The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins recently wrote an On Faith post titled, “Christian compassion requires the truth about harms of homosexuality”:
The media has recently been filled with reports of several recent suicides by teenagers who are reported to have been victims of “anti-gay” bullying. Some homosexual activist groups lay blame at the feet of conservative Christians who teach that homosexual conduct is wrong, as well as pro-family groups such as Family Research Council which oppose elements of the homosexual political agenda, such as same-sex “marriage.”
I am a straight, white, male, evangelical Christian, just like Tony Perkins. Mr. Perkins, you don’t speak for me or a number of conservative evangelicals who are worn out and sickened by the same old battle cry you believe we should join…
In his post, Mr. Perkins uses scare quotes in the phrase same-sex “marriage,” as if the label dictates whether LGBT couples live together and raise families. He does the same with the phrase “anti-gay” bullying, as if the bullying of those gay kids who committed suicide was merely alleged to be anti-gay…
If it’s indeed true that “religious faith and… traditional family values” are the solution, then I wonder what Mr. Perkins’ excuse is? Bullies do attend church, Mr. Perkins — you’re one of them. I’m not saying that because I believe Tony Perkins should be affirming LGBT politics or theology. That is not the case. Until Jesus comes back there will always be an ‘opposite’ or an ‘other.’
Dammit, Andrew, when you write things like that, you make me want to fully support what you do. But I’m not there yet. (And only partly because you think Jesus might actually come back…)
I’m waiting for your foundation to admit that homosexuality is not a sin or immoral. “Nice” Christians love to say that homosexuality is no more a sin than any other sin, but that makes the word completely meaningless. If everything is a sin, then nothing’s a sin.
I’m waiting for you to tell the churches that they should fully support marriage equality. It’s not enough that they don’t rage against it. We need Christians openly supporting it and voting for it.
Your website rationalizes the non-responses away as if it’s a “strategic” decision:
… The Marin Foundation will never give anyone the answer they want to hear. There is no “yes” or “no” in The Marin Foundation’s vocabulary, and a specific part of our training and classes and programs deal directly with these issues and responses. Bridge building is all about dialogue and understanding, not polarization and debates. Opinions cause dissention, bridge building brings life.
Building bridges is nice and useful — it’s certainly good PR.
But there’s a right and wrong answer to these questions and it’s cowardly to hide behind a smokescreen of ambivalence.
Why waver when the right answers are so damn obvious?
A true “compassionate Christian” would have an immediate answer to the question of whether gays should have the right to marry: “Yes.”
Don’t waffle and then claim you’re helping the cause.
What churches need are people within their own ranks telling them the hard truth: they’re wrong when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. Even the “nice” Christians aren’t doing enough by standing around apologizing for what other Christians have done. Real change will only occur when more Christians take a stronger stance on the issue.
Andrew’s letter to Tony Perkins is a start — I’ll give him credit for that. I’d love to see more Christians writing similar letters on their blogs and Facebook walls and saying these things to their pastors and small groups. Bonus points if they’re saying it to people who disagree.