When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.
During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.
“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.
We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.
As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.
“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. “The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”
When is disagreement hate?
Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.
“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”
But quoting the Bible doesn't inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There's a point at which a Christian's opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.
Read the rest here.
I found this gem on CNN's Belief Blog as I was scanning through it just on a whim ... and it tells me something pretty important: that the bigotry and intolerance for minorities and in general, actions which are prescribed by the bible (and nowhere else!) are beginning to rub people the wrong way. The general populace is starting to recognize that christianity plays favorites and condemns with no rational basis ... and maybe, just maybe, they're getting tired of it. Granted, this mostly applies to the evangelicals and True Believer types...
... but I'm wondering if we're looking at the beginning of a paradigm shift here.
I wish I could do that.
Just try to read a wall o' text.
lol. i was thinking the same thing. i didn't even bother to read the first sentence.
The two sides are not equivalent. There is a long history of religiously inspired hate against homosexuals resulting in criminal attacks and death. Christians do not face the same kind of opposition to their views, but they are offended when anyone questions their views or raises any doubt when they say they know the will of God.
The strange thing is that Christians would very much like to be oppressed—it gives them the opportunity to stand up for their beliefs and 'witness' and this fills them with such joy that they convert any criticism great or small into hatred of Christianity and persecution of its followers.
They want the right to be prejudiced, Melinda; they want the right to be bigoted, using their religion as a reason. Problem is, that kind of attitude doesn't wash any more. Worse, people are starting to see the quality of their behavior, as I mentioned above, and it's beginning to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.
Slow but sure, the shift is happening.
All I can go by is what I see, Melinda, and what I see is state after state approving of same-sex marriages. It would be lovely to see that momentum build to the point where the bigots just throw up their hands and give up, because one more cause grew beyond their ability to polarize it.
Certainly, states like Texas and Utah will resist ... but states like Texas and Utah also have gay men and Lesbian women residing in them ... and they want their rights, too ... and eventually, they will speak out, if they aren't already.
keep it up, Mel.
all of this is more Christian persecution complex. "you're taking away my right to free speech!". no, we're using our free speech to call you out on your hateful rhetoric. spew hate all you like, but those who don't agree with you are allowed to call you all the vile names you deserve. fuckers. grrrr!!
Mindy, you get it! You define yourself, according to your own lights, and that is all that matters! The fact that your children share your thoughts, and that many others share your principles, will grow. Even if some call you names, or shun you, or talk behind your back, or yell to your face, you are who you are; declare it.
It is not parents or education, or institutions of church or state that defines you. Your job is to define who you are, to reveal your natural core. You are not born in sin, or doomed to self-sacrifice. You are! That is it! That is enough!
It doesn't matter that states like Texas and Utah resist, or any of the religions that teach and preach hate for people who don't fit their ideal. They are irrelevant! It doesn't matter one iota whether they agree or disagree. The point is, human beings have rights of self-definition and sovereignty, without an imposition of others' values. That is what USA is all about. We don't have to be white, Anglo Saxon, evangelical christian or a land owner to be a citizen. These attributes are irrelevant!
If we believe one value, and submit to the dictates of values held by others, what good are we? It is our thinking, our reasoning, our experiences, based on principles, that matters.