Sunday, July 05, 2015

Will There Be A New Post-Homophobic Christianity?

Photo Illustration by Dair Massey/The Daily Beast
As this blog and countless other Internet and media outlets have noted, the Christofascists' reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court same sex marriage ruling has been beyond hysterical.  None of the dire consequences and a smiting of America by God that have been predicted amidst spittle flecked rants  will ever come to pass, but that will not stop the parasitic professional Christian class from trying to shake loose every last dime that they can from the ignorant and gullible.  Meanwhile, some denominations like the Episcopal Church USA have moved closer to full church weddings for same sex couples.  Some have even speculated that in time, there will be a post-homophobic version of Christianity that will come to predominate.  One such piece is in The Daily Beast.  Here are highlights:
Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized marriage equality in America, some conservative Christians have been downright apoplectic.

Meanwhile,  Rod Dreher of the American Conservative has, in his own words, a more sober analysis of the decision on Time’s website:“
[W]e have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.”
To which the vast majority of Americans say, “Hallelujah!” Dreher is correct—the idea of equal treatment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans (if not its full realization yet) is indeed the new normal in America. Even before the court’s decision, 6 in 10 Americans supported the right of same-sex couples to marry—and over half of Americans said they would be less likely to support any 2016 presidential candidate who opposed marriage equality. 

[S]ome conservatives have tried to paint this cultural evolution—or even revolution—as fundamentally at odds with Christianity. That’s where they’re wrong.

The Episcopalian Church embraced gay marriage last week. Earlier this year, the Presbyterian Church (USA) affirmed its support for marriage equality, joining many other major Christian denominations that officially endorse LGBT rights. And according to an April 2015 poll, majorities of congregants within many Christian faith traditions support marriage equality—including 60 percent of all Catholics, 52 percent of all orthodox Christians and 62 percent of white mainline Protestants. They’re joined by 94 percent of Unitarian Universalists and 77 percent of all Jews.

Perhaps most strikingly, 64 percent of self-identified Millennial evangelicals support same-sex marriage. . . . . they are a portrait of that future—not of a post-Christian America, but a post-homophobic Christianity. That is the “new normal” that Obergefall does not singularly usher in but merely reflects.
Will anti-gay Christians be politically and socially ostracized? I sure hope so. Just as those orthodox Christians who still believe in strict, traditional gender roles have been increasingly mocked as absurd.

There are, of course, still congregations that haven’t caught up with the times. But churches have always been able to use their discretion to decide whom to marry or turn away, and the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell specifically noted such First Amendment protections for religious institutions.

As for everyone else, including florists and county clerks, yes, you will now have to provide the same services to straight couples that you provide to gay couples. Don’t like it? Find a new job. . . . that doesn’t mean the law is trouncing on religion. It means the law is prioritizing equal treatment for all, as it should.

Liberty, freedom and the ever-bending arc toward equality have won. Intolerance and hate have lost. But this was not a war of liberty versus religion; the war itself took place within religion, including within Christianity itself. And Christianity is ultimately taking the side of equality and liberty, too.

To those who remain in the fringe minority stubbornly mired in hatred and the dark rationalizations of the past, please try to lose gracefully. You are not being exiled. The world is simply moving on without you.
If we are lucky, in time the Christofascists - like the angry aging far right whites of the GOP base - will literally die off.  When that happens, the world will be a better place.

No comments: