Another marriage equality endorsement domino falls, and this time from an unexpected place: the contemporary Christian music scene. This week, Dan Haseltine--the front-man for the very popular Christian band Jars of Clay--has taken to Twitter to post a series of tweets apparently in support of marriage equality and in direct opposition to conservative Christian arguments against it. It all started with this tweet on Monday:
Not meaning to stir things up BUT... Is there a non-speculative or non "slippery slope" reason why gays shouldn't marry? I don't hear one.— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 21, 2014
I'm trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But It doesn't hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women's suffrage.— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 21, 2014
I just don't see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 21, 2014
It quickly escalated from there.
Because most people read and interpret scripture wrong. I don't think scripture "clearly" states much of anything regarding morality.— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 22, 2014
I don't particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is "wrong." I care more about how it says we should treat people.— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 22, 2014
Just curious what "condoning a persons homosexuality" does. Does it change you? Does it hurt someone? What is behind the conviction?— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 22, 2014
In addition to messages of support (some from gay Christians), Haseltine has also seen a backlash. He responds:
tweeting scripture verses to settle my questions of gay marriage isn't helpful. Simple answers to complex questions= meh.— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 23, 2014
Fascinated by the comments saying I have abandoned Christ and faith. Get off your "jump to conclusions" mat. :)— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 24, 2014
No empathy in so many of the comments I've received. What if it was your son? Your daughter? Would that change the tone of the convo?— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 24, 2014
The backlash is coming from other (predictable) places, too. Notorious anti-gay hatemonger Michael Brown has authored an article titled "The Shattering of Jars of Clay" (so clever), in which he rants:
When you’re sliding down a dangerous slippery slope, you don’t say, “Give me one good reason we’re in danger, other than the fact that we’re careening down this deadly slope.”Snore. Something tells me Haseltine is too smart for that.
No. You grab hold of something to stop your fall and then figure out how to climb back to solid ground.
Does this gifted artist not realize that the only reason we’re talking about redefining marriage today is because we are well down that slope already?
This is the day of full-blown incestuous relationships on popular TV shows like Game of Thrones; of other shows glorifying polyamory (married and dating!), polygamy (from Big Love to Sister Wives to My Five Wives), and teen pregnancy; of news reports about the “wedding” of three lesbians. It is the day of almost half of all first-time American mothers having their babies out of wedlock, with cohabitation rates up more than 700% since 1960, and it is against this backdrop that talk of same-sex “marriage” has become prominent.
More on Jars of Clay from Metro Weekly:
Jars of Clay, a band formed in Tennessee in the ‘90s, are one of the most popular and acclaimed Contemporary Christian bands of the last two decades. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1995, was a major success, and not only on Christian radio. Their single “Flood” received heavy crossover airplay and reached #12 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and #37 on the Hot 100 pop chart. The album has achieved double-platinum sales in the U.S. Since then, the band’s success has mostly been with Christian radio, but they have continued to release successful albums (the most recent being Inland in August, 2013). Jars of Clay has scored an impressive 20 Top 10 singles on the Contemporary Christian singles chart over the years, and they continue to enjoy a sizable fanbase.I knew there was a reason Jars of Clay remains the only Christian band I listen to. Good for Haseltine.