Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Evangelicals, the Nashville Statement, and gay rights


Andrew Sullivan on the Nashville Statement by evangelicals: 

...But their intransigence on this question is killing them. It’s particularly damning when so many of these leaders just endorsed, voted for, and threw their weight behind a man who has married several times, claimed that avoiding STDs was his own version of Vietnam, has humiliated successive wives, has bragged about sexual assault, who talks of his own daughter as a sexual object, and touted the size of his dick in a presidential debate. On all of this, most of these same Evangelicals looked the other way. But gay and transgender Christians? We are living rebukes to God’s natural order...

The reason so many minds have changed on this question is because we know more about our nature than we ever have before. You don’t have to junk all of Christianity to acknowledge that. Gay people, for example, will be the first to insist that male and female exist: It’s just that we are attracted to our own sex and not the other. Transgender people — by seeking to conform their outward appearance with what they feel is their true gender — are also indirectly paying a compliment to the male-female natural structure and want to fit into it. 

For a few generations now, gays and lesbians and transgender people, by coming out, have been telling our stories, and those with open minds and big hearts have heard us. It is one of the great tragedies of many Evangelical and orthodox Christians that they are not interested in listening...

I believe that for an entire generation, this question is a litmus test for whether Christianity really is about love, and whether the Gospels (which have nothing to say about homosexuality) should even get a hearing. I can date my own niece’s and nephew’s rejection of Christianity to the day the priest urged them to oppose equal rights for their uncle. That’s why Evangelicalism is dying so quickly among the young. 

The latest PRRI survey shows that only one in ten Evangelicals are now under 30. It is no accident that the generation that has come to know gay and transgender people as people also finds it hard to dehumanize us in the way the Nashville Statement does, and see a church leadership that still treats us in this fashion as inimical to their own, yes, Christian values...

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