good citizens who leave people alone. ” And the overwhelming majority of Christians are not doing stupid things like proclaiming that gay people want to destroy marriage by getting married, or telling vicious lies aobut gay people ofr the sake of a paycheck, or showing up at gay pride events with signs saying “BURN IN HELL, PERVERTS.”

    “They don’t want these activists to go on perpetual witch hunts in their name, attempting to ferret out any and every instance of fellow Americans who happen to disagree with gay marriage.” The people who disagree with gay marriage, 19 times out of 20, also disagree with our right to exist and live our lives fully and freely. They also disdagree that they have to follow non-discrimination laws. They also disagree iwht the idea that they have to treat us civilly and with the same respect they routinely extend to all of the other people on earth they believe are going to burn in hell forever. Because “Ooooooh. GAY! Ickeeeee.”

    “And they absolutely despise thought police types who seek to monitor heterosexuals for every errant word spoken.” As opposed to the archbishop of Miami, who has informed his employees that they face termination for daring to support their gay friends and relatives? It works both ways.

    Jack, you’re quite right when you say “This is what most gay people want.” But it is most assuredly not what antigay right wing Christians want. And, as I said, they are the ones waging the “culture war.” We’re fighting back.

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  • Jack

    I will show it to at least one person I may run into next week, Ben…..and no, neither you nor anyone on this board or any board should ever post your full name or any other clear identifier such as phone number. That’s asking for trouble and I’m glad you don’t do it.

    I want to stress that although I do not agree with you on much in terms of issues, for what it’s worth, I despise all bullying and that probably is why I find myself in the odd position of speaking and thinking as I am about issues I never gave a thought to years ago. It’s also why in my last few posts, I’ve played the odd role of messenger, relaying my understanding of what people who are quite different from me but whom I care about have told me over time. I want people on all sides to hear what I have heard, because, at least at my best, I care about facts and truth, and I care about the people I’ve learned from.

  • Ben in oakland

    Thank you, Jack. It’s why I bother to communicate with you, because I, too share a passion for truth and facts. I don’t think you are a bigot. Rather, as you say, you haven’t had to think about these things before, and in the way I am hopefully encouraging you to do.

  • Jack

    Thanks Ben. I don’t think you are a bigot, either, and I hope we both have given each other something to think about.

  • ben in oakland

    :o)

  • ben in oakland

    BTW, Jack, here is the perfect example of bigotry not being as much a belief in one’s self-assigned, wholly imaginary superiority.

    Rent the movie “The Help”. The white women loved their black servants, but were horrified that they might have to share a drinking fountain, or worse, a toilet with them.

    No hate at all.

  • R.E.

    Rich white man compares himself to oppressed minority women in order to leach credibility–the menz gots the the sadz. Oh freedom. Very creepy and very delusional. Color me shocked.

  • Indiana

    Romans 1:26-28 ESV
    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

  • Lou

    Is there a connection between beautiful New England and entire American cities turned into smoking rubble? There is.
    Take same-sex marriage. I would have guessed that a “sin” city (San Francisco? Las Vegas?) would have been the first to legalize it.
    Oddly it’s been the place where America started that’s wanted to be the first place to help bring about the end of America and its values! It’s been a Nor’easter of Perversion (helping to fulfill the end time “days of Lot” predicted in Luke 17) that began in (you guessed it) Boston in 2004.
    New England has gone from the Mayflower Compact to the Gay Power Impact, from Providence to decadence, from Bible thumpers to God dumpers, from university to diversity to perversity, and from the land of the Great Awakening to God’s Future Shakening that will make the Boston bombings look like Walden Pond ripples by comparison!
    The same Nor’easter has been spreading south and as far west as Washington State where, after swelling up with pride, Mt. Rainier may wish to celebrate shame-sex marriage by having a blast that Seaddlepated folks can share in lava-land!
    The same Luke 17 prediction is tied to the Book of Revelation which speaks of the cities that God will flatten because of same-sexism – including American cities – a scenario I’ll have to accept since I can’t create my own universe and decree rules for it.
    I’ve just been analyzing the world’s terminal “religion” that has its “god,” its accessories, its “rites,” and even a flag. It’s an obsession that the infected converts are willing to live for, fight for – and even die for!
    Want more facts? Google “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “Universal GAYety is Coming,” “FOR GAYS ONLY: Jesus predicted,” ” ‘Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality’ – When Gays Have Birthdays…,” “Harvey Milk Stamped ‘Out’ Forever” and “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”

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  • ben in oakland

    For a mixture of stupidity, joy in destruction, biblical nonsense, despite, contempt, religious paranoia, nonsense, and self righteousness, this one cannot be beat.

    But rejoice!!!! For you have indeed created your own universe, and decreed the rules for it. And you are indeed the king and the god of it.

  • MS

    Do you believe what you just wrote is true?

  • ben in oakland

    I certainly believe it. I have the word of each and every one of these religions that it has the whole, total, absolute truth. For that to be true, all of the rest of the religions must be wrong. So the evidence, based upon the infallible testimony of each religion, says that all of them are wrong.

    I just believe in one less religion than you do.

  • wayne milner

    So let’s get past the way everyone feels. According to Romans 1 Vs .-26-32
    It isn’t right, it’s a perversion, God has turned over the homosexual to do what is un-natural. They are receiving in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. If you claim to be in Christ read this. It’s not in line with the word of God.
    There is hope…..repent, turn to Christ, and receive his forgiveness.
    Time is not on your side.
    One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord. It may be done voluntarily now are forcibly on judgement day. Save yourself from this perverse generation. Turn to Christ!
    Christ is not willing that any should perish but that all should be saved! Yet we must be willing to accept him now!
    Whether you or gay, an adulterer, a murderer, a thief, or whatever else Christ loves you and provides forgiveness if only you will receive him!

  • wayne milner

    Simple Humanist,
    God loves you. Repent today and receive Jesus Christ. If you die in your sins you will spend eternity out of the presence of God and in the flames of hell.
    Jesus spent His time on earth with sinners. He gave His life by dying on a cross to save us from our sins. The belief that Christians are good and all others are evil, wrong, etc. is not how it works. The scriptures say that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That means we’ve all missed the mark! None of us can stand or be in the presence of almighty God because He is Holy and Righteous! We are in a helpless state! Nothing we can do can in our own power will save us from the eternity of being separated from God and in the flames of Hell. But the Word of God proclaims while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Because Jesus was God and did not sin He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He did this not to save the good people. He did this to save the sinner!
    You can start by saying a prayer like this “Dear Lord please forgive me. I recogonize that I’m a sinner and have not lived according to your word.
    Please come into my life today and save me!
    The bible promises that He will send the Holy Spirit into your life when you receive Jesus.
    Follow this by going to a Christian church and following the Lord’s example in believers Baptism.
    Be saved today!

  • James

    Paul’s opinion in Romans 1 was mistaken. He was expressing his bias and misunderstanding.

    Moral behavior consists of following the Golden Rule. Opposition to equal justice (including marriage equality) violates the Golden Rule, and is therefore incompatible with the Gospel of Christ.

  • wayne milner

    James,
    Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit when he spoke Romans, one of the 13 books of the new testament pinned by him. The bible does mention in other locations homosexuality. For example the men of Sodom and Gemorrah were all homosexual and or bisexual except for Lot. When two angels from God came to see if the area needed destroying the men of Sodom tried to rape them. Lot tried to offer his daughters to them instead of the angels, who appeared as men. All the men of the city replied let us have those men are we will do the same to you as we’re going to do to them. The angels pulled Lot back inside the door. They instructed Lot and his family to flee from that place. As Lot and his family fled God rained fire down from the sky and destroyed that city and the whole area.
    You see James while this was not the only sin the people were involved in, they were so far from the truth they were doing those things Paul described later when he wrote the new testament book of Romans. God waited patiently but when the sin became to much he destroyed all of the city and area along with the people.
    James the Gospel of Christ is available for all sinners. He doesn’t call us into salvation to continue to live in sin.
    If you truly believe in the Gospel of Christ, google the internet and find references to the homosexual lifestyle in the bible. Then turn to them and read it for yourself! There is no mistaking what the Lord has said through His word! Do not be deceived. The Golden Rule was given by Christ. It states do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This means to treat others with love, kindness, goodness, respect, and so on. James if you believe the homosexual lifestyle is okay this is me demonstrating the Golden Rule to you. You have an opportunity to be made right with God. Do not miss that opportunity. Today is another day you can come to Christ!

  • James

    Anybody who has thoroughly and honestly studied the Bible knows that it is not inerrant. In addition, some of the claims that you made in your post are simply ludicrous (such as the one about Sodom and Gomorrah). Your hostility toward God’s gay and lesbian children is unchristian. And don’t claim that it is actually Christian love. It is not.

  • wayne milner

    James,
    When faced with a couple of scriptures you have spent time saying God’s word is in error and I am un-christian for stating what the word of God says.
    Please present a shred of the word of God to support the platform from which you speak. The word of God endures forever! James today is another day to be saved! Don’t wait to late!

  • James

    I have not said that God’s word is in error. Some of the writers of the Bible, however, did make mistakes. God’s word is love. It can be found in the Bible, but there is also much in the Bible that is unloving and therefore wrong.

  • wayne milner

    James,
    According to the bible in 2 Timothy 3:16 all scripture is God breathed. Meaning the inspired word of God is all true. While it was written by men it was inspired by God.
    In Revelation 22:18-19 there is an important scripture that you need to pay attention too. Paraphrasing it says if we add anything to the words of this book God will add the plagues described in this book to them. If anyone takes away anything from this book God will remove that persons share of the tree of life and the holy city.
    Be very careful making accusations about God’s Word or the men he used to write it.
    Earlier in Revelation 22:14-15 it says “blessed are those who have washed their robes so they can enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Outside of the city are the dogs-the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, and the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.”
    You see James while God is a God of love He’s also a just God. We are living in a time of Grace where people may repent of their sins and come to Christ for salvation. If someone dies in their sin with out accepting the forgiveness or grace of God they will die in their sin. When they face God on the day of judgement they will have no recourse. If people have accepted Christ, God has already pronounced them forgiven and they will live with Him forever in Heaven.
    Come to Christ today!

  • wayne milner

    All who are watching the debate over homosexual marriage,
    Matthew 7:15-16 warns us of watching out for the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Meaning there will be teachers that appear to be like a Christian but are inwardly they will tear us apart.
    The bible also tells us we will know them by their fruit. So what does that mean? It means whatever they teach or whatever they do should line up with the word of God. To do this you must know the word of God for yourself. Dig into it today. Know the truth for yourself. That way when the wolves appear you will know them by what they teach and what they do.
    The bible is very clear about homosexual behavior being wrong in the sight of God. Don’t be fooled by those who are looking to deceive you. Don’t accept someone else’s feelings, clever words, or deceit. Get in the word of God today and see what it says for yourself!
    Today is the day of salvation for all those who would turn to Christ! Accept him today!

  • James

    Some people profess to believe that the Bible is literally inerrant. Nobody, however, actually believes everything that is written in the Bible. The doctrine of inerrancy is inherently dishonest; it is used to try to justify beliefs and prejudices that people have already chosen. The book of Revelation should never have been included in the Bible. It is most often misused for less than loving and Christian purposes.

  • wayne milner

    James,
    You have presented no scripture to back your standing only words of a wolf. Not only are you going the wrong way you insist on trying to drag others with you. May others see clearly not based on what men say but in the light of the word of God!

  • James

    The word of God is love. By worshipping a book instead of worshipping God, you have missed the word of God. Your attitude toward gay and lesbian people is unloving and unchristian.

  • wayne milner

    James,
    Your hate for everyone including yourself is self-evident in the fact you are using your own feelings to drag yourself and others astray. You have not used one single scripture verse to support your beliefs. Don’t forget it’s still not to late to repent and be saved.

  • mary martinez

    I keep looking for an argument that doesn’t equate people who choose to believe in religion/God and therefore cannot support the redefinition of marriage that doesn’t sound like its coming from a raving lunatic! I am a faithful Catholic who would not be able to remain so if I were forced to accept active homosexuality in the way that it is presented now. It is in the doctrines of my faith and I can’t disregard those doctrines and still claim to be true to my beliefs. For me, but sadly apparently not for a majority of “so called” Christians, these are doctrinal issues alone but in most people’s blogs and comments I’ve read its more to do with hate for its own sake. Why? I feel like I am being asked NOT to defend truth according to doctrine and holy scripture but instead to hate as if hate is ever a rational, sane, noble enough action that will supposedly get the Right what it wants. Well the Right does NOT speak for me or for GOOD Catholics/Christians who know the doctrine and respect all persons even if certain ways of living can’t be condoned. I was having a discussion with a woman who’s child was preparing for the sacraments and she intimated to me that she couldn’t get her child’s father to marry her and that she understood that while cohabitating and having sexual relations outside of marriage she could not in good faith participate in the eucharist. She wanted the whole package, stability of a marriage, commitment, and the eucharist. She wanted to know if there was a way to get her boyfriend to love her enough to marry her and give her child what she had known but I couldn’t tell her of any way to force him into marriage. Marriage has to be entered into freely by both parties. All I could suggest is for her to participate as fully as possible, support her child’s journey and include her boyfriend in everything she was doing so that he could see how much it meant to her and to pray that his heart would be open to one day wanting marriage with her. I never said for her to abandon her faith, that she wasn’t loved, that she was an unworthy adulteress-no-I met her where she was and hopefully she is now married to the man she loves or is living single and back in the sacraments and maybe a man that truly values her will give her the marriage she desires. What so called Christians would do is make her feel worthless and unworthy and condemn her until she gave in and groveled in shame. This is what they are doing with the gay community and I guess it is much easier to reach for hate than for love. I have a set of firmly held understandings in regards to what marriage is and why it exists and I will defend that but I will not defend gay marriage and homosexuality being used as a convenient excuse to exercise hatred for anyone. The bible was not designed to be a weapon of war and hatred. If so called Christians keep going down this sad road we will no longer be worthy of the faith that’s supposedly being defended and the love of God who can defend himself just fine with love and is not interested in the hate being peddled as so called righteousness. When I read a worthy argument not steeped in hate and paranoia I’ll gladly get on board but until then I’ll pray for the ones who have lost their way.

    Blessings Mary M.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    Yes, I do. I don’t know what occurred before the universe came into being, I don’t know if there is an afterlife (though I seriously doubt it), but I do know that no other human being actually knows any more than I do about those things.

  • Lesley

    If the government forces churches to marry gay people, which is clearly a sin in the BIble, then they can also force Mosques and other religious buildings to marry people of any kind of religion. So, Christians can go and be married in a mosque if they want to., etc.. etc.. NOT that Christians would want to be married in a mosque but that is just an example. If they are forcing people to marry gay they will also force mosques etc.. or muslim people to also marry gay people in their place.

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  • c697456

    You can make something complicated if you want it to be!
    Simple fact is being gay is not a sin. But lust is a sin.
    You would not go to hell just because you love a man.
    God is a God of love, he gave us the 10 commands
    which we cannot keep. That is why Jesus died
    on the cross for our sins. How many sins do you need to go to hell ?
    The simple answer is you need to repent every chance you can get.
    Repent means to turn away from sin, not do the same sin over and over
    again. If a Man and a Woman have a physical relationship that is not aligning
    with the creation of a child then their sin is the same as a man having a physical relationshipwith another man. We are what we are and we need to put Jesus first in our lives. Make your mission in life to get to heaven. good luck.

If the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage in 2015, how will evangelicals respond?

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A man holds a gay pride flag in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday (June 26, 2013) after the court decided to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

A man holds a gay pride flag in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday (June 26, 2013) after the court decided to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

(RNS) Ten years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian Americans can be wed in 35 states and the District of Columbia (Florida will boost that number to 36, starting Tuesday). This year, the Supreme Court may put an end to the skirmish by legalizing what progressives call “equality” and conservatives dub a “redefinition” of this cherished social institution.

Two advocates for gay marriage join the March for Marriage as its participants head toward the Supreme Court to oppose same-sex marriage. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Two advocates for gay marriage join the March for Marriage as its participants head toward the Supreme Court to oppose same-sex marriage. Throngs of supporters and opponents gathered outside the high court as it considered cases about same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

The court last ruled on gay marriage in 2013 when the justices gutted much of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor and delivered a massive blow to anti-gay marriage advocates. Since then, the court has acted by not acting — in effect, doubling the number of states where gay marriage is legal, from 17 to 35, by refusing to hear a slew of appeals last year.

In November, the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld gay marriage bans in four states, which will almost certainly require the high court to decide the issue once and for all.

Conservative Christians have been among the most ardent opponents of gay marriage and rights for decades. How will they respond if the Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal nationwide?

The answer, it turns out, depends on which Christian you’re speaking to.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has become a leading face for the next generation of Christians opposed to gay marriage. He expects the court to take up marriage this year, and is not optimistic about how they’ll rule given the Windsor decision.

Even so, he doesn’t think such a ruling will make a whit of difference for most of his fellow evangelicals.

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

“Evangelicals are, by definition, defined around the Bible and the gospel,” Moore said. “The Scriptures are clear on what marriage is, and clear on the sin of sexual expression outside of the marriage covenant of a man and woman.”

If the court were to “redefine marriage,” Moore said Christians should “be ready to offer an alternative vision of marriage and family” that doesn’t include same-sex unions. Interestingly, his vision would be promoted primarily within the church rather than changing laws through political action.

“We must articulate these truths about marriage in our gospel witness, and we must embody these truths in churches that take marriage seriously,” Moore said. “This means we must start teaching our children a countercultural word about what it means to be men and women, about what marriage is, and that must begin not in premarital counseling but in children’s Sunday school.”

He contends that anyone who supports gay marriage is not an evangelical.

Ryan Anderson, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation who co-authored “What is Marriage?” with Princeton scholar Robert P. George, is a powerful voice among young conservatives. Anderson thinks the court is “very likely” to take up same-sex marriage in 2015 given the 6th Circuit decision, and he believes the decision will come down to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has authored the court’s most significant gay rights decisions.

Anderson (a Roman Catholic, like Kennedy) said the majority of evangelicals will remain opposed to gay marriage regardless of the ruling. But he believes the law can serve a “pedagogical function,” so legalizing gay marriage could “change the public understanding of behavior.” While Anderson won’t predict how conservative Christians at large would react, he said much depends on the behavior of LGBT advocates.

At 31, Ryan Anderson has become one of the leading millennials debating gay marriage. Photo by Benjamin Myers

At 31, Ryan Anderson has become one of the leading millennials debating gay marriage. Photo by Benjamin Myers

“We’ll have to see how gracious or vindictive voices within the LGBT community are in their responses,” Anderson said. “Will they become a live-and-let-live movement or a stamp-out-dissent movement? If there’s respect, there’s likely to be less pushback from conservatives.”

Anderson and Moore represent a sizable chunk of the Christian population — a majority of evangelicals and half of practicing Catholics oppose gay marriage — but they are not all of it. In recent years, many Christians, particularly younger Christians, have changed their minds on the matter. From 2003 to 2013, support for gay marriage among white evangelicals more than doubled, and support among Catholics rose by 22 percentage points.

Brandan Robertson, national spokesman for the group Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, an organization that believes “you can be a devout, Bible-believing evangelical and support the right of same-sex couples to be recognized by the government as married,” also believes the court will take up the issue this year.

“Christians are increasingly saying that they need to stand up for LGBT equality no matter what they believe theologically,” he said, “and they are doing this not because they are American, but because they are followers of Christ.”

Though Robertson is strident in his support of “marriage equality,” he shies away from addressing whether homosexual behavior is moral, or sinful — representing many Christians who draw a distinction between civil marriage and Christian marriage.

A man holds a gay pride flag in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday (June 26, 2013) after the court decided to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

A man holds a gay pride flag in front of the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013 after the court decided to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network and author of “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate,” believes a Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage is inevitable. While his organization seeks to welcome Christians from a range of perspectives, his comments about marriage mirror Robertson’s.

“There is a distinction between Christian marriage in the eyes of God and civil marriage in the eyes of the state,” Lee said. “My hope is that Christians will continue to see that what the state says marriage is may not line up with what the church or God says.”

Conservatives are changing their minds, albeit slowly, about homosexuality, but are shifting more rapidly on gay marriage.

Even though about half of conservative Christians now believe that gay marriage is inevitable, don’t expect them to slip quietly into the night. Progressives may have the momentum, but conservatives still have a majority. Look to evangelicals to shore up the theology around holy matrimony, and fight to defend their religious liberty rights to oppose same-sex marriage.

“A Supreme Court ruling might be the last word in legal terms,” Moore said, “but it is hardly the last word in cultural or spiritual terms.”

KRE/AMB END MERRITT

  • Larry

    My guess is the same way racists responded to desegregation. Maintain their bigotry but keep it slightly out of public. Oppose such measures indirectly. Attempt to create defacto gay marriage restriction through use of procedural and administrative chicanery.

    Frankly its the bigots own fault for being so malicious and having so little faith in the legislative process. Had they not instituted gay marriage bans and left it to the state legislatures to pass such things on their own, little to nothing would have happened. Status quo would be maintained. But since they were so hateful and distrustful, they felt the need to foreclose the possibility of such bills ever passing with blatantly discriminatory laws/amendments. They opened the door to judicial action speeding the process in which marriage equality was legalized.

    We already are seeing their reaction in the form of attempts to legalize discrimination against gays in various other areas such as employment and commerce. The new phony “religious freedom” bills. These proposed laws are a slap in the face to all notions of civil liberties. They elevates notions of free exercise of religion to become a new right to engage in malicious harm of others. But it only works if one is Christian. Everyone else is subject to “laws of general application”.

    In about 50 years, these evangelicals will pretend there was never any religious objection to marriage equality and try to take credit for it. Much like how christian conservatives try to glom off of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Engage in revisionist historical lying, ignoring that they were opponents of it.

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  • Eric

    “Much like how christian conservatives try to glom off of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.”

    Moore has been laying the ground work for this for a few years now.

    “We already are seeing their reaction in the form of attempts to legalize discrimination against gays in various other areas such as employment and commerce. The new phony “religious freedom” bills.”

    Yep, exactly. Moore was oddly silent about these efforts, at least according to this piece. And ya gotta love Anderson’s pre-emptive strike: ‘hey, if we act like jerks, it’s on them.”

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Anderson, quoted in the article, said, “We’ll have to see how gracious or vindictive voices within the LGBT community are in their responses,” Anderson said. “Will they become a live-and-let-live movement or a stamp-out-dissent movement? If there’s respect, there’s likely to be less pushback from conservatives.”

    Oh, you mean like how right-wing Christians have acted toward LGBTs?

    Of course there will be “pushback” nevertheless. But if he is saying he hopes application of public accommodations civil rights laws are no applied to businesses who seek to discriminate on the basis of “religious liberty,” he is not the brightest light on the Christmas Tree. Discrimination is discrimination and the exercise of it is not a religious act. Their specious argument will not be embraced by America. If you are a Christian, to seek to exercise such discrimination is doubly despicable, given Christ’s radical hospitality. A wedding service, a bakery, etc. are not houses of worship, and are not entitled to such business practices. Some of our more backward states will, as some already have, seek to legislate such a loophole for bigots. But except in Mississippi, such efforts were stopped by the business lobby and quite rightfully so.

  • Apelcart

    If someone cannot separate Fact from Fiction, Why care what they think or say?

  • And just to be clear, what biblical reference supports your argument for same sex union? Marriage as stated by Jehovah God is to be between one man and one woman. In fact God refers to anything else other than His plan for mankind to be an abomination. His words, not mine. So if you have an argument or disagreement with Gods word, which is by the way without error from cover to cover. Get Him to change things to suit your diatribe. Otherwise your argument will sound flat in the ears of someone who has put their faith and hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, I will pray for you. God bless. Y B I C

  • We have an election coming up. When we as Christians go to the pole, remember one thing, and select who you vote for based on one thing. Does the person I am voting for share the same belief in God as I do? We all need strong Christian believers to stand up and run on a platform of strong biblical beliefs. So regardless where you reside in our country, Please consider the long term results of any election. They sometimes have devastating results. Thanks.

  • Amazing grace and an endless love is what God has for us, His created beings. This includes by the way the LGBT community. We Christians pattern our daily lives to reflect as Jesus lived while He walked the earth. I find the older I get, the easier it is to act daily as Jesus did. God loves all of mankind. No exceptions. There is still time to have one of the greatest experiences you can have while living in this Adam suit (body). I am talking about a deep personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. There is nothing on earth quite like it. What an awesome God we serve!!

  • Patrick Meyer

    Where in our Constitution.who are these people we as a population voted no alreadt it doesn’t mean anything! is there anything about Homo’s having a right to marry