Unaware that their cause had been lost, a small number of Japanese soldiers deep in the jungles of the Philippines continued waging guerrilla warfare against an imaginary enemy years after World War II had ended.
Via pamphlets dropped from airplanes, newspapers left for them everywhere, and even relatives at the jungle’s edges hollering at them through bullhorns, the diehard soldiers got the news that the war had ended. They just didn’t believe it.
It’s now as obvious as a full bright rainbow in a dark gray sky that at most within a couple of generations (if not, at the rate we’re going, within a couple of years) any church or denomination still fighting against the marriage of gay couples and the ordination of gay clergy will be like those recalcitrant Japanese soldiers living amongst the mangrove trees of Lubang Island long after everyone else has accepted peace as a fact and adjusted to the new world order. As surely as the complete cessation of gunfire and your cousin’s voice through a bullhorn yelling, “Come out! It’s over! Stop embarrassing your family!” means that the war you were fighting has ended, gay people will ere long be fully welcomed into every Christian church, where just as many as you please will be serving as pastor and priest.
It took longer for some Christians than it did for others to understand that the Bible does not, in fact, support denying black people their civil rights.
It took longer for some Christians than it did for others to understand that the Bible does not, in fact, support denying women their civil rights.
And now it’s taking longer for some Christians than it is for others to understand that the Bible does not, in fact, support denying gay people either their civil or religious rights.
The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the United Church of Christ, among an increasing number of other denominations or groupings within them, now favor the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.
Science continues to affirm homosexuality as inborn (not that anyone who’s ever actually known a gay person doubts it).
The Biblical scholarship supporting the idea that Paul never wrote a word proscribing natural homosexuality is at least as credible and persuasive as the scholarship (if not the typical Bible translations) claiming that he did.
A Gallup Poll done in 1996 showed that 68 percent of Americans were opposed same-sex marriage. By 2012 that number had dropped to 48 percent.
Across the board young people today—including Christians of every denomination—fail to understand why the church makes such a big deal, or any deal at all, about gays and lesbians. In a Gallup Poll conducted in November 2012, 73 percent of people between 18 and 29 years old said they supported same-sex marriage; only four years before it had been 39 percent for and 52 percent against.
The bottom line on the whole LGBT-Christianity issue is that within what historically is an astonishingly short period of time (yay Internet!), we have reached Ye Olde Tipping Point. And from this point on that seesaw will only continue tipping further to the left.
That certainly works for me personally. For verily am I just ever so slightly weary of hollering into the jungle for the deeply confused, bizarrely obdurate Christian combatants in there to stop fighting, lay down their weapons, and come step out into the open, where they can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, relax, get a hug or ten, and finally be at peace with a whole class of citizens who, from the very beginning, never meant them any harm at all.
I will be including this essay in the upcoming revised edition of my book UNFAIR. As you may know, I’m asking readers to help me proofread such essays. If you would, please leave any mistake you find in the text above—spelling, punctuation, syntax, anything at all—as a comment below. (Once I’ve incorporated your suggested changes into the text itself I may delete your comment, by way of keeping a clean and focused pathway for those wishing to comment on the post itself. I know that can seem really obnoxious; thanks for understanding why I might do it. And thanks so much for your help!)