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Marriage equality demonstration
White evangelicals continue to distantly trail other Christian groups on support for marriage equality, but their young people are starting to catch up. And now, there's an actual movement for equality building among evangelicals—again, particularly younger ones. Many of the far-right organizations that had long fought equality are fighting rear-guard actions to preserve the right to discriminate; meanwhile, forward-looking evangelicals are forging connections with each other and creating spaces in which it's okay to be evangelical and pro-equality:
[Amy] Tincher was one of 50 people flown from around the country and the world—Canada, China, Nigeria and South Korea—to a four-day Bible boot camp dedicated to discussing, and embracing, gay relationships. The gathering was organized by Matthew Vines, who by then was enjoying modest fame for a 2012 YouTube video in which Vines, looking even younger than his 21 years, delivers an hour-long lecture arguing that the Bible does not, in fact, condemn all same-sex relationships. The video has gone viral, racking up more than 730,000 views to date, landing Vines on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Styles section and helping him raise $100,000 for the conference, where he launched The Reformation Project, a nationwide network of pro-gay evangelicals committed to ending their church’s longstanding hostility toward gay people. [...]

“We must prepare people for what the future holds, when Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality aren’t part of the cultural consensus but are seen to be strange and freakish and even subversive,” Russell Moore, chief political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote in an April blog post. As if in confirmation of Moore’s warning, the following month, a Southern Baptist congregation outside Los Angeles became the first in the 16 million-member denomination to vote to accept gay worshippers even if they are in relationships. “I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality,” the church’s pastor, Danny Cortez, wrote in an online statement.

Evangelicals have a ways to go, but even within this laggard group, we see progress, we see energy building on the side of equality while opponents of equality are fighting defensive battles. It won't happen overnight, but an evangelical majority for equality will happen eventually.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Odd that they haven't already embraced it... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, sfbob, G2geek

    Marriage is supposed to be something conservatives like.

    And, as I recall, the original push for marriage equality started with activists who called themselves conservative (Andrew Sullivan) as well as activists on the left.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:59:13 AM PDT

    •  Marriage is a deeply conservative (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill, sfbob, bythesea, G2geek

      institution, and one which can really work. Even stopped clocks are right twice a day.

      SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

      by commonmass on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:03:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I once got into a discussion (4+ / 0-)

        with a person who opposed marriage equality because it undermined what he felt was the inherent nonconformity of being gay, and because he felt it could feed the backlash against his desire to have multiple partners.  

        I never quite got that - it seemed like the mirror argument to those who opposed marriage equality for 'moral' reasons. I do think he had a point in terms of the social pressure to marry, once marriage is available. But the dream, it seems to me, is for sexual orientation to be no more relevant than left- or right-handedness in the decision whether to conform or not, to be transgressive or not, to partner or not.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:16:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh good lord... Was he in his 20's? (0+ / 0-)

          Thats the only age from which I've had to listen to a "Don't you dare call me NORMAL!" lament.  

          Music, culture, taste, education, values, worldview, ... and now they want to play the "I was gay before being gay was cool!" card as well?

          Youth.  Such a waste on the young.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 05:40:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Many conservatives DO support (5+ / 0-)

      equality.  Hell even the president of the John Locke Foundation here in NC called Amendment One "unjust, and unnecessary".  His argument was that the trouble facing marriage wasn't gay couple wanting to marry, but straight couples marrying for the wrong reasons and then divorcing, or simply not marrying at all.  When I find myself agreeing with a guy that far to the right, it's either a sign that we're agreeing on a nearly universal truth or that I need medication for some undiagnosed mental disorder.  Since I seem to be fully functional in most other ways, I'm guessing it was the former.

      It's not rocket science.  If marriage is "under attack", then probably you should talk to the married people about that.  And in NC, that means you're speaking to an all-heterosexual audience because there's no recognition for anyone else here.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:01:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Bible is problematic regarding homosexuality: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivorybill, HudsonValleyMark, G2geek

    Jesus specifically released his followers from Mosaic Law (with the exception of the 10 commandments, apparently) but St. Paul did write about homosexuality though many New Testament scholars believe the Greek he used referred to pagan ritual homosexuality and male prostitutes who disguised themselves as women with the sole intent of defrauding their Johns. Which would make the speech you reference about the Bible not condemning ALL forms of homosexuality make sense.

    It is nice to see young Evangelicals getting to the place where their Lutheran and Episcopalian and even Calvinist Presbyterians and UCC cousins have already dared to tread.

    Gay Christians--and especially gay clergy--is nothing new.  

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:08:26 AM PDT

    •  St. Paul (5+ / 0-)

      is not authoritative, is he?  I ask in all seriousness. I'm very interested in ancient history, but not religious.  It seems to me that once a person got out of the arid backwater of rural Judea and into the Hellenistic world of the wider Mediterranean, same-sex relationships were pretty much a normal phenomena. Just as Christianity adapted to allow flexibility with dietary laws, absorbed Roman ideas of divinity and lesser deities (angels, etc), so early Christianity could easily have adapted to ideas about partnerships. It seems like St. Paul had issues with women, too?

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:22:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  really complicated question (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, sfbob, ivorybill, commonmass, G2geek

        Evangelicals typically argue that everything in the Bible is authoritative. But what does that actually mean? The answers change over time. What the Bible says about slavery used to be hotly debated; today, not so much.

        Most evangelicals — certainly almost all the evangelicals I know — would say that Paul is authoritative, but that his comments about why women should cover their heads in church can and should be understood as 'for their time and place.' Evangelicals are increasingly likely to extend that logic to Paul's comments on... homosexuality, or whatever he is actually talking about in those various passages. (I'm not an evangelical, but I think those statements are safe.)

        "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

        by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:45:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  as a woman i am a tad jealous that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StevenWells, Silencio

        the persecution of LGBT is fading. treatment of  women seems to be going the opposite way.
        part of me knows that when one segment finds justice and equality others who are discriminated against start seeing a change for the better. i just dont see it and i just dont feel happy right  now.

        and sorry if i am changing the subject. didnt mean too

        •  Feminism won a lot of big fights (0+ / 0-)

          now it's onto economic fights.

          1) Right to own property?  Settled

          2) Right to work in all trades? Settled

          3) Right to divorce?  Settled.

          There are issues for wage parity and the contraception
          thing is boiling up and abortion is a constant fight,
          but, most of thats really a metaphor for poverty.

          The battle is shafting poor women, not women generally.

    •  No, Jesus said that not the smallest letter nor (0+ / 0-)

      the tiniest pen stroke (not a jot or tittle) would pass away from Torah until all had been fulfilled, and the Jerusalem Christians after his death taught that Christians had to follow Jewish Law. It was Paul who taught that the Old Covenant had been superseded, and that converts needed to be circumcised in the spirit, not the flesh.

      Neither Jesus nor Paul addressed the question of homosexuality directly. There is no evidence that either would have condoned homosexuality, given their attitudes to sex in general.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:10:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there is no evidence? i beg to differ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Krotor, Silencio

        Paul did address homosexuality directly, depending on what translation you read.  Paul used a word that we really don't know a precise meaning for--it could have meant homosexuals, it could have meant (male) temple prostitutes, it could have meant slave boys or men who also provided sex. and Paul was unhappy with them.

        However, I worship Jesus, not Paul.  And there IS evidence, lots of it, that Jesus welcomed and embraced those whom rule-following religious authorities claimed were unworthy and outcast.

        So the haters are stuck--either Jesus didn't say anything about gays because he didn't have a problem with them

        or gays were marginalized people who were not accepted, in which case Jesus probably hung out with them just as he welcomed others whom society cast out

        and I'm interested in what you think was Jesus's "attitude to[ward] sex in general..."

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 05:50:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Paul's word in Greek was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority

          arsenokoites and the bottom line is nobody really knows exactly what it means. Paul used it twice and apparently he coined the term since the few other uses of it post-date Paul. Most commonly scholars consider it like TBM said above, something like "male temple prostitute" (many ancient cults were of the fertility style, where the local god delighted in amorous offerings amongst his priests and followers).

          What is pretty clear is that Paul wasn't talking about conventional gays or their relationships. Homosexual sex and love were pretty common back then in the eastern Mediterranean cultures where Greek language and culture had dominated for centuries. Greek had a variety of terms for such things and Paul was well educated so he would have used those Greek terms had he wanted to talk about homosexuals and homosexual acts in general.

          www.mammonchurch.org: Preferred by all discerning plutocrats and religious corporations

          by Krotor on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 06:03:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Jesus said, in another context (0+ / 0-)
          Go, and sin no more.
          You might wish it were otherwise, but again I see no evidence that his views on what constituted sexual transgressions differed in any way from those of the Torah, except where it came to punishments.

          The best I can see is that he would have welcomed non-practicing homosexuals.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 08:05:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We may not be allowed to talk about this (0+ / 0-)

    Married women vote Republican much more than single women do.

    Married Lesbians probably aren't going to vote Republican, but they are more likely to than single Lesbians.

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:29:10 AM PDT

    •  [causal argument needed] (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HugoDog

      You seem to assume that something about getting married predisposes one to Republicanism. How does that work, exactly?

      "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

      by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:46:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good question (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, HudsonValleyMark

        "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

        by Utahrd on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:52:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmmm (0+ / 0-)

          The marriage gap is almost as large for men as it is for women (at least it was in 2012). If there's anything to this argument, it probably shouldn't be limited to lesbians.

          All else equal, I would expect a greater proportion of unmarried people than married people to be social liberals — but I wouldn't necessarily expect marriage to inculcate social conservatism, in the sense of contemporary American politics. Arguably marriage provides certain financial incentives to vote Republican; weirdly, I'm not aware of any evidence on this particular issue one way or another, but people often seem almost oblivious to personal finances in their voting decisions.

          Oh, another causal argument would be that married couples are more likely to move to conservative suburbs, and have their opinions shift accordingly. I'm not aware of evidence for either part of that argument even for opposite-sex couples, and I'm really skeptical that it would apply to many same-sex couples. But again, I haven't looked at all.

          "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

          by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:55:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or, more conservative people are more likely (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CoyoteMarti, Utahrd

            to get married, and others not as much.

            There's yer "correlation is not necessarily causality" right there.

            I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

            by tom 47 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:02:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  eww move to a conservative neighborhood? (0+ / 0-)

            is that the real reason i never married? i always thought it was because  no one in their right mind would have put up with me

            •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

              For what it's worth, the idea wasn't that people would anticipate moving to conservative neighborhoods after getting married, just that it might sometimes happen. Certainly people have been known to move away from NYC to raise their kids. (And having kids 'might' promote conservatism, too.)

              I was just trying to think beyond "correlation isn't causation," which is always the place to start. I'm really skeptical that marriage makes Republicans, but I thought I would take the idea for a spin.

              "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

              by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 04:54:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I think the post is accurate. I haven't thought (0+ / 0-)

        too much about why.  HEre's a few cents:

        Improved socio-economic status of couples as opposed to singles?  Marriage being in decline among younger people?  Marriage declining in urban centers as more opportunities present themselves (both in terms of partnerships as well as work/career/etc.) in cities as opposed to suburbs/rural areas?

        Correlation <> causation but I think that the correlation is interesting from a socio-economic perspective.

      •  That certainly works in a patriarchy (0+ / 0-)

        such as the more benighted Evangelical churches try to enforce. The mantra for women marrying each other has been

        A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
        In this context the Republican Party is more like a superfluous Mack truck.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:15:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mark Twain, Puritans, Bear Baiting (0+ / 0-)

    It's like Mark Twain said:  "The Puritans did not object to bear-baiting because it brought pain to the bear but because it brought pleasure to the Puritan."

    Evangelicals now think that Gays and Lesbians should be at risk of losing half their assets, having to pay thousands for divorce lawyers, losing a career because a spouse relocated and having the bathroom painted a really ugly color.

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:50:05 AM PDT

  •  more importantly an Evangelical majority to hate (0+ / 0-)

    is dying fast.

    There will be small groups, like the Anglican
    church of Nigeria which will hold on hard
    for another generation or two but the

    majority will stop caring.

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