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.
Of course ... because we're not just taking away their stick. Their power, their influence, and very importantly, their sense of entitlement at being the majority belief system in this country goes with it. Now, maybe we shouldn't mention that the number of protestant christians in this country recently dropped below 50%; that would be adding insult to injury (or should I say, "truth to trepidation?!?").
The fact remains: people are finally making a connection between intolerance and the christian belief system (see Joan Denoo's entry below) ... and I THINK they don't like what they see!
Let's look at hate for a minute. Who "denounces" homosexuals, feminists, abortions, anti-semitism, races, anti-immigrant, and atheists? Who questions our morality to be a homosexual, feminist, pro-abortion, immigrants, having human rights, or atheists?
Imagine, for a minute, it was found that homosexuality is a genetic or hormonal condition beyond anyone's choice. Would religious be so mean-spirited against them? How could they defend that position? Would religious shun them, accuse them, or denounce them?
The evidence is very strong that genes and hormones play an important part in sexual orientation, and if that is true, they are truly homosexual, or transgender, they are not male or female, without any question, and they are worthy of full respect as they exist.
Just as blue or brown eyes are not a choice, blond or brunette hair, Negroid or Asian skin, these all reflect genetic attributes of no significance. We all are of the human family, worthy of our individuality.
"Rights are for EVERYONE...." reminds me of these words from a goth movie:
"No, you can't have my rights. I'm still using them."
Sometimes ignoring someone is the most cruel thing I can do. And the most fun, too.