With the polling data showing that young people are overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality, the religious right knows it has a real problem. John Mark Reynolds of Houston Baptist University has a truly bizarre take on that problem at Patheos. He quotes, and is ostensibly responding to, this quote from Republican political consultant Reed Galen:
Regardless of party affiliation, young voters view gay marriage as utterly uncontroversial. With all of the other problems the country has to solve, the freedom of individuals to live their lives as they see fit seems a foregone conclusion.
Opinions are unlikely to change over the course of two days this week. The high court will take its time to decide the merits of the cases. Whatever the justices decide, we should look in our collective national mirror and ask ourselves : Are we a country, and a party, of more freedom or less.
And here is Galen’s really weird response:
We are told that people strongly homosexual are roughly six percent of the population. It is interesting to observe that the young adults who view homosexuality as a sin and support traditional marriage are at least three times their number. Evidently, however, these young adults are to be forced into a political closet and told to pretend to agree or Mr. Galen merely pretends they don’t exist.
Such young adults should start wearing shirts that proclaim they are “one in five,” that they too are children and grandchildren made as invisible in the media as the millions who still pray before their meals.
In fact, even those young Americans who, with great moral difficulty, are able to concede civil marriage rights, though they wish they did not have to do so, do not exist. All the Americans who favor “gay marriage” view the right to vice as utterly uncontroversial!
Whiskey tango foxtrot? This is really a tortured response. Who, exactly, is saying that the minority of young voters who are opposed to same-sex marriage “don’t exist”? And it just gets weirder after that:
If you are a poor person, then good luck to that. The best thing about gay marriage is that at least someone is wanting to get married.
I would rather live in Vanity Faire than Mordor.
Nor should we panic about the future. We are declaring a vice a right, a sin a virtue, but then Americans have often done this. Slavery was after all a “property right” and we survived this morally depraved judgment.
But slavery was, of course, defended with many of the same arguments now used against marriage equality: “But this is tradition and God has declared that it be so! If we alter this God-decreed institution, we are shaking our fist at God and we will suffer his wrath!” Lather, rinse, repeat with giving women the right to vote, ending official segregation, passing anti-discrimination laws, reproductive rights and now gay rights. They only have one script.
This intellectual fad, despite all dangers, will fade just as other fads labeled “science” or “progress” have done many times in the history of the Christian church. I am not likely to see it, but it will happen.
This is the immemorial refuge of the Christian apologist: We will win in the end! God is on our side and we cannot lose! Sorry, but that’s wrong. You’ve lost over and over again throughout history. But rather than admitting that, you just reinterpret your holy texts and pretend that you were on the right side all along.