Should Christians Give Up the Fight on Gay Marriage?

Timothy Dalrymple, an evangelical Christian blogger at Patheos, asks a question we’ve all answered several times before:

Is it time now, or might there come a time soon, when evangelicals should decide that the cost of carrying on the battle against same-sex marriage is simply too high?

His answer is standard evangelical fare — marriage is between a man and a woman, that definition won’t change — but his argument suggests that Christians may be better off not standing in the way of gay and lesbian couples getting equal rights, even if Christians don’t consider their marriages “marriages.”

Personally, I hope they continue to defend their narrow-minded Biblical view of what marriage is. It makes it *so* much easier to convince people that religion is more harmful than good when the evidence is right there standing in line at Chick-fil-A.

No one has ever cared what Christians think marriage is. Their definition isn’t what we’re trying to change. No one’s trying to rewrite the Bible. No one’s taking away anyone’s religious freedom. If you’re a Christian and you work at a church, you don’t have to recognize gay marriage. If you’re a Christian in charge of issuing marriage licenses at City Hall, you don’t get to avoid your job by crying, “Freedom of conscience!” It’s simple.

The fight has always been about legal rights and equality under the law, and Christians have still been opposed to that. Even when they know their churches can hang up signs saying “No Gay Couples Allowed,” even when their pastors continue to rail against same-sex parents adopting children, even though their churches are under no obligation to treat gay people as human beings — they have still tried to prevent the government from legally recognizing same-sex love.

There are no legitimate scientific reasons to oppose gay marriage just as there are no legitimate moral reasons to oppose it. There are only religious reasons — bigoted reasons — and that’s not how we run our society.

The faster marriage equality becomes a way of life nationwide, the faster we’ll push the evangelical church as we know it into obsolescence.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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